Excerpt: Whispers from the Past

Excerpt: Whispers from the Past

Book 3: Whisper Falls Series

Mark pulled into an empty lot, parked between faded white lines, and shut off the truck.

“Here we are at Emerald Isle. One of the most beautiful beaches on the North Carolina coast.” He pointed ahead of us. “We’ll walk just past those dunes.”

Tall grasses, topped with feathery blooms, swayed in the breeze. A wide, diffuse roar surrounded me, broken on occasion by the squawk of a bird.

A feeling like dread gripped me. How big was this ocean? How strong were its waves? Would I love the sea or fear it?

A shudder racked my body. Perhaps I should have withheld my interest in coming.

“Come on, babe,” he said, holding my door open. “You’d better bring your coat. There’s a storm rolling in, and it could get cold and wet really fast.”

I slipped it on and then slid from his truck, hiding my shaking hands in the wide pockets of my coat.

“Hey.” He drew me into his arms, his gaze gentle and patient. “I know this might be scary for you, but it’s okay. I’m beside you all the way. You don’t have to take a single step until you’re ready.”

I drew my hands from my pockets and slipped my arms around his waist, under his unzipped jacket. Beneath my cheek, I felt the beat of his heart, sure and strong. He pressed a kiss to my temple and then nuzzled my hair.

I leaned back enough to study his face. His beautiful amber eyes watched me. They gave me courage. “Let us go.”

He caught my hand in his and turned toward the wooden bridge that waited to take us over the dune and out to the sea.

We walked with steady purpose, fingers firmly clasped. I kept my chin high, aching for my first glimpse.

Yet, as our feet thumped hollowly on the wooden steps of the bridge, my courage faltered. I dropped my gaze to watch our shoes, which moved in unison. He had slowed his stride to match mine.

It was a most unusual bridge. Up several steps. A flat stretch. More steps, both up and then down, interspersed with flat stretches. Finally, we reached the beach. Below us was sand as fine and white as the best-milled flour. It stretched as far as I could see, although truly that wasn’t far given my bowed head.

The roar engulfed me. Intimidated me.

Mark didn’t move or speak. His hand squeezed mine lightly and then he was still.

Slowly, I raised my head.

The ocean spread before me, immense and powerful. Water rolled and spread across the sand in waves of dark gray flecked with foam. I tracked across its vast, undulating surface until, far in the distance, it met a strip of bright blue at the edge of an otherwise angry, black sky.

“The sea is indescribably beautiful,” I said and glanced toward him.

Mark was staring at me. “Indescribably beautiful,” he repeated.