Sonora stayed low, ready to speed back to the closet. She grabbed the lip of the window, clinging to it as she peered through the storm at her Uncle and Aunt's home.

A new light was on at their house. Did that mean he was back at there? Or had he turned that on before he came after her?

Sonora pulled her lip between her teeth. She couldn't just stay here forever, he might come back. She needed to get out of here.

Sonora crept to her bedroom and retrieved her purse, still careful of every squeaky floorboard. She stopped at the doorway to her room and tried to look down the staircase, but from here she couldn't see anything.

With her back to the wall, Sonora slid down the staircase. Her heart hammered so loud she was sure it must be echoing through the room. When she reached the bottom of the staircase, she stopped.

Sonora gulped in a breath and looked around the living room and into the kitchen. From here, she saw nothing. Okay, good. Just a little more and I will be out of here. But from the door to the car will be no picnic either. One thing at a time, from here to the kitchen door.

Sonora tripped down the bottom stair and entered the living room worried he tracked every movement, worried he waited in the shadows for the right moment to grab her. Sonora snatched her purse from the chair she'd thrown it in when she'd arrived and pressed her back up against the wall that led to the kitchen. One foot slowly in front of the other, she crept into the kitchen. Don't trip, please don't trip!

Her clenched jaw started to ache, and Sonora loosened and wiggled it only to clench it again a moment later. She scanned the kitchen. Still nothing. Maybe it will be okay.

Sonora made it to the kitchen door that led to the outdoors. She opened it a crack, feeling the wind catch it and fight against her. She clung to it, holding it still as she surveyed the outdoors. Surely he wouldn't be out there waiting for her, not on a night like this.

Sonora stepped outside. It all seemed safe. She turned to close the kitchen door just as the wind slammed it against the wall.

Sonora took a step into the kitchen to grab the doorknob and gave the house a quick goodbye as she did so.

Her gaze scanned the kitchen only to stop at the window above the sink. The one she didn't shutter, the one she saw the shadow through. The shutter was closed now.

A chill exploded through Sonora. She pulled the door shut and ran for her car. Frantic, she held her hair back and looked around her as she raced. Every burst of wind felt like his breath on her neck.

She reached the car and pulled the handle. It was locked. She plunged her hand into her purse, feeling for the rough edge of keys. She turned her back to the car so she could look over the properties.

He was taken away in handcuffs, he couldn't be back here. He couldn't.

She found them. With shaking hands, she managed to fit the key to the lock. She jerked open the door and jumped into the seat, and slammed the door shut. Sonora jabbed the key into the ignition.

Lightning blazed against the sky, and for a moment, it was day again.

He was there! Coming across the yard at her.

Ian!

Sonora turned the key while locking the doors. The old car sputtered. Come on! Sonora gave thanks when it rumbled to life.

Sonora slammed the car into reverse and pushed on the gas as the man closed in on her. She shot backward, throwing gravel until she got to the lane. Shoving it in drive, she drove past her house, then their house. The man followed, came at her, but she would be gone soon.

She stared at the man. Was it him? She shook her head. It couldn't be. But someone he worked with perhaps, someone just as dangerous.

She pushed the gas, speeding up until she reached the end of the lane and met the paved road.

Sonora turned right, not for any good reason, simply because she needed to go somewhere. But now, as she finally caught her breath and her heart found its natural rhythm, she needed to make a decision. Where was she going to go?

Sonora drove aimlessly. Clearly, her parents had not wanted her to meet at their house, or they would have been there long ago. But there were no other places she could think of. Her mother had plainly said not to meet at Sierra's. What did that leave?

One place kept drifting back into her mind. Coming back, again and again, no matter how unlikely it seemed. The beach.

Sonora looked at the angry sky, felt the wind pushing at the car, and could only imagine the mood of the ocean. The beach was the last place she should be until Ian and his people took her there.

But even as the thought passed through her mind, she felt the pull again.

Maybe it is Ian. Maybe he is drawing me there. Sonora did a U-turn on the empty road. A few fat raindrops splashed onto her windshield.

The ten-minute drive to Spire Beach seemed an hour, and her gaze continually pulling to the dark swirling sky. Ian. Oh, Ian, please be there.

Sonora pulled into the parking lot. Relief filled her when she saw her parent's car sitting in a spot close to the sand. She sped to it, parked the car and jumped out.

It was empty. Sonora looked from the car to the churning sea. Did they take them to Atlantis, through those waters? Did they leave me?

Sonora put a hand to her aching stomach. She stepped into the sand, kicking off her sandals when the grains caught between her feet and her shoes.

Her dress buffetted around her legs, the wind pushing against her in gusts so hard she was afraid she would topple over. Still, she pushed on.

"Ian! Ian!" she screamed into the salty wind. Please be here! She screamed again, her body bending at the waist in her effort. "Ian!"

Ian rose from the sea like a majestic king. Sonora was still, afraid it was some kind of illusion, and that this storm would swallow her up after all.

He came through the violent waves, his body strong and sure even as they beat against him.

He was here. Her salvation, her love.

Sonora sunk to her knees, the sand softening her blow. Her head bowed, and she sobbed.

Ian's bare feet appeared in the sand in front of Sonora. Nothing had ever seemed so beautiful.

His brawny arms lift her. Nothing had ever felt so safe.

His lips met hers. Nothing had ever felt so incredible.

"You are safe now, my beloved. I will take you home."

Nothing had ever sounded so right.


A/N: Two more chapters! :)

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