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Calder White lives in the cold, clear waters of Lake Superior, the only brother in a family of murderous mermaids. To survive, Calder and his sisters prey on humans, killing them to absorb their energy. But this summer the underwater clan targets Jason Hancock out of pure revenge. They blame Hancock for their mother's death and have been waiting a long time for him to return to his family's homestead on the lake. Hancock has a fear of water, so to lure him in, Calder sets out to seduce Hancock's daughter, Lily. ...
Calder White lives in the cold, clear waters of Lake Superior, the only brother in a family of murderous mermaids. To survive, Calder and his sisters prey on humans, killing them to absorb their energy. But this summer the underwater clan targets Jason Hancock out of pure revenge. They blame Hancock for their mother's death and have been waiting a long time for him to return to his family's homestead on the lake. Hancock has a fear of water, so to lure him in, Calder sets out to seduce Hancock's daughter, Lily. Easy enough--especially as Calder has lots of practice using his irresistable good looks and charm on ususpecting girls. Only this time Calder screws everything up: he falls for Lily--just as Lily starts to suspect that there's more to the monsters-in-the-lake legends than she ever imagined. And just as his sisters are losing patience with him.
From the Hardcover edition.
I hadn't killed anyone all winter, and I have to say I felt pretty good about that. Sure, I'd wanted to, but too many suspicious drownings got people talking. Fearful towns- people were the last thing I needed. Besides, I was getting a sick thrill out of denying my body what it craved. Self-control was my latest obsession. I doubted my sisters could say the same thing.
Rising through the Caribbean waters, I walked my fingers up the bank of dead coral until I found the pattern of cracks I was looking for. I followed it to the surface, coming up at the spot where I'd stashed my pile of human clothes. My cell phone was ringing somewhere in the pile. Maris, I thought, gritting my teeth. I'd lost count of how many times she'd called today. I'd let all her attempts go to voice mail.
A splashing sound pulled my attention from my sister's ringtone, and I jerked around to face the ocean. An easy hundred yards away, a girl lay on an inflatable raft. A yellow light outlined her body. She wasn't ripe yet. Maybe, if I waited, the yellow light would grow into something more brilliant--more satisfying--more worth breaking my hard-won self-control over.
Against my will, the memory of my last kill teased the corners of my brain. It tempted me, mocked me for ever thinking I could rise above my nature. My fingers twitched at the months-old memory: the grabbing, the diving, the guise of human legs giving way to tail and fin, the tingling sensation heating my core as I pinned my prey to the ocean floor, absorbing that intoxicating light, drawing the brilliant emotion out of her body until I felt almost . . .
Oh, what the hell.
But before I dove after the unsuspecting girl, my cell went off again. For a second I considered chucking it into the ocean; it was the disposable kind, after all. But that was a little extreme. Even for me. I let it go to voice mail. I mean, it wasn't like I didn't know why Maris was calling. The old, familiar pull was back. That pull--somewhere behind my rib cage, between my heart and my lungs--that told me it was almost time to leave Bahamian warmth and return to my family in the cold, bleak waters of Lake Superior. It was time to migrate.
A shiver rippled down my arms. Get a grip, Calder, I told myself. Ignore it. You don't have to leave quite yet. I could hear the memory of my mother's voice telling me the same thing, just as she had before my first migration. Focus, son, she'd said, rumpling my curly hair. Timing is everything.
Thirty years might have passed, but the loss of my mother still gripped my stomach. It hurt to remember. And the great lake only made the memories more painful. No, there was no good reason to go back to the States. Except that I had no choice.
The urge to migrate was irresistible. Far more powerful than the urge to kill. With each rise and fall of the moon, with each turn of the tide, it grew more impossible to ignore. Experience told me there were only a few more weeks before I had to rejoin my sisters. By the end of May, I'd be shooting through the water on a missile's course. God help anyone who got in my way.
My cell went off again. With a resigned curse, I pulled myself halfway out of the water and dug through my clothes until I found it and hit Send.
"Nice of you to take my call," Maris said.
"What do you want?"
"It's time. Get home. Now." Her voice, originally sarcastic, now rang with her usual fanaticism. I could hear my other sisters, Pavati and Tallulah, in the background, echoing her enthusiasm.
"Why now?" I asked, my voice flat. "It's still April."
"Why are you being...