The third daughter of seven in a magical bloodline, Abigail Drake was born with an affinity for water and a strong bond with dolphins. After she witnesses a murder, she flees right into the arms of Alexsandr Volstov. On the trail of stolen Russian antiquities, he's a relentless Interpol agentýand the man who once broke Abby's heart. But he isn't going to let the only woman he's ever loved slip away again.
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May 30, 2005
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Excerpt from Oceans of Fire by Christine Feehan
Bright colors; orange, pink and red streaked across the sky, turning the ocean into a living flame as the sun set low over the sea. Twenty feet below the surface of the water, Abigail Drake stilled, mesmerized by the sudden, rare beauty of fire pouring into the sea like molten lava.
The dolphins swimming in lazy circles around her took on a completely different appearance as the bands of orange shimmered through the water casting shadows everywhere. She was suddenly, acutely aware of night falling and that just a few feet away murky darkness could so easily hide danger. She knew better than to dive alone. It was one of the stupidest things she'd ever done, but she hadn't been able to resist when the day had been so perfect and she'd spotted the wild dolphins and knew they'd come looking for her.
Sea Haven on the northern California coast was her hometown. Abigail was one of seven sisters born to the seventh daughter of the magical Drake family, each gifted with unique talents. The Drake sisters were well known in Sea Haven, protected, cherished even, and it was the one place they could relax and be themselves. Except Abigail. Only here, in the sea, was she truly at peace.
The northern California coast was also home to several species of dolphin and she knew most of them, not only by sight, but also by their signature whistles. A signature whistle was as good as a name and most researchers agreed that dolphins used each other's name when communicating. This particular group of dolphins had a signature whistle for Abigail and she'd heard them calling to her as she stood on the captain's walk of her family home. She'd been away for months researching in other oceans far away, yet when she returned, the dolphins welcomed her home just like always.
A few years earlier she'd worked with this particular group of dolphins while earning her PHD, cataloguing them, each contact, every sighting, paying special attention to communication. She was intrigued by their language and wanted to be able to understand them. She'd worked with two of the males on understanding some sign language. Over the years, each time she came home, she visited with them, maintaining a relationship. Although none of her sisters had been available to dive with her, the call of 'her' dolphins had been irresistible and she'd taken out her boat to join them.
Federal law required a special permit to swim with wild dolphins in the United States and Abigail had been fortunate enough to be granted permission for her research off the California coast a second time, but she was careful to keep a low profile, not wanting to draw attention to the presence of the dolphins. They could travel fifty miles easily and were difficult to track on a daily basis, but this group, as well as many others, often called to her using the same whistle. It was very unusual to have the dolphins identify her and give her a name and she was particularly pleased that they knew she was back after her long absence.
Abigail rolled over and swam belly to belly with Kiwi, a large adult male who had formed a tight bond with Boscoe, another male. The two males normally swam in synchronization, their movements an astonishing underwater ballet. Boscoe curved his body in the exact motion at precisely the same time as Kiwi and swam close to Abigail as the three of them made a lazy loop together while several other dolphins danced in a long curving circle as if they had choreographed every move ahead of time.