Chapter 18 - Drowning
Josh held his breath and quickly scanned the grassy area. He hadn’t heard anything other than the loud splash when Chase had jumped into the pool. Was it not Chase diving?
Josh quickly turned his gaze to the beach chair where Chase had been lying, but it was empty as expected. When he shifted his gaze back onto the pool, Josh found him.
Chase had sunk deep into the water.
He could have just been diving underwater, but he wasn’t moving at all. Josh had seen something like this before—someone lying face-down underwater—back when he had worked as a pool lifeguard for a while. It was just before someone had been drowning to death.
“Mr. Miller!” Josh frantically rushed out of his hiding spot. He had shouted out loud for Chase, but there was no response. Josh called out Chase’s name once again before concluding that Chase had lost consciousness.
He had no time to even recall the don’t do articles that were written in the contract. One wrong move and Chase would be dead. Josh’s body moved before he could think. Without even bothering to take off his shoes, Josh jumped into the water with a large splash.
With just a few strokes, Josh reached the middle of the pool where Chase was drowning. Even until then, Chase didn’t move at all.
Perhaps he had hit his head on the bottom when he dived. Thinking about all kinds of possible situations in his head, Josh grabbed Chase and pulled him toward himself. He was just about to drag Chase out of the water, hugging Chase’s head with his arm.
Suddenly, Chase opened his eyes. Their eyes met immediately, before Josh could even prepare himself. Josh blinked his eyes in confusion.
Was he not drowning?
A rough estimation of time told Josh that Chase had been underwater for at least a full minute. If Chase had been lying underwater like that even before Josh had noticed, it would have been much longer than that.
However, Chase didn’t seem to be out of breath at all. He merely scrunched up his brow, seemingly disgusted by the arm that was holding his head. Flustered, Josh let go of him. “I-I’m sorry.”
Chase didn’t say anything in response to Josh’s speedy apology. All he did was stare. Josh awkwardly swept back his wet hair. The two of them stayed submerged in water, floating while staring at each other. Josh began to feel the weight of his drenched clothes. Thinking that he should get out of the pool, Josh frantically searched for his next words.
“Um, well… I’ll be taking my leave, then,” Josh smiled uncomfortably. Chase squinted. Josh couldn’t understand what his expression meant at all.
‘Am I allowed to leave?’ he wondered as he blinked slowly in confusion.
Chase abruptly opened his mouth. “Do you really wish to die this time?”
“Pardon me?” Josh asked back, having not understood the meaning behind his question fast enough. Suddenly, Chase stretched out his arm.
Josh wasn’t even given the time to cry out. Chase grabbed Josh’s head right away and rammed it underwater.
“…!” Water splashed in all directions with a loud splash. Gulping down the pool water, Josh flailed around. The intense rays of the Californian sun refracted in the water, hurting his eyes. However, what was more dangerous was Chase’s hand, which was pressing down on him from above.
Chase was over six feet tall and quite slim. He only had a moderate amount of muscles, so “buff” wasn’t a suitable descriptor for him. He had a slender body that looked incredibly gracious in a suit.
Although Chase was taller than Josh, he looked like he had much less muscle mass than Josh. And yet, where did all this terrifying power come from? Josh felt as if he were actually going to die at this rate, but he couldn’t bring himself to escape Chase’s grasp.
Josh frantically reached his arm out. If he didn’t drag this man underwater, he would be the one crossing the Styx. He desperately moved around to protect his own life. Just as the oxygen inside his body was about to run out, Josh felt Chase’s arm on the tips of his fingers. Right away, he grabbed onto it and dragged it down.
“Pfah!” Josh finally shook himself free of Chase’s grip and poked his head out of the water. He quickly tried to swim away in case Chase tried to attack again, but his body did not want to move as easily as he wanted it to. As Josh hastily cycled through his swimming strokes, Chase stretched his arm out from behind. Chase grabbed Josh’s hair and Josh was dragged back down underwater.
He gasped for air to no avail as his entire body was wrung out by the sensation of his lungs being bloated. Fear of death filled his head. He tried to escape, but Chase grabbed onto him and didn’t let go.
Josh’s breathing became even more ragged due to terror. Watching Josh’s face turn blue, Chase smiled coyly.
Josh realized then that this man truly intended to kill.
As this realization hit him, Pete’s face flew by his eyes. Josh grabbed Chase’s wrist with superhuman strength. Chase, of course, didn’t budge at all. However, as Josh continued to apply pressure on his veins, his grip strength lessened. Josh took this opportunity to hastily rise above the water.
Chase was still in the water. However, the bright sun and the clear water showed Chase’s movements very visibly. Josh saw Chase swim closer and quickly backed away.
‘Again, this motherf*cker—’ Josh cursed internally.
Josh was confident in his swimming abilities. He desperately moved his arms faster than ever and swam toward the edge of the pool. He could spare no time for hesitation. He placed his hand on the ground and pushed himself up. Only after he had completely escaped to the ground did he feel relieved.
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