Listen to Your Heart

Page 19


I growled and applied more gas. When Frank heard the sound of my approach, he turned. Sitting, stalled, on the other side of his boat was our WaveRunner, empty of an occupant. I glanced around the lake to see if the driver was somewhere nearby. Then it occurred to me that our customer must’ve been the twentysomething guy Frank was talking to in his boat. I slowed and came up alongside the watercraft.
“Ah, they did eventually send someone out, Cody,” Frank said to the other guy. Then Frank gave me a smug smile and added, “Looks like one of your vehicles is out of commission again.”
I should’ve said, Again? Our crafts are only ever out of commission due to operator error. But I didn’t. Not only because a customer was standing right there, but because my mom had told me never to give the Youngs a reason to come after us. If we were always taking the high road, she said, they’d never be able to put up roadblocks. Her analogy didn’t quite work, though, because the Youngs always seemed to be able to throw roadblocks from whatever road they were on.
I grabbed the left handle of the stalled-out WaveRunner and cut my engine. That’s when I noticed the rope that Frank had attached to our WaveRunner. He was going to tow it in himself.
“What happened?” I yelled over to the customer. Cody, Frank had called him.
“I don’t know,” Cody said. “It just stopped working.”
I leaned over to look at the controls. The key was in the ignition, so I turned it one click. The indicator on the gas gauge didn’t jump at all. “You ran out of gas.” I tapped on the indicator. “You have to keep an eye on this and fill up when it gets close.”
“What?” Frank called from his perch in the speedboat. “It’s hard to hear you down there. Why don’t you join us up here, Kat?”
I took a steadying breath and told myself not to snap at him. It would only make me look like the bad guy. I tied my craft to the back of the stalled WaveRunner. Then I walked across the two seats and jumped up onto the back deck of the Youngs’ fancy speedboat. Frank held his hand out for me but I ignored it as I hopped down into the main section, joining the two guys there.
The boat was amazing—a backlit dual touch screen on the dash above the steering wheel, stainless-steel cup holders, long plush bench seats around the back and open bow, and two captain-style chairs in the middle. It even had a rear-facing bench on the deck in back. And was that a small bathroom compartment? If I didn’t hate Frank, I would’ve asked him to take me on a tour of the boat.
But I did hate him, and he didn’t need the ego boost.
“I said that you need to keep an eye on the gas gauge so it doesn’t run out,” I explained to Cody.
“Oh,” Cody said. “Nobody told me.”
I knew that wasn’t true. It was one of the first things we told people who were renting.
“I won’t have to pay for a late return, right?” Cody added. “I’ve been stuck out here for an hour. I would’ve been on time.”
If you’d been paying attention, I wanted to say, you wouldn’t have been stuck at all. But that was something else my parents would’ve frowned on. Customer service was top priority. “No. It’s fine,” I said. “If you’ll just hop down onto the WaveRunner again, I can tow you back in.”
Cody looked at Frank, like Frank had anything to do with this.
“I said I would tow him in,” Frank said.
“No, that’s okay. I have it.”
I moved to jump over the back seats again but Frank stopped me. “We’re already tied up and ready. It will be faster this way,” he said.
I thought about my dad, and the new renter waiting back at the marina. Maybe if Frank saw the marina on this, our busiest weekend, he’d realize that we weren’t going anywhere.
“Fine. I’ll meet you back there.” I started off the boat again.
“I’ll ride you back, too,” Frank said.
I checked over the side to verify that I had tied my WaveRunner off the back and not to the side where the two would smash into each other. Then I nodded. Frank turned on his boat and it roared to life, displaying its power.
Cody whooped appreciatively and sat on the bench. Frank took his place in the driver’s seat and motioned for me to sit down in the other captain’s chair. I did, but turned so I could keep an eye on the WaveRunners.
“Relax, Kat,” Frank said. “Your toy boats will be fine.”
“It’s Kate,” I said.
“I thought you’d changed your name. That you were redefining yourself.”
Cody saved me from answering by saying, “My phone doesn’t work out here.”
“Cell coverage isn’t very good,” I said. “Maybe the Youngs should build a cell tower.”
“Maybe we should,” Frank said.
It wouldn’t surprise me if they were already in the process of doing just that.
“You like to wakeboard?” Frank asked, and at first I thought he was asking Cody but then I realized he was talking to me.
“Yes.” I loved to wakeboard. When one of our speedboats wasn’t rented and the whole family was available, my parents would take me and Max out. It wasn’t as often as I’d have liked.
Frank nodded up to his wakeboard that was nestled into a clip on the tower of his boat. “I’ll take you out sometime.”
“What?” Why was he being generous? I was so confused. This behavior was like a one-eighty from just last week. “No.”
A flash of irritation shone in Frank’s eyes, letting me know I was right to question his motives. But he didn’t say anything else.
Frank pulled up to the gas pumps at the marina, proving that he’d heard me explaining the gas issue to Cody just fine. Susan, the employee working there, helped ease the boat up against the buoys, probably thinking Frank needed a fill.
“It’s just the WaveRunner,” I called out to her.
“Oh, okay, got it!”
Frank went to the back and untied the rope. He flung it to Susan, who pulled the WaveRunners in. Then Frank gave Cody a hand over the side and onto the dock.
“Thanks,” Cody said, and went into the shop to collect his license and whatever other collateral he’d provided when he’d rented out the WaveRunner.
My dad stood on the far side of the dock, handing a paddle down to a woman who was renting a kayak. Dad kept glancing back toward me, probably wondering why Frank Young was docked at our marina.
I turned to Frank. “Thanks for your help,” I said gruffly, then moved to disembark.
“Kate,” Frank said.
I turned back to look at him.
“Truce?” he said.
I wasn’t sure where this was coming from, but I was sure there was an ulterior motive.
I narrowed my eyes at him. “Why?”
“What do you mean ‘why’? Does there need to be a reason for a truce?”
“Yeah, kind of.”
“Maybe I’m tired of the grudge our parents hold against one another. Plus, we’re in a class together this year.”
“We’ve been in a class together before and it never resulted in a truce.”
“But it’s this tiny class and we have to interact more.”
“Fine, whatever. Truce.” I hopped over the side of the boat and walked straight into the shop. What had that been all about?
My dad stepped inside shortly after me. “What was that about?” Dad asked.