Dreams and Nightmares, Book 3 of The Stonebridge Trilogy
Set on a scruffy island in the Bahamas, “Dreams and Nightmares” is the story of underwater photographer Calley Porter and police Chief Alex Jackson and their danger-filled road to love. Encounters with the Yakuza, search for treasure and some very large sharks make their story one of courage, strength and hope. Truly a story “close to the heart, far from the ordinary.” More
Renowned underwater photographer, Carolina “Calley” Porter feels responsible for the death of her husband, Paul, in a scuba diving incident. Alex Jackson, police chief of a small Massachusetts town, accidentally kills a child in the line of duty. Calley's guilt has matured in the year since her husband's death; Alex's guilt is fresh. Each finds the other in a futile attempt to flee from reality on the scruffy Bahamian island of San Salvador. Finding common ground in their shared love of the ocean and scuba diving, Alex and Calley seek to reconcile their guilt as they find their way to love through a tangled web of family secrets, betrayal, kidnapping, and murder.
Rick watched the woman in rapt attention. He was impressed, especially when this tiny woman picked up the thirty or so pounds of tank, BC and regulator and loaded it onto the boat as if she’d done it all her life. When the equipment was stowed, she got off the boat and disappeared into the dive shop, re-appearing moments later with clipboard holding the forms and the package.
“Here are your signed forms, Mr. Coleman,” she called up to the bridge. I’ll leave them in the forward cabin.”
“I’m ready if you are.” With that, he fired up the engines and climbed down to release the lines. The woman had already moved to the bow to untie the lines as Rick went to the stern.
“Hey, thanks,” Rick called. She replied with a slight nod of her head.
The woman settled on the boat’s transom for the short ride out to Riding Rock Wall—five minutes max. Next to her was the heavily weighted package. Her hand gently rested on it.
As Rick was wondering how he was going to maneuver the boat and snag the buoy line, to his amazement, he saw that the woman had climbed out to the bow along the narrow ledge bordering the tiny forward cabin. Handling the grappling pole with expert ease, she snagged the line and secured it. When the boat was secured, she turned and gave Rick the divers’ okay sign—thumb and forefinger forming a circle.
She returned to the staging area for divers in the stern, and was stripping out of her oversize clothes as Rick was coming down the ladder from the bridge. She may have been petite, but she was well shaped and well muscled with nice curves in all the right places. No wonder she lifted her equipment with ease, Rick thought. Yet she radiated an innate vulnerability and softness beneath all the physical strength.
“Need any help?” She obviously didn’t, but good manners demanded he ask anyway.
“No, thank you. I’m fine.”
She was speaking as she hoisted the tank and BC up onto the bench, turning and slipping into it like a jacket and hiking the whole set-up onto her shoulders. Without another word, she moved to the dive platform extending out from the the transom and put on her fins and mask. After placing the regulator in her mouth, she took three breaths, picked up her small package, and did a perfect giant stride entry into the water.
Who the hell was this woman, Rick wondered as he sat on the transom watching her bubbles? Looking down into the crystal water, he could see the sandy bottom fifty feet below meeting the deep blue of the abyss. He followed the trail of her bubbles as she descended and swam out over the wall, disappearing from view.
“Jesus, the form,” he muttered aloud. He had forgotten the form she had to sign. “I can get her name from the form.”
He went to the front berth to find the clipboard. It was right where she left it. He stared at it, dumbfounded, not believing what he was reading. Her handwriting was neat and precise yet friendly and open.
“Holy shit” was about all the words that he could think as he read and re-read the information. He knew she looked familiar to him but he was incredulous that the waif-like woman with sad eyes set in a haggard face was the world-famous underwater photographer, Carolina Whitfield Porter.