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“Unavoidably detained on the mainland. That’s why Jay is here. Evidently Marshall called the police station last night, too late to call one of us, afraid we might be worried, and asked that someone come out here and explain, and relay his promise to be back as soon as possible.”

“So that’s why Jay is here?” she asked.

Bethany shrugged and nodded. “And probably why Thor looks like ye olde thunder god. He’s disgusted. I guess. He’s used to running a tight ship, and so far this dive has been anything but.”

“If we could quiet down, please? I miss Marshall like the rest of you, but he’s a a responsible man, so if he says he’s unavoidably detained, well then, we move on,” Thor snapped.

They all fell silent.

“All right, here we go,” Professor Sheridan announced. He indicated the ship with his pointer as he spoke. “The Marie Josephine. Launched in October 1803, purchased by the British in 1816. Displacement, one thousand eight hundred pounds, length one hundred and sixty feet, depth 14.3 feet, in the hold. She carried thirty long guns and two twenty-four-pound bow chasers. Those guns are down there somewhere. She had her masts blown to bits, and holes in the hull. She was mortally wounded before the storm ever began. Using descriptions of the damage written in one of the pirate’s journals, we reconstructed her sinking via the computer. I believe she took on water in such a way that she split in half as she began her descent. It’s estimated that the storm that caught them was gusting up to two hundred miles an hour. That would mean huge pieces of her might have been carried more than a mile, so we’re looking for a truly vast field. Your clues will be the guns and…” He pulled out a sheaf of paper from his briefcase. “These are computer illustrations, showing what pieces of the ship might look like now.”

“Looks like coral,” Alex murmured.

“Precisely. You might be staring right at a piece of the hull and not even see it. That’s why this morning’s lecture is important. You need to learn how to see what’s hidden from the eye. Take a really good look at these pictures. She’s there, and judging from that coin you found, you’re right on top of her. You just have to find her. Well, that’s it. I’m done for the day.”

He stepped back, looking pleased. The divers were studying his pictures, and no one had yawned.

“Thank you, Professor,” Thor said firmly.

The others looked up. As if on cue, they started to clap. Professor Sheridan flushed a deep red.

“Thank you. And good luck.”

“Hey, Professor,” Jack said. “Do you want to go out on one of the boats today?”

Sheridan lost his color, turning white. “Thank you, but I’ll leave the diving to the experts,” he said.

Genevieve noticed that Jay was talking to Thor, who still looked grim. He turned to the couple who had come with Jay, barked out a few questions, then shrugged, as if nothing were of the least importance to him anymore. Then he turned suddenly, as if aware Genevieve was standing there. His frown deepened. “You’re with me,” he said.

“Hey, who’s my buddy?” Victor demanded. “Jack?”

“Me. I hope you don’t mind,” the blond woman said, smiling as she approached him. “How do you do? I’m Nikki.”

“Hi, Nikki.” Victor suddenly seemed thoroughly pleased with the situation.

“Sorry, guys,” Jay said. “I should have made the introductions earlier. Nikki and Brent Blackhawk work for the government. Now, don’t let me hear any groans. They’re pitching in because we’re short a man and a boat. Jack and Brent will be topside on Thor’s boat, and I’ll be staying up on the police cruiser.”

“We can take my boat,” Jack offered.

“Gee, thanks,” Bethany teased.

“Hey, all she needs is paint.”

“Trust me, the cruiser has everything you’ll need,” Jay said.

“The cruiser is great. We appreciate it,” Thor said.

“Right,” Alex muttered, shaking his head. “What the hell is Marshall thinking?”

“Let’s do the best we can for the day, shall we?” Thor asked. “Now, let’s get going.”

He grabbed the bag holding his diving equipment.

Genevieve realized that Nikki had fallen into step with her. She flashed her a quick smile. “Hi, I’m Genevieve. Nice to meet you. So you’re an experienced diver?”

The woman’s smile matched Genevieve’s. “I dive.” She paused. “Actually, I’d prefer diving with you, but…I’m grateful just to have gotten on the boat.”

“I see,” Genevieve said, though in reality she didn’t see anything. “Victor is my usual partner. Don’t let him fool you. He’s a top-notch diver.”

“I’m sure.”

“You are?”

“He wouldn’t be on this project if he weren’t.”

Genevieve found herself smiling in turn. That was true.

They split up when they reached the dock and neared the boats. Genevieve stared at the woman suddenly, frowning. Adam Harrison had mentioned he had people coming, people who were acquainted with the kind of difficulties she’d been having.

She had feared he meant psychiatrists.

Now she knew he had meant ghost hunters.

Ghost hunters with government connections? Maybe that wasn’t so strange.

“Wait!” she called.

Nikki paused, looking at her with an expectant smile.

“I know you’re with Adam,” she said softly. “He told me.”

Nikki nodded, but her eyes shot to Thor, who was ahead of them.

Genevieve almost laughed aloud. She felt ridiculously relieved. “Not a word,” she swore.

On the way out to their coordinates, Thor was entirely uncommunicative with her, but she heard him speaking softly with Brent Blackhawk. The man had a smooth, easy voice, and she could understand why Thor seemed to take to him so easily. He was a man’s man, his authority quiet and unassuming. His smile was quick. He had the appearance of someone who could withstand any storm.

And yet, when he glanced Genevieve’s way, he was quick to offer a smile, and a wink.

Looking at Thor, she realized that he knew. Somehow, he knew why Nikki and Brent were there, and, despite that fact, he was behaving decently.

Why? Was he just waiting to throw them to the sharks?

The motor sputtered to a stop. Brent Blackhawk came to help her up once she had buckled on her tank. She caught his eyes again. They seemed to offer reassurance. She thanked him, then met up with Thor at the stern. He stared at her for a long moment, then stepped out to the platform and jumped in. She followed suit.

He was leading. She followed.

As they moved deeper, she glanced at her gauge. Fifty feet…fifty-five…sixty. There was coral to her right; ten feet to her left, there was a drop-off leading down another ten to twenty feet. Glancing through the water, she could see Victor and Nikki about forty feet away.

She moved slowly. The water was clear, the current easy. Thor kept looking back at her. She stayed about ten to fifteen feet behind. The sound of her regulator was as soothing as the clear warmth of the water. Neon-colored fish shot by her. A huge grouper hovered by a staghorn coral, making her feel a bit guilty about last night’s meal. He was a friendly fellow. He swam straight toward her. She reached out and she ran her fingers gently over its huge body. The fish outweighed her by about a hundred and fifty pounds, she decided.

Thor had paused and was looking back at her. He seemed pleased that she had been waylaid by nothing more than a friendly fish.

Again he moved forward.

Genevieve stared after her fish as it departed.

And then, in its place, she saw the woman.

Genevieve stopped breathing. Her heart hammered in a slow, dull thud.

She swallowed. Forced herself to breathe. The woman stared at her with her great sad eyes. Blond hair and white cotton trailed in the water. Through her, Genevieve could see the bright bodies of a dozen tropical fish.

The woman beckoned.

Genevieve followed.

Entranced, she had forgotten Thor—until she felt his grip on her ankle, jerking her back. He stared at her furiously through the lens of his mask.

She stared back and pointed. He shook his head. She pressed her gloved hands together, prayer fashion.

Then, without waiting for a reply, she shot away from him.

Ahead of her, the woman waited.

There was a sand shelf beneath her, and Genevieve began to dig gently. She felt Thor behind her. Felt that he didn’t want to believe.

Even so, he came beside her and began to help her with her task.

She didn’t know how long they worked there, only that they displaced a tremendous amount of sand. The water around them had become silt. But he didn’t leave her. And he didn’t stop working.

She didn’t think he was even as amazed as she was when she hit something hard.

A box!

It was a metal box. Small, no more than a little chest, something that must have held only the dearest mementos, or perhaps the most important papers. It was finely etched; not the sea, the sand nor time itself had managed to entirely erase the delicate tracery of flowers and birds, visible through the sea growth that clung to the box.

Thor stared at her. He should have been jubilant, but she winced, because the look in his eyes told her that he thought of her as something beautiful, but best kept at a distance.

He picked up the chest and gave the sign to head back. She nodded and followed. Turning wearily to thank the ghost, Genevieve saw that the apparition had already disappeared.

A few minutes later, they were topside. Thor handed up the treasure to Jack as he slipped off his fins, and tossed them and his mask onto the deck. On the platform, he reached back to assist Genevieve, but he didn’t meet her eyes.

“She’s done it again,” he said flatly.

“Wow, I’ll say!” Jack applauded. “Hey, Gen, I never asked, do you gamble? If so, sweetie, you can hit the roulette table with me anytime.”