"ED! Get in here! The water isn't cold at all" Lucy shouted at her older brother, who was sitting against a tree, looking very flustered and uncomfortable.
'He must be burning up in all those dark clothes' Lucy thought, as she heard Susan and Peter laughing behind her.
"That's alright Lu, I'm fine" Edmund shouted back, swatting a mosquito that had landed on his arm.
So they wouldn't need to shout anymore, Lucy began to swim over to the edge of the lake, where Edmund sat. As she got closer, she could see her brother's red cheeks and sweaty forehead. He was breathing heavily with his mouth wide open.
Lucy was about to speak, but she was interrupted by loud splashes. Lucy hadn't realized Peter and Susan had followed her.
'It was probably the shouting that caught their attention' she thought as she looked at Edmund, expecting him to be glaring at her for drawing their older siblings attention.
He was glaring, that's for sure, but not at Lucy. Not even at Susan, either. Edmund was glaring at Peter, which really surprised her. Ever since they came back through the wardrobe, the two were inseparable. She figured it had to do with Edmund almost dying, since Peter felt it was his fault that Edmund had betrayed them in the first place.
So, it was very weird that Edmund would glare at Peter. What was even weirder was that Peter was smirking back at Edmund, as if he enjoyed Edmund's discomfort.
"Ed, come swim with us" Susan said, looking concerned at Edmund's heavy breathing.
"That's alright Su, I'm not in the mood to swim" Edmund replied, his glare unwavering from Peter's smirk.
Susan rolled her eyes at Edmund as she said, "Edmund, you look like you're about to pass out. If you won't swim, at least take off that heavy shirt you're wearing".
Lucy didn't think Edmund's face could get any redder, but the blush he now sported made him resemble a tomato.
Peter let out a small chuckle, to which Edmund replied with both middle fingers, that surprisingly went unnoticed by Susan. In fact, Susan seemed a bit oblivious over this whole affair.
Lucy was surprised at this also. Usually it was Susan that caught on to stuff like this, while Lucy would remain clueless and keep talking. It was interesting to have their roles reversed.
"Edmund, you're not embarrassed about being shirtless around us, are you? It's okay that you haven't filled out quite yet, you're still young and have time to grow" Susan gently said as she went into mother mode.
"I'm not embarrassed, I just don't feel like it, ok!" Edmund's voice rose as he said the last bit, now glaring at Susan for embarrassing him like this.
Susan just sighed, clearly annoyed at Edmund and his behavior. She used her arms to help her over the edge, so she could exit the water. Peter quickly followed, and walked over to Edmund. He held out his hand for Edmund to grab, but Edmund just slapped it away.
Susan did notice this, and just as she was about to reprimand Edmund for being rude, he quickly took off towards the house.
Peter followed after him as Susan helped Lucy out of the water. Lucy looked up at Susan, her expression curious. Susan just smiled and shrugged, as they too began walking towards the house.
Lucy closed the door behind her as Susan began walking towards their room. Lucy began to follow, but her curiosities won as she made her way to the boy's room.
Upon entering the hallway, she began to tip-toe in order to not attract attention. She sent a quiet thanks to Aslan as she noticed the door had been left slightly ajar. Creeping up to the door, she peered into the room, breathing as quietly as possible.
She didn't see anything at first, but when she did, she almost gasped.
Edmund's chest and shoulders were covered in red welts. Lucy was about to run into the room when Edmund's shouts stopped her.
"You bloody jerk! Look at all these damn hickeys you gave me!" Edmund shouted at Peter. Lucy could barely see Peter from where she was standing, but it looked like he was smiling.
Why would Peter be smiling about hurting Edmund? The boys were acting so different today, it scared Lucy.
"You said no hickeys on the neck, so I didn't give you any there. (Lucy's eyebrows shot up into her hairline as Peter said this) Everywhere else was free game" Peter said, his voice sounding rather haughty. Lucy could imagine Peter's triumphant smile even before she saw it.
Lucy was so confused. It was times like these she wished she had Susan's wisdom. Edmund was angry at Peter for giving him hickeys, but Peter didn't give Edmund any on his neck, like he promised. But the hickeys did look painful on Edmund's skin, all red and purple.
"Don't twist my words!" Edmund shouted, "You did this on purpose, didn't you?"
"Why would I do something like that, dear brother" Peter said as he sat down on his bed.
"Because, you enjoy seeing me uncomfortable while you run around shirtless and wet. And you knew I would have to wear a shirt in order to hide them from the girls" Edmund said, facing Peter.
'That's why Edmund didn't want to swim. He didn't want us seeing the hickeys. Figured Susan and I would fuss over his injuries' Lucy thought, as she began to walk away from the boy's room, completely missing Edmund's remark about a shirtless and wet Peter bothering him.
She entered her and Susan's room, still very confused.
"Hey Lu, you look like you have something on your mind" Susan said, smiling gently.
"I do, Susan. How do you get hickeys?" Lucy asked the question innocently.
At first, Susan thought that Lucy was pulling a prank of some sorts on her. But that innocent expression of unknowing showed on her face, and it appeared her little sister wanted to know about hickeys.
'Over my dead body' Susan thought, eyes narrowing as she replied "Lucy, where did you hear about hickeys from?"
Lucy bit her lip, debating what to do. She didn't want to get Peter in trouble, but if he was hurting Edmund, she felt only Susan could handle the situation.
"Edmund was angry at Peter for giving him hickeys on his chest and shoulders. I think that's why Edmund wouldn't' take off his shirt, he didn't want to get Peter in trouble. Oh please Susan, don't be too harsh". Lucy pleaded with her sister, knowing she could be as defensive about her siblings as a lion her cubs.
Susan sighed as she stood up and walked out of the room.
"Ed! Pete! Get down here, NOW!" Lucy cringed as she heard Susan shout.
She only caught a glimpse of what Susan said to the boys, something about hands in pants, as she began to tune them all out.
Lucy hoped no one would ever give her hickeys, if this was the trouble they caused.