Tenacious Sky

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Chapter 7

When Leo came back, he had my bag and uniform from my locker with him. He set them on a nearby chair before turning to me.

"I have practice after this. I'll take you back to the dorms before I go," he said. I shook me head.

"Our deal was to stick to you like glue," I reminded him. He sighed and looked at my ankle before looking away.

"Do what you want then," he gave in. Nurse Jackie came back with an ace wrap. She handed it to me before taking the ice off of my ankle.

"I assume you know how to use this," she said as she motioned to the ace wrap. I blushed as I nodded. Leo didn't catch the hint. I wrapped my ankle before Leo handed me my uniform.

"I'll step out," he said before he pulled the curtain around my area, leaving him on the outside. I stood and changed quickly before stuffing my gym clothes in my bag and pulling the curtain back. Leo was waiting there. He turned his back to me and crouched down.

"Hop on," he said.

"I'll walk," I declined.

"If you walk, it'll take longer for your ankle to heal," he said.

"She'll be fine if she walks," Nurse Jackie said as she leaned against the wall with her arms crossed. Leo paused before he spun to face her.

"You know?" He asked. She shrugged.

"Woman's intuition," she answered. Leo sighed and looked at me in disappointment before he took my bag from me.

"Let's go," he said. I followed him out of the office, limping all the while.

"You're really careless, you know that?" He said in frustration.

"She figured it out by looking at my body make up apparently," I tried to explain. He sighed and turned back to watch me limp to keep up with him.

"Just get on my back. You're slowing me down," he sighed. I finally gave in and put my bag on my back before hopping onto Leo's back.

"This is the opposite of low profile," I said as I wrapped my arms around his neck to keep from falling off.

"I really don't care. You're injured and slowing me down. I'm already late to practice," he said. We were quiet the rest of the way to the pools. Practice had already started. Leo set me down on a bench in the pool area before he turned to look at me.

"I'm going to change. Wait here. Oh and while you're here, take some notes on my times," he said. I nodded before he left. I pulled out an empty notebook and a pen.

"What's up with you and Leo? Why did he give you a piggyback ride? I know you're new here, but Leo having a friend is very out of character for him," Easton said as he approached me. I sighed and leaned against the wall behind me.

"I hurt my ankle in gym today due to foul play. Leo is actually really nice and attentive when you get to know him. Plus, everyone should have a friend," I defended him. Easton sighed but dropped it.

"What are you doing this weekend? A bunch of the guys were going to head into town. You should come with us," he offered. Leo came out dressed in his speedo and saw Easton near me. He walked over and grabbed Easton's shoulders before pushing him towards the other team members. I paid close attention to the practice and timed Leo's laps. After everyone was warmed up, they moved on to the starting positions. I remembered what Leo told me before. This was what set off his panic attacks. The first heat set on their marks. Leo stood off to the side pacing. I set my notebook back in my bag and stood up. When the starter gun sounded, Leo jumped and almost fell over. I started making my way to him. I tried to move closer without getting noticed. I placed a hand on his shoulder gently.

"Leo," I said softly. He reached up and grasped my hand tightly. I could see his breathing beginning to labor. I repeated his name. He kept hold of my hand and dragged me to the locker rooms. I limped after him as fast as I could. When we were in the locker room, I wrapped my arms around his neck and hugged him tightly.

"Leo, deep breaths," I said softly as I rubbed his back. His legs shook as he held on to me. I slowly sunk to the ground to let him sit. From what I just saw, it seemed like the starter gun was the cause of his anxiety. His attacks may have had something to do with a gun. His head rested on my shoulder as he tried to calm down. After a few minutes, he let go of me and sat up. I wiped the tears from his cheeks and gave him a sympathetic smile.

"Feeling better?" I asked softly. He nodded.

"Thanks. I think that was the calmest panic attack I've ever had," he admitted.

"Does the whistle trigger you at all?" I asked. He shoot his head.

"Just the loud pops and sight of a gun," he answered. He stood up and offered me a hand up.

"Hey! Leo! You still in here? Coach is looking for you," someone called. Leo pat my head gently before he headed back towards the pool. I took a deep breath before I went back to the pool. After Leo finished talking to the coach, he came back to where I was sitting.

"Coach is giving me the rest of practice off. I told him about the starting gun," Leo explained. I smiled sympathetically at him.

"That's good. I'll meet you at the front," I replied as I stood and put my bag on my back. He headed towards the locker room while I went to sit on the steps at the front. It wasn't long before Leo was standing next to me in his school uniform.

"Let's go. Do you need me to carry you?" He asked. I shook my head as I stood.

"Lets go," I said.
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