Stranded

Stranded by Amberly Woodruff

Book: Stranded by Amberly Woodruff Read Free Book Online
Authors: Amberly Woodruff
Chapter 1

 
 
    ‘ Omigod !’ Tamsin choked as another wave slapped her in
the face, spray drenching her already chilled arms and legs, soaking her hair
and thin summer top. One of her sandals had gone over the side of the boat ages
ago, when the wind first got up and the waves began to behave like towering
breakers instead of the calm sea she’d set out on. Her jeans were so sodden
they were like a clinging second skin that rubbed her inner thighs every time
she moved. Hard to imagine that what had started as a quest
for a bit of peace and quiet had turned into this nightmare.
    An expert sailor she wasn’t. But then she hadn’t intended
to do more than row out to the rocks at the edge of the harbour and think about
the dilemma she found herself in. But the rocks were inhabited by a colony of
seagulls, whose raucous complaints made thinking impossible. So she’d ventured
just a bit further, shipping the oars and letting the boat drift, lying on her
back on the bench with her jacket as a pillow, lulled by the warmth of the sun
on her face and the gentle rocking of the water. She hadn’t intended to fall
asleep - in fact, she’d been sure her restless mind would have kept her alert.
But she hadn’t factored in the effect of several sleepless nights, the long,
rushed drive down here, the nagging anxiety that had slowly but surely drained
her energy over the last few weeks.
    Not that she was underrating Damien’s significance in her
life, but her current circumstances had kind of put things in perspective, and
right now the issues between them seemed a lot less important than what was
rapidly turning into a fight for her life. She wasn’t even sure why his
marriage proposal had flung her into such a panic, or why that panic had caused
her to take flight rather than sitting down, talking and working things out.
Except that Damien wasn’t very good at listening - which was one of the reasons
she was concerned about tying herself to him for life: that and his general
controlling behaviour. But Damien seemed a million miles away right now.
    She had no idea where she was. The world was a tossing
maelstrom of heaving waves, howling wind and near darkness. Even if her watch
had survived the constant soaking, she daren’t let go of the side of the boat
for long enough to glance at it for fear of being pitched into the sea. Her
mobile, buried in her bag in the bottom of the boat, swilling back and forth in
six inches of salt water, was equally unlikely to still be functioning. This
was Cornwall in late April, for heaven’s sake, not the middle of the Atlantic
in winter, so why was it so cold and wild?
    It had seemed like a good idea, taking the dingy from its
mooring in the inlet that bordered the perimeter of her aunt’s property. The
same as it had seemed like a good idea coming down to stay in the cottage on
the spur of the moment, not telling anyone, so intent
was she on escape. Now nobody would have a clue that she was missing, -
especially as Damien had, bit by bit, isolated her from the people close to her
- let alone that she had ventured out to sea in an ancient, badly maintained
boat that was never meant for anything more than negotiating the waters of the
creek when the tide was in.
    The pitching of the boat had woken her: as it happened, out
of a surprisingly erotic dream where unseen hands had caressed her skin, whispering
over her nipples and questing her secret folds, a faint sense of husky male
scent and the rasp of lips on her skin rousing her to
tingling awareness that brought her to the edge of orgasm. A month without sex
had obviously taken its toll if her mind was running riot like that. Though her
awakening was sudden and complete, dousing her with all the effectiveness of a
cold shower. Gone were the rocks and the coastline beyond them, with its little
cluster of cottages tumbling down the cliff to the harbour. All she could see
was an endless vista of ocean and clouds, where the horizon was

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