Lake Magic - By Kimberly Fisk


The drone of a single-engine plane drew Jenny Beckinsale’s attention. Hurrying to the water’s edge, she cupped her hands over her eyes and gazed upward. Bright sunshine had scrubbed the gray skies clean, and a sea of endless blue stretched before her. Her pulse quickened and her heart raced as her eyes searched the sky. Maybe . . . just maybe. . . . And then her mind remembered what her heart refused to forget: Steven was never coming home again.

She drew in a breath and let it out slowly. She was not going to fall apart. Not again.

Nearby, waves lapped against the weathered dock. Overhead, crows chattered noisily. And off in the distance, the hum of the plane continued on.

With renewed determination, she turned away from the shore, and her gaze fell on the home she’d inherited from her grandmother, then on the airplane hangar that had been built three years ago.

Sunlight glinted off the metal siding, making the green paint sparkle. A large sign, trimmed in gold, hung with prominence near the building’s peak: Blue Sky Air. Underneath those black letters were smaller ones that read: Seaplane Charter Business.

A familiar sense of pride filled her. We did it, Steven.

“You done lollygagging?”

Zeke Phillips stood in the hangar’s large opening wiping his hands on a rag. With his shoulder-length graying hair and stained mechanic’s overalls, he looked like any other grease monkey, but Jenny knew that underneath his frumpy appearance was a sharp mind and a quick wit. And also one of the best seaplane pilots on the West Coast.

“You done fiddling with that engine?” she asked, sidestepping the concern in his voice, just like she’d been doing for the last nine months.

The left side of his mouth curved into a grin. “Just ’bout.”

“Good. We have a charter at ten tomorrow.”

“Since it’s the only one on the books this week, don’t reckon I’d forget it.”

Jenny flinched and all but groaned at his emphasis of the word only. “Don’t remind me.”

“Don’t s’pose I have to. But I think I should remind you that it’s Wednesday.” He glanced at his wristwatch. “I’d say you have about twenty minutes.”

“Wednesday?” She started running toward the house. “You could have reminded me earlier.”

“And miss the fun?”

Ignoring his laughter, she ran through the front door and up the stairs. The smell of the toast she’d burned at breakfast still hung in the air.

Her clothes were already half off by the time she reached her bedroom. Dropping her shirt onto the floor, she began to tug on the cuff of one pant leg as she hopped over to her bed. Clothes, books, and God only knew what else all but obscured the faded pink chenille comforter. Without bothering to push anything off to the side, she flopped down and finished wiggling out of her jeans. If she were late again this week, she’d never hear the end of it. She started to reach for a pair of capris, then stopped. She could still hear her mother’s comment from last week: “Shorts, Jenny? Really. Couldn’t you at least try?”

There was no use arguing with her mother that capris were not shorts. When Catherine Beckinsale made up her mind, that was it.

She grabbed one of only a handful of items hanging in the closet—a pink linen sheath with a designer label given to her as a birthday gift from her mother.

The dress seemed to mock her with its feminine perfection. Before she could change her mind and grab the pants on the floor, she slipped it on. It couldn’t have fit better if it had been custom-made for her. She had to give her mother credit. Whatever Catherine did, she did to perfection. Whether it was raising her three children, running her own business, or picking out a gift for her youngest child.

Jenny glanced at her bedside clock.

Ten fifty.

Ten minutes until she was supposed to meet her mother.

Who ate lunch at eleven anyway?

Her mother, that’s who. She scheduled their luncheons at that early hour so it wouldn’t interfere with Catherine’s schedule.

For the last nine months, Jenny had dreaded their Wednesday luncheons. But today—this Wednesday—was going to be different. Blue Sky Air had two charters scheduled, and somehow she was going to find a way to work that into the conversation. She knew it wasn’t earth-shattering, but it was a start. And proof that her new advertising plan was working.

A quick search of her bedroom produced one sandal, and a few moments later, the second. She seemed to recall a delicate