She looked up at Liam--tall and lean, his blue eyes shadowed with his own private sorrows. Ravaged by the shark that killed his brother, Liam had one arm--and the childhood nickname, "Captain Hook," that had made him both a laughingstock and a tragic figure in his small town. Liam would have none of that--he blazed his way through university and graduate school, becoming a respected oceanographer and ichthyologist--studying great whites, the species that had torn apart his family and his own body.
Lily wasn't exactly sure what had brought them together. And she wasn't even sure she cared. They had found each other in that far northern town. She had run so far from home, and found something like a replacement family. Anne, Marisa, Marlena...her friends and needlepointing club, the Nanouk Girls of the Frozen North, had been like her sisters. And Liam. He had been present at Rose's birth, and he'd never gone away. Those nine years in Cape Hawk had strengthened Lily more than anything she could have imagined.
Her grandmother's illness had called her back to Hubbard's Point. Patrick Murphy, the lead detective on the case of Lily's disappearance, had finally found her in Cape Hawk. The minute she heard of Maeve's illness, everything else fell away. Lily knew what she had to do.
She came home.
"I'm really here," she said, leaning against Liam.
"Are you ready for tomorrow?" he asked.
"I have to be," she said."My grandmother needs me."
"I know," he said. His voice was low and calm.He touched her hair, and her skin tingled. They were still very new.Was it possible that just a few weeks ago they had kissed for the first time? After a whole lifetime of loving Rose, they were really together.
"I don't want Rose to ever know him," Lily said, and she didn't even have to say his name.
"Let me take her away," Liam said. "I'll hide her. Only you'll know where we are."
Lily's heart skipped, a stone scaling over the water's surface. What if he really could? What if she could hide Rose from Edward forever?
"Living in Canada," she said, "I've felt so powerful. I had complete control over her safety. Now that we're back in the States, what if he comes after her? He'll see her as a way to get to me. And me as a way to get to her."
She leaned back against his strong chest, as his one arm came around her from behind. They rocked against each other, staring at the moon's silver path across the water.
"I think you should go see your grandmother," he said. "But you should let me take Rose somewhere safe." "We could ask Patrick for help," Lily said.
"We could," Liam said. "But I have an old friend at the University of Rhode Island. Graduate school of oceanography. He has a place near Scarborough Beach, on Narragansett Bay. He'd let us stay with him. It's not that far away."
"Rose has never been away from me," Lily said, feeling her heart tighten. "Except for going to the hospital."
"You'd be doing it for her," Liam said. "To keep her away from Edward, until you know what to expect."
"She'd love being with you," Lily murmured. Rose loved Liam with everything she had. For her ninth birthday, barely a month ago, she had wished for two things: to see Nanny, the legendary white whale of Cape Hawk, and to have a real father like Liam."How much should I tell Rose?"
"However much you think she can handle."