Tahoe Blues

Tahoe Blues by Aubree Lane

Book: Tahoe Blues by Aubree Lane Read Free Book Online
Authors: Aubree Lane
fell out and Cara pushed the crane-like device out over the water. “We trawl along for a while, then we pull up the net to see what we have.” She lowered the crane and the net fell into the lake. “Want to try and catch something?”
    Tanner did. He really did. Her work fascinated him. He had been receiving the monthly newsletters from the Blue Tahoe Blue Foundation, but until this very moment he hadn’t realized how closely Cara’s job aligned with the Foundation’s goals. “Can I drive?”
    Cara nodded and like an excited kid, Tanner jumped behind the wheel.
    “Tanner.” Her voice was firm and her eyes turned hard. “Do not try to knock me on my ass. There is a net in the water and all we do is creep along. Do I make myself clear?”
    Tanner stuck out his lower lip and pouted. “Yes, Professor Greene. But I swear , knocking you on your ass never entered my mind.” He put LOLA in gear and smiled. “Let’s get a move on. I can’t wait to see what we’re having for dinner.”
    Cara shot him a horrified look. “No, Tanner! This is a research vessel. Non-invasive species are thrown back , and we take the others to the lab for testing. We do not eat our catch.”
    Although Tanner hadn’t realized Cara was the professor in charge of the University’s research vessel, he had read many articles about the research going on at the college. He knew the protocols, but Cara didn’t get his joke. He couldn’t resist teasing her just a bit more. “Not ever? School isn’t even in session now.”
    Cara sighed and relented. “Fine. If we catch any, you may keep one trout.”
    Professor Greene was a pushover. Tanner knew if the protocols were broken Cara could lose her job. He shook his head. “Do you always give into the guys you sleep with so easily? No one on this boat is taking any fish home. Not even you, Cara Lee.”
    Cara grinned at the mention of their time together. “I think I’d give you just about anything you asked for. The last couple of nights have been beyond amazing, and if there weren’t so many boats out on the lake today...” she let her voice trail off in a regretful sigh, then she leaned in and nuzzled her head against his neck.
    The happiness which illuminated from her was contagious. Tanner couldn’t remember when he felt so lighthearted. On e might even say he was joyful.
    Mrs. Grimes teased him mercilessly about the new skip in his step and twinkle in his eye. Tanner hadn’t minded a bit, and at one point he even suggested that Mrs. Grimes should take some of her own match-making advice and check out old Mr. Fuller who lived in unit 6-B.
    Mrs. Grimes cackled and assured Tanner that she had, and that there weren’t enough little blue pills in the world to get old Mr. Fuller’s engine working again.
     
    For the next several hours Cara introduced Tanner to the fine art of maneuvering LOLA around the shoreline. Occasionally they would stop, drop the net, and haul in a load of fish. No invasive species were found until the last drop of the day. Tanner leaned over the side of the boat as Cara operated the boom and retracted the net. Something strange shimmered in the depths. Orange flashes of color wavered brightly beneath the clear blue water.
    Tanner lived on the lake for most of his life, and although he hadn’t been boating since the death of his wife, he fished the shoreline on a fairly regular basis. This curious thing was something new to him.
    He could tell the creature was good size d and was anxious to pull it in. “We have something.” He waved his hand in a circle, indicating he wanted the net brought up at a faster rate.
    When it broke the surface, Tanner reached out and grabbed the webbing. Their prisoner was at least a foot and a half long. The fish squirmed wildly, and its mouth panted desperately as it tried to escape. Its gold and white body bore the scars of age, and Tanner knew it had to be at least twenty years old. “Is this a goldfish?”
    Cara came up beside him

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