Prologue

Daegan waited at the station near the dock impatiently. He wanted to get this over with quickly. He didn't want people finding out that he had to go to such drastic measures. People would talk, he knew, even with all the preparations he took. He was just going over in his head what needed to be done for the woman's arrival when the ship's horn went off, announcing its appearance.

He left the small waiting area at the station, glad for the fresh air. The smell of fish and seawater was too suffocating in the enclosed waiting area. He checked his watch. The ship was seven minutes late. The sun had set hours ago and the fog had crept in a while afterwards. The large ship was still and eerily silent. It didn't look like the beacon of hope he had been waiting for. Daegan wondered if there was some mistake.

He lingered on the dock for several minutes, nonetheless. He was about to sit down, when he saw people slowly trickling out of the ship down a ramp. His palms began to sweat and his nerves began to get the better of him. He didn't know if she even spoke English. He didn't know what to say to her. There were a million things he had been worrying about over the past month, but it seemed that everything was overflowing all at once.

Daegan cursed the agency for not giving him anything more than a pile of fake papers. He had told Seana about the woman, but the questions came flowing out of her so quickly that he was scared to mention her again. The woman was already causing more trouble than he wanted and she hadn't even arrived yet.

The man stuffed his hands in the pockets of his jacket and began to pace, a habit that revealed the level of his frustration. After a few seconds of angrily and nervously pacing, she appeared. He spun on his heel, about to pace down the dock when he almost collided with her. She jumped back a little, frightened. Daegan just tensed.

His first thought was that she was old. Standing about a foot over her, all he saw was the top of her head, but just for a split second before she stepped back. She had a sheet of long white hair, which was why Daegan had to question her age. But her hair framed a very young face. He guessed her age was in the early twenties, but he wasn't sure. There was something about her face that made her seem older than him. The girl's skin was a soft bronze that was a stark contrast to her white hair. Then she lifted her head to look up at the man with large eyes the color of the lightest baby blue Daegan had ever seen.

He didn't know what to expect. He didn't know how to react. The woman looked like she was from another world, completely foreign with such blunt features, strange because of the way she stood like she was calm but ready to attack anyone at the same time, and curious because of the mystery that held those light blue eyes. Daegan never knew the meaning of exotic until that moment. Since he didn't know what to expect from her, he reacted the only way he saw fit.

Daegan cleared his throat and asked her in a curt, rude voice, "Vasati?"

Her eyes widened slightly in disappointment at the man's rudeness, but she nodded anyway, throat tight. Daegan turned on his heel and tartly said, "This way then," over his shoulder. The girl picked up her small bag with all the dignity she could muster at the moment and followed the unwelcoming man with long, graceful legs.