Think About Love (Gabriola Island Book 3)
Use your Creativity to create your own Souvenirs. There will be music, Art, nature walks and a variety of outdoor activities you can participate in. You'll have the Time and Space to explore and enjoy some Island time. Many writers, artists and entrepreneurs spend their time in a new location because it gives them a new perspective, exposes them to new cultures, customs, ideas and scenery to enhance their creativity.
Gabriola is home for many musicians and writers. If your interest is jewelry, painting, photography, pottery, weaving or wood - the artists are all here. The Retreat can be customized to match your interests. Do you ever find yourself thinking:. We are offering a 5-Day Island Retreat to help you:. The chaos and busyness of everyday life means you deserve some Island time so you can slow down, breathe in the ocean air and just relax. Learn from Artists who have walked the path you want to travel. It leaves you wanting more. Dec 10, Julianna rated it really liked it Shelves: reads , pregnant-babies.
I really liked this one, every once-in a while i just wanted to smack Samantha, but i still thought it was pretty good. And i can't complain to much, it was a free read:. Oct 23, Wanda rated it it was amazing. Loved it Jan 03, Rosie Mazariegos rated it really liked it Shelves: amazon-freebies-n-z.
Pretty good but wanted more! Chelsea Scott rated it liked it Oct 29, Lori Garrett rated it liked it Feb 20, Selena Lang rated it liked it Dec 07, Maria rated it really liked it Jan 28, Angela Patino rated it it was amazing Aug 23, Leigh Hendry lunsford rated it it was amazing Nov 18, Samantha rated it liked it Dec 14, Mary rated it liked it Aug 16, Anna Wadlow rated it it was amazing Apr 16, Elayne Cox rated it liked it Apr 26, Aydee rated it liked it Feb 25, Suzy rated it liked it Oct 28, Lisa rated it it was amazing Mar 02, Donna rated it it was ok Oct 25, Magy Nano rated it it was amazing Jun 19, Jen Dale rated it really liked it Dec 30, Isolde P Feld rated it liked it Aug 17, Carrie Sims Schutze rated it liked it Oct 21, Nicole rated it did not like it Feb 13, There are no discussion topics on this book yet.
Readers also enjoyed. About Vanessa Grant. Vanessa Grant. With each new story, I get to explore a new world. Not a "I love writing fiction - it's the perfect occupation for someone who can't decide what they want to be when they grow up. Gabriola Ferry. Molly saw the sign too late. She was in the wrong lane and the traffic was too heavy to change. She turned right at the intersection, meaning to double around, but found herself driving uphill heaven-knows-where, with no chance of doubling back.
She kept trying to turn right and right again, to retrace her steps, but in fact it took her fifteen minutes to find her way back to the street with the sign. Six days driving. Eight days since Saul had called. Had he left the poor cat alone? Surely he would have found a neighbor to look after it? Were there neighbors? The cat named Trouble had haunted Molly ever since Saul called. She had thrown her things into the van in a fury of activity. Rushing, worried about a cat she had never met. The ferry sign. She paid her fare and asked for a copy of the schedule.
Then she drove ahead into lane number one as she was instructed. She parked her van at the front of the empty lane and studied the schedule. The next ferry would not leave for forty minutes. Commuter tickets. Next time, she would buy a book of them. The thought gave her a pleasing feeling of belonging. Molly locked her van and went into the small waiting room near the ferry ramp.
Obviously mid-afternoon was a quiet time for the ferry. She studied the bulletin board, intrigued. Molly prowled along the bulletin board, reading about apples and fresh honey for sale. A Saturday meeting for islanders to protest a proposed industrial plant. A rate-payers meeting to discuss applications for zoning changes. A play to be performed at the community hall, depicting the settling and development of the Gulf Islands.
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She had come a long way. All the way from Ottawa to an island small enough to put up community notice boards. Molly left the waiting room, her lips curved in a smile. She might even go to that play herself. There was another vehicle behind hers now, a white classic Corvette with its convertible top down. Molly felt increasingly aware of the man at the wheel as she crossed the pavement towards her own vehicle.
Just the two of them, alone in the ferry line-up. Would she eventually come to know who he was? Would she learn all the islanders by name? How many were there? Should she smile at him? Say hello? Or simply lift her hand in a casual greeting? Or nothing? Was it true that country people were friendlier? Fantasy, to think she would come to belong. She looked out over the water, wondered which way the ferry came and whether that island across the harbor was her new home.
Or a temporary residence? It was a gorgeous car, sleek and white and impractical, but it was the man who made her feel flustered- too conscious of herself and restlessly aware of him. He had dark hair, perhaps pure black like her own. His curls had escaped to determined freedom across one side of his forehead. A moustache, black and strong above his upper lip. Sexy, she thought, then glanced away quickly.
His face remained clearly focused in her mind. Tanned skin, or was it naturally dark? Eyes- dark brown? She had only glanced at him, more at the car really, but her mind held the image. Yes, but she did not normally wander around taking mental snapshots of intriguing men.
If she were a portrait painter, he would make a good subject. Arresting face, dark and strong and… well, sensual. Or was it the mental association of the open sports car that gave that impact? She felt his eyes touching her as she tried to jam the ignition key into the door lock. She realized her mistake and found the right key, then tried to insert it upside down.
His voice was deep, filled with pleasant harmonics. She looked up, straight into his eyes. Twenty feet away, but it seemed that he was staring directly into her mind. She felt a flush rising and her usually quiet voice came out in a sharp challenge. Friendly place, Saul had said. Not nosy, which would be a drag, but people were easy to talk to.
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The man in the Corvette was amused, although it was crazy to think she could see laughter in a pair of black eyes twenty feet away. Island style. In the city, she would have frozen him with one cold glance; but she had no idea what you said to a fellow islander. She remembered the easy informality of the bulletin board and felt awkwardly out of place.
He would be tall. His shoulders were broad under that soft, maroon sweater. Expensive sweater, with an immaculate shirt collar rising neatly above the V-neck, a tie that echoed the sweater. He had good taste, or someone who picked his clothes did. Girl friend? His lips were curved slightly, waiting to smile.
The edge of the off-white collar contrasted against the dark, tanned flesh of his neck. If her fingers brushed along the side of his neck, would his skin feel cool? Or hot and dry? Would it- Stop it! Ridiculous to feel goose bumps along her midriff from the sound of a voice. She was not going to succumb to the strange impulse to stand here talking to him, asking if he was an islander, why he was driving around in mid-afternoon when he looked a man who was a successful something.
Lawyer, perhaps. Or accountant. Not run-of-the-mill, whatever he was. Impulsive, she decided, although he would keep it under a stern leash. She swung open the door to her van and nodded in his general direction with deliberate breeziness. Then she twisted her way behind the steering wheel and slammed the door. She felt like a fool. When the van held on South Road at the Gabriola post office turn-off, Patrick McNaughton cancelled his own left turn signal and followed.
He sucked in a deep breath and forced his grip on the steering wheel to relax.
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What the hell had gotten into him? Those images playing on his mind from the instant when he first saw her. A woman, a stranger, walking towards him. He had watched and the images had exploded. For all he knew, she had a brain the size of a peanut under that wonderful hair. Even if she had the intelligence to carry on a rational conversation, she had shown no desire to do so. Not with him.
She had not looked directly at him, just that one startled flash of soft eyes when he spoke to her back on the Nanaimo side. Obviously a city girl, astounded at his casual informality. How many years since he had spoken to a strange woman, fully intending to pursue her?
In recent years his affairs had been careful, safe, and not all that frequent. Today, for example, the man-woman game had been the last thing on his mind. He had been deep in the problem of the Haddleson top-down design, oblivious to the world. He could not remember giving his commuter pass to the woman in the BC Ferries ticket booth. Or had it been a man? Patrick had been too deep in thought to notice. Just one other vehicle. Patrick had braked and turned off the engine, snapped open his briefcase and pulled out his notebook computer.
The cursor blinked as the file came on-screen. Outline, level one: input-output criteria. Level two-. His eyes had moved away from the screen, caught by some movement in his peripheral vision while his fingers kept typing. She was walking towards him, must have come out of the waiting room. Immaculate blue denim jeans and medium-heeled sandals.
A green collar under her bulky, rust-colored sweater. She was tall enough to make those long, slender legs seem right. Perfect, in fact. She had a loose, long-limbed way of moving that made him think of innocent sensuality. He had felt the hard rhythm of his own pulse echoing through his body.
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Something about the way she walked. Her features were drawn a little too sharply. His mother would say that she needed feeding.
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Big, big eyes that caught at something inside him. Patrick thought she worked too hard, too intensely. She needed laughter. He wanted to give it to her. She was not beautiful, although it would be impossible to feel the pull of any other woman if she were in the room. Something in her eyes. He wished he were closer, could see better. Was he really following a total stranger to learn the color of her eyes?
The van slowed abruptly and Patrick shifted down into second gear. She was driving a little erratically, a stranger to the awkward curves that made speeding both dangerous and uncomfortable on Gabriola. Ontario plates. He had memorized the numbers, had memorized the woman, seeing the echo of her face and remembering her voice all through the twenty minute ferry ride.
Her voice, when she had said a total of six words to him. What makes you think that? His mind dissolved into a graphic fantasy. Would she say yes if he kissed those lips gently, exploring the softness, searching for her surrender? He had spent the entire ferry ride to Gabriola trying to concentrate on the screen of the notebook computer, fighting the magnetic pull that drew his eyes to the silhouette in the window of the van in front of him.
Impossible, it turned out, and in the end he had actually started a new file and typed into it what he knew about her. She came from back East. Ontario, but where? Toronto, perhaps? Age, mid-twenties. Height, five foot seven or eight. He tried to put that into centimeters but got lost in deciding that the top of her head would come somewhere around his lips. He would bend and bury his face in the soft riot of her curls. She had a walk that would make a fortune for a dancer. What would her laughter do to his pulse?
Would her eyes soften with loving? He had not seen their color, but the message had been very plain. She had no interest in the searing awareness she had stirred in Patrick McNaughton. But she had felt it. He remembered that electric feeling of awareness, her hand fumbling with the keys to her van. Five minutes after the ferry left the Nanaimo dock, Patrick had watched her get out of her van and walk forward to stand at the rail.
After a few minutes in the cool ocean wind, she had gone inside to the passenger lounge. Patrick had wanted to go with her, to shelter her from the cold with his arms. He had forced himself not to follow her. She obviously did not want him at her side, had carefully avoided looking at his car. He was certain, though, that she was every bit as aware of him as he was of her. He would follow on the Gabriola side, until he found out the color of her eyes and where she was staying.
Uneasily, he realized that with all the new people moving onto the island recently, he might not know the people she was staying with. She might have come to visit a girlfriend or some distant cousin. She might be staying at one of the bed and breakfasts, a tourist on holiday. He would find out. He suspected that he would wake up sometime this evening and feel like a fool. Those few seconds of watching her in motion kept playing again and again in his mind. She was lean, yet soft woman. His blood kept pounding. He felt hot, dizzy, as if his fingers had brushed the soft, warm curves of her femininity.
Abruptly, her van pulled off onto a wide gravel shoulder. Patrick was past before he could brake, his eyes echoing with a glimpse of her face turned to watch as he drove past. Resentment or anger in her eyes. He realized that his hands and his feet were making motions, gearing down, braking. Go back. Ask her…. It was probably that damned book his sister Sarah had been reading lately. Just last night she had been telling him he was overdue for his thirties crisis. What about falling in love? Having children of your own? Sarah and her brothers had each fallen heir to one of the parcels on their twenty-first birthdays.
Sarah and her husband had build a bed and breakfast on their land. Patrick had built the cedar home that was really too big for him, but he could not imagine living anywhere else now. David, their older brother, had sold his acreage and put the money into the family farm that he now managed. Funny tricks the subconscious played. To be honest, he had caught himself now and then lately, feeling an emptiness in the moments between jobs.
He needed a change, something new, had even considered saying yes to the committee that had approached him about running for a seat in the British Columbia legislature. He had always thought he would marry eventually, when the time and the woman were right. But the years had passed and he had never met a woman he wanted to share his home with.
He would have liked children, but the thought of opening his walls to the wrong woman was frightening. A symbol. She would be married, her own life, even her own children. Something in her walk had caught his imagination, that was all. A signal, perhaps, that he should think about finding someone to share his home with, his life.
He turned into his own driveway, more comfortable now that the crazy compulsion to pursue the strange woman had passed. He parked beside the two storey cedar home nestled under the evergreens. A wisp of smoke crawled out of the chimney. He had banked the wood fire down this morning.
After a surprisingly cool night, the April sun had risen to warm the house, beating in through the skylights in his cathedral ceiling. Patrick froze as a strange sound echoed through the clearing. A second later, it resonated again, a grating noise invading the quiet. How many times lately had he woken in the middle of the night to that strange cross between a rustle and a twang? Too often! He dropped the briefcase on the veranda and ran around to the back of the house.
Patrick liked to eat back here in the sun room, enjoying the sight of the pond where the deer came at sunset, the smell of the dogwood blossoms. Every spring he took the glass windows off and replaced them with screens, only this year Saul Natham had bought the property next door, had moved in and almost immediately added that damned cat to his household!
I mean you! Get the hell off my screen! She was half way up the side of the building, a streaky black and white mass of soft fur, plastered flat against the screen, claws curling through the fine fabric of the mesh. Patrick could see the scars from the path she had taken on her way up. He turned away. He needed the ladder. What the hell could a man say to an animal who was probably only looking for a warm place to curl up? He would peel the bloody cat off his screen again, then he would feed it, although last time it had refused to touch his offerings. Natham was going to get a surprise when he returned.
So far, Patrick and Natham had shared a few lazy conversations, nothing more. Enough talk for Patrick to know the artist was both entertaining and eccentric. An interesting neighbor, and thankfully his faults did not include sending loud heavy music echoing through the trees. Now, though, Patrick was determined to make the irresponsible artist take his damned cat and look after it properly if it was the last thing he did!
What kind of a man adopted a cat from the S. To his house, but not to Patrick himself. Patrick had angry red scratches on his forearms from his battle to bathe the sooty cat after that fiasco! How else could you explain the parade of long-legged women next door? Surely a feline should have sense enough to abandon such an erratic personality and find herself a dependable master! For a second, as she came through the door into the unadorned office, she had the impossible thought that the man behind the counter was David.
When he looked up, her heart slowed. David had been dark and tall and sleek, competent in city ways, but this man belonged to the strange wild and the outdoors. He liked women. That was in the smile, in the black eyes as they scrutinized her tailored tan slacks and her tweed jacket. He took in her hazel eyes, her soft auburn curls.
She had an uncanny feeling that he knew she went to the salon every month to have the hair carefully trimmed to shoulder length. Did he know she would come just to his shoulder if she stood close beside him? His inventory paused at her black audit bag. Too big for a briefcase, too small for a suitcase. She stiffened a little despite his warm interest, although she admitted to herself that if she were staying around in this hick town, and if he asked her out to dinner, she might just accept.
There was something about him that made a person want to say yes. She shrugged that discomfiting thought away and put down her small suitcase. His pen shifted and he glanced down at a large sheet of paper filled with numbers. As soon as she turned away, he would be working on those numbers again. Not money figures, she knew that.
Some kind of inventory records? Behind him, a speaker crackled and a youngish man hurried to pick up a microphone. Queen Charlotte City, not Masset. More delays. Things had gone wrong ever since dawn, and she simply must get out to that little village before the sun set—today! It was so unlike her, but today had been a disaster from the beginning. She made herself smile at the man behind the counter and was amazed at how her spirit warmed when he smiled back.
His eyes passed behind her as a door opened. Heavy footsteps crossed the floor while on the other side of the counter a young clerk approached with efficient purpose. Behind her, a man cleared his throat just as a telephone rang. Interruptions loomed everywhere. Crystal smiled persuasively at the man named Jesse. She took a tighter grip on the audit bag while pushing a frantic hand through her hair.
She hated being inefficient, but the way things were shaping she was never going to get to this audit review. The door opened again. A quick, slender man burst through. The courier pushed a paper across the counter. The dark man gave the parcel a comprehensive glance, then quickly signed the waybill. Through the open doorway a rising noise filled the air and made conversation impossible.
Think About Love
Crystal swung around in time to see an amphibious airplane taxiing through the water towards the floats on the other side of the road. The courier was gone, dashing back out the door and into a small van. The clerk punched some keys on a calculator and came up with an answer that made Crystal swallow. His eyes dropped to the audit bag, seeming to lump the black mystery of it with her cool certainty.
She could see the heavy shoulder muscles bunching under his shirt as he turned away. What does it take to get service around here? She groaned. Here she was hundreds of miles north of Vancouver, away from the city, and the macho males were closing in against the little woman.
Crystal knew that if she left a name and number, if she went to a hotel to wait for his call, she would never get to Queen Charlotte until the scheduled flight tomorrow. Is he broken down in Butedale? A small plane. She was aware of the heavy presence of the man behind her. Laughter boomed out behind her. She swung around and stared at the burly Victor. For a second she felt uneasy, until she took in his warm eyes and friendly grin.
He would be. He wrote something, then snapped the book closed. Crazily, despite her recent irritation, she felt sorry that she would be too busy to accept. She took one of the uncomfortable seats for waiting passengers. Her hand went to her audit bag, then fell away as she remembered. In keeping with every other event on this hopeless day, her laptop computer had somehow not taken a full charge when she plugged it in last night. On the plane from Vancouver she had taken it out and settled down to work her way through the hour-long flight, only to find the low-battery indicator flashing at her.
She had turned then to preparing new working papers, but found her automatic pencil was out of leads and the spare leads were mysteriously absent. If she knew how long it would be until her flight, she could take a taxi to an office supplies store, if this town had and office supplies store.
So she sat still, listening to the sounds of a charter seaplane business and hiding her impatience. She could hear static from a radio somewhere behind the counter, bits of conversations only partly sensible. Pilots checking in with the base … the young clerk seemed to do most of the radio work …. Jesse Campbell. He had a confident voice, the friendly ease of his tones concealed efficiency. Someone came in through a back door. From the conversation she overheard she assumed it was the pilot of the Goose she had seen landing. He was finished for the day and heading home.
Like everyone, he seemed on friendly terms with his boss. A waste of time, sitting here listening to the chatter. She twisted, looking for a receptacle to plug her computer in, but there was nothing.