TITLE: Against Blood and Fire
Jim was lost. Sort of. Who actually got lost on the way home? He'd taken a wrong turn, was all—an understandable move, considering the upheaval in his life.
Downshifting, he eased the convertible he drove past an idle construction truck and coasted to the side of the road. Time to figure out the state-of-the-art GPS contraption that came with this rental. He slid his fashion-statement sunglasses to the top of his head and tapped the address to his beach-side condo into the navigational system.
The screen went blank.
He pinched the bridge of his nose. Perfect! But what had he expected? Ever since he hurt his knee, the governing rule of his life seemed to be, If it ain't broke, it will be soon.
Leaning against the headrest, he glanced at the darkening cloud cover. With his luck, he'd get rained on, too.
An orange-vested Caltrans worker with shovel in hand edged from the far side of the construction truck. "Hey, buddy! You can't park there." He strode toward the Porsche. "You'll have to move your—hey, don't I know you?"
Easing his foot onto the clutch, Jim shifted to first. "Nope. We've never met."
"But I know you." The man nudged his white hardhat further back on his head. "Didn't you use to play basketball?"
Jim glanced into the Caltrans worker's expectant eyes—not the look of someone intentionally pouring acid into an open wound. "I've played some."
"Wait, I remember, you were just in the news."