Court. Jack suspected that Neal had felt a little karma when, as a young and idealistic lawyer, he’d made that same turn off North River Drive and fallen in love with the perfect place that wasn’t located on a street, avenue, boulevard, terrace, lane, or road.

“What the hell?” said Theo as they pulled up at the curb in front of the house.

Jack climbed out of the car, stepped onto a sidewalk that had been ravaged by the roots of a century-old oak, and walked straight to the Gomez Brothers moving van that was parked in the driveway. The rear cargo doors were open, and Jack recognized the oak filing cabinet that one of the men was wheeling up the ramp on a dolly. The move-out was under way.

“Unload the truck,” Jack told the mover.

“Who are you?” he replied.

“Al Haig. I’m in charge.”


It was another old Neil expression, but there was no time for a history lesson on who was running the White House after President Reagan was shot.

Sarah emerged from the house and stepped onto the front porch. She spotted Jack in the driveway and waved, but there was sadness in her every motion, right down to the way she moved her hand.

“Excuse me a second,” Jack told the mover. “Don’t put another thing on that truck.”

Jack walked up the gravel driveway and climbed the old wooden steps to the porch. Theo followed.

“Thanks for coming,” said Sarah. “We can use the help.”

“You can’t leave this place,” said Jack.

She breathed a heavy sigh. Just those few words from Jack were enough to make her eyes well. “Jack, we don’t have any choice.”

Jack removed an envelope from his back pocket and handed it to her. “You’re not moving,” he said.

She opened the envelope, peeked inside, and froze.

“Oh, my. This is. .”

“Two hundred and fifty thousand dollars,” said Jack. “From the BNN settlement. Hannah had a hand in that victory. I kicked in a chunk of my share, too.”

Her mouth opened, but the words were on a few-second delay. “Jack, I can’t take this.”

“I can,” said Theo as he snatched it from her hand.

“Knucklehead,” Jack muttered. He grabbed it and gave it back to Sarah, who took another deep breath.

“I don’t know what to say. This is just. . amazing,” she said, her voice cracking with sheer joy and gratitude. Then her face lit up, her whole body seemed to respond, and she suddenly looked younger to Jack than on the day they’d met. She pulled him close and gave him an embrace from the heart that Jack would never forget.

“Thank you,” she whispered into his ear. “Thank you so much.”

“No hug for me?” said Theo.

“What did you do?” asked Jack.

“I’m the schmuck who has to haul all that shit off the truck after Mr. Gomez looks at you like you’re loco.”

Sarah laughed. “Come on, we’ll all do it.”

“Gladly,” said Jack.

Together, each with an arm around the other’s waists, they walked down the steps and slowly crossed the lawn.

“You know,” said Sarah, “this doesn’t change what we talked about before. Hannah still isn’t my first choice to run the institute. No more than you would have been fifteen years ago.”

Jack smiled as their walk continued across the grass. “One step at a time, Sarah. One step at a time.”

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