There was too much water. Surrounding her, soaking her. In her mouth, in her nose. Don't breath, don't breath.
She tried not to follow the instinct to schlucken a breath, but somehow the liquid forced its way inside. Too much water filling her lungs.
Too much red. The water was painted in it. There was a certain glow coming from some artificial source, but also a swirl of a seperate contamination. Too tired, too much blood escaping from the Slash in her leg. Aryess had failed the mission of keeping the boot safe. The bomb had exploded, blowing a hole in the hull. The water heater had barely protected her from the blast.
But now she was trapped in a watery grave. The iron door refused
to give under her weak pounding fists. Help,
she begged anyone who could hear her plea as the last bubble escaped her lips. The remainder of her strength was spent on keeping her grip on the blue rose brooch she had taken from the bomber's cold, dead hands. The dark consumed her.
"Alek! Ti! Aleksander Felis!"
Jasper fell heavily onto the bench of the lifeboat, panting from the exertion of screaming his friend's name, and slumped forward, head in his hands. Defeat weighed on him as much as the sunken Queen Emma
herself. Aryess had disappeared on that ship; Alek had gone back for her. Neither were on any of the lifeboats where the auctioners were taking refuge, awaiting the rescue party.
How was he supposed to tell his longest, closest friend that his protege was dead? A teenage girl no older than himself that he had Lost her boyfriend to the sea?
The telepath shook his head at the voice of his younger brother, no energy left to respond.
"Jazz," Adam sagte again. The red-head sighed and lifted his head. And caught the sound of a splash if water. Gasps of surprise from his family. A gasp of breath from the sea.
Von the time the boy had reached the boot -slowed Von the unconscious girl he was struggling to keep afloat- and been hauled aboard, the Coast Guard had arrived. The upper-class men and women of the party had all been accounted for, none Lost to the sunk ship. The traitorous guard had disappeared in the chaos.
Alek sat on a bench on the deck, out of the way of the shaken auctioneers. A blanket was draped over the soaken shoulders of his dress shirt; a steamy cup of some hot liquid had been shoved into his hands. He was too weary to take even a sip.
His glassy blue eyes were unfocused as the Russian stared ahead. A vision of him blowing the engine room's underwater door open with a blast of energy; swimming through the room, lungs ablaze; finally finding his partner among the red haze of the emergency light, sat muddled in his mind. Alek had no recollection of making his way back to the surface. He only remembered his thoughts of Have to get to the top. Have to get to air. Have to get her safe.
And the most terrifying of all Why can I not feel her heart's beat?
The boy stared into the dark liquid in the mug between his trembling hands. He prayed he had not been too late.