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Chapter 26

The water was dancing around my clothes and seeping through my life jacket, teasing my skin with how cold it was. I couldn't believe that I had fallen in, again.

I managed to get my face above the water and float, trying to work out my bearings. I had no idea where my canoe was, but I could hear Cooper laughing.

"Ally, are you okay?" Victor's voice rang through my ears and I raised my hand to give him a thumbs up. Next on the to-do list was to find my canoe.

I twisted around in the water and felt it gently sooth the bruises on my back, my canoe had floated over to the side of the lake. Rolling my eyes, I headed over in that direction.

When I had reached the canoe, I noticed that Cooper was rowing over to me to help me back in. I shook my head at his grin and laughed.

"Please let me ride with you?" he chuckled before handing his oar to me so that I could push myself from the bank of the lake and back into my canoe.

"Not a chance, I'm fine with staying dry," he watched me clamber into the canoe and I felt a brief moment of panic when it wobbled on the water's surface. I didn't want to go in again. My total record was seven times.

"Aw, c'mon, Coop! I'm cold!" I tried whining but he just laughed at me and pushed himself away from the bank with a mock salute.

"Cooper!" I hollered and Victor chuckled.

Clara, Lisa, Sadie and Amelia had decided to stay back and take a trip through the woods rather than go canoeing with us.

Sitting down carefully, I looked out at the lake and moved back in the canoe, trying not to rock it too much in the process. I found it fascinating how something like the lake that I was sat on, could turn into something like the rink. Only the rink was stronger, able to hold other people up and when in water form, it just seemed as though it was vulnerable as the lake.

"Ally!" Victor called over and his face looked slightly concerned. I grinned and pushed my canoe from the bank with my oar, floating gracefully towards Victor in his canoe. He hadn't fallen in yet and neither had Cooper, I guessed that they did this every year so had a lot of practise.

We stayed out on the lake for a few more hours and I'd managed to fall into the lake another five or so times. I'd stopped counting because I felt so stupid but Cooper had finally pushed my canoe to the sandy bank.

Letting out a sigh of relief, I jumped up from the canoe. My legs felt like jelly at first but it soon wore off when I went for a stroll along the bank. Victor rowed himself in after that and grinned at me, I probably looked like I'd drowned. I could feel my hair clinging to my forehead and my clothes slopping against each other whenever I moved.

"I think you could do with a hug," I replied with a cheeky smile when Cooper pulled up and stepped out from his canoe. He was bone dry and I opened my arms for a hug. He stepped back with a warning look.

"Don't even think about it!" he exclaimed, holding a hand out in warning. I grinned at ran towards him, pressing my wet clothes against his and he sighed, wrapping his arms around my back.

"You'll pay for that later," he teased and slung his arm over my drenched shoulder. I looked him over and admired my work, he was wet, not quite as wet as me, but you could see through his shirt.

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