Chapter Thirty-Three

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The doctor came and went. Bill took a while to leave, but eventually, he did. It was another, almost quiet day, or at least the later part of the afternoon. Meredith was still chilled in the bone, but she soaked in a hot bath. The door was left open while Harry was on the bed in the master bedroom. It wasn't like she was going to drown here.

When the doctor came, he had the same old, same old questions to Meredith. He checked her heartbeat and checked to see if she had a concussion. She was fine but chilled. Hypothermia didn't set in, but she might feel cold the next few days. The doctor tried to make Meredith go to the hospital, but she stuck her ground. If there was nothing wrong with her, she wasn't going anywhere.

Soaking, Meredith looked at the steaming bath. Harry had complained that her skin might burn off. It was no more than lukewarm to her. Closing her eyes, she slipped down. Water covered her head. It was a little warmer fully underneath, and she let out a sigh. Bubbles floated upward. Meredith wasn't under long, and she floated upward again, taking a deep breath.

Eyes fluttering open, Harry hovered in the doorway. She sighed again. "Do you like?"

Harry stiffened, huffing. His eyes didn't hover over her body, which caused Meredith embarrassment. She didn't understand why; she did nothing wrong. Yet Harry treated her like she did, like she was weak and a victim. He didn't say much, but he didn't give any indication that he thought differently. Harry was, perhaps, used to taking care of people, especially girls who wanted the attention from him. But Meredith didn't want that kind of attention.

"Am I not sexy?"

"You are," he said.

Arising from the water, Meredith let everything hang out. "Really? Because I can't tell."

Harry leaned against the door frame. "Do you want me making googly eyes at you every second?"

"No, but I want you to look at me like I'm more than those other girls--"

"You are!"

"Then stop looking me like I'm helpless!" She stepped out of the bathtub.

"You're not weak."

"I know that, yet--"

"I'm scared, Mere!" Harry admitted loudly. "I know things about you now that makes me scared. The life I live isn't kind, and I see how you flounder with some of the things that are said from the paparazzi and media. It is normal to be hurt. But when you get hurt, I won't hear from you for a few days. You ignore me. You pretend like everything's okay! Then you accidentally fell into the ocean--"

"I did."

"Well, it scared me, Mere. I was scared I did something wrong, and that I somehow hurt you."

"That's stupid."

"But it ran through my head."

She stared at him and stared at him and stared at him. If this was him caring, she didn't want it. Walking past him, Meredith went into the master bedroom.

"What are you doing?" he asked quietly, afraid that she might be packing to leaving.

"I'm dressing." She threw a shirt on.

"Why?"

"Because you obviously don't want to fight with me when I'm naked, so let's fight when I'm clothed."

"I don't want to fight at all."

"What are we doing, Harry?" Meredith screamed, and Harry took a step back. She did raise her voice, but she never screamed. She never let it slide out. It was something that Meredith kept under wraps; perhaps she wasn't a screamer to begin with. Either way, she let it loose now. Harry feared.

Sighing, Meredith climbed into bed and then patted the bed beside her. "We can't go to bed angry, so get into bed with me." With a huff, Harry laid beside her in bed. Pulling up the covers, Meredith blanketed both of them. "Now, isn't this better?" Meredith faced him.

"I'm not sure better is the right word."

"Well, I'm tired, so let's make the quick. I want to cuddle tonight."

Harry faced his girlfriend. "I can admit that you can do things yourself, Mere, but I was scared today."

"Do you think that gives you the right to be a dick?"

"I'm not being a dick. I'm being protective."

"Yes, because that goes over very well with me." She rolled her eyes. "When I need help, I ask."

"Sometimes you don't," he pushed. "So stop saying that you do. I don't want us to ever get to that point again where you can't talk to me-- or you won't talk to me. I am with you. I love you. I will help you. We're partners."

"We're partners," Meredith agreed, "so stop trying to make me less than an equal. You're so used to being alone because you don't let yourself trust others. You think they're just using you. Well, not this girl. I am not one of those people. I am here for you, not for whatever you are to everyone else. You're Harry, and I'm Meredith. We're equals. So stop trying to hide things from me too."

"Like what?"

"How was your day in London?" she recalled. "You never give me a straight answer. I know the paparazzi came after you hard too, but you didn't talk about it because you were all concerned about me. We're partners, so we share each other's burdens. It's a way of bonding." Meredith sighed. "We used to share everything, but space and time between us have made us terrible. We need to get back to communicating."

Harry nodded.

"So, I'll say it again, communication, I accidentally fell into the water." Meredith paused. "However, I was being a dumbass. I did miss the ocean, so I was standing on the edge of the dock. I closed my eyes and I pretended like I was flying." She saw his gaze him. "I didn't pretend I was flying away, Harry, just that I was flying. You know I want to touch the clouds."

"I know."

"So I closed my eyes and stood there. The dock is old and ice kept crashing into it. I was thrown off balance and I fell into the water."

"What if you died?"

"I imagine there would be an investigation."

"Mere," Harry warned.

"There would be," she replied. "How would you feel?"

"I don't know. I would feel sad, surely, heartbroken and angry. I would blame this on myself--"

"Because you always do."

"Yes." Harry didn't want to admit it, but the more he heard it, the more he agreed. "I don't know how I would go on--"

"But you would."

"I couldn't find another."

"You probably wouldn't have a choice." Meredith's fingers trailed over his cheekbone. "I am alive. I am here."

"You are." Harry took her hand in his, kissing it. "You are here."

"And here I will remain."

Harry repeated, "And here, I'll remain."

Smiling, Meredith moved closer to him. He automatically wrapped his arms around her, kissing her forehead. Her skin had finally warmed again. Harry wanted her warmer. Meredith's face rested in the crook of his shoulder, breathing him in. Harry kept his face close to her mouth, listening to her breathe.

Meredith closed her eyes, and she didn't see the water. She wasn't surrounded by water. Meredith was surrounded by Harry. He tightened around her. With closed eyes, Meredith saw clouds around her, and Harry was beside her.



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For some reason, Wattpad isn't updating properly. If you're confused by something, there's a chance you haven't read it. These chapters are all available now that weren't available earlier to everyone: 29, 30, 32. If you're interested, go back and read them. Hopefully, this will update properly. 

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