I closed my eyes when the soft lap of the paddle against the water became too much for me. Just as my head began to drift and fall against the boat, a sudden jolt sent my heart pounding against my chest. I turned and glared at Damian for kicking the boat, but he ignored me.
“Miss Aniston, I think we’ve found it.”
I looked up, and so did Perry just as the cold air grew warmer. Light surrounded the mouth of the cave. I grabbed the sides and stood only managing to rock the boat a little. My eyes adjusted to the brightness, and there stood before us the remains of what had once been a beautiful vessel. I was too in awe to smile, though on the inside, I was dancing.
“This is it,” I muttered. Perry felt the excitement because he sat up and gazed about with shining eyes and a wagging tail. His bark echoed through the labyrinth we had just traversed, but the reward was well worth the trials just as I had known it would be.
“So this is the place, huh?”
I frowned. Even in this glorious moment, Damian’s lack of interest grated my nerves.
“This is the lost city, Damian.”
“The city of Tyre.” He nodded. “I know. What is it exactly you hope to find?”
I smiled. Finally, an interest in my cause.
“The destruction of this city was prophesied many years before it came to pass, but Alexander the Great never imagined that as he scraped even the dust of this city into the sea, most of the remains would wash up here.”
“What exactly are you hoping to find, Miss Aniston?”
I leaned as far over the bow as I could.
“Not everything of value was destroyed, Damian. Yes, maybe the gold and silver, but there are things of greater value than those. I want proof of this place. Proof of everything. I know things to be true by faith, but the real true evidence is here.”
Damian’s stroke of the paddle remained selfsame.
“Well, good luck finding that in all…” His mouth was stopped as we entered the cavern, and his glazed eyes sparked with life at all the beauty and life that abounded. “Oh my,” he mumbled under his breath.
I grinned, and even Perry’s wag grew so vigorous that it rocked the boat.
I was here. I had finally arrived at the place I had studied and dreamed of for so long. Happiness could not begin to describe the joy that spread and bloomed in me like a wild grapevine. More than anything, I was relieved. Yes, there was proof. This place alone was evidence of that, but the real job had only just begun.