He enters from the bedroom behind her and pauses as he sees her standing deathly still, staring at the easel with the police sketch of her. She turns slowly to face him, eyes both puzzled and afraid. This guy does not have poor observation skills as she'd thought when she'd seen the printed version of the artist's sketch; on the contrary, he has her down to a T. So why hasn't she been identified and arrested? Is he some sort of weirdo? A crazy stalker? Looking at him standing in the doorway, first aid box in hand and a concerned look on his face, she doesn't think so, but she's not going to let her barriers down either.
He points to her with the hand holding the box, "I think we'd better have a look at that don't you?"
She goes for a shrug and grimaces in pain, momentarily having forgotten about her injuries. He places the med kit on the desk and slowly helps her out of her jacket. Its only when she sees the cuts and dark stains on the back that she realises why she's feeling as rough as she is. He gently turns her so her back's to the light and she can hear his breathing pause as he considers how to go about it. The whole of the back and side of the top is stained dark, threads protruding from the cut and damaged fibres and she hisses as he tries to gently lift the material. He turns to the med kit and removes a pair of scissors, too small really for what he needs to do, but subconsciously his going for minimal threat, and a pair of large kitchen scissors could easily spook her.
He moves round in front of her and lifts the scissors into view. "I'm no expert, but I think we're going to have to cut this off …?" pointing with them to her top.
She glares at him, but remembering the state of her jacket just nods and tries to twist her head round to watch him as he moves back behind her. She hears the snip, snip as the scissors make their way up her top, feels the cool air against the skin of her back as he struggles a bit with the thick folds of the neckline … he pauses, "Uhm, just a moment .." and he drops the scissors onto the desk before disappearing back into the bedroom. She watches him re-emerge a few moments later with a T-shirt in his hands and a slightly embarrassed look on his face.
"You may want this .. later ... when we get that off ..." and she has to hide a smile at his concern for her modesty; she really can't get a handle on him!
He's back to snipping at the neckline and eventually she feels the two halves separate. She can feel his hands on her right lower back, trying to ease the top away from the cuts, but the partially congealed blood and threads pull at the skin and she draws in a sharp breath. He apologises and she shakes her head, telling him he doesn't need to.
"I'll go get some warm water, it should help to …" and he waves his hands half-heartedly as his words peter out "... you'd better sit down before you fall down" he adds pointing to one of the chairs.
When he returns a few moment later with a plastic basin of warm water and a sponge she's still standing, though she's now supporting herself by leaning both hands on the desk, the left hand side of her top hanging down and revealing an expanse of smooth skin and softly ridged ribcage intersected by the strap of her bra. Turning on a few more lights he moves to stand behind her and begins to gently apply the water with the sponge to the right side of her back. It takes almost ten minutes before he's able to completely unglue the top, gently soaking the material until he's able to peel it away from her skin, apologising the first half-dozen times he's felt her squirm under his ministrations until she's threatened to leave the next time he says sorry. He's had to bite his tongue several times but has managed to complete the process without her walking out on him.
She lets the top drop to the floor, lifting first one hand then the other off the desk till the bloody remnants of her polo neck is pooled at her feet. Once her back is exposed he has a job to keep his mind off the view she's presenting him, but telling her about the multiple cuts, some shallow, some deeper and the one frightening one just above her kidney which has begun to bleed again helps to keep him centred on the job in hand. He tries once again to convince her to go to the hospital but quickly desists when he sees her getting agitated. He can also see discolouration appearing round her shoulder and upper back, it must have been a hell of an impact he thinks.
He notices a couple of small shards of glass still embedded in the cuts and carefully pulls them out with tweezers, checking the rest of the cuts before he sprinkles antiseptic powder over them explaining that he doesn't know how effective it will be or how long it's been open … he thinks it was when Alexis grazed her knees a couple of years earlier. He puts gauze over the deep cut, taping it carefully in place before applying strips of plaster to the remaining ones.
He's talking quietly all the time, his deep voice lulling her as he administers to her wounds in spite of the occasional sharp pain as one of her cuts rebels. It's been a long time since anyone has cared for her and her instinctive auto-defences are down so that she's suddenly surprised to feel his hands gently rubbing some gel over her shoulder, the sensation cooling yet alarming her at how far she's zoned out over the last few minutes.
He pauses as his fingers reach the shoulder strap of her bra and he clears his throat. She turns her head to look at him and sees him holding his hands up and raising his eyebrows at her in almost boyish embarrassment. She gives him a glare which only makes him even more nervous before putting her left hand up and unclipping the bra, placing her left hand back across her front to hold it in place whilst she tries to shrug the right hand strap off her shoulder. It hurts and so she watches him as he uses his pinkie to push it down before continuing to gently rub the gel over her shoulder and upper arm.
When he's finished he stands back admiring his handiwork. "You expecting dancing clowns or something?" she asks him and it startles him. About to apologise once again he stops in time, grins at her and points to the basin full of pink-coloured water and the scattered contents of the med kit.
"I'll just tidy up here a moment" as he picks up the basin and carefully carries it towards the bathroom.