Chapter One

April 15, 1912

The lifeboat was rowed up to the side of the Carpathia. Rose sat up, watching, as several people climbed up a ladder onto the ship. Others, less strong or in worse condition, were lifted onto the ship in a sling-like device.

When her turn came, she made her way up the ladder. When she was on board the ship, she turned to watch as the other passengers came aboard, Jack among them.

Jack was in bad shape. He tried to climb the ladder, but after he nearly fell, he was placed in the sling and lifted onto the ship.

When he reached the deck, he leaned against the railing, shivering and staring out to sea. Rose stood beside him and put her arms around him, trying to warm him, but it didnít seem to help. The chill went too deep.

A moment later, a steward approached them and spoke to Jack, pointing him in the direction of the shipís hospital. He nodded and stepped away from the railing, Rose trying to support him.

He got about ten feet before he collapsed. Rose fell to her knees beside him as he tried to get to his feet.

The steward returned, and, with the help of a Carpathia passenger, picked him up and carried him toward the hospital. Rose hurried after them.

At the hospital, they set him down on a cot, covered him with three blankets, and alerted the doctor to his presence before leaving. Rose sat beside him and put her hand on his forehead. His skin was like ice.

The doctor came by a few minutes later. After examining Jack, he diagnosed hypothermia and exhaustion, and instructed him to stay where he was, drink plenty of hot liquids, and get some sleep.

A nurse brought Jack another blanket and a cup of tea. After drinking the tea, he set the cup aside, nearly dropping it in Roseís lap, and lay down. He was asleep before his head hit the pillow.

Rose set the cup aside and pulled the blankets up farther around his shoulders. He was still shivering. She thought about finding another blanket for him, but changed her mind when the shivering gradually stopped as the blankets warmed him.

She sat beside him, watching him sleep. He had not spoken since they were rescued a few hours earlier. Half-frozen and exhausted, neither had said a word since the lifeboat had picked them up.

Rose settled back in her chair, closing her eyes.


About an hour later, Rose sat up abruptly as someone walked into the room, looking around and speaking loudly.

Turning to look at the speaker, she recognized Cal. He was arguing with the nurse, insisting that he be allowed to look around.

Rose sat frozen in place as Cal began walking around the room. She thought about sneaking away, but had no intention of leaving Jack to Calís tender mercies. He was in no shape to fight Cal off, and Rose had no doubt that Cal was capable of coming up with another devious plan to get rid of him. One of Jackís hands lay atop the blankets, the severed handcuff still in place, reminding her of what Cal had attempted the night before.

When Cal reached them, he barely looked at her, but instead stood staring at Jack, glowering. Abruptly, he turned and walked away. Surprised, Rose looked at Jack again, then got up and followed Cal.

She wasnít sure what Cal had in mind, but she was certain it involved getting her back. If she went back with him for now, she could rejoin Jack later, after she had thought of a way to avoid her fiancť.

Cal was outside, talking to an officer, when Rose caught up to him. She only heard the last few words.

"...found her," the officer was saying. Cal nodded and turned away. Rose followed him, scurrying to keep up, as he headed back toward first class.

Rose followed him to a first class stateroom. Inside, Ruth was sitting on a stiff, straight-backed couch, crying. Rose stared at her in surprise. Her mother never let her emotions show in front of others. Even when Roseís father had died, Ruth had maintained a calm, dignified expression until she was alone. The sinking must have traumatized her.

Cal walked over to Ruth and spoke to her in a voice too low for Rose to hear. Ruth looked hopeful for a moment, then resumed crying. Cal shook his head and walked away, shutting the door behind him.

"Mother, Iím here." Rose sat down next to her. "What did he say to you?"

Ruth didnít reply. She continued crying, rocking herself slightly. Rose asked the question again, but still Ruth did not respond. Rose finally gave up and put an arm around her mother, trying to comfort her.

Chapter Two