Zoe spotted it. Wasn’t sure at first—they’d been looking for the Emerald Queen for so long. But the longer they spent scouring the hulk the clearer it was that they’d found her.

One hundred and fifty years earlier she’d gone down in a gale with no survivors. Her holds had been full of plundered gold.

Light was fading when they began their last dive. In their excitement they hadn’t noticed the approaching storm. Carelessness? Who can say? There’d been many reports of strange episodes surrounding attempts to find the treasure.

The wind hit. Their boat dragged its anchor for 200 metres before smacking up onto the reef. Dimitri caught the flash of the explosion, looked up and realised they were in trouble. He tapped Zoe’s shoulder, pointed up. She looked then put her hand to her mouth. They surfaced, though the churn of the waves tried to knock them back under. Their tanks nearly empty they watched flashes of flame between crests of waves. The howling wind overpowered their voices. Eyes locked in the near darkness they held each other and tried to conquer fear with love. Until Dimitri went down.

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