Dead in the Water

Dead in the Water by Nancy Holder Read Free Book Online Page B

Book: Dead in the Water by Nancy Holder Read Free Book Online
Authors: Nancy Holder
head off. Dumb-dumb should’ve known he was circling a shark when he’d moved in on her.
    So now it was Donna’s turn, and she waited for the rest of his routine to purr forth, as if she were watching a stand-up comedian.
    “Are you? Watching?” he murmured into her ear. His hot breath made her lobe tingle. What the hell. She was single.
    Alone.
    “Yes, yes, I’m waiting for your flash.” Big guy; how he puffed up at that. Christ, sometimes men were awful simple.
    There was some commotion on Donna’s right, closer amidships, where Phil and Elise had been sitting on deck chairs, reading their books and not speaking. Donna had no idea how Phil had finessed the situation, but the couple had stayed aboard the
Morris
. During the hour Donna and the others had chatted and watched the ocean, she’d also watched Phil. Now and then he leaned toward his wife, as if watching for a chance to engage her. Steadfastly she kept her gaze on the pages. The love on his face, and the yearning, struck a chord; Donna prayed she’d never looked at Glenn that way, especially not in public.
    “I’m going inside,” Elise announced, slamming shut herbook. She swung her legs onto the deck and rose in a graceful motion. She was tall and lithe; as Carlos in vice would say, “
Bien preservada.

    Phil opened his mouth—probably to ask permission to come with her; c’mon, man, don’t be such a weenie—but shut it at the last minute and stayed where he was. Looking sad. Donna thought about inviting him to join them but shit, he was a big boy, and if he wanted to come over, he would.
    “So you were saying?” she said abruptly. Everyone stopped talking and looked at her.
    She shrugged. “Sorry. I was drifting there.”
    “Easy to do,” Ramón offered gallantly. Please, dude, maintain, she thought. As far as she was concerned, a little Latin lovejive went a long way.
    No one spoke, and Donna never did find out what topic they’d shifted to after the poem. Now they stood in a line, studying the horizon. Mr. Saar had sent everyone out to see the fabled green flash, when the ocean lit up with phosphorescence at the precise moment of twilight.
    After a time, the ocean punctured the sun and syrupy crimson oozed onto the water. Triangles sloshed in prisms of acid-green, turquoise, orange, deep purple—tropical cocktails garnished with slices of crystal whitewater. Donna thought about having a beer.
    The group stood at the stern, gazes obediently trained on the horizon, while beneath them the wake luffed and gurgled and a fine spray misted their faces. A distance away, Kevin, a young, hairy surfer who was working in the galley in exchange for a lower fare, muttered at a crew member and glanced nervously at Donna. Drug deal, maybe, but probably for something benign like a lid of marijuana; Kevin wasn’t the type for hard stuff. Everyone aboard knew she was a cop, and the guilty were prancing around like ballerinas.
    The sun melted into a semicircle.
    “Okay, it should happen any second,” Ramón announced. The onlookers held their breath. Donna sighted down his outstretched finger and squinted.
    “There!” he shouted, jabbing the air. “There! Do you see it?”
    “Oh!” Ruth cried. She laid her forefingers on either side of her chin. “Yes! It’s beautiful!” She smiled at Donna and John.
    The doctor cocked his head. “I think I did.” He laughed. “What was it supposed to look like?”
    “A thin green line,” Ramón told him, gesturing with his hands. “Glowing, like.”
    “Mmm.” John lifted his chin and considered.
    “Yeah!” Kevin called from his place. He waved at Ramón.
    Ramón touched the back of Donna’s hand. “You saw it?”
    “No.” Donna lifted her shoulders, shook her head, dropped her arms to her sides. “I guess I missed the magic moment.”
    Ramón’s brows knitted as he pointed out to sea. “But it was there.”
    “I saw it,” Ruth repeated. John was still craning his neck. One for sure, one

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