Shipwrecked with Mr. Wrong

Shipwrecked with Mr. Wrong by Nikki Logan

Book: Shipwrecked with Mr. Wrong by Nikki Logan Read Free Book Online
Authors: Nikki Logan
schooled it.
    ‘It wasn’t anyone’s fault. It had to be conducted quickly because of how …’ She swallowed hard. ‘I was still in hospital in Darwin recovering from surgery and they were flown home to Perth. Anyway, to tell the truth, I didn’t want to go. I didn’t think it would make any difference to how I felt.’
    ‘So, that decision finally caught up with you?’
    She dipped her head. He understood her very well for a stranger.
    ‘Right. I’m still quite shaky inside and out, but I think it was also very necessary, and overdue. This is not to say that I’m not mortified it happened in front of you, but … I guess it wouldn’t have happened without you.’
    ‘That’s what I—’
    Her hand on his folded knees cut him off. ‘In a good way.’ His leg felt strong and cool under her hand. When he glanced down at it, she tucked it back into her lap. ‘Better out than in, as my mum used to say.’
    ‘Used to? Is she not still alive?’
    She let the pause drag out too long. ‘Things were difficult between us after the accident. She lives in Broome now.’ She glanced to the east, back towards Australia. As though Tanya Brier might sense it. She’d put her life on hold for six months to nurse her only child back to full health, and she’d been repaid by …
    ‘Look, can we talk about something other than my mother?’
    Rob blinked. ‘I’ll trade you.’
    ‘Mothers?’ She couldn’t help the eyebrow lift.
    He laughed and she thought maybe he’d take her up on that. ‘Hard luck stories.’
    ‘What makes you think mine’s a hard luck story?’
    ‘Educated guess.’
    Honor knew she wasn’t getting out of thiswithout airing some kind of dirty laundry. The piper wanted payment. She sighed. ‘You first.’
    ‘Chelsea Dalton.’ He said her name after a moment, as if it was a fashion label. ‘Beautiful.
    Sexy.’
    You knew you’d been on an island too long when a snort like the one she let rip then wasn’t embarrassing. ‘You can’t call your own mother sexy.’
    ‘Obviously not to me.’ He settled onto the sand at her feet.
    Don’t get too comfortable.
She had no intention of making this a long conversation.
    Rob went on. ‘But I can see the effect she has on other people. The effect she must have had on my dad.’
    Despite her better judgement, interest prickled. ‘Had—past tense?’
    ‘I’m not sure when it wore off,’ he said as a shadow crossed his face, even in the moonlight. ‘Just one day in the middle of my teens it was gone. That look in his eyes.’
    ‘What does she do for a living?’
    ‘Oh, Chelsea doesn’t work.’ His mouth twisted self-deprecatingly. ‘At least not in the conventional sense; she’s made rather a career out of freeloading.’
    Honor sucked in a breath at the harshness in his voice. She, of all people, knew howcomplicated relationships with mothers could be, and the guilt that came with that. ‘Do you love her? ‘
    Rob looked at her hard, as though it was an impossible question to answer. ‘She’s my mother. Of course I love her.’
    ‘But do you like her?’
    He looked out to sea. ‘Not always.’
    Honor watched him steadily, glancing briefly at the nest markers to make sure she wasn’t missing anything. She still had a job to do tonight.
    ‘She and I don’t agree on a lot of things. I’ve not really … progressed … the way she might have wished.’
    ‘Meaning?’
    ‘Meaning I took a job with the government, in a museum, working on mouldy old shipwrecks. I suspect she had grander hopes for me.’
    Honor knew that a job in that field was not exactly pedestrian. How sad his parents couldn’t acknowledge his talents. ‘And your father?’
    ‘Oh, I
know
he had grander hopes for me, or at least he thinks they’re grander. I can’t imagine anything worse than being a serial flatterer six days a week.’
    ‘Sounds like they’re a well-matched pair.’
    ‘On the surface I guess they are, or theywere; there’s not much love lost

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