His head comes above the surface. “Cold. Cold. Very cold, oh my God I can’t feel my toes.” He starts to swim to shore, running towards me. “Quick Amber, hug me, I need your warmth.” +
“Jake. No, don’t you dare.” I turn and run back towards the hotel, Jake close on my heels.
“Pleeeeease, I’m gonna get hypothermia.” 1
“Its about 25°C. You’ll warm up soon enough without my help.” I reach the hotel and run inside. Jake moves to join me and I stop him, pointing at a sign on the door. “You can’t come in unless you’re dry.” I say, smirking. 8
“Can you get me a towel please?”
“How am I going to do that?”
“I’m in room 433, just knock on and ask for my towel.”
“I’m not going to disturb your family just because you’re too stupid to stay dry until you go out for tea.”
He sighs and looks around me at the reception desk. His clothes were bundled up in his hands and he was dripping all over them.
“Here, give me your clothes, you’re ruining them.” I take the clothes from him and straighten them out, neatly folding them over my arm. I look up to find Jake smiling at me. “What?”
He shakes his head, small smile still on his lips. “Nothing.” He looks past me once again and leans in closer to me. “Ok, the receptionist just went into the back, I need to make a run for the lift.” 1
“Ja-” He runs past me, slipping on the smooth tiles as he goes. I speed walk after him, keeping my eye on the front desk. I turn and look for Jake, catching sight of him just as he runs into the lift and pokes his head out, gesturing for me to go faster.
“Excuse me, you shouldn’t be in here unless you’re dry.” The receptionist has come out of the office and was walking around the desk, towards us.
I turn, my eyes wide and bolt towards the lift. Jake is already pressing the close door button and I slip in the gap at the last minute as the door clangs shut. We’re both breathing heavily and Jake presses the button for floor 2.
“Floor 2?” I ask, confused.
“If they watch the lift, they’ll know what floor we go to. We’ll get off at 2 and take the stairs up to 4, just in case.”
“What’s the worst they can do anyway? It’s only a bit of water on the floor.”
“I don’t know, they could fine us or something.”
“What? €10? Big loss.” We both laugh slightly.
“Honestly? I figured that if we take the stairs, I’d get a bit more time with you.” I look over, Jake’s eyes already on me; the tips of his ears slightly red. His eyes go to my lips and my breath catches in my throat. He starts to lean closer and I swear my heart stops.
But the lift dings and he shakes his head slightly, looking back at the lift doors just as they open. I swallow and take a deep breath. 1
Was Jake going to kiss me? 3
I put all thoughts of Jake’s lips on mine to the back of my head and follow him out of the lift. “Well you have to sit through a meal with me tonight anyway. You’ll be sick of me by tomorrow.”
He smiles and looks down at his feet, rocking back on his heels, “I seriously doubt that I could ever be sick of you.” I blush furiously as we walk towards the stairs, I put my foot on the first step but Jake stops me. “Race you?” 2
“For two floors? I don’t know if you have the endurance, I’m a swimmer remember.”
“I’m on my local cross country team.”
“You’ve met your match, Bloom.”
He nods. “3, 2-”
He stops counting and sets off, taking me by surprise. I shout my protests at his cheating and run after him. We’re both skipping steps and the slap of our feet echo around the staircase. I manage to catch up with him after one flight and finally over take him near the end as he starts to slow down. I’m about to reach the 4th floor when Jake’s arms come around my waist and pull me back. 1
“No! This is cheating you absolute cabbage.” He puts me down a few steps below him and quickly runs to the top. 3
He holds his arms about his head. “I am victorious. Runners are better than swimmers.”
“Better at being douchebags.”
He laughs and puts his arm around my shoulders as he walks me back to my room. +
And this time, I leave it there.
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