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I loved the way the story started out with vivid descriptions of color and light and ambiance. The writing here was lyrically lovely and very textured, almost touchable. Everything was lush and brilliantly picturesque.

Emerald Jaguar for Morrigan Ezine
Recovering from a near fatal accident, artist Finn Barret returns to Seal Island in Maine to rest and recuperate. But Seal Island is haunted with memories, some sweet, some sad; three years ago Finn found his lover in the arms of Fitch, Finn’s twin brother. Since that day, Finn has seen neither Conlan nor Fitch. In fact, no one has seen Fitch.
What happened to him? Did Fitch run away, as everyone believes? Or did he meet a more sinister fate? To put the past to rest – and see if there’s any chance of a future with Con – Finn must discover the truth. But the deeper he digs, the more reason he has to fear Con is the only one who knows what truly happened to Fitch…

For a time Finn stood, leaning on Grandy’s cane, studying the white shingles and black shutters, the brick chimney and neglected garden. He felt surprisingly little. It was only a building, after all, and the memories existed independently of the architecture.

Lost in these thoughts, he noticed too late the door to the cottage swinging open. Con stepped outside. “Finn,” he said.

There was an alarming moment when Finn thought his mind had snapped, that he was rolling and sliding off the edge of sanity, and then he realized that he was not imagining things. Con was striding down the path toward him.

Too late to flee even if could manage it without looking like the loser in a three-legged race. So he held his ground, clenching his grandfather’s walking stick, as Con reached him.

“Finn,” Con said again, and he sounded out of breath.

He had not changed much in three years. Tall and lithe, his hair was still ash-blond, straight, and fine as silk, but he wore it a little longer now. His eyes were a shade of brown-black that Finn had never managed to determine; he remembered reading in one of the books his grandfather had illustrated about a pirate with “sparkling black cherry eyes,” and he’d always thought that perfectly described Con’s eyes — although the wicked laughing eyes were at odds with a face as elegantly and distantly beautiful as the saint in a Renaissance painting. But there were faint little lines now around Con’s mouth and eyes, a tightness to his features. He looked tired like he’d run too long and too far and had still not found what he was looking for.

Idiotically, the only thing Finn could think to say was, “I didn’t know you were back.”

“I got back last night.”

Good Lord. They should have held out for a group rate given the amount of traffic to the island yesterday.

“Oh. Well…nice to see you.” Finn turned to go, leaning heavily on the cane.

“Wait.” Con jerked out, “Can you…come inside for a minute?”

“Not today.” Finn kept moving, crablike, trying to escape. “I’ve got to get back.”

“Finn —” Con came alongside him.

In his slow-motion panic, his foot turned on a stone, and Con reached out to steady him. Every nerve in Finn’s body flinched away from his touch. He’d thought he was over it, but the feel of Con’s hand — the warm weight through his sweater — warned him otherwise. Bewilderingly, it was as though no time had passed at all, all his emotions were boiling right there at the surface.

“Jesus, Finn, you’re white to your lips. You should never have walked so far. Come in out of the cold for a few minutes.” Con looked — Finn didn’t think it was an expression he could capture on canvas. It surely wasn’t an expression he remembered ever seeing before on Con’s face.

“Please,” Con said.

It was something in the way he said “please.” Not a word Con had ever used a lot. Certainly not with Finn. As he stared at him, Finn was suddenly and utterly exhausted — light-headed with it. It was borne in on him how very far he had walked — and what a bad idea that had been. His head began that slow, ominous pound. He allowed himself to be led inside the cottage.