Jace stood on the sidewalk, his grip slung over his shoulder, staring at the house. At his back the street was empty, and it took him a moment to remember it was Sunday and that here, out of either obligation or belief, people still followed certain routines. The harbor carried on—fishermen mending gill nets, skeleton crews running the cannery, boat builders steaming wood planks to be bent into hulls—but most of Grafton was at church.

The air smelled of the chum the cannery spewed out into the ocean and the ocean threw back against the shore on the tide. The salt from the bay coated the back of his throat, and he swallowed hard, trying to clear the taste. He’d been gone three years, stationed on an aircraft carrier drifting through the Pacific Ocean, and not much seemed to have changed here.

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