Sea of Dreams (The American Heroes Series Book 2)

 

 

 

 

SEA OF DREAMS

 

By Kathryn Le Veque

 

 

 

Copyright 2012 by Kathryn Le Veque
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews.
Printed by Dragonblade Publishing in the United States of America

Text copyright 2012 by Kathryn Le Veque
Cover copyright 2012 by Kathryn Le Veque

 

 

 

 

History of the Benjamin and Dulcinea Earp Family Tree

 

Benjamin Outsen Earp was the brother of Nicholas Porter Earp, father of Wyatt Earp.  Ben was born in 1817, came to California (San Diego) in 1837, worked as a lawman and by 1847, was town marshal of San Diego. Ben married a Spanish woman, Dulcinea, and had one son. Benjamin fought in the Mexican American war at the battle of San Pasqual and was rewarded for valor.

 

He was also a crook, thief, murderer and outlaw.

 

Son Robert Manuel Earp b. 1849

 

Robert married a Mexican woman in 1875, had one son and one daughter

Nicholas Walter b. 1877

Margarita Earp b. 1880

 

Nicholas Walter married an Irish woman in 1901, Mollie Kathleen Kelly. They had two boys

James Robert b. 1904

Walter Kelly  b. 1906

 

James married Amelia Blakesley and had two daughters

Kelly Kathleen Earp b. 1936

Mollie Virginia Earp b. 1942

 

Mollie married Marshall Thorne (b. 1942) and had one daughter

Blakesley Amelia Thorne b.1974

 

 

 

Chapter One

 

Coronado Island, California

The Month of July

 

“Mommy!”

It was a hazy day at the beach, the pearlescent sands on the shore of the stretch of beach along the Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego, California was alive with tourists and beachgoers. There was even a collection of men in wetsuits, rubber dinghies and equipment about fifty yards to the south of the hotel, which wasn’t an abnormal sight since Coronado Island also housed a naval base. 

Waves crashed and gulls screamed on the lazy, hazy day, adding to the sense of terrestrial paradise that California was so often accused of portraying.  But the cry from one of her young daughters had Blakesley Thorne running for the water’s edge.

“Mommy!”

Her middle daughter, five year old Crosby, was pointing frantically to the rolling surf while three year old Charlotte jumped up and down beside her sister. Blakesley’s heart was in her throat as she looked to the area where Crosby was pointing.

“Cadee got pulled in!” Crosby hollered.

Blakesley yelped with terror, seeing her eight year old daughter’s blond head bobbing a few yards off the sandy shore.  The water was rough but not too terribly; still, Cadee must have gotten too close after being repeatedly warned. Tearing off her jacket, Blakesley threw it onto the sand as she ran towards the water.

“Crosby, stay up on the sand!” she yelled. “Watch Charlotte!”

People began to notice what had happened as the panicked young mother dove into the surf.  Some began yelling for lifeguards, others began yelling for general help.  People began running towards the water as the cry for help spread like wildfire, down the beach and up onto the hotel grounds. 

Men in jeans began pulling off their shoes, preparing to follow the woman in to the water, but the call for help had soon reached the men in wetsuits down the beach. As the tourists and beachgoers removed shoes and sweatshirts in preparation to help, the men in wetsuits swung into action.  There was no delay.

The black rubber assault crafts were moving, engines gunning, with several men in each black little boat.  The other men in wetsuits raced up the beach, diving into the water and swimming furiously towards the child in distress as a couple of men in the dinghies dove into the water once the boats drew close.  

The surf was pounding, the water churning, as Blakesley reached her struggling daughter. She had no idea that two dozen men in wetsuits were upon them.  As she tried to grasp her child to pull her back to shore, a black rubber dinghy rolled up beside her and arms reached down to pull her up into the boat. 

Startled, she could see other arms reaching down to collect Cadee as men in rubber suits lifted her up.  So many arms were around her daughter, lifting her to safety as the water churned and crashed around them.  The boat’s engine engaged and Blakesley fell sideways, onto the floor of the water craft, as the dinghy grounded itself onto the white sand beach.

“Are you okay?”

Someone was reaching down to pull her up off the bottom of the wet and sandy boat.  Blakesley pushed the hair from her eyes, gazing up into the face of a big bald man with pale green eyes. She nodded, a bit disoriented, straining for a look at her daughter.

“I’m fine,” she said, twisting her neck around. “Cadee? Honey, are you all right?”

Someone was lifting her out of the boat.  Blakesley suddenly realized she was standing on the beach as a host of men in wetsuits surrounded her.  A man in a wetsuit had Cadee in his arms, climbing out of the boat and handing the girl over to her mother. Blakesley threw her arms around her daughter, struggling not to cry.

“Cadee, are you all right?” she asked again. “What happened?”

Cadee Masterson gripped her mother’s neck, sobbing and coughing. “I don’t know,” the girl wept. “We were playing by the water and then a wave came. It washed me away.”

Blakesley held her daughter tightly, feeling a vast amount of relief wash over her as she realized her daughter was safe and sound.  “Oh, my God,” she gasped.  “I was standing there the whole time. I just turned my back to put the camera on the towel and….”

She felt stupid even as she said it. She could have kicked herself a thousand times over for being foolish enough to turn her back on her frolicking daughters, but it wouldn’t do any good. She couldn’t possibly feel any worse than she already did. But Cadee was safe and that’s all that really mattered.

Relief brought on tears and Blakesley closed her eyes, water dampening her sun-kissed cheeks. Crosby and Charlotte found her, little Charlotte sitting on both her shaken older sister and her mother in an attempt to get close. She didn’t like to be left out of hugs, of any kind.  As Blakesley opened her arms to her other two daughters, she noticed a host of rubber-clad men surrounding her.

Gazing up, she could see several concerned faces gazing down at her.  One man in particular was crouched next to her and Blakesley looked at him, startled to see an extraordinarily handsome man looking back at her. His blond hair was cut short, his chiseled features embracing full lips, intense green eyes, and a big cleft in his chin.  He looked like he just stepped off a movie set.  When their eyes met, he smiled and she felt a distinct sense of giddy shock at the sexy smile and big dimples in his cheeks.

“Thank you so much,” she said gratefully. “All of you - thank you so much for saving my daughter. I don’t know what I would have done if… if she….”

The man beside her cut her off, but not unkindly. “We’re glad to help,” he said, his voice deep and smooth. “Are you sure she’s okay? I can have a medic take a look at her if you want.”

It began to occur to Blakesley who the men were.  Coronado Island had a naval base and it was obvious that these men were part of a detachment from the base. She tried to pull her daughter out of the crook of her neck so she could see for herself how the little girl was, but Cadee wouldn’t let go. She clung like a leech. Blakesley smiled weakly at the blond man.

“She’s okay,” she said softly. “She wouldn’t be holding me with a death grip if she wasn’t.”

The man returned her smile, turning to the men around him and issuing a disbursement command.  Immediately, the group disbanded, jumping back into the dinghies or running back down the beach.  The tourists and beachgoers who had been gathered around started to disburse also, especially when the men in wetsuits began waving them away.  Nothing was worse than a looky-loo crowd.

Shortly, it was just Blakesley, her daughters, and the blond man in the wetsuit.  He stayed right next to her, watching the little girl in her arms, listening to her coughing.

“Really, I think we’re okay,” Blakesley assured him when the crowd wandered away. “I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your help. That really scared the crap out of me.”

The blond man’s grin returned. “It doesn’t sound like she swallowed any water,” he commented. “Her coughing seems clear.”

Blakesley nodded, feeling her daughter’s frantic breathing calming.  “Are you guys doing some training or something?”

The man nodded vaguely. “Or something,” he replied, snickering at her when she grinned.  “Are you sure she’s okay?”

Blakesley nodded. “She’s fine,” she said, firmly pulling her daughter off of her. “Cadee, can you say thank you?”

Cadee turned to the blond man, pushing her wet blond hair out of her cherubic face. “T-thank you,” she hiccupped.

He smiled at her. “You’re welcome, honey,” he replied. “Are you sure you feel okay?”

Cadee nodded wearily.  “Yes.”

Suddenly, the youngest girl was standing in front of him, studying him with the naked curiosity that most three year olds have.  She had curly blond hair and enormous blue eyes, very angelic in appearance.

“What’s your name?” she asked.

The man extended his hand. “My name is Beck,” he said. “What’s your name?”

“Charlotte Claire Masterson.”

She said it very fast, with an adorable little lisp. “It’s nice to meet you, Charlotte Claire Masterson,” he shook the little hand she placed in his big palm. “What are your sisters’ names?”

Charlotte pointed to her oldest sister. “That’s Cadee,” she said, then pointed to the middle sister. “She’s Crosby.”

Beck’s gaze moved across the two older girls, skimming over Blakesley, before returning to Charlotte. “What’s your mom’s name?”

“Mommy.”

He laughed softly as Blakesley grinned. “I’m Blakesley,” she said softly, extending a sandy hand. “There’s no way I can repay you for saving my child, but you have my eternal thanks. You really do.”

Beck took her sandy hand in his big mitt, shaking it with tender strength. “Like I said, I’m glad we could help,” his gaze lingered on her. “Are you here on vacation?”

She shook her head. “No,” she said softly. “We live here. Well, we just moved here, this weekend in fact.”

His smile grew, revealing straight white teeth.  He had a drop-dead gorgeous smile. “Welcome to San Diego,” he said. “But next time, watch out for the surf here. It can be strong.”

“I figured that out the hard way.”

He snickered softly, drawing chuckles from Blakesley.  The man had a very soothing manner about him, something that helped calm her down tremendously.  Just as he opened his mouth to say something more to her, Charlotte suddenly put herself between Beck and Blakesley.  She didn’t want to be left out of the conversation.

“I’m three years old,” she announced.

Beck pretended to be impressed. “Three years old,” he repeated. “You’re practically an old lady.”

Charlotte grinned brightly. “No, I’m not!”

Blakesley watched her youngest daughter engage in conversation with the man in the wetsuit and inevitably, her gaze fixed on him.  She couldn’t help but watch him closely, for he was a truly handsome male specimen.  He had enormous shoulders and hands, and his eyes had a very cute way of crinkling when he grinned.  She couldn’t tell how tall he was because he remained crouched down next to her, but he had a truly easy manner with her daughter and she appreciated that immensely.  But bold little Charlotte would talk to anyone, however, so Blakesley thought she’d better put a stop to it so the man could get on with his day.

“Charlotte, honey, can you and Crosby please go and get our stuff?” she interrupted when there was a break in the chatter. “I think we should go now and I’m sure Mr. Beck has to get going also. He has things to do.”

Charlotte bolted off with Crosby scampering after her.  Cadee even climbed off her mother and wandered after her sisters, leaving Blakesley and Beck alone. When Blakesley realized she was alone with the handsome stranger, her heart began to beat a little faster, perhaps with excitement. She really wasn’t sure. It had been so long since she’d experienced that kind of giddiness that she couldn’t be sure of anything. She was sure any ability to feel something like that had died long ago. Casting him a somewhat shy grin, she brushed off her hands of sand and rose to her knees.

“You’ve been our guardian angel today, Mr. Beck,” she said, holding out her hand again. “I really appreciate all you’ve done.”

Beck smiled and took her hand, shaking it again but holding it when he probably should have let it go.  He let his gaze move over her exquisite face, so beautiful and sweet.  She had long hair, honey blond in color, and gorgeous bluish-green eyes that had a cat-like tilt to them.  With a big dimple in her left cheek and brilliant smile, he could have stared at the woman all day. It was a surprising reaction from a man who didn’t pay a lot of attention to women since his ex-wife left him for someone who didn’t serve in the Navy or deploy for months on end.  Women just meant trouble for him and he mostly avoided them.  But this woman, for some reason, had his full attention.

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