“We’re gonna die, We’re gonna die, We’re gonna—“

“Oh my God, Daniel, would you just shut up already?! I have everything perfectly under con—“

A fierce gust of wind blew Anne off her feet.


The boat tipped dangerously to the left. Daniel wrapped his arms more tightly around Anne, burying his face in her raincoat. Lightning streaked across the sky as another wave crashed onto the deck, the freezing water spraying them both like needles. Anne shielded her eyes.

“LOOK OUT!” Daniel screamed and pointed just as Anne cut the the wheel, hard, barely avoiding another wave.

“WOULD YOU STOP BEING SUCH A BABY!!” She shouted louder.

Her heart thundered in her chest. She was telling herself it was the anger, not the fear. She was mad at Daniel because Daniel was wrong. She was not afraid.

She could not be afraid.

“The sail, the sail!! Grab those ropes over there and PULL!!”

Daniel hurried over to the ropes, his frozen fingers fumbling to grasp the thick braids of cord. Thunder cracked above. He pulled. Not only was it hopelessly slippery, but he also wasn’t exactly a muscular guy. He was her scrawny second cousin who she’d just met about two weeks ago... and she wasn’t about to let him get them both killed.

“YOU MAN THE WHEEL!” Anne screamed at him. “I’ll try to veer us left!”

As she sprinted across the deck to switch places with him, she reminded herself that they were going to survive this.

They had to survive this.



Two weeks earlier...


“He’s here?” Anne asked, scanning the crowded bar. She slid her purse a little farther up her shoulder.

Julia nodded. “Right over there. The shadowy table in the corner.”

“Oh, right. Because the shadowy table in the corner is where all the not-creepy guys sit.”

“It’s where all the guys I’m dating sit.”

Anne rolled her eyes at her friend. “I still can’t believe you’re going out with my second cousin.”

“And I still can’t believe you didn’t know you had a second cousin.”

“He never came to any family functions!” Anne protested. “Mom only told me we were related when you brought him to that benefit she was at last month!”

“Why not?”

Anne winced. “I don’t know. Mom said he just seemed... off.” She shivered. “I don’t know, she thought he was weird or something!”

“Well. Today you finally get to meet him and see,” Julia said calmly, patting Anne on the back. “Now, I’m going to get a drink.”

“Um, I’m sorry, what? You’re leaving me alone with him?”

“He’s my boyfriend,” Julia said flatly. “You can trust him, Anne. Besides, he said he wanted to ask you something.”

“Wait... what?”

Julia shrugged playfully and began to walk away.

“Jules, what—“ But she just continued walking.

Anne scowled and took a deep breath. She walked cautiously over to where the guy was sitting, the tip of his hat pulled down slightly over his eyes.

Anne cleared her throat. “Hey.”

He looked up at her. He actually looked kind of pale and had soft, freckled features, completely not what a shadowy-corner kind of guy would look like.

“Um, Jules said you want to ask me something?” Anne asked.

He nodded. Anne slunk down into the booth. She hated not being in the know about something. And she hated people who made her feel out of the know even more.

“Well. I’m waiting,” she snapped.

He took off his hat and sat up.

“Here’s the thing,” he said, folding his hands in front of her. Anne was surprised to find his voice was so quiet. But it wasn’t shaky. “I’ve just accepted a quite impossible bet. My father owns a boat down by South Bay, and my buddy Simon bet me I couldn’t sail that thing through it to the East end by Saturday.”

“I don’t see the problem.”

“I can’t sail.”

Anne shook her head. “Then why’d you say yes?”

“I never say no to a bet,” he said with a wry smile.

Anne snorted. “That’s a stupid philosophy.”

“Julia told me you can sail.”

“I can.”

“So take me. I pay pretty good.”

“I don’t work for money, I work for causes.”

“This is a cause.”

Anne groaned.

“Fine. I’ll sail your stupid boat to the east end. But only because Jules wants us to get along. Deal?” She stuck out her hand, thoroughly annoyed with this whole encounter.

He smirked and shook it. “Deal.”

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