“Take a deep breath,” he moved on without comment, “duck ye head under the water, and exhale through ye nose. When ye run outta air, pop ye head back up.” I bit my lip and nodded, but I was less than confident.
“But, what if, what if the water goes up my nose?” I whispered. I sounded like a small child, but I was too panicked to care.
“Hold ye nose, love. Like this.” He pinched his nose and dropped under. It was silly, but I gasped. A second later he reappeared, shaking his head like a dog, spraying water all over me. I smiled as I tried to hide from the spray. He seemed to know just how to diffuse me. It was bizarre, to say the least, but I was a little grateful.
“Yer turn. Do you need me to hold ye hand?” And sweet Drew was gone. He was back to his usual self.
I scoffed at that offer. “No.” But it might have been nice.
“One. Two.” I pinched my nose, and my pulse beat a million miles per minute. “Three!”
And I was under.
Oh God, oh God, breathe, no, don’t breathe, just … don’t breathe.
So I counted. I counted to ten and that was enough. I broke the surface, and gasped for breathe.
“Ye did good. Just next time, breathe first, aye?” Oh, yeah.
“Yeah, okay. Now what?”
“Now ye try holding yer breath for longer.”
“Aye. The fun comes later.”
I raised an eyebrow. The boys had clearly started to rub off on me. He smirked in return.
“How long can you hold your breath?”
“A while. Why? Ye want to challenge me?”
Do I? “Always.”
He smiled, and shook his head.
“One. Don’t forget to take a deep breath in. Three!” I sucked a huge breath in and we ducked under the cool water.
I watched a little in awe as tiny bibles left Drew’s nose. His hair sort of hovered in the water. He looked so beautiful that I found it easier to be still under the water just staring at him. He wiggled his eyebrows at me and it took all my strength not to laugh, expelling all my air. I did, however, poke my tongue out at him. It wasn’t the smartest thing to do, as when I pulled it back in it, tasted like manky seawater, and I wrinkled my face up in disgust. Surprisingly, I still managed to hold the little breath I had left in. Drew, however, lost all control at my tongue poking or face pulling, I wasn’t
sure which, most likely both. He laughed heartily, expelling all his air in a great, big, gust, and had to go back up for air. I broke the surface to hear Drew coughing and spluttering.
“Ha! I won.” I’d be lying if it didn’t give me a little satisfaction that I sort-of won, by default but a win all the same.
“Ye’re a pisser. And ye didn’t win, ye cheated.”
“Oh, and you weren’t trying to cheat by wiggling your eyebrows at me? All’s fair in love and war, baby!”
“Which are we?” he asked softly, and my heart stuttered.