He claimed he could be a serial killer and for all I knew about him he was, but I wanted to be able to say I had the courage to get in the car when I was eighty and living alone but for my twenty cats. My answer was far easier to give than it should have been. “Yes.”
We walked along the beach, but it was late so most tourists had moved on to an evening of entertainment St. Croix-style. The full moon reflecting off the water, the soft sand between my toes and the presence of the man at my side made for an evening that felt like a scene straight out of the pages of a book. He had rolled up his pants, left his shoes and socks in the car, along with his jacket and tie as we strolled along the beach. The silence was comfortable.
His words sounded almost harsh for the serene moment. “Who offered you the advice on being daring?”
He looked more than a little dangerous with the way the light of the full moon cast down on him, but the thread of fear he stirred only added to his allure. “My granddad.”
“Are there other activities in your being daring and reckless plan, besides agreeing to dinner with a stranger?”
“I’m going horseback riding on the beach the day after tomorrow, courtesy of the resort.”
“Yes, horses scare me but the idea of riding along the beach...I really want to try.”
His expression was hard to read before he reached for my hand. It was effortless, an almost familiar action that trapped the air in my lungs when his strong fingers linked with mine. Without a word, he turned me into him and drew me tight against his hard body. He studied me like I studied him before he started to move me around the sand to a song only he could hear. Never in my life had I been moved to speechlessness, but I was in that moment. His head lowered, his lips were so close I felt his soft breath against my mouth and I felt it again, familiarity. The words were out of my mouth before I could stop them. “Do I know you?”
Those gray eyes moved over my face and settled on my lips. Danger screamed in my head, a warning my brain demanded I heed but was overruled by my romantic heart. “Not yet, Willow.”
I felt those words because they ignited a heat that sizzled right down my body. Without saying another word, he put some distance between us but he kept my hand as he led me back to his car. His words felt more like a threat than a promise, but I didn’t care as long as it meant I would see him again.
I didn’t set out to be a pirate.
Life for me was about surviving the ugliness that people knew existed but didn’t talk about.
I lived in hell.
Then I saw her.
I knew I couldn’t keep her, but for just a little while I had found heaven.
Eight years later, I can’t get her out of my head.
It is a mistake sailing to her island.
It is a mistake reaching out to her.
She doesn’t recognize me. Or maybe she does.
Closure, it is all I’m after.
Then my past comes back to haunt me.
She’s thrust into my ruthless world. An angel.
A romantic who has a journal that leads to a shipwreck and a lost treasure.
She wants to find the ending to a love story that is over two hundred years in the making.
I want to help her find it.
I didn’t set out to be a pirate.
I didn’t set out to fall in love with an angel.
I did both anyway.
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