Not everything is as it seems.
Andrea had never seen Mitchell smile this way before. He looked genuinely happy. This smile made all of his others pale in comparison.
Too busy admiring the smile on his face, Andrea missed the quick action that Mitchell had made to pull the hunting knife from the sheath on his left ankle. She only realised something was amiss when the moonlight caught the blade as he thrust it into her abdomen. She drew breath, gasping for air.
Grabbing his hand in both of hers, she pulled the knife free of her body. Blood flowed out of the wound and down her clothing. It was not visible until it began to soak into her jeans, her black shirt masking the dark red liquid.
Mitchell clumsily lunged forward again, but Andrea shifted slightly to her right and he fell heavily to his knees, missing his mark. She reached for an oar, raised it back over her shoulder and thumped it down on Boyd’s head. The force was not enough to knock him unconscious, but enough to daze him.
‘What the hell, Mitchell?’ She grabbed for his knife and threw it overboard before pushing her hands against her wound.
‘You agreed to marry me,’ he mumbled, face down on the bottom of the boat.
‘Yes, and you stabbed me.’ She looked at her hands. The blood oozing from the wound was very dark. She was in serious trouble.
‘You would have been my thirteenth,’ he tried to sit up twice before succeeding.
It began to dawn on Andrea. His reaction to the story on the front page of the morning paper had struck her as odd, but she had brushed the thought aside.
‘It’s you, isn’t it? The story on the front page this morning.’
He leered at her, his laughter reminding Andrea of a hyena. Mitchell touched the back of his head where the oar had connected with his skull. There was a softness there that he thought was wrong. He rubbed the area and pulled his hand away to look at the blood.
On his fingers was more than simply blood. He didn’t recognise the slightly pink material that covered his fingertips. Andrea snickered. She knew exactly what it was and couldn’t resist telling him.
‘Sweetie, that’s your brain matter. I wouldn’t be pulling too much of it out.’
He grinned back at her. ‘It’s okay, honey. If I’m on my way out, so are you. You’re bleeding out. I got the knife in far enough to lacerate your liver. By the colour of the blood that’s on your hands, you don’t have very long left. Mine was perfectly placed, yours was a lucky hit.’
. . . To be continued . . .