Nine - Linkin

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No matter how far Desmond carried me, Jaysen's eyes were everywhere I looked. I was in shock, so much that I didn't even realize I was shivering and every breath felt like a brick was dropped on my chest. I never even noticed when Desmond placed me down on my bed in the cabana. I stared blankly ahead, my mind rushing as I tried to comprehend what was forever ingrained in my brain and make sense of it. Desmond was searching around my room for something, speaking, but it was falling on deaf ears.

"Linkin!" Desmond finally shouted at me. That was enough to get me to jump and my eyes drifted to him. I didn't reply, just blinked. "You need to get out of those clothes; your lips are turning blue."

I hadn't realized I was cold.

Desmond threw a sweater and pants at me as if he expected me to even put two and two together. It wasn't uncommon for me to get lost in my own mind. The amount of snapshots I had in my memory made it hard to stay grounded in the real world. It was as if my brain was a camera. Currently, my brain was flipping between the two major events which had happened tonight.

The first was the fading feeling of panic, allowing myself to take in a lung full of water as they burned from lack of oxygen. The feeling of sinking down to the bottom of the pool, the peace I had felt when everything had turned black. I knew these memories would quickly fade, for, like a camera, my brain only remembered images in perfect condition. The feelings of sinking, the burning in my lungs, and the fear of watching my last air bubbles rise to the surface would soon be something I would forget. My brain may be different than most, but sensations faded away over time just like anyone else.

What I wouldn't forget was Jaysen's eyes staring back at me in fear. I had never seen anything like it before. His eyes resembled those of an alien more than a human and I couldn't wrap my head around it. He must have been able to see, had no problems before he jumped into the pool. How did he go from being sighted, to blind with a strange mutation? I never did get the answer if he had heterochromia iridum. It was a rare disorder I had read about which meant a person had two different coloured irises.

My shaky hands reached out and gripped onto the dry clothes he had given me. "Did Jaysen always have two different coloured eyes?" I whispered, my gaze finally focusing on Desmond.

"Let me help you," he mumbled as he walked closer and grabbed the sweater from me. He rolled it up and had it ready as if I was a child, incapable of dressing myself. I stared at him, waiting for an answer. He let out a long huff before he shook his head. "And I don't really know. Not that I remember." I assumed that was a no; you didn't often forget something so striking.

I continued to study Desmond for a second and noticed how exhausted he looked. I nodded and didn't hesitate before I peeled my wet shirt off from my skin and threw it on the floor. Like a gentleman, Desmond turned his head away as he held out the sweater for me to crawl into.

"Why did you throw me into the pool?" I asked a moment later after I had managed to pull my head through the neck hole.

I never realized how cold I truly was until I curled up in the thick sweater. I smiled faintly and watched as he held out a pair of jeans. Just like before, he started to roll them up as I worked on taking off my wet shorts. "Let's not do this now," he mumbled.

We both remained quiet until I was fully dressed, my back pressed against the wall, and my knees pulled tightly to my chest. "If you can't tell me anything about Jaysen, at least explain to me why you threw me into the pool?" I protested again. If I got this answer, it would be one less thing keeping me up tonight.

He sighed and shook his head, sitting on the edge of my bed. "What self-respecting person flies to an island, but can't swim?" he grumbled, not looking at me as he insulted me.

I opened my mouth, shocked by his sudden rudeness. We sassed each other, but that was just heartless. "I grew up just outside of New York. I never took swimming lessons; there were better ways to spend what little money we had," I hissed back at him, still slightly shocked that he said that.

Desmond glanced up at me, his eyes full of remorse. "I honestly didn't know."

"Of course you didn't, I didn't tell you anything about me. I didn't want you to know anything about me," I continued to argue with him.

Desmond wasn't looking for a fight, "Look, I am so sorry. I didn't know. Then when you didn't come back up, I froze. Jaysen was the first one to act, but when he came up and couldn't see... I just reacted. I grabbed you and just started to push on your chest. It's what they do in the movies, right?"

I frowned and ran my hands along my arms slowly, trying to warm myself up. "You were the one—" I cut myself off and I whimpered in pain.

"What is it? What's wrong?" Desmond asked in concern as he pushed himself closer to me.

I pressed down on the same spot on my shoulder again, wincing once more. I pulled my hand back and realized even the fabric against the anterior portion of my shoulder caused a mild ache. Desmond reached out to try to touch me, but I swatted his hand away with my other arm. "Don't touch me. Haven't you done enough for one night?"

"Val—"

"Just leave me alone!" I snapped at him before shaking my head.

Desmond shifted back, but looked at me hurt. "Valentina, please," he pleaded with me.

I didn't think as I grabbed my wet shirt and threw it at him; it wouldn't do much damage, but it made me feel better. "It's Linkin! Now get the hell out!" I shrieked at him.

Raising his hands like a criminal, he slid off of my bed and slowly backed out. "Okay, okay, I'm going. I'm sorry... Linkin," he whispered before walking out of my cabana and letting the screen close behind him. 

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