An Unsinkable Love - By Terri Benson


Thanks to:

The Colorado West Writer's Workshop: Pam, Vicky, Ed and Evil Editor Jan the Grammarian, for your insight, critique and cheerleading.

Nerine Dorman and Lyrical, for your efforts to make this book the best it can be, and for allowing me to share it with the world.

And most of all, many thanks to Linda Weber, my BFF and Reading Buddy, who selflessly reads and reads and re-reads my manuscripts, offering advice, comfort and chocolate.

Without you, this story never would have made it to the light of day. WooHoo!

[Back to Table of Contents]


An Unsinkable Love

by Terri Benson


On April 15, 1912, at 11:40 PM the luxury liner Titanic struck an iceberg and sank in the north Atlantic. 1 517 souls were lost. No one can ever know the effects this tragedy will have on history—what accomplishments, good and bad—

might have been. Those stories lie forever buried in the cold, dark depths.

[Back to Table of Contents]


An Unsinkable Love

by Terri Benson

Chapter 1

Thursday, April 11, 1912. Queensland, Ireland Bree stared across choppy water at the mammoth ship.

Did she dare? She glanced over her shoulder, searching for signs of pursuit. It was only a matter of time before they realized she was gone. If she didn't make up her mind quickly she wouldn't have any say in the matter. She took a deep breath and stepped up to the ticket window.

"I'd like a third class ticket." Please, please let it not be too much.

A pimply-faced clerk looked down his long nose at her.

"That'll be seven pounds, miss, and you had better hurry.

They're loadin' the last tender right now."

Seven pounds! It would leave her with next to nothing.

How would she survive in America? "Excuse me. I'll be right back."

"Like I said, you better hurry—White Star don't wait on the likes of us."

Bree stepped away from the window and brushed away tears threatening to overflow. What should she do now? She couldn't go back, wouldn't go back, not ever. But to start out with no money? Bree knew the foolishness of that, but did she have a choice?

She slumped against the wall next to a hedge of large yew trees, her small battered trunk leaning drunkenly against her thigh. There had to be a way. She closed her eyes, laid the 11

An Unsinkable Love

by Terri Benson

tips of her fingers on the warm, gold cross at her neck and prayed, "Please, God. I beg of you, don't make me go back."

A sudden gust rustled the yews and between the branches she saw two men on the other side, arguing. The wind shifted toward her.

"Damnation, Jack. Why'd you let them off the boat?" The speaker, a burly, sunburned, middle-aged man, bent toward the other with a stern expression. He wore a black wool uniform with three rows of gold braid circling the cuffs, and a double row of brass buttons down the front of his hip-length jacket. A visor cap was cupped under his elbow, a word embroidered across the brim in gold thread.

The shorter man, dressed more casually in work pants and a dark Shetland sweater, snapped, "Well, if I'd known they had no intention of coming back, Reggie, I wouldn't have. But Thomas said he'd been told to help Martha carry some fabric, and I didn't see any reason to doubt them."

"Damn it, that leaves us in a tight spot. We can't make six days at sea without at least one competent tailor. Old Thorpe can't do the work anymore. I knew I should have replaced him before we left. These shakedown voyages are always trouble. And the hoity-toities we have on board are bound to make every sort of demand for alterations or last-minute fixes. I'd best start checking with the shops here. Perhaps someone with at least basic skills will be available on short notice. You get back to the tender and see to it no one else jumps ship, or you'll be doing their work and your own besides."


An Unsinkable Love

by Terri Benson

"Yes, sir, Mr. Purser, sir," Jack said with a grin, clearly not intimidated by the older man.

Reggie half turned and peered past Bree's hiding place, already searching the cobbled street. With another pat on her cross and the murmured hope she wasn't making a mistake taking the overheard conversation for an answered prayer, she did something she'd never have considered before today.

Bree stepped into the man's path, chin raised, stretching her five feet two inch frame as tall as possible. He nearly ran her down before stumbling to a halt. Bree stuck out her hand.