The couple was crouched down behind a wall, trying to use their senses to calculate how many other people were on the ship. Zena couldn’t hear anything. This was either because waves were loudly slamming onto the ship or because Lukas’ side was tightly pressed against her own, disorienting her senses.
She raised her hand and pointed to the left, hoping to communicate that was the route she was about to take. She glanced at him one final time and found him on his knees. One hand laid flat on the wall, worryingly close to her. The other was on the floor, ready to push him to his feet any second.
That’s hot. What are you doing? Concentrate!
It was clear that Adrian didn’t make it on. Zena sighed as she pictured her friend falling in the water after jumping for the ship. He was probably worried sick. Don’t worry Adrian, I won’t fail you.
Multiple miles away, a happy and worry-free Adrian shivered.
Eva, who sat between him and Evan on the couch frowned. “Are you cold?”
“Nope,” he replied before asking; “Hey, do you want that slice?”
Zena was floored. There was no one on this ship other than her and Lukas. And that shadow they thought they saw? It was a cardboard taped to a chair!
“Let’s turn this thing around,” Lukas said once he joined her on the deck.
She scratched her arm. “Yeah. Isn’t this weird though?” she asked apprehensively. Lukas nodded, sensing the ominous feeling she was referring to.
The boat was still moving. How it managed to take off with no conductor would remain a mystery.
After a few minutes, the alphas concluded that how to stop the ship would remain a mystery as well. The machine was rigged, unresponsive to their manual commands. To make matters worse, it was low on fuel.
“Have you gotten any signal?” Zena asked as she desperately flipped through a manual she found in one of the cabinets.
She heard him groan. “No.”
He was walking to every corner of the ship, phone in the air as he searched for a bar to appear on the screen. They could easily get back on land with a phone call.
Loud rattling diverted her attention to her leg. It was vigorously bouncing while her hands trembled. She struggled to control the limbs, only managing to stop them for a few seconds.
She tried to concentrate on the manual again but her mind wasn’t having it. The walls... they were closing in. Oxygen. She was running out of it.
She burst through the nearest door. A hand clawed at her throat, searching for a physical object constricting her airpipe. The ship vibrated and swung every time it battled an incoming wave. She gripped the metal railing to maintain her balance, not wanting to fall overboard.
She was convinced that the wind and waves were trying to knock her off her feet. The ship was angrily shifting like a bull trying to shake off its rider.
She fell to her knees, hoping that if she made herself small she’d find her center of gravity.
Now she felt hot. Hot everywhere.
Is the ship on fire? Is it sinking?
“Zena? Zena!” Lukas fret as he shook her lightly. He had looked away for a minute, engrossed in his cell phone, then when he looks back he finds her in the midst of a breakdown.
He had never seen her fall apart like this before. Sure, she was in a bad shape once she lost her wolf in Canada. But that weakness was physical. Zena Rhee cursed and threatened. She didn’t cry and quiver. This was the first time she had ever shown such a vulnerable mental state.
“I’m falling,” she whimpered. Her hands fisted his t-shirt sleeves with so much force that the cloth slipped off his right shoulder. While her body was as close as it could get to his, her mind was multiple weeks in the past. She was reliving the plane crash.
Lukas’ arms encased her without hesitation.“We’re on the sea. We’re not falling. We’re okay,” he told her. Zena pressed her face into his neck. With every blink, her long eyelashes would brush his skin.
She took greedy breaths, feeling faint. She was fine up until the point that they discovered the yacht had a mind of its own. When she realized that she had no control over the machine, the trauma of the plane crash made a u-turn.
She held onto Lukas tighter. The world seemed to become sturdier when she leaned her weight on him. She was too preoccupied ensuring that she was still breathing to feel any shame or discomfort for hanging off his body and whimpering like a baby.
They sat in the same position for multiple minutes. Lukas took note that her shaking had minimized considerably. He connected her fear to the rocking of the ship. Whenever the ship fought a wave, she would tense and hold him tighter. One of her arms was thrown over his shoulder. She used her free hand to grip his shirt with enough force that had him wondering how it was still intact.
His hands repeated a path up her back, trying to calm her. The rest of his body was preoccupied fighting the never-ending motions of the ship.
He heard a beeping somewhere in the distance. He was curious but couldn’t have walked away from the hysterical female alpha even if he wanted to. A protective urge had him buzzing with adrenaline. He held Zena with so much strength that if she was a regular woman she would be in pain.
“I won’t let you go,” he vowed.
About a minute of soothing later, the boat began to slow down; answering what the beeping meant. The yacht had reached it’s limit.
It all eventually stopped. Her trembling, the wind, the ship. Gone was the angry sea. All that remained was the serene sound of water tapping the titanic ship.
Lukas halted his hands and tried to pull her away to get a look at her face. Zena only dug her face further into him, not ready to depart with his warmth and the serene sparks his skin offered.
“No. Stay,” she commanded lowly.
So he did.