Pearls of the Past – Excerpt

Corrie took a single step and everything stilled. A gust of swirling wind enveloped her, plastering her blouse to her body and tearing at the material of her slacks. A distinctive smell of salt-laden ozone and coconut oil captured her. A finger of acute recognition feathered every nerve ending in her entire body.

Lost in the moment of times past, all sound disappeared except for an eerie whistling filling the air. Sails of a pearling lugger screeching in the wind.

She knew this boat? She'd been here before? On this jetty?

Corrie stood rooted to the spot.

No! She had never been to this island.

She wanted to shake her head, but she couldn't, held by some mystical force.

Abruptly, she was free.

Taking a quick, staggering step to regain her balance, her hand clutched her stomach, her heart thumping somewhere in her throat. An unaccountable urge made her spin around in a complete circle to see if everything and everyone remained the same.

No one seemed to have noticed the strange whistling, or the wind. And there was no pearling lugger to be seen. No one was looking at her; even the young captain was back on the ferry.

Nothing had changed. Wharves lined with corrugated iron buildings, tall cranes for loading stores, fishing trawlers at anchor, this was no tourist island. It was the commercial heartbeat of the Torres Strait.

Corrie placed her hand against her forehead. She wasn't running a temperature. In fact, it felt uncommonly icy. That wasn't possible in this heat.

"Weird," was the only word she could find.

* * * *

Britt stood on the balcony, above where the company station wagon was now pulling to a stop.

Then a rock-hard fist slammed him in the middle of his chest. There below him, swinging her slender, shapely legs from the car, emerged the most fascinating, elegant female he had ever laid eyes on.

Medium height, almost overly slender, brown hair of an extraordinary shade, and an oval face of pure perfection, held and captured his every sense. The strangest feeling of recognition assailed him, knotting every muscle in his body. It prickled the back of his neck then lanced deep into his chest.

He knew her! He did!

Yet they had never met. Couldn't have.

The knowledge astounded him. He was sure he had never even seen her before this moment, but the recognition was unaccountably there—strong, disturbing, and deep. This was meant to happen!

He wrenched his gaze from the vision of loveliness to turn away, striding back inside to stand beside the large desk.