Camino Winds (Camino Island, #2) by John Grisham Read Online (FREE)
“So do I,” added Leigh, for a laugh.
Jay, the brooding poet, said, “My last book sold twenty copies. No one reads poetry.” As always, it was an awkward effort at humor and got a sympathetic laugh or two.
Myra almost blurted something like: And no one can read the crap you write. But instead she said, “I’ve told you before, Jay, you should write some really raunchy fiction under a pen name, make some money, like Bob, and do your little poetry thing as the real you. Still won’t sell, though.”
Bruce had seen this conversation go off the rails before, and he quickly intervened with “Can we toast the new deal, Mercer?”
She smiled and said, “Oh why not? Secrets are hard to keep around here.”
Bruce said, “A new two-book deal with Viking, as of this morning.”
They cheered and took turns congratulating Mercer as Claude removed the bowls. He poured more wine, a cold Chablis, and began serving the next course, a small platter of smoked oysters. A breeze materialized from the east and gently ruffled the thick air.
On his trips to and from the kitchen, Claude kept one eye on the small television near the stove. Leo was still out there, drifting, churning, puzzling the experts, with no apparent destination.
Bruce preferred long dinners with gaps between courses for wine and conversation. After he and Claude cleared the oyster shells, they refilled the wineglasses and announced that the main dish would be blackened redfish, a delicacy that might take some time.
Claude went to the stove, where his cast-iron skillet was already warm. From the fridge he removed a tray of marinated fillets and carefully placed two in the skillet. He covered them with his own recipe of Cajun seasoning—garlic, paprika, onion, salt, and spices. The aroma was pungent, delicious.
He hummed as he cooked, happy as always to be at the stove, and he sipped wine and enjoyed the waves of laughter from the veranda. Dinner parties at Bruce’s were always an event. Great wines and food, interesting guests, no hurries, no worries.
The evening broke up at midnight when Mercer and Thomas finally said good night. Bruce and Claude cleared the table and stacked the dishes on the counter. Someone else would clean up tomorrow. Regardless of how late he went to bed, Bruce was an early riser and walked to the bookstore each morning at seven. As soon as Claude was gone, he locked the house, climbed the stairs, stripped, and fell across his bed. Within minutes he was in a coma.
Around 1:00 a.m., Leo finally made his move.
Nick Sutton was a light sleeper, and once awake in the predawn hours he often read for an hour or two before returning to bed. Out of curiosity, he turned on the television to catch the news and presumed things were quiet. Things were not. The forecasters were alarmed because Leo had suddenly turned due west and its projected path was now aimed directly at Camino Island. It was a Category 3, gaining strength, two hundred miles out there and moving at them at ten miles an hour. Nick flipped channels and the panic was growing by the minute. He began calling and waking friends, some of whom were already glued to the Weather Channel.