From the Inside Flap
"I know." She expelled a heavy sigh. "I'm scared, Dan.After that last fiasco I vowed not to do this again."
"Never is a long time." He gripped her shoulder with agnarled hand. "And this situation is different."
"Different?" She gave a hollow laugh. "How's it different?"
Dan was silent so long she grew restless under his scrutiny. "Do you remember when your folks died?"
The gruff question was unexpected and Cassie stared at him in shocked surprise. Dan rarely mentioned the boating accident that had claimed her parents' lives.
"Of course I remember."
"Tell me, Missy, why did you refuse to leave the wharf until they found your Mam and brought her home?" Dan watched her, his gaze intense.
Cassie was overwhelmed by the sudden uprush of memory,the intense cold, the raw pain as she held her Da's icy, lifeless hand. Her total disbelief that her Mam was out there, in that vast, unforgiving ocean all alone ... and the overwhelming fear that if they didn't find her Mam, she could never be laid to rest beside her Da.
Cassie was their only child. Laying her parents torest was her responsibility--her duty.
Whatever else she expected from Dan, it wasn't this. She rubbed her hands up and down arms that were prickling with cold despite the sultry heat of the summer day. "I could never bear not knowing."
Her words fell like pebbles into a widening pool of silence, and then it hit her.
Does Grayson feel the same way about his sister? Is the not knowing eating away at him as my mother's disappearance consumed me?
Snatches of their conversation surfaced, and she was ashamed and more than a little guilty that she had never thought to put herself in his position. It was the not knowing that destroyed a person, always.
For years I've followed every lead--
It's as if my sister's dropped into a black hole--
My mother won't rest until we find Genevieve--
She gulped and swallowed. "You think I should helphim?"
Dan held her on a steady gaze, shrugged and spread his knobbly hands in a wide gesture. "It's your call, Missy, but I can't help feeling sorry for him, and for his mother."
"Even though I refused to look at his photos, I sensedsomething ..." She leaned forward and gripped the rails worried and uneasy. "Thiscould end badly; I don't feel good about it on any level."
"Why?" He laid a hand over hers on the rail.
Cassie looked directly at him; she owed this old manso much.
It was Dan who had helped her bury her parents, and it was Dan who'd worked like a dog and salvaged Windsong from the mess her parents had left behind. It was Dan who had tried his best to guide her, a headstrong, smart-mouthed teenager, through those turbulent early years, and it was Dan who had helped her pick up the pieces and go on living when she'd crawled home after she'd had her heart broken into a million jagged pieces.
He was the one person who deserved nothing less thantotal honesty.
"I think his sister is dead, and what's more I think she killed herself--" Cassie broke off, shaking her head, "or at the very least,she tried to end her life."
She exchanged a long, helpless look with Dan. "I know I have to talk to him, but what can I say?" she asked, looking away and up at the range-tops, seeking inspiration.
"You'll find the right words, Cass, you alwaysdo." He rubbed at his whiskery chin.