Home > Fire Bound (Sea HavenSisters of the Heart #5)

Fire Bound (Sea HavenSisters of the Heart #5)
Author: Christine Feehan

1

The sound of laughter echoed through the house. Women’s voices rose and fell. Soft. Happy. Loving. Lissa Piner wandered over to the door, opened it and stood looking out into the darkness, carrying those sounds with her. She wanted everything about this evening to be imprinted on her brain for all time.

 

Her sisters of the heart, always in her heart. So cliché. So often used, but in this case, true. She couldn’t love them any more if they’d been born of the same parents. She met them, of all places, in a therapy group for the survivors of family members violently murdered. They’d come together, six women, all lost, all broken, and discovered that together they were much stronger.

 

The wind tugged at her hair, and she turned her face up to the night sky, inhaling deeply. She loved storms. She loved the northern California coast where the six women had pooled their resources, bought a farm and, for the last five years, grown close and even prosperous together. Tonight though, the clouds roiled and churned, a dark ominous black, nearly blotting out the moon. Not enough that she couldn’t see the bright red ring around the moon as it valiantly tried to shine behind the layer of clouds.

 

“A storm’s coming,” Blythe Daniels observed over her shoulder. She handed Lissa a cup of tea. She was tall and blond and towered over Lissa by quite a few inches. “Don’t you love when the moon is full and has rings around it and the sky is so dark it almost looks purple?”

 

Lissa took a sip of her tea. There was something soothing about tea. She’d only just discovered the properties of tea when she’d come to live on the farm with the others. Tea seemed to be the go-to drink when things were difficult. “I do love purple in the clouds,” she admitted, avoiding all discussion about the red rings and what they might mean. To her, they meant one thing – death. A violent death. Probably hers. She sighed softly and then forced a smile. She had to be so careful with these women. They all were very astute at reading one another.

 

“Come on, you two,” Lexi called from across the room. She was the youngest sister, the one Lissa was the closest to and the most protective over.

 

Lexi had recently fallen in love, and Lissa still went from being grateful for the match to being a little worried. Gavriil Prakenskii was no ordinary man. He was rough, scarred, and very dangerous. He was also very protective of Lexi. That, Lissa really liked, especially now.

 

Blythe leaned in close to her. “Are you all right, Lissa? You’re very quiet.”

 

Lissa felt her stomach flutter. Her heart clenched, a curious and disturbing physical reaction to the certain knowledge that Blythe saw far more than anyone else. It had been Blythe’s idea to band together and buy the farm. She’d been the driving force and she continued to be the one they all looked to.

 

“I’m always quiet,” Lissa pointed out, with another small smile. One, she knew, that didn’t reach her eyes. “Especially before a trip. This is a big one. I’ve got three hotels interested in my work. If I can get contracts with even one of them, let alone all three, we’ll be sitting pretty for a long time.” She turned away from the storm. Away from the night sky and the moon with its red rings that signaled danger and violence. “Who knew my chandeliers would take off across the world and I’d become famous for my art?”

 

She’d deliberately courted the European market. Still, she hadn’t expected, in five years, to be so successful.

 

“You know, with the men adding money to the farm, we’re not teetering every month on the brink of disaster. You don’t have to work so hard, Lissa,” Blythe said softly. “We all love you for it, but we’re good now. We can all take a breath. Thanks to Lexi, the farm is doing better than ever. Rikki, Judith and Airiana make certain whatever the weather, our crops aren’t adversely affected.”

 

“Exactly,” Lissa said, closing the door against the rising wind. “Rikki, Judith and Airiana ensure Lexi’s crops thrive. You boost their power. That’s the five of you working together to make the farm a success. What do I contribute? When I first started my business, you all helped me. You believed in me. This is my chance to give something back to the farm.”

 

Blythe opened her mouth to protest, took one look at her face and closed it again. “We’re all proud of you. The fact that three hotels are all vying for your chandeliers says you’ve made it.”

 

“I haven’t gotten the contracts yet,” Lissa said, pouring enthusiasm into her voice. “I had to delay the trip by a couple of weeks and reschedule because two of the managers couldn’t meet with me in the time I’d allotted for traveling. As it is, it will be tight.”

 

“Still” – Blythe led the way back into the center of the living room – “it’s exciting that you can visit so many countries in one trip and write it off legitimately.”

 

“That’s the best part,” Airiana Prakenskii said. She had recently married Maxim Prakenskii and was in the process of adopting four children, siblings she and her husband had rescued from a human trafficking ring. “Writing your trip off on your taxes.” She looked like a beautiful pixie with her natural platinum hair, large eyes and fragile appearance. She was anything but fragile. She was bound to air and worked for the defense department.

 

“I despise doing taxes,” Rikki Prakenskii admitted. “I love to dive, and it’s great getting paid for what I love doing, but then filing taxes makes it all a nightmare. Thank heavens for Lev. He totally understands all that.”

 

Lissa smiled at Rikki as she sank into the chair opposite her. “I love that you call him Lev now and that all of you have agreed to take the last name Prakenskii.”

 

Lexi shrugged. “Since Gavriil is living here and both he and Ilya use the name, why shouldn’t all of them?”

 

“Don’t you think it’s a little crazy that all of you married Prakenskiis?” Lissa asked. She set her teacup carefully on the end table and folded her hands together, threading her fingers rather tightly.

 

“Absolutely crazy,” Lexi agreed, “although, I’m not married.”

 

“It’s a matter of time,” Lissa said. “Gavriil will put his ring on your finger, just the way he put his mark on your palm. Don’t deny it. I’ve seen you rubbing your palm on your jeans. All of you do that.”

 

“Sometimes it itches,” Lexi said before she thought to deny it.

 

There was more laughter. Lissa loved the sound of her sisters laughing. There was genuine joy in them. They’d all started out so lost, so broken, especially Lexi. Intellectually, Lissa knew it was a combination of things that had changed for everyone. The way they united as a family, their farm and then the coming, one by one, of the Prakenskii brothers. “Why do you suppose all of you have settled down and fallen madly in love with Prakenskiis?” she asked.

 

“Hello,” Judith emphasized. “Are you blind? They’re just plain yummy.” Judith was married to Stefan Prakenskii. Judith was nearly as tall as Blythe, with long flowing black hair, a legacy from her Japanese mother. She was an artist and did restoration of paintings as well as creating unique and beautiful kaleidoscopes.

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