They moved in a pack, six young males, fit and feral, loping flank to flank with an ice fog swirling at their feet and clouds of hot steam puffing from their mouths. Berms of cindered gray snow rose up on both sides of the road, and they ran between them in perfect unspoken formation, as if cued by some pheromone only they could sniff. Cam was alone on the narrow country lane, and she slowed as one of the pack suddenly broke formation and surged toward her. He lifted something as he ran, a long ellipse that gleamed to a high polish in the moonlight, and swung it down into the curbside mailbox with a splintering crash. She flipped on her high beams. Six boys and a baseball bat stood frozen on the road before her, a tableau vivant of teenage vandalism, until a second later the headlights scattered them like a laser blast. "Kids," she muttered. She was already late, and her nerves were strung tight. She'd spent the last two hours in a frenzy of dressing and undressing, pinning up her hair and tearing it down again, carefully applying makeup only to frantically rub it all off, until at last Doug had mumbled that it might be bad form to arrive late to a party in their own honor. Cam was afraid it was even worse form to arrive separately, but finally she'd insisted that he go on ahead. Now, watching as the boys dived into the bushes and rolled out of sight, she was glad she had. If Doug saw what she just had, he would have felt duty-bound to stop and do something. It was his nature: if he could do something, he did it. And more to the point, if he knew something, he spoke it. Doug would never have remained silent about the boy who'd just broken the spine of someone's mailbox--the same boy who should have been passing canapEs at the party tonight: Trey Ramsay, thirteen-year-old son of their host, United States Senator Ashton Ramsay. But keeping secrets was an old habit for Cam. She did with this information what she did with most: she filed it away. She drove on, but a moment later her headlights shone on something else: a dark van was pulled over to the side of the road, and a man stood beside it with a cell phone to his ear. Calling the police, she supposed, and felt some relief that the matter was out of her hands. He was wearing jeans and a ski jacket, respectable enough attire for a Friday night in the suburbs of Wilmington. But there was something in his stance, a dark edge to the way he turned away as she approached. Her eyes flicked up to the mirror as she passed him. For a moment he looked as fit and feral as that wolfpack; for a moment she wondered if he weren't more dangerous than they were. But only for a moment. She was on the brink of a new life, and no spoiled delinquent or mysterious stranger was going to keep her from it. She kept driving. A cold February moon shone down on the unbroken snow of the open fields and the hundred-year-old hedgerows that marked off the boundaries of the old Greenville estates. This was the cheteau country of northern Delaware, a region settled two hundred years before by a tribe of Franco-Americans who came to establish a Utopian colony but ended up manufacturing gunpowder instead. Today, the DuPont Company was an abiding presence throughout Delaware. If only six degrees of separation existed between any two people on earth, then only one or two existed between DuPont and any son or daughter of Delaware. Cam smiled as it occurred to her that she was part of that family now, too, a daughter-in-law of Delaware. The lights were blazing at the end of the Ramsays' driveway, and she turned through the gate stanchions and drove around a circle of snowcapped shrubs to the front steps of the house. It was a decaying old manor of dingy white stucco and fMacDougal, Bonnie is the author of 'Out of Order' with ISBN 9780345434456 and ISBN 0345434455.