Falling.... Hook, Line, and Sinker.

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Treading cautiously.

He saw her, long before he got there; a young woman lying out along the dock, and barely a stitch of clothing in sight. What there was, didn’t cover anything important… wasn’t covering anything.

He swore. Welcome to one of the more difficult days of his life. It would be a mixed blessing, and a bloody awkward challenge, every step of the way. To ignore... while not being able to fully ignore. He groaned inwardly. She’d be her usual, impossible self, of course.

Had she been laid out like that in the woods, anywhere, it would have been suggestive of some satanic ritual being played out with the sacrificial virgin at the center of everything, with eager, and very horny, Warlocks, dancing around her, ready to close in on her and show her what, was what… repeatedly. That, was Megan’s style, except it was well known that she wasn’t a virgin. She’d had more cocks in her than he’d had hot dinners.

With a single change of subject at the center of that ritual… Cassie… (she still filled his thoughts) he could have been one of those warlocks, fighting off the others, but he’d lost that one subject, years earlier, though he knew she might be coming back for a job interview. His mother had said something about that.

It would be interesting to meet Cassie for the first time, face to face, sometime in the next few days and to put a face and a real conversation to those feelings they’d shared at a distance.

However, he was here, instead. He’d have to be very careful with this one. There’d always been witnesses when he’d been around her before.

Simply stated; he didn’t trust her. She was devious.

He saw the problem immediately as he pulled alongside her, seeing what he would be up against. It was Meg Sinclair alright, and she was as naked as the day she’d been born. If he said anything to try and de-fuse the situation with some humor, as he usually could, and did, she’d tear into him for being fresh, and would report him.

This would be too tricky for words, but he couldn’t back off now, or call for help. Help, was still at least an hour or two away. He was stuck with her.

She didn’t have any make-up on, which was a pleasant change. Her moods had always seemed so somber, accentuated by her poor choice of dress and the way she looked for the world to see, with that dark, ‘gothic’ personality of hers.

He liked this version better, if it lasted, but it wouldn’t have changed the inner person. Some things wouldn’t change. She would still be psychotic, and an unpleasant bitch.

He fished her sodden towel out of the water and tossed it onto the dock, away from her.

He would take enough precautions, protecting himself, as he did with some of his… more questionably motivated patients, by using a voice recorder… letting it run all of the time… and his camera. Preserving the evidence of what he was walking into.

There was one good thing; she’d, called him. He hadn’t approached her. Not that that would have alleviated the perceived crime if she took exception to his matter of fact, dispassionate, bedside manner and accused him of… whatever.

From what he could see already, it was bad, and would take a considered approach. No one deserved what had happened to her. She would be in a lot of pain from what he could see. It might cause her to rethink her response when he tried to help her.

He actually began to feel sorry for her for once. He took another look. She was indeed stark naked, except for some bits and pieces of a bikini, if that was what it was, draped partially over her breasts (nice breasts too—he’d not noticed them so well before), and… lower down on her. She’d got rid of most of the hair from herself there too. No hiding some things. She had an unexpectedly nice body.

Being a doctor carried its own perks… at the good times. However, this, was not one of them.

He’d have to watch what he said.

Getting her seen to wouldn’t be that much of a challenge, but it wasn’t something that could be rushed, either. Her attitude would soon decide how it would be… prickly, and combative, dragging him over broken glass as he helped her, or she would be thankful for his help. If the pain was really severe, and it probably was, she’d likely watch her mouth, rather than deliberately piss him off.

She might have the body of a goddess… what a waste… but she also had the mouth and attitude of a scold, when the mood took her. It was out of his pay grade to diagnose what her mental problems might be; and she had a lot of them.

She’d likely swear at him for taking so long, even though he’d been only as long as he’d said he would be. He should have called the ambulance, except they were at the centenary in Ogden, where all the action would be for the next day or two, and the other ambulance crew had gone over to Middleton. They wouldn’t thank him for dragging them away from the fun for several hours to deal with this.

“Hi. I’ll be with you in two minutes, Megan.”

She wouldn’t correct him. Let him think she was Megan. It was safer that way.

She turned her head to watch him as he drove the kayak hard into the sand, where the jetty met the shore, and stepped out into the shallow water before pulling the kayak higher, and dropping his lifejacket into it. Even that small amount of exercise had been welcome, but he’d felt the full heat of the sun as he’d left the shelter of the trees to come across the lake, and she’d been baking in that for far too long.

It was as she’d said. She’d knocked her grandfather’s fishing tackle off the small shelf it had been sitting on, spilling fishhooks and stuff, everywhere on her, and around her. She was lying in the middle of it, unable to move… incapable of moving, from what he could see, though she had turned her head.

Her grandfather must buy his fishhooks by the pound, or they’d accumulated over the years. He knew the old man. He was the only one of that family he could easily talk to.

Unwisely, she had moved instinctively, startled by what had happened as they’d dropped onto her, so she had got herself into a really awkward mess, rather than just a difficult one. She’d described it well enough. If anything, it was even worse than she knew. He was looking at a couple of hours of careful effort, if not more. His heart sank. So much for his afternoon’s recreation; probably for his evening too. He wouldn’t be able to fix her up and leave her. She’d need watching and some after care.

There were hooks, everywhere. The most obvious ones were of the three-pronged variety; some, with lures and spinners, and others scattered everywhere and all over her. Nowhere was safe to walk. The single hook ones would be the easiest to deal with.

He photographed her, and the general scene, with his phone… set his voice recorder going on full volume and put it into his short’s pocket. It wouldn’t catch much conversation there, but it might catch enough to discourage any attempt to harm him, if things turned nasty.

He’d have to pick hooks up first, or risk making things worse for them both if he stepped on one of those. Then, he’d have to move her, but not before he’d made the area relatively safe for them both.

He could use a magnet inside one of his heavier gloves, and get the loose ones picked up in no time at all, before he went after any others.

He got started on that, even as he talked to her to get her mind off her many small problems, and one... not so small a problem with that hand of hers.

“Before we make this any worse with these fishhooks, I’ll have to pick them up with a magnet.”

At least she didn’t argue with him. She didn’t say a word. She just watched him.

He’d also get those loose ones off her the same way, while not disturbing the others that had dug in a little. With some care he could lift others off her without them digging in, other than for a pin prick. He’d mark things with a sharpie so that he could disinfect, and then check, later. She wouldn’t thank him if any of those already dug into her, got snagged up on the magnet, and started to jiggle, burrowing even deeper as they lifted and twisted.

It was safer if he did most of the talking, if not all of it, for a while. She seemed happy enough to listen, for the moment, instead of being her usual argumentative self, with a grudge against everything, male.

He explained it all to her, working around her, cleaning up hooks from the deck, as she tried to watch him and what he was doing, seeing that he seemed to know what he was doing.

He had difficulty taking his eyes off her exposed body, working so close to her, and even leaning over her to get at those hooks that he could easily lift off her, but that was what he was here for, to see the problems, and to deal with them before they got any worse.

A little bit of care at this stage, could save a lot of problems, later.

He often met her eyes. He did not see the usual antagonism or anger that he’d seen a year before, but instead… almost a… pleading? And acute embarrassment.

She looked unhappy, of course, and that wouldn’t change very quickly. It would be a slow process from what he could see, a grueling couple of hours anyway. He would have to go slowly. He may need to phone his mother to delay dinner. She was used to those calls.

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