I was nervous as Lucinda and I stepped into the dark hole, more so for her than for myself. Falling through empty space with no light was disorientating to say the least. I felt horribly constricted and held on tightly to Lucinda. Alarmingly, she went limp in my arms -she must have blacked out. All of a sudden, there was blinding light. We were still falling but we could see now (well, I could). The ground beneath us was covered in snow. I hoped it would be a soft landing. I rotated in the air so that Lucinda was above me and I would hit the ground first but just in case, I slowed and cushioned our fall with a layer of air.
Lucinda woke up and I smiled up at her. She looked stunning in the bright sunlight, her flame-red hair a clear contrast to the white surroundings which I thought were very dull in comparison. She stood up quickly and I rose to my feet. I noticed her arms folded across her chest and asked, "You cold?", walking up to her. She shook her head.
"Come on, we better call Luke."
I pulled the phone out of my pocket but realised I didn't have the slightest clue as to where we were.
"Uh... where are we exactly?" I asked her.
"Luchshevo, a village in Kemerovskaya Oblast', Russia." she said pointing at a sign behind me.
Suddenly, the phone went off in my hand. I looked down at it in surprise.
"You going to answer that?" she asked.
I grinned and answered the call.
It was Marc. "Oh, Hey Marc!" I said.
I told him where we were and then relayed the information I'd learnt to Lucinda.
"Luke and Ellie haven't got their mobile so Marc is having to find out where everyone is."
Lucinda sat down; I sat beside her.
"Hey you ok?" I asked, worried by her behaviour.
"Yeah I'm fine..." she muttered.
"Come on Lucy, I can tell you're not."
Suddenly, Luke appeared.
"Hi guys! We better go, everyone's waiting."
"I can only take one at a time, so who wants to go first?"
"Can you go first, Will?" she asked me.
I hated the idea of leaving her on her own and was about to tell her this when she looked at me imploringly.
I let her have things her way and Luke teleported me to London where the others were.
I was awed by Patrick's sacrifice but now more worried because the threat the Black Ones posed was more real somehow now.
I noticed that Lucinda was shivering.
"Lucy, are you really OK? You're shivering," I whispered to her.
"I'm just cold," she replied, moving closer to me. I wrapped my arm around her and raised her chin so she was looking straight into my eyes.
"I won't let anything happen to you. You know that right?" I said.
There was a moment of pure pleasure and isolation from this world where we were about to risk our lives in a battle as she kissed me.
"It's time" Ben said, interrupting the blissful moment.
The fight had begun.
After showering some of the Black Ones with water from the pond - that was cool, I hadn't realised I could manipulate water as well as air - I went to confront Critias.
"Shouldn't you be protecting your darling Lucinda?" Critias asked, smiling evilly.
"I think she'll be all right," I lied, not wanting to make myself look vulnerable by confessing my fear for Lucinda's life.
"Oh you little liar. You should check up on her. Wouldn't want to let her down, would you now? Not that you haven't let someone down before.
"I didn't let her get through to me. I made an icy wind whip around her and throw her to her feet.
Suddenly, Lucinda came running up to me. She and her clones surrounded Critias, all glaring.
I was about to finish Critias off when he said, "Wait!"
"I surrender," he said.
"Kill him!" Ben called, Jake ran towards us and was about to kill when Critias repeated, "I surrender."
Ben joined our group.
"I surrender," Critias said to him. "I haven't hurt any of you and I don't want to die," Lucinda, Jake and I looked at Ben. He shook his head.
"You're a Black One, you're going to die," he said.
I didn't watch as I blasted a hole in his chest with some very fast-moving air.
"Luke, take Jake and William into Atlantis and kill off the other Hercules, before he resurrects himself again," Ben instructed.
Zoey had to pull Jake away from Jade. I felt awful as I imagined Lucinda in Jade's position, lying lifeless on the floor. After killing Hercules in Atlantis, we travelled back to Earth. Harriet was dead and needed burying. I thought it was right that she was buried where she was born. I was sorry that she and Patrick were dead: they'd both done so much to help us.
The whole team met in the park.
"I guess this is goodbye," I said bravely.
Everyone was in tears. Lucinda was clutching me tightly, kissing me and asking if we really had to part. Jake was holding Jade, Marc was holding Zoey, Luke was holding Ellie and I was surprised to see Ben holding Eve too.
"I'll transport everyone home," Luke said.
"Guys, this doesn't have to be goodbye," Jade said. We all looked at her. "At least not forever," she amended. "We can arrange to see each other again: we should all keep in contact at the very least." She pulled out a scrap of paper.
"Everyone make a list of their email addresses or mobile numbers and I'll send an email containing all these details to all of you."
She passed the paper, along with a pen, to me first. I wrote my email address, handed the paper to Lucinda and watched her write hers, trying to memorise the complicated Russian, and when she'd handed it to Ben, leant in and kissed her.
I hugged her and wouldn't let go. Even when I'd stopped kissing her, I caressed her hair, barely taking notice of anything else even when the others were teleported away, I held her tightly when Luke said, "Mate, you have to go."
I kissed her one last time before releasing her. Tears were streaming down her face, she was sobbing uncontrollably and I couldn't think of any consolation because I was distraught too.
"Where do I take you?" Luke asked quietly.
"Tirana airport," I murmured disconsolately. "I can get home from there."
I closed my eyes and pictured Lucinda, imagining kissing her, as we whirled away.