Chloe bobbed her head up and down, eyes raking through every layer and inch of the water, feet in time with the pop song that blasted through the speaker directly behind her. The concrete ledge she navigated was narrow, maybe only a foot across, though nearly twenty five feet long. Guests sat relaxing, splashing, laughing, and enjoying the float through the Lazy River, sitting in their inflated tubes and relishing in the freezing water.

Chloe's eyes flickered from the water she scanned to the lifeguard in the next zone, who was before her in the rotation line. She recognised that there were two lifeguards with tubes in the same zone, meaning that one was being scanned out either for break or rotation. She could only pray that it was for rotation. Her feet ached and the sweat was starting to become distracting. She heard the double tweet from the next zone as she returned her eyes to the water, indicating that the lifeguards were done switching out. Her gaze flickered back to the other zone and she watched the lifeguard pick up a white square—the rotation sheet. With a quiet sigh of relief, she returned her entire focus to the water and continued the walk to the beat of the music, her bobbing head and active eyes. It took another six minutes for the rotation to climb up and down four flights of stairs to the top of Tropical Twister, and then to reach her.

Camilah grabbed the tube and slipped the strap over her head, sticking her whistle in her mouth and then pointing two fingers at the water and beginning an identical bobbing motion, walking slightly faster than Chloe. However, once Camilah reached the middle of the zone, she let out a loud shriek which tweeted on her whistle, and then she began backtracking while Chloe walked toward her. Chloe removed the whistle from her mouth, holding it in her free hand and keeping her eyes on the water as she spoke.


"There are hornets!" Camilah whined, standing far from the edge of the zone now.

"Are you serious? They won't sting you as long as you don't piss them off." Chloe called.

"I'm allergic and I don't have my EpiPen."

"Then get a supervisor. I'm not letting you skip me because you're scared of the hornet." Chloe called as she turned and headed back the other direction. The guests in the water watched the two of them, some laughing, some staring, others asking what was going on. Chloe responded with a polite, "Just a bee," and continued bobbing her head up and down, ready to throw Camilah into the water. Camilah fumbled with her whistle as she backed up the stairs and beyond the fence of the River, standing in what she considered a safety zone before triple whistling for a supervisor and holding a closed fist in the air. It took the supervisor about ninety seconds to arrive, walking at an accelerated pace. Once everything was figured out, the supervisor came and scanned Chloe out, allowing her to rotate. Camilah, by then, was already at the Q-Chair, where the lifeguards based operation out of. Rolling her eyes, Chloe headed down the walkway to the wave pool only a few hundred feet away. She stepped up onto the wider ledge and walked behind the wooden chairs occupied by seated lifeguards, walking to the sixth chair and then traded places with the lifeguard in the chair, beginning her seated, sea shell style scanning.

The other lifeguard left her with a fervent "Thank you," and fled to the next spot, which was the bottom of Tropical Twister. Chloe's eyes traveled up and down the width of the pool, looking at the bottom for dark shapes and watching anyone who was face down in the water. After they resurfaced or the shape moved, she moved on. Twenty five minutes Chloe sat, watching and whistling at kids who continually disobeyed the rules or parents that were getting too angry. Then, splashing caught her eye and her attention turned promptly to the splasher, spotting an overweight man with his arms in the air, struggling and failing to stay afloat, his head just below the water. Her heart seemed to stop in her chest and everything she'd been taught nearly two months prior returned to her, guiding her body as her brain lapsed for a second. She stood, pointed, whistled a long, single blast, and then compact jumped into the water.

Chloe was in free fall for only a second or two, and then the cold, crystal clear water welcomed her with an frightening embrace. She pushed back to the surface and the water and began swimming toward the man, hand over hand, tube supporting her hips. When she was near enough, she pushed upward into the air and forced the tube down and under the man's struggling arms. He grabbed hold of the tube, and then his grip slipped and his hands went to the next closest thing: Chloe. His fingers caught her uniform tee shirt and the strap of the tube, pushing her underwater in and effort to raise himself up. She felt water immediately go down the incorrect way and coughed, expelling most of the air in her lungs and then looked at the man and began to swim back up. Just before she surfaced, she realised the tube had floated a few feet away and tried to reel it in, only for the man to push her down again, close enough for his feet to strike her. One foot connected with her head, smacking it down against the bottom of the pool, and the other her chest. White little spots dotted her vision, seeming to emit a translucent aura around them. Chloe shook her head and felt the pressure on her lungs begin to cause problems, a similar pressure building up behind her eyes. She looked up to find a clear space to travel upward and noticed someone diving toward her, bearing a familiar face.

Mark, one of the area supervisors—above a normal supervisor—swam toward her, holding out a hand. She reached out and took his hand, feeling his much larger hand swallow hers. He pulled her into his chest and pushed up easily toward the surface, away from the still struggling man.

"Are you okay?" she coughed, expelling the water from her lungs and nodded. He released her and swam toward the large man, adding a second tube to the raft and again forcing them under the man's arms.

"Hold on to the tubes, sir." he snapped. The man grabbed at them for dear life and held on while he too cough, spewing water from his lungs.

"What kind of training do you give your lifeguards? She didn't do anything." the man accused.

"She did the same thing I did, except you shoved her under water and kicked her in the head, sir. I'm go to ask you to make your way to the beach now while I tend to her." Matt swam away from the man who grunted and made his way toward Chloe, who was done coughing and simply treading water, trying to blink away the small spots in her vision.

"Are you sure you're okay?"

"I'll live." she responded. He looked at her for a second and then began swimming back toward the beach, walking beside Chloe when he could and she couldn't, being too short. As soon as she could touch, she began to feel the ache in her chest from where the man had kicked her. She stopped walking when the water was at hip level, feeling her chest constricting and her breaths increasing. Placing her hands behind her head, she began to breathe in through her nose and out through her mouth, recognising the symptoms of an asthma attack and wondering at it's delay. Her wonder disappeared when she felt the panic rise up in her stomach at the fact that the man or she could have drowned. Mark stopped walking and faced her a few feet away, watching her carefully. The panic continued to rise higher and she felt her throat begin to shrink, lungs aching with the force it took to pull in enough air.


"Asthma. Attack." she wheezed, trying to control the panic raging through her system. Mark raised his eyes from her to the people surrounding, then came back to her, picking her up easily, princess style. Had she been able to gasp, she would have. He carried her out of the water and to the reclining chairs where the other three area supervisors had set up camp with the man. Mark set Chloe down on an adjacent chair and crouched in front of her while she returned to her former position, hands behind her head, ribcage stretched. The panic began to die down, and when it did, the swelling of her throat did as well, allowing her to breathe again.

"Do you need your inhaler? Oxygen?" she laughed at the oxygen prompt, then sucked in a wheezing breath.

"No. I'm fine. Panic sets it off. It might have been the kick to the chest." he nodded and stood, taking a seat beside her and gripping her hand tightly in his own. Her heart skipped a beat and she looked at her tennis shoes, which were now soaked and probably ruined.

"You did good."

"Even with the half drowning part?" he laughed loudly.

"Even with that. Next time, though, remember that your safety is key over his. If he pushes you under, leave him. He had the tube." she nodded and he remained holding her hand, keeping her heart beating strong and her stomach filled with butterflies. Once the other three area supervisors finished with the man, they all turned to Chloe and Mark. Lauren, the strangest and most child-like of the bunch, grinned at them.

"Aw look Jay! They're holding hands!"

"Were you worried about Chloe, Mark?" Jay teased.

"Ha. You guys are funny." Mark commented sarcastically. Lauren looked away from Mark, grin still dancing on her lips.

"Chloe, do you want to keep working, or go home? You can totally go home if you want, I know that saves are kind of rattling. But Mark might want you to stay." Mark rolled his eyes and looked at Chloe.

"I can stay. I'm fine. My chest just hurts." she decided. Lauren, Jay, and Kelsey cheered, then walked away to do the paperwork.

"You can take a break before you head back." she nodded and he continued to sit beside her, holding onto her hand tightly. When she stood up a few minutes later, he stood up with her and turned toward her while an attractive half smile flirting with his lips.

"Take it easy for the rest of the day." he pressed a light kiss to her forehead and she felt the blush explode in her cheeks as he walked away with the swagger that only Mark Bond could have.