It was early. Only hearty fishermen were out and about on the dock right now. The rain tapered to a fine haze, and the fog receded enough to network through the spruce treetops like God had spilled a bottle of cotton balls down the mountain.
Retreating into the cabin, she grabbed the thermal mug of coffee and took a lukewarm sip. Between the groan of the Tub against the pier, and the gentle slosh of the tide slapping its hull, she was lulled into mental hibernation.
Until she saw him.
He didn’t belong here.
This man stalking down the gangway—eating each plank with determined strides. This man dressed in black jeans and a black leather jacket. Leather? Seriously? This man with diamonds of moisture clinging to short black hair. This man with a simple duffle bag hiked over his shoulder and a chiseled jawline grinding with purpose.
This man didn’t belong here.
Either he was in far more need of a vacation than he could ever imagine, or he was restless.
That was the impression that came to mind.
From a distance it was easy to regard the dark hair and tan complexion as that of a native. Tlingit, maybe. But as he approached, the characteristics leaned another way. Long face, long thin eyes. Dark and intense. Even from this span, the traits tended towards Latin.
Whether or not he belonged—here he was—standing at the pylon the MH Tub was anchored to. No indecision. No bending at the knee to read the name of the boat. No perusal of the vessels around hers.
There was a tenacious focus to this man.
Sara set her mug back into its cradle, noticing that her hand shook slightly. She stepped out of the warm cabin with a broad smile and inflated enthusiasm.