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This fanfic is a "work in progress"  I WILL try to write more soon, but if you do not like to read stories that are not completed, then you shouldn't read this one...

New Partners, prologue

     Jameson Jackson McGonnigal, Jack to his friends, Cannibal Jack to those who listened to rumors and little else, covertly studied Clare Devon as she waited tables in Lavinia’s bar.  He was seated at one of the smaller side tables, away from the hustle and bustle of the crowd.  A French Naval Ship was in port, and the sailors had temporarily taken over the town of Matavai. 
       It had been nearly a year since Clare had arrived in town. 
       Nearly a year since she’d come to meet an illusion. 
       An illusion he had purported to be in the letters they had corresponded to one another.  Soon after she’d arrived, after she’d learned the truth, she had decided they would be only friends.  Jack had agreed, albeit reluctantly, thinking friendship would be enough.  Of course the decision had been made before he’d fallen in love.  Oh, he’d been attracted to her, attracted when she’d just been a name.  Her letters had been the one bright spot in his otherwise dreary life.  When she’d arrived on the island, her letters had stopped.  He found that he missed the letters even though he now had the living, breathing woman to talk with.  He missed hearing about her hopes and her dreams.  He missed telling her his.
       He noticed one of the French sailor’s hands reach out to slap the object of his attention on her backside.  Jack growled under his breath and started to stand.  He wasn’t sure what, exactly, he intended to do.  He just knew no one was going to be allowed to treat her that way!  In the split second it took his mind to tell his body to move, Clare reached down and removed the sailor’s hand from her bottom.  Whatever she said to the sailor had his shipmates roaring with laughter.  Clare smiled coolly and turned back to the bar.  In doing so, she caught sight of Jack.  Her smile became radiant and she winked at him before chuckling and continuing on her way. 
       Jack shook his head, smiling to himself as he sat back down.  Damned if she hadn’t figured out what he was up to.  Trying to rescue a woman who obviously had learned to look out for herself. 
       He was still shaking his head when a shadow fell across the table.  He looked up to see Isabelle Reed, another independent female, standing in front of him. 
       “Mind if I join you?”  Not waiting for his response, she sat down.
       “What can I do for you, Isabelle?” 
       Isabelle took her time before answering.  She stared at him as if trying to come to some sort of decision.  Finally she smiled, reached out to grab the shot of whiskey he’d been nursing for the past half-hour, and swallowed the remaining liquor.  Slapping the glass back onto the table she sighed.  “I need your help.”
       Jack genuinely liked Isabelle.  She was a straight shooter, forthright and outspoken.  They’d watched each other’s backs a time or two in the past.  So he didn’t have to think before he answered, “You got it.” 
       Isabelle glanced around the crowded bar and frowned.  “We can’t talk here.  Let’s go for a walk.”  Jack stood, tossed some coins onto the table and they left.
       Standing behind the bar, pouring her current order of drinks, Clare watched them go.

***

       David Grief stood staring out at the ocean.  He was standing on the beach in front of Mauriri’s home, replaying their most recent argument in his mind and pondering just how his life had turned into such a mess.
       He knew Colin had told him not to blame himself for being taken in by Jenny.  But how could he not?  He’d allowed his feeling for her to blind him to her true nature.  He’d jeopardized his business.  Worse, he’d jeopardized his relationship with his best friend and partner. 
       Not ten minutes before Mo had greeted him coldly, sending the children into the house and sitting proud and resolute on his porch.  He’d commented on the condition of The Rattler and had asked what had happened.  Although David had repeated his story that he’d killed Jenny, Mo had seen right through his act.  He had assured David that Isabelle’s secret was safe and then told him, flat out, he didn’t think they could be partners anymore.  David had told him they could patch things up, but Mo had replied he didn’t know and followed his children inside. 
       David had then strolled out onto the beach, at a loss as to how to proceed.  He stood there for another ten minutes, feeling as if his world had fallen apart.  Even his breakup with Lavinia hadn’t hurt this bad. 

on to part I       back to fanfic index         top of page 


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