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Seasinger

Seasinger

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Seasinger

Length:
218 pages
2 hours
Publisher:
Released:
Oct 21, 2019
ISBN:
9780463630358
Format:
Book

Description

Meet the Elementals – a magical race that inhabits our world embodying the four elements of earth, air, fire and water. Kai is a “Twixter,” the half-human offspring of an water elemental, who’s learned to make his own way in our world. In addition to his magical heritage, Kai bears another gift, one that pushes him to seek out Shira, an anthropologist who has unwittingly stumbled into a mystery that the Elementals don’t want her to know about. When Shira becomes a target and motives become revealed, Kai realizes that this is bigger than the both of them. He must convince Shira to trust him despite his heritage, and show her that love is elemental – and can hit you like a tidal wave.

Publisher:
Released:
Oct 21, 2019
ISBN:
9780463630358
Format:
Book

About the author

Britt DeLaney lives and writes near Philadelphia. In her spare time she watches too much Netflix, eats too many Pop-Tarts, and is currently writing her ass off.


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Seasinger - Britt DeLaney

SeaSinger

Book Two of the Elemental Destinies

Britt DeLaney

Copyright 2016 Britt DeLaney

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction

Chapter 2: Recovery

Chapter 3: A Sudden Chill

Chapter 4: Meeting

Chapter 5: Coffee

Chapter 6: Played

Chapter 7: Revealed

Chapter 8: Sheltered

Chapter 9: Answers

Chapter 10: Reunion

Chapter 11: The Songs Of The Sea

Chapter 12: Hidden

Chapter 13: Assumptions

Chapter 14: A Bar South Of Provo

Chapter 15: Benefits

Chapter 16: The Sins Of The Father

Chapter 17: Connection

Chapter 18: Tracked

Chapter 19: Down

Chapter 20: Scorched

Chapter 21: Close Enough

Chapter 22: Snapshot

Chapter 23: Anchorage

Chapter 24: Showdown

Chapter 25: They

Chapter 26: Package Pickup

Chapter 27: Last Song

About the Author

Other Books by Britt DeLaney

Novellas by Britt DeLaney

Acknowledgments

This one is for Anu, one of my biggest cheerleaders. You made me want to do better with every story. Thank you.

Chapter 1

Introduction

Kai wasn't sure what he'd expected when Ms. Shira Wen opened her office door, but it certainly wasn't being kicked in the nuts.

She'd nailed him dead-on and he'd dropped like a stone. It took several minutes for the fog to clear from his vision and nausea to abate, and when he finally pushed himself back up to his feet, he discovered that she was gone.

He'd traveled twenty-two hundred miles for the damned girl and now she'd run out on him.

He followed her down the hall at a slow limp, but had no luck finding her. She'd run from him like hell itself was on her heels, and after circling and working every inch of the building and then the campus for over an hour, he still hadn't found her.

He wasn't exactly sure why she'd run. He was a larger man than most – not that he could help his heritage – but he hadn't been doing or saying anything threatening. In fact, the only words he'd gotten out before she karate-kicked him into blazing agony were Excuse me...

He did not have time for this. Or the patience.

This was supposed to be simple. Deliver a message, wait for the inevitable fallout, then hope he could get on with his life.

Something told him this girl was not going to be easy.

What kind of a girl answered a knock at the door with a physical assault?

The kind expecting trouble, he supposed. He frowned slightly, wondering if he shouldn’t have delivered this particular message sooner.

Kai was just going to have to handle her with kid gloves and ease into this. The problem was he wasn't the type to ease into anything.

He adjusted himself within his Canali jeans and grimaced at the residual soreness. She could run, but she couldn't hide forever.

He toyed briefly with the idea of forgetting the whole thing, digging in his pocket for his car keys and cursing the girl again when he felt another twinge in his groin while sliding into the driver’s seat. He grimaced as he put the car in gear.

The town wasn’t that big. And he knew where she worked. She had to show up sooner or later. Eventually, they’d come face-too-face.

And when they did, he had a few carefully chosen words to share with her.

Chapter 2

Recovery

Shira closed the door behind her, leaning against it and panting hard.

Calm down, she told herself. Just calm the hell down, already.

Had he followed her? She didn't open the door to check, but it was doubtful he'd found her hiding place in the supply closet of the engineering wing. The poor man probably had no idea why she'd freaked like she had. And it's not like she could just say Oh, sorry, I'm a little on edge since they hired my arch-enemy.

Oh God, she groaned to herself. What have I done?

She pushed off the door, realizing more fully that she'd just assaulted an innocent bystander. Taking a deep breath, she pulled her cellphone out of her pocket and called Ken, the student intern who’d been assigned to her. After a little small talk, it was clear that whoever this stranger was, he didn’t hang around to press charges. Not yet, anyway.

She got Ken to cover her afternoon lab and let him know she’d be in the field for the rest of the day – citing the need to visit an old dig site for follow-up after a villager reported finding a pottery shard – a total fabrication – but it got her out of the office for the rest of the day and tomorrow morning as well, due to the remoteness of the place. Then she arranged for another instructor to take her class the following morning, and left the skeevy Dr. Robert Agostino a voice mail explaining it all – knowing he was in a meeting with the dean and wouldn’t be there to answer the phone.

Get a grip, Shira; she scolded herself as she reached for the doorknob.

The truth was, he caught her off guard, and she had a lot to be nervous about.

Due to the untimely death of the department chair, Dr. Matthews, the university had been interviewing candidates from all over the country to fill his position. The new department chair was touring the campus this very morning and instead of a diplomatic first meeting, she got blindsided by the introduction of Dr. Robert Agostino, her father's former intern and a lifelong enemy. Well, on her side of the equation, anyway.

Too bad he didn't see it that way. She was sure he'd followed her after she'd stormed out of the lab to her office, and when her office door opened she didn't think, she just reacted.

And some poor sap – some poor, likely enraged, huge, muscular sap - had paid the price for her idiocy.

A perfect end to truly stellar day. And now there was nothing to do but hold her chin up and hope no one noticed a guy limping away from her office, possibly ready to press charges.

She groaned, rubbing her temple with her fingers.

Outstanding, she muttered. Simply outstanding.

She shoved her phone back down in her purse, wondering if she could sneak back to her office to at least grab the flash drive she’d been working off, but decided finally that it wasn't worth the risk. She'd just wait until tomorrow to put together her lecture on subgroupings within indigenous cultures. She wasn’t due to deliver it until Thursday, anyway.

She opened the door, pulled her shoulders back, lifted her chin and walked as fast as she could for the parking lot.

It wasn't fast enough.

Shira!

She was almost to the doors. She could pretend she didn't hear...and then what? Run like a track star across the parking lot, hoping no one noticed her streaking past?

She groaned inwardly, slowing her feet before turning around to face her new boss.

Dr. Agostino, she said with a forced smile. I just left you a voice mail – I have to get out to a dig site …

Robert tucked the folders he was carrying under his arm and leaned negligently against the hallway wall.

Is that so? he asked. You’ve been dressed for business since I walked in this morning.

The call came in unexpectedly. A local found something and I’d like to get there before the site is compromised.

Really? He pushed off the wall. Shira, I was hoping for better from you.

She somehow managed to keep her tone civil. I really need to go.

Shira.... He moved closer and she instinctively backed away, so he dropped his shoulders and let out a sigh. Look...obviously we need to clear the air between us if we're going to be working together.

Now isn't really the time -

Yes, it is, he insisted. Or do you really want to start this conversation over again tomorrow? Or the day after? Because we're going to have it.

Shira stared at him, stony-faced.

Come on, he cajoled. Let me buy you lunch and we'll hash it all out. We can't get anything done until we do and you know it.

I'm not having lunch with you.

Shira -

"I'm not having lunch. We're not talking. I have to work with you, Dr. Agostino, but I don't have to like you. Now, if you'll excuse me?"

Shira pushed her way around him, and out the door. She didn't look behind her to see if he was following, but allowed herself to finally breathe when she reached her car, letting the air out of her lungs in rush when she saw she was alone.

She needed to get out of here, and coming up with the dig site plan was a serious stroke of genius. It gave her a legitimate reason to be away while she sorted all this ridiculousness out, and she could shut her phone off and claim to be out of range in whichever cave she decided to visit.

There were nearly a dozen in striking range, and her mind was warming now to the possibilities. She slid into the driver’s seat and hoisted her laptop bag up onto the seat next to her, digging furiously through the loose papers and folders until she found what she was looking for – topographical maps.

Her finger traced the sites one by one, mentally adding them or discounting them based on the scope of the original dig, and how long it had been since anyone had been on-site. There was a newer cave site less than two hours away, but it was difficult to get to and would almost certainly involve a wet suit.

Her finger moved down the map, trailing southward, skimming further and then pausing, moving back before it hovered over one spot.

There had been a big storm in that area less than a month ago, causing tidal surges and erosion. That meant change. Shifting of rock and layers and silt.

A telephone conversation from the week before played through her mind, and like a tidal surge it shifted and uncovered, pulling things out that had been covered and abandoned for a long, long time.

If she left right away, she could be there just after lunchtime. That would give her plenty of time in the cave.

Her finger was still frozen above the site on the map, and she finally let it rest on the page, wondering if this was losing her mind in the aftermath of a really shitty day.

But she had to go.

She had to try.

Chapter 3

A Sudden Chill

She felt it once again…that chill out of nowhere.

Shira pushed her hair off her face and laughed half-heartedly at herself. She was on her knees in a drafty cave. Of course there would be a chill.

Silly.

She checked the zipper on her coat again, and found it all the way up, so she gave a sigh and moved forward again, her knees protesting as they scraped against the rough, uneven rock of the cave. Her flashlight bounced off the walls until she located the area she'd been looking for.

There – right at the place where the wall had sheared off and fallen – not an uncommon occurrence in a tidal cave, but that amount of rock was an oddity. It's a wonder it didn't collapse the entire cave.

Like they meant to…

The thought came unbidden, and she tamped it down. She wasn't here to go on a wild and speculative goose chase. She was here to see if the storm – and all the storms that had hit in the last few years – had unearthed anything.

She shuddered, because the chill came again. She could swear it was coming off the water, as if the gentle, lapping waves were growing colder with each pass.

Probably a chill from the incoming tidal currents. The tide wasn’t due in full for another four hours. She’d checked the stats herself, knowing full well this cave submerged when the tide came in.

Shira pushed against the rock in front of her, not really expecting it to budge, and to her surprise, it did shift slightly. She shone her flashlight up, following the rough edge of the pile it rested under, and when she was convinced it was fully detached from the ceiling – and therefore not bearing any of its weight – she pushed against the rock again. The rock tilted, and when she set her shoulder against it, digging in with her booted feet on the rough surface of the shelf she was kneeling on, it finally toppled.

Part of it splashed into the water, and when her eyes turned to follow it, she grew alarmed when she realized that the water was much, much higher than it should have been. The cold was pervasive now, and she could see her breath in front of her.

She turned back to the cave wall, digging frantically at the pile of loose dirt and rock chips that fell into place where the large rock once laid, until at last she found it, the hollowed out section of floor.

She traced it with her fingers, feeling for the glyphs etched deeply into the rock before reaching into her pocket for the brush she’d brought along. She worked quickly, keeping an eye on the rising water, until she’d removed the debris completely.

She didn’t have time

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