Chapter Twenty Two

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Part Five

Victoria

Remnants of Soul

Victoria had never been in water. Well, aside from the washtub and the stream that ran along the outside of the village. The ocean was very different from a small stream that you can stand over with one foot on either side. The ocean swallowed you up. It tried to pull you to its depths with its enchanting song of the sea. She was not sure how long she could hold her breath.

Spending most of her time in the air, she had become accustom to the changes in pressure and the shortness of breath that would happen occasionally. That was much easier than feeling the weight of the water press in on her. Her body felt like the air inside her was ready to burst out. Flailing as she was trying to reach the surface, her heart raced with fear.

She was failing miserably. With every awkward stroke, she felt as though she were sinking further. A hand reached out for hers and as soon as it touched her, she knew it was Alex. Peace washed over her and knew that she would be okay. Alex helped her up and when they broke the surface of the water Victoria gave a great yelp.

Air had never felt so good in her lungs. She wrapped her arms around Alex and they sunk back under the water for a moment and surfaced again. Alex laughed and shook her head as they headed toward the shore. It was slow going, but Victoria felt like she was getting the hang of swimming.

At least she could keep her head above water on her own, that had to count for something. They crawled on to the sandy beach and sat for a moment. Victoria leaned back on to her forearms with her feet stretched out in front of her.

"Well, look at you." She said to Alex. "Dry as a plant in the dessert."

Alex just giggled a little and said, "Just a little perk of having a water element for power."

She gave Victoria a wink.

Victoria's stomach did a few flips.

Motioning to her wet clothes she said, "Mind helping a girl out?"

"Sure." Alex said with a smile.

Victoria's breath hitched a little when Alex leaned in closer. She smelled like wind, salt, and something sensual, like hundreds of fluttering untamed lilies. It was intoxicating. She thought she could sit there all day and just languish in that smell. Their eyes met and slowly Alex touched Victoria's lips with her own.

It was not hurried. There was passion just under the surface, buried deep, waiting for excavation like some lost ancient treasure. Victoria kissed her back, running her hands through Alex's silky black mane. She had wanted to do that since the first time she saw her. Their kiss deepened.

Alex ran her fingers down Victoria's arm, they were cold, and left a chilly trail of bumps. She didn't mind though, it was invigorating to feel the cold from her fingers against the heat of her skin. She wanted more of her, but too soon, Alex pulled away.

Giving her a flash of a smile Alex said, "Any more complaints?"

Victoria took a moment to examine herself. She was dry. Every bit of her, even her satchel that somehow managed to stay around her, was dry.

"Nice work. Thank you." She said.

"Maybe we should look for the others." Alex suggested.

"I think you are probably right." Victoria said, giving her a quick peck on the cheek before jumping up and brushing the sand off herself.

It took them a while to find the basket. They feel into the ocean long before the others crashed on the shore. They found the basket, but nothing else. Victoria noticed some blood on a bolder nearby, but nothing that would indicate a struggle.

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