Jo and Cliff have just arrived on the island of San Bernardito, each with their own agenda...
Ollie took Cliff deep into the town, away from the public beach, marina, and city square. The streets were narrow, the buildings Spanish colonial with stucco exteriors and wrought-iron railings, not unlike the French Quarter of New Orleans or downtown Old San Juan.
After weaving into the depths of the old town, Ollie halted in front of a building that appeared more ancient than the others. It had weathered bargeboard sides, gray with age, and heavy wooden shutters. Time had caused the glass in the windows to ripple, obscuring the view of the dark interior.
“You’ll find what you need here,” Ollie said confidently as he hopped off his seat and landed on the paving stones. He pushed open the front door. “Coming?”
“Don’t you need to tie up your mule?” Cliff asked as he climbed down and joined Ollie by the door.
I come from a pretty small family. I was an only child, and my parents both lived several hours' drive from their families, so often it was just the three of us. I didn't have very close relationships with my first cousins, even. One set of grandparents lived in Mexico half the year -- the half that included Thanksgiving, my birthday, and Christmas -- so there was always distance there too.
I like to play around with family a lot in my novellas. Sometimes, in the form of an overbearing brother, like inLeBon Dom.
Sometimes it's creating strong parent/child relationships, like Josephine and Josiah in Salt and Strong Rum.
Josiah is Josephine's only parent who's present. He's raised her, given her a trade in their charter boat business, and is basically all the support she has in the world... until she meets Cliff. And, of course, Josiah is the one to convince her to go after Cliff when she doubts the possibility that she can love and be loved.
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