Cold Evidence (Evidence Series Book 6)

By: Rachel Grant

The frigid waters of the Pacific Northwest are about to get hot…



The only thing Navy underwater archaeologist Undine Gray fears more than facing former SEAL Luke Sevick is never scuba diving again. But when a dive on a Cold War-era US Navy submarine ends with an accidental explosion, she’s terrified of going into the deep, forcing her to beg the most experienced diver she knows to take her back to the bottom of the cold Salish Sea.



Luke wants nothing to do with the woman who destroyed his career a dozen years ago but finds it impossible to turn his back on her plea. Caught off guard by an attraction he doesn’t want to feel, he’s eager to be done with this mission of mercy. But when they dive on the wreck, he only gets sucked in deeper. Someone has been digging on the Navy sub…and it appears the explosion that almost killed Undine was no accident.



To find the truth, Undine must navigate murky waters and the unexpectedly hot undercurrents swirling between her and Luke. Worse, divers are searching for something lost in US waters during the Cold War, and they’ll do anything to keep Luke and Undine from finding it first.


Bonus content for Cold Evidence and my other books is posted on my website, where you can also sign up for my New Release Mailing List.



This one is for Darcy,

Critique partner, late-night IM sanity checker, and dear friend.

I don’t know how I’d navigate these murky waters without you.





Chapter One



Strait of Juan de Fuca, Northeast of Neah Bay, Washington

September





Undine Gray fluttered her fins, swimming slowly upward to the decompression stop with one hand gliding along the anchor line. She spotted her destination, a bucket tied to the line, and floated up the last five meters. She and her dive partner, Yuri, had each deposited a book in the pail for reading during the twenty-minute decompression stop.

She set her dive computer to alert her when it was time to ascend again. Now that she was within radio range of her team on the dive boat above, she pressed the button on her full-face radio-equipped mask. “Undine to Petrel, had to abort dive due to trouble with my tank. At decompression stop now. Send oxygen. Over.”

“Sorry to hear that, ’Deen. It checked out before you dove,” Jared said and added a few curses before he released his radio button.

“I know. Not your fault. Over.” But it was a serious problem that her fifteen minutes of bottom time had to be shortened to less than five. Given the depth of this dive, the surface interval required meant she wouldn’t be able to dive again until tomorrow. They’d just lost an entire day from their tight schedule. Maybe she shouldn’t be so pissed at Yuri. “Yuri’s tank was fine. He refused to abort. I ordered him to surface—this goes against every protocol he agreed to—but with my tank leaking, I couldn’t afford to waste a minute arguing and had to leave him. He said he’d locate the datum we dropped yesterday and hook up the permanent buoy line, then surface. He should reach the decompression stop in five minutes. Over.”

“Gotcha. I’ll talk to Yuri. If he pulls something like this again, he’s fired,” Jared said. “Over.”

“Good. That’s what I told him. Removing the full-face mask to switch to pure oxygen. Going radio silent. Over.”

“See you on deck in twenty, ’Deen. Over.”

She slipped off the full-face mask with the built-in radio and regulator and fitted the pure oxygen regulator attached to the boat via a long hose over her nose and mouth. Then she donned her regular dive mask, cleared it, and blinked the salt water from her eyes. With twenty minutes to kill and no longer in the dark deep, she switched on her flashlight and plucked a book from the bucket and chuckled at finding a Tom Clancy Cold War-era spy novel. Surely her Ukrainian dive partner had already read all of Clancy’s books by now? But then, compression-stop reading was more about passing the time than getting engrossed in a novel, and once a paperback book had been immersed, there was no letting it dry out to read on land. Perhaps she should have brought an old favorite as Yuri had, instead of a new romantic suspense novel; then she could just reread favorite scenes as she waited for the nitrogen buildup to release from her bloodstream.

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