Are you as excited as I am to dig into the new & improved Underwater??
“No.” I shook my head. “Not scared. Sorta…mesmerized.”
He wore his signature smirk when he raised one hand out of the water. I reached down and took it. Take a deep breath.
I did and was in the water before I could even think. The water wrapped me in cold and pulled my hair back in a long stream behind me as I dropped. For a second, I panicked, waving my arms at my sides and jerking back and forth. But then I felt Saxon’s hands encircle my hips and pull me against his chest.
Open your eyes.
I did, and the water momentarily stung. Blinking a few times, I grasped his hard shoulders and acclimated myself to my new surroundings. My focus came into view like a camera on auto zoom, and there in front of me was Saxon. His skin glowed in a soft, muted blue; pure, velvety warmth exuded from his touch, locking out the cold. We descended a few feet, and I looked down at his tail. It extended and swayed back and forth at least six feet below us. I was amazed that he could control where we moved with just the use of his fin.
Are you all right?
I nodded, and my hair whirled around my face. The darkness was everywhere but above our heads. I could see the moon through the top of the water, all broken into pieces like a stained-glass window.
Do you need air?
When I nodded, he extended his arms and lifted me up so that my head rose past the surface. I sucked in a long pull of oxygen, then ducked back under and put my arms around his neck. Rubbing my cheek against the side of his face, I noticed that his skin was no longer smooth and soft. Now it was ridged, but slippery like the scales of the fish my dad and I used to catch in the bay when I was little. My grip loosened, so that my hands could find the gills at the side of his neck. Tracing a line along the edge, I felt them open and close underneath my fingertips.
He tangled his fingers in the hair at the back of my neck, then combed through the locks as they danced on the current. I want to show you something.
I pulled back and looked at him. There was no fear under the water. I was safe in his arms, and I knew it right down to my toasty warm core. One side of his mouth pricked upward just before he turned my body so that my back was to him. With one swift movement, he kicked his fin so hard that the water ruffled all around us, arching us backward so we were parallel with the surface of the water.
In the blink of an eye, I was cruising along the lake at least twenty miles an hour, with the stained-glass moon following us as we glided. The surface was no more than three inches above my moving body. Clear—but waved and bubbled, like the old glass in all of the windows of our farmhouse.
Saxon’s tail moved up and down, creating a muted rushing sound and sending us streaming out of Moon’s Bay. My lungs were starting to tighten, but I couldn’t look away from the star-filled sky above us. I was mesmerized by the speed at which we were traveling and by the fact that my body was filled with radiant heat even though I was submerged in icy water.