Prologue

That smell. It wasn't like any other smell Rose had ever come in contact with. It had a mixture of smells in it. The smell of blood...the smell of fear...the smell of death...the smell of murder. She shuddered, pulled her coat closer around her flesh, and continued walking.

It was like a dream…no, like a nightmare. The worst nightmare Rose had ever or would ever witness. Tears were slowly falling from her green eyes.

This can't be happening. Those were the four words that were tumbling through Rose's mind as she was seated on a cold metal bench.

11:47.

This can't be happening.

She saw Amelia come through the door, red-eyed and hysterical. She sat next to Rose and squeezed her hand. Nothing could make these two women feel better. Nothing could be worse than losing your husband and your only child. Nothing.

The next people to walk in were people Rose vowed to never look at again, yet she couldn't help but stare. Nathan Hockley and his wife, Daniella, sat on the other side of the bench, not taking one look at Rose or Amelia.

Rose could still feel the screams from outside that she had heard on her way in.

"Fry Jack Dawson!"

"An eye for an eye!"

The only sound now was the weeping of a soon-to-be childless mother...that is, until the sound of chains dragging against the floor came into play.

"Oh, my God," Rose whispered.

Then they saw him. It seemed impossible to Rose that this weak, sick-looking creature could be the man she fell in love with years ago. "Jack," she gasped.

He looked Rose straight in the eyes. He mouthed the words, "I love you."

Rose turned her head as they began to strap Jack into the chair, unable to watch as her greatest love was prepared to die. She quickly glanced over at the Hockleys. What did she? Smiles. Smiles were spread across their faces. Their son's death would soon be avenged.

It took Rose all of her strength not to lose it right then and there. She needed to be strong...for Jack.

The red phone that was about four feet away from Jack was Rose's only hope to save him from this cruel and unfair death. There was nothing else to do except pray. God, please...save Jack.

A tall man with a mustache asked Jack, "Do you have any last words, Mr. Dawson?"

Jack nodded. "Mr. and Mrs. Hockley...I have one thing and one thing only to say to you." He looked them both in the eye with eyes of stone. Rose had hoped he'd stay strong, but Jack began to break down into tears. Nobody could blame him. "I didn't...I..." He seemed to be getting caught on his words. "I...I didn't kill your son. I will leave this earth with a clear conscience."

He looked at his fifty-year-old mother. "Mom, all I've ever wanted was for you to believe in me. But you could never do that." His tears were falling like rain. "Someday they'll prove my innocence and the pain that you'll feel will just about be equal to what I feel at this moment in time."

Amelia just about fell off the bench, but Rose held her by the arm. "I love you, son," she whispered.

"I love you, too," Jack said. As much as he hated his mom at that moment...he couldn't have the last words he'd ever say to her be hateful.

And then...there was Rose. "Rose..." He couldn't help but smile weakly at just the sound of her name, despite the situation. "I love you. Rose, you know I didn't do it. And I think you're the only person in this world who believes I'm innocent." He blew her a kiss. "I will see you on the other side, my love." He looked at her one last time. "Never let go."

Rose got up from her seat and lunged herself at the window that was separating them. It was all like a movie in slow motion.

"I love you, Jack! Jack...please...I love you!" Two guards came at her and pulled her away, with her kicking and screaming violently. "Jack! Jack!" Her whole body seemed to be thrashing around in the guard's arms. "Jack! Don't leave me! Jack...please...don't!"

"Never let go." Would these be the last words he'd ever say?

Jack closed his eyes, his last image being that red phone. Ring. Please ring!