I struggled to sit up but a wave of voices called out to me in unison.

“Oh no, hon, just relax!”


“Don’t try and move.”

“You’ve been through an ordeal.”

Their words meshed together in a chorus but my eyes were fixed on the coffee-colored ones in front of me.

“Bash, get her some water,” he growled softly, leaning in closer to me. “How are you feeling?”

I sank back, unsure if my fear was founded. Instinctively, I understood that being in such a situation couldn’t be good but a feeling of peace stole over me as I read nothing but deep concern around the room. Abruptly, I remembered how I’d gotten there.

“Oh shit!” I cursed and there was a titter of nervous giggles in the room. I looked down and saw the blanket covering my body, felt the pain throbbing in my right leg.

“It’s all right,” the sitting man told me with tenderness. He couldn’t seem to stop staring at my face as I pulled the thick quilted comforter aside and peered at my lower body. I was wearing a pair of too-large pajamas and I could see the white of a bandage sticking out through my foot. I realized that I’d been dressed by one of these men but the information didn’t bother me as much as it probably should have.

After all, these guys had saved my life. If they’d wanted to harm me, they wouldn’t have taken such care with me.

A glass of water was pressed into my hands and I took a long sip before handing it to the dark, mysterious stranger beside me. He placed it on a nearby table and turned back to me.

“How’s your pain?” the man asked me and I refocused my attention on him, a million questions of my own on the tip of my lips.

“I-I’m okay,” I said slowly, realizing that I meant it. Aside from the fog which was slipping away from my mind, I meant it.

“Where am I?” I demanded, finally managing to pull my body upward and stare at the men. “What is this place?”

“I’m Dan,” he offered and nodded over his shoulder. “These are my friends and business associates.”

He listed off a bunch of names but my head still wasn’t clear enough to gather them all. I did remember the one who stood in the doorway, however, staring at me with naked bale in his eyes.

Graham.

“And you are…?”

“Sasha,” I told him, turning my attention back to his face. “Sasha Snow.”

There was another titter of amusement.

“That’s appropriate,” the light-hearted one jested. Harry. His name was Harry.

Dan shot him a look to shut him up.

“I-I’m sorry I broke in here,” I told them, my eyes darting from face to face but no one seemed angry that I was there.

“Never mind that,” Dan told me gently. “All that matters is that you’re okay now.”

“I-who are you guys?” I demanded, the fact that I was still alive stunning to me. “What are you doing up here?”

Dan chuckled but there was a deep sadness in his eyes.

“It’s a long story,” he mumbled but Harry volunteered the information that he seemed to be reluctant to offer.

“We’re best friends,” the almost hyper blonde told me. “We used to play football together in college.”

“Harry…” Dan said warningly but that didn’t stop him from continuing.

“We got into a bus crash a few years back,” Harry rushed on as if he worried that Dan might stop him from finishing his story. “We were the only seven who survived and we made a pact to stay together after that.”

I blinked, touched and horrified by the tragic details.

“We’re contract drillers,” Dan finished. “We’ve been in Iceland for almost a year now.”

I gazed around the dorm for the first time to really look at it and I saw it was breathtaking. I recalled how big the place had seemed from the outside but the interior was the stuff you only read about in books.

“I-is this where you live then?” I asked lamely, my eyes falling back on Dan’s face. He nodded and shrugged.

“For now,” he replied. “Just rest now, Sasha. I’m going to see to some food for you.”

I opened my mouth to protest that I wasn’t hungry but before I could utter a word, my stomach growled mercilessly.

Dan was already at the door, gesturing for the others to follow him.

“Let her rest, guys,” he ordered and there was not one word of complaint as they all shuffled out of the room, leaving me alone to ponder my predicament.

My eyes settled on a window I hadn’t noticed earlier and they widened when I saw that the panes were caked in white.

The storm hadn’t let up since I’d arrived.

How long ago was that?

I hadn’t thought to ask.

Even though I’d been instructed to relax, my curiosity got the best of me and I rose from the too-comfortable mattress. There was nothing lumpy or uncomfortable about the driller’s beds. In fact, the entire cabin was state-of-the-art from what I could see. The interior walls were made of smooth stone and as I limped out toward the main part of the cabin, I saw it was tastefully but expensively decorated.

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