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Eliza May Brown

Sample of SeaWitch

My first instinct was to believe him, to believe that he was the wronged lover, and that my sister was the villain of the story.

  Even I had to admit that Meryl had starred in a lot of unhappily-ever-after stories. Although she’d say that none of it was her fault, most of the heroes would definitely call her the villain.

  Still, there was the video. What if she really was in trouble? Chase seemed like the knight-with-the-white-horse type, willing to go to any lengths to rescue the damsel in distress. He’d already spent eight months looking for her. Was he looking because he loved her and would chase her to the end of the earth?

  If Meryl wasn’t dead then she didn’t want to be found. And the reason might be Mr. Tall, Blond, and Intense, the man standing in front of me, the man who’d kidnapped me off a pier in front of a hundred witnesses twenty minutes ago.

  Eight months of your life is a lot of time to spend looking for someone who’d walked away from you, whether or not they’d stolen your money and your boat. Chase was obviously a man of strong emotion.

  “What will you do if you find her?” I asked his rigid back.

  “Not if. When. I’ll find her, or I’ll find the men who killed her.” He glanced at me, and I believed him. “I’ve got people searching every major port in the Pacific.”

  “And you’re searching all the little ports yourself? Like La’Huna Tei?”

  “La’Huna Tei is a small port but a five-star resort. Meryl likes nice things.”

  “She does,” I admitted. “And the resort is beautiful,” I added wistfully.

  “You stay there?”

  I almost laughed. “No. I like luxury as much as the next girl—and almost as much as Meryl—but I can’t afford it.”

  He glanced at me again. A muscle jumped in his jaw but he didn’t say anything.

  “So,” I persisted, “when you find Meryl, what happens?”

  “We’ll see.”

  I sat down cross-legged on his bed. “You know that she’s not likely to have any of your money left.”


   “And what if she doesn’t have your boat?” Meryl did love a beautiful boat—almost as much as I did—but she’d rather order room service than cook her own galley meals. When she needed money, which she inevitably would, she was bound to hock the boat.

   I stopped myself. That wasn’t like her, either. If she’d stolen the boat on an impulse then she would have returned it. She wouldn’t have kept it without a reason. That reason might not seem rational to a normal person, but it would make perfect sense to Meryl.

“Are you going to charge her?” I asked. “Are you going to send her to prison?”

   “I told you. We’ll see.”

It was my turn to snort. “‘We’ll see.’ Yeah, right. Meryl is going to fall into your arms, tell you lots of pretty lies, and you’re going to dry her tears and tell her you love her.”

   “I am not a complete idiot.”

   “You already fell for her once, didn’t you?”

   He swiveled the computer chair around to face me. He didn’t seem happy. My sister could pout and men would grovel for the chance to make her smile. At times like this I’d give anything for a sliver of her talent.

   Chase did not grovel. He glowered at me. His gaze traveled over me, from the top of my head down to the soles of my flip-flops.

   Self-conscious, I tucked them under my legs. “If I’d known I was going to be kidnapped,” I said, “I woulda put on real shoes.”