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Word Count: 1847

~Meara

I squeeze my eyes shut as the earth takes me into it's grip, pulling me downwards.

Holding my breath, I silently pray for this to be over quickly as I sink lower and lower. My lungs burn in protest, dirt filling every space it can until I emerge from below.

For a brief moment I'm suspended in the air before my back slams on the tile below.

Coughing, I roll over, clutching my stomach. All the air has been knocked from my lungs and it takes a few moments to get enough back to have my panic subside.

Sitting up, I wipe my hair back, scrunching my nose up at the feeling of the dirt that covers me.

There's no turning away now.

Tentatively I stand, gathering my thoughts. Sire's stone casket rests ominously in the centre of the room, surrounded by the crystal clear water.

This place looks exactly as I found it initially. No one would know upon looking here that I've saved Sire from this terrible fate before.

And now I'm going to do it again...I just hope he doesn't kill me.

I step into the pool, ignoring the bite of the cold water, concentrating instead on the dark casket and the inscriptions still intact on top.

It takes all the strength I can muster to heave the lid of the casket off, letting it fall back into the pool.

I draw in a deep breath, looking down into the obsidian black water that fills the casket, concealing Sire's body.

He emerges from the surface in one impressive sweep, his tattooed hands grabbing either side of the casket.

I stumble back in an attempt to avoid getting any of that magical water on me, and also to be far enough to run now that the exit has been revealed on the other side of the room.

Sire's head is bowed as he breathes in deeply, coming to his senses.

I make the most of his moment of vulnerability to re-examine him.

When he isn't at his full power and utterly terrifying, he seems like a broken soul. His shoulders are slumped, his eyes wary as he focuses on getting his breath back.

And he's beautiful. So unfairly beautiful.

The black water runs off his muscled limbs, drawing my attention back to his tattoos. I must ask him about their meaning, about what that language translates to. The way the dark lines reach for his heart inspires all sorts of theories in my mind.

He blinks, water clinging to this thick lashes. Slowly, he turns his head toward me.

My breath catches in my throat and I freeze as those stark blue eyes stare me down.

"I'm not running..." I tell him, my voice shaking. I don't make to move any closer though, in case he grabs me.

"How long has it been?" He questions, making no move to shift the dark hair plastered against his forehead.

"Three weeks," I tell him uneasily.

He raises his brows ever-so-slightly before the slightest smile touches his lips. And then, he laughs breathily.

I gape at him, my fingernails digging in my palms.

"I'm assuming your plan failed?"

"The sickness is still...it's bad," I explain, taking a cautious step forward. My feet at freezing at this point, although I ignore the painful sensation.

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