'Get ready!' Erin called over the clamour of weather complaints. Laguna was at the front, pitted against Marinia, and at Erin's mark, they both dove into the water. Laguna disappeared into the darkness, but Marinia flailed around in the water, panting and locking her arms at her sides, whispering several profanities as she nearly submerged, but retreated soon after. Moments later, Laguna re-appeared holding a wooden ring, her fringe stuck to her forehead and half-obscuring her eyes. Her hair dripped like spring water, and as she tossed the ring onto the snow, she gave Marinia a smug smile. She wrapped her coat around her as soon as she climbed out, signalling for the next pair to leap in.
Each reacted in the same sort of way, shocked by the cold and unable to form sentences from the constant chattering of their teeth. As the competition progressed, Will's team was leading by a single point. Neither he or Sayara had taken their turns yet, but when their team's player touched the edge, she stood motionless.
She said nothing, staring down at the watery void with wide and glassy eyes. Her team mates shouted for her to go, growing irritated, but it was as if she had turned deaf, concentrating only on the fear that overwhelmed her. 'What's wrong?' Will asked. Suddenly, he felt a churning in the pit of his stomach, a sudden wave of sickness that dizzied him. It felt like a hand had wrapped around his intestines and was pulling him forwards, to Sayara. Was it a coincidence, Will thought, or was it something to do with the mysterious Bond?
Before anybody could stop them, Marinia had crossed the space between the lines with a wicked yet elegant smile. 'Why don't you grow up?' On those words, her hands struck Sayara's chest hard, she stepped backwards and slipped against the slush at the edge. Her arms reached out for balance, but she was already falling, her back hitting the water like stone and a vortex of water already swarming and dragging her under.
She gasped, her lips forming into a perfect 'O', her breath forming into mist as she failed to form a sentence. Immediately, Will sensed her panic, for a moment, his nose and eyes stung with the bite of salt-water, like he was in the water with her, his skin prickling as the wave of sensation crept over him. He couldn't understand what was going on, but he felt afraid, and watching her paddling in the water, he knew something was wrong.
Suddenly, she looked down and screamed, her voice hoarse and thin. She disappeared, crying in protest as the water engulfed her.His stomach knotting with worry, Will felt something twinge at his ankle, and realising that he was feeling what she felt, he realised that Sayara had called out to something that had dragged her down.
'There's something down there!'
'What?' Erin asked, shaking her head at him incredulously. 'Impossible.' But Sayara hadn't come up for air, in the few crucial moments that she was gone, it sunk in what was happening. Meanwhile, Will was hit with her fear, it came to him in a torrent, bringing quick, hot tears to his eyes. His body froze for a calculating moment, and then everything in him told him to jump.
He didn't ignore the sensation, he allowed his legs to carry him forward, letting his arms fall through his jacket sleeves, hoisting his feet from his boots, which had been loose and unlaced in preparation for his turn. He forgot about the cold on the soles of his feet, like walking over a field of glass, he leapt off of the ground, arms and legs turning to gooseflesh before he plunged down into the water after her.