I posted TWO chapters back to back. Be sure to read them in order.  This is the SECOND chapter.

Chapter dedicated to Upbeatcran24. Well done, for guessing that the answer to the Pop Question came from book, The Sovereign Games!

Chapter 149 - Time and Memory - Raine's POV

Brialle placed a kiss on my forehead and murmured, "Good luck, sweet girl, we'll be right here waiting for you."

I glanced up at Talon. His face was a mask of tension. He just nodded. I understood his unspoken sentiment. Neither of us was prepared to say goodbye, even though it was possible that I would sink beneath these waters and never remember why I was there in the first place or why I needed to come back.

As it was, I could return in a day or a year or worse. I wouldn't know the difference. The reality was shocking. I turned back to my mother. My voice hitched. "If I don't come back...don't...wait for me." I couldn't let them put their lives on hold.

Fiery determination flashed in her eyes. "I will wait for as long as it takes. I'm not walking away again."

I believed her. I tried to swallow past the lump in my throat. She clutched me to her chest and whispered in my ear, "I love you."

I pushed my tears away and mumbled, "I love you too."

She pulled back, with her hands still on my shoulders. "Go get him."

I just nodded and turned back to the emerald and cobalt pool. I studied the way the water swirled, and tried again to see beneath the surface, with no luck. I removed my shoes and outer jacket, leaving me in only a pair of form fitting black leather pants and black halter. I didn't want any additional weight to slow me down. Dipping my fingers in the water, I felt it was warm. That was good. It would be easier on my body to navigate than if it had been freezing cold.

Now was the time.

I inhaled deeply and pushed my breath out to steady my nerves and then walked into the Pool. Three steps in and the bottom fell out, causing my head to dip under the surface, completely submerging me.

My body tingled as I drifted aimlessly along, suspended in the water's depths. The sensation was heavenly. I rolled over to my back as I sank lower, completely enjoying the comfort and luxurious, silky feel against my skin. It made me sleepy, so sleepy. I didn't fight it and dropped into unconsciousness.

..........

I awoke slowly and stretched my limbs, looking around. I was lying on some sort of rock, surrounded in a heavenly cocoon of liquid. Deep satisfaction and happiness coursed through me. Something tickled my nose and I swatted it away, letting my eyes drift shut again. Maybe I should just take another nap. But I couldn't fall asleep because another something brushed against my toes. I kicked it away and curled my body into a ball, spinning around, looking for the source of my aggravation.

Thousands of strands of vegetation rose up from the bottom, swaying in the soft current. Hmm...how had I not noticed the leafy green plants before? I reached out to touch one, curious what it felt like. As soon as my fingertips brushed the velvety leaves, I became aware of a deep ache inside my body and flashes of memories crashed through my head. Bright pictures of a little girl. She sat alone on her bed. Her arms were wrapped around her knees that were tucked up to her chin, and she rocked her body back and forth. Silent tears fell from her crystal blue eyes.

Who was she?

Why was she alone?

Why was she so sad?

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