Daughters of Eve Collection (Books 1, 2 & 3)

By: Danielle Bourdon

Sin and Sacrifice


Chapter One


"He called you disobedient? Please." Evelyn scoffed and popped a grape in her mouth. "Did you whack him upside the head when he spit that blasphemy out?"

Genevieve, sitting close to the balcony rail with the glittering Mediterranean spread out behind her, laughed and set her glass of lemonade down.

"No, but I asked him if he was confused about his role in my life. Told him I wouldn't obey any man that wasn't my father, and, since this was only the fourth date, it probably wasn't going to work out,” she replied.

"What did he say to that?" Evelyn asked with a vast amount of amusement. Classically African, Genevieve had broad cheekbones, a high forehead, bow shaped mouth and a laid back, bohemian flair that attracted members of the opposite sex like bees to honey. The close crop of her dark hair accentuated her striking features and unusual, gray eyes.

Genevieve sat straighter in her chair and affected a studious frown. "You will make a difficult wife for any man. This is best ended."

“So you're not only disobedient, you're difficult and have an opinion. How dare you.” They both laughed. She and Genevieve shared a passion for independence. Snagging a tube of sunscreen out of the bag at her feet, she started slathering it on. The light, golden hue of her skin was prone to burn if she didn't protect it.

Across the round, wrought iron table, slouched into an unfeminine splay of knees and elbows, Alexandra snorted. Her fingers flew over the keys of the netbook perched in her lap. "Didn't take much to convince him. C'est la vie. Don't let the door hit'cha on the way out, bub.”

Genevieve laughed and flicked condensation drops from her glass at Alexandra. “You wouldn't say that to a guy you were about to dump.”

“Yes I would,” Alex argued. The tomboy shared a fiendish smile with them that spelled trouble and rebellion.

“You're incorrigible, Alex.” Evelyn, rubbing a small dab of sunscreen on her own nose, winked at the grinning Genevieve and pretended to give Alexandra a chiding look.

"Run, don't walk, from any man talking about marriage on the fourth date,” Minna, the oldest of the four with a hint of the orient in her eyes and bone structure, added her two cents. Skin clear of wrinkles or laugh lines, she actually appeared younger than the dark haired Alexandra.

"Hear, hear." Evelyn lifted her glass of raspberry lemonade.

Genevieve and Minna brought their drinks across the table to clink, toasting that particular bit of wisdom. They all tipped back a swallow at the same time. Alexandra was too busy with her netbook to bother.

“Alexandra, will you get your nose out of that computer for five minutes?" Evelyn said.

"I'm checking something."

"Checking what?" Evelyn asked. She arched a brow.

"This and that."

“That's a fabulous answer. You're always checking something." Evelyn glanced at Minna, who sat in the chair closest to Alexandra, and appealed for intervention with nothing more than a look.

Minna reached over and clapped the lid of the netbook closed.

"Hey! This is mutiny! I've already seen the water, Ev. And pretty much all of Athens, too." Alexandra slumped back in the chair, grinning despite her protests. She flicked the end of her dark ponytail over a shoulder and laced her fingers on her stomach. "Besides, we've been gossiping since breakfast."

"We're not gossiping," Evelyn scoffed. "We're catching up.”

“Well how much could have changed in the two days since we all left California and flew here?” Alex asked.

“Obviously, Genevieve isn't dating what's-his-name anymore. That's news worthy,” Evelyn retorted.

Minna and Genevieve watched the volley like a ping pong match.

“We coulda found that out at home though. Besides, we all knew Gen wasn't going to stay with that guy.” Alexandra lifted her chin.

“You didn't know that,” Evelyn argued.

“Did so. When I met him that night of their second date, he looked like he had a stick up his a--”

“Alexandra.” Evelyn eyed her sister, struggling not to laugh. None of the girls had liked Genevieve's last 'date'. He'd been too stiff, too serious. Too controlling. Genevieve's languid nature had clashed like oil and water with his stern, stilted view on life.

No one could say Gen hadn't tried.

Before Alexandra could veer the entire conversation out of control, Evelyn said, “Anyway. I was thinking that maybe we could all move back here.” She swept a hand out toward the sparkling Mediterranean.

They had a stunning view from their balcony. Cast in shade from the overhang, the four women who sat around the wrought iron table exchanged glances.

“Live in Greece?” Alex asked.

“Well, maybe not in Greece. Somewhere in Europe though. What do you think?” Evelyn had wanted to return to the womb of the world for longer than she cared to admit. Living in southern California had its purpose and its pleasures, but the twenty-eight years they'd spent on the west coast crawled by at a snail's pace. Centuries whipped by in the blink of an eye when she wasn't pining and homesick.

She glanced at each of her sisters in turn, gauging reaction. Alexandra wouldn't have a problem; Genevieve would think about it for a few minutes and agree, and Minna would predictably hesitate. Of all the siblings, Minna was the most cautious, the one who thought about every angle for days at a time before committing.

“I think it's a great idea,” Minna said.

Shocked, Evelyn stared at her.

“Pacific Palisades is nice enough, but I'm ready to move.” Minna took a drink of her lemonade.

“It's because she broke up with what's-his-name, Ev. We can't stay there too much longer anyway or people might start askin' questions. I'm in. I'll go where ever,” Alexandra retorted, fiddling with the smooth cover of the netbook. Loving little pets over the glossy surface.

Genevieve just smiled, teeth strikingly white against her mocha colored skin. “Let's make plans. We're all single right now, so it's a perfect time to pull roots and relocate.”

“Exactly,” Evelyn said. Excitement spiraled through her. That had gone much easier than she'd thought. “So the question becomes...where?”

England, France and Spain had already been their locale of choice when they'd moved here in previous years. Evelyn would live in any of those countries again in an instant. Each one held special memories during different points in history. She waited to see what places her sisters came up with before laying out suggestions of her own.

“Well, let's look it up,” Alexandra said with no small amount of glee. Only because it gave her an excuse to pop open the netbook and start typing in destinations.

“You're so transparent, Alex.” Evelyn traded knowing looks with Genevieve and Minna.

Alexandra just smiled while her fingers flew over the keys.

“Maybe one of the islands this time,” Genevieve said. “Get a place right on the beach.”

“Oh, nice, Gen,” Minna said. “Do you remember that time we stopped in Crete?”

“Of course we remember,” Alex said. “That was when Genevieve got drunk and--”

“If you love your little computer, you will not finish that sentence.” The languor that Genevieve delivered her threat with nevertheless had an instant impact.

Alexandra snickered, cleared her throat, and kept talking like there had been no interruption. Except any mention of drunken escapades were notably missing. “Crete was awesome. We had to all but drag Minna out of there.”

“Okay, put Crete on the list,” Evelyn said. She loved the island as well—loved all of Greece—which was why they were here on vacation. Antigua was the last island they had lived on. Five years of bliss in the late fifteen hundreds.

“What do you think Galiana's gonna say?” Alexandra asked without looking up from the netbook screen.

“As long as there's shopping, she won't care,” Genevieve said, drawing a laugh from the three other girls.

“That's the truth. Speaking of Galiana, where is she?” Evelyn glanced at the sliding glass doors leading inside their hotel suite. She couldn't quite see the clock from here and refused to wear a watch on vacation.

“Late, as usual.” Minna twisted around to follow Evelyn's gaze.

No Galiana in sight.

“If she wouldn't have missed the flight out of California to begin with--” Alex said.

“But I just need two more pairs of shorts!” Evelyn mimicked Galiana's voice in perfect imitation.

Genevieve laughed into her drink. Minna joined her.

“I'll check the flight schedule,” Alexandra said with a muffled snicker at the teasing. “Maybe her plane's delayed.”

“Let me go try and call her. If she's shopping at the airport I'll hurry her along.” Evelyn set down her glass and stood up. The situation was not unusual; Galiana, famous for keeping them waiting, rarely arrived anywhere on time. After retying the red sarong around her hips, she skirted the table, pushed back the clear glass door and stepped inside.

She's just delayed or distracted, Evelyn reassured herself, refusing to let paranoia take hold and steer her thoughts in directions she didn't want them to go.

***

The sight of the three women languishing in the shade on the balcony paused Evelyn at the door when she closed it. Genevieve, dark all over except for her gray eyes; Minna, slender and deceptively delicate; Alexandra, the rough-and-tumble little heathen with black hair halfway to her butt.

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