Bearing the Black Ice (Ice Bear Shifters Book 4)
dead end. Hannah had started to despair again, but Alan remained confident that they would find a way. They snuck into the greenhouse every evening, grabbing fresh vegetables and berries, and replenishing their water supplies from the stream that ran through the area. They chose a different room to sleep in every night, and did their best to minimize their scent and any evidence of their presence. If it hadn’t been for the constant threat of a Blizzard attack, exploring the cave like this might have been fun and almost romantic. Although an escape route eluded them, they made a new, interesting discovery nearly every day.
    One day, the tunnel they were exploring dead ended into a room of sparkling purple and green stones. As Alan shone his flashlight around the room, the beam reflected back at them with colorful, tinted hues. Another day, the tunnel they explored ended in an underground waterfall. Hannah couldn’t believe that the water hadn’t frozen, since the room felt to her like it was about a million degrees below zero. But Alan explained that it wasn’t actually that cold in the room, and that the force of the running water was enough to keep it from turning into ice.
    The most interesting discovery, however, was the room they dubbed “the meat locker.” One day while they were in a particularly cold branch of a tunnel, they came across a large room where numerous blocks of ice had been stacked into makeshift shelves. On the shelves were piles and piles of frozen meat. Hannah sniffed at it.
    “Seal,” she said. “With a little bit of whale here and there.”
    Suddenly, everything seemed to click for Alan.
    “This all makes sense now,” Alan said.
    “What does?” Hannah asked, as she ran her fingers across one of the piles of seal meat and tried to think of a way they could build a fire down here in the cave and roast some meet. Her mouth watered at the thought. But she forced herself to dismiss the idea. Even if they could figure out a way to make fire, the smell of smoke and roasting meat would quickly alert any passing Blizzards to their presence. As appealing as a meat dinner sounded, it was far too risky.
    “The Blizzards have been here all summer, but no one knew how they were surviving the heat. But it’s been easy for them—they just hide out down here in the areas of the cave that are cold. They have plenty of water and vegetables, and they stocked up on frozen meat. What more could they ask for? There’s no need to go up to the surface, except to attack or torture bears from another clan. This place is like a fortress.”
    “It’s definitely a fortress,” Hannah agreed. “I can’t believe we’ve been down so many tunnels and haven’t found a single exit.”
    “I think they’ve blocked all the entrances and exits on this side of the greenhouse room. If there’s only one, it’s easily guarded.”
    Hannah’s face fell as she considered this possibility. “Well, that would put a damper on our escape plan. For our own sakes, I hope you’re wrong about there only being one entrance.”
    But Alan wasn’t wrong. The next day, they explored the next to last tunnel, and the further down the tunnel they went, the stronger the smell of Blizzard became.
    “Alan,” Hannah whispered. “Do you think it’s a smart idea to get so close to them?”
    Alan just shrugged. “I have to find out if there’s an entrance here, and, if so, whether there’s any feasible way of us sneaking past them to get out. Why don’t you go back where it’s safer and let me finish up the exploration of this tunnel by myself?”
    Hannah shook her head, horrified. “No way am I leaving you alone here near their main hive. If you insist on exploring here, I insist on coming with you.”
    Alan looked back at her and smiled. “You really are an obstinate one, aren’t you? I tell you what. Let’s go back and set up camp for the night. We’ll have dinner and rest up a bit. When it gets really late we’ll sneak

Similar Books

The Divine Whisper

Rebekah Daniels

Night Watch

Linda Fairstein

Our Yanks

Margaret Mayhew

A Dark Passion

Natalie Hancock

The Wedding Caper

Janice Thompson