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The Bureau #01 - Obsession
It wasn't called the Bermuda Triangle for nothing!
Most people would have enjoyed vacationing in sunny Bermuda after being injured on the job. But for Mariah Conners, the timing couldn't have been worse. She wasn't just an FBI agent, she was a biomedical scientist. And the cancer research she was conducting just might help to save her supervisor's life.
But her charismatic partner, Quinn MacAllister, wasn't giving her a choice. She needed a break, and he was going to make sure that she took one. Two glorious weeks of scuba diving, sailing, deep-sea fishing, water skiing, and horseback riding would refresh them both.
Then their small charter plane went down in a freak electrical storm, and they found themselves cast adrift in the treacherous Bermuda Triangle with two spoiled teenagers and an elderly retired couple.
The remote tropical island that sheltered them was lush and gorgeous--but it also held a deadly secret. And their old enemy, Bryce Spencer, was in hot pursuit!
Could Mac and Conners keep their four unlikely companions alive, and escape the mysterious island, before Spencer killed them all?
==<<| Excerpt |>>==
Mariah stared in blank horror as the plane’s shattered nose sank beneath the choppy storm-darkened waves, leaving behind only a trail of shimmering bubbles.
She dove, kicking hard, following the plane’s lazy descent. Icy darkness enveloped her. Her lungs began to ache and fiery spots danced before her eyes, yet still she struggled deeper. She couldn’t give up, she just couldn’t!
More rising air bubbles suddenly exploded in her face, blinding her. Then her groping fingers brushed against something slippery. Mac’s leather jacket!
One last frantic surge of energy moved her weakening legs, propelling her upward again, dragging his heavy weight behind her.
Cold rain suddenly lashed against her upturned face. Sputtering, she sucked in deep breaths of precious air. Lightning flared overhead, painfully bright against her dilated eyes. The iron bands constricting her chest slowly eased as she fought to keep Mac’s sagging head above the waves.
Thunder rumbled in her ears as the heavy waves knocked her back and forth. Frigid water cascaded over her head, and she resurfaced with a strangled cough. Fresh pain lanced through her shoulder as she clumsily splashed toward the heaving orange raft.
Something hard stung her flailing hand. A rope? She wrapped stiffening fingers around it, and felt the waves tug harder in protest as the raft suddenly jolted closer.
New energy surged through her aching frame when Reuben’s fingers locked around Mac’s limp arm, and pulled hard. “Hurry!” she shouted. “He’s not breathing!”
Esther leaned out perilously far to help, and slowly they hauled his long body into the raft. Then it was Conners’ turn, and she wanted to sob with relief as the ocean reluctantly loosened its death-grip on her thrashing legs.
Helpful hands steadied her as she bent to force air down Mac’s windpipe. Again. And again!
Suddenly his limp body convulsed, and a gush of salty water erupted from his open mouth. “Breathe, Mac!” she ordered, pushing hard against his ribs one last time. “Come on, damn it! Breathe!”
He jerked again, and this time she heard the sweet rush of air filling his lungs. His chest began to rise and fall in a slow, rhythmic cadence as his taut muscles relaxed.
Suddenly the black clouds and shrieking winds vanished. For one ageless, nauseating moment, the entire world seemed to whirl in dizzying spirals. Then a soft, warm rain began to patter down around them.
It was impossible. Fierce squalls didn’t just appear and then disappear in the blink of an eye.
But the violent electrical storm was gone.
The gigantic crashing waves were gone.
And as they watched in stunned disbelief, the hazy gray clouds overhead simply melted away, and the golden sun began to shine down from a perfectly clear blue sky.
The ocean around them was calm, gentle…and empty. The other life raft was nowhere to be seen.
Word Count: 88,900
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