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Chapter 11

LANA

The guards carried Titus as I lead Peter, Zande, Mateo and Zane to the Heart chamber. After filling the Alphas in, time was of the essence to get Titus back on his feet.

Titus could barely lift his head. My chest hurt so bad, it made me sick.

I pray that whatever Peter has planned, works, but even if it doesn’t, I’ll always love the fact that he stood up to Titus and is willing to help him. It seems like the more I get to know Peter, the more wonderful he gets. I just wish he’d get to know me a little better.

The door to the elevator opens and all the Alphas eyes widen and a resounding “Holy shit!” comes from all of them.

“Welcome to the Heart of Atlas, Alphas.” I present as I step out to the sand.

Titus growls a bit as the guards bring him in.

Zander crosses his arms. “Quit whining, Titus. You’d think a man of your age would know better.” He arched a brow.

Titus struggled, but he raised his head with an annoyed look.

The Alphas all crowded the tree. They had a million questions.

Peter raises his hand. “Guys!” He waved them down. “We'll answer all your questions after we save Titus.”

They all grumble, but stop talking.

“Now, Zane.” Peter starts. “I have a hunch that your rock, came from this tree.”

Zane arched a brow. “Great theory, Pete. Except it’s a rock!” He growls.

“No. It’s petrified wood. Dead wood. The tree itself is alive.” He walks to the back. “There’s a hole back here that looks an awful lot like your rock.”

Zane joins him. “What? You’re joking.” He scowls.

“No, look.” Peter says.

Zane checks out the hole.

Peter turns to him. “I think this tree is dying because that piece is missing.”

Zane arches a brow. “This rock is ancient! It can't be.”

“It’s the fountain of youth, man! Come on.” Peter scowls.

Zane rubs his head. “This is nuts! My head literally hurts.”

Peter sighs. “Just put the damn rock in the hole.”

Zane takes his rock out of the bag and puts it in the hole.

The tree explodes in bright green light. It makes us all cringe and shield our eyes.

“Holy fuck!” Zane shouts as he falls on his ass.

The light dies to the point where we can see again, but it’s still way brighter than it was before.

“Peter, look!” I point to Titus.

He’s on his knees. Blue lights travel in the veins of his arms from his hand to his shoulders.

He’s twisting his arms, looking at them as the lights hit his neck.

He throws his head back. Clenching his teeth, he lets out a huge growl. His eyes are slammed shut. The lights travel to his cheeks then to his eyes. He opens them with an even louder growl. His fists are balled and his eyes are glowing solid blue.

Peter points to me. “You’re glowing too.”

I look at my arms and blue lights are in my arms.

I smile as I look at Peter. “You too.” I point.

He laughs. “I’ve been drinking the water here for months.”

Zander turns to Zane. “Do me a favor. Pull the rock out.”

Zane pulls it out and the tree fades. Like it’s just been unplugged. “What happened?”

Zander nods. “Humor me for a second. Try contacting the second warrior.”

Zane places his hand over the rock. His bolt connects and he tries to see a vision.

Instead, the trees light starts to sputter. Titus starts to groan again.

Zander looks at Titus. “Ok. Put it back.”

Zane replaces it. “Uh…Zan…are you thinking what I’m thinking?”

Zander stands in front of us. “We’ve been killing Atlas. Every time we used the rock, it drained the power it needed from the tree.”

Peter crosses his arms. “So, what’s that mean?”

Zander eyes us all. “We can’t use the rock.”

Zane leans in the circle. “What about the second piece?”

Zander shrugs. “We'll have to find another way.”

Titus stands. He looks a lot better. “So my pack is safe?”

Zander nods. “I believe so.”

Mateo crosses his arms. “We can’t do this without the rock.”

“We’ll have to. We can’t kill thousands of people for Eternity.” Zander arches a brow.

“Lets take this upstairs.” Titus says.

Once in his office, he turns to me. “So you’ll be leaving now.”

“No, Titus. The second piece is here. I know it.” I protest.

“Titus, we need more time.” Zander says.

“I'll give one more month, then you leave or I make you leave.” Titus scowls.

Peter nods.

“OH MY GOD!”

We all turn to Zane who’s got this excited look on his face. He’s looking at himself all over.

He raises his head and grins at us. “I’m not getting zapped. I’M NOT GETTING ZAPPED!!”

He jumps in the air, laughing like a madman.

“I’M FUCKING FREE! TWO YEARS! I’M FREE!” He jumps and wraps his arms and legs around Zander. Zander stumbles back under complete shock of having this grown man on him. “I FUCKING LOVE YOU!” Zane plants a kiss on his cheek.

“GET OFF ME!!” Zander yells. His face is beat red as he pushes Zane off onto the floor.

“YES!!” Zane gets to his feet and jumps up and down around the room while Peter and Mateo chase him around and try to calm him down.

I'd love to laugh, but I can't.

One month! No. Peter can’t leave. Not now.

I need to make him stay somehow.

What am I going to do?

****

PETER

One month isn’t a lot of time. I’m going to have to buckle down. No more distractions.

After meeting with Ariel that night and giving the vampires more places to look, I decided to check out a place that I’m positive holds the piece. It’s right up the alley of this whole mission.

A set of underwater ruins off the coast.

At first light, I hit the sea.

Anchoring my boat, I prepare for my dive. Making sure all my equipment is here and that my tanks are all working.

I have my oxygen tanks at my legs and I’m checking the levels. They’re both full and the valves are working.

I stand up and suddenly something thumped on my back.

I turn and see nothing. Looking to the bottom of the boat, I see a dead sea sponge.

With confusion, I pick it up. It’s about the size of a football.

I look to the sky, thinking a bird dropped it, but there’s no birds around.

I shrug and toss it overboard.

I walk to my supply box and grab my belt to hold my tools.

I stand and buckle it on.

I just do up the clip when another thump on my back came.

I whip around and I think I see something dip down into the water.

I look on the bottom and it’s the sea sponge again.

Is a dolphin fucking with me?

I look over my edge of the boat and don’t see anything in the clear water.

Ok. I’m ending this game.

I toss the sea sponge and go back to doing what I was doing, except I’m not. I got my senses trained behind me.

I hear water ripple and I get a smirk on my face.

I pretend I’m not paying attention as I listen intently.

My eyes flick to my peripheral vision and I see the culprit rise above the edge of the boat.

I spin around just as Lana threw the sponge. I catch it and grin. “Busted!”

She giggles and falls back into the water.

I walk to the edge and squat down. Waiting for her to come back up.

She does, wiping water from her face.

I laugh and bounce the sponge off the top of her head. She makes the cutest Oof sound and wipes the water from the wet sponge away.

I smile as I throw the sponge overboard. “Lana, how did you get out here?”

She folds her arms on the edge of my boat and I’m about half a foot away with my arms on my knees.

“I swam.” She chirps.

I look and I can barely see the coast. “That’s a long swim for a little girl.” I lean to her with a smirk.

She shrugs. “Not that long. Pretty easy actually. I like the water.”

I nod. “I can see that.”

“What are you doing out here?” I ask. “I thought you were grounded.” I arch a brow.

“Titus can’t keep me locked up.” She mumbles.

“Lana, he’s your brother. You should respect him.” I lightly scold.

She scoffs and waves her hand at me.

“So?” I ask

“So, what?” She responds.

“What are you doing out here?” I ask again.

“Lean closer to me.” She grins.

I do as I say putting my hands on the edge of the boat on either side of her.

She pulls herself up out of the water, balancing her belly on the edge. She has something in her hand.

“Dip your head.” She instructs.

So I do. Now I can see her wet blue bikini. Her stomach covered in droplets of water which make her tanned skin look so tasty.

She puts what she had in her hand over my head and around my neck.

After she’s done, she balances on the boat with her hands and a big toothy smile.

I look and it’s the seashell necklace with the P on it.

I pick it up and look at all the tiny shells.

“Do you like it?” She asks.

“I do.” I raise my head and I realize there’s barely an inch between and there’s that heat again. “I love it.” I whisper.

With her necklace on my neck and in my hand, I locked with her ocean blue eyes. My throat was dry, but my mouth watered for her full pouty lips.

I was lost at the sight of my little siren hanging off my boat. The sun glistening off her wet hair and skin.

She looked at me with big, wide eyes. Her cheeks turned blush pink.

With the two of us floating in the waves, she must have a power over me that I don’t understand because the next thing I know I’m leaning in fast, closing the gap, and pressing my lips to hers.

My heart exploded at the feel of her soft lips. I fantasized about this countless times and it was not at all what I expected. It was a million times better.

I asked for entrance and I felt like I was on fire. Her lips parted and waves crashed in my head.

Our tongues met and I grabbed her head in both hands. I slide to my knees and kiss her so deep. My chest pressing to hers. I almost lift her out of the water. I couldn’t get enough.

I’ve never felt a hurricane, but this kiss felt just like that. I’ve never had anything like this.

I fisted her wet hair and she made a little moan in my mouth. I needed to surface for air, but I didn’t want to.

I slowly pull back, sucking on her bottom lip. My eyes are just as dreamy as hers.

She looked into my eyes and a small smile crossed her lips.

Suddenly, I think about what just happened. “Lana…” I mumble, still holding her cheeks.

She grinned big and giggled.

She pushed off and splashed into the water. Turned and started off back to shore.

“Lana!” I call out to her, but the girl is fast, she didn’t hear me at all.

My little siren swam off. I know I shouldn’t even go there. I shouldn’t have even kissed her, but she’s caught me in her net and honestly, I’m not sure if I want to jump out of her boat.

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