Driftfeather on the Alaska Seas

Could it have been a strange coincidence or a magical matter of fate that allowed the final draft of Driftfeather on the Alaska Seas to be finished during the full solar eclipse of May 2012? For Mara Benson, interspersed among all the losses have been moments of brilliant awareness, yet until now, she has been comfortable—perhaps even secure—drifting in the wake of life’s journey. Now, in the third book of the Feather series, Mara Benson will finally reach the ultimate future of her past. You’ve come to know her well. Destiny will now allow her to know herself. Join her in this modern day mystery as she expands her horizons, makes new liaisons, is tempered by fresh challenges, and emerges from the shadows of darkness into the nurturing warmth of the sun—all in this place named Alaska that they call the last frontier.

 

Chapter One

Beginning From the End

 

The divorce had been acrimonious—unexpectedly so to say the least, and not helped one tiny bit by the fact that Mara’s now ex-husband had brought Sassy’s daughter, Erin, to the proceedings.

Perhaps it had been some kind of skewed karma or something, since it had been she who Doug had left Sassy for, although by no means had she been instrumental in that happening. Now he had left her.

No, it had all been out of her control, she having just arrived in Alaska from the south 48 when they met—flung, along with Doug and all those close to him into the melodrama of international proportions that had marked her first two years in the place many called the Last Frontier.

Erin certainly hadn’t looked pregnant anymore when she had seen her at the proceedings this morning. Not that that was a tragedy. Being free of any memory of her cruel rape at the hands of the drug lord who killed her mother was probably a good thing for someone as young as she, no matter how well-intentioned she had been about accepting the circumstances of her life. Why, and under what circumstances nearly 40-year-old Doug Williams had become entangled with the daughter of his ex-lover was the real mystery.  

She shrugged as the scenario played out in her head. Why should she care? She and Doug were now officially divorced, and he had chosen to not even show a final increment of respect by bringing his young paramour to the courtroom.

She had personally handed their wolf-dog, Thor, over to him on the way out of the courthouse, and it had been hard. She and Thor had always had a close bond and having him with her as she readied her house for sale and packed for the move to Juneau had been her only joy since Doug had shocked her with the news that he was leaving her.

Doug wanted Thor back and since Thor was originally his dog, she didn’t resist. She and Thor would always be connected—and that was a fact. She had told Doug more than once, and in no uncertain terms, that if he ever changed his mind about keeping Thor, he should find a way to get him to her—no matter what it took to find her. She would try to believe that he had listened.

 According to the court clerk, it would take two weeks before the paperwork making the change to her maiden name would be final. Somehow that made it all the easier to drive down to the glacier-fed Knik River south of Palmer and let the SUV Doug had bought her for her last birthday roll into the river. By the time any of them knew about the “accident,” she would have filed a report on the lost vehicle, claiming that she had, in her distraught state, accidentally forgotten to put it in park when she had stopped near the river to mourn the end of her marriage.

The newspaper would later report the accident and that she was okay, but by then she would be well on her way to Juneau with none of those who had been her Alaska family aware of how or when she would get there. Although, for some, the act could be viewed as immature and overly dramatic, Brad Edwards had left her a wealthy widow and the sacrificing of the SUV accomplished the dual purpose of freeing her from another memory of the man whose pledge to love her forever had been as empty as he had left her heart, and of securing her freedom from those who she knew might try to find her.

 At least Doug had been decent enough to forfeit any claim to her assets—a relief in view of his otherwise contentious behavior as of late. The new truck and camper she purchased before leaving Palmer the next day would serve to take her to a new life, free from all the horrors of the past two years.

As far as her friends in Palmer, those with whose lives she had become tightly entwined, having hidden Doug’s activities with Erin from her—well, they would have to be part of the past. Whether intentionally or not, they had betrayed her.

 Never again would she trust as much as she had this time. Except for Thor, none of them mattered anymore—or so Mara Benson’s head tried to silence her heart.