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“Come meet him. He’s really not such a bad guy.”

“Could have fooled me,” she murmured.

“Hey,” Jack said lightly. “Your buddies are doing a pretty good job of ribbing you right now, too, aren’t they?”

Genevieve shrugged. Yes, this one was going to take a very long time to live down. No—they’d never let her live it down.

“Come on, come meet Thor.”

She rolled her eyes but followed Jack back to the table.

To his credit, the man stood. She could see little of his face because he wore a pair of Ray-Bans, but he had the kind of high-set cheekbones and strong jaw that certainly defined his personality. No-nonsense, rugged, probably fearless. Totally confident and determined. She decided that even without what had happened today, she probably wouldn’t have cared much for him. He didn’t appear to be the kind of man who worked and played well with others.

“Thor, meet Genevieve Wallace. Gen, Thor Thompson.”

He offered her a hand. He didn’t smile, however. He wasn’t treating her experience with the same amusement as the others. Apparently he found it dangerously annoying.

“Thor,” she murmured, shaking his hand but extracting her own quickly. “Interesting name.” She couldn’t help the bit of disdain in her tone.

The hint of a smile curved his lips at that. “Sorry—my grandparents were Norwegian. They started out in Minnesota. It’s common enough in those circles. Genevieve, huh?”

“Family name, as well. St. Genevieve. My antecedents were old-school Catholics, I suppose,” she murmured.

“Gen. It’s easier,” Jack said cheerfully. “Sit. I’ll get you a beer. Ah, you already have one. Well…sit.”

“Um…” She hesitated. She should have been quicker with an excuse. Anything. Actually, I’m already sitting with friends over there. Excuse me, but I think I’m wiped out, I’m going to my room. There’s a cat in a tree I have to rescue…Anything!

But she hadn’t thought fast enough. Jack already had a chair pulled out for her.

“Strange you two haven’t met yet,” Jack said.

Genevieve saw a tawny brow shoot up over the Ray-Bans. “Jack, it’s a big world.”

“Yeah, but you’ve worked the Keys before,” Jack said.

Thor nodded. “I haven’t been down this far south that often, though.”

“Well,” Jack said cheerfully, “it’s a great project to be working.”

“Right. Working,” Thor murmured.

Genevieve stiffened instantly. Despite the Ray-Bans hiding his eyes, it was more than apparent that he thought of her as a liability. “I am working, and I take my work seriously, Mr. Thompson,” she informed him coolly.

“Mr. Thompson?” Jack said. “Gen, we’re all working together. He’s just Thor.”

“Interesting work method,” Thor said, as if Jack had never spoken.

His voice let her know he was staring at her as if she were a total flake.

“I would be willing to bet, Mr. Thompson, that I know these reefs far better than you ever will.”

“Really?” he replied, leaning forward. “Just what is it that you think you know about these reefs, Miss Wallace? That you mysteriously see the past? People floating down there? Strange, if that were the case, one would think you’d know exactly where to look for all the sunken ships. Wouldn’t that be great?”

“Come on, guys,” Jack demanded. “What’s with this Mr. and Miss stuff?”

It was her turn to ignore Jack.

“My reputation as a diver is absolutely spotless, Mr. Thompson.”

“Hey, why don’t I go over and say hello to your buddies, Gen?” Jack murmured.

His chair scraped back. He was definitely in a hurry to quit their company and the wave of tension that had seemed to materialize around them.

Thor Thompson was still staring at her. Then he leaned forward suddenly and removed the sunglasses so he could stare into her eyes. “Spotless?” he asked softly. “Maybe until today. We might as well get this right out into the open. I don’t give a rat’s ass about your reputation. Even though we’re not working at great depth, every man has to pull his weight. I’ve seen too many ‘experienced’ divers pop up dead. If you see dead bodies that open their eyes and try to communicate with you, Miss Wallace, we’ve got serious problems ahead. You might want to get some help before you go down again.”

For several long moments Genevieve stared at him, so shocked by the hardball vehemence of the attack that she didn’t even blink.

The man had blue eyes sharper than jagged ice and a jaw that seemed set in concrete. Her heart pounded. He didn’t know her; didn’t know anything about her.

He’d simply judged her.

She sat forward, as well, met him eye to eye, and smiled.

“I’m a better diver than you could ever hope to work with again. And I’m known to find what I’m looking for, so if you don’t like me, well, then excuse me for being crude, but I really have nothing to say other than ‘Fuck you, asshole.’” Still smiling pleasantly, she stood and walked away.

Jay Gonzalez drove down Roosevelt, wondering why the situation had left him so perplexed.

Nothing. There had been nothing down there.

Hell, he’d been in and around the water long enough. Vision was distorted beneath the waves.

The crime rate was low, just as he’d told Gen. Most of it had to do with petty theft. Some grand larceny, and of course there were the drugs. But murder didn’t happen often.

There couldn’t be anything to it. Genevieve thought she’d seen a body. The body had been gone. A prank, perhaps? According to Marshall, there hadn’t been any other boats in the immediate area. But, hell, he knew kids, and they were willing to go to great lengths to play a trick.

Still, it disturbed him. He liked Genevieve, really liked her, and always had. He hated to see her upset like that.

Ghosts were big business in Key West, as they were in many places. Hemingway was said to walk around town, and sometimes it seemed as if every house on Duval Street claimed to have a ghost, thanks to the Indian bones and the wreckers and plain old human frailty. But Genevieve wasn’t the type to make up a story for the fun of it.

What the hell had she seen?

Murder wasn’t common in Key West.

But it did happen. Had happened.

Hell, yes, it had happened. He knew damned well it had happened.

He gritted his teeth; he was already reaching US1. His siren blaring, he wove through the stopped cars. There was an accident just ahead. He looked at the cars as he approached and prayed he wouldn’t be seeing any bodies himself. Not that night.


T he following day, Thor was one of the first divers up and about. The plan was to meet early every morning at the tiki bar to grab coffee and a light meal. Just fifty feet from the little hut, the resort offered a small dive shop, where their tanks were filled and any damaged piece of equipment repaired. He stood on the dock for a few moments, enjoying the sunrise. It promised to be a beautiful day, or at least a beautiful morning. They planned to spend the next couple of weeks taking the boats out early and calling it quits by about three, when the late summer rains traditionally rolled in. Those afternoon storms often came on with ferocity, but generally they raged for half an hour or so, then were gone.

He sipped his coffee, aware that others were beginning to emerge from their cottages. Marshall Miro’s crew was impressive. They were all in excellent shape, and comfortable in the water no matter what the circumstances. They had the proper respect for the ocean’s power. Which was good—he didn’t intend to lose any divers. Even Genevieve Wallace had sounded sane enough when she’d snapped back at him. He liked her air of determination, in fact.

He saw her walking from her cottage, meeting up with Bethany, the second woman on Marshall’s crew. She was the opposite of Genevieve, probably a respectable five-five or five-six, but next to her friend, she appeared short. She was attractive, compact but nicely muscled. She also seemed to be far more cheerful and easygoing than her long-legged counterpart and was waving to Lizzie and Zach even as she met up with Genevieve. Lizzie made even Genevieve look short, and when Zach moved up, he dwarfed them all. Jack was already over by the tiki hut, and Clint—long and lanky at twenty-two, bronzed, his hair flopping in his face—was setting out platters of doughnuts and fruit. Rounding out the group, Vic and Alex came running up along the beach, heavy packs of equipment over their shoulders. They were of an age, and, like the others, physically fit and mentally sharp.

“Hey! Thought you were lolling around in bed. Didn’t see you down here,” Marshall called to Thor, walking down the dock.

“We’re in search of the find of the century,” Thor said dryly. “I wouldn’t want to oversleep and miss all the excitement.”

“You don’t think we’re going to find anything?” Marshall asked, rubbing a hand over his bald head and squinting against the sun.

“I didn’t say that. I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t believe there was something to find. I’m just curious what the state guys have planned if nothing shows up here. People have been diving this area for years. Admittedly, we’ve been finding signs of metal down there, but hell, that could mean just about anything.”

“All we need is proof that she’s there, and then it’s up to the ecologists and historians to start arguing about the next steps,” Marshall said with a shrug. He stared at Thor. “To be honest, I’d just like to go down in the books as having been in on a real find. If determination means anything, we’ll find something for sure.”

“Determination is always an asset,” Thor murmured. He was looking back at the others. Victor Damon gave Genevieve a teasing bump as they walked along the path. She turned and pointed a finger at him, saying something. They were probably still ribbing her. He said something else, and she stole his baseball cap, then slammed it back on his head. Still, they were all laughing. That cop, Jay Gonzalez, seemed to hold her in regard. If she’d been a fruitcake, it was doubtful the man would have listened to her so attentively or sent divers out in search of a body.