“What? But they’re not anywhere near Hawaii,” I breathed. “They’re in Scotland. And they’re seventeen. It must just be a coincidence.”
“Twins! They’re twins!”
Whatever blood I still had in my pale face drained out of me. I looked up at Derek. His jaw dropped open, eyes widening.
“Come! I’ll show you,” Eli urged. “They showed photos. I saw them. They’re your twins, goddamn it!”
Chapter 13: Rose
I must have drifted off in Ben’s arms, because I woke to the sensation of the submarine shuddering so violently both Ben and I were thrown to the ground. I groaned as my head connected with the wall. Then my stomach lurched—it felt as if we were surfacing.
Several minutes passed in silence, but then there were shouts and banging overhead. It sounded like a violent argument was going on.
“Do you realize who their father is?”
“Obviously. That’s why we took them.”
“Stellan, you’re a bloody fool.”
“For carrying out Annora’s orders?”
“Liar. Even she wouldn’t order something like this.”
“She did. As soon as you told her you’d almost taken the girl.”
More crashing. Shouts. Screams. Then heavy footsteps descended the steps outside the door. Wood splintered and metal bent as someone kicked the door down in three violent motions.
A tall young man stood over us, a deep gash across his cheek, his face covered with dirt and sweat. His shirt was ripped, revealing his muscled chest beneath.
The vampire I’d danced with on the beach.
His deep brown eyes settled on us.
“Hurry,” he said, his chest heaving. “I need to get you out of here.”
Ben and I shot to our feet. Caleb gripped my arm and pushed me up the stairs in front of him, while Ben followed closely behind.
As I was about to step up onto the upper deck, Caleb jerked me back.
“Wait,” he whispered.
He climbed up on the same step where I was standing, his rock-hard chest pressing against me as he strained his neck to see what was happening on the deck above.
He almost lifted me off my feet as he pulled me up with him. I glanced back anxiously to check that Ben was still following us.
The deck was in chaos. The submarine was split into a large control room at the front, and then an area with more seats at the back. Vampires clawed and ripped at each other.
I didn’t have much time to look around though, because soon Caleb was pushing me up a narrow ladder. We reached yet another level of more vampires fighting. He ran with us across the floor until we reached another ladder. Again he pushed me up and this time, there was an open hatch up ahead. Rain poured onto my face. Caleb gripped my thighs and pushed me up. I held onto the metal edge of the hatch and pulled myself the rest of the way.
It was night and we appeared to be floating in the middle of the ocean. Another black submarine floated parallel to us. I scrambled further along the roof of the submarine. The heavy rain was impairing my vision, and the already smooth surface became even more precarious. My foot slipped. I screamed as I slid down the side of the submarine, trying to find anything to grip onto, but there was nothing. I closed my eyes, bracing myself to fall face forward into the ocean, when a strong hand wrapped around my ankle.
The hand pulled up until I was once again on the flat surface of the roof. When I sat up, I found myself looking into Caleb’s intense eyes.
“Careful!” he scolded.
My hair stood on end as I looked down at the rough, dark waters I’d almost slid into.
I looked around me and breathed out in relief to see Ben climbing out of the hatch. He lowered himself down and crouched down next to me on the roof, pulling me closer to him.
Caleb whistled, and vampires began also retreating out of the hatch, filling up the remaining space of the roof. The last one out slammed the hatch shut behind him and about four vampires pushed down on it as vampires within the vessel tried to break out.
Caleb whistled again, and the submarine floating next to us neared. As soon as it was within jumping distance, the vampires on the roof began to leap onto it. Now all of them had crossed but one who remained applying pressure to the hatch so that the vampires within it couldn’t get out.
Ben pushed me forward toward Caleb.
“Hurry, take my sister,” Ben said, eyeing the hatch.
Caleb nodded and stared down at me.
“Climb onto my back. You must grip tight.”
Trembling, I locked my arms around his neck and wrapped my legs around his waist. I closed my eyes as he took the leap. We landed with a thud on the roof of the other submarine and Caleb had to grip a pipe to prevent us from skidding off.
“Now, into the hatch,” he ordered.
“No! Wait!” I gasped, fighting against his attempts to push me into the submarine.
The last vampire who was holding down the hatch on the other sub lost his footing and slipped into the ocean.
That left Ben all by himself.
“Ben!” I screamed. “Jump!”
He leapt, but the ginger vampire who had just climbed out of the hatch jumped with him at the same time and pulled him down into the ocean.
The vampire caught hold of my struggling brother and pulled him back up onto his sub.
“Caleb! Do something!” I screamed as the vampire wrestled Ben back through the hatch. I fought against Caleb’s strong grip, trying to break free.
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