Riptide Rendezvous

Juliet works for the Marine Mammal Conservancy Center, where she commits her whole life to saving injured sea life and cleaning the Florida beaches. Focusing entirely on her career, she rarely has time for relationships. One late summer evening, she is called to save a group of sea turtles. She quickly learns that they are not the only ones who need saving when she meets Harry Styles, whose cheeky but rugged personality makes her question her own motives. Maybe she was so busy saving the world that she didn't realize it was she HERSELF who needed to be saved...

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6. Chapter 6

Author's note: In case you haven't looked at the cast list yet, here it is!:

Emma Stone as Juliet (When Emma had brown hair...check my twitter for a picture!)

Harry Styles as himself

Matt Bomer as Braedan

Jon Heder as Aaron

Amy Adams as Elle

Tom Daley as Tony

Brenda Song as Trisha

CHAPTER 6

JULIET'S POV

This storm was unlike any other. Fortunately, I haven't experienced a dangerous hurricane yet in Florida, but I'm beginning to think my luck is changing. I didn't bother using my umbrella as I darted out of the bar. It would only be a nuisance anyway. I ran to my jeep as fast as possible in my wedges and of course I tripped twice. I was never coordinated, so a treacherous down pour paired with my wedges and not to mention the alcohol in my system, was truly a recipe for disaster.

I shut the car door just in time as the "15 minute parking only" sign a few cars away from me smacked into my jeep. Well shit, that's going to leave a mark. In the distance, a crack of thunder and ridiculously bright flash of lightning split open a palm tree in front of the frozen yogurt shop.

I took the key out of the ignition and shut my car off. Okay, no way am I driving in this shitstorm. I'm going to have to run to the center. Freaking shit. C’mon Jul, you're wasting time, I thought. I looked down at my sopping wet sundress.

Definitely not running in this. I jumped over the driver's seat and fumbled through my bags in the bag. Grey t-shirt and a white t-shirt. Thank GOD for the grey. I grabbed the t-shirt and some purple shorts and quickly pulled the sundress over my head, silently praying for no lightning, or the people in the parking lot were going to get a free peep show.

I texted Braedan that I was on my way, tucked my phone into my sports bra, and opened up the jeep door as I fought against the unforgiving winds. Not even two minutes into my run I was soaked and chilled to the bone.

Suck it up. You got this, my subconscious echoed through my mind. The water in the street was already creeping up to my ankles. When I finally reached the beach, I felt relieved, but not for long. Soon as my feet made contact with the sand, they immediately sank. Not expecting the resistance to be so forceful, I quickly tried to snap my feet back out of the sand, resulting in an immense wave of pain escalating through my foot and throbbing around my ankles.

"Shit!" I screamed aloud, wincing. I tried to hurry along but the pain was slowing me down. I stopped briefly to feel my ankle and it was noticeably swelling. Just dandy. When I finally made it to the center, Braedan was running around the lobby with 4 cell phones pressed to his ears. He pointed to the note on the front desk and I hobbled over to read it.

I was forever jealous of Braedan's perfect handwriting. The note read:

"Coastguard ship went out to rescue a family fishing about 20 miles from shore. Ship struck a group of leatherback turtles, possibly related to the hatchlings raised on the beach earlier this week. Surfing man reported incident, then proceeded to return to area of incident alone."

I grabbed a paddle board, disposable gloves, and a rescue buoy from the supply closet. I had no idea what I was going to be dealing with, and I didn't have any more time to waste just pondering what I could bring.

The sturdy, ginormous doors of the center creaked eerily in the gusty winds. I couldn't even shut them. I ran down to the water, biting my lip to distract my attention from the throbbing pain ripping through my ankle. I couldn't even tell where the water started, that's how flooded the beach had already become. I threw my paddle board down and winched at the smack it made as it collided with the rough sea. I was fearful as I paddled farther and farther away from the shore, but I thought about how much I loved my job and how much it would all be worth it once I made a difference and nursed those turtles back to health.

As the storm's intensity grew and grew, I could not make out any of my surroundings. The waves were large and choppy enough to smack down even the most skilled surfer. I reminded myself that I was in my element. This was where I belonged. This is what I was made to do.

I paddled for another few minutes, still unable to make out anything that wasn't remotely close to me. I thought I saw a man sitting upright on a board.

"Hello!?!?" I screamed out into the night. No answer.

"HELLO!? IS ANYONE ALIVE OUT THERE?" I hoped if anyone was out there, they caught the Titanic reference I just made.

I nearly shit my shorts when I heard a faint whistle. "HELLO!?" I screamed again, and the shrill of the whistle sounded like it was coming from my right. I paddled and paddled with all that was left of my strength until the piercing whistle grew closer and closer. The man was reaching out his arms and I grabbed his hand.

Just as I made contact with him, the tallest wave that I have ever seen crashed down upon us. As the angry sea tossed me around, we lost our grip and were separated in almost an instant. As I resurfaced, I immediately called out for the man. He was about 15 feet away from me and he was coughing forcefully. My paddle board was behind me, but I had to get to him. I swam with all my might. If you’ve never swam in the ocean before, it’s like being tossed in a washing machine. It’s about ten thousand times worse during hurricane season.

The man was full-on choking by the time I reached him. I grabbed under his arms and brought his head as high above the water as I could manage.

“Hang on dude, I got ya” I assured him. I dragged him back to my paddle board and gave him a few pats on the back. He coughed some more and began spitting up water. Poor guy. I rubbed his back gently as he heaved. I wished it wasn’t so dark outside so I could see him. His broad shoulders felt strong and muscular as I continued to rub his back.

As if the Gods above heard my request, an immense bolt of lightning zipped across the dark, starless sky, illuminating the rough sea and deserted beach.

I froze instantly. The lighting revealed the crazy man who was out here risking his life for a few turtles. My stomach flipped and twisted as I made eye contact him.

“H-h, Harry..?” I managed to choke out. My voice was barely recognizable. It sounded like it was trying to escape from my body.

“Juliet.” He gasped as his lungs decided to give out on him again, and he went into a coughing spasm.

I sat him upright again on the paddle board just as he passed out.

AUTHOR'S NOTE ( Again, oopsie!)

^ I look forward to interacting with all my readers so please don't be shy, I promise I don't bite! Remember you can always tweet me at @xthestrugglebus

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