She watched him the entire time as he cleared around her, picking up hooks that were obviously loose, off her body, as he got more space cleared and got closer to her. She said nothing, seeing everything he did, not taking her eyes off him, keeping her thoughts to herself as she watched what he did, and where he did it.
This was not like her at all, to be so silent (from what he remembered of her), but again… that was the pain talking (but not talking, in this case).
Apart from those hooks in her hand and abdomen, she had others in her legs, and upon her; with at least one, hooked into the side of her breast, with others in her abdomen, and others resting between her legs. There were a couple of them held there, in that hair. If they had taken a hold, they’d be a sod to get at without…. What wouldn’t he be looking at and probing into? There was one in her back too, so she couldn’t lie flat.
Those three-pronged hooks dug in wherever they landed. Vicious buggers! The fish didn’t enjoy them either, but they were effective.
She’d really done a number on herself.
He was still talking, but not telling her everything he was thinking. This, would not be easy, but would be routine. It would be time consuming for him… and an ordeal for her, so he’d be very slow and encouraging, every step of the way, no matter what she was like in return. ’Kill ‘em with kindness’, make them feel guilty’ for behaving like ungrateful curs.
At least it was private where she was, and he’d been the only house overlooking her from the other side, and almost a mile away. Her secret would be safe. There were a lot of little secrets like that… where only the doctor knew. It put the doctor in a fairly powerful place.
She was still watching him like a hawk, seemingly not sure about him, closely observing everything he did, seeing him pick up his phone again. He’d used it when he’d first come close to her, photographing everything before he’d picked up any of the hooks, and now he was taking more pictures.
She spoke at last. “What are you doing?” Of course, she would ask. She trusted no one. He couldn’t blame her, considering her background.
“Photographing everything about you. I want to make sure I get all of those hooks once I start this. I need to see what’s digging in, where, and to be able to go back in time. The eye doesn’t always see everything… or remember.”
Why was she bothered about that? The crowd she mixed with…. She didn’t seem to mind that happening… showing personal bits and pieces off on the internet… from what he’d heard. There was no such thing as privacy. The younger generation had little shame until it caught up with them. There were no secrets on the internet.
He explained further. “Medical use only, and for the files. The photographs are for your protection as well as mine, to make sure I get everything.” She seemed to still have a poor opinion of him. Still suspicious.
“None of these will leave my possession.”
She must have seen how cautiously remote, and matter of fact he had been around her before, protecting her and himself when he’d seen to her in the past, when he’d had to see to her in the holding cell, or in that bar after that fight had broken out. He’d got there before the ambulance, after Coulter had called him. He and the Sheriff had been at school together.
She looked strangely at him but said nothing. Maybe she’d been too drunk to remember those times, and had even forgotten about him.
“Can you give me something to stop this pain?” She was agitated, pleading.
Now that he knew she wasn’t, ‘high’, on anything, he could.
“Yes, I can.” He was equipped for every eventuality.
He put a small pill onto her tongue from his medical bag, and followed it with some of his bottled water to wash it down.
“It’s fast acting, so it will soon begin to help.” He left her with the bottle. He might have to give her another pill, but he didn’t want to overdo it this early.
“I hope so. I’m hurting.” He knew she was.
“Drink as much as you can. You need it.” He checked things off in his head.
“Now, let’s get you, seen to.”
This would be as hard on him, as it would be on her, but in a different way. God had played his little joke on men, by giving her, a body most women would die for… and most men, too. He couldn’t help but admire it. What a waste! He tore his mind off that.
He pointed. “May I? I need to see all of you.” He was asking permission to pick up her scanty bits of clothing from resting on her. They hid nothing anyway. He hadn’t needed to ask, but he wanted this to begin right, at least, and there could be another hook sitting somewhere under those.
She groaned, but she also nodded slowly. If she hadn’t been in pain, she would have been swearing at him for this.
He lifted the small bits of garment off her to leave her entirely naked—not that they’d obscured anything. Everything about her was interesting.... except when she got inebriated and loud, and obvious... and then she was no longer interesting to anyone. He photographed even closer, now that he could see all of her; each hook. Everywhere. He missed nothing; making a complete map of her wonderful body… everything he could see.
She accepted that it had to be done.
“There’s some on my head too, digging in. They feel like insects, biting.” She indicated where she felt them digging at her, with her free hand. He photographed there, too, making sure to get a good shot of her face and her eyes at the same time.
“I’ll get to them soon enough.” He worked down her body after that, seeing another challenge from those nestled between her legs in that unmentionable place.
She’d howl bloody murder when he had to go after them, and he asked her to put her legs apart. He insisted that mothers be present, or a nurse, when he had to do anything of a delicate nature with their pubescent daughters. This one was older than them, but was just as dangerous to be alone with. He was glad he had his voice recorder running.
She didn’t lash out at him, verbally, for photographing her so candidly.
Just wait until he got to the more intimate stuff, and he had to touch her in those places. However, she had no more choice about that, than he did.
He looked around to make sure he was missing nothing.
“I take it there’s no one at the house?” She wouldn’t have been out here, nude, if there had been, but he had to be sure.
“No. There’s no one home until tomorrow, or the day after. They went to Ogden this morning, early, while I was out running, which is why I took the opportunity… was able to….” She blushed, thinking about how it had unfolded.
This hesitation was not like her at all, except he realized that he didn’t really know her as well as he thought he did.
“I didn’t expect....” She hadn’t expected this. No one ever did. Accidents happened. They weren’t usually planned.
And she’d been out, running?
She had changed, somewhere down the line. Somebody had got through to her, or she’d grown up... albeit a bit late. Maybe Coulter had managed to get her into re-hab. His father had said nothing about that to him.
He continued to inspect her closely. She had her eyes closed, this time, as he did so. She seemed intensely embarrassed by his scrutiny, which was also nothing like what he remembered of her.
He’d already seen, and been pleasantly surprised, that she didn’t have the body piercings, or the tattoos he’d thought she would have… other than, ‘these’ piercing she’d just got by accident, some of which had bled a little, especially those on her abdomen when she’d swept at them.
There was nothing critical, that required an ambulance… yet. But there was a lot of work to do, and he couldn’t do it out here where she was.
He took even more photos, close up, of her hand, and where it was attached to her abdomen with fishhooks. That, would be the most difficult task.
They’d be buggers to get out. Save those ’till last. They’d be the worst. Start on the easy ones.
It would be ordeal enough for her anyway. He felt sorry for her, but she’d survive. He may have to drive her to the hospital after this and keep her in, overnight. His Saturday would be a wash out, too.
He’d seen enough for the moment, noticing—now that he could— that she had a bad sunburn developing. That would hurt too. She’d been out longer than she’d intended, and with hooks in her hand, and legs, when she’d tried to move, making things more painful, and worse. There was no way she could have got back to the house by herself.
She’d been lucky she’d had her phone with her, or she’d have been stuck for a lot longer, and then it would have become a worse problem. He’d made the right choice about not driving over and taking another hour or more.
He saw some tears squeezing out from under her eye lids. This would not be easy. She might be close to panicking again.