When I glanced back up at Ryder, his eyebrows were furrowed in what looked like concern. The feeling in my stomach at the unfamiliar look of worry left me with the only split second of real warmth I thought I'd have the luxury of having for the rest of the night.
"What?" I asked, my hazy mind still lost in the fact that he was actually worried about my well being.
"Are your hands numb?" He asked, glancing over at me again. When I processed his words and nodded, he cursed. "I need you to tell me everything that feels off about your body right now."
"Why?" I questioned, tucking my freezing hands under my armpits as I shivered again. "I thought you said I wasn't hypothermic?"
"I said you weren't severely hypothermic," he clarified, pulling into what I now recognized as his driveway from the day after the party. "But you could be on your way there."
"What do you mean?" I asked, chest tightening with anxiety. "Am I gonna be okay?"
He stepped out of the car and came over to my side, opening up the door. Wordlessly, he reached over me and unbuckled my seat belt, wrapping one of my arms around his shoulder as he leaned back and guided me out to the front door.
"I can walk," I muttered, though I didn't try to fight against him.
"I know," he responded, digging through his pocket with his free hand and unlocking the door with a key.
He immediately shifted his direction to the kitchen, where he sat me down at the counter and rushed to the other side of the kitchen. Soon, he was scrounging through the many drawers and cabinets before dropping a handful of items on the table. "Symptoms," he demanded simply.
"Um," I started, thinking about these strange feelings. I decided it best to leave out the warm feeling in my stomach I'd had in the car."I feel sort of dazed, I guess."
"What else," he quickly asked, fumbling with a thermometer as he waited for my response.
"My hands are numb? Sort of painful, actually," I said.
"Put this in your mouth until I take it out." He held the thermometer in front of my face like a mother ready to feed her child an air plane.
I rolled my eyes and opened my mouth for him to pop it in. Starting to speak around the thermometer, I said, "I feel fine, I'm actually getting kind of hot—"
"Shh," he demanded. I closed my mouth and huffed as he paced nervously in front of me. When the small thermometer beeped in my mouth, he rushed over and pulled it out. His lips parted slightly as he read the number on the screen. "Shit."
"What?" I asked, attempting to lean forward and glance at my internal body heat. He pulled it away. "Ryder, what is it?"
"You need to go to a hospital, Skye." He ran a hand through his hair, then replaced the thermometer with a small flashlight from the counter. He placed a hand under my chin and tilted it up, and I couldn't help but revel in the cool touch as he shined the bright light in my eyes.
It's burning up in here.
I whined in protest when he started to move his hand away, and a panicked expression crossed his features. "What? What's wrong?"
"Nothing," I muttered, my voice slightly slurred. I felt increasingly dizzy by the minute. "'S just really hot in here. Don't you have some air conditioning?"
"Pale skin," he whispered to himself, turning his back to me to begin pacing again, "pupil's dilated, slurred speech, and..." He snapped his fingers as he remembered, spinning around to face me. "I need to check your—pulse?"
At some point in the time it'd taken him to figure out whatever symptoms I supposedly had, I'd managed to strip down to an oversized soaked hoodie, no socks or shoes, messed up soaked hair, and no pants. I was starting to pull off my top when he rushed over and tugged it back down, keeping shockingly well focus on my eyes and not my bare legs. "What?" I groaned out. "It's hot." I stretched out the word 'hot' in a slurred and whiney tone.
"Irrational behavior," he added to himself, then starting speaking to me again. "Skye."
"What?" I snapped weakly, struggling to move his hands with my numb ones and take off the shirt. It was just so hot in here.
"Listen to me. I know it feels like an oven right now, but you need to stay warm. You're body is making you think you're over heated, but your actual temperature is really dropping."
"Just lemme cool down," I whined. "'S too hot."
"No," he said firmly, taking one of his hands off the hem of my shirt to lift my chin and lock his eyes onto mime. "Skye, you're internal temperature is ninety two. If it reaches ninety, you will most likely die before the night's over."
That snapped a little sense into me, but I still couldn't handle this heat. My body felt like I'd just stepped into a car in the middle of summer, where it's so hot you honestly can't breathe and refuse to shut the door until the air is turned on and working.
I stopped struggling.
Ryder sighed in relief. "Thank god." He hesitantly let go of my shirt. "You're clothes are soaked. I'm going to run upstairs and get you more, okay? I know you feel hot, but you're going to have to feel even warmer before you feel better. Do you have medical insurance?"
I shook my head silently, embarrassed, and curled up on myself as he sighed. "No."
He pinched the bridge of his nose, then cursed under his breath. "I'll be right back. Don't do anything, or go anywhere. Just don't move," he instructed, watching me carefully before starting his ascent up the stairs.
YOU ARE READING
The Four of Us | Major EditingTeen Fiction
Highest ranking in Teen Fiction #78 • His hot breath touched the dip of my shoulder, and I found myself tilting my head away slightly to give his lips more access as they barely grazed my neck. It was like the touch of a hair, quick and barely notic...