Cross Current (Olympic Cove Book 4)
And Matt thought being a history teacher was tough…
Fresh from a divorce, high school teacher Matt Taber decides to rent a cottage on Olympic Cove and lick his wounds before school starts up in the fall. But the Fates have other plans for him in the form of a merman running from a deadly family history, three selkies who have to satisfy a royal demand, and a new career as the Oracle of the Waters.
Can Matt adjust to his new life before the Mad Nereid comes calling?
- Fantasy, Erotic Romance, MMF
- Word Count: 98,000
- Heat Level: 4
- Published By: Belaurient Press
Books in the Olympic Cove series:
Novellas and Short Stories in the Olympic Cove series:
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The first thing Matt saw when he opened his eyes was a plate of gleaming orange-red hot wings jeweled with bits of green onion. To the side of the plate was a tall mug of—he checked—Heineken.
The booth was his usual spot at Sunny Jim’s. But instead of looking at Chris across the heavily urethaned table, he saw three women occupying the long seat. One was young, her sleek black hair and large brown eyes lovely over a Dolphins t-shirt. His heart clenched a bit at the resemblance to Nancy. Her long, slender fingers idly wove strands of a golden floss together in a braid.
The second woman was a buxom blonde whose breasts nicely filled out the Marlins t-shirt she wore, green eyes intent on the knitting project in her hands. Matt guessed from the four needles and the cuff-like look of what she’d already knitted that it would eventually be a sock.
The third woman was an older Black woman, and her face bore the kind of weary loveliness that could only be obtained over years of a well-lived life. She wore her white curls close-cropped to a shapely skull, and her top was, incongruously, a White Sox jersey.
And in her hand was a long, wickedly sharp pair of shears.
“Hope you don’t mind the shirt.” Her head tilted to the side in a wry shrug. “I’m a fan.”
Matt swallowed. “That’s okay. I’m a Reds fan myself.”
“Understood.” She clicked the shears shut, and he could have sworn he saw a faint blue gleam along their edges before they closed. “So, Matthew. You’re making our job difficult, you know.”
That came as news to him. “Sorry?”
“Attie,” the blonde said gently, “it’s not his fault.”
“He was supposed to go to France. He could have gone without his wife.” The older woman leveled a flat look at him. “Instead, you wound up here.”
He stared around the bar. “At Sunny Jim’s? I always come here for the game.”
The flat look grew flatter. “No. At Olympic Cove. And now that you’re here, we’ll need to weave you into the situation. Which would have happened eventually, of course, but the idea was to do it later on once the crisis had passed.”
“Ma’am, I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
“Of course you don’t.” The blonde gave him a kind smile. “You’ll have to forgive Attie. She’s a bit anal when it comes to the Tapestry, especially now.” She put her knitting down, reaching across and snagging one of his hot wings. “Anyway, you were supposed to go to France and meet someone who would change your life. Since you cashed in your tickets and went to Olympic Cove instead, we’re going to have to shift the theater of operations there.” She nibbled on the hot wing, licking a smear of sauce from her lips. “These are pretty good.”
He took a moment to put his thoughts in order. “I know you think that explains things, but it really doesn’t.”
“Oh, for Gaia’s sake.” The youngest woman put her floss next to the knitting and grabbed his mug of beer, taking a deep swig of it. “We’re the Fates,” she said after swallowing. “I’m Clotho, Tits McGee over here is Lachesis, and the nice lady with the long blades is Atropos.”
The information made him blink. “The Fates.”
“The demigoddesses from Greek mythology who are responsible for every human’s destiny?”
Clotho seemed impressed. “Not just humans. But yes.”
“And you’re having hot wings with me in Sunny Jim’s.”
She rolled her expressive eyes. “You’re dreaming, Matt. Your body is in bed at Olympic Cove. This is just a paradigm we got Morpheus to cook up for us so that we could talk to you in private.”
He glanced around the bar. Apart from the four of them it was empty. Even Raven and Doris were gone from their usual posts behind the bar. Now that he was paying attention he noticed that the far corners of the room looked oddly blurred, like they weren’t quite there.
He’d never had a lucid dream like this one. It was fascinating.
“Yes, this is a dream, but we’re real,” Atropos said. “We’re really the Fates, and you’re really talking to us.”
There was no reason not to go along with it. “Okay, you’re the Fates,” he agreed. “So why are you here?”
Atropos leaned back in the booth, turning her shears over and balancing the points on the table. “Because you inadvertently changed the course of your life, which is knotting up your fate. Normally, we’d fix the knot without resorting to a personal visit, but seeing as you’re currently living at Greek God Central you’re interfering with an incredibly complex pattern.”
Nothing she said made sense, but he found his gaze irresistibly drawn to the shears. The tips were slicing into the clear sealant like it was butter, digging through to the wood underneath. According to Greek mythology Atropos was the Shearer, the one who cut a mortal’s life thread. If she wanted to kill him, all she had to do was lunge across the table and bury those shears in his throat—
Her snort caused him to look up into obsidian eyes. “I don’t kill mortals. I cut their life thread. There’s a difference.”
His mouth went dry and he wished he could take a sip of the beer Clotho was busy polishing off. “Sorry.”
Lachesis shook her blonde head. “Don’t apologize. This is actually more my problem then theirs, seeing as I’m the Weaver.” She gave him a sexy smile and leaned over, letting the v-neck of her t-shirt reveal some very nice cleavage. “I don’t suppose I could convince you to ditch your rental and head to Marseilles, could I? I’ll even tag along, if that helps.”
“Macking on the mortal?” Clotho hooted. “Nice.”
He repressed a flare of annoyance. The middle Fate was a knockout, no doubt about that, but her offer held a faint flavor of mockery. “You’re very pretty, ma’am, but I don’t want to go to France. If I messed up your pattern I’m sorry, but I’m not leaving Florida, especially not with school starting in two weeks.”
Lachesis leaned back, sighing. “It was worth a shot. Okay, fine. Stay at the cove, but just be aware that your life’s never going to be the same again. And don’t worry about school. You’re about to get a new job.”
“Not to mention a new romance,” Atropos said obliquely.
All three of them glanced over at a nearby table, and his attention followed. He could have sworn the table was empty a minute ago, but now it held a group of people. All of them were damned good-looking, but two caught his eye in particular—
As a group, the quartet turned and looked at him.
A shiver ran down his spine at the creepy movement. Before he could ask what the hell was going on, the lights in the bar flickered out. The last thing he saw was the blue glow on the edge of Atropos’s shears as they opened towards him.
“Now, hold still,” she said. “This won’t hurt a bit—”