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A Passion Worth Pursuing

Published by: eXtasy Books

Author : A.L. Means

ISBN :978-1-4874-3140-2

Page :147

Word Count :45630

Publication Date :2021-01-15

Series : #

Heat Level :

Available Formats : A Passion Worth Pursuing (prc) , A Passion Worth Pursuing (mobi) , A Passion Worth Pursuing (epub) , A Passion Worth Pursuing (pdf)

Category : Contemporary Romance

  • Product Code: 978-1-4874-3140-2

Two vacationers go missing in an island boating incident. But wait, there was a third, whose fate is not yet known. Was there foul play? Their friends set out to discover the truth. It’s not what they expected—but then, on an island like this, the truth never is.

When two vacationers are reported missing in a sailing accident at a Mediterranean island, their four friends back in London decide to investigate.

Questions begin with the fact that there were originally three vacationers—Reynard, Klara and Anton. So which two are missing? Was it a tragic drowning or something sinister?

As told by the unnamed fourth member of the investigative expedition, this is a light-hearted and amorous odyssey featuring friends Roderick, Greta, and Diane as they go in search of answers. Each has theories about what happened, drawn from past romantic attachments with the missing and fond reminiscing.

Their voyage of discovery leads to island exploration and a climactic bacchanal in an old fortress. Could jealousy be a motive in the disappearance, as Roderick suspects? Has Anton, the youthful initiate into romance, rejected the advances of his two more experienced companions? Or does the island have still more to reveal?

The first we heard about it was through a news agency. A reporter phoned to check details. Names, ages, addresses, that sort of thing.

Those of us who considered ourselves their friends were stunned. We were still getting over the reports of their being missing, and now this.

“Can it be true?” Greta was on the phone almost as soon as I’d finished talking to the reporter. It was good to hear her voice again, even in these circumstances. Since she’d moved back home to Denmark, I’d hankered at times for the calmness she seemed to bring to life and, let’s face it, those riveting sapphire eyes.

“It’s all vague,” I told her. “They still haven’t identified bodies. I’m not yet convinced they’ve found them. “

“But just two,” she said with rare agitation. “And which two? You think they’ll find the other one?”

“Sooner or later, I expect. I mean, bodies, supposing they’ve found any, can’t have been far away from the boat, and that part of the Mediterranean is pretty well traveled, I think.”

It was still early in the morning by my standards. I made myself the usual breakfast—cereal, toast, coffee—and reflected on the excitement we’d all felt at this very table when they announced their plans.

Reynard had put his arms around the other two, Klara and Anton—I remember that—and of course, typically enough, we grouped around in a half circle in anticipation of what he might say. He had that effect. He was the pivot of our social circle, no doubt about it.

What the others expected I can’t say. Perhaps it was going to be one of his ideas about living arrangements. That was my first thought. Reynard was very persuasive. People agreed to do things for him, with him, that in all probability would be rejected with scorn coming from someone else.

He was a bit of a user in that way. Do the deed and then move on was his unspoken dictum. But those who…what can I say…acceded to his wishes didn’t seem to hold a grudge for long. Perhaps they—we—were convinced by the way he talked about “life experiences.” They were a sort of hobby of his. It was as if they were collectibles, and the point of living was to assemble a set of them.

The three of them had been sharing a flat in London for several months at the time of Reynard’s announcement. The precise nature of their relationship was never stated. Not that anyone considered it a taboo arrangement. It was more that Reynard took pleasure in letting us guess the details, and of course that made it the subject of endless speculation. Nonjudgmental, of course.

Besides, I think we all agreed our lives would be duller without the guesswork. Reynard’s trysts had been going on, and off and on again, for years.

For that matter, Reynard’s relationships, in one version, had once included Greta, and in her case, it had been considerably more than friendship. When I first met her, she was an au pair, minding the children in a house overlooking the Thames in an opulent suburb. Quite how she encountered Reynard I can’t say, but he glommed onto that sleek figure and those onion-skin blonde tresses with all the predatory zeal for which he was known.

Now that I think about it, I recall one of their first dates. As already indicated, he was never one to disguise his intentions when it came to intimacy, which made his successes all the more impressive. Several of us had gone to a production of Hamlet at a then-fashionable theatre in the round, and Reynard—under the spell of an intriguingly X-rated portrayal of Ophelia by a pop star of the era—persuaded Greta to drink too much afterward.

Back at my place—on that very same sofa I still have, over there by the fake fireplace—she nestled into his lap in that matter-of-fact way she had and they began to kiss and fondle each other with a passion to put even Ophelia to shame.

With a mixture of envy and lust we watched them blossom into nakedness, and his groans and her whinnies were almost enough to prompt us into physical activities of our own. Instead we just gloated, anticipating that this was act one, scene one and that someday soon all of us would have at least walk-on parts.

No surprise then when Reynard proclaimed several days later that they were engaged. And hardly more surprise when he followed up with an addendum a couple of months later to the effect that they no longer were.

There was a fatalism in his romantic affairs that one couldn’t help suspecting was partly a matter of convenience. He made his conquests with the most earnest exaltations, but the bloom on the rose, once picked, usually soon faded.

It was part of his bewildering charm that mostly he was able to get away with it. Greta, as placid and absorbent as an alpine lake, downgraded from fiancée to friend with nary a complaint—that I ever heard, anyway.

So, given the twists in our friends’ history, I needed time to evaluate the reporter’s tale of mystery on the high seas. Was this just one more drama that would turn out to be a false alarm? Reynard alone had the wits of a cornered cat, and Klara’s confidence was usually enough to see her past any threat. As for Anton, he was a retiring soul, but not an incapable one. The idea that two of them, or perhaps all three, had died in some marine disaster was hard to accept. So I was inclined to believe there was more to the circumstances than we knew. But how to find out more, that was the question.

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Tags: Romance, Adventure, Contemporary, Voyeurism, Dubious Consent