"Leo, you're really worried about your kid, aren't you? I heard what happened at the meet. Are you okay, Sky?" Cody asked as he approached our table before class started.
"Sky is okay now. That's all that matters," Leo said vaguely. Cody glanced at me with a small smile before going back to his seat. After this weekend, people were less inclined to mess with me. I guess winning in your sport here earned some merit. After class, I followed Leo to his swim practice since varsity fencing team earned a break from the win. Unfortunately, today's practice involved the starter gun. Before practice even started, Leo was already noticeably anxious as he eyed the gun. I put a towel over his dry shoulders for warmth and pulled out my headphones before placing them in his ears. I played calming music from my phone as he looked at me. After taking a few deep breaths, he was a little better. I smiled at him gently as his eyes stayed on me.
"Thanks," he said softly. Leo was okay for a little while until the gun went off. He jumped before running to the locker room, the headphones ripping out of his ears. It was so fast, I would've missed it if I blinked. I followed to find him huddled in a corner, hyperventilating. I sighed sympathetically as I took his face in my hands gently.
"Leo, it's okay. Everything is okay. Look at me. I'm right here," I coaxed him gently before wrapping my arms around him. Slowly, but surely, his breathing slowed back to a normal pace. Once I was sure he'd calmed down, I pulled away to hold his cheeks gently.
"Are you ever going to tell me what happened? Maybe talking about it will help relieve some of the anxiety. It worries me to see you this upset," I admitted. Only being able to help Leo in this way had started eating at me. He was always there to cover and protect me, but the most I could ever do was hug him. Leo sighed before taking one of my hands in his.
"I'll be alright," he tried to assure me, but it didn't work. I sighed in defeat as his thumb rubbed over the back of my hand.
"I'll go ask the coach if I can take you back to the dorms early," I said before standing. After getting the swim coach's permission, Leo changed back into his normal clothes and we went back to our room. Leo didn't even bother to hide how tired he was. He went straight to his bed and laid down. I took my wrap off and changed into more comfortable clothes before I sat on the edge of his bed and moved his bangs out of his face gently.
"Can you tell me?" I asked quietly. Leo hesitated before he pulled me down to lay with my back against his chest and his arms wrapped around my waist.
"That break... there was a shooting at a pool I visited often. Some sort of dispute led a man to go crazy and start shooting. I only survived by hiding deep in the water, but I was under so long that I almost died from drowning instead. The noise of that gun going off over and over again, even from underwater... it makes me feel suffocated. When I see the starting gun, I feel like I can't breath. The panic sets in. As a swimmer, I becomes completely useless," he explained quietly. I wanted to turn to look at his face, but Leo's arms held me firmly in place.
"I'm sorry. I had no idea it was that traumatic," I admitted. He only sighed as his breath tickled the back of my neck.
"I haven't told anyone but the police about that incident. The guy was found later in his apartment... he killed himself out of guilt," Leo continued. I was quiet for a moment before I turned in his arms. His eyes were red and puffy. I placed a hand on his face and rubbed my thumb along his cheek gently.
"You can't let the craziness of one man, stop you from pursuing your dreams. You love swim, and you're good at it. If you don't work through your fear, you're letting that man win again, even from his grave," I said softly. He gave a light smile before he brought his lips to mine in a gentle kiss. Although the kiss was quick, I wanted more. I kissed him deeply as my arm went around his neck. His hand moved to my hip as his mouth moved with mine. I wanted to take away his fear and pain. I wanted to will him into not being afraid anymore. Leo moved to hover over me as our kiss grew heated. I easily got lost in the moment as I pulled him closer. His lips left mine to trail down my neck. My back naturally arched to meet his kisses as my fingers tangled in his hair. This was going too far and I knew it, but I didn't want to stop. Leo's fingers touched the skin of my stomach as his kisses began to slow down. He sighed as he dropped his head in the crook of my neck.
"Sky... this is dangerous," he admitted huskily. I was amazed he took control, I surely couldn't do it. I sighed myself as I ran my fingers through his hair.
"I wanted to make you feel better," I admitted. Leo sat up and gave me a gentle smile before laying beside me again.
"Having you here is enough," he said sweetly before cuddling into me. Our legs tangled together as Leo wrapped his arms around me and placed a kiss on my head.