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BIT 16: DON’T BE BLUE
We lay there keeping each other warm through body heat. Jacklyn was more than warm—she was hot. Almost burning against my skin, which was a testament to how cold I was. Her head rested on my bare chest, and my arms were wrapped around her smooth shoulders. This was in a sense, Heaven. But at the same time, it was a deep, dark Hell. Zimea was out there fighting and running for her life, and here I was, laying nearly naked underneath another girl—A girl she hated. To make matters worse, we’d made out, so I’d cheated. That guilt ate away at me as Jacklyn slept. And I didn’t even know if our other party members had survived the avalanche.
“This is insane,” I whispered. “We have to get going.”
“Please, a few more minutes, babe,” Jacklyn murmured without opening her eyes.
I cringed. “Don’t call me babe. It’s Zycuh.”
“But aren’t we serious now? I can call you whatever I want—Oh, you’re so soft and cozy.”
Another cringe. “We aren’t serious, so please call me by my name.”
I furrowed my brow. “How do you know my real name? Only Zimea, Pan, and Grim know it.”
She giggled. “Grim told me.”
Jacklyn lifted her head and looked me in the eyes, smiling. “I’m smarter than you think I am. Maybe most players don’t recognize where your name comes from—But I played the game Realms of Sanity.”
She was right. I had gotten my name from an RPG with a coded language. In that language my real name translated to Zycuh Hunpo.
“Oh,” I said. “You are pretty smart.”
“Quite smart.” She winked. “I have an IQ of one forty-nine.”
“That’s genius level...” I let my voice trail. “I know that because I scored a one forty-six, which is one point above the genius line.”
“We’d make the smartest babies, then.”
I swallowed hard. “We don’t know anything about each other. Let’s not talk about babies.”
“Oh, poo on you, Zycuh Hunpo, you’re no fun.” She poked my chest and ran her finger down to an inch above my small clothes. “Are you fun in real life?”
“I’m dating Zimea. She’s the only one I would want to have fun with, so can we please--“
“How will you explain this to her? You kissed me. You made out with me. It’s ME you want.”
I’d had enough. I grabbed her shoulders and rolled her to my left side. She lay on her back sighing as I stood and found my clothes in a pile next to the dead hearth. I quick-equipped everything, weapon included.
“Thank you for saving me from the avalanche,” I said, facing the door. “But this never happened.”
“It did, though!” Jacklyn climbed to her knees and reached out her hand. “You must have feelings for me?”
I stared at her hard for several seconds, but she didn’t lower her hand. Sighing, I took her hand and helped her find her feet. She stood and wobbled a bit.
“You make my knees weak, Jason.” She tossed a wink.
“Put your clothes back on so we can get going.”
Rolling her eyes, she equipped her gear until she was fully dressed. I nodded and grabbed the door handle. My cold resistance was at one hundred five percent, but I could still feel the chilly. It would have to do, we needed to find the cave Pan had pointed out. If there others were okay, then that had to be where they went.
I pulled open the door, and the blast of wind almost knocked me off my feet, the door swinging all the way in and slamming against the wall.
“Brr! It’s freezing!” Jacklyn cried.
I turned back, and she was hopping from foot to foot, rubbing her arms. Her cold immunity earrings were gone. They’d broken in the avalanche.
I grabbed the door and forced it shut. “Don’t you have anything to resist the cold? You walk around like we’re in a tropic zone.”
“I’m sorry, but I like my sandals, and my crop top and skirt armor.”
“Then you’ll have to stay here until I find the others. Maybe one of them has some extra gear they can lend you.”
In all honesty, I was growing angrier by the second, and I was tempted to leave her. But I couldn’t do that. I was supposed to be the hero. Again, I found myself sighing.
Hopping into my equipment menu, I unequipped my Ugly X-Mas Sweater and Long Johns. I tossed them to her. A moment later she had them on under her armor.
“That’s only fifty percent resistance!” she said.
I glared at her with slanted eyes. “And I’m at sixty.”
“But my feet aren’t covered.”
“I need my socks—And my arms are bare!”
A vein in my forehead pulsed, she acted like an annoying little sister. Which grossed me out big time.
“Fine, fine. You win. I’ll get frostbite in my toes.” She stuck out her tongue.
“Your fault for wearing sandals in a winter zone.” I rolled my eyes and opened the door again. This time the cold struck me harder than the wind. But we had to fight through it.
Jacklyn grabbed my hand, and I shot her a glare.
“Jeez,” she said. “You’re so mean. We should hold hands so we don’t get separated. The snowfall is thick.”