85 | POOL EPISODE (ANIME STYLE) PT. 3

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FEAR

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FEAR. It struck me in the heart, slinking throughout my tiny veins like motor oil, blackening my mind and body. Every time Rucker dry heaved and Khan trembled, clutching his tummy, that fear intensified by a thousand.

I couldn't lose them.

Duke whimpered, nudging each boy with his hand nose, trying to help them, but it didn't work. I rushed over to Khan because he was closer to me, and Yaz went for Rucker.

My fingertips grazed Khan's cheek, feeling his sweat, but no major heat. No fever. "You okay?"

Khan let out several breaths and collapsed onto the floor pillow, taking me with him. "I'm o-okay," he said after a few moments, eyes swirling. "Just need to sit for a minute."

I touched his arm. "Do you know what might've been in it?"

Khan shivered. "I definitely tasted alcohol, and a sweet bitterness. I'm thinking ecstasy?"

"Shit," I said, gripping his hand.

"Do you guys want any water?" Sebastian asked, coming over. "Or anything else?"

"No, I'm good," Khan said, closing his eyes.

"I'm fine." Rucker swatted Yaz away while sitting up. "I'm alright."

"You're not," Yaz snapped, checking his face. "Accept my help and shut up."

Rucker growled at her but said nothing.

Seeing that Rucker was doing better, I turned back to Khan who still had his eyes closed, soft droplets slipping down his forehead.

"Sebastian, can you get me a wet cloth?" I asked him.

Sebastian bobbed his head and booked it to the bar. It took only a few minutes for him to come back with two damp cloths.

"I don't need to be babied, Yaz," Rucker said when she tried to put it on him.

"I see why you're fucking single now," Yaz said, slapping him in the face with the wet rag. It hit him across the face, causing him to jerk back.

"And I can see why you'll never be a nurse," Rucker said, eyes squinting. "You'd abuse your patients."

Yaz smacked him across the face with the rag again. And again. "How's that abuse feel, huh?"

I bit my lip, trying to hold back a laugh as Rucker snatched the rag out of her and flung it into the pool.

Squeezing the rag in my hand, I wiped it across Khan's face. Once I cleaned up the sweat, I folded the rag and placed it on his forehead.

After about twenty minutes, he opened his eyes again. Those normal light browns churned to a spicy nutmeg, mesmerizing me for a moment.

"You with me?" I asked, holding his hand.

Blinking several times, a crooked grin folded across his lips. "Yeah," he said, touching my face with his soft fingers, coming closer to me. "You're so beautiful."

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