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I didn’t know what had become of Rose and Caleb.
I just hoped that, unlike me, they’d managed to get away.
After the white witch had emerged from the lower deck of the yacht, Caleb, Rose and I had managed to leap into the water.
Shortly after that, my limbs froze and I lost sight of them.
Beneath the waves, unable to even kick up toward the surface, I was sure that I would die in those waters.
The waves began to suck me backward, closer and closer to the yacht again, until my head knocked against the underside of the hull.
No longer able to hold my breath, I swallowed my first mouthful of seawater.
Even though the sea water stung my eyes, I forced them open.
Staring up at the lightening sky through the dark waters, I was so sure that would be my last vision as I felt myself sliding deeper and deeper toward the sea bed.
A second gulp of seawater.
It wouldn’t be long now.
But then, in a wave of energy that rushed from the tips of my toes to my fingertips, whatever spell that white witch had cast on me lifted suddenly.
I regained control over my limbs.
Kicking furiously, I managed to reach the surface before swallowing a third gulp.
Choking and wheezing, I grabbed hold of the closest solid thing to me—a rope hanging near the base of the boat.
I was feeling too queasy to consider the consequences of heaving myself onto that vessel.
I just needed solid deck beneath me.
Hauling myself up over the railing, I rolled over and landed on the deck.
Keeping low against the floor, I crawled toward the steps leading down to the lower deck and, tumbling down them, climbed into a long, narrow storage cupboard beneath the tub in the bathroom and locked myself inside.
Trying to steady my breathing, I hoped that the dizziness in my head would go away as I coughed up yet more seawater.
I remained still, clutching my stomach with my hands as I stared up at the dark ceiling of the closet.
I took deep, steady breaths, and finally as the faintness in my head began to lift I turned my thoughts to what I should do next.
I sniffed the air, trying to detect the scent of the witch.
While I detected it still, something told me that it wasn’t strong enough for her to be on this boat.
I sniffed the air again.
On the other hand, I sensed two new scents that I hadn’t experienced before.
It was hard for me to pinpoint exactly what they were—certainly not human, vampire, or werewolf.
But something told me that I ought not remain on this boat long enough to find out.
Shifting onto my side in the narrow container, I motioned to open the closet door when a tremor ran through the vessel.
Its force knocked me backward, slamming my head against the wooden panel behind me.
For what felt like the next ten minutes, I was thrown back and forward against the sides of the closet.
Then, as though the boat had plummeted into a free fall, the front of my body smashed against the roof.
My stomach lurched.
What the hell… I was about to attempt to open the door even as I was being thrown around when the boat finally became still again.
Rubbing my head, I groaned softly.
Reaching for the latch, I opened the closet door and rolled out onto the floor.
I stood up and walked to the door.
About to step into the corridor outside, I froze as I heard a female voice above deck.
“You can tell him.” There was a deep sigh.
“All right,” a second female snapped.
“But you will come with me.
You’re just as responsible for this mess as me.” As footsteps sounded overhead, I crept back into the closet and closed the door.
Holding my breath, I waited until they neared the edge of the deck, and then they disappeared entirely.
I waited another five minutes, just to be sure that they had indeed left the boat, and when I detected no further movement, I climbed out of the closet and walked into the corridor outside.
Cautiously, I walked to the end of it and climbed the stairs leading up to the deck.
Goosebumps ran along my skin as a blast of ice-cold wind hit me.
I stared out at the scene before me in shock.
The boat had been moored in a snowy harbor lined with trees, and in the distance were white-capped mountains.
I knew this place.
Last time I was here, I’d been kept in the dungeons as Rhys’ prisoner.
I shuddered at the memory.
I couldn’t let that happen again.
If he found me after I’d betrayed him… I backed into the control cabin and gripped the wheel.
It was locked fast.
I tried to start the engine, but it was out cold.
I realized even if I was able to navigate the boat away from the jetty, I didn’t know if I’d be able to leave this island’s boundary.
There had been a spell over this Godforsaken place when I’d last been here, keeping everyone trapped inside.
I didn’t know if that was still the case.
I looked out at the sea and gauged the distance between the boat and the sun hitting the waves, just beyond the boundary.
I climbed out of the yacht.
My bare feet touched down on the snowy jetty.
I scanned the area for submarines or any other vessel that I could use to at least test my assumption.
There were none.
That left me with only one option.
Taking a deep breath, I braced myself before diving into the freezing ocean.
The water hit me like a hundred knives stabbing my body.
I wanted nothing more than to leap back out, but I began swimming forward with as much speed as I could muster.