But when she learns that her friend Harley’s young cousin disappeared without a trace over a year ago, she has to do something to find him.
Reluctantly using the watch’s powers, she finds a mystery within a mystery – and uncovers a dark secret that could end in tragedy…
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Series: Time Will Tell
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Bryn Maher stood at the edge of the second-floor balcony, her hands resting on the smooth wooden railing, and tipped her face up to the wind.
Beyond the fifty metres or so of lush, green lawn, the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean stretched to the horizon, fading into a fuzzy haze where it met the sky – although she suspected that she was the only one who saw it quite like that due to her limited vision. The sky was a lighter blue, with picture-perfect fluffy white clouds floating high above, and the wind was brisk and cool off the ocean, lifting her mousy-brown hair off her shoulders. The air smelled like salt and mown grass with a faint hint of old-house mustiness.
Her friend, Harley Woodside, had neglected to mention that his grandparents owned a six-bedroom mansion on acreage by the sea when he’d invited her to his cousin’s wedding. She’d done her best not to gape as he drove around to the back of the house, but she wasn’t sure she’d masked her surprise. At least Harley hadn’t said anything if he’d noticed, which was good.
Instead, he’d told her about Woodside Manor. It had been built in the early 1800s with its rear toward the cliffs lining the shore and its imposing front façade facing the road. Now, almost two hundred years later, most of the original grounds had been sold off and other houses lined Woodside Road. But back when Harley’s ancestors had built the house it had dominated the landscape, its huge beige bricks and meticulous stonework standing out against the natural bush and tamed lawn and well-maintained garden beds around it. A driveway described an arc in front of the house, originally lined with crushed gravel, its two ends leading onto Woodside Road, with an offshoot leading around the back to a long building which used to house the family’s horses and carriages. Harley’s great-great-grandfather had converted it into a garage and workshop when he bought his first car in the 1920s. Harley had parked his little grey Holden Commodore there when they’d arrived an hour ago, next to four other cars.
Harley knocked on the open door of the room she’d be sharing with his younger sister Cass when she arrived, and came out to stand beside her on the balcony.
‘It’s beautiful, isn’t it? My family used to come here all the time in the school holidays when we were kids. Cass and I used to go home with sunburn and shells and weird stuff Gramps would help us find with his metal detector on the beach.’
Bryn turned to look up at him. Harley was a head taller than she was, with sandy hair and a smile that lit up his face when he chose to show it. She’d met him two months ago, when she’d seen a pocket watch in the antique store his father owned that looked exactly like one her grandfather had lost before he died. She’d bought it with the last of her savings, and she and Harley – and her small black cat, Orion – had become friends. Orion, miffed after the four-hour trip in his cat-carrier, was curled up asleep in the middle of Bryn’s bed.
The watch had been her grandfather’s, and it had been instrumental in helping her find out the truth about how Grandad had died. Harley knew that; he’d put in a report to the police about the watch after Bryn had told him it was her grandfather’s, and had been stolen.
But Bryn hadn’t told him how special the watch actually was.
She’d been kind of scared to. Her friendship with Harley was so new, and seriously special. Neither of them had dared go anywhere near saying I like you, and they’d just about reached the holding-hands-in-public stage, but Bryn knew that what she felt for Harley went beyond friendship.
She liked Harley Woodside. And she was almost certain that he liked her the same way.
Which is why she hadn’t told him about the watch.
Harley thrived on facts, on information, on things which could be proved.
The watch… well, Bryn still found its powers hard to believe, and she’d lived through the proof.