TPCR: Chapter 5
Just as Lucas and Erin are enjoying their coffee, and Lucas seems just about to say something significant, when…
Max is awakened from his nap by a night terror.
Apparently, these are a not-uncommon occurrence since little Max saw his father get shot in a drug deal gone bad, after which the dealers kidnapped Max and “locked him in a windowless room not much bigger than a closet.”
Poor little guy.
That’s pretty dark stuff there, so kudos to the author for Going There, and for acknowledging that this is something that it will take some time for Max to process. Then again, seeing as how the kidnappers did this because they “were afraid Max would be able to identify them,” which makes me wonder why they didn’t just shoot the kid, too.
Yeah, I can Go There, too.
Then again, perhaps I am not giving credit where it is due. Perhaps they were planning to kill Max, but Lucas found him first. This sequence of events was apparently the subplot of the previous book in the series.
(And we finally learn about Max’s mother, who died of an overdose a year ago.)
But back to the night terror itself: Lucas handles it masterfully, first simply holding Max and letting him calm down, then redirecting with talk of the cookies he made. This works very well, and rather puts the lie to Erin’s belief that God “needs” to show Lucas how to be a good father.
Lucas opens up to Erin and shares the whole story with her, and then they take some time to call back to characters introduced in the previous books, including Lucas and Mei’s cousin, Arabella, and her triplet daughters, who have already made friends with Max. This is important for our story because Arabella and her now-fiance are connected to a very young couple, Jasmine and Cade, who only just graduated high school this year, but are getting married, too.
(On Christmas Eve, which is pretty cool.)
This prompts Lucas to rather offhandedly say:
“They’re pretty young to tie themselves down like that. They have their whole future ahead of them.”
This Erin takes as proof that Lucas was “relieved” that she refused him that night seven years ago. And he kinda is, but mostly because it is just now dawning on him that Erin “deserved better than what he’d offered the night he left town.” So, out first regret from Lucas!
Looks like it might be time for me to resurrect Actually Not That Bad. It’s had quite a rest, what with Michael Murphy being around and all, but I am liking this character development.