'I do, always have. Always will. How do you like the tea? It's a special brew.'
'It's delicious,' said Lana as she sat back on the comfortable sofa. 'This is a lovely boat.'
Standing up to have a further look around, Lana immediately flopped back down as a woozy feeling overcame her.
'You alright, my love?' asked the woman as she peered down into Lana's face.
'Yes, I'm just feeling a little... weird.'
Seconds later, Lana collapsed.
'Lana!' Emma put her cup down and grabbed her sister's arm, shaking her. Daisy, who was sitting on the other side, grabbed her other arm.
But soon, they started feeling a little odd too.
Emma looked down at the teacup and then back up at the woman.
'You... you... poisoned us,' she whispered before succumbing to unconsciousness.
Daisy just noticed the woman beam with pride before she too, blacked out.
The sound of gentle humming woke Lana up. Slowly opening her eyes, she realised they were on a different boat. All the niceties of the floral décor had gone. It was much larger and, unlike the other, wasn't stuck within a sea of boats either. She could feel it chugging along. Lana hoped they hadn't been knocked out for too long.
'Emma, Daisy,' she whispered as she tried to stand up, but soon realised she was tied to her chair. Trying to loosen the rope, her wrists began to chafe against it.
'No use in trying, my dear. That there is certified cursed rope. You won't be able to loosen it, no matter how hard you try.'
'Who are you? What do you want?'
The woman merely smiled and walked back out the door.
'Daisy, Emma! Wake up!'
Slowly the girls began to come to.
'What's going on?' murmured Emma as she slowly opened her eyes to see the horrible predicament they'd gotten themselves into.
'Oh, Lana... I told you...'
'Look, there's no point in going there now. What's done is done. What matters is getting free.'
'Oww, my head,' murmured Daisy as she opened her eyes and gasped.
'She said it's cursed rope and we won't be able to loosen it.'
'Well, that's just great. Now what are we supposed to do?' Emma sighed as she tried to stand up but struggled considering she was also tied to the chair.
'I don't know... I don't know what she wants.'
The humming grew closer and the woman returned. 'Oh, you're all awake now are you? How lovely,' she said.
'What do you want with us?' asked Emma as she continued to try and loosen the rope around her wrists.
'It's not what I want with you... it's what they want with you,' she laughed as she pointed outside.
A cold sensation ran down Emma's spine as she followed the woman's gaze out through the window and found the boat was slowing down beside an old massive warehouse. As she peered through, she spotted a group of people waiting on the waterside.
'Who... who are they?' Lana asked as Daisy let out a sob.
The woman shrugged, 'Beats me, I just get paid to find folk, that's all. And you three just guaranteed me a fine Caribbean cruise, you have,' she grinned, revealing one missing tooth from the front of her open mouth.
Emma gulped as the woman skipped out of the cabin and tied the boat up, allowing the strangers to come aboard.
Lana looked at her sister apologetically.
'I'm so sorry both of you,' she whispered as hoods were placed over their heads and they were carried off the barge.
A familiar scent filled Daisy's nostrils and she screwed up her face in dismay. It was a scent she wished she'd never have to smell again. A tear plopped out of the inside corner of her eye as she realised her worst nightmare had come true. It rolled slowly down her face.
'Grycan,' she whispered.
'What?' Lana asked.
'It's the Skulls from Abney Park.'
'Oh no,' Emma murmured from beneath the hood.
They sat there in the dark for what seemed like ages listening to the Skulls paying the yellow-haired woman who soon left them to the clutches of the evil ones.
'My, my my,' said a woman's voice. 'Look what we've got here then. Three pretty little Watchers,' she laughed.
'Don't touch them, Beatrice. We're under strict instructions. You're not to mess with their memories. Keep your hands to yourself. Don't worry, we'll find you someone else to feed from in no time.'
The hoods were grabbed and pulled from their heads, pulling hair along with them.
'Ouch,' cried Lana. 'Watch the hair numbskull.'
Just as she'd thought, as her eyes adjusted to the light, Daisy gasped as she saw the familiar posse of Skulls that had terrorised her during her months living at the Abney Park cemetery.
Grycan, Drake, Darcey and Beatrice. The only one missing was the other werewolf.
'Well I never,' said their leader, a dark haired skinny creep with a scar across his cheek.
'The red haired girl from the cemetery... shame we have to give you up,' he said as he approached her and gently caressed her face before grabbing her chin roughly.
'What do you want?' she asked.
Drake laughed with his head backwards.
'We don't want anything, little one. We're simply delivering you to someone who does.'
His light blue eyes danced menacingly.
'And you, I recognise you and you,' he said as he placed a hand on Lana and Emma's heads. 'Quite the little fighters, if I recall. No buddies here to help you now though, are there?' he whispered, his face up close to them both. 'Not quite so confident now are you?'
Emma and Lana said nothing. They just kept trying to loosen the rope that was tied firmly around their wrists.
'What are you going to do with us? Who wants us?' Daisy asked.
'Wouldn't you like to know?' he grinned. 'Sadly, we're not to make our deliveries for a while yet and we're quite busy at the moment so we'll have to leave you. But Grycan here will be right next door, if you should need anything,' he laughed as they walked out, turning out the lights and leaving the girls in the dark.
They listened as their footsteps disappeared, followed by the sounds of a small boat drifting off into the distance.
'What are we going to do?' whispered Lana. 'I can't see a thing.'
Emma calmed her breathing for a moment and concentrated hard until a light began to shine from within her. Soon it was sufficient to light up the room.
'Thanks, Sis, but be careful wolfie doesn't notice,' Lana whispered.
It was a huge old warehouse filled with large black boxes that could have been filled with just about anything.
'What's in there?' asked Lana as Daisy trained her nostrils to try and identify the contents.
'I smell... forest... but it's foreign, somehow. It's how I imagine a rainforest would smell. I think it's some kind of plants, but nothing from around here.'
'Plants, why would they have plants here?' Emma wondered.
'So basically, nothing that will help us get these damn ropes off?'
'I don't think so, sorry.'
'But she said they were cursed ropes. How do you get cursed ropes off?'
They were quiet for a moment until Emma piped up.
'Maybe we can burn them off?'
'What, and get third degree burns in the process?' Lana replied.
'Well, it's worth a shot. I'd rather be burned than stuck in here.'
'You do have a point,' Lana said. 'But how do we burn them off?'
'Leave that to me.'
Emma had never tried to create fire with her skill, but she knew she could create warmth. If she concentrated long and hard enough on one particular area, she hoped she might be able to create enough heat to generate fire.
'Oh, okay. Good luck,' Lana whispered.
After several failed attempts, Emma was pretty close to it working when the warehouse door flew open. Grycan stood in the doorway.
'What you up to?' he growled.
'What are we up to? What does it look like we're up to? We're trapped and tied up with cursed rope. What do you think we're up to? Man, are you dumb? We. Can't. Do. Anything.' Lana yelled at him.
Content that they were in fact, incapable of doing anything, Grycan grinned, turned around and closed the door.
'Okay Em, you're good to go. You can do it,' Lana whispered.
Moments later, flames licked Emma's wrists. Strangely enough though, they didn't burn her. Sitting quietly, she focussed all her attention on the rope until it fell away from her hands. She breathed a sigh of relief as she bent down and tried to undo the rope around her ankles.
'Hey, these ones aren't cursed. Daisy, with your strength, you can probably just break through them.'
Sure enough, Daisy pulled her ankles apart, the rope falling to the ground.
The rope around the chair was also fairly easy to remove. Emma worked as quickly as she possibly could, undoing the rope around the girls' chairs and ankles. It was their wrists that she was worried about.
'I might burn you really bad. I don't want to hurt you,' she whispered as Lana held out her arms.
'It's okay. I trust you, Sis. I believe you can do it without even touching my skin. Come on, we haven't got much time. Please, just try.'
Emma began to concentrate until Lana winced with the heat.
'See, I can't do it.'
'You can, I know you can. Just focus on the rope and not on me.'
Moments later, the charred rope was loose enough for Lana to pull it apart.
They then concentrated on Daisy until the three of them were completely free.
'Cursed rope, eh? Whoever cursed it was pretty lame,' Lana whispered with a big grin on her face.
'Now what?' Emma whispered.
Spotting a back door, they ran over to it but it was locked.
'I can break it down,' suggested Daisy but the other shook their heads.
'No, too much noise.'
'How about up there,' Daisy said, pointing upwards.
A large window was situated high up in the warehouse building, above all the black boxes.
They shared a look before Lana launched herself up towards it until she reached the window ledge. Balancing on it, she tried to force the window open.
'It's jammed. We'll have to break it.'
'But he'll hear that,' Daisy whispered.
'I can melt it!' said Emma before covering her mouth and opening her eyes wide as they all stood perfectly still and waited for Grycan to burst through the door.
When he didn't, they relaxed and turned their attention back to the window.
'How can I get up there? I can't jump like you.'
Lana jumped down, slowing before she hit the ground so that she landed silently.
With a smile, she grabbed hold of her sister and jumped up again, so that they both balanced precariously on the window ledge.
Melting the glass wasn't quite as simple as melting the rope and after a few minutes, Lana lost her balance, pulling Emma down with her. But before they landed noisily on the ground below, Daisy reached out and caught them.
'Thanks Daisy,' Emma whispered as they climbed back up and continued to create heat with her hands.
'He's coming,' Daisy whispered.
With no time to finish melting the glass, Lana grabbed them both and rushed them back to their seats. They wrapped the rope swiftly around their arms and ankles just as the door swung open. Grycan appeared, his black eyes scanning the room.
'Something's going on, I 'eard ya,' he boomed before going quiet and sniffing around with his eyes like slits.
'What could we possibly do like this? Seriously man,' Lana said a little over confidently.
Grycan was just about to turn back when he spotted a small piece of rope on the ground underneath Daisy's chair.
Within seconds, his clothes were ripped from his body and his masculine form had changed into a vicious snarling wolf. He immediately began circling the three girls.
'Holy cow,' cried Daisy.
Months ago, he'd very nearly got his claws into her but she'd just about managed to outrun him. This time, however, she intended to fight back. Crouching down so that she faced him square on, Daisy prepared herself to attack the beast. But before she was able to, Emma stepped in front of her and created an intense ball of heat that she threw directly towards the wolf. Dodging it, Grycan put one paw in front of the other, ready to pounce. With her nerves altogether gone, Daisy jumped towards him, grabbing his front paws and swinging him twice before throwing him hard against the wall. The building shook.