Martha unfolded a piece of paper and handed it to Jaxx. “THERE’S MORE TO THE STORY,” it said. “START DIGGING AT THE SUMMIT.”
“I don’t get it,” Jaxx said.
“Neither do I,” she replied. “But it was put into my Christian Math textbook yesterday by Violet Hemlock. I think she was trying to send me a message or something. I think this is a clue.”
Martha watched in the rearview mirror as Jaxx Bentley tried to keep his cell phone pressed between his ear and shoulder while returning the gas pump to its cradle. The car was pulled in front of the E-Z-Kum-E-Z-Go. Jesus was in the back, not saying things. In fact, he hadn’t said a word since kissing her.
But why should that surprise her? No one Martha knew ever seemed to say things when they needed saying. And what they did say usually had nothing to do with what was really going on.
Jaxx lowered himself into the driver’s seat again but didn’t start the car. He seemed slightly dazed. “That was Lonnie Lloyd,” he said. “He wants to talk to me about your dad’s disappearance.”
It was strange imagining Pastor Lonnie chatting with a practicing homosexual. Was that even allowed, according to Southern Baptist doctrine? Maybe the church granted an exception, in light of the extraordinary circumstances.
“He hosts a monthly prayer breakfast for business leaders,” Jaxx went on, still sounding like he was puzzling it out. “He wants me to attend the event tomorrow morning. Says we can talk afterwards.”
“Don’t worry, Mr. Bentley,” Martha said. “Our church believes in loving the sinner no matter how odious the sin.” Though to be frank, she was still a little iffy on the official position of the church here.
“That’s not it,” he said. “It’s what they call these prayer breakfasts.”
“Which is what?” she said.