1 Really Stupid
# Hannah #
Thirteen years old
HANNAH MILLER WAS GOINGto die. Even if she somehow managed to survive the riptide pulling her out to sea, her grandparents would kill her for being so stupid when they found out.
"Never go swimming alone." That was the only rule they gave when it came to the ocean, and she'd broken it to swim with the dolphins near Queen Island. She'd been entranced by their laughter and followed them, and now she was realizing that this swim was going to be her last.
Parallel, Hannah. Swim parallel to the shore.
She struggled to tread the water as another wave of water crashed against her body. She sucked in a breath and prepared to make a move for the shore, but it was no use.
Her arms were too tired.
Her legs were too weak.
Her lungs burned from all the salt water she'd swallowed.
Hannah gave up fighting and willed her body to float on her back. With a little whimper, she smashed her lips shut and breathed through her nose.
A large wave rolled over her and she went under, resurfacing with a hard sputter. None of the things she'd been taught to do in a situation like this were working. She tried to stay afloat, but her body wouldn't cooperate. She sank, bubbles and filtered sunlight blurring her vision, as the water surged and churned.
She didn't want to die, especially not like this. She was only thirteen-years-old and had never been kissed. As a matter of fact, the only thing she wanted in life was to be kissed by Drew Montgomery. He was fifteen, with the most kissable lips ever and she'd dreamed about kissing him far too many times to count.
God wouldn't let me die without letting me kiss Drew Montgomery first, would He?
Desperately, she held her breath until black dots appeared in front of her eyes. Air. She needed air.
Oh, God.She needed air.
More saltwater filled her mouth. It went down her throat, and she tried to let out one final scream.
As she struggled to make a sound, she suddenly felt strong arms wrapping around her waist. Then she felt herself being pulled against something hard, so she attempted to break free, even as she realized she was being pulled to the surface.
She shut her eyes and groaned as her body hit the sand. Bright sunlight scorched her vision, making it impossible to see.
"It's okay, Hannah," a deep voice said. "It's me, Drew."
Coughing like crazy, she tried to make sense of his words, but all she could hear was the distant cry of seagulls and the sound of water in her ears.
She was alive. Alive.
Sucking in fresh air, she opened her eyes and scraped her feet against the sand. She sat up and tried to stand to her feet, but her knees gave out within seconds.
"Got you," Drew said, lifting her up and into his arms. He smiled at her, and she smiled back, thinking that she was finally about to get her first kiss from the boy who starred in all of her dreams.
Still smiling, she tilted her head up and opened her mouth.
Then she vomited.
Oh my god ... She expected him to drop her to the ground immediately, but he didn't. He looked like he was about to laugh.
"I'm so sorry, Drew," she croaked. "I didn't mean to ..."
"Don't worry about it," he said. "It's only water."
He carried her away from the shore and laid her down on a towel. As she lay there, his dark green eyes searched hers. With his full lips and chiseled cheekbones, he was definitely the most handsome boy she'd ever seen.
"Are you okay?" he asked, placing a hand against her forehead.
No, I'm not okay ... Hannah honestly wanted to cry right now, but she refused to give in to the tears. Besides, there was no way she could ever let Drew see her cry. He already thought she was "just a kid".
Instead, she nodded weakly. "Please don't tell my grandparents that I was swimming alone. Please."
"I won't." He handed her a water bottle and helped her sit up. "You need to drink this. I know it might sound crazy with all the water you just ... um ... got rid of, but trust me."
Hannah's cheeks heated at the reminder, but she drank the entire bottle. As the two of them sat in silence, the realization of what Drew had done slowly set in and her heart fluttered against her chest. He'd rescued her. He had saved her from dying.
He was her hero. If she hadn't already been in love with him, then she would have fallen for him right that second.
"What made you go out there by yourself?" he asked, his tone sharp. His dark green eyes were no longer filled with concern. They were narrowed with anger. "That was pretty stupid, Hannah."
Embarrassment flooded her body, burning worse than the salt water had in her lungs. For a moment, her tongue stuck to the roof of her mouth.
"Are you going to answer my question?" Drew was still glaring at her.
"I wanted to play with the dolphins," she said. Great. Now she really sounded like a kid. A really stupid kid.
His mouth lifted at one corner. "It's not safe to go swimming by yourself, especially as little as you are."
Though Hannah knew it was true about her size, it hurt to hear about it from Drew. "I'm not little," she protested.