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HERE TODAY GONE TO MAUI, HAILEY
I Got Your Back, Hailey Book 4
BY JUNE KRAMIN
A relaxing day on her favorite beach on Maui comes to a screeching halt when Hailey finds a little girl wandering alone, searching for her mother. When she gets the child to her father and discovers who he is, their vacation is officially over. Parker has no choice but to once again bring in Amanda and Hunt (from Hunter’s Find) to help.
Amanda is the one who helped this man leave his New York life behind. As they struggle to find if his previous mob involvement had anything to do with his wife’s disappearance, they discover her father has secrets of his own. The circle of deceit stretches over oceans, with too many players to let the family safely return home.
Trusting anyone is a luxury even Parker can’t afford. Drug activity, property wars, and more secrets from the past come back to haunt them all.
Bianca was quiet as we wandered the beach, searching for her mother.
I felt we’d gone far enough and wanted to head back. I got us turned back around, then we headed just as far in the other direction. Nothing. “Maybe we should go find her father, Donny.”
He stopped and knelt in front of her. “Do you know the name of your hotel, sweetie?”
She shook her head. “No, but it’s that one right there,” she said, pointing to one just past where we’d found her. It was our hotel.
“That’s where we’re staying, too. Can you take us to your room?” I know this was a tall order for someone so small. I’ve been known to get lost in smaller hotels than this. Of course alcohol was involved, though. Maybe we had a chance.
“Uh-huh. We’re right off the beach.”
Donny stood and took her hand again. “If he’s not there, then what?” he whispered to me.
“Manager, then cops, I suppose. I’m starting to get an uneasy feeling about this. You want me to take her? You go hop on Maryann and see if there are any Greek officials vacationing here?” Not a shred of information was safe from Donny and his hacking ability on his device he dubbed Maryann. To say he was obsessed with reruns of Gilligan’s Island was an understatement.
“If that were the case, I’d think they’d be after the kid, not the mother. My money is still on she’s a wreck, searching the beach. In any case, I’m not leaving you until we get some kind of answer.”
A man came running down a path toward us. I thought maybe he was her father but he kept going and dove into the waves. He was fully clothed, but I’ve seen stranger things. I try to make light of it. “Someone was happy to go for a swim.”
She let out a small laugh, then tugged us along the path the man had just cleared. “We’re just over here.” Releasing both our hands, she ran through the gate then the open sliding glass door. “Pa-pa! Pa-pa! Is Mommy here? Pa-pa! Where are you?”
My heart skipped a few beats. I was worried he was missing as well. Finally a handsome Italian-looking man came around the corner, drying his hair with a towel. “What are you doing back so soon, baby doll?”
He immediately dropped to his knees when he caught her distress. She burst into tears and ran to him, flying into his arms. His face scowled with concern as he held her tight and approached us. “Who are you? What’s wrong with Bianca? Where’s her mother?”
“We don’t know. I’m sorry. We found your daughter wandering on the beach alone. We tried to find her mother, figuring she was out looking for her as well,” I explained in a word-vomit kind of way.
“Did you call the police?”
“Not yet,” Donny said as he extended his hand. “Donny Cummings. This is Hailey Mitchell. I mean, Peters. We’re staying here, too. That was the next step if we didn’t find you.” Donny ran his fingers through his wet hair. “Not to jump to conclusions here, but…is there a reason you jump straight to calling the cops? No chance she just lost track of time?”
He held Bianca even tighter to his chest with one arm, one hand cradled her head, which was buried deep in his neck. She was still sobbing, poor dear.
“No.” He said after a long pause. “Not my Denise. She would never leave Bianca alone. Never. Especially near water. She’s just learned to swim.” His gaze went from mine to Donny’s, frantic.
“Do you want me to call the police?” I asked.
He shouted “No,” a little too quickly.
Goddammit. There goes our vacation.
“There is a fine line between genius and crazy…I like to use that line as a jump rope!”
June, who prefers to go by Bug, was born in Philadelphia but moved to Maui, Hawaii when she was four. She met her “Prince Charming” on Kauai and is currently living “Happily Ever After” in a small town in Minnesota. She writes women’s fiction ranging from time travel, romantic suspense, to new adult/college age romance. She also writes middle-grade fantasy under the pen name Ann T. Bugg.
Her son and daughter are her greatest accomplishments. She takes pride in embarrassing them every chance she gets.
Being hopelessly addicted to 80’s music is her superpower.
Links to June’s website, blog, books, etc.
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