"We're going to have to send you back to your hotels until further notice. Even now, the officials are trying to decide whether or not we need to cancel this event- someone will be contacting your coaches to let you know the next course of action. Until then- stay dry." An announcer came on the intercom system, and there was a collective groan as everyone stood up, getting their things together to go back to their hotels.
I had come here to swim- given up a lot to get here, too- and now I might not even get to. I sighed, grabbing my bag and throwing on my warm-ups, then following Aaron out the door to the van, which would take us back to the hotel. One of the teams had offered to open up their rented dining room to anyone if they wanted to come have fun- there would be music and games and food. Aaron ended up dragging me down there, even though I didn't want to go; he said swimmers were always so cute and charming, and he wanted to see if he could pick up a few guys' numbers. I unwillingly followed him downstairs, bringing my iPod and sitting down on a couch where I could see the whole party but didn't have to participate.
I only had a few minutes of peace with my music until some big shot guys came sauntering over. One of them sat on the armrest right next to me, leaning toward me with a leering grin on his face, and the rest of them sat next to me or leaned on the back of the couch.
"Hellllo, baby, why are you being anti-social? Take out your earbuds and talk to us for a little while," he said, reaching over and pulling on my earbud cord so that they fell into my lap. I rolled my eyes, looking right up at him- he had chosen the wrong time to mess with me. I was in a testy mood because I hadn't gotten to swim and Aaron had drug me down here then ran off with a few guys, leaving me alone.
"Get your hands off me, please," I said, shrugging off his hand which had come to rest on my shoulder. He backed off just slightly, holding his hands up in defense.
"Now, hold on a second. No need to get rude- I just want to talk, that's all. So where're you from?" I rolled my eyes- it was obvious talking wasn't the only thing on his agenda, but I decided to play along.
"We drove up from North Carolina- how about you guys," I said, glancing at the other guys who were with him.
"Georgia- we won this conference last year, and we plan on winning again. But maybe, just maybe, winning this conference isn't the only thing we're down here for. I'm Dallas- you are?"
"My name is Emma. Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to get upstairs. My coach is having a team meeting real soon and I don't want to be late," I said, moving to get up off the couch. The guy sitting on my other side quickly snaked his arm around my shoulders, effectively holding me to the couch. Dallas leaned forward a little more, his smirk making me quite irritated.
"You can't leave yet- we only just met! I'm sure your coach won't be too upset if you miss the meeting- just make something up that he'll be sympathetic to," Dallas said with a shrug, throwing a wink at the guys around me. Now I was a little nervous. I looked around, trying to find one of the guys who'd come down with us- they'd surely help if they saw what was happening- but I didn't see anyone I recognized. Then, as I was desperately looking around, I saw four guys standing across the hall looking my way. I made eye contact with one of them and mouthed the word 'Help' as the boys practically forced me to stand up and follow them upstairs.