There’s something strange about the Layne sisters, and Wade Diaz wants nothing to do with them. Especially the one who ripped his heart out and set it on fire before tossing it in the garbage several months ago. Iris. He can’t even think her name without unconsciously rubbing the spot in his chest where she left a gaping hole. But now her sisters are claiming some evil spirit is after his soul, and Iris is the only one who can save him. Well, at least his heart would stop hurting, right? Didn’t sound so bad.
Iris Layne has always been the sweet sister. She’s kind to everyone, including her best friend Wade… Until she makes a horrible mistake and breaks his heart. All she wants is to go back to before ‘the dumping’. Of course, Wade would rather see her in hell first. But then Iris touches her sister’s tarot cards and unleashes an evil curse intent on playing a deadly game where no one Iris loves is safe, especially Wade.
How do you convince someone they need your help when you’re the one who hurt them most?
When he steered the motorcycle into the parking lot of the marina, Violet, Dena, and Carys waited by Dena’s Ford Focus. He parked and waited for Iris to get off before unsaddling the bike.
She removed her helmet. “I thought we were going to be alone.”
“It’s a special day.” He opened the seat and put his and her helmets inside.
“You’ll see,” he said, crossing the parking lot to the others.
After saying their hellos, the group trekked over the docks until the second-to-last row where Wade’s boat was kept in a slip. After they were all on the boat with life jackets secured, Wade motioned for Dena to untie it from the dock while he turned on the motor. The others found seats around the deck. “So we’re actually taking it out?” Iris said, standing beside Wade in the cockpit.
“Yep.” He steered it through the marina to the open ocean, only having to avoid a few boats on his way. The harbor was nearly empty, with it being a workday.
Iris adjusted her feet to stay balanced with the rocking of the boat. “This will take longer than two hours.”
“We’re just going to head out a little ways for the big reveal,” he said.
“Is the reveal that the boat won’t sink?” Iris laughed.
He flashed a smile at her. “Funny.”
The farther the sailboat moved away from the marina, the more excited Wade got. He couldn’t believe that the boat was almost ready. He spent so much time with Dena and Carys fixing it up. This first run was for Iris. For the big reveal.
When he’d picked a perfect spot, he turned off the motor and looked over at her. “Want to take the helm?”
Wade and Dena rushed around hoisting the main sail. Next, they raised the jib. Carys and Violet clapped and whistled. Wade glanced back to see Iris’s reaction. She squeezed the wheel tight, her hair whipping around her head as she looked up, her mouth wide. On the main sail was a dragon Iris had painted for him. The maker had copied the image and transferred it to the sail.
“What do you think?” Wade yelled over the wind.
Iris held her hair away from her face. Her expression excited Wade. “I love it!” she shouted over the crashing of the waves.
The wind was perfect—not too weak and not too strong— and the boat went out for a bit before Wade brought it back to shore. After the sails were lowered and secured, he turned on the motor and maneuvered it to its place in the marina.
Dena and Wade went about tying the boat to the dock. Wade snuck glimpses of Iris as she took off her life jacket.
You’re only torturing yourself, Diaz. He shook his head and finished off the knot he was tying.
A rope hit him in the face.
“Pay attention,” Dena said, towing the rope back to her.
“I was,” Wade said, grabbing the other end.
Dena shot him a knowing smile. “Not the kind of attention I meant.”
Brenda Drake grew up the youngest of three children, an Air Force brat, and the continual new kid at school. Her fondest memories growing up is of her eccentric, Irish grandmother’s animated tales, which gave her a strong love for storytelling. So it was only fitting that she would choose to write stories with a bend toward the fantastical. When she’s not writing or hanging out with her family, she haunts libraries, bookstores, and coffee shops, or reads someplace quiet and not at all exotic (much to her disappointment).
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