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Alpha

Summary:
She walked right up to the stranger and put her hand on his shoulder. He looked down at her and gave her a piercing look that she felt all the way to her bones before crushing his lips to hers.


Notes:


5. Fun and Games

Rating 5/5   Word Count 5327   Review this Chapter

Alpha

Alpha ch.5

Fun and Games

Leah responded mechanically, her mind far away, thinking of home.

Our home, I like the sound of that.

Leah must have dozed off during the short ten minute ride from Jacob’s house to her own, because the next thing she knew was Alex unbuckling her and carrying her to her room. He laid her down gently and she snuggled under the blankets, drifting off again before even waking up.

The next time Leah woke was under much less pleasant circumstances. Alex was yelling and cursing like he was dying. At first, Leah was worried, thinking something was wrong. She sat up, getting ready to go see what was happening, but then laid back down, shrugging. If something were really wrong, Alex would come and get her. She meant to go back to sleep, feeling exhausted, but the growling in her stomach had a different idea.

Leah got up slowly, thanking her lycanthropy for her healing powers. Having had both legs broken, plus some ribs, three days ago, she was already able to walk. While making her way to the kitchen, her body alerted her to a more immediate problem than her hunger. Instead of continuing on to the kitchen, she made a detour into the most important room in the house. The bathroom.

After taking care of her necessities and brushing her hair out, she paused to look in the mirror. Leah noted her haggard appearance, yet there was something different. Something that lightened her face and made her… well, beautiful. She stared at herself, trying to figure out what was causing her hair to shine and her hollow cheeks to fill out, until she heard yet again more cursing coming from a certain person down the hall. Leah sighed and decided she should go investigate this time.

“Alex what is going on…” Leah began, making her way to the kitchen, when she had to stop and admire the disaster area that had previously been her kitchen. Alex was standing at the counter, examining one of her cook books intently. Nothing wrong with that- the thing that got Leah was how much flour he was covered in.

Alex was white from head to toe, and every time he moved some flour would shake right off. Not only was Alex covered, but so were the counters, the chairs, and the floor. Leah just stared, incredulous. She didn’t know whether this was funny or… very, very frustrating. Alex, sneezing as he inhaled some of the flour decided the answer for her. She burst out laughing.

Immediately, Alex’s head whipped around, making a small little snowstorm, causing her to laugh even harder. Leah bent over double, her breath coming in gasps from laughing. At first Alex looked at her concerned, obviously wondering if she had finally lost it altogether, before he looked down at himself and cracked up as well. After ten minutes of laughing, Leah finally got calmed down enough to ask an important question.

“What the hell happened?” she asked. Alex looked at her sheepishly before blushing and answering.

“I figured you would be hungry when you woke up… and, well, I know cookies always make me feel better.” he said, trying to defend his masculinity, but failing miserably by having a light blue apron on. Leah gawked at him, nonplussed.

“Wait, a minute, you were trying to make me cookies?” she asked dubiously. Alex nodded. Leah gazed at him, touched. The last male to make her cookies had been her father. The silence grew as Leah continued to stare at Alex. After about a minute Alex began to fidget under the intense scrutiny. Finally, Leah took pity on him and started to brush his hair out with her fingers.

“I didn’t even know I owned this much flour,” she said disbelievingly. Alex looked down at the floor.

“What?” Leah asked, not sure she wanted to know the answer.

“I had to make a trip to the grocery store,” Alex admitted. Leah snorted.

“Have you ever cooked or baked at all before?” Leah inquired, curious to the answer.

“Yes!” Alex shot, but at her gaze, continued, “I think the last time I baked cookies… I was ten, helping my dad for a school project.” Leah chuckled again, and got a rag and began to wipe his face off gently. Again, a silence grew, but this time not an awkward one, but more of a heated one. She noticed how close they were standing, barely five inches away. She blushed at the proximity, but refused to scoot further away, and continued to wipe Alex’s face gently. He didn’t really have any flour left on him, but she just enjoyed the rhythmic motion, and feel of his face. Alex’s eyes fluttered closed and he tipped his head back, causing Leah to have to get even closer to him to reach his face, putting one hand on his chest to balance herself. Leah could feel her passion rise, but before she did anything rash, she hurriedly stepped away. Noticing Alex’s hurt look, Leah decided on a compromise.

“You were right. I’m starving! Let’s order some pizza, and we can bake some real cookies!” she said lightly. Alex readily agreed. So while Alex looked up the local pizza place in the phone book, Leah began cleaning up and getting everything ready for good old fashioned chocolate chip cookies.

“They said the pizza would be about forty-five minutes,” Alex called from the phone. Leah nodded her agreement.

“That’ll be perfect timing. Alright Alex, the first thing we do is wash our hands,” she said, already washing hers. Alex looked confused but washed his anyways.

“Old habits die hard,” Leah explained. Alex still looked confused.

“We wash our hands so we don’t spread germs and get sick. I said it was an old habit, because honestly, how often do werewolves get sick?” she clarified.

“Now we get down all the materials we need and assemble them together.That translates into, you get all the bowls I can’t reach and I’ll assemble them,” she instructed.

“Assemble? What- why do we need to assemble them?” Alex asked.

“So they’re ready to be used,” Leah replied, trying not to be sarcastic. It didn’t work very well.

It went on this way until they got to beating all the ingredients together. Leah stood anxiously over Alex’s shoulder, ready to intervene in case anything went wrong.

“Listen carefully, this is extremely important. You turn the beater on low first, then put it in the batter slowly. Afterwards you can change it to high. Understand?” Leah commanded. Alex just nodded, a look of deep concentration on his face. Before Leah could blink, he had already messed it up.

“Alex, no, don’t turn it on!” Leah shouted, but it was too late. Alex had turned it on high while the beaters were in the batter, causing it to spray everywhere. Leah groaned in defeat.

“How you ever feed yourself, I’ll never know,” Leah stated, ignoring the mess and finishing the cookies herself. Alex stayed with her as an ‘honorary cook’s assistant,’ meaning he was allowed to lick the bowl. At last, the cookies were in the oven and they had fifteen minutes to wait. Leah leaned up against the counter and faced Alex.

“I never thanked you for saving my life, did I?” Leah asked bluntly, cutting right to the chase. Alex blushed again.

“There is nothing to thank me for,” he replied. Leah shook her head.

“Without you, I wouldn’t be able to be standing here having this conversation,” Alex opened his mouth to interrupt, “No, let me finish. This is hard enough as it is. Alex, I thank you so much for saving my life. Not once, but twice. I’ll never repay the debt I owe you,” she told him meaningfully. Alex gazed at her thoughtfully before he took her hands in his and looked down at her.

“There is nothing to repay, but if there was, having you here, and being able to do this, would be payment enough.” And with that, Alex’s mouth descended on hers.

Instantly, Leah’s insides turned to jelly, and she gripped his strong shoulder’s, afraid of falling down. This kiss wasn’t like their pervious one. This one was slow and searching, as if their mouth’s knew that they would have forever to get to know one another. Alex hiked Leah up and sat her on the counter so that they could have better access to each other. Leah broke the kiss off, needing to breathe. Her hands crept up to Alex’s neck while his were wrapped languidly around her waist. He gazed at her, before bringing his head down to her neck. Leah gasped and then moaned as his lips found her pulse point. After lavishing attention to her neck, he started to kiss his way up, starting at her chin. He was on her cheek when she heard him make a noise.

“What?” she asked breathlessly.

“Cookie dough,” he responded, kissing it off her face with his small butterfly kisses. Leah leaned her head back against the cupboards and sighed. Alex was slowly making his way back down her face, when he stopped right above her mouth. Grinning against her skin, he skipped her mouth and continued downward, making Leah groan in desperation. She felt, rather than heard him chuckle. Leah wrapped her legs around his waist, trying to pull him closer. This time it was him that groaned, and Leah loved having the power to do that.

She jerked his head off her collarbone and seared his lips with hers. This time the kiss wasn’t slow and gentle, but needy and desperate. She wanted to show him what she couldn’t tell him. At first Alex was surprised at her intensity, but after a moment, he threw himself into to wholeheartedly. His hands wandered up and down her back, leaving small trails of fire, while her hands somehow became entangled in his hair. It reminded her of their first kiss, yet this time they didn’t have an audience.

Leah gasped as she felt his hands at her shirt, but she didn’t stop him. Somehow Leah managed to have a lucid thought that cut through the daze of heat.

Wow, Alex is talented. He hasn’t even broken the kiss, yet he’s taking off the shirt. Leah thought fleetingly.

Alex ended up leaving the shirt halfway on, taking off only enough to get his hands under it. When Leah felt his skin against her skin, she bucked against them, causing both of them to startle at her response. He broke away from her lips, and smiled smugly at her through swollen lips. Then slowly, deliberately, he swept his fingers across her chest, staring into her face the entire time. She arched back and moaned. If possible Alex’s smile got even bigger. He did it again and again she bucked, but she was getting frustrated. Leah had a need, and that need was Alex. She took a shaky breath, trying to steady her nerves, before throwing the rest of her shirt off and launching herself at him.

Alex braced himself, but that didn’t stop him from tumbling to the ground with the force her pounce. They rolled on the floor, neither of them willing to let go. She clung to him while he righted them. After some rearranging, Alex straddled her, one leg in between her thighs, and the other on the other side of her leg. His gaze raked over her and she shivered at the unbridled lust she saw there. His mouth came upon hers once more, and the war was started again. Just as she started to pull his shirt over his head, Leah smelled something acrid. At first she thought it was smoke, but not quite. She paused what she was doing and sat up, Alex still straddling her. He leaned back slightly and she sniffed deeply. Leah determined something was defiantly burning. Not fire burning, in fact it almost smelled like burnt-

“The cookies!” Leah yelled in horror, pushing Alex off of her, scrambling to get to the stove. She crawled over to it, took a pan holder and opened the oven door. Immediately, noxious smoke poured out and Leah coughed and took out the cookie sheet, closing the oven door behind her. She turned the oven off when she noticed the timer. It had been going off for a good ten minutes, and neither of them had heard a thing. Leah smiled ruefully at that. Alex got up with a sigh and began fanning all the smoke out, while Leah assessed the damage.

Cookies, inedible, and well… yuck! Cookie sheet, unusable, needs to be thrown away, soon. Oven, looks okay, smells a little funny. Smoke detector… get a new one.

Leah was throwing the cookies away when she heard another ring. She glanced at the timer, thinking maybe she had forgotten to turn it off. It wasn’t the timer ringing. Leah shook her head, wondering what it was, before she realized it was the door bell. She had forgotten the pizza! Leah ran to her purse to get the money and then ran to the door and opened it.

Her nineteen year old brother Seth was standing there, with a surprised look on his face, holding three pizzas in one hand.

“What? Here, give me the pizza,” she snapped, exasperated. Seth continued to stare, before he dropped his eyes and turned his head away, laughing loudly.

“What is the matter with you!” she cried, wondering if he had gone crazy. He just continued laughing. She looked down, wondering if she had forgotten to put clothes on or something. Leah gasped when she saw she really had forgotten to put clothes on. Leah, started to chuckle as well.

“Just wait here a moment, and pretend you saw nothing,” she demanded. Leah raced to her room, wondering where her old shirt was. She fished a new one out of her closet. She snapped up, and was heading back downstairs when she caught sight of her reflection in the mirror.

Her hair, completely disheveled and impossibly tangled and there was cookie dough in it and on her face. Her lips were swollen so big and red they looked almost drawn on. She had hickies all down her neck and chest. No shirt on, and flushed cheeks with bright wide eyes. She looked like someone who had ‘rolled in the hay,’ and was going back for a ‘tumble between the sheets.’ Leah eyed herself critically, slightly embarrassed her brother had seen this, but over all, she decided she liked this look. She didn’t want to go back to drawn face and pinched eyes. If it took Alex and a ‘rollicking’ good time, then she was going to keep both around.

She hurriedly put her top on and sprinted downstairs. Seth was in the kitchen, looking around with mild interest. When he saw her, his eyes lit up and he began laughing again. Leah was never going to hear the end of this.

“I want this kitchen cleaned up before I get off work tonight,” he paused his chortling and looked around, getting a wicked gleam in his eye, “Please tell me if we end up with a new roommate. I refuse to share my room. So if he is going to stay with us, he’ll be ‘sleeping’ with you,” Seth chortled. Leah rolled her eyes.

“Shut up, take the money and go,” she barked, all but pushing him out the door.

“One more thing, if you two are…busy, hang a tie, or sock or something. I promise, I won’t disturb you,” he snickered. Leah slammed the door in his face. She leaned her back against the frame and sighed, when she spotted Alex looking at her guiltily.

“Where the hell were you?” she snapped, more that a little miffed he left her to fend off her brother by herself.

“Sorry?” Alex mumbled, the picture of contrite puppy. Leah just sighed in exasperation.

“For your punishment, you shan’t have any cookies,” Leah told him, trying to keep a straight face and a terrible British accent. It didn’t work. Alex stared at her, his mouth twitching, obviously trying his hardest to keep from bursting out laughing. Leah stared back, trying equally as hard, and almost as on cue, both of them busted out laughing at the same time. Leah staggered over to Alex and clutched his arm, wheezing.

“Come on, puppy, let’s get the kitchen cleaned up,” Leah said, dragging Alex to the kitchen. When he tried to duck away, she just tapped him on the shoulder and quirked an eyebrow at him. He grinned at her ruefully before picking up a broom out of the cupboard and beginning to sweep.

They had almost finished cleaning the kitchen when the phone rang.

“Yeah?” Leah replied into the speaker, distracted by a stubborn spot of burnt…something.

“Hey, it’s Jacob. Listen, the Pack is going to have a bonfire tonight, and before you ask, no there won’t be a storytelling. Dad is going fishing with Charlie. So do you want to come and bring loverboy with you? We’ll be sure to show him a good time,” Jacob finished, raising his voice suggestively. Leah put down the sponge and grasped the phone lightly.

“Two things, if you ever call Alex loverboy again, I’m going to neuter you. Second of all, the only person who’ll be showing Alex a good time is me,” she said forcefully, causing the voice on the other line the chuckle.

“So you’ll be there?” Jacob asked, just to make sure.

“Of course,” Leah replied. They both said their goodbyes to each other and hung up. Leah turned to face Alex.

“So, how do you feel about going to a party tonight?” she asked wickedly.

Leah pulled up to First Beach in her Jeep. She checked her hair and makeup in the mirror and grabbed her purse. She was stepping out of the car when she noticed Alex was still buckled in.

“You coming?” she questioned, raising her eyebrows impatiently.

“Yeah… it’s just, I don’t know, something doesn’t feel right,” Alex explained. Leah glanced around at the quiet scene. The most disturbing thing, as far as she could tell, was Embry and Jacob wrestling each other shirtless on the beach. She inhaled the sea air, and slowly exhaled. Nothing. Suddenly Leah grinned knowingly.

“Don’t worry poor little puppy dog. I’ll protect you from the big bad wolves,” she said mockingly, a wicked gleam in her eye. Alex peered around once more, before focusing on Leah. He just rolled his eyes at her and gave her a wry grin, hopping out of the door.

Leah gathered Alex’s hand lightly in hers, marveling at how… right it felt. She concentrated on the heat of his palms, gently emanating and flowing into her own hands. She felt acutely, the spot right below his knuckles on the inside of his hand, where calluses had formed. She quickly brushed her fingers over them, amazed at how erotic that simple motion was. When she was with Alex, she felt completed and overwhelmed at the same time. Leah shook her head.

This is going too fast. I can’t keep up. My body is saying go, but remember what happened last time Leah. I just need to cool it. Leah thought, feeling the internal struggle of wanting to keep going like this forever, but knowing realistically that at some point it would end. It always ends.

Nevertheless, Leah couldn’t recall ever feeling so safe, secure, or even happy, in her whole life. She supposed it was because of Alex. Leah couldn’t imagine ever wanting to be any where else than where she was right at this moment, holding Alex’s hand, walking in a silence so complete, that words weren’t needed.

Leah’s intense thinking was interrupted when suddenly Alex pulled his large hand out of hers, and swung it in front of her. Leah was momentarily stunned, on one hand at the suddenness of the movement, but also at how bereft she felt when she was no longer touching Alex.

Slowly she looked up, gasping as she realized what had happened. Alex’s hand was still in front of her face, though no longer empty. In it, he held a baseball. If it had hit her in the head, then she probably would not be standing right now. Every nerve in Leah’s body tensed up, in fear and anger.

“What the hell! Who threw that ball?” she yelled down to the guys on the beach. Nobody confessed, so she stormed down to them, throwing her hair back off of her face.

“I swear to God! You complete idiots! Do you ever think? Ever?! Sometimes, I just… ERRR! What’s the matter with you?!” she railed at them, looking mostly at Paul and Jared. Each one of their eyes dropped to the ground.

“Do you have any idea of what could’ve happened if Alex hadn’t had demon-like reflexes? Well, here, I’ll tell you what would’ve happened. Jared, you can throw a ball, around like, 200 mph, right? So, if Jared had indeed thrown the ball, it would’ve hit my head with incredible force. Not only that, but I wasn’t even aware of what was going on, so I would’ve been unprepared for the impact. Right now, I would be in the hospital with a serious concussion… or worse. Even with the super healing powers,” Leah said, getting purple from shouting so much. She felt Alex come up behind her and rest his hand on her shoulder. Immediately, a wave of calm came over her, and she took a deep breath.

“It’s okay Leah, I’m sure it was an accident. Right?” Alex asked dangerously. It was only then that she noticed how pale Alex had gotten. She took his hand into her own and made soothing circles on the back of his hand. Both Collin and Brady nodded vigorously, but the rest of the gang was too ashamed to do anything.

“So, who did throw that ball? It was going wicked fast,” Alex asked casually, too casually. Instantly heads jerked up, relieved to feel most of the tension dissipate. She looked at Alex quizzically, wondering where he was going with this.

“Really, how fast do you think it went? I’ve been working on the throw for ages. Now I just need to get the aim right,” Paul said, admitting it was himself that threw the ball by his eagerness.

“I’m not sure how fast it was, but I’ve just got to try to beat the guy at wrestling that threw that ball with that much force. He must be pretty strong,” Alex said slyly. Leah groaned, knowing that nobody in her Pack would fall for such a stupid trick. Anyone who did deserved to get their ass beat. Of course, Paul wouldn’t step down from a challenge.

“Where and when and how?” Paul asked, flexing his muscles. Leah squeezed Alex’s hand painfully hard, trying to warn him how votile Paul could be. If anything, Alex’s grin just got wider.

“Now, right here, anything goes,” Alex said cryptically. Leah shook her head and sighed in defeat, thinking about how stupid boys were.

“Seth, go get Jacob. He’s up making the fire. Ask him to ref for us,” Paul said, his gaze never wavering from Alex’s, trying to stare him down.

Good, Jacob’ll probably be the only one who can pull them off one another if things get too rough. God, guys are such…guys!

Alex had already stripped to his shorts and was stretching out by the time Jacob got to them.

“What’s going on here?” Jacob asked amusedly. Leah snorted in disgust.

“Guess,” she said. Jacob surveyed the situation before replying.

“Paul did something stupid, and got challenged to a fight by Alex?” he said, hitting it on the head.

“Yep. Paul threw a baseball full speed at me, even though I wasn’t paying attention. If Alex hadn’t caught it before it hit me, who know what might have happened,” Leah explained. Jacob gave a low whistle before stepping into the center of the circle that had formed. Both Alex and Paul were on the outside, eyeing each other.

“Alright, just so everyone knows the rules. Nothing lethal, nothing lasting, and no phasing. Got it?” he demanded, looking at both of them, his eyes lingering on Alex. Alex just nodded grimly, though his eyes shone with excitement. Leah stepped over to him.

“Watch out for Paul. He’s our best wrestler. However, he favors his size, and usually underestimates his opponent. I know from experience,” she whispered in his ear. Alex nodded and kissed her on her forehead. Around them, the rest of the Pack hollered and hooted. She gave them the finger. Alex chuckled lightly before stepping into the circle. Paul was already inside, waiting.

“This is over when the other is on the ground for five seconds or more. Begin” Jacob commanded, scurrying out of the way.

Instantly Paul dropped into a crouch, watching Alex’s every move intently. Alex, for his part, just shifted his weight into a balanced position. Paul tried to draw Alex forward into attacking first by trying to circle him, but Alex refused to move. Leah watched, confused, wondering what Alex was doing.

The circling thing went on for a while, with Alex becoming more of a rock and Paul getting more frustrated. Paul lunged and retreated, growled, and feinted some punches. Alex still didn’t move. Finally Paul resorted to some dirt catcalls.

“Why aren’t you doing anything Alex? Are you a scaredy cat?” Paul called mockingly, while Colin and Brady chuckled. Leah shot them a quelling look. Alex said nothing.

“Ooh, wittle ol’ Alex doesn’t wanna take on the big bad wolf. I prowmise I won’t bite… too hard,” Paul taunted, trying to get a rise. Still Alex stood in a relaxed position.

“Wow, Leah, you’ve got yourself a man here. He knows how to win a fight doesn’t he. Too bad he can’t…” Paul never got to finish what he was saying. Being too distracted by talking to Leah, he hadn’t even been able to react to the swift kick Alex gave him, which caused him to land on his behind.

“You were saying?” Alex said with a small smile, standing over Paul. Paul just looked up into his face and grinned.

“Hey, can you help me up bro, I think I pulled something,” Paul asked politely, holding up his hand for assistance. Leah grimaced, knowing what was coming next. As predicted, Alex reached out grabbed Paul’s hand, ready to help him up. However, instead of Paul coming up, Alex came down, pulled into a roll by Paul. Now Paul was standing over Alex, grinning.

From there on out it became a full blown brawl. Alex shot up from the ground and swiftly got ahold of Paul’s leg, twisting it oddly. Paul yelled in pain, but didn’t go down. Instead he grabbed the back of Alex’s shirt and hauled him up. They both went down in a heap, legs and arms flailing. Paul got Alex in a headlock, but Alex countered by rolling onto his back and smashing Paul against the ground. Then Alex would pin down Paul’s arms, but would forget his legs, leaving Paul free to kick Alex off.

The wrestling match went on for several minutes, neither side gaining an advantage. All of the Pack was there now, and Quil and Embry were taking bets. Leah just rolled her eyes when they asked for hers. There was a lot of hooting and hollering for each person, with a cheer going up every time one of them would sway the advantage.

After a good ten minutes, Alex pinned Paul down, and Jacob eagerly, and loudly, counted to five. The match was over, with Alex being the victor. There was a slight hesitation of surprise, but then fierce cheers erupted from the crowd. It swelled towards the two panting men, getting louder, each person good naturedly demanding their money. Leah chuckled at the sight of Alex being pulled into a rough embrace by Paul, and getting hearty claps on the back. She knew Alex would be sore tonight. As it was, Alex had to limp over to her.

“Hey,” Alex yelled, still caught up in the adrenaline.

“Hey, yourself. Those were some pretty nifty moves,” Leah said humorously.

“Well… I try,” Alex said, shrugging his shoulders.

“Obviously not very hard,” Leah mumbled under her breath. Alex heard her anyway.

“Ouch, that hurt. I think I’m going to need some Aloe Vera for that burn,” he said laughing and rubbing his arm mockingly,

“And some ice for that bruise,” Leah said threateningly.

“What bruise,” Alex asked, stumped for the moment.

“The one I’m about to give you,” she replied cheekily. Then she took a swing at his arm, before darting away.

“Oh man, you’re gonna pay for that,” she heard Alex yell. Leah shrieked and ran faster. Soon she heard heavy brething behind her, and knew that Alex was catching up. All of a sudden a pair of strong arms wrapped around her waist, pulling her to a grinding halt. She kicked and screamed for him to let her go, but he just stood there, his arms an impenetrable cage.

“What should I do for that nasty little thing back there,” Alex wondered out loud.

“I have a grand idea. Let me go?” Leah asked, part hopeful, part resigned. Alex just grinned in response. Leah sighed, wondering what was coming next.

“Ah, the perfect idea, “ Alex said impishly, before picking hre up and throwing her over his shoulder. Leah beat on his shoulder and kicked and squirmed to get out of his grasp, to no avail. She saw Jacob and Seth staring at her in amazement. She just huffed, then sent them a little wave. All of a sudden both of them burst into laughter, and she tried to turn around to see what made them crack up like that, but she couldn’t see past Alex’s enormous head.

“Hold your breath,” Alex said quickly, before launching Leah into the air. Leah took a deep breath and plugged her nose right as her behind hit the cold salty ocean. She sank to the ground before powerfully kicking up off the ocean floor. Her head broke the surface, and she gasped and sputtered.

“Alex… Alex… help, I can’t swim,” she cried, before drifting under. Immediately Alex took off into the water, and dove to reach Leah. He searched on the bottom with his hands, but he couldn’t find her. He came back up to take a breath when he heard something behind him. He spun around, coming face to face with Leah.

“Sucker,” she yelled in his face, before dunking him. Then she took off swimming, only to be caught by another pair of strong arms. Leah screeched in suprise. Colin lifted her above his head, and threw her the Brady.

“Catch,” he yelled, chortling. Brady let her hit the water before scooping her into his arms. He then tossed her to Seth.

“Seth, I swear to God, if you don’t stop…” Leah started threateningly.

“You’ll what… ground me?” Seth teased, before flipping her over his shoulder. Not to be out done, Leah grabbed his leg under the water, and pulled it out from underneath him. Seth went down. Only two to go.

Colin saw her swimming towards him, and he tried to run away in fear, but Leah was faster, and she shot up out of the water, tackling Colin around the waste. They both went down with a splash. Leah shot up to the surface, leaving Colin sputtering behind her. She saw Brady watching her intently, waiting for her to strike. Leah decided to try a different tactic with him.

“I’ll let you off only if you play me in a game of chicken,” Leah said, offering a compromise. Brady looked at her warily before agreeing.

“Seth! Seth! Get your little soggy ass over here. We’re playing chicken,” Leah yelled to her brother. Instantly Seth was at her side.

“Down,” she instructed, and willingly Seth went under the water so Leah could climb on his shoulders. Once she settled her weight, Seth stood up out of the water, and they turned around to face their adversaries.

Of course Brady was partnered with Alex. Alex shot her a cheeky grin as he went under so Brady could scramble up. Both teams moved into slightly deeper water, as Colin refereed. Brady and Leah eyed each other as Seth and Alex drifted closer.

“One… two… three,” Colin yelled, and Leah and Brady lunged for one another.