All characters belong to Stephenie Meyer
Dollybigmomma is the beta queen, and she totally rocks Emmett's POV this chapter! Love her, it's impossible not to!
Chapter 37 – Three's a Crowd
I hurried to the beach and glanced back toward the mountains. I could say I had been up there and saw them coming, so I came down to meet them. I recognized a few of them as they hollered out greetings to me.
"Hey there, doctor man, how's the island life treating you?"
I shrugged. "Not bad, actually," I said running my hand over my face. It only had a light scruff on it, because I had been able to shave regularly now.
"We gots you big prizes!" another man said hopping out of the dingy. "You be nickered to sees it all."
I wasn't sure what he meant by that, but he was picturing several pieces of medical equipment. I just smiled and nodded in agreement.
A few minutes later, Captain Tagger was directing the unloading of several boxes and had a canopy set up. They brought in a false floor and rolled in an operating table and cart.
"This should work as your office, shouldn't it?" the captain asked, and I nodded in agreement.
Four guys brought the guy with his insides torn up out and laid him on the table. "He's still doing bad, doc," one said.
"Has he been running a fever?" I asked.
"Nah, he be fine wit de pain killerz. He still moanin' all night long, doe. Is he dyin', sur?" the man with the odd accent asked, worrying about his friend.
"I don't know. I need to take a look. Is he taking his antibiotics like I prescribed?"
"Aye, sur, he barely able to dink a fing, doe."
I opened some of the boxes, looking at all the different medical supplies they had brought. "Is Chauncey still around?" I asked. "I could use a hand."
The guys looked at each other nervously, but finally nodded yes. The general consensus was that no one was to go near her. The captain was pissed to find she had been fucking the whole crew. No one was even allowed to speak her name. But the odd-accent fellow called her out.
"Chauncey, ole' doc need a hand!"
They stood back and parted the way as she was escorted into the tent with her brother and his friend. I was surprised to find the captain had followed as well. I saw there was a huge gash across Chauncey's face. I frowned, learning from their thoughts that she had been attacked from what I could make out. The man was thrown overboard after a bad fight. The captain was pissed at losing a man and wanted to maroon her here with me.
"I'll fix your cut in a moment, but I need you to get an I-V started on this man. I suspect he's severely dehydrated. I need him hydrated before I can check for mortis intestine and blockages. It's common in abdominal wounds of this nature."
Another guy opened a box and pushed a small cart toward me. "Can you use this, doc?" he asked and my eyes lit up. It was an ultrasound machine.
"Yes, I could, but do we have some place to plug it in?" I asked.
The captain snapped his fingers, and several men came forward carrying a generator and a cord. "This should do it," the captain said sternly. I could see he was still pissed at Chauncey. Apparently, she had been held as a prisoner onboard since the attack for her supposed safety, and she had only been let out to help me.
They started up the generator, and I quickly used the ultrasound machine to examine the man on the table. He was in bad shape. From what I could tell, some of his flesh was dying and not healing properly. I also found a dead section of intestine. They were lucky to get him to me in time. I had Chauncey knock him out for me, and I quickly got to work reopening his wound and removing the damaged section of intestine while cutting back the dead flesh. I quickly sewed him back up as well as I could. His wound was still not doing well, so I asked a couple of the guys to go to the creek and find some leeches. They were grossed out, but the captain wouldn't let them back down.
I started him on a heavy antibiotic, and when the men returned with the leeches, they were surprised that I handled them spryly as I cleaned them up and carefully placed them around the barely living skin. "I need to get his circulation going, and these are the safest way after a surgery. He needs to stay hydrated, so I'd like to keep him on an I-V drip for a couple of days and make sure he finishes off his antibiotics."
I started cleaning the cut on Chauncey's face and pulled out a needle to numb it. I warned her that there would be a little pinch, and then I waited a moment for the anesthetic to kick in.
"Did the fellow with the bad eye get his antibiotics as well? I'd like to see how he's coming along," I said asking for my next patient, trying to get everyone treated as fast as possible, so I could get back to my Bella.
The friend of Chauncey's brother stepped out of the tent and called for the men needing to be seen to line up, while I quickly put a few stitches in her face. "This should help it not to scar," I said trying to distract her from my stitching.
Once I finished up with her, I called the next man in and checked his eye. "Are you still taking the medicine I prescribed?" He nodded yes. "I'm going to give you another shot just to be sure. This is a bad infection, and I'd rather you not have to lose your eye."
He gave me a toothless grin, thrilled there might be a chance he'd be able to see out of it again. He'd been sure he'd lose it and end up with a cliché eye patch. I gave him a quick shot and had him sit down, so I could watch him and make sure he didn't have a reaction to what I'd given him.
I saw a few other guys and treated some minor injuries of the others that had been injured in the mountain lion attack. One man came forward sporting a bad fever, and when I examined him, I found that his appendix was tender.
"I think I should take out his appendix to be on the safe side. If it ruptures, he'll most likely die at sea."
They brought in a table so I could work on the other man without having to move my first patient. I quickly knocked him out and made a tiny incision, popping out his inflamed appendix. It was much easier to work with actual surgical instruments. "He shouldn't be doing any lifting or strenuous work for at least six weeks," I said as I stitched him up.
"Say, you gots kitchen duty now, boy," the heavily-accented man laughed as my patient came back around.
The captain agreed and sent the man off to the boat.
I had spent all day working on these men and seeing to their needs. It was later that night, as I was getting ready to pack up, that the captain came back with the brother of Chauncey. "I want you to keep the girl with you," Captain Tagger said in more of a command than a question.
The brother was upset and thought he was selling his sister in exchange for medical help. "I believe she wishes to stay with her brother," I said looking at the fuming man.
"It's not up to her. She's caused too much dissention in the ranks, and I want her off my ship. I told them I'd leave her in the first safe port, and you can't get any safer than here. It's deserted."
I looked at the man and then at the captain. "I'll have to speak with Bella first," I said softly.
The captain nodded and walked out, leaving me with the brother, who was staring at me confused. "You really think I'd be so content if I were here alone?" I asked quietly.
"Will she be safe with you?"
"Yes, well, as safe as anyone is on this island, but she'd be safe," I said trying to reassure the man.
I got the impression that if I'd told him his sister would in no way be safe, he'd fight the captain and get them both killed. Captain Tagger wasn't budging on her staying, and I could tell from his mind that he was ready to toss them both overboard with the lost crewmate. They had been saved by the brother's friend. I had learned from their thoughts that the brother and he were a whole hell of a lot more than just buddies, but that wouldn't fly with the rest of the crewmen.
He nodded and walked out. I guessed that was his acceptance.
It was about an hour later, as I was changing out the last bag of antibiotics on the unconscious man, that I heard whimpering. I quickly stepped outside. "What's going on?" I asked and then realized it was Chauncey, and her brother had her by her shoulders.
"See, you'll be safe with him. He was coming out when he heard you. Now come on, I'm walking you to your new home."
I looked at the pair stunned, and then I noticed there was a large cart with several big boxes. There were all kinds of food provisions and supplies, and one of the cases was marked toilet paper. Bella would be thrilled.
"You ready to go, doc?" he asked.
"Beau, please," Chauncey begged. She was actually in love with the captain.
"Captain is going to be tossing you next, girl. I won't be having it. You need to go. I'll be back for you. You'll be safe. Now let's go," he said grabbing her arm roughly, and I realized I wouldn't have a chance to discuss this with Bella.
I led them to the top of the cave and stopped. They looked around for a moment confused. "You can't let a soul know this is here, do you understand? I won't risk my family. I'll take care of your sister as if she was my own, but if your carelessness leads to the loss of my family, I will not hesitate to kill you. I'm a doctor, and believe me; I know more ways to kill a man than any pirate does."
He nodded in acceptance and actually took comfort in my defending my family so strongly. I moved the rock, revealing the handle of my home and called down to Bella.
"Bella, love, we have company."
"Edward, is everything okay?" She quickly lit up the fire, lighting the cave. I made my way down the ladder, followed by Chauncey and then her brother, Beau.
"This is Chauncey and her brother, Beau," I introduced and Bella stepped forward, shaking their hands and introducing herself.
Polly flew to my shoulder, awakened by the light of the fire. "This is Polly," I smiled.
"Good boy!" she squawked making Bella giggle.
"Off to bed, Polly." I sent her back to her perch. "Well, this is the main room. Jacob's room is over there. Bella and I sleep in that alcove. I'll look for another one for you in the morning, when we can get more light in this place."
"Who's Jacob?" Beau asked nervously.
"He's our son," Bella answered without hesitation. "He's just over a year old."
Beau smiled and nodded his head; sure that Jacob would not be a threat to his sister.
Sam came sniffing out of the alcove. "This is our dog, Sam," I said and called Sam over. He didn't seem to like Chauncey, but I told her he was a wild dog, so it took some time for him to warm up to people.
"Little Bastard," Polly squawked on her perch.
"Oh, and there's Oliver; thanks for reminding me, Polly," I said smiling, and she tipped her head in my direction. "He's a little troublemaking monkey. He sleeps with Jacob and Sam in Jake's room. So that's everyone," I said looking around.
"Well, we have some chickens and goats, but we can introduce you to them in the morning," Bella said. "Would you like me to show you to the bathroom?"
Chauncey just nodded and they walked off. She still seemed stunned and stuck in disbelief that this was all happening.
Beau smiled as Bella put an arm around his sister and led her away, talking about making her a mattress and finding her a room of her own. I heard Jacob start to fuss. Sam moving must have woken him. "Just a moment, please." I excused myself to get Jake, and when I came back, I found Beau sitting by the fire with his face in his hands.
"Bathsard!" Jake squealed.
"Ah, do me a favor and don't mention that to the girls. I don't think Bella knows he picked up my name for Oliver yet."
Beau started laughing, "Sure thing."
"You need to sleep, little man," I spoke to Jacob.
"I'm going to bring down the supplies," Beau said just as the girls came walking back in.
"I'll take him, honey," Bella said taking the baby from my arms, "That way you can help Beau bring in her things."
I nodded and followed Beau out, and when we reached the surface, Beau stopped me. "You're a lucky man."
I nodded. "I am."
He smiled at me, and we got to work. Another person in the cave would be difficult, especially another woman.
For some reason, I was not looking forward to this.
Alice and Captain Kook were on their third round of Blow the Man Down, when we finally pulled into a little port just off the tip of the Florida coast. I couldn't wait to hit the dock and give my ears a rest.
"Drop anchor, Officer Cullen, we be needin' provisions and a run at ye ole' swill shoppe for a keg o' rum!" our illustrious captain shouted.
Great, as if he wasn't already off his fucking rocker sober. Juiced up, I'd bet he'd demand I rowed the damn boat to the island with the invisible oars only he'd be able to see.
"Remember, Pirate King Captain Whitlock, Officer Cullen and I are going for supplies, and you were going to go over the ship and make sure everything is ship shape and get the fuel tanks filled, isn't that right?" Alice asked and the captain nodded. "Alright then, Officer Cullen, let's be headin' off for them provisions then," Alice said in her cheesy pirate voice, smiling at the captain, who was grinning back at her as if she'd told him she knew the way to Atlantis. After spending some time with her, I wouldn't doubt it for a minute.
I jumped up on the dock and helped Alice out of the boat, and we headed into the little town that was near the bay. She was skipping along, singing and dancing to whatever tune was playing in that spiky little head of hers. Curiosity finally got the better of me, and I just had to ask.
"Is he really crazy?" I asked Alice.
She just smiled up at me and winked. "That remains to be seen, now doesn't it, Officer Cullen? But isn't this so much fun? How often do we grownups get to play in the fantasy world of pirates and go off on fantastical voyages?"
I just shook my head. I wasn't so sure Captain Clueless was playing anymore. But he was our only resource right now for getting to my brother, so I guessed I was just going to have to hope Tinkerbelle here could sprinkle enough fairy dust on me to get me off the ground to keep up with them.
We found a grocery store and loaded up with enough non-perishable food and fresh water to stock a cruise ship for a week. Who knew they sold canned bread, crackers and cookies? Apparently, this grocer was used to sailors and stocked MRE's like the military guys lived on. Pretty cool if you asked me. Alice also insisted we buy a case of disposable diapers and wipes. She said it would be worth it when Bella thanked us, whatever that meant. As we passed the liquor store, Alice made to go buy some rum, but I stopped her.
"Alice, do you really think he needs any more help going off the deep end? I think the dude is already treading some seriously murky water here. What say we try to help get him back in the boat?" She reluctantly nodded, and we decided to forgo the booze. Although I did consider slipping a bottle of something strong into my own back pocket for when they started that singing again.
We made it back to the boat to find the captain splayed flat of his ass, cussing at the top of his lungs at the bird for taking a dump on the deck, which he had slipped in and smeared bird shit all down the back of one leg and on the seat of his pants. I was smart and bit my tongue to keep from busting out laughing and making a snide remark about it really being a poop deck. He'd probably make me swab it, and bird shit wasn't my idea of fun.
With our provisions finally stowed away, we got down to the business of finding the island. Despite being a total nut job, the captain knew his stuff when it came to navigation, and after studying the maps and listening to Alice as she rambled on about more pirates and crap, they settled on a direction, and we decided to set sail in the morning.
I sat on the deck and watched the sunset over the little harbor town as Alice and Jasper headed below. I made a quick call to Rose to let her know I was looking after her crazy sister. She assured me that they were about ready to blow that damned judge's crooked ass sky high, and I so wanted to be there to see it when the shit started flying.
I wasn't much on praying most days, but I said a quick one for my brother and Bella in hopes that we'd find them soon and all this mess would be over. I missed Edward and so did my knuckles. That damned crazy head of bronze hair had gone way too long without a serious noogie rub from big Em.
But most of all, I just missed my brother.
A/N: Thanks for reading and please review!