Beneath the Surface Out TOMORROW

Here's an excerpt, just for you.

He didn’t speak right away, leaned on the railing of the boat, looking out over the waves before he turned to her. “Why are you here?”

She’d planned what to say. “I needed to finish this.” This time. She wanted to say more, but he gave her that smile, that one that started in his eyes, creased his face, flashed those white teeth, infusing his being with joy. The rest of her words stuck in her throat.

“I hoped you would,” he murmured.

“Not for you.” She had to make sure he knew that. She didn’t have the safety of the barriers between them anymore, not unless she could hold her own with him.

He nodded, not expressing any surprise, masking whatever he was feeling. He’d always been good at that, though she thought she knew him well enough to read him. Not today.

“Not for this, either.” She gestured toward the ocean. “For me.” Leaving Jonathan had been hard, but being alone hadn’t been as hard as she expected. That had been the most empowering revelation yet. She reached into her pack for the envelope there. “I took out my savings. And since I cancelled my wedding, I

got my deposits back. I want you to use this to help with whatever you need, hire more divers, get more equipment, whatever.”

He took the envelope, his eyes not leaving hers. “Mallory.”

“This is important. It’s important,” she repeated, and inclined her head toward the envelope.

He drew out the check, and his eyes bugged. “No hillside wedding, this.”


He held the envelope out, his lips thinned, no trace of joy remaining on his face. “Mallory, I can’t take it.”

“I want you to have it.”

He hesitated. Clearly he needed the money but was unwilling to accept it on her terms. “I’ll keep it on one condition.”

She tensed at his tone. “What?”

“That you stay.” He folded the envelope, creasing it between his thumb and forefinger. “That you help with the dive.”

She drew her lower lip between her teeth, saw his eyes follow the movement. “I don’t know.”

He took a step toward her. “What have you got to go back to?”

She moved away and studied the deck beneath her. “Adrian, staying here, with you, is not a good idea.” She hated admitting that weakness.

“And yet you want to.” The burr deepened.

She lifted her chin. “If I stay, this”—she flipped her finger between the two of them—“can’t happen. I learned my lesson the hard way, Adrian. If I stay, it’s professional behavior only. Deal?”

He cocked his head just the slightest bit, almost a challenge. He tucked the envelope in his back pocket and reached out to her. “Deal.”


Trish Milburn said...

Woot!!! Hope it sells like hotcakes.


M.J. Fredrick's books on Goodreads
Breaking DaylightBreaking Daylight
ratings: 11 (avg rating 3.33)

Beneath the SurfaceBeneath the Surface
ratings: 11 (avg rating 4.00)

Hot ShotHot Shot (Samhain)
reviews: 2
ratings: 10 (avg rating 4.00)

Where There's SmokeWhere There's Smoke
ratings: 6 (avg rating 4.00)

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I'm a mom, a wife, a teacher and a writer. I have five cats and a dog to keep me company. I love bookstores and libraries and Netflix - movies are my greatest weakness.
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