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George A Bernstein
Hidden Treasures
Fleeing an unexpected hurricane, Derik Brand hunkers down with his sailboat on an uncharted eastern Caribbean isle. Secure in a hidden cave, he stumbles upon buried pirate treasure worth mega-millions. After the storm clears, with his new-found loot secreted below decks, Derik sails to Martinique to refit the sloop and relax. On the beach, he finds gorgeous, redhead twins, Gisele and Coline, who eagerly join him in three days of torrid sex that somehow morphs into a mutually abiding love. Torn and unable to choose between the beauties, he’s forced into another option—depart alone. After a tearful goodbye, he reluctantly sails back to Florida, where with the aid of his best friend, Chick, he sneaks the booty safely ashore, and obscures the real value of his windfall. Eight-years later, in partnership with Chick, his private equity firm, fueled by periodic sales from his treasure, funds distressed small businesses. He offers to finance struggling ex-runway model, Brita’s couturier clothing firm. Derik directs the business into new markets, and it surges into a blooming success. After a rocky, interpersonal start, Derik and Brita eventually become lovers—his first serious relationship since Martinique. Memories of the twins had always blocked real commitment … until now. Romantic bliss is suddenly shattered when Ukrainian criminals, coveting Brita's elegance for their sex trafficking operation, propel Derik into two deadly confrontations to save his new love. A harrowing battle of wits and strength challenges Derik's resources, but with Brita’s surprising help, the Ukrainians are eventually defeated. The lovers celebrate at a fashion industry annual gala, and Derik is about to ask Brita to marry him when she reveals she doesn’t want children. A family with three or four kids was a center-piece of Derik’s plans for his future, but Brita is set on not having children. With considerable angst, they agree that this is an unsurmountable roadblock to a lasting marriage. They will remain friends and partners, but their romance must end. Better calmly now, than bitterly, later. Derik needs to get away to sort things out, so he again sails to the Caribbean. He revisit the two little cays, the source of his uncounted wealth. But then must decide whether to seek out the twins. They’ve all studiously avoided contact over the past nine years. On Martinique and after much hesitation, he drives to their real estate office where he finds Gisele, married with a family. What about Coline? Gisele encourages him to visit her at her house where he finds Coline, still unmarried, and full of wonderful surprises—twin eight-year-old boys. His sons! She’s waited for him, never finding love again, sure in her heart he would return. Derik had stumbled upon another hidden treasure … the love of his life, with his dreamed-of family already started. Just their marriage was need to complete the magic, and it was quickly planned, sealed with a prize emerald ring from his treasure.