There was a storm brewing on the island, but something worse was infusing in Cole’s mind. He’d known Jade for many years, but she was off limits. She'd always liked him, but he'd never given her a second look before that morning, when a simple morning sail turned bad, leaving them stranded on an island. At first Cole tried to comfort her fears, but then he became one of them, keeping her captive.
Cole’s jail term was the price he paid for his crimes against her, and he came out a changed man. He assumed Jade was now married to another man. He had her in his heart, but he promised himself he’d leave her be.
Jade’s life however, had taken a turn for the worst. A damaging relationship, and a lack of money, threw her and her young son into the streets, ultimately leading her into the dark world of a bad drug addiction.
Cole became her rescuer when he found her on the beach, taking her into his home, and it seemed like a safe haven, but it proved not to be so safe after all.
Jade’s eyes opened to the dark room, drifting to the digital clock. The blue numbers read one a.m. She looked toward the bed where Sarah and Keith slept, cautiously pulling the covers back from her body as she slipped out of the bed. She hadn’t had a minute alone since Sarah had picked her up, and she needed some fresh air. White plastic chairs sat outside the rooms, and Jade considered sitting down, but instead she walked. The damp boardwalk felt cool against her bare feet, as she strolled over the wooden slats. She could hear the rush of the ocean calling to her. Her body leaned against the railing as her eyes closed, her face feeling the sea’s spray as it carried with the breeze. It was cool night, but not really cold, and as wonderful as this moment was, Jade still felt discontentment. She watched the oceans caps running up the beach, quickly withdrawing with the tide, and she considered how she could just disappear and maybe never be found, if she followed the water out. She walked to the stairs leading to the beach, carefully taking each one, until the sand wrapped over her feet. She was the only soul there. There was no one to witness what happened, no one to tell. She stepped forward, looking down as her feet sunk into the cold mud. The ocean rushed to her, soaking the bottom of her jeans. She took another step forward, wondering why she was hesitating. She knew what she wanted. She wanted this torture to go away. Her life had been a mistake, she’d long ago reasoned, and it was beyond time for her to rectify nature’s error. She felt the cold water against her knees as she took a breath, readying herself to dive in, when her waist was seized by a pair of strong hands. She screamed out with the touch of her assailant, fighting him for her freedom, but he wasn’t letting go. “Calm down,” he whispered, the sound of his voice echoing her memory. She turned to face him as he released her, but she was rendered speechless. “Midnight swim?” he questioned, feeling it was something more cynical. She snickered as she mentally examined her luck. “It would be just like you to invade a time like this,” she scorned. “A time like what?” he questioned. She looked out to the dark ocean, before she turned around and walked to the dry sand, squatting before she sat down. He soon joined her. “I thought you were still locked up,” she said. “Surprise!” he smirked. “I’d say,” she mumbled. “So what’s this all about?” he questioned, doubting she’d tell him the truth. “It’s like you said, I wanted to take a moonlight swim. Why are you here, anyway?” she asked with a second thought. “I live here,” he announced. “Really?” her voice lifted. “Just around that corner,” he said, pointing upward. She remembered her last conversation with him, and how she had threatened him, and she wondered why he hadn’t brought up her canceled marriage, or their son. For a moment she considered telling Cole everything, but then she wondered why she would do such a thing. She and Cole were not that close. All the good about him had only been in her mind, but then she thought of her son. If she were gone, Adam would need Cole. “Adam’s with my parents,” she spoke up. “Why?” he asked. “Because it was the best place for him under the circumstances.” She looked into his questioning eyes. “I didn’t get married, and I have a drug problem,” she admitted, watching as his eyes lifted. “You and drugs?” He laughed, remembering how against them she used to be. “Ironic, isn’t it?” she sighed. “Why? What happened?” he pried. “Life happened, Cole. “I thought I was beyond ever feeling this way, but when my life took the wrong turn…” she paused, looking into his eyes. “It was all downhill from there,” she confessed. He looked out to the darkness, listening as the waves crashed against the shore. He could recall feeling as downhearted as she appeared to be at that moment, but he didn’t consider that she could ever be that way. She was always so confident, so proud, and now…