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He laughed. “I made the find, and you don’t want to have sex, so you’re believing what you want to believe.”

She was startled to find herself blushing to her roots. “That’s not the point.”

“Maybe it is to me.” He laughed. “All right. On this matter, let’s call it a draw.”

She arched a brow. “Because I won?”

“Because I won.”

She shook her head. “Look—”

“We’ll call it a draw,” he said firmly.

She didn’t know why she felt so comfortable about that. She certainly didn’t want to take the man’s boat.

And she didn’t want sex—did she? Not with him!

Why not? a voice at the back of her head teased.

Because he was an idiot. Because of the patronizing way he treated her.

Still…sex, just sex…he was great to look at, would be exciting to touch….

“A draw,” she managed to say. “Great. With you trying to get me to quit.”

“Genevieve, I’m worried. I think you’re exceptional, but…you’re just not on your game.”

“Don’t worry about me. I’m a big girl. I’ve been on my own in the world for a long time.”


She turned beneath his arm. “My folks were killed in a car crash when I was nineteen. I’m an only child,” she explained.

“I’m sorry.”

“It was a long time ago.”

“Bad things, hurtful things, are never long enough ago.”

“But we learn to live with them.”

She realized suddenly that the music had ended and they had stopped moving, but she was still leaning against him.

She stepped back. “Truce. But please, don’t follow me, and don’t worry about me. Not unless I do something terrible, and I won’t. I swear, I’ll be courteous, hardworking and entirely professional.”

“When we’re working?” he said.

She didn’t quite understand. “Of course while we’re working,” she said, nodding.

They headed back to the table. She took a seat between Alex and Victor. Bethany was across from her, beaming.

“You two looked great out there.”

“Hey!” Victor protested. “She looks great with me, too.”

“But they were getting along so nicely,” Bethany said.

“They don’t get along?” Alex asked.

Genevieve took a long swig of her beer. “We get along just fine,” she said, staring hard at Bethany.

“Of course,” Bethany said.

“Of course,” Jack echoed, lifting his beer. “To all of us. One big happy family,” he said, and grinned.

A toast went around the table, and Genevieve finally let go and felt comfortable. Eventually she danced with Jack, then Marshall. Lizzie and Zach got out on the floor, too.

Finally Marshall broke it up. “Okay, time to go home. Tomorrow is a workday.”

The streets were a little quieter as they walked back to the resort. By then Genevieve had ditched her shoes. When they reached the cool sand leading to the cottages, it felt good beneath her feet.

The night was beautiful. The dead heat of the sun was gone, and there was no hint of rain. A soft breeze blew in from the water.

“Good night. Tomorrow at eight sharp, guys,” Marshall called.

“Eight?” Victor protested. “Oh, God, not another history lesson.”

“No, but we’re seeing a few computer printouts of how the ship might have broken apart,” Thor informed them.

Alex groaned. “Don’t they know we’ve all been on a zillion wreck dives?” he asked.

“Hey,” Marshall said. “It will be useful. You’ll see.”

“Yeah, yeah,” Victor said, giving a wave and heading off. They all began to do the same. Genevieve hurried toward her own cottage.

She was suddenly anxious to get inside.

Before she was left out on the sand all alone.

Once inside, however, she found she wasn’t any happier. She was afraid to go to sleep.

Since it was her cottage and she was alone, she could do whatever she wanted to, so she turned on all the lights and the television, and forced herself to brush her teeth, wash her face and get ready for bed.

It occurred to her that anyone noticing her place would realize she kept it brilliantly lit all night, but she was going to operate on the premise that it simply wasn’t anyone else’s business. She thought about calling Bethany and suggesting they share a place for the night, but she was loathe to do that if she wasn’t in an actual panic. And she wasn’t—not yet, anyway.

She found a good movie on the SciFi channel. She didn’t believe in aliens, so the creatures taking over the earth didn’t scare her. She kept the remote in hand though, just in case she dozed off and awoke to something about ghosts.

She prayed she would be able to get a decent night’s sleep. She desperately needed it if she was going to be the ultimate professional on this dive.

“That would be cruel,” Alex said, his hands cradling a bottle of beer. He, Jack and Victor had decided on one last drink, just hanging by the tiki bar. It wasn’t late, not even eleven, and none of them had consumed more than two beers during their supposedly wild night of barhopping.

The night was really nice. A cool breeze, no mosquitoes. It felt good to chill out at the tiki bar. No one else was around, just the three of them.

Jack was staring at Victor as if he’d entirely lost his senses. “You want to what?” he demanded.

“Look,” Victor said, leaning forward, a mischievous glint in his eyes. “Gen thinks she saw something, so we set something up to scare her, she sees that it’s not real, we all get a laugh, and she feels better about the whole thing. It’s not cruel at all.”

Alex shook his head. “Victor, you are one sorry liar. You want to scare her. Face it. You’ve had a hard-on for Gen since you’ve been kids. Now she’s getting into Thor, and you’re pissed.”

Victor frowned, sitting back. “That’s bull. She’s my best friend. We’d never mess up our friendship. And she hates Thompson. Can’t stand him. Can’t you tell? Wait. Don’t repeat that, Jack. I keep forgetting you’re with his crew.”

Jack arched a brow. “Haven’t you heard? We aren’t two crews anymore. We’re one crew. One big flippin’ happy family. But I’ve got news for you, Victor. I don’t think that’s really hate we’re seeing.”

“Then what is it?”

“Heat,” Jack said, grinning. “You mark my words—something is going on there.”

“He thinks she’s a lunatic,” Victor said flatly.

“And you’ve never wanted to sleep with a woman you thought was off the wall?” Jack asked. “What man out there hasn’t found himself dying to bang someone gorgeous, no matter what he thought of her sanity, brains or anything else?”

“She resents him. Big time,” Victor said flatly. “And she doesn’t sleep around.”

“Listen to you,” Alex said, laughing. “You’re getting all big-brother over there. And you’re the one who wants to trick her?”

“You in or out?” Victor asked him.

“Just what the hell do you intend to do?” Jack demanded.

“Nothing major. Just put a blond mannequin on her porch for when she wakes up,” Victor said. “Honestly, don’t you think she’ll get a laugh out of it, too, and then she’ll be past all that panic the other day?”

“Where do you think you’re going to get a mannequin at this time of night?” Jack demanded.

“I’m from here. I know half the shopkeepers on Duval Street,” Victor said, grinning.

Sometime, right around when the aliens had managed to evolve from being pod people, Genevieve at last managed to drift off.

She never knew just when restful sleep departed and the dreams began. She saw nothing but darkness.

And then, from the darkness, the woman emerged.

She strode forward with purpose. In her dream state, Genevieve groaned.

Go away, she begged.

The woman moved in a cloud of white. It was some kind of beautiful, floating negligee. Her hair was long and blond, drifting as she walked, as if she were perpetually touched by the sea’s current, or by a breeze off the shore. Her eyes were large, tragically sad.

“Beware…” she mouthed.

“Go away, please! Oh, God, please, go away. I can’t help you, I don’t understand. Why are you torturing me?” Genevieve pleaded silently.


“Beware of what?”

There was no answer. She was roused from sleep by a small noise that was real enough to jar her from the nightmare.

Dragged from sleep, she lay on the bed, blinking. The lights remained on, as they had been. On the television, a space ship was whizzing by planets and stars. She blinked and looked around. Everything looked the way it should. She couldn’t tell what had awakened her.

She rolled over to look at the clock on the table. Five-thirty. Late enough to get up.

She crawled off the far side of the bed and headed for the bathroom. She was loathe to look in the mirror—afraid she would find seaweed in her hair again. But there was nothing disturbed about her appearance, other than the state of her hair, which was in wild tangles. With a breath of relief, she leaned down to brush her teeth and wash her face. She grabbed for her towel, dried her face, then hesitated, once again afraid to look in the mirror, wondering if a face would appear beside her own.

But there was nothing. She headed into the living area and started her coffeepot brewing, still wondering what had woken her up. While she waited for the coffee, she walked back into the bathroom, found one of her bathing suits, slipped into it, then tossed on one of her terry cover-ups. The coffee was done.

Outside, the pink-and-yellow streaks that heralded morning were beginning to shoot nicely across the sky.