Hold your breath
Ariana breathes in deeply, jumps, and plunges feet first into the pond alongside Hadeon. The water is like a knife scraping the flesh from her bones as she tunnels deep into the icy water.
The shock is torturous, and despite her best attempts, her body squeezes all breath from her lungs until it is but bubbles popping around her face.
Hadeon tugs on her hand, pulling her to face downward. It snaps her out of her own thoughts and briefly distracts her from the freezing cold leaching into her skin. Her eyes spring open as she navigates her way in the thick blackness, turning her body and kicking her legs so she can follow Hadeon’s lead. His hand grips tighter as he heads toward the bottom of the pond. Lightly kicking her legs, though her muscles are starting to seize, they descend further into the blackness. The cold is unbearable. Ariana looks behind her to see the last remnants of buttery light shining through the surface. Her lungs are already screaming for oxygen, painfully aching. She looks back at Hadeon, feeling a little frantic.
He nods and points into the blackness. But she can’t see an end in sight. What exactly are they swimming toward anyway? And still they keep descending deeper and deeper.
The wintry water is reaching her deep in her bones. Her muscles are sore and heavy, sometimes seizing as she kicks against the water. Black stars form behind her eyes, darkening her vision. When her diaphragm convulses, her heart speeds up, despite the cold water wanting to slow everything down.
Again she looks up to the surface and back to Hadeon. She yanks at his hand, desperate now for air. She can’t go any further. Her body screams at her to take a breath. Her diaphragm convulses again, begging for reprieve. She squeezes her lips together, shaking her head. Again she yanks on Hadeon’s hand, but he continues swimming her downward. The black spots darken and grow bigger.
I’m going to die.
Absolute panic clutches her. She kicks against Hadeon with any remaining strength she has and yanks on his arm, begging for him to help her breathe.
There is something coming from below. A glow. Her attention fixes on it. Out from the depths comes an illuminated form—incandescent greens and blues and gold. So ethereal, to look at it feels like her heart is breaking in two. She momentarily forgets her struggle and watches with wonder as this light comes closer.
So close now, she can see the form the light takes—a little boy. He smiles at her as he lifts his small hand toward her face.
Her diaphragm shutters again, so painful this time she compulsively opens her mouth to gasp for air. And just as her lips fall open, the boy’s finger presses hard on her forehead and all light falls away.
When destiny knocks, do you invite it in? When a spell book lands on Ariana's doorstep, her world is thrown into turmoil. That's nothing new for her, except this time it involves bizarre and terrifying creatures who attempt to kill her. Then there's the little fact that she now has the ability to perform magic. Hadeon is another new addition in her life. He happened to drop in at the same time the spell book appeared. He's dark, sexy, and alpha as hell, and Ariana doesn't know if she wants to kill him or love him. But all this chaos is nothing compared to what destiny has in store for her. A future is promised of royalty and immense power, palaces and undying love. But hers is a destiny that is not easily won. She will have to fight to the death against those who want to take it all for themselves. And when the real battle begins, just who the true enemy is will surprise everyone. Content Warning: contains explicit language, sex scenes, and some violence