Chapter Two: Missing Chapters

"What's up with Cora lately?" Margarita frowned, but the strong brown hands on her back felt so good that the frown soon faded, melting into a moan of pleasure. "Oh, yeah. Oh, that feels good!"

"She was up awfully early this morning." Alicia sipped daintily from a fancy umbrella drink. The two girls were chatting on the terrace of Uncle Sid's luxury beach house. Flame-haired Margarita was relaxing on the cushioned massage table, while golden-haired Alicia was getting a pedicure and gazing out to sea.

"Something's on her mind, that's for sure." Margarita sighed as the handsome houseboy skillfully worked the tension from the tired muscles of her shoulders and back.

"I think she's worried about her uncle." Thoughtful Alicia felt a ripple of concern for her friend. Raven-haired Cora was tough and never let on when she was hurting. But something had made her fly down to South America to see her uncle. Alicia sensed it had something to do with his expensive collection of native artefacts.

"Sid seems fine to me." Margarita gave a throaty chuckle. "Did you see him doing the cha-cha with those schoolteachers from Ohio last night? He's a real lady's man!"

"Last night was a lot of fun." Alicia had actually left the club early, unlike sexy Margarita. She just felt that something was not quite right. "I'm going for a walk down the beach," she said, smiling at the sweet, brown-skinned maid who had trimmed her toenails. Alicia slipped her shapely feet into a pair of soft leather sandals.

"Want to come?"

"Mm." Margarita was still worn out from the night before. Alicia reckoned that her friend would sleep through the afternoon, unless she got into mischief with the very good-looking houseboy.

Down on the beach, there were huge crowds of tourists, and loads of noise and excitement. More than a few of the tanned, bare-chested boys swung their heads around to get a look at the angel-faced blonde in the sky-blue bikini. But Alicia kept her distance from the kids. She kept her nose in the air and her cool and distant manner firmly in place until she reached the safety of the tiny library in the little fishing village just off the beach.

"Do you have any books on island history?"

There were pictures of Azatlamanu, the fierce warrior god Uncle Sid had told them about when they first arrived on the island. Alicia remembered gazing at the stone idol in the den and the strange feeling of falling under his spell. She got the feeling that the books in the library didn't tell everything, however. Azatlamanu and the other gods seemed to vanish from history as soon as the European explorers arrived. There was no mention of anyone worshiping them now.

"Senor Roberto, you promised us more mystery novels, and more American romance! Where are the latest paperbacks?"

A small, fat woman with a yappy little dog was arguing with the village librarian, and the line at the desk was not moving at all. Alicia turned to leave the library, but just then there was a tremor deep in the earth and the ground seemed to shake beneath her.

"My goodness!" Alicia might have fallen if she hadn't grabbed onto the magazine table by the door. Unfortunately she scattered a pile scientific journals that someone had just been tidying up.

"Oh, that's all right. No-one ever looks at these magazines but me. I'm an expert on tribal legends and volcanic activity!"

"Then you're just the person I want to talk to." Alicia usually stayed well away from conversations with strangers, especially strange boys. But she sensed that Cora's troubles had something to do with the missing chapters in the island's history books. And she could handle a short chat. The awkward smile of the tall, gangling boy in the glasses made her feel sexy and self-confident.