Susan Wolf Johnson

Gasparilla King Blog

A Silky Guitar

On the night of the Chisler's fundraiser, Adam Dicker, waited on the veranda of the old Tampa Bay Hotel for Becca to show up. He was sitting in a rocking chair that was partially hidden by an enormous planter.
A Silky Guitar

A Silky Guitar

On the night of the Chisler's fundraiser, Adam Dicker, waited on the veranda of the old Tampa Bay Hotel for Becca to show up.  He was sitting in a rocking chair that was partially hidden by an enormous planter.  When he spotted Becca mounting the steps with Victor, he jumped from the rocker and caught Becca just before she entered the double doors of the old hotel.  "Thank God, you're here!" he said.  Becca blinked hard in the failing light.  The brightness in Adam's eyes frightened her, and she stumbled awkwardly into Victor, who caught her by the waist.  From the novel we know Adam tried to talk Becca into running away with him that night.  She promised him she would, but she needed to go to the fund raiser first.  She would meet him later.  Adam watched as Becca stepped over the threshold and disappeared into the lobby of the old hotel.  The story takes us into the ballroom with Becca and Victor, but what happened to Adam that night before he went to the Westcott Mansion to pick her up?   Did he ride around town in his purple van to kill the hours before the two of them could leave?  Did he wait in the rocking chair?  The following scene is not in the novel.

The evening had crept up heavy and warm.  Adam paced the long planks of the veranda, clenching and unclenching his fists.  He'd not planned their reunion to turn out like this.  He'd expected Becca to jump into his van immediately and together they would leave this haunted place in its own dust.  He had half a mind to follow her into the ballroom and coax her to leave with him right now, but something coiled within him, something dark and tight that twisted in his gut like a rusted spring.  He felt awkward here in this dank, muggy town.  Sweat rolled down his neck.  Instead of heading to his van, he wandered around the back of the hotel, to the elaborate silver dome that appeared majestic against the night sky.  He heard the band playing, a silky guitar melody.  Silently, he slid alongside the curved wall until he reached an open window.  He leaned in and peered through the glass.  His eyes riveted on the scene unfolding before him.  There was Becca dancing with Victor.  They were the only couple on the dance floor.  It wasn't that she was dancing with another man that stunned Adam, but rather, it was the way they moved so fluidly together, dancing what he thought was a foxtrot.  Where had she learned to dance like that?  A light breeze kicked up and rustled the Spanish moss in the live oak above his head.  His glanced around.  This town, he thought.  In spite of the heat, a slight shiver raced through his body.  He suddenly realized there was another side of Becca he knew nothing about.  

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