This excerpt is from a scene in the book where the two main characters are about to travel to Florida to spend Thanksgiving with the one main character’s ex-wife and daughter.
They weren’t going to Southern Florida. Verna lived near her mother and father’s retirement community, in small town near the Georgia border called Calhoun, and they would have had plenty of time to relax if they’d spent the night at a hotel. But Lance had an almost military attitude about travel and organization and sticking to schedules, thanks to his training with the state police. The only problem was Nathan wasn’t used to punching a clock and following a schedule of any kind. As far as he was concerned, normal people were supposed to be coming home at two in the morning, not waking up.
So he slogged out of bed and rubbed his eyes. When he switched on the bathroom lights, Lance shouted from the kitchen. “Good, you’re awake. I made coffee and I’m going down to start loading the car.”
Nathan scratched his balls and yawned. “Okay,” he said, trying to lift his voice and sound pleasant. “I’m just going to take a quick shower and get dressed.” He’d packed his bags the night before, on Lance’s recommendation. Lance said it would be easier than packing in the morning. He’d been right, too. Nathan was so groggy he had trouble pointing his dick toward the toilet bowl. If he’d waited to pack in this condition, he wouldn’t have known what he was shoving into the suitcase.
And hour later, they were on the road and heading south in Lance’s Ford Explorer. At first, Nathan sipped his coffee from a stainless steel container and tried to make conversation. It was too dark to watch the scenery pass by and the only music they could find on the radio was either country western or rap. So Nathan gave up on the radio and told Lance he’d been thinking about opening a doughnut shop instead of a cookie shop. He said he was worried cookies might not sell as well as doughnuts, and he didn’t want this to be one of those bored housewife businesses where they didn’t care whether they made money or not. Nathan needed this business to create an income, and there were no doughnut shops at all in Martha Falls. It was a quirky little down in some respects. But in a good way. Unlike so many other flatly landscaped towns along strips of road in the south, Martha Falls frowned upon letting corporate chain stores into the area. If Nathan had heard it once, he’d heard it a million times from people who either lived in or visited Martha Falls: “Boy I wish there was a Dunkin Doughnut or a Krispy Kreme around here.”
Lance just nodded and listened, focusing on the road. He was one of those relaxed drivers who sat all the way back, with his legs spread and only one hand on the wheel. But he rarely took his eyes off the road for a second.
“I could even do a line of specialty coffees to go along with the doughnuts,” Nathan said, as they passed a long truck with a yellow and blue sign that read, “Mountain Sunshine,” wondering what exactly Mountain Sunshine was.
“I thought you loved to bake cookies,” Lance said.
“I do,” Nathan said. “But I want to make money, too. And as far as I can see it, Martha Falls could use a doughnut shop more than a gourmet cookie shop. It’s a simple town, with simple people. I want something that’s community oriented and something people need, not something I personally love.”