Southwest of Homer, Book 2
by Cherime MacFarlane
by Cherime MacFarlane
The poacher is an ever-present threat to Ally as captain of Tore Olson's boat, Valley Girl. She doesn't understand why he refuses to go to the Alaska State Troopers. She agreed to help him by taking over the captain's chair when Tore broke his leg. She didn't sign on to evade a poacher, scramble to catch enough fish to make the balloon payment and dodge the big Swede.
Fishing on Lower Cook Inlet southwest of Homer is stressful enough without the added tension of wondering how Rurik will react to her wanting to return as captain of the family fishing boat. Her younger brother is doing fine without her. Marriage has settled the man down and Ally fears it isn't fair to ask him to give up his new position as captain of the Arina. When she does turn the Valley Girl back to Tore, what is she going to do with herself?
She put his gear away after making sure the Velcro side seam was still intact. Eyes closed slightly, he watched her move around the cabin. Every move she made was done with a grace which enticed him.
The first time he saw Alyona Ksana Petrov in the Old Salt Bar, he had to fight to keep his mouth shut so the saliva didn't mess up the front of his shirt. When the introductions got made, he almost shit a brick. How in the world could any woman who looked like a runway model be a fishing vessel captain?
By the time his first season out of Homer ended, he had to admit the woman knew her stuff. The Petrov family owned the Arina for a long time and Ally had handled the boat with ease.
She quietly closed the door on her way out. Tore's eyes popped open, and he stared at the ceiling. Ally got nervous when he looked at her too long, but he liked watching her. All that fine blonde hair and those gray eyes that changed with her moods like the waters they sailed did things to his gut.
He wanted her. Then again, outside of her brother and cousin, he didn't know a man in the fleet who hadn't wondered what it would be like with Ally. Maybe Fawke never thought about Ally; Ornery Maddox had the Cajun tied in knots.
Tore conned her into sharing the bed for all of two nights. But he got too impatient. She didn't go for the accidentally-pulling-her-close-in-his-sleep action. Ally now slept on the back of the settee in sweats. A very immature tactic on his part cost him the pleasure of having the woman next to him. He wondered if she said anything to Rurik?
In the beginning, he didn't respect the kid. Anyone with a nickname like the Russian Raider had to be full of shit. But when the kid cornered him that night in Seldovia in the basement of the Petrov family home and warned him to be good to his sister, Tore changed his mind.
And to top that, he must stop cursing their cousin, Isshy. The Old Believer hadn't screwed with his gear. Tore put his concerns about Isshy away. If Isshy's worthless brother-in-law were at the helm, Tore wouldn't have doubted the drunk pirated fish or gear or both.
The half pill slowly kicked in. Olson closed his eyes and thought about the woman at the helm that looked like an ice sculpture carved for Fur Rondy. He told his sister and dad that he hadn't found the right woman yet. He lied; the problem came when he tried to figure out how to hook her and pull her in. Not quite sure about the mechanics before breaking his leg, Tore decided it was a lucky break in one way.
Homer Bait and Switch
He's not a bad guy, but he did something that has his mother and sister upset. Then there are all the girls in town, they've nicknamed him the Russian Raider.
There's new girl in town, Lynn. Rurik feels the pull the moment he sees her. His reputation is against him and the fisherman knows it.
“I didn’t plan to take off with the money. Ally, my sister was driving our fishing boat to the boatyard to schedule a ton of work the old tub needed to continue making us money. She handed the check from the last offload of salmon to me. I was supposed to take it to the bank and deposit the money.
In all my twenty-six years, I hadn’t been anywhere out of Alaska. I stared at that check, eighty thousand plus a few hundred and didn’t want to let go of it.”
After doing something stupid, Rurik has to fix things which won't be easy.
I came to Alaska kicking and screaming in 1976, and I never want to leave. I cut firewood on shares for money to get through the winter. I swore I would not live above the Alaska Range because it was too cold there and wound up in the Copper River Basin where it got just a cold as Fairbanks.
My second husband, a Scot from Glasgow, was the love of my life. When I write Scots dialect, I experienced hearing it from my in-laws. Each time my husband got on the phone to Scotland after five seconds, I could hardly understand a word. I was my second husband's chief mechanic's helper and roadie.
I live in a cabin which is slowly being surrounded by the city and wish I were farther out. My cat and Husky-Collie mix dog are happy in our little slice of heaven called Alaska. In the silence of winter dreams of people and places provide a rich pool of ideas to explore.
As a reporter for the Copper Valley Views, Cherime MacFarlane received a letter of commendation from the Copper River Native Association for fair and balanced reporting.
Other Awards: Finalist in McGrath Book Awards 2017, Amazon Best Selling in Anthologies-twice and Hardest Working Author Award from Author Classified.
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