• Paradise Valley (Virgin River #7) Gregor and the Code of Claw (Underland Chronicles #5)

    All in! he says, opens the door and pushes Ben towards the back seat. He clambers in and I after him. I get the side with the seat belt.

    My thoughts circled back to where theyd started—the only person who could benefit from Linnea being gone was the one who didnt appear happy to be married to her.As the head guard, who are your official bosses? I asked.

    Shakespeare's Christmas (Lily Bard #3)

    The King has final say in all matters of the kingdom, but to a lesser extent, I am sworn to obey the entire royal family, including the Queen, the Prince, and Marksinna Lisbet as the Queen Grandmother, Bayle answered.What would you do if any of them asked you to commit murder? I asked, and both Bayle and Kasper stiffened. It was a taboo topic among guards.In times of war, I am to defend the kingdom and fight our enemies, Bayle said, practically reciting the answer from a textbook. In times of peace, I am to protect the King at all costs. It is my duty to kill if necessary, but never to murder. Taking a life must only be done in preservation of the kingdom.

    The Awakening (Alliance Vampires #5)

    I know what youre supposed to do, but Im asking you what you would personally do, I said.I would follow the tenets of my position, and I would not murder anyone, he said, but his eyes darted just slightly when he spoke.

    Would you tell the person youd been instructed to kill? I pressed. Because if you turned down the King, Im sure he could keep asking until eventually he found a guard who would do as he asked.

    I… Bayle stopped for a moment, thinking, and when he spoke again, his shoulders had sagged. I would like to believe that I would do the right thing.For a few moments, I did let myself just swim and relish the feeling. But then my lungs began to demand oxygen, and I surfaced. I breathed in deeply, staring up at the blue sky above me, until Ridley came up a minute later, gasping for breath.

    Are you okay? I asked, swimming closer to where hed emerged a couple yards from me.Im fine, he insisted and wiped the water from his eyes. How long can you hold your breath?

    Superior Saturday (The Keys to the Kingdom #6)

    I shrugged. I dont know. Maybe five minutes.During grade school, I had frequently shown off my ability to hold my breath for extended periods of time. I thought it would make the kids think I was cool, but it turned out I was nothing more than a circus sideshow. The average Kanin could hold their breath for roughly thirty seconds, so my feat seemed quite impressive and a little freaky. But by comparison, my mom could hold her breath under water for nearly a half hour.

    Yeah, I cant do anywhere close to that. Ridley shook his head. I tried to go down to the bottom of the lake, but its way too far for me. If Linnea has gills, she could be hanging out in the depths of it.That makes sense, I agreed. Ill see how far down I can go and look for her. You wanna stick to the shallower areas?

    I took a deep breath, then plunged under the water. I went straight down, thinking that I would find the bottom and search along there. If this was a hidden paradise built for gilled trolls, it wasnt a stretch to guess that there might be something at the bottom.Ridley wasnt kidding about how deep it went. Even with the water being totally clear, it soon became too dark for me to see well. When a small silver fish swam by, I caught just a glimmer of light on its scales.

    Even as a dull ache in my head and chest began to build, the delirium of the water overtook me. It seemed to flow through me, filling me with pure elation, and I swam deeper. Id like to say I was more determined than ever to find Linnea, but really, that came in second to the way the lake made me feel.But slowly that was beginning to give away to pain and panic as my body struggled with a buildup of carbon dioxide. My lungs started to burn. I looked up toward the rays of light barely breaking the water, and it occurred to me too late that I had gone down too far.

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