Chasing the Waves

By: A.J. Marcus & Nicole Godfrey

The Depths and the Shallows Book 1


Can a dolphin shifter and a human survive the sharks long enough to find the love they both seek so desperately?





As an agent of The Shallows, Galadir accepts a job escorting a family of Selkies from Tasmania to Ireland, knowing there will be risk. The ocean is filled with sharks and other operatives of The Depths, an organization of shifters bent on reclaiming the oceans for themselves, who are determined to stop them. When things get dire, Galadir is forced to accept aid from an unexpected source.

Chase Crowely is a marine photographer who has just received his first assignment from a major nature magazine. Now he races around the world to try to photograph the unusual sight of a dolphin protecting fur seals. Little does he know there’s much more to the story than he suspects. By the time he gets the pictures he wants, he’s torn between his need to complete the assignment and his need to protect his new love.

The two unlikely men come together to protect others, risking the possibility of destroying their own lives or at the very least their hearts.



Dedication





For all those seeking to find love in the hard to reach places.





Chapter One





Galadir swam ahead of the trio of Selkies. The smallest, a very rare all-white newborn pup, made the pace slower than he would’ve liked. Alone he could’ve made the trip in a month. But with his charges and all the stops they had to make, it would take more than two. Galadir was in dolphin form and built for speed, but because there was a reason he’d been hired to protect them, he had to move at a seal’s pace. The family was one of the few left of their species, and Galadir happened to be a skilled shark hunter. They couldn’t travel by human airplanes, as the little one didn’t have any control over his shape changing, and until he could remove his skin and become human, he had to be isolated to shifter only communities.

If this family wasn’t so important, he would’ve passed on the job. He knew a minion of The Depths was plotting something; he could feel it.

The Depths had started out as a group protesting against human interaction and had grown into a faction of disgruntled ocean shifters. The Enforcers couldn’t police the deeper waters, so they’d turned to the dolphin community for help.

Galadir switched to circling the family. The murky waters around Australia were perfect hiding places for the large predators that lived there. And the perfect place for an ambush. Luckily, being a dolphin shifter, he used echolocation and perceived the distortion of energy around living creatures. The series of clicks he sent out came back showing only small fish in the immediate area.

The final destination, at least for him, was the frigid waters of Great Britain and the small Selkie colony there. Their path would take them around the Cape of Good Hope and up the coast of Africa.

Most of the trip wouldn’t be as dangerous as the cape. The deep, dark water harbored a large population of great whites. If the tip of South America had been a safer choice, they would’ve taken that route instead. Unfortunately, during the spring, the numbers of sharks and orcas increased due to the melting ice, making that route longer and just as dangerous.

The slow pace made Galadir jittery. He had too much energy to meander the way the Selkies were. Even circling the trio wasn’t enough to really burn off his need for speed.

Widening his circle and adding a pass both above and below, Galadir sent out several more calls. There were a few smaller sharks following a school of mackerel, but nothing big enough to pose a threat. Shame—Galadir would’ve liked a challenge to break up the monotony. He wanted something to go after, something to give him an excuse to stop feeling like a babysitter and be a dolphin for a while.

Galadir’s level of anxiety could’ve been due to Gregory’s disappearance. The morning before he was to leave for the Selkie birthing grounds, he woke up to an empty bed. No note. No goodbye. Not even a number to call. They’d only been seeing each other for about a week, but for the first time, Galadir had considered staying human. If it meant waking up to Gregory’s chiseled face and storm cloud eyes, he might have stepped away from his beloved waters.

Even the practical side, the side that made sure his wandering thoughts didn’t take too much of his attention, told him that emotions could make a tense situation seem more ominous. He viewed it as a good thing, though. Being more cautious would mean a greater likelihood of getting the Selkie family to their new home safely.