Author's note: just another little teaser, a hint of things to come… timeline-wise, this takes place just before the events depicted in "Faith, Hope and Love".

INTERLUDE: ROAD TRIP

By Kimberly T.

Just outside Harvey's Truck Stop, on the outskirts of a sleepy little town in Tennessee, a dark-skinned man walked up to the pay phone and started fishing in his pockets for his phone card. At first glance, he seemed to be the quintessential truck driver; comfortable flannel shirt and jeans, a New Orleans Saints ball cap, a scraggly beard and a small but growing paunch from spending far more time sitting in the driver's seat of an eighteen-wheeler than walking or engaging in any exercise. However, looks can be deceiving…

After punching in all the numbers required, he waited for the phone to be answered on the other end. " 'Ey, Stephen, it's Marcel. No, we ain't in New York yet, and we ain't getting dere any time real soon, neither; broke down in Tennessee. Mechanic says de engine block cracked; be at least t'ree days before we get a new engine shipped in, maybe more, an' den dey got to install it… You tell Ronal that next time he says he got a 'real sweet deal' on a vehicle for us, we rip his head off and shit down his throat, okay? Adam, he so pissed his eyes like headlights…"

"Yeah, dat's the other t'ing I call to tell you about. Rebecca's wit' us, stowed away before we left. Cherie done anchored herself to de cab overhead, can you believe dat? Only found her when night come. She and Adam still arguing when I left to call you. He wants to crate her ass up and ship her home, but she says now she come this far wit' us, she got to come all de way. Maurice, he say she done wrong to stow away but he t'ink Adam gonna need her help when we finally get to New York. Becky, she's all 'only chance I got' and all dat, an I'm thinking maybe she right, but you bet I don't say dat in front of her."

"Yeah, got a room at motel nearby. Becky gotta stay in trailer, but she say she's fine wit' dat; she test it for others before dey use it. Yeah, dat's Becky. Really hope dis all works out wit' her; she like my little sister, y'know? Anyway, you tell Celeste she gonna see some whopping big bills on the credit cards, for de truck an' stuff while we in Tennessee; Adam say we take it out of de Christmas fund. An' I call again tomorrow night, okay?"

END INTERLUDE