After walking a hundred yards down the beach, Lisa picked out a shady spot on the sand, under a palm. She sat down, and as Trevor and Joel joined her, she handed them each a bag. “Two burgers and a fry, on me. Okay Trev, I’ll say this; I think you’re nuts to take off. You should have waited to see if your dad would calm down and change his mind. I get that you couldn’t let him sell Atlantis, but you could have waited to see if he was really going to do it or just saying it out of anger first.”
Trevor bit into a burger and then nodded. “Yeah, I know. It’s just... with the divorce stuff, and the way he keeps pushing me about being not normal, which is his way of referring to me being gay, and the way he’s been acting lately, I didn’t think he’d back off. It was just too much... and I felt like if I didn’t go, right then, it might be too late.”
Joel looked at Lisa, and then at Trevor, before saying, “No point in worrying about that now; what’s done is done. The trick is; how do we fix it?”
The three friends remained silent, none of them coming up with an answer. Lisa tapped her watch. “Under a minute until launch.”
The three friends looked northward, up the Indian River, towards the distant launchpads. They waited and Lisa kept checking her watch. Finally, she said, “It’s late. I’ll call the info line.”
After calling and listening, she said, “It was scrubbed an hour ago, some kind of an engine sensor issue. They’re going to try again next week, on our birthdays, a dusk launch.”
“Which one is it?” Trevor asked.
“Your favorite shuttle, the Atlantis,” Lisa replied with a laugh. Then, she turned serious. “Trev, you’ve got to fix this with your dad.”
Trevor nodded. “I know, but I’m not giving up Atlantis. If he won’t back off, I’ll stay in the damn Bahamas until I’m eighteen if I have to.”
Lisa rolled her eyes. “I know you won’t give up your precious tub, but you’ve got to bury the hatchet somehow. You can’t stay out there for a year, Trev. What would you do? What about school?”
Trevor looked at the sand. “I’d miss my senior year. I’d have to do a GED. I’m going to community college anyway; I’m not after a degree, just some business classes to help me with the charter business. Atlantis isn’t just my past; she’s my future too. I can’t lose her, no matter what it takes.”
Lisa sighed. “Find a way to fix it, Trev. Talk to him, you’ve got nothing to lose.”
Trevor remained silent for a while, watching the water and thinking. “You’re right. I’ll try.”
“I’ve got my phone,” Lisa said pointedly.
“Okay, I’ll call before I go back to Atlantis, I promise,” Trevor said, and then added quietly, “I just want to unwind for awhile first.”
“It’s a great day to be at the beach,” Lisa said, scooting into the late afternoon sun.
The three friends spent the next two hours on the beach, all of them avoiding talking about Trevor’s problems, and Trevor was almost able to forget. Almost. As the sun hung low over the mainland, Trevor said, “I guess I’ve got a call to make.”
Lisa handed him the phone, and Joel, sitting by his side, asked, “Want some privacy?”
Trevor shook his head, and dialed.
As soon as the line picked up, Trevor said, “Hi Dad, it’s me.”
“Where the hell are you?” Dirk shot back, his temper already badly frayed.
“That doesn’t matter. Dad... I want to fix this. I’m sorry everything got out of hand–”
Dirk had been going crazy all afternoon, ever since noticing that Atlantis was no longer in the Marina. His temper was raging, in part due to Trevor’s evasion about where he was, and Dirk was in no mood to have a discussion over the phone. He cut off his son to yell, “You took that fucking boat out without engines in a rage sea. You’re going to get yourself killed. Where the hell are you?”
“I fixed the engines, they’re running fine. Look, I want to make this right, but you have to know I won’t give up Atlantis, not now, not ever, and I need to know about Mom,” Trevor said, his own temper starting to simmer.
“That damn boat... I’ve had enough. It’s gone and that’s final. You’re going to come home and lead a normal life... have a girlfriend instead of risking your neck and spending every minute tending that fucking boat or poking around off Bimini where you don’t belong. Now tell me where you are or I’m calling the police.”
Trevor's eyes narrowed. ‘He won't talk about what happened with Mom, and he still thinks he can make me go straight... and he’ll sell Atlantis now, for sure. To hell with him!’ “I guess we don’t have anything to talk about. I’ll be in touch, but not soon,” Trevor snapped, and hung up.
Lisa and Joel exchanged a frightened glance. Dirk had been loud enough that they’d heard both sides of the conversation. “Oh, shit,” Joel muttered.
“That about sums it up,” Trevor agreed darkly.
“Give him time, Trev. Give him time,” Lisa said, because it was all she could think of.
Trevor sighed. “I don’t have much choice. If he gets his hands on Atlantis now, she’s gone. Plus, did you catch the normal-with-a-girlfriend remark? Even if I went home... What’s he going to be like? There’s also the fact that things got really bad only after I mentioned finding the divorce papers, and now I’m starting to think he’s hiding something – something really bad... Anyway, it doesn’t matter. No way can I give up Atlantis.”
“Fuck... this sucks,” Joel said, shaking his head, wishing he could think of a solution.
Trevor picked up the phone again and called Julie to ask her to drive down and meet him in Fort Lauderdale for the charter. “Your father came by the dive shop today, fit to be tied... then he called the booking agency and canceled the charter, Kiddo,” she replied, “Which royally sucks. I was looking forward to heading out with you one last time. Where are you at, anyhow?”
Trevor explained at length, and then Julie said, “Trev, I’m leaving for Tahiti in a week and I’d like to see you before I go. I’ve got a few of my things on Atlantis. I don’t care about them, but I’d like to see you.”
“Thanks, Julie... I... I’ve got to keep out of port. I’m going to anchor inshore tonight, somewhere off the waterway. I’ll call you in the morning,” Trevor said, a little uncertainly.
“Okay, Kiddo, I’ll wait for your call. Trev... Take care and don’t worry, everything’ll work out somehow. See you tomorrow,” Julie said, trying to think of some way to help.
“From bad to worse,” Joel said, upon hearing the news.
With the sun dipping below the horizon, Trevor said, “Yeah, what else could go wrong.”
Dirk drummed his fingers on his kitchen table, and then hung up his phone in disgust. “Still not answering and it won’t go to voicemail,” he said. Then, taking a long, sad breath, he looked at Jim and said, “I really screwed it up this time.”
“You’ve never let me meet him but from what you’ve always said, Trevor’s a good kid with a good heart. He’ll calm down sooner or later, he has to. Just keep that temper of yours under wraps when he does and don’t let him bait you anymore,” Jim replied, and then asked, “If he goes to the Bahamas, how hard would he be to find? There aren’t very many islands there, are there?”
“Over seven hundred and he knows the area like the back of his hand,” Dirk said, as his head fell to his hands.
Jim nodded, just once. “Speaking as your attorney, if your son just vanishes out there, the fact that you’re a suspect in your wife’s death under similar circumstances won’t go well for you. Too late to change it now, but notifying the police that Trevor is a runaway was a bad idea.”
With his head still in his hands, Dirk replied in a defeated tone, “It was the only way I could think of to stop Trev and keep him away from Bimini. I have to stop him, Jim, I had to do it, for his sake, and mine.”
Joel and Lisa sat with Trevor until well after dark in the sultry Florida night, tying to keep his spirits up. Finally, Lisa said, “I’ve got to be getting home. Where will you be tomorrow, Trev?”
“I wish I knew,” he answered in a sad tone. “I can’t keep my cell on in case Dad talks the phone company or the cops into tracking it. I’ll call as soon as I’m underway in the morning. There’s a place I know south of here, called Hole in the Wall, that I think I can hide out in for a day or two.”
“Call me too and I’ll see if I can think of anything overnight,” Joel replied.
Trevor stood up. “I guess I better get back aboard and see what I can figure out for tomorrow.”
Lisa and Joel stood up and Lisa gave Trevor a hug. “Hang in there, Trev. Just make sure you call us tomorrow, promise?” The three friends began walking north, towards the Atlantis.
Trevor forced himself to smile. “Promise. See you guys soon, and thanks for everything,” he said, and then swam out to Atlantis and pulled himself aboard, feeling painfully alone. The first thing he did was reprogram his AIS transponder, changing the name and registry number of his boat, in case his father tried to find him that way again.
Trevor spent the night off the beach, and then, in the first light of dawn, he motored out to sea and then south, paralleling the coast. He saw the nuclear power station passing to his right, smiling sadly as he remembered anchoring on the ocean side of it, to go surfing with Joel and Lisa.
On the south shore of the inlet where Joel had swum out to Atlantis was the St. Lucie Inlet State Park, a tangled maze of shallow channels. That was Trevor’s destination; a place where he hoped he could anchor in obscurity.
Trevor raised the daggerboards and pulled into a narrow, twisting channel. After a few dozen yards, he anchored in a large, almost circular basin, almost half a mile wide: Hole in the Wall. It was bounded on every side but the north by green walls of mangroves, and on the north, it was separated from St. Lucie inlet by a narrow strip of sand and shrub.
Trevor’s first call was to Julie, and after he’d explained roughly where he was, she said, “I called a friend of mine last night. She has a house down in Hobe Sound, six miles south of you. It has a dock, just a few hundred yards off the Intercoastal Waterway. It should be fine for you to pull in there after dark, so meet me there around eight.” Julie gave Trevor both an address, and something far more useful to him: the home’s exact coordinates.
With that issue settled, Trevor called Lisa, and talked for a while, which resulted in her telling him several different ways to just wait until his father calmed down. Trevor accepted that, hoping she was right, but not letting himself believe it. Lisa made Trevor promise to call back later in the day, and he agreed.
Then, he called Joel, and joked around for a while. From Joel, he learned that Lisa was grounded for arguing with her father. “I feel her pain,” Trevor quipped, wishing that being grounded was his only worry.
“So, where are you?” Joel asked.
Trevor laughed, and then, worried that his calls might be monitored, he chose his words with care. “Remember where you swam out to me? That was the north side of that inlet and I’m south of it, a few hundred feet south of the channel, in that place I mentioned yesterday.”
“What’s your plan?” Joel asked, concerned.
“I don’t have one yet. I’m seeing Ju-” Trevor stopped himself, suddenly remembering his fears of being monitored, and then shakily continued, “I’ll tell you that later... After that, maybe I’ll kick it here for a couple of days and see what happens. If not, I’ll head for the Bahamas. It’s only about a hundred miles from here so I might as well go. Look, I can’t leave my phone on long, in case it gets tracked. Can I call you this afternoon at three? I hope I’ll have something figured out by then.”
“I’ll be waiting,” Joel replied. “Be careful, Trev.”
Trevor spent an hour studying charts and weather reports, and then decided to get some sleep, because there wasn’t anything else he felt like doing. He stretched out on the couch in the salon, letting the soft lap of the waters lull him to sleep.
Troubled dreams followed; replays of his fight with his father, but always the same outcome. Then, a frigid sensation forced its way into his consciousness, pushing the dreams aside. The touch of stinging cold was centered on his bare chest, like ice... Trevor cracked open an eye, and as his vision focused, he saw an ice cube between his pecs. Swatting it aside, it took him a few moments to wake up enough to realize that it hadn’t made its way there on its own. The sound of snickering proved the point.
Trevor rolled his head and found himself looking at Joel. “Hey,” Trevor muttered. “Hi Joel.”
Joel crouched down, still dripping, beside Trevor. “I was gonna let you sleep for awhile, but you were tossing and turning something fierce. Then I thought of the ice in your freezer and I just had to... Kinda a payback for what you did to me on the beach yesterday.”
Trevor chuckled, remembering Joel’s face when he’d put his arm around him and called him ‘Honey’.
Trevor sat up and asked, “How did you get here? And not that I’m not glad to see you, but... why?”
Joel grinned and pointed at the red lifeguard shorts he was wearing. “I had to get these back to you somehow and I wanted to see how you’re doing. I also had an idea; if you and I traded cell phones, you wouldn’t have to worry about anyone tracking in on yours. If they do, they find me, no big deal ‘cause I’m not on the run.”
“Okay, thanks, that’d be great... but, how the heck did you get here?”
“Notice I’m still wet? I swam.” Joel replied with a laugh, pointing first at his bare torso and then at the red shorts. “I found Hole in the Wall on Google Earth so I drove down. I parked on the other side of the inlet and swam across. It’s barely a mile...” Joel said, letting his voice trail off.
Trevor’s eyes shot open. “Dude, there’s some hellacious currents across that inlet, and,” he checked the clock. “It’s outgoing tide right now, you’d have been swept out to sea!”
Joel laughed. “Actually, I parked near the fishing boat piers about two miles from here and found a boat that was heading out. I gave ‘em twenty bucks for the ride and they dropped me off just thirty feet from the beach on this side of the inlet. I made sure I could see your masts before I jumped. From that beach, it’s about fifty feet to the water here, and you’re about two hundred feet out in this saltwater millpond. It was easy, easy enough that I brought you the phone.” Joel pointed at a table, which contained a mayonnaise jar. In it was a cell phone.
“Thanks Joel. You surprised the hell out of me. It’s good to see you, man.”
Joel shrugged. “I didn’t want you to be alone today, not with all the crap that’s going on.”
Trevor looked at Joel and then grinned. “The water’s clear here and the bottom looks interesting. It’s shallow but it’d be a good dive. You up for it?”
“Hell yeah,” Joel said with a whoop.
Trevor led his friend out on deck and started preparing the dive gear. He’d been teaching Joel how to scuba but so far Joel had only been down in a pool.
Trevor took extra care getting Joel prepared, first helping him into a weight belt – just fifteen pounds, all Trevor thought he’d need – a buoyancy compensator, and then the tanks. Then Trevor put his own rig on, and led the way, tumbling backwards over the side.
The two friends spent the next hour cruising around the bottom of Hole in the Wall, which teemed with fish. For Trevor, who was used to the spectacular coral formations of the Bahamas, it wasn’t much, but the company made it one of the best dives he’d ever had. It helped to take his mind off his troubles, at least for a while.
Midway through the dive, under fifteen feet of water, they found themselves surrounded by a school of small silver fish, which moved as one, glinting in the sunlight.
Back on Atlantis after their dive, Trevor took care of the gear, giving Joel pointers on its care. Then, after some lunch, Trevor and Joel began doing backflips into the clear waters from the stern of Atlantis.
As the day drew to a close, Trevor and Joel sat in the cockpit, sweating in the Florida heat, and Trevor broached a subject he’d been trying not to think about. “What was Lisa’s fight with her dad about?”
Joel sighed. “Bad news. Lisa decided to follow her own advice and try talking to him, in this case about the birthday trip. It didn’t go well. He figured I’d be going and he wasn’t too cool with the idea. So they fought and she’s grounded. I guess this kind of torpedoes the trip... I can’t go away and leave her alone on her birthday. But then what will you do? Maybe we could all meet up here and have the day together?”
Trevor sighed. “Sounds like a plan. Damn, this sucks.”
“Yeah. But hey, any other time this summer, come get me and take me out to the Bahamas, or anywhere. I’d love to go. I’ve got some money saved up... speaking of, are you okay for money?”
“Yeah, thanks... For a while anyway. I had a few grand in tip money aboard, and I cleaned out a chunk of my bank account before setting off, just in case Dad freezes it on me,” Trevor replied. Watching the setting sun, he said, “I’ve got to go meet Julie. You can come along if you want, or I can drop you at the fishing docks as soon as it’s dark.”
Joel nodded. “I better head on home before you see Julie. I’m parked right by the docks, under a sign warning ‘No parking after nine P.M.’. You don’t need to drop me on the docks though; there’s a beach just thirty feet from my car. Get in close and I’ll swim for it. I can take your phone in the mayo jar.”
Trevor looked at the reddening sun. “We’ve got about an hour, but I need to weigh anchor and get back in the main channels before dark; the channel into here is tricky enough in daylight.”
Atlantis scraped bottom once on the way out, just a brush against the sand, which made Trevor wince. Then, he headed up the Intercoastal Waterway, intending to burn some time before doubling back and putting Joel ashore. Once they were in the main channel, he let Joel steer. Trevor stood by his side, keeping a nervous watch for coast guard and harbor patrol boats.
“Hey Trev, write down the make and model of that outboard on the Zodiac for me, and I’ll see if I can get you a new part for it,” Joel said, as he steered up the main channel.
Trevor didn’t need to look; he knew the needed information by heart and wrote it down. Then he put it in the mayonnaise jar with the phone. When he was done, Trevor glanced at his friend in the twilight, noticing the red lifeguard shorts. “Just how did you intend giving those shorts back to me?” he asked with a chuckle.
Joel answered by dropping the shorts and tossing them at Trevor with a laugh, revealing the red Speedo he’d worn underneath. “I wore ‘em in case I’d have a longer swim to get out to you.”
‘Now he tells me,’Trevor thought wryly.
“What about your wallet and car keys?” Trevor asked.
“My car key is tied to my drawstring and I locked my wallet in the car, in my Levis. Do me a favor though... when you drop me off, make sure I get into my car okay. I don’t want to be stuck walking around town at night dressed like this.”
Trevor laughed, and then turned serious. “Let me give you my car key. My car can’t stay where it’s parked for much longer without getting towed.”
Joel nodded. “Lisa should be able to go out tomorrow so we’ll move it then. If not I’ll get my Dad to help. I’m sure he’ll let me keep it at my house.”
“Thanks... And by the way, I checked your phone; my charger works on it, so yours should work on mine.”
Joel slapped his head, “I never thought of that. Don’t tell Lisa, she’ll never let me live it down,” Joel said, and then lowered his voice a little to ask, “When will we see you again, Trev?”
“I’m not sure, but soon. For Lisa’s and my birthdays for sure. If Dad calms down, sooner. In the meantime, I’ll be kicking around the Bahamas, probably. Hey, does your phone work over there?”
Joel stopped to think for a moment. “I don’t know. It’s tri-mode and I think that’s supposed to work overseas, but maybe you need some kind of international plan. Try it and see. If not, we’ll trade back next time I see you.”
All too soon for Trevor, they were off the beach, looking at Joel’s car under a parking lot light. “The depth gauge is shallowing out, I can’t get any closer,” Trevor said, halting Atlantis’s shoreward drift.
Trevor, with the mayonnaise jar in hand and Trevor’s car key tied to his drawstring next to his own, looked at the shore. “It’s only fifty feet, no sweat, just kinda spooky in the dark. I’ll get the part for the outboard to you next time.” Joel turned to face Trevor, and then locked their forearms together. Joel paused, hesitating, and said, “What the hell, come here.” He gave Trevor a quick hug. “Take care man. See you soon.” With that, Joel dove over the side, heading for the beach.
Trevor watched until he saw Joel open his car, and get in. After flashing the lights, Joel waved, and drove away, leaving Trevor feeling painfully alone, but grateful that he had such a good friend in Joel. Then, it was time to head south, for his meeting with Julie.
Keying the coordinates into his GPS navigation system, Trevor brought up an electronic chart. It was an easy run; six miles down the Intercoastal Waterway, then a turn to starboard and a few hundred yards up a channel lined with large houses and private docks. The GPS was accurate enough to take him to the specific dock he needed.
Trevor made fast work of tying up, and then pulled on a shirt before jumping down onto the dock to meet Julie and her friend. Julie handled the introductions; “Trevor, this is Bridget Bellevue, an old college friend of mine. Bridget, this is Trevor Carlson, my former employer and good friend.”
“Why don’t we all go inside?” Bridget offered, seeming a little formal to Trevor.
Inside the large, somewhat ostentatious house, Trevor sat down, and to his surprise, Bridget began talking about his problems. “My late husband was an attorney, and Julie asked me to poke around a little so I did. I’ll make this brief, young man; your father has listed you as a runaway and the police are looking for you and that boat of yours. It has a distinctive look, which I’m afraid will make it easy to spot. The best advice I can give you is to head home. It’s only a boat, after all.”
Trevor shook his head. “I’m not giving her up. There are also... other reasons why things aren’t good between my father and me. It just can’t work. My plan is to head for the Bahamas until he cools off. Failing that, I’ve been thinking about trying to become an emancipated minor.”
Bridget shook her head. “That would prove difficult. In Florida, your parents must file such a petition. There are a few exceptions, but those involve cases of extreme abuse. Julie mentioned that your mother is dead, so under your circumstances, I doubt a court would even agree to hear a plea without your father’s consent, let alone grant it.”
Julie looked sadly at Trevor. “She’s right, and the Bahamian authorities work closely with the American ones, particularly the Coast Guard. Given time to contact the right people and file the right legal motions, your father can likely have you sent back. I’ve only had a good chat with your father a few times, buthe seems like a decent guy who cares about you. I think you should go home, first thing in the morning.”
Trevor argued the point for over an hour. In the end, they decided to drop the issue. Julie walked back to Atlantis with Trevor to retrieve her things: a few novels and some dive gear. When they were alone in the salon, Julie wrote down an e-mail address and handed to Trevor. “Please keep in touch, Trev. You’re a good friend and I want to know how things work out for you. I’d also like to see you again someday. I hope you find your happiness, whatever path you take,” Julie said, giving Trevor a hug.
Trevor followed Julie back onto the dock, where Bridget was waiting. Bridget glanced at Trevor and said, “I still think you need to return to your home, but it’s your life, young man. With the law looking for you I can’t have you tied up here for long, but I’ll turn a blind eye until dawn. Safe journeys and it was nice to meet you.” Without waiting for a reply, Bridget walked back up her dock, to her home.
Julie chuckled. “She’s got a strange demeanor, always has, but she’s okay. Now, as for you, don’t burn any bridges. Keep trying with your father, and see what happens. Take care, Kiddo, and good voyages to you.”
Julie gave Trevor a last hug, and walked away, hoping that things worked out for him, and knowing that she’d miss him.
“Bye, Julie,” Trevor whispered into the darkness, and returned to Atlantis, wondering if he'd ever see her again.
He slept that night in his cabin, waking to the sound of his alarm before the first light of dawn. He cast off in the darkness, having no idea where he was going. Upon reaching the main waterway, he turned to port, heading north, for no other reason than he knew the way. It was dawn by the time he reached Saint Lucie inlet and headed out into the open sea. A check of the weather revealed no advisories and he set course for Freeport, in the Bahamas. He remembered Bridget’s warning, including the part about it not being immediate. The Bahamas would be a haven for him, just not the long-term one he’d hoped.
The wind was from the south and Trevor’s course was southeast, across the north-flowing Gulf Stream. As a result, he found himself averaging just five knots but he didn’t care. ‘Not like I’m in a hurry to get anywhere.’
Trevor tied up at the public dock in Freeport, and walked ashore. He had been to the port many times, and walked directly to the ATM. There, holding his breath, he inserted his card and keyed in his PIN number. With relief, he saw the machine accept it, and tried to withdraw some cash. His heart began to sing when, not matter what amount he tried, he received a notice of 'Insufficient funds'. 'Looks like Dad locked up or emptied my bank accounts,' Trevor though sourly.
In a dejected mood, Trevor returned to the place he felt most at ease; the sea. His birthday was a week away, and he had no idea where to go, or what to do, in the meantime. He glanced to his south, towards Bimini, which he could reach in hours. He was tempted, and began to change course, but then he paused. 'I can't, that's the first place he'd have people looking for me,' Trevor thought, and then swung east.
After two days of aimless sailing, Trevor dropped anchor off a small cay in the vast maze of reefs and shallows north of Grand Bahama Island. The deserted cay, one of many in the area, was tiny, not much bigger than a couple of football fields and surrounded by white coral-sand beaches and placid, crystal clear azure waters. In the cay’s center stood a few lonely palm trees that offered shade and an idyllic reading place. For most it would be paradise, but for Trevor it was solitary exile.
He spent his days snorkeling and studying, reading up various subjects from the books he had aboard, ranging from internet advertising to the art of celestial navigation. He also had time to think about the situation with his father, and found himself running their arguments through his mind, over and over again, in a futile quest for answers. ‘He tried to take Atlantis off me when he found out I was searching off Bimini. Why? So I couldn’t search anymore? That means there’s something out there...’
The lonely days passed, as Atlantis lolled in the placid waters and Trevor counted the days until his birthday. ‘Maybe Lisa can get her dad to let her go on the birthday trip’, Trevor hoped, thinking how much fun it would be if Joel and Lisa were there on the cay with him.
On the day before his birthday, Trevor set sail to the southwest, intending to get within range of a cell tower near the western tip of Grand Bahama Island.
When he had a signal, Trevor discovered that Joel’s phone did not work in the Bahamas. Trevor checked his charts and continued southwest, heading for the aptly named West End Town, on the western tip of the island, a place he knew well.
He tied up and jogged ashore, heading for the tiny marina’s pay phone. When he reached it, he placed a collect call to his old cell phone.
Joel accepted the charges and led off by saying, “Hi Trev. Be careful what you say. I’ve already had a visit from the cops.”
Trevor shuddered. “Shit... Sorry Joel. I hope you didn’t get into trouble?”
“Nope, I was home alone and they were looking for you. I told ‘em you weren’t there and let ‘em look, no big deal. So, how are you?”
“I’m okay. I miss you guys. So, what’s the deal for the birthday trip? Any chance?” Trevor asked, hoping.
“No, damn it. Lisa’s dad is still steamed. He kinda figured out that Lisa was spending the nights with me when she said she was at Cindy’s for sleepovers. I guess we used that excuse too often. Then, he found a pair of my boxers in her room, under the bed. So, she’s under sundown to sunup curfew for now. She can go out on her birthday but in daylight only. Can we meet you somewhere?”
Trevor thought for a few seconds, knowing that returning to U.S. waters was a serious risk for him under the circumstances. “Sure, just don’t name it over the phone. Remember where we were when we tried to watch that shuttle launch that was scrubbed?” Trevor asked.
“Yeah, gotcha. Is seven okay?”
“I’ll be there by dawn,” Trevor replied.
“Trev, I’ve got a huge favor to ask... It’s Lisa’s birthday and because of her grounding and curfews we haven’t had a lot of, like, time together lately, and it is her birthday–”
Trevor grinned as he picked up on the awkwardness in Joel’s voice. For a few moments, he was tempted to make Joel squirm, but instead he interrupted to say, “Of course you guys can use a cabin.”
“Thanks man, you’re the best,” Joel replied.
“I’ll see you guys in the morning,” Trevor replied.
By sundown, Trevor had cleared the West End Point, and was back in deep water as he crossed the Florida Straits, heading for the Fort Pierce Inlet.
Trevor anchored off the south end of the beach he’d mentioned, south of Fort Pierce Inlet on the Indian River, at midnight and just ninety feet from shore.