Aided but never pushed by his new friend, Butch comes of age, growing through his search for justice, and gradually finds his emotions altered from rage to understanding to sympathy, and, finally, to a more fulfilling love. His adventure, Butch realizes, is one of self-discovery.
He learns the identity of his mother’s attacker, confronts that person and another in a ramshackle warehouse, but the warehouse is soon ablaze. Butch performs heroically, an action he conceals from his mother, as he learns the value of life and the protection of it. Ultimately, he learns that being alone and resentful is a choice he does not have to make for himself.
A cat-and-mouse game ensues in which Caryn finds not only herself but also her family in danger if the money isn't returned to the Pray-er and Santana. Her only hope of saving herself and the people she loves is to either cooperate with the Pray-er or to outsmart him. Re-arming herself, Caryn vows to bring the pursuit and the danger to an end in a face-to-face encounter. One certainty exists for her: not all the players will survive the crucial hour.