Harbour Falls - By S. R. Grey

Chapter 1

Sitting in the idling car in the deserted and rain-drenched parking lot on tiny Cove Beach in Harbour Falls, I absently turned a business card over and over in my hands. Fingertips over smooth, heavy cardstock, with raised, royal-blue printing on one side…

Harbour Falls Realtors

Northern Maine Coastal Properties

Ami Dubois-Hensley


Phone numbers and an e-mail address. And to the left of Harbour, a simple company logo: a lighthouse.

With an edge of a fingernail free of polish, I traced the outline of the design. It was meant to be a representation of my destination today: a mass of land out there in the churning waters bearing the ominous name of Fade Island. Heavy fogs, quite common in this tucked-away corner of northern Maine, often swallowed up the island—giving the illusion of it “fading” into the sea.

Suddenly the rain intensified without warning. Sheeting off the windshield in thick bands of water, my view of the ink-colored waves crashing along the beach blurred. I leaned forward to turn the wiper control up a notch and caught my refection in the rearview mirror. Wow, this perpetual dampness was really wreaking havoc on my long hair. I smoothed the unruly strands back into place as best as I could and noticed the California sun-kissed highlights, always so evident in my natural honey-brown shade, were already fading. Just like the island in the fog.

I’d only been back a few days, but life as I knew it felt slippery, like it could get away from me if I let my guard down. I adjusted the mirror; uncertainty warred with determination in the hazel eyes—so like my father’s—staring back at me. Questions that had haunted me since I’d first decided to return home washed over me anew. Why had I really come back to Harbour Falls? Just how dangerous could it end up being? Should I turn around and go back…before it turned out to be too late?

But it was too late. A white SUV had just pulled to a stop and parked in the space to the right of my car. Ami Dubois—or rather Ami Dubois-Hensley—opened the driver’s side door. As she began to fumble with one of those oversized golf umbrellas, it was clear, despite her seated position and long raincoat, that she was very pregnant. Guess she and Sean Hensley, friends of mine from the past, had decided it was finally time to start a family. Truthfully, it surprised me they’d waited this long.

Five years had passed since I’d last seen Sean and Ami, having attended their wedding in Harbour Falls. At the time we’d all been twenty-two years old and freshly graduated from college—me from Yale, and Sean and Ami from the University of Maine.

How time flew.

A twinge of sorrow tugged at my heart as I recalled how their wedding was the first major event I’d attended with Julian, a man with whom I ended up spending six years of my life. Of course we’d just been starting out back then. And now it was all over. Back in May we’d decided to go our separate ways. People change over time, sometimes drifting in different directions without ever realizing it. Until it’s too late.

Ami’s sudden rap on my driver’s side window tore me from my ruminations. I yanked at the belt of the black trench coat I was wearing, tightening it, as the thin material of the wrap dress I wore underneath would offer little respite from the cold and rain.

I opened the car door, and Amy, stepping back, smiled warmly and tilted the umbrella so I could slip underneath it. “Maddy, it’s been too long. God, how have you been?”

“Good,” I replied. “Just trying to adjust to this weather.”

Her pale blue eyes scanned down my form. “Well, you look amazing. I was so excited when Mayor Fitch…uh, I mean, your dad called and said you were moving back.”

Somehow balancing the umbrella in such a way as to keep us dry, she pulled me in for an awkward one-armed hug. Her swollen tummy pressed against my slender frame for a moment, until she drew away.

“It’s great to see you too,” I said. “But I’m not moving back permanently, you know. It’s just for a few months.” To keep the conversation from delving into exactly why I was back for such a specific amount of time, I motioned to her stomach. “Congratulations, by the way. My dad didn’t say anything about—”

“Oh, Maddy, I am so excited,” Ami interrupted. “Only one more month.”

She rubbed her stomach, her hand