David was already skittish, not that it took too terribly much to get him skittish. So, naturally, an underwater zombie almost sending him toppling over the edge of the pier and into the water? That would do it.
His heart raced in his chest, faster than he recalled it racing in a long, long time as he speed-walked off the pier, tripping over his own two feet a couple of times on the way. He'd never claimed grace to be one of his strongest attributes, certainly not, but he'd always though he possessed a little more of it than that. Clearly, he'd thought wrong. His hand closed a little tighter around the EMF detector he held and he closed his eyes for a second, in what was an entirely feeble attempt to compose himself.
Probably because as soon as he opened his eyes again, he encountered the only person in the entire world who could scare him more than a surfacing infected, ready to rip him to shreds. Brennan Patterson was the one person on the planet who reminded David exactly how useless he was almost every time they talked.
It was bad enough that David was completely and totally aware of that fact on his own, how lucky he was to be alive, and how without immune like him, or like Rae and Sarah, or useful people like his brother, he'd have been dead long ago. He knew it, he truly did. But what could he do? Pushing one hand through his hair, he stuffed his EMF reader into his pocket, hopefully before Patterson saw it, and tried to feign that calm, cool state his brother always perpetuated so well.
It wasn't working.
By the time he got close enough not to have to shout for Patterson to hear him, nothing had changed. His heart was still pounding and his voice was caught in his throat, like he'd just swallowed a shit-ton of air and it was pushing the words back. But he spoke anyway, sounding more like a whispering mouse than a speaking human being.
"I was—I was going for a walk," he muttered. "I was just curious about the water and…" he trailed off, knowing pretty much anything he said after that, Patterson had probably seen.