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Not breathing. But if this was not a dream, and he was real, and if the two of them really were in this ocean, and she needed the regulator, how didn't he? Even if he tried to breathe, only water surrounded him. Her mind flew through the options. They went from extremely unlikely to bordering on the realm of fantasy. 

Extreme underwater sports, but wouldn't I have heard of that? A scientist of some kind?  And well, mermen have tails, he has legs.

And that's it. That's all I've got.

She frowned and tugged her arm. He didn't let go. Sonora tried in earnest to swim away hoping he would see her determination. Still, he hung onto her. She just boomeranged right back to him. She raised her feet and pushed against his body as hard as she could, twisting and turning her arm, in her effort to be free.

Bubbles flew from her regulator as she exerted herself. Her hair swirled around her face with her movements. A look of irritation came to the man's face. He shook his head no.

Forget that! Angry at his refusal to release her, she renewed her struggle. This time she kicked him and used her other arm to strike out at him as best she could. But the water made her efforts no stronger than that of a small child.

The man frowned and made one small tug on her arm. Her legs fell, and her body turned. Her back was to him now. He used one arm to bring her close to him. With the other, he insistently made the "you" and "okay" signs over and over.

Oh, he's not asking, he's telling me I'm ok. Well, I am not. I'm here with a nonbreathing creeper. Yes, that's what he is. A creeper and I don't even know how long he's been spying on me!

Although she was now restrained, she continued to pummel him in whatever way she could. His height made it hard to poke at his eyes. So she raked her nails down his face in her attempt to reach them. She continued to kick with her legs trying to stun him with a strike to the groin.

She felt the man's chest expand. "Stop," he roared. Terrified, Sonora froze, unsure if she had heard the sound or felt it. Her body had vibrated with the sound. It seemed all around her and through her at the same time.

Her heart thundered and air bubbles sped out of her regulator reflecting her fast and uneven breathing. He signed "You OK" one more time. After what had just happened, Sonora wasn't going to argue. She nodded her agreement. 

But I don't believe it for a minute.

He held her still for a moment as if testing her. Then released her enough to move them, not toward her beloved cove but to the dark part of the ocean.

Unable to just meekly go along with whatever he had planned, again Sonora started the battle. And again, she lost.

Exhausted, she gave up the struggle and allowed him to drag her through the water. There was no need to cling to him as he held her limp body with enough force to move her along but not hard enough to crush her. 

I guess that is something to be thankful for.

But her fear intensified once again when they arrived at a large underwater shelf. Floating beside it was a water vehicle of some kind. The closest thing she could liken it to was a dark blue motorcycle, though it had no wheels. As they headed for it, Sonora began vigorously shaking her head "no" again. How far was he taking her that he needed a vehicle?

Once they reached the bike, he sat her on it. Sonora took advantage of the moment to reach her hands up to his face and put one on each side, holding him. Surprised, he immediately sought her gaze.

Her eyes sad and wide, and her face pleading, she shook her head "no" over and over again. "No, no, no, no". The man seemed saddened by her distress but simply signed "You okay."

Sonora let her hands drop and continued to slowly shake her lowered head. 

No, I'm not OK. Why do you keep saying that I am?

He started to move away, and she quickly raised her hands back up to take hold of his arm. Maybe one more try, and he would let her go. He pulled away, turning his attention elsewhere.

Sonora watched him as he opened a compartment on the side of the bike. He pulled out a small container and put it to his mouth, taking a deep breath.

Sonora's face lightened, and she straightened. 

He does breath! Ok, still weird it's not that often, but he does breath. 

She lightly touched the middle of his chest as it moved. He nodded and smiled. He let out the air he had taken in then took another breath from the little container. 

A/N: Thanks for reaching Sea Bound! :) If you liked the chapter, please let me know and push the little star below.

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