The Capsized

Charlie Locksley has wanted nothing more than to be a Nature Photographer for Zoography Times. To travel the world and capture nature's small moments on camera is her greatest dream. As an opportunity arises for her to travel, she realizes her dream may be harder to reach than she expected. When tragedy strikes, she finds herself stranded and afraid in the jungles of Madagascar.

Dallas Holt lived a pretty simple life. Tanzania had treated him and his best friend, Ralph, partially well. He had not a care in the world; running from the police and living in the trees seemed like the life he had always wanted. But, when a new adventure comes his way, he is forced to become the responsible adult. With four lives resting in his hands, he must choose between living for the adventure or striving for the journey.

When Charlie and Dallas' lives collide, they learn their will is not always God's will, but God's will is always better than their will, and love will always triumph over tragedy.

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1. Prologue

February 8th, 1993

“Charlotte Wrynn Locksley; that is for sure the name you want?” Katrina grinned at her husband and nodded a sure yes. She had wanted a daughter named Charlotte since she could remember. Not necessarily for the name, but so they could call her Charlie for short. She had always loved the name Charlie for a baby girl, but her husband had needed a bit of persuasion.

“Then Charlotte Wrynn it is. I just hope she grows up to be as beautiful as her mommy,” Ezra gave his wife a grin. He had been taking pictures for the past hour, but he quickly took a few more.

“She is amazing, isn’t she?” Katrina smiled at the precious baby in her arms; she was used to all the pictures her husband took. She did marry a photographer after all.

The small being had brought on nine hours of labor, but Katrina told herself she’d go through it all again. “Charlie,” she glanced down at her daughter, “my sweet Charlie.” A tear slipped from Katrina’s eye.

“I can’t believe I’m finally a dad!” Ezra’s voice choked as he tried to hold in his cry. To be a father was worth more than the world. He had a daughter and she was his own.

The four-and-a-half-pound baby gave a small grin and the happy parents’ hearts warmed even more. Ezra set his camera down and took his turn to hold her. His eyes watered as the fragile life he held slept soundly in his arms. “Hi baby girl. I’m your daddy.” Charlie grunted and stretched, repositioning herself in her father’s embracing arms.

“I think she knows my voice!” Ezra exclaimed.

Katrina let out a giddy laugh. “I’m sure she knows exactly who you are.”

“She really is beautiful, Love.” He stared down at her and his heart swelled up with pride and a sense of protectiveness he had never felt before. Charlie opened her eyes, slightly. “Oh! Her eyes are opening!” Ezra leaned over and showed his wife who smiled widely. The baby then closed her eyes and fell back asleep in her daddy’s arms. Ezra leaned his head down and kissed his new born on the forehead. “I love you, Dot.”

“Dot?” Katrina chuckled.

“Yeah, Dot. It has a good ring to it. She is my Dot, my sweet, precious Dot.”

“She’s my Charlie.” Katrina watched her husband with gleaming eyes. Her heart was full and her cup over flowed with joy. The nine months couldn’t have been slower. She had wanted nothing but to hold her baby since the day she found out she was pregnant. Her brother and sister-in-law, Brandon, Ezra’s brother, and Katie, Brandon’s wife, had their daughter Kairyn a few years back. Holding her niece had given her such a want to have a baby. Now, to see her husband holding Charlie filled her with so much joy she felt as if she would burst. He was going to be a great daddy, a protective one, a funny one, a playful one and a faithful one. He would be the best father a little girl could have.

“What are you thinking?” He asked her, a smile forming at the edge of his lips.

“You are going to be the best father a child could ask for.” Another tear slipped from her eye. Ezra leaned down and pressed a kiss to her lips.

“Not nearly as great as the mother you’re going to be.” He stood back up and glanced at their baby girl. “You are going to be the best daughter any parents could ask for.” He kissed her forehead once more and gently pressed his forehead to hers. “I promise to always be there for you, Dot. You have my word.”

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