Lizbeth emerged from the shadows of the dock, looking down into the depths of dark, murky waters below. The lights of the city burned in the distance, and a temporary calm settled inside her knowing she was miles away from the chaos that had come to define her everyday life.
She crouched at the edge of the lift and watched as the waters swayed beneath her, light dancing off the oscillating ripples. It reminded her of the lights that danced in a pair of smiling, jade eyes that had come to frequent her thoughts in quiet moments such as these.
“Where are you?” she muttered into the night.
Of course, the night didn’t answer. It was a fickle bastard like that. The night only served to hide, trick, and deceive what the light wanted to reveal, and it was all she knew, all she would know of the world.
The hope was a useless one, she knew, because finding him would have meant disastrous implications. He’d been gone for over a year now, and this was how it had to be. It’s what she wanted for him and what she knew he had to do. That didn’t make the ache inside her, the constant reminder of his absence, any easier to endure.
Did he ever long for her in quiet moments like this, or wonder where she was, what she was doing, or if she was safe? Alive?
Her fingers went to the hidden locket she wore that hung close to her heart. She felt the warmth of it as she rubbed its smooth surface, and the memory of the way her fingertips had smoothed over the soft flesh of his tender, languid lips in just the same way intruded into her mind. Her eyes closed as she let the rays of moonlight penetrate her skin and comfort her.
The slightest rustling sound behind her set her senses on alert. She tucked the locket back beneath her shirt as she cast a quick glance over her shoulder in the direction of the nearly inaudible disruption, scanning the shore and the single, center console boat that bobbed and thudded against the wood it was anchored to. Her eyes scanned her surroundings, but saw nothing out of place.
Uneasiness swept over her, and she moved with stealth, backing away from the ledge to take cover in the shadows.
“I thought I’d find yeh here,” a familiar, rugged voice with an Irish lilt called from the boat, startling her.
She gasped, and her arms went up in front of her as she took a defensive stance.
“Brick!” she blurted as recognition set in. “What are you doing here?”
He leaned casually on the ledge of the boat, and the breeze coming off the water sent the overgrown waves of his hair ruffling across his forehead in a messy array.
“Charles is lookin’ for yeh,” he called as he climbed up over the edge of the boat and jumped down onto the dock, landing with a muted thud.
Lizbeth emerged from the darkness to meet him.
“I told Charles I’m done. Tell him to find someone else.”
Her arms folded across her chest as she stood with her feet planted widely apart. She was taking a stand, once and for all.
Brick scoffed. “Come on, Lizbeth, we both know that’s not the way this wurks.”
He closed in toward her and reached to grasp her arm. She jerked her shoulder away and out of his reach.
“I’m sorry, did I stutter? I’m not going,” she reiterated through gritted teeth.
Brick shifted back a few inches to keep from setting her off even further. His dark eyes grew serious and he rubbed his rough, masculine hand over the dark stubble of his jaw.
“Okay, far be it fer me teh force yeh… but I tink yer going to want to be there fer this one.”
His flippant tone wasn’t fooling her.
“Doubtful,” she muttered, keeping her eyes trained firmly on him.
He shrugged. “Suit yerself.” He turned his back to her and retreated unhurried up the path of the dock. He was still within hearing range when he called over his shoulder. “By the way, we’ve found Remy.”
Jade eyes flashed through her mind, intruding on her thoughts for the second time that night, but this time it brought a sense of panicked urgency.
“Remy,” she whispered, then bolted into a sprint to catch up with Brick. “Wait!” she shouted.
If they’d found Remy, there was only one thing for certain. He was either already dead, or he wanted to found. She didn’t like either implication, but there was no question, she had to find out what was happening. More than that, she had to see him.