WARNING: This story contains explicit sexual matter. If you are under 18, or live in a jurisdiction in which such matter is illegal, please stop reading now.
This story may be archived on free web sites but is not to be distributed without this note and the name of the author, changed in any way, or sold. Please do not repost without consulting the author. Copyright 1998 by Jane Urquhart.
DEDICATION: For Angela, on a special day. May her dreams come true.
Josh idly swept the area to his right with the binoculars. He never tired of watching the big "gooney birds" hitting the beach and rolling ass-over-teakettle whenever they landed, but, as a scientist, he had a job to do. Preparing to head for the office, he took one last look at the sea--then stopped. Something was out there. Where nothing should be. He stood, turned, and ran to call his colleague.
"Hey, Jim!" he shouted. "Get the spotting scope! Something out at sea!"
Jim, his partner, sauntered out of the little building carrying the big green spotting scope. He didn't hurry. He had learned that few things were worth hurrying for. Tall, blond, heavily muscled, bronzed, wearing only white shorts and flip-flops, he looked so much like Josh that people called them "the twins." But Jim was five years older, knew more, had been more "theres" and done more "thats" than Josh. He was the leader of their two-man team.
"Where away?" he asked as Josh approached him.
"About ten degrees right of the entrance to the channel," Josh said. "May just be a log, but we ought to look."
Jim settled the scope on the wide rail of the office veranda and swung it toward the area Josh had indicated.
"Yep," he said. "Life raft. Nobody in it as far as I can see, but we have to check. You want to go in the jet-ski?"
"Sure," said Josh. "I'll wave if it's worth your bringing the boat." He set off jogging toward their little pier.
So Angela, who had given up hope the day before, was rescued.
They put her in the narrow cot in what they called "the guest house," a tiny hut reserved for whatever unlucky pilot was stuck with the duty of making their monthly supply delivery.
"She's a mess," said Josh. "We'd better get on the horn and get her on a plane back to the hospital."
"Nah, she's not that bad," said Jim. "I've seen people in her shape before. Sunburned, but we can ice her down twenty minutes at a time and take care of that. She's undoubtedly dehydrated, but there was still water in that can on the raft, so she was OK until she passed out, and that obviously wasn't long ago. We can get her over that fast. Maybe a little touch of heat exhaustion. Otherwise probably nothing wrong at all. She was lucky. And she's a looker. That long hair is going to be beautiful when it dries, and look at those legs! And the tits. They may not be huge, but they're gorgeous. And you want to send her off to the hospital?"
"But people are worrying about her right now," Josh said. "We can't just keep her here."
"I guess we'll have to," Jim said. "The comm radio went out just before you called me." Jim was lying, but only a little--the radio would go out within a very few minutes. He would see to it.
"We could signal with the emergency beacon," Josh said.
"Don't be so fucking creative," Jim said. "How long since you've talked to a woman?"
"Uh... nearly six months, I guess, the same as you. What are you driving at?"
"She'll be good company in a couple of days," Jim said, "and in a week I can get the radio going again. Why make a federal case out of it?"
"Uh... yeah. I kind of see what you mean."
Jim was right. Forty-eight hours later Angela was still shedding skin, which made her itch a little, but otherwise she felt pretty well. She was still weak, but she was up and around. She was wearing a pair of Josh's shorts, tied with a nylon line, and a T-shirt that made her feel like she was inside a tent. She knew Jim and Josh could see her nipples where they touched the light cotton, but she wore what she had to wear. The shirt, slacks and underwear she had worn when they found her was in shreds, they'd said, so they'd thrown it away.
She was everlastingly grateful to Jim and Josh, who not only had pulled her out of the ocean but had nursed her through a bad night and day. And been perfect gentlemen throughout. On top of that, she thought smiling, both of them were, well, very attractive. To say the least. Big, tough, blond muscle men like the ones she'd dreamed of, not the ones she actually knew. She remembered a fleeting thought she'd had more than once about being tied to a tree while men caressed her naked body and threatened her with their, their things. She smiled. Her libido obviously had come back just as fast as the rest of her, but, of course, nothing could come of it. She could hardly select one of them and make a play for him--it would be unjust. Nor would she--she was faithful to her live-in boyfriend. But she could fantasize a little.
Only two things bothered her. First, she was quite embarrassed when she thought of the way Josh and Jim had had to carry her to the bathroom from her cot when she was still too weak to get there by herself. She had a vague memory of one of them helping her through the door. But the second thing was far more troubling--she had to get back home. Her friend, perhaps future husband, George, was going to be worried sick when he found out she was missing. With luck, that wouldn't happen for a week or so, but, all the same, she was worried. Her job would wait--she had been traveling in Africa studying patterns of post-colonial culture, and the courses she was to teach wouldn't start until October. Nobody worried about assistant professors in the summer, especially brand new assistant professors. If only she hadn't decided to go home early, to take an old, small Russian airliner chartered to an African company, if she'd paid more for a trans-Atlantic flight rather than going the long way to save money, she'd have been in a different plane, and would never have heard of this island in the Indian Ocean. But she indeed was on the wrong plane, one that had crashed in the sea. She had survived by some miracle, she was on the island, and she wasn't going home until Jim got the radio repaired.
Meanwhile, she would eat, sleep, and get her strength back. She would explore this tiny, idyllic island while she waited for Jim to repair the radio and arrange to send her back to civilization. She could never get enough of the surf and sand--they were luxuries she had seldom been privileged to enjoy.
Three days later, the fifth of her stay on Itak Island, she wandered down to the office after her daily siesta. She was surprised to see that both Jim and Josh were there. Usually one or the other would be out somewhere, doing mysterious things with instruments whose uses she could not begin to fathom. They had told her they had to be here, and nowhere else, to study something about variations in weather patterns caused by ocean currents. But on this day they seemed to be waiting for her.
"Hi, guys," she said as she eased the screen door shut behind her.
"Hi, Angela," said Jim. "We've been waiting for you. We can still get news from outside, even if we can't talk back. And there's a tsunami out there somewhere. It may hit us."
"I've heard of those," said Angela, suddenly frightened. "Big waves? That wash everything away?"
"We hope not everything," said Josh. "We just don't know."
"We're not sure of anything," said Jim. "All we have are some sketchy reports-- ships that reported seeing the thing hit an island, and a mid-ocean earthquake report. But we have to act as if it's coming and it's bad. So we're going to hole up in this building for a while--it should be tough enough to stand anything but the biggest one."
"We might die," said Angela, turning pale.
"We could," said Jim, "but it won't be because we didn't try to stay alive. There's a basement here that ought not to be flooded completely. We're in the middle of a lot of very shallow water, so if we keep a sharp lookout we ought to see the wave coming in time to dive down there, and we have some scuba gear we can put on if we have to. Then, when we get through it--we will, you know--we have a lot of emergency stuff, like food, water and blankets, stashed in an underground, watertight storage unit. We'll be OK. I'm telling you. We'll make it. Anyhow, we want you to help us move some stuff from one of the outbuildings--books, charts, old reports, a lot of stuff we've stored there. Would you mind?"
"Of course not," said Angela. "Doing anything is better than just sitting around waiting to die." She was frightened. Really, really scared, more than she could remember being before, even when she woke up in a boat with no land in sight. Jim's reassurances helped, but could she trust him? She wasn't sure. But she wasn't just going to give up.
.... There is more of this story ...