No Contest (Alaskan Sabears #1)(2)By: Becca Van
“Engine one just blew,” Jarvis yelled to be heard of the roaring of the wind. “We’re going down. Brace for impact.”
The trembles shifted to full blown quivers that wracked her whole body, and though she felt so weak that she felt like a big blob of jelly, she forced herself to move. She bent her body in half and covered her head with her arms. As the plane listed and fell faster from the sky, Celeste began to pray. She’d never been very religious, but there had to be some merit to the all-powerful being, God, since there were so many people who believed in such things. Right?
Her stomach lurched into her throat and when she tasted acidic bile on her tongue, she swallowed convulsively as she clutched the sick bag over her head. She hoped that Jarvis would able to put the plane down on water, but close enough to land so that when they finally stopped their terrifying descent, they both survived. A hysterical bubble of laughter balled in her chest and emitted from between her parted lips as she gasped in another shallow breath. Tears of frustration and fear welled in her eyes, and while she normally wasn’t a person to cry at the drop of a hat, and had tenacious control over her emotions, she let them trickle down her cheeks.
“Brace,” Jarvis shouted, but she was so scared his voice seemed to reach her from a great distance.
The small plane slammed into the water, sending a great gush of spray into the air. Celeste cried out when her body was jarred from the impact. Her stomach once more ended up in her throat when they went airborne again, only to thump back down with a bone-jarring jolt. Her body was flung sideways and the side of her head cracked against the window. Pain shot through her skull and into her brain. Nausea roiled in her stomach and just when she thought they were coming to a stop the nose of the plane hit something hard.
She screamed when the world turned end over end. Metal screeched and scraped in a never-ending cacophony of terror. Celeste moaned as her forehead smashed into something hard. The agony in her head was so bad she wondered if she’d fractured her skull. The noise from the crash died down and the plane finally came to a standstill. She blinked her eyes, or thought she did, but saw nothing but darkness. Every muscle in her body was screaming in agony, and with a sigh, she gave into the bliss of the painless darkness.
“What time is it Tarik?” Tammy asked her older brother.
He was working on his Hummer in the shed fifty yards from the house he shared with his best friend Hodge Holmes.
“Tammara Parks, give it a rest,” Tarik grumbled at his sister.
“I can’t,” Tammy whined. “I’m too nervous and excited.”
“Are you sure your friend wanted to come here?” Hodge asked, as he crawled out from under Tarik’s Hummer.
“Yes, I’m sure.”
“How did you meet her again?” Tarik frowned with concern as he waited for Tammy’s reply. He would be very angry if his sister ended up disappointed if her friend was a no-show.
“We met at Seattle Central College.”
“What’s her name?” Hodge asked.
“Isn’t she the girl who quit college only after six months?” Tarik quirked an eyebrow.
“So, you do listen to what I say.” Tammy smirked.
“You taught me well big brother.”
Tarik smiled and after making sure his hands were clean, tugged on her ponytail.
“Knock it off, Tarik.” Tammy swatted his arm. “I’m not six anymore.”
“Hodge, Tarik, we’ve got trouble,” Calloway Walden called from the entry to the shed.
“What?” Tarik asked, as he hurried toward the door.
“Jarvis’ plane’s going down. The storm must have damaged the craft.”
“What?” Tammy asked in a horrified whisper, before she covered her mouth with her hand. “Oh, God. Celeste is on that plane.”
Tarik rushed out the door after Cal. “Call the others and bring the ambulance.”
Tarik and Cal ran toward the airport, which was close to the northern tip edged by the Bering Sea. “Who’s in the tower?”
“Fin,” Cal answered.
“Has he spotted the plane yet?” Tarik asked, glad for the strength, stamina, and speed his inner beast gave him. He and the other men on St. Lawrence Island were sabear shifters—a mix of a polar bear and the extinct saber-toothed tiger.
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