XIII. April 15, 1912

353 48 14
                                    

Not knowing how this is all going to play out for us, we dress in clothes that will not weigh us down and are easy to move in. I grab the lifejacket from the closet in my room and head out to the deck with Sage. It's been almost an hour since the ship hit the iceberg and the crew is lowering the first of the lifeboats, which they've not filled to capacity.

Believing that the Titanic is unsinkable, others are casually pouring out onto the deck. They are more upset about having their sleep disturbed than the condition of the vessel.

"Miss, if you will follow me this way, I will help you onto a lifeboat," a crewman says, tugging on my arm.

I look back at Sage, and he nods. "Go. I'm sure someone on the boat can use your calming presence."

My heart squeezes in my chest, and I shake my head. "Are you out of your mind? No. I'm not going without you," I say, pulling out of the crewman's grasp and stepping into Sage's arms. From the safety of his embrace, I say to the crewman, "Please load the others first. And make sure you are filling those lifeboats with as many people as you can."

"Are you sure, Ry? Once we hit that water it will be like thousands of needles piercing through you."

I shiver at the thought but I nod with certainty. "I'm sure. I don't want to go through any of this without you next to me."

Sage shakes his head as if he hates my decision but he doesn't argue. Instead, he grabs my hand and pulls me back inside the ship.

"What are you doing?" I ask, looking back at the deck.

"Getting you drunk," he states.

"Drunk?"

He doesn't say another word as we enter the smoking room and he breaks the latch to the liquor cabinet. Pulling out two bottles of whiskey, he hands one to me. "Drink all of it as fast as you can."

"Sage, I don't—"

"Trust me. It will numb you from the cold, so you can keep moving in the water." He gestures to one of the high-back chairs and I take a seat across from him.

The amber liquid is disgusting and burns my throat as I take huge gulps, pushing it down. But Sage handles his bottle like a pro, downing large portions of it at a time. 

I have drunk over half the bottle by the time Sage is almost finished with his, and despite the dire situation we are in, I want to be close to him. I stand up, swaying on my feet, and sit in his lap with my legs draped over the arm of the chair. "I know this is a serious situation," I slur in his ear as I throw my arm around his neck, "but I think this might be a good time to tell you I've only drunk alcohol twice in my whole life, and both times I got drunk on two margaritas from Chili's."

His laughter fills the room, and he takes the bottle from me. "All right then. I'm not trying to get you blackout drunk...just to that nice warm and fuzzy place."

I grin and kiss his cheek. "Well, I didn't have to drink half a bottle of whiskey for that, silly. If you're around, I'm already in that nice warm and fuzzy place."

"I think our time for fun has passed; you have a mission to complete."

My eyebrows furrow and I lean away from him so I can see his entire face. "What? A mission? What are you talking about?"

Sage shakes his head and takes another gulp from his bottle. "I've been doing this for a while...this time-traveling thing. Before you, I was on my own and the quests felt like they were mine, but since you came along, that has changed. I just think this is about you. You are the deciding factor if we flash to the next time."

My foggy brain flickers back to the alleyway in New York City, when Sage implied that he knew what was going on. I had meant to ask him about it, but it had slipped my mind. "Why didn't you tell me before?" I ask, feeling a little blindsided. "This whole time, I thought you were just as confused as I was."

"I don't have any other answers for you, and I wasn't sure if me opening my mouth would change the outcome for you. Whatever this is that we are doing, I think it has a purpose; I just don't know what it is, and I didn't want to blow your chances of succeeding."

I lay my head on his shoulder and nod against him. "I understand...but I wish I knew what it is we're doing. And I have so many questions...is my life still going on without me somehow? Or is present time frozen?" My head aches; It's all too much for me to figure out sober, let alone after three-quarters of a bottle of whiskey.

"Those are all the things I don't have the answer to." Sage rubs my back and glances up at the clock. "One more big swig, Ry, and it's time to swim."

I stand on my unsteady legs and drink the last of Sage's whiskey, no longer feeling the burning in my throat, but a warm numbness.

We walk to the stern of the ship which is now closer to the water, and Sage helps me over the railing. "We're going to jump. I want you to swim for the lifeboats, and don't stop moving."

"Sage..." I look back at him over my shoulder.

"I'll be right behind you."

I toss my jacket onto the deck and the chill in the air is already unbearable; the water will be the embodiment of hell frozen over. Gripping my lifejacket, I look down at the calm water.

"Rylan?"

I turn my head to find Sage standing next to me; he grips the back of my neck and pulls my face to his. The touch of his cold lips on mine warms my body more than the alcohol coursing through my blood. He pulls away and says, "I'll see you on the other side of the flash."

I jump.

The water is freezing cold, but I push past the burn and kick my way to the surface. I gasp for air and turn to look for Sage, but I don't see him. The stern moves, lifting from the water, and I kick and paddle my arms as quickly as I can. I look back to see how much time I have, but my eyes are drawn to a head going under and arms flailing above the surface. Sage.

I change my direction heading for him when a strong current sweeps my body forward. Water floods my ears, and in the distance, a huge black shadow floats downward. I fight to keep my head above the water, but fail as unsteady waves thrash me around. A hand brushes along my arm before grasping my fingers. I'm pushed up and suck in air as soon as I cut through the water. Full of panic and dread, I look down and see the top of Sage's head...sinking.

Without a second thought, I dive back under, reaching him and wrapping my arms around his waist. Clutching him against me, I kick my legs, but we don't budge. The water holds onto us pulling us both down. My lungs burn and panic swells within me. I look at Sage's face, his mouth open and eyes vacant. The urge to cry overwhelms me, but I continue to hold my breath and kick.

We still have time; I can revive him. 

The current grows stronger and rips him from my arms, and I'm pulled toward the bottom of the ocean.

The current grows stronger and rips him from my arms, and I'm pulled toward the bottom of the ocean

Oops! This image does not follow our content guidelines. To continue publishing, please remove it or upload a different image.
TimelessWhere stories live. Discover now