Chasing Atlantis

Chasing Atlantis by Kelly Coughlin Read Free Book Online

Book: Chasing Atlantis by Kelly Coughlin Read Free Book Online
Authors: Kelly Coughlin
walk over to it. I inhaled deeply and moved the curtain back.
    Nothing. Must have been a motorcycle or something I told myself. I couldn’t completely shake the feeling that something was watching me.
    Despite the weird day, and putting up with my family most of all, my night ended on a good note. I was in a good mood and decided that Vero Beach wasn’t a complete lost cause. I slipped into a peaceful, dreamless sleep.
    My good mood quickly evaporated, like the sticky dew that had not quite left the grass yet, as Mom shook me awake before the sun even came out. Apparently we were going to have a mother-daughter day of activities. Someone shoot me to put me out of my misery. I might not have minded had it been later, and I could have had some kind of say in it. Then again it might not have…
    First up on the agenda is tennis. Usually I like sports, but tennis not so much. I spent the first two games not moving, barely swinging my racquet still sulking about having to get up so early. It wasn’t until Mom hurled a tennis ball at my head at the beginning of the third game that I got my spark back.
    “Is that how it’s gonna be, Nicole?” I asked her, a coy smiling playing at my lips. I then proceeded to defeat her, our racquet’s making loud swooshing sounds as we swung them in flurries. I won the next two games. It was a tie, but I wasn’t in the mood for another game.
    I was bent over huffing, while Mom didn’t even have a drop of sweat. She stood up straight, her rigid arms at her sides as she waited for me. She wasn’t even breathing hard. It was aggravating that my mom seemed to be in so much better shape than me. It just didn’t seem natural, almost. Nothing tired her, nothing ever gave her any type of problems.
    “More yoga Mom?” I said between gasps. I remembered that was one of her favorite past times to fill up her empty days.
    “Something like that, dear.” A dark smile spread across her face. I guessed at my remembering that she liked yoga.
    By the end of our games it was midafternoon, smoking hot and humid. I felt sticky, tired, all I wanted was to go home and relax for a little while. Mom had other plans for me. She wanted me to go to her exclusive country club.
    “There are so many wonderful people I would like you to meet. They know all about you. They have just been dying to meet you! The Greys belong there, too, you know.” I suppressed a groan. Of course the Greys went there. I could tell I would be seeing a lot more of them this summer.
    Luck must have been on my side. The car wouldn’t start. No matter how many times Mom tried to start the car, it wouldn’t budge. She started up with a long list of obscenities. She must have really wanted me to go, she usually didn’t curse. She pulled out her cell phone with an exasperated look.
    “Hello, Steven. Yes, the car won’t start. We are down by the tennis courts. I was going to take her to the club when—yes, I’ve already realized that there might have been interference.” She glared down at me. I wasn’t completely able to hide my smile. “Another time then. Oh, darling, could you come see if you can fix the car. Amy Jane and I will just have to go a different time.” Dang it. I thought I was off the hook. “Thank you, dear. You are so wonderful.” You are so something, Steve. I’m just not sure I would have gone with wonderful. Gag.
    Steve made it to us in record time. He handed the keys over to Mom and lightly kissed her on the cheek. I hopped out of the car, heading for the green BMW again, when Steve suddenly caught my arm and wheeled me around so that we were facing each other.
    “What are your plans for today?” he asked, his hand roughly digging into my arm.
    “Er, nothing that I know of. Ouch! That hurts.” He quickly dropped his arm, smiling slightly.
    “Sorry, about that. I was just checking… In case you made other plans.” Both Steve and Mom were watching me suspiciously, their eyes flickering from my face to

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