Dawn arrived at its usual time in Rockport. And although they'd worked feverishly all night, or what had been left of the night, they could not come up with a safe plan to connect Maura and Lacey. After all these years how would Maura greet her new mother? Thinking that maybe a change of scenery might help, Lacey arranged for Mrs. Harris to watch Corey at her house in Diller’s Cove while the three adults had breakfast at Mulligan’s by the pier.
"It's going to make it all the harder," Pamela explained, lifting her cup for the waitress to pour in her third refill. "You see, although Maura was three when she came to the Scotts, they never did tell her she was adopted." She paused and looked at her twin for a long time. "She doesn't know anything about you, Lacey. They never told her. She believes Katherine and Tommy Scott are her only parents."
Lacey slumped against the back of the booth's torn leather seat, completely exhuasted. Maybe she should just give and allow Maura to live her life without further complications.
As though reading her mind, "Forget it, Lacey," Pamela said. "Maura needs to get out of that family. " And then she began the story of the Scott legacy.
Over multiple cups of strong coffee, Pamela told how she'd come across a diary left by her recently deceased mother-in-law that detailed how the Scotts wanted to run the town of Tipton from the second they moved in. When the mayor couldn't be bought out, they simply killed him and his entire family, then burned their homes and all the evidence. Maybe some people in town suspected them, but they were either afraid to do anything or else went over to the winning side. For over fifty years the Scotts had Tipton in their back pocket. And they were into everything....drugs, murder, extortion. Pamela was literally sick when she discovered the depth of the evil the Scotts were capable of doing.
Once she'd read the diary she made up her mind to take Corey and leave as soon as was safely possible. Her one mistake had been to confine in Marcus but she believed she'd been in love and he had been one very good looking safety net.
“Speaking of Marcus,” Zach said. “Isn’t he getting freezer burn about now?”
Pamela and Lacey looked at each. “I guess we’d better deal with that…”
Lacey stopped suddenly and dropped her cup, splattering coffee over everyone’s feet. “My God, Zach,” she whispered. “That’s Frankie over there.”
“Let’s get out back,” Pamela said. “The Mulligans have a fishing boat we can take and get to the house, hopefully without him seeing us.”
They ran out back and after a few quick words with Jack Mulligan, they jumped into the boat full of chum. Pamela unmoored the boat and they headed for home.
“No,” Pamela screamed and pointed. “It’s Frankie and he’s in another boat.” Lacey got the boat going at full speed but it was soon obvious there was no way their little fishing boat could go faster than Frankie's speedboat. In second his boat was right beside them. Pamela saw a flash of steel and screamed. "He's got a gun!" Without thinking she threw a pail full of chum at him, but it missed and fell heavily into the water.
Before Pamela began to open her mouth to scream, Zach had already gotten his gun out and taken deadly aim. One shot did the trick. Frankie fell into the water soundlessly. The boat started to spin in circles. Lacey watched helplessly as her husband's lifeless body was cut repeatedly by the propellors. Her hand flew to hr mouth as she watched in horror as a large fin came from nowhere to circle their boat.
"Oh God, is that a...?
"Shark?" Lacey finished. "And it's a......"
"Great White!" Zach stared at the circling fin. "I thought Great Whites only appeared in New England in Spielberg movies.
Pamela looked at Zach's gun. "You need bigger artillery."
Zach shook his head. "No, we need a bigger boat." He shrugged. "Okay, I stole the line from Jaws, but it's still true."
"Frankie," Pamela screamed, then turned away at the sight of her once lover amidst the chum and shark.
Zach stared into the water and shook his head again. "I'd sing Mack the Knife, Frankie, but it seems I've forgotten the words."
Thanksgiving, later that year/Rockport, Massachusetts
"Pass that cranberry relish down this way, please, Aunt Pamela."
Pamela looked at her beautiful auburn-haired niece and smiled. "Sure, honey. Anythine else you want?"
Maura grinned. "I think I've got just about everything I need." She glanced around the festive table and the family so recently discovered. For the first time in her life she felt wanted and she felt at home. "Yeah, I think I've got it all."
Pamela held Zach's hand underthe table. "It's like a fairy tale," she whispered. "Maybe at times, a gruesome fairy tale, but still magical and with a happy ending. Frankie's not a threat. His brother Tommy and Katherine in jail until they sign up for Medicare. And the best, Pamela connecting with Maura."
Zach lifted Pamela's face and kissed her softly. "The best? It's strong competition with the way we've been connecting, Pam." His grin turned into a leer.
Pamela felt a rush of hot blood course through her veins as she thought of the first time they'd realized how deep their feelings for each other went and how they'd made love all night long that first time.
Corey climbed onto Pamela's lap. "Momma, this is the best day. Ever." He looked around the table and like Maura, realized a contentment and sense of family he'd never experienced before. "And I like the way smiles stay on your face now."
Pamela brushed away a lock of hair from her son's face and kissed the top of his head. "I know, baby. I think smiles are here to stay." She lifted a glass of wine in the air. "To family.....and everything we have to be thankful for, Happy Thanksgiving."
There was a roundof cheers, laughter and love. Pamela smiled again. She'd come full circle and they'd all found each other, and home.