Christine Feehan Hidden currents

ISBN 13: 9780749941710

Hidden currents

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9780749941710: Hidden currents
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From afar, Sheriff Jackson Deveau has always loved Elle Drake, the youngest telepath of seven sisters. And now she's finally returning home to the small coastal village of Sea Haven. But someone has been following Elle-someone who doesn't want her to make it back. And when Elle fails to arrive, her disappearance strikes fear in the hearts of everyone who loves her. Now it's left to Jackson to uncover the mystery of Elle's vanishing-and rescue her from an unseen danger. But Sea Haven is no longer safe for anyone, and it'll take the powers of all the Drake sisters and their men to survive the coming storm.

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About the Author:

Christine Feehan has had more than forty novels published, including titles that have hit number one on the New York Times bestseller list. In addition to being a nominee for the Romance Writers of America's RITA Award, she has received many honors throughout her career, including the Career Achievement Award for paranormal romance from RT Book Reviews in 2015 and the Borders 2008 Lifetime Achievement Award.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

HIDDEN CURRENTS: CHAPTER ONE

 

"Having fun, Sheena?" Stavros Gratsos rubbed his palms up and down Elle Drake's bare arms to warm her as he stood behind her at the railing of his large yacht.

All around them the sound of laughter and snatches of conversation drifted past her out to the shimmering Mediterranean Sea.

Sheena MacKenzie, Elle's undercover name—and her alter ego. Sheena could sit at any dinner table and rule, her polish and sophistication and air of mystery guaranteeing she'd get attention. Devoid of make-up, with her hair in a ponytail, Elle Drake could slide into the shadows and disappear. They made a nearly unbeatable combination and Sheena had done exactly what Elle needed her to do— she'd lured Stavros and kept him interested long enough for Elle to poke around in his glamorous life and see what she could turn up—which so far was—... nothing.

Elle couldn't read Stavros's thoughts and emotions the way she did others when they touched her, and that amazed her. Her psychic ability to read thoughts was disturbing most of the time, but there were a very few who seemed to have natural barriers and she had to purposely ‘invade' if she wanted to see what they were thinking. Elle rarely ever intruded, even when she was using her undercover persona, Sheena MacKenzie, but she would have made an exception in Stavros's case. She had been investigating him for months and had found nothing to either clear him—or to point toward his guilt.

She glanced over her shoulder at Stavros. "It's been wonderful. Amazing. But I think everything you do is like this and you know it." Stavros always put on the best parties and his yacht was bigger than most people's homes. He served the best food, had the best music, and surrounded himself with intelligent people, fun people.

In all the months she'd been watching him, she had yet to discover even a hint of criminal activity. Stavros had been kind and generous, giving millions to charities, supporting art and working out deals with his employees in a hands-on discussion that avoided laying off an entire group of workers. She had come to respect the man in spite of earlier suspicions and she was ready to go back to Dane Phelps, her boss, and write a very strongly worded report that the rumors concerning Stavros were wrong—except that his aura indicated danger and a strong penchant for violence. Of course some of the men her sisters had chosen as their mates had that same vivid color swirling around them.

"I held this party in your honor, Sheena," Stavros admitted. "My elusive butterfly." He tugged on her arm to turn her around so that her back was against the rail and she was caged in by his body. "I want you to come to my island with me, to see my private home."

Her heart jumped. According to rumor, Stavros never took any woman to his island. He had homes all over the world, but the island was his private retreat. Most under-cover operatives would have relished the opportunity to enter Stravos's private sanctum, but her boss had been adamant that she not go, even if the opportunity presented itself. There was no way to communicate from that island.

Stavros took her hand and carried her knuckles to his mouth. "Come with me, Sheena."

She tried not to wince. Sheena. She was such a fraud. This was the man she should fall in love with, not the worm—he—who—could-never-be-named—who had broken her heart. Here was Stavros, handsome, intelligent, wealthy, a man who solved problems and seemed to care for many of the same causes she did. Why couldn't he be the man she fell madly in love with?

"I can't," she said gently. "Really, Stavros. I want to, but I can't."

His eyes darkened, became stormy. Stavros liked his way and was definitely used to getting it. "You mean you won't."

"I mean I can't. You want things from me I can't give you. I told you from the beginning we could be friends—not lovers."

"You're not married."

"You know I'm not." But she should have been. She should have been settled in her family home with the man destiny had provided for her, but he had rejected her. Her stomach churned at the thought. She'd put an ocean between them and still he tried to reach her, his voice a faint buzz in her head, trying to persuade her to return—to what? A man who didn't want children or a legacy of magic. He refused to understand that was who she was—what she was. In rejecting her legacy, he rejected her. And she needed a man who would help her. Who would understand how difficult it was for her to face her future. She needed someone to lean on, not someone she had to coax or take care of.

"Come home with me," he repeated.

Elle shook her head. "I can't, Stavros. You know what would happen if I did and we can't go there."

His white teeth flashed at her. "So at least you've thought about it."

Elle tipped her head back and looked up at him. "You know how charming you are. What woman wouldn't be tempted by you?" And she was. It would be so easy. He was so sweet to her, always attentive, wanting to give her the world. She reached up and touched his face regretfully. "You're a good man, Stavros."

She was ashamed she'd suspected him of the heinous things she had—human trafficking among the worst. Yes, he'd started out smuggling guns in his freighters, years earlier when he had nothing. But he seemed to have more than made up for all of his mistakes and as far as she could ascertain, he was truly legitimate. At least she could clear his name with Interpol and the other agencies around the world where his name kept cropping up. That would make her feel better about spending these last months working to befriend him and earn his trust.

"I'm hearing a 'but' in there, Sheena," Stavros said.

Elle spread her arms wide, taking in the yacht and the shimmering sea. "All this. This is your world and I can step into it occasionally, but I could never live in it comfortably. I've looked at your track record, Stavros, and you don't believe in permanency, and no, I'm not holding out for marriage with you. I just know myself. I get attached to people and breaking up is terribly painful."

"Who says we have to break up?" Stavros said. "Come home with me." His voice was soft, persuasive, and for a moment she wanted to give in, wanted to take what he was offering. He made her feel like a beautiful, desirable woman, when no one else had—but in the end, she wasn't glamorous, sophisticated Sheena, she was really Elle Drake and she carried her baggage with her everywhere she went.

"I can't tell you how much I want to go with you, Stavros," she said sincerely, "but I really can't."

Swift impatience crossed his handsome face and he blinked, his dark eyes growing a little frosty. "The boats are beginning to take some of our guests back to shore. I need to speak with a few of them. Stay here and wait for me."

Elle nodded. Where was the harm in that? After tonight, Sheena MacKenzie was going to disappear and Stavros would never see her again. Maybe he already knew she was saying goodbye. She couldn't blame him for being upset. She'd tried to stay within boundaries, not lead him on, yet gain his trust enough to get into his inner circles. She'd attended his charities and his parties, and never once had she heard the whisper of illegal activity. If he was the criminal her boss suspected, he was amazingly adept at hiding it and she no longer believed it was possible.

So why couldn't she fall in love with him? What was wrong with her? Certainly the worm—he-who-could-not-be-named—ever—again was not worth holding out hope for. Was she stupid enough to do that? Hope that he would come after her? That would never happen. He didn't want her. He didn't want her legacy—or her name—or her house—and he certainly didn't want the seven daughters that would come with along with her.

No, she had stopped hoping Jackson Deveau would ever come to love or even want her.

Now she just had to stop hurting.

She watched Stavros as he talked to his guests, smiling and seemingly happy. As if sensing her looking at him, he turned his head and sent her a warm smile. Her heart did a funny little flip, not the way it did when the worm smiled at her, but because she knew Stavros was half in love with her and it was so unfair. The smile she sent Stavros back was sadder than she knew.

Could she live like this? This glamorous, whirlwind life? She was born with a legacy few others—if anyone—ever had or would know. As the seventh daughter of a seventh daughter, Elle's psychic gifts ran deep in her genes and would be passed on to her seven daughters. And her seventh daughter would carry that same bittersweet legacy. Would Elle fulfill her destiny? Or would the Drake's legacy of magic die quietly with her?

Elle used to envision a life of laughter and happiness with her soulmate. That was before she'd met him. He was a morose, silent, brooding, very dominant male. She knew he could bring stillness and peace to her, or with one smoldering look, turn her veins to liquid fire. But he refused to accept who she was—refused to love her as she was. And if he didn't, she feared no other man ever would—or could. Not the real Elle Drake, at least.

She turned around, and leaned out over the rail, watching the boats coming in to take Stavros's guests back to shore. Night had long since given way to dawn and she was tired, suppressing a yawn as she tried to figure out what she'd do next with her life. Sea Haven, a small village nestled on the northern California coast, had always been home—a refuge. Her family house was there, a large estate overlooking the turbulent ocean.

The sea was so different here, like glass, a beautiful lure promising a sun-filled life of luxury, but she knew better than to think such a life was meant for her. Deep inside, she was a home girl, a woman born to be a wife and mother. She loved adventure and spice, but eventually, her need to pass on her Drake legacy would grow so strong she wouldn't be able to ignore it. Did she have the right to deny the world someone like her sister Libby, who could heal with a touch of her hands? Or Joley, with her voice? Kate, who's books gave so many people solace and an escape? Each of her sisters had incredible gifts passed down generation after generation. If she didn't fulfill her destiny the line would end with her.

Movement caught her eye and she shifted her gaze to see the captain approach Stavros and whisper something in his ear. She was adept at reading lips, but she couldn't see his mouth clearly. Stavros frowned and shook his head, glanced at his watch and then over at Elle. She kept her face still, and turned her gaze back to the sea. Stavros's bodyguard, Sid, said something as well. He was facing her and she caught his words distinctly.

"It will be dangerous to have her on the island, sir. Think about this. Take her off the boat now and we'll give the driver orders to take her to your villa. They can hold her there until the meeting is over."

Elle's stomach tightened. The bodyguard was talking about her. Stavros shook his head and said something she couldn't catch, but the bodyguard and captain both looked toward her again and neither looked happy.

That built in alarm, the one that had saved her numerous times on countless assignments shrieked at her, and she didn't hesitate. She moved quickly through the thinning crowd toward the side of the yacht where the boats were coming in to pick up the guests and return them to shore. Though her purse and overnight bag were still in the cabin down below, Elle was careful never to carry anything in her purse or her belongings that could betray her. She would leave the yacht and if Dane wanted her to return, she could use the retrieval of her things as an excuse to contact Stavros again.

She made herself small, trying to blend in with the other guests. As Elle she could disappear easily into the shadows, but Sheena stood out. Her heart sped up and a sense of urgency rode her as she wound her way to the departing boats. It wouldn't do to look back and check to see if she was being hunted, she already knew she was. She had one chance, to step into the departing boat as it was taking off. She had to time it perfectly.

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Book Description Little, Brown Book Group, United Kingdom, 2009. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. From afar, Sheriff Jackson Deveau has always loved Elle Drake, the youngest telepath of seven magically gifted sisters. After a long time away she's finally returning home to the small coastal village of Sea Haven. But someone has been following Elle, someone who doesn't want her to make it back. And when Elle fails to arrive, her disappearance strikes fear in the hearts of everyone who loves her.Now it's left to Jackson to uncover the mystery of Elle's vanishing, and rescue her from an unseen danger. But Sea Haven is no longer safe for anyone, and it'll take the powers of all the Drake sisters and their men to survive the coming storm. Seller Inventory # AAZ9780749941710

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Book Description Little, Brown Book Group, United Kingdom, 2009. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. From afar, Sheriff Jackson Deveau has always loved Elle Drake, the youngest telepath of seven magically gifted sisters. After a long time away she's finally returning home to the small coastal village of Sea Haven. But someone has been following Elle, someone who doesn't want her to make it back. And when Elle fails to arrive, her disappearance strikes fear in the hearts of everyone who loves her.Now it's left to Jackson to uncover the mystery of Elle's vanishing, and rescue her from an unseen danger. But Sea Haven is no longer safe for anyone, and it'll take the powers of all the Drake sisters and their men to survive the coming storm. Seller Inventory # AAZ9780749941710

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