Chapter Twenty-one

(Dan’s Point of View)

Opening my eyes, I awoke to sunlight shining through the camper window.

“Finally.” I heard Haylee say. I sat up, seeing her sitting cross-legged on my bed. She was wearing a coverup, like the ones you put over a swimsuit. Her hair was in a messy bun, and she didn’t have any makeup on.

“We were beginning to think you were dead.” Chris laughed. He was in swim trunks as well, and had a colorful shirt on.

“What? Are we going to the pool or something?” I asked, hopping out of bed.

Haylee rolled her eyes. “No, Dan. We just felt like getting our bathing suits on for no reason. Now hurry up and change. You can shower once we get back.”

Fully awake now, I changed, ate a quick bite, and we went on our way to the campsite’s pool. It was pretty impressive, considering that it was only a campsite.

“Do you want to jump in or wade?” Chris asked Dan.

“Wade. I bet the water’s freezing.” Suddenly, Haylee leaned over to whisper something in Chris’s ear. He smiled and nodded once she was done.

“Hey, what’s going on?” I asked suspiciously.

“You’ll find out soon enough.” Haylee answered with a knowing smile.

We got to the pool, and picked a spot near the side, laying our towels there. Chris and I took our shirts off, while Haylee removed her coverup. I couldn’t help but notice that she was wearing a bikini, and looked absolutely fantastic in it.

“Dan.” She said, putting her hands on her hips in her sassy way. “Once again, my eyes are up here.”

Just then, I felt Chris shove me into the water. Luckily, we were near the deep end. I was so surprised that I hardly had time to take a breath.

When I came up, I yelled, “Chris, I’m going to kill you!” I splashed water on him.

“Haylee, push him in for me!” I said, hoping that she wasn't a part of this.

Swiftly, she tried to shove Chris in the water, too, but he was a lot better built than her, and didn’t budge. In one movement, he spun around, picked her up, and tossed her in the pool as if she were a feather. With an eek of surprise, she hit the water.

Coming up, she sputtered, “Okay, Chris. Now you have two people coming after you.”

“Better move!” He yelled, jumping with the rest of us.

I glanced at Haylee, and she put a finger to her lips, looking at me, too. As soon as Chris emerged, she dunked him again. I could see through the clear water that he had grabbed a hold of her ankle, and came up, holding it high in the air. Haylee squeaked and went under, but instead of trashing, she arched her back towards her feet, causing Chris’s grip to loosen, and finally let go. We both looked at her in surprise as she came up for air.

Seeing us, she put a confused look on. “What?” She said, and started self-consciously fixing her bikini.

“Where did you learn to do that?” I asked.

“Oh. That? I taught myself. It was nothing.” She said, all of the sudden looking a bit flustered.

Chris glanced at me. “If that was nothing, then what else can you do?”

She brightened a little. “I can teach you some things, if you want.”

“Great!” Chris and I chorused together.

“Okay. I’ll teach you the flip that I just used on you, Chris. Here’s the first thing…” She continued, showing us how to arc our backs correctly, and moving on to other things. She taught us that you didn’t always have to use violence when trying to escape someone, in the water, anyways.

“I know that makes me sound like a hippie, but it’s true.” She laughed. “Okay. One last thing. You know when someone goes underneath you and picks you up on their shoulders?”

We both nodded.

“Well, once they emerge, they have to carry most of your weight, whether they can touch the bottom or not. Let’s try the easier way first.” She said, swimming over to the shallow end. “Dan.”

“Yeah?”

“I need you to swim underneath me and pick me up on your shoulders. You need to try to keep me there by holding my ankles, while I’m going to show Chris how to escape. Got it?”

My heart skipped a beat. This is going to be great! I thought, my eyes shining. Taking a breath, I dove under, finding Haylee’s legs and hoisting her up on my shoulders. I stood up, grabbing her ankles like she told me to. Before I knew what she was doing, she put her hands on my head, and ripped her ankles free of my grasp. She bent her legs, putting her feet on my shoulders, and jumped off. The force from her legs drove me under the water, but I popped back up instantly.

“See what you did wrong?” She asked me.

“I… Wasn’t expecting you to use your super ninja skills on me?”

She laughed. “No, but that too. You didn’t grab my ankles tight enough, so I was able to rip free easily.” We tried it again, and again, and again. Soon enough, I was able to use that move on Haylee. Neither of us could pick Chris up, and he said that he wasn’t lithe enough to do it anyways. We tried it in the deep water, which was a little harder, since you didn’t have any ground to stand on. But once we got it down, we took a little break.

“Well, I’m tired.” Haylee said, floating on her back.

“Yeah, I think we’re all tired after your little training session.” I said, swimming up to her and treading water.

“Did you like that?”

“Absolutely. I’ll be sore in the morning.” I responded with a laugh.

We just floated there for a while, until Haylee broke the silence. “Ugh. My hair.” She said, beginning to tread with only her feet and take to ponytail out. I tilted my head a little.

"I think you should leave it down." I said with a smile.

She raised one eyebrow. "You want me to leave my knotty, chlorine-filled hair down to show off to the world?"

"Well, I still think it looks really pretty."

"If this is pretty, then what do you think it looks like when I've actually tried to make it look good?"

My smile grew bigger. "Indescribably beautiful."

"Umm.." She gave a nervous laugh. "Thanks? I didn't think that was even remotely possible with me."

Really? She could use a self-esteem boost or something. "When will you realize that you are the most talented, beautiful, loving woman that I have ever met?"

She hesitated, then glanced behind me. "Chris, wipe that stupid little grin off your face, or I'll come over there and do it for you." Turning around, I could see that he was eavesdropping on us, and was holding back a smile.

"Why don't you come over here and do it for me, because I don't think I can hold back this smile much longer."

"Alright, you asked for it." She said, dipping underwater and grabbing his ankle. Using the move that Haylee had first showed us, he arched his back, but she didn't let go. Instead, she twisted his ankle so that he would face towards the surface, and pushed him down to the bottom of the pool with her feet. Instantly, she let him go, allowing him to come up for air.

"Hey!" Chris yelled, splashing Haylee. "You didn't show us that one!"

She shrugged. "Too bad for you."

His jaw dropped. "Come on Dan, help me out."

Whatever, I thought, and chimed in, splashing, and worked on backing her into the corner of the deep end.

"Hey guys, that's no fair!" She said between laughs.

"Dan, try and block her if she tries to go under." Chris whispered towards me. I nodded, ready.

Before long, she dove, me not far behind. I could tell she was a bit surprised when we knocked heads, but I was, too. I was glad that I could open my eyes underwater, since I didn't have my contacts in. I could see her eyes open, too, and she dried dodging me, but it didn't work. I knew just about all her tricks by now. She tried using the wall to her advantage, pushing against it to try to shoot past me. But, I used the bottom, directing her upwards.

"Nice move!" She smiled. It made me all warm and fuzzy to know that I had impressed her. Catching me off guard, she went under again, me following. But instead of trying to dodge around me, she got closer. Before I knew what was going on, she kissed me.

The End

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