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Ssdei: Captive to the Dark(2)

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“Hurry, Mary, Charles wants to leave as soon as we’re onboard.”

Bethany’s soft tone floated through the air like church bells, but all I could hear was the loud call from the seagulls. They seemed to say, go back. Leave now. And damned if I didn’t want to.

Light blue eyes glanced up from the pier, transfixing my gaze. The danger Charles had always emitted was probably what drew Bethany to him. My father had hated him at first sight, and she’d thrived at that. I remembered the screaming that echoed through the large entryway as he threw Bethany’s, then boyfriend, right onto the porch.

The small criminal record he had didn’t sit well with my governor father. Months of persistency paid off for Charles. Victor came around and started talking to him sincerely. Before anyone knew it, the two were best friends, and he was giving Charles permission to marry my sister. Things turned around for him after that. He finished college, got a corporate job, thanks to my father’s connections, and apparently was doing well given the size of his monstrous boat.

“Long time, no see.” The short blond hair rested down to just above Charles’s eyes. It blew in the wind, portraying him to be every bit model material as my sister was.

“It has been awhile. I take it everything’s going good.” My head nodded toward the yacht, causing his chest to puff out with pride. That three level boat had to have cost him a couple million. I knew that taste. It was my father’s.

“Things have been great.” The broadness of his shoulders became even wider as he reached behind me and grabbed the handle of my suitcase. “Here, let me take that for you.” Charles glanced toward the main level. “Jordan!”

Jordan? Who the hell was that? Someone else was coming? Instantly, my insides rolled. Strangers and I didn’t get along. They made me uneasy and trusting them was impossible. But, I knew what to do. Smile. I was good at that. Years in the spotlight taught me one thing—just fake it. Always be happy. Masks came in many forms. As long as you wore them with confidence, you could be anyone. Portray anything you wish. Right now, all I wanted was to be the good sister I knew Bethany had always wanted.

“Right here. What’s up...?” The stranger trailed off at our instant eye contact. From where I was standing, approaching the passerelle, I had no idea what shade they were, but they looked light colored from this distance. Something about them immediately drew me in, making my body tingle.

“Take this.” Charles walked a few steps up and handed over my suitcase to the stranger wearing the khaki shorts and white polo shirt. His dark hair was cut short, almost military style. So unlike my sister’s husband. There was a darkness about Jordan. I could feel it. Dark attracted dark. We were all like magnets, resistant to gravity. He sensed it in me. I knew he had, even if he didn’t realize what it was.

Warmth encircled my hand as Bethany clutched to me and pulled me up the fancy gangway. Most hoity-toity people with big boats referred to the passage as a passerelle, but I knew what it was. It was a damn metal bridge. That was it. Price, size, decoration, they all served the same purpose.

The main level nearly took my breath away. A Jacuzzi rested toward the aft deck. It was big enough to easily sit ten to twelve people. The top was off and it appeared ready to be climbed right into. A large table with a surrounding booth lay not far from there, cushioned with white leather seats. This place was party central and I couldn’t help but wonder how many times Bethany and Charles had dazzled guests or clients by bringing them here.

“Which room would you like me to put this in?” Jordan was directing his question to Charles, but his eyes never left me. There was a predator behind that gaze. One that looked to eat me alive. Although it was tempting to find out, I knew that wasn’t a good idea. I’d done well steering clear of men for the last two years. Changing now would only complicate my routine. Plus, there was no telling who he was. If he could so quickly bestow interest in my direction, how many other girls did he set his sights on?

The more I looked at him, the more I became disinterested. My mind was always great about talking me out of things, and this time I let it. At least for now.

“Put her in the room next to yours.”

“Will do.” Jordan disappeared through a door and Bethany eased me over to the booth.

Although the sun was shining, the leather was cool as it connected with the back of my thighs. The white sun dress I wore lifted and I quickly righted it.

“What do you think?” The deep green of my sister’s eyes sparkled as she smiled at me.

“It’s nice. Very fancy. And, I have my own room. I didn’t expect that.”

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