Sunday, June 29, 2014

Swimming with the Dolphins #SampleSunday

Excerpt from Vacation is Murder, Chapter 4:

THE PLACE WAS LARGER THAN Sean had expected. A huge section of sea was fenced off and dolphins were jumping and performing as nature would dictate, but there weren’t any tourists in the water at this point. There was also a pen with a shark, as well as separate areas for seals and manatees.
Signs located near the change rooms announced bicycle rentals were available for riding around the island.
They were directed to a counter to get a life jacket and then separated into teams of six to eight and each group was assigned a trainer. A Canadian couple, William and Ann Bolder, joined them.
Sara slipped her jacket on and zipped it up. “What was the weather like when you left home?”
“It was minus twenty-five with a wind chill that made it feel like minus forty.” Ann looked at William, his face contorting as he did the conversion from Celsius to Fahrenheit.
“That would be minus thirteen for you guys.”
“And you probably have lots of snow, eh.” Earl bumped his shoulder into his wife’s.
Catherine shot him a glare and moved a few steps away. “Never mind him. He thinks he’s funny.”
Both Canadians were smiling but didn’t seem to be too engaged in the interaction and turned around to watch the marine life.
Earl crossed his arms. “I am funny. You just don’t appreciate my sense of humor.”
Ever since Earl downed a couple cocktails, his awkward nature had transformed to irritating. Sean wouldn’t verbalize his feelings to Sara, as he didn’t want any negativity to dampen the enjoyment of the day. Instead, he asked, “Are you ready?”
“Yes, this is so exciting, Sean. To think, just weeks ago, we were at work.” Her voice rose in volume with each word.
Earl stood with his hands on his hips, legs about twelve inches apart. “You want to talk about business, Mr. McKinley. What about you and the Mrs.?”
“Oh.” Sara looked at him.
“We’re in between occupations currently.”
Sara touched Sean’s arm and her energy read, good save.
“Whoa, and you’re on vacation. Nice.”
“Mr. Spencer,” he mimicked Earl’s formal address, “there must be some mystery to us.”
A tanned man of about five-five came over and garnered the group’s attention, including the Bolders. “My name is Alejandro. I’ll be your trainer today.” He paused to insert a sincere-looking smile. “Have any of you ever swam with dolphins before?”
The Bolders put their hands up and accompanied it with a verbal chorus. “We have.”
“Excellent. Was it here?”
Ann Bolder was smiling. “Yes, one year ago.”
“Welcome back.”
Alejandro bobbed his head. “You’ve all got your life jackets on, I see.” He inspected them. “You all look good. All right, follow me.”
“Look!” Sara stopped walking and pointed at three dolphins racing through the water. They came up together and jumped in the air. “They’re so beautiful I’m going to cry.”
“I left my handkerchiefs in the locker, darling, but I’m willing to kiss your tears away.”
The expression slipped from Ann Bolder, and Sean broke eye contact from Sara for a second to smile at her. Most women were the same. They loved romantic gestures.
They walked a few more steps and Sara’s feet grounded to the deck again. She pulled back on Sean’s arm. “I’m not sure I can do this.”
The rest of the group slowed their pace and Alejandro came over. “Is everything all right, miss?”
“It’s Mrs. McKinley.”
Alejandro hitched his brows at Sean, not seeming to care if Sara saw the gesture or its implication. “You have no need to worry. They are like dogs of the sea.”
Sara snickered and then it grew into a full laugh, drawing Alejandro’s attention further to her, while Sean kept a close eye on him.
“Did you hear what he said, Sean? Dogs of the sea.”
“Well, they’re certainly a little larger than a dog, aren’t they?” Sean cocked his head.
“Yes, but they are gentle. They won’t hurt you.” Alejandro traced his hand down Sara’s arm.
She stepped back, nodded, and smiled pleasantly, but tucked into Sean’s side. “I’ll be fine.”
“You will, darling.” Sean kissed her forehead.

Want to read more? Vacation is Murder is the 2nd installment in the McKinley Mystery Series. It's available in print and eBook from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, Kobo, Inktera, and Scribd