Ember gasped as she looked forward up the shore to see a man struggling in the water. He was coughing—spitting water from his mouth as he crawled from the water and onto the sand. As he collapsed face-down on the shore, Ember lifted her skirt and ran toward the man, dropping to her knees beside him.
“Sir?” she cried, nudging one broad shoulder. The man was stripped of his shirt—dressed only in a pair of trousers—no shoes…
Ember shook her head, rolling her eyes at her own foolishness.
“Sir?” she called again, nudging his broad shoulder once more. The man lay on his stomach—his face turned away from her. “Are you dead, sir?” she asked. Placing a hand to his back, she sighed with relief as she felt he yet breathed.
“Sir?” she said, clambering over the man’s broad torso.
The man coughed. His eyes opened—his deep blue eyes, so shaded by thick, wet lashes that Ember wondered how it was he could see beyond them.
“Sir?” Ember ventured.
He coughed, asking, “Where am I?”
“On the seashore, sir,” Ember answered.
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