Rich grasped Ramona’s hand and led her out of the kitchen. Tim blocked Tiki from going after Rich and Ramona. They argued in Maori.
In the living room, Rich said to Ramona, “Go to your room; you have two minutes to pack some things.”
“Where am I going,” Ramona said. “I have no place to go.”
“Where’s your room?” Rich said.
“There,” Ramona pointed to a doorway.
Rich pulled her into the room. “Start tossing your things on the bed.” Rich opened a drawer and scooped undergarments in his hands and tossed them on the bed.
Ramona began to gather clothing and tossed them in the heap on the bed.
Rich tied everything on the bed into a bundle. “One more,” he said.
Another bundle was made.
Rich grabbed a bundle and so did Ramona. They hurried from the house and ran to Tim’s car. Tim followed as a barrier to keep Tiki from interfering. She ran to the edge of her lawn screaming obscenities and threatening to call the police.
They quickly slid into the car; Rich in the passenger’s seat and Ramona in the back. Tim drove back toward the marina.
“What have you got in mind?” Tim said.
“It is up to Ramona,” Rich said, “but I can take her back to Reao to her father.”
“By sailboat?” Tim exclaimed.
“Yes,” Rich said. “You know how the laws work around here better than me, but if Tiki makes good her threat and gets the police involved, how long do you think it will take to get this mess straightened out?”
“And Ramona would likely be living with Tiki all that time,” Tim said.
“Let me think for a moment,” Rich said. “Can we hide her someplace around here?”
“Tiki has friends everywhere,” Tim said. “In her line of work, she has damaging information on nearly everyone. If this in any way comes back on me I may be moving to Australia.”
“I could take her to Australia,” Rich said.
“They would find you and her and you’d be extradited with no hesitation,” Tim said.
“What about New Caledonia?” Rich said.
“I know no one there,” Tim said. “She would be a stranger.”
“Has anybody bothered to ask me anything?” Ramona said and hung her head over the seat.
“I will not take you back there,” Rich said.
“You could not drag me back there,” Ramona said.
“Than, what?” Tim said.
“How long would it take to sail to my father’s island?” Ramona said.
“It’s a long way,” Rich said. “Without consulting my maps I’d say 3500 miles, that’s over 5,000 kilometers.”
“That’s asking too much,” Ramona said.
“It is asking me to do what I love, sail,” Rich said.
“How long will it take?” Ramona said.
“Three or four weeks,” Rich said.