So in summary, sullen Cullen gets thrown off of his yacht leaving Bella to fend for herself. What will happen next? Thanks for sticking with me, lovelies. More to come...lots more...
Chapter 7: Freezing
I had the drowning dream often. Somehow, I would be in a situation where I was failing miserably. It could be something as trivial as digging a hole, debating with a family member or a real-life depiction of my day job. No matter the situation, I would be digging, debating or working valiantly, trying in vain to succeed the inevitable failure. Because it was a dream, it was detached and was without sense when the water would come, rising swiftly and taking me under.
Truthfully, real life was no different than my dreams. My lack of action when the storm hit was so very similar to that of my dreams; I just let the water take me. I had always felt resigned to the fact that there was nothing that I could do and I would just give up.
This time was very, very different. She was there, alone, on the ship as I faded into the blackness, engulfed by wave after bone-chilling wave as the storm fought on while I slipped into unconsciousness.
I awoke, freezing cold, floating haphazardly in the midst of a calming body of water. The storm was still here, generating mild rain and still fierce winds, but was in the process of making its most welcome exit. Rather than floating freely among the waves, I was being gradually pulled east.
"Goddamn it..." a soft voice muttered behind me, one that I recognized immediately. I realized an arm was gripping my chest, gradually dragging me through the water. Rather than asking what had happened, where exactly we were or why she felt the need to help an asshole like me, an unintelligent moan passed through my lips.
"Edward? Edward, say something if you can understand me." Bella gripped me tighter as if that would help me find words. Her legs kicked near mine as my body floated upright, neither helping or making her job any easier.
"Mmmm..." I moaned, unable to form words.
She sighed heavily and held me tighter, whispering more to herself than to me, "Oh thank God you're okay." I revelled in the moment, indulging in her nearness. "Edward, you were thrown off of your yacht by the storm. I think you might have hit your head but I'm not sure. Can you hold still a while longer? We're almost to land..."
"Mmmm..." I responded, a shiver running through me.
"Hang on, hun." Bella sounded winded but resolved. "We're nearly there."
The more she kicked, the more I wished that I were still unconscious. Besides the fact that I was absolutely freezing, I was absolutely mortified. Big, strong Edward had to be rescued by a fucking girl? A girl that he had been too pussy to even make a move on? Fucking Christ, this was embarrassing.
I tested out my arms and legs by moving them in the water, ensuring they were still operational. Realizing that they were, I pushed away from Bella's rescuing arms.
"I can do this by myself." Way to act like a five-year-old, Edward.
She gripped me tighter. "Edward, hang on..."
"No! Let me go!" I yelled, frustrated with how I was acting as well as how I got to be in this situation. I turned my body and freed myself from her.
"With all due respect, Mr. Cullen," clear disdain dripped from her voice. She continued on, "coming from someone who just saved your ass from fucking dying, I suggest that you do what I fucking say. We're twenty yards from shore as it is; show me that you can fucking swim or let me fucking help you." She cleared her throat. "...sir."
You deserve that. You put her in a position that nearly killed her and you're acting like a petulant dick.
Turning toward her, I could see very little outside of her silhouette and the rotating beacon of light coming from the lighthouse on the nearby island. Nodding resolutely, I started swimming toward the light as Bella swam just behind me.
A few minutes later, I was exhausted. Breathing heavily, I wished for a cigarette and a nap.
"Mr. Cullen, keep moving. You're almost there." Bella encouraged me.
Bella, for you...anything.
Pushing onward, I began to feel the shore at my knees and feet. Crawling gingerly, I left the water and laid on beach, spent and relieved to be on land.
"Not yet, Edward. We have a little further to go..." she sounded exhausted and scared. "...and I can't do this by myself."
Breathing deeply, only for her, I pushed up onto my knees and hands and sat back on my feet. The night was dark and the rain continued to fall, thunder sounding in the distance after the lightning lit up the sky.
Coughing, I spoke raspily, "Where?"
Catching my meaning, Bella pointed at the lighthouse perched delicately on top of a gradual hill. "We're going there."
I nodded and swallowed. Whatever you say, I thought. I only owe you my life...
What seemed like a long, clumsy hour later, we reached a door near the bottom of the old building. Bella impatiently searched for a large rock after realizing that the door was locked. Finding a suitable one, she slammed the rock against the door handle repeatedly until it gave way, granting us access.
The space was small but ideal for both of us in our current situation. It was dry and there were some old, dusty supplies in the corner. A staircase wound up the building, leading to what I could only assume was the lantern room.
"The living quarters," I said to myself.
Bella nodded and made her way over to the corner, rifling through the pile of what looked like tool boxes and oil rags. I stood and watched, shivering violently as the hypothermia took hold. I squinted through the darkness and checked her whole body for injuries; it appeared as if she had none outside of her mutual shivering.
I continued to shake as the adrenaline wore off. I was becoming tired quickly and I knew that I needed to warm up fast.
My head nodded as I trembled.
"Hang on, Edward...I think I found a blanket..." Bella hollered to me.
"Sss...ssssooo...cco...cccc...cccccold," I wheezed.
"Thank God! Some luck...Edward? I found a blanket," Bella said, turning to me.
She shook out the blanket and unzipped her life preserver, dropping it to the ground. She stood before me and went to work on my clothes. After ridding me of my life jacket, she deftly unbuttoned my dress shirt, shedding it from my skin.
"I always imagined this scenario differently..." I mumbled.
Bella laughed and reached for my belt buckle, undid it and unzipped my pants.
"You and me both..." she whispered under her breath. "Get your pants off. We need to warm up."