Authors: EC Sheedy
The Author's Cut Edition
EC Sheedy as Carole Dean
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Copyright 1992, 2011 by Edna Sheedy. All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions.
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And Pat, my sister and best friend.
Quinn Ramsay stood on the foredeck of the ferry staring at the island of his retreat. It was small, green, and tranquil—and it was a long way from L.A.
Six weeks. What the hell was he going to do here for six long weeks?
He zipped up his jacket and stuffed his hands into the pocket of his slacks, the act half in resignation to his immediate future and half in defense against the cool wind blowing through the narrow channel.
What was it Paul called this place?
* * *
"Salt Spring Island is a jewel, Quinn," Paul said. "A real jewel. Right up your alley. There's cycling, hiking, scuba diving—and great fishing. No problem for you to occupy yourself."
"I'll pass on the fishing, thanks, but the cycling will be good—and maybe the hiking. I could use the time to get in shape."
Paul Severns looked across the lunch table at him and chuckled. "Yeah, you're falling to pieces, big guy. Anyone can see that. The star of my latest picture should look so good," he finished.
"Maybe so, but the last six months have been nothing but one damned meeting and one jet after another. I've spent so much time in elevators, offices, and underground parking lots, I'm beginning to feel like a caged chicken."
Quinn looked out over the beach in front of his Malibu home. His gaze slid disinterestedly over a perfectly sculptured California body then down to his watch.
he told himself.
It's Sunday afternoon. Your schedule is clear until tonight.
Then? Another plane to catch. He was sick to death of his schedule. "So tell me more about this island jewel."
"It's off the coast of Vancouver Island in British Columbia. I found out about it from a guy on the lighting crew when we were shooting up there a couple of years ago. He took a bunch of us fishing—I ended up spending a week. It was fantastic. As a place to mull things over—get out of the glare—it'll be perfect. I think the population is seven, maybe eight thousand. There's no night life to speak of." Paul spotted the bikini and paused to take a drink and a look, then continued, "I guess the best word to describe it is peaceful."
Quinn mulled over Paul's description.
Not entirely sure how much of that he could take.
Paul went on, "My place is on the waterfront at the north end. The whole island can't be more than twenty miles in length, so it doesn't take long to get anywhere. There's a caretaker and his wife, Zach and Blanche, who live on the property year-round, but they're in a separate cabin, so you'll have your privacy. I've told them you're coming, so they'll have everything ready for you. If you get bored, you can hop a ferry or seaplane to Vancouver or Victoria, but I doubt you will."
Quinn wasn't so certain. Wasn't one man's paradise another man's hell? He drank his coffee in silence.
Paul seemed to hesitate before asking, "Are you going to call Gina, let her know where you're going?"
"She'll ask, you know."
"She can ask all she wants, but my plans for the next few weeks don't include Gina Manzoni."
"What will I tell her?"
"Tell her whatever you want. She's your star. You'll think of something—just leave me out of it."