We stayed silent as we drifted into the swirling mist, never letting go of the other one's hand. A few times Ben's grip slackened and I knew I was burning him by accident, so I focused on controlling my talent. It was hard though, because my emotions were raging so violently, it was hard to maintain my powers outside of me. Other than that he held on tightly, as not to lose me in the darkening waters.
The thick water was growing, and for a moment I was afraid we would get lost in it. Neither of us dared to speak, we didn't want to be heard by Marissa. But I knew what Ben was thinking the entire time. Why am I letting her do this? How could I be so irresponsible? I have to admit that I was thinking that same thing. I felt as if I was on a high, but I was really just excited to stand up for something I believed in. I just felt terrible for dragging Ben along with me. If something happened to him because of me, I could never forgive myself. I had the confidence now to know that I could take care of myself. No one could touch me. But Ben didn't know this yet, and I didn't dare tell him in fear our cover would be blown. Also, if I ended up being more powerful, would it hurt our relationship?
I couldn't risk that chance.
His hand tightened in mine. I stopped swimming and listened, but heard nothing. I saw nothing. I felt nothing but Ben's unsteady pulse through his fingertips.
Suddenly I was being pulled downwards into the darkness, but something was wrong. I realized that it wasn't me who was being held, it was Ben!
"Jenn, get away from here! Hurry!" I knew what he was about to do, and I grabbed his other flailing hand.
"No Ben! I will not let you go!" I then saw the bloodred tangle of hair below Ben's body, and I recongnized it at once. "Courtney! Let go of him now! I don't want to hurt you!" Her laugh sent chills up my spine and she doubled back with Ben's ankle in her hand, twisting it behind his back and causing him to cry out in pain. My heart throbbed and bent in a way it never should. She was now face to face with me and I quickly released Ben's arms so he could come around. But he stayed upside down, floating motionless in the water.
At the same time I let go Courtney grabbed a hold of my hair and yanked on it, making me shriek.
"JENN!" Ben screamed from his lopsided position. I wrestled to get away, but found myself paralyzed.
"Ben, I can't move! You have to get away now!"
"I can't. It's her talent, we're stuck," he growled as Courtney laughed maniacally.
"And you thought you could hurt me!" she managed to get out between her laughter. "You can't even use your Talent to save the one you love both," she said to the both of us. Then she gave us both another tug and we simultaniously cried in pain. Fresh tears poured out of my eyes as she pulled us along behind her, swimming so fast in the water that I couldn't catch a breath.
We stopped after a few minutes, and by that time we were out of the fog. But it was following behind us, and I realized that it was originating where we had stopped. We swam down until we came to a cave at the bottom of the ocean, where the water met the sand. The inside was cold and still and dark, but after a few seconds my eyes adjusted and I could see pointy rocks surrounding us from all sides.
"Don't try to move," Courtney said in a low voice, "it won't be pleasant." I looked around to see a sharp spike not an inch from my face. Just then I heard a thump and Ben swore.
"See? I told you," she added in a pleased tone. I growled in my throat which caught me by surprise. I had never growled before. But then I felt the grip on my hair tighten and pain shot through my skull. I felt the urge to growl once more, but it was disrupted by a blinding light, and I was unable to close my eyes. Instead, I backed away from the brightness. I couldn't see anything at all, and it was also hot. Very hot, almost too hot. It soon started to hurt my skin, but before I was worried the light died out, a smooth glow replacing it. Before my eyes could adjust again, I was tossed onto a hard floor and hit my head which was already hurting but now hurt even more. Then I realized we weren't in the water any longer, and my skin began to dry up. It was quite painful and I winced at the discomfort.
"Jenn?" Ben whispered next to me. I could feel my body again, the numbness dying away in my toes and finger. It took all my strength to lift up my head and turn it around, and then I collapsed on the floor again. But at least I was looking at Ben's face; that eased the pain a bit.