Patricia knelt on the beach numb and trembling, a single black rose grasped in her hand, heedless of the sharp thorns. Blood mixed with the salty water dripping down her arm. An icy vise crushed her heart. The rose had washed ashore only moments before Chris’s broken board, just like in her dreams. Did she make this happen? Was it her fault? No amount of pleading could stop Chris from surfing today. Now he was gone, torn from her by the crashing riptide.
Jackie saw the Black Rose slash the surfer’s board and yanked him under the massive wave. Hate shrouded the assassin like a cloak, masking all but the signature black rose. As Chris was dragged farther into the ocean Jackie’s skin prickled. A dream projection couldn’t drown, but the instinctive fear still made her hesitate. Chris was almost out of sight before Jackie forced her spirit into the churning waters. It took all her concentration to reach him and strike the Black Rose. The assassin screamed in anger as Jackie attacked. Icy hands lashed at Jackie’s neck and she felt her spirit weakening from the onslaught. Desperately, she kicked at the shrouded figure, invoking the strength of the Dream Guardians. A bright light flashed and the Black Rose hissed, then vanished.
Nearly drained, Jackie dragged Chris’s limp body to the shore and forced air into his lungs. Chris would live, but Jackie’s job was far from over. It was time Patricia learned her dreams were premonitions, not assaults.