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

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This couldn't be the same Megan he remembered.

This definitely wasn’t the same woman he remembered from a year ago, but then it had been dark in that bar, and she’d been drunk and had had too much make-up on. She’d had a black eye too, and she had been swearing at everyone who looked at her sitting there on the floor in the middle of her own vomit as he’d seen to her.

She’d had a cracked rib and a broken finger, if he recalled, as he’d tended to her before she went into the ambulance, still spitting nails at everyone and everything. They were used to that.

He put that earlier time out of his mind as he went over in his mind what he would need, and what he would do. He looked closely at what he could see of her and around her, picking up the hooks and lures with his magnet. He removed them, cautiously, back to the tackle box, keeping his eyes open for where he trod as he moved around her, dropping his gloves and the hooks back into the box, once he’d righted it.

Using his gloves to cover the magnet, meant that he could remove everything cleanly, with a good, steady pull on the glove, once he’d turned it inside out, and he didn’t have to try and pull a tangle of fishhooks off, with his bare fingers, risking getting himself skewered too, as he did that.

She still watched everything he did, like a porcupine watched a barking dog, ready to show it who was boss. He knew about porcupines, how they usually won that fight, and he knew about Megan. She wasn’t a happy camper.

If it became necessary, he could over-sedate her, and get her drowsy and out of his hair while he worked on her. He wouldn’t put up with her if she started in on him.

She’d been sunbathing in the nude… he could see that… but she’d made a perfunctory attempt to cover herself up with a couple of postage-stamp size, pieces of cloth. They were barely enough to cover each nipple, so she had given up. She hadn’t been able to place them to hide anything of significance.

She was more beautiful… even interesting… than he remembered, and she showed no obvious signs, or scars from that earlier time, but it had been a year since he’d seen her.

She may have straightened out. He was curious about her, and he shouldn’t be. He looked at her arms. There were no obvious needle marks. He always checked for those, as well as cuts on wrists. He liked to know what he was dealing with. These were difficult times, and young folk were the hardest hit by hopelessness at the lack of jobs. For most of them, they would have to move away to make anything of themselves.

Her eyes were clear too. All were good signs, surprising him. He had difficulty reconciling that former Megan, with this one.

She was blushing, watching him to see where he was looking at her... ready to tell him off, no doubt. He was careful not to be overly curious about any, one place on her body, but it was difficult.

She knew he would be interested in everything he could see. Her naked body would always attract the looks of any man. She’d usually dressed to avoid that, with her breasts the size they were, but there was no avoiding his close attention at this moment, so she would have to put up with it as she felt the agonies; both physical and mental.

He didn’t seem to know her, fortunately, but that would soon change. She hoped not.

Please get it over with and leave me to myself.

He strove to maintain a stoic, unfeeling exterior, while his mind was churning.

This was definitely not the woman he remembered. He’d written off that other woman anyway, letting his father deal with her. His father had a way with the older and more difficult patients who didn’t like anything to change. His father had more patience with some of the difficult younger set. He’d even brought most of them into the world.

From what Malcolm remembered, this one wasn’t usually embarrassed over anything. However, maybe he’d been wrong about her, judging her in that instant of time, as he had. She looked distinctly uncomfortable with what was happening, and it wasn’t all of it to do with those fishhooks.

Sheriff Coulter had told him as much—that he was wrong about her. He’d blamed everything on the group she ran with; spiking her orange juice with vodka.

Coulter usually put her in jail… for her own protection more than once… when he’d picked her up at times like that, and had run the others out of town, taking names and kicking arse. They still came back. They knew an easy thing.

Maybe she had straightened up and dried out since then. That would be good. It looked like it. He hadn’t seen her for almost a year, and she looked… particularly attractive… and disturbingly healthy. She would still be dangerous.

He’d give her the benefit of the doubt.

Watch it boy. Be careful what you say or do. Except he had no choice about touching her in some very personal places. It could all be misinterpreted. Many a doctor lost his license that way.

Some of them, justifiably.

He continued working around her, picking up hooks that blended with the planking, or were lodged between them, making sure he missed nothing. He’d be able to kneel beside her to see directly to her, next. She had a nice body (get over it, boy), and she was not as pudgy as he’d thought she’d be from her former habits.

She seemed trim… 120 pounds… and where she should be, for her size and condition. It was obvious that she worked out regularly. She’d better wear good support, or she’d do her breasts some damage. Lovely breasts.

He wouldn’t say anything.

She was getting to be more of a surprise than he expected, and in the best way. That, would soon change when she got impatient with him. She was clean too. Her hair was well looked after, and her complexion was clear of makeup… definitely, not as he remembered her. There’d been some major changes. She actually looked… wholesome.

She would be impossible to ignore. He’d talk to Sheriff Coulter after this and find out what he could.

She had memorable breasts! Those again. He’d never get tired of admiring them, and he would be seeing a lot of them in the next hour or so. There were a few fishhooks lying between them, and at least one, digging in at the side. They were ‘classic’ breasts. Just right. Not too big and not too small, though that judgement was always in the eye of the beholder. Goldilocks breasts. He would always be drawn back to admire those. In a medical sense only, of course.

In those drunken parties at medical school, they always had a line-up of breasts, cast out of pinkish jello, and with a cherry on top to mimic a nipple. Those salad-days were long gone.

She was watching him too closely, so he’d better be careful what he said and did; where he focused, until he knew where this was likely to go.

If she saw him looking too closely, or attentively at her breasts or at her hoo-haa, until called for (though it would be his decision when he got there), she wouldn’t be afraid to tell him off, even out here. He was sure of that. The outer appearance might change but the woman within, didn’t.

In that bar, she’d done that, as he’d been working on her...kneeling beside her on the floor.

Her vitriol had not been directed at him, fortunately, but at others, watching her. She’d criticized someone for too obviously looking at her arse and tits, (exactly those terms), and did he want to see more of them? That’s what he vaguely remembered of her. Challenging everything. Shock the bastards!

Let her complain, if she wanted to. There was no one to hear her out here.

As she’d said… she’d sat up fast when it had happened, and had tried to sweep them off her, making it worse. She’d got fishhooks buried everywhere, most of them shallowly, but not those in her hand, which had also dug into her belly at the side. There was a trace of blood there too. That would have hurt like hell, and they’d be a real bitch to get out.

With all of that to occupy her, she’d rediscover her priorities and would be as careful with him, as he would be with her.

She’d have to be sedated anyway.

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