May 7, 2018

A Goodbye Lie Excerpt - Rival Romance On Board The Gentle Comfort

The Gentle Comfort
      An alarming commotion on the main deck and running footsteps could be heard clear inside Nora's room.
     "Cap'n Taylor! Cap'n Taylor!" shouted Wally, the new cabin boy. 
     Stepping into the passageway, "Has Miss Dunnigan awakened?"
     "No, sir. I ran down lookin' for ya in your stateroom. Farley told me where to find ya, sir. A man's demandin' ta see ya and right now! He's real threatening about it, too, sir."
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"Do you know who he is?"
     "No, sir. Just that he seems pretty riled already."
     "Thank you, Wally. I'll see to it. You go on about to your duties." 
     "Aye, sir."
    "Pardon me, Miss Nora. I have a seemingly disagreeable matter to attend," and he turned, taking large quick steps away from her. Curiosity forced Nora to follow. Uncontrolled ravings could be heard as they mounted the stairs to the main deck. 
     "Where is she? I'll give that sonofabitch one more minute before I go and get her myself. He can't keep me from her." The man shouting looked at his watch, counting the last seconds aloud. 
     Reaching the cause of the disturbance, Waite challenged, "You bastard! So you are alive!"   
     Nora was relieved to see a well-groomed Trip in his crisp uniform standing before the captain. She didn't understand the captain's intense anger at Trip. Surely, he had grounds for leaving Bree alone. The ship's highest officer was being purposely unreasonable. Trip would explain if just given the chance.
     Waite scoped the length of his rival, assessing little damage had been done him the last few hours. Clelland merely appeared to have a set of beady blood shot eyes. The captain readied himself to hear an inadequate explanation.
     As passengers gathered, "I demand to see Breelan at once," Trip shouted. The confrontation added to the exhilaration of the travelers' voyage.
     "She's resting."
     "Your boy says in your cabin." 
     "Yes, in my cabin. All other staterooms were occupied."
     "How convenient for you." 
     Waite mentally winced at the implication for Breelan's sake. Still, he would not retaliate because he knew the suggestion of improper conduct was true.
     Waite charged, "How did she come to ride here unaccompanied? Journeying for who knows how long and in the darkness? She's been dead asleep for hours." That is, all but for a moment, he remembered with pleasing satisfaction. 
     Dismissing the captain's question, Trip insisted, "Show me to her, or I'll call the law and have you arrested."
     "This is my ship and I am the law, or did you forget that fact? Besides, what would you have me charged with? Aiding a woman who purposely sought my help? You're a fool."
     "No, Captain. You're the fool. Apparently, you haven't been informed of the entire story." Covering each word in proud poison, Trip said, "..."

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