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I m p r i s o n e d

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Chapter 9
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When I got back to the hotel, Kate had

already been and gone. I wondered if she’d

 said anything to anyone. I slipped the key

in and opened the door. The room was empty.

 Where was everyone? Suddenly my cell

phone started ringing on the bed. I’d

forgotten to take it with me. I walked over

 and picked it up. It was Tay.

“Hello?”

“Hey, Zac, we’re down at the pool, so…come

 down, alright?” he hung up without even

waiting for an answer. After a few minutes

 of thinking, I finally gave up and just

decided to head down and meet them.

I slid off my shirt along with my jeans and

boxers, and pulled on my black trunks.

Ooh, that was cold. Like the rush of icy cold

air that hits you after a blanket of snow has

 laid itself overnight. How could they be wet?

 That’s when I noticed that the bathtub I

 had taken them out of was drenched.

Someone had turned on the water, I supposed.

 Oh, well. I shut the door a little hard on

my way out. Hopefully no one in the hotel

was sleeping at the moment. I found the

pool pretty quickly.
”Hey, Zac, over here!” I heard Taylor shout.

 He was lounging in the Jacuzzi with Natalie

 and Ike. Ezra rested on Natalie’s lap. They

 looked so happy, as if there was nothing in

the world that could ever cause them to worry.

 I sat there watching them for a moment.

“Hey, you gonna sit there and stare at us all

 night, or join us?” Ike laughed. I smiled, and

made my way to the Jacuzzi. But, unknowingly

 to me, water had sloshed across the floor,

and as I strutted along, I slipped and fell right

on my face. I could hear everyone trying to

 muffle their laughter. They all got out and came

 to see if I was alright. They weren’t sure if

they should laugh or not, depending on my

 mood about it. I looked around and smiled,

 letting that smile grow into a fit of laughter

 as they laughed along with me. When that

 died down we all let ourselves fall into

 the steaming, bubbling hot water. It felt so

 good to finally feel a little relaxed. I closed

 my eyes and listened to the rest of them talk.

 It was one of those moments where it’s like

 your not even there, just watching it happen

 on a movie screen or on TV. Opening my

 eyes, I bit my lip.

“I sent Kate back.” Everyone went silent,

 just sat there and stared. No one knew

what to do or what to say.

“To the U.S.?” Natalie finally asked. Nodding,

 I blinked a couple times.

“I think that will be good for you…you don’t

 need to put up with that bullshit,” Tay

comforted. If that wasn’t the truth I don’t

know what was. I’d put up with a lot from

Kate for too long now.

“Hey Zac, you wanna sauna?” Ike offered.

 I took him up on it and followed to the enclosed

 room, knowing he wasn’t just wanting a nice

 healthy sweat for old time’s sake. He wanted

 to talk. That was good, though...he seemed

 to be the only person I could talk to after

everything.

“So…” he mumbled. I laughed at his nerdy

 attempt to be subtle. He knew and I knew

 that we were both here to talk.

“Listen…I should have seen this coming.”

I started. “Lately I’ve been thinking…and

how could I even imagine that if she hurt

you, she wouldn’t turn around and do the

 exact same thing to me?” A smile crept

up on Ike’s face.

“Yeah, she is kinda that way, isn’t she?” he

 chuckled. Yeah, that was Kate for you:

a lean, mean, heart-breaking machine.

“I guess I just feel sorry for the next guy

she goes after,” I joked.

“Well at least we can be sure it won’t be

 Tay,” Ike added. We both got a laugh out of that.

“I’m really sorry man,” I confessed.

“Why?” he looked confused.

“Come on, you know. I still can’t believe

I ever got together with her after what she

 did to you…I feel horrible.” I looked at

him strongly, waiting for an answer.

“Got together with who?” he asked. Smiling,

 I gave him a one of those brotherly – love

kind of hugs. The kind you would see on

Full House.

“Thanks, man.”

“Don’t mention it,” Ike laughed, making one

 of those lame gunshot hand gestures. He was

 such a nerd…I loved it. It was nice to just

kick back with him like this sometimes.

He always knew how to make me laugh

when I really wanted to cry. I guessed that’s

what brothers were there for. Oh, great. Now

 I was talking like Full House, too.

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