Title: Shark Point
Pairing: Connor / Lindsay
Special Guest: Me! (Seems like I love being a marine fauna expert!)
Summary: People are attacked by a harmless animal in the sea of a small island.
Notes: You don´t want to know when I had the idea for this story: I have been surfing again on my all-time favorites Web site to shop. But not that this has something to do with bloodthirsty sharks...!
Happy Valentine's Day! I know it´ll still last one week until February 14th, but…
A little black boat struggled through the turbulent waves of the sea in front of the small island Shark Point. On board of the dinghy were two men: each of them was wearing a diving-suit and they had big, heavy oxygen tanks. One of them put on his flippers. The water seemed to be very cold this time of the year. It was only February and Shark Point was not even near the equator.
Two years ago, was an old tanker sunk near the island and the men had heard would have settled corals there. Finally, it was their job to investigate the corals: The University of Sydney had sent them.
They put on their diving goggles, dropped into the sea and swam slowly into the depths. The water was very clouded today, but they still had good visibility. They were already diving in much more dirtier waters.
The old wreck appeared in front of them. They took photographs with an underwater camera and while they were busy with their work, they didn´t notice when a giant shadow approached. The shadow circled the ship at a safe distance, watching the strange visitors and when he became convinced they present no danger or resistance, he accelerated his tempo and the giant shot in a furious pace to the two divers.
At first the men were frightened when they saw the huge animal, but when they saw the rough, spotted skin and his wide mouth and the small fins, they calmed down. Such animals were generally peaceful.
They were taught a lesson, when the huge Whale Shark suddenly uncovered a series of sharp teeth and continued swimming to them in a rapid speed. He grabbed one of the divers´ legs and dragged him into the depths. Shocked, the second diver wanted to swim to the surface as fast as possible. He had almost reached the water surface as a type of blood cloud rose to him from the deep. Because he knew what this meant, he was careful, not to pass on the spot.
He turned around briefly and saw the dark shadows had begun to catch up to him. The rescuing boat came closer, but at that moment something grabbed him on the lower leg and a sharp pain shot through him. He also was drawn in the depths by the Whale Shark.
This was not the first incident in the Ocean off the small island of Shark Point. Last week a fishing boat was attacked by an unknown animal, people could speak of luck the ship was not sunk. Past weekend a woman disappeared without a trace at the beach and a surfer who admittedly underestimated the chill of the water, also disappeared and wasn´t seen again.
The fatal accidents in the sea became more frequently.
A friend and almost-relative of Cooper lived on the little island. Actually, the team had some days off and Cooper had asked if they wanted to fish with him. Neither Connor, nor Peter and Lindsay wanted to join him and so they were grateful when they heard about the incident, which occurred here.
"What irony," said Peter, when he took a laptop bag out of the car, "The name of the island seems to be program." They had just arrived.
Shark Point was a small island at Oregon´s coast. About two thousand people lived on the island, which was not far away from mainland. It wasn´t a tropical paradise: You hadn´t to travel for a long time until you reach a small town, which belonged to Washington State. The farther north you drove, the cooler it was at sea.
Cooper knew Sandy Reynolds since she was little and if he was right, she was now twenty-three years old. Her father had studied with him and he had seen her several times when she was a young child, but they talked on the phone almost weekly about their work and so Cooper had learned about the situation.
Even in childhood she had been interested in marine animals and so it hadn´t surprised him she studied oceanography. Once Cooper thought she would rather belong to the people who really wanted to fly in space one day: He had heard his old friend often talking on the phone that his then eight-year-old daughter wanted to be an astronomer. Now he was glad Sandy had decided to study the marine fauna, because her knowledge in this area would help them very much. Currently, Sandy took care of a small Shark Reef Aquarium on the island. It housed some harmless shark species, which were kept there for observation purposes.
The team reached a building which was painted on the outside with fishes. Next to the front door was a mail box. Peter already rang the doorbell and no one answered. "Nobody´s at home," he said.
"There's a boat," Cooper noted behind the house was a jetty where now an old yacht anchored. A young woman with long, red hair jumped off the ship and rushed to the pier. "Uncle Cooper!," she exclaimed excitedly. Cooper was actually not her real uncle, but he and her father had been good friends. Sandy was happy to see him and hugged Cooper. Then she met the team. She was happy her uncle had come to Shark Point.
"You said, strange things happen here," recalled Cooper.
Together they entered the building. Inside there was a huge aquarium in which many colorful fishes were swimming, the ground was covered with corals. Sandy reported a dead diver was flushed on the beach a few days ago and the pathological examination revealed the bite marks were part of a very special animal.
On the way to the office they had to walk under a tunnel. They watched how a Hammerhead Shark glided elegantly through the water over their heads. Finally they reached the office, the walls were covered all over with pictures, showing sea animals. The office was nice, but pretty chaotic. Sandy went to a shelf, took a folder and opened it. She showed them some photos she had taken.
"The size and shape of the jaw suggests a Whale Shark. Moreover, some fishermen saw a Whale Shark outside in the ocean", she put the file on the table in front of them, "I have never heard that Whale Sharks have teeth."
"Statistically, most people are attacked by Tiger Sharks and Bull Sharks," said Cooper, "Whale Sharks are harmless to humans."
"I know," Sandy said, "In February it´s too cold for Whale Sharks in these waters. The coast of Oregon isn´t even their distribution area."
She knew it couldn´t make any sense why a seemingly harmless Whale Shark would attack people.
In the evening a terrible storm raged over the island and in the small town was no hotel, but only on the mainland. The team was more or less forced to stay at the Shark Reef Aquarium. After she had cooked for her guests and they had dinner (where Peter dared to ask if her red hair color was real or just dyed), Sandy decided to feed her animals and she taught Lindsay how to feed the sharks with the aid of gripping pliers. When they fed the animals with fish, Lindsay noted one of the Hammerhead Sharks had a huge scar on it´s body and she asked how this injury came.
Sandy explained the Hammerhead named "Sushi" and she had rescued the shark girl when she was a baby half dead from the Sea of Japan, after a whale hunter cut the shark out of his fishing net and throw it back into the water, bleeding. Since then, "Sushi" lived here.
Lindsay still dealt with the question why a peaceful animal suddenly lost the nerve and killed people. "There is only one reason why an animal would be so aggressive," suspected Lindsay and Sandy was excited to hear the answer, "It lost a pup... You have said that Sushi nearly drowned in a fishing net if this man had not pulled her out of the water."
That sounded logical. But she had not heard that a young dead Whale Shark was found on the beach or drifting on the ocean. Such spectacular event couldn´t be hidden long.
They decided to talk about something else and Sandy asked if the guest room was fine, which Lindsay had received. Lindsay nodded. The room was very nice. Connor, Cooper, and Peter had to stay on the couch in the living room or office because the lack of space. Lindsay suggested it was very scary in the aquarium at night. The water in the glass tank was even ablaze with light at night. "As long as Peter does not come up with the idea to swim alone with the sharks, there´s no need to be scared... And he should keep away from the seal dummies," Sandy suggested. On the wall two black seal decoys leaned, which were often used as a toy or for hunt training. When Lindsay saw the decoys, Sandy clapped her hands like a seal and squealed like one. They laughed and immediately Sushi in the pool threw her tail back and forth restlessly. She knew the seal sound.
Finally they were done with shark feeding. They cleaned up the empty buckets and Sandy said if they liked to, they could dive tomorrow with the innocuous Lemon Sharks which lived in the aquarium.
In the morning during the breakfast Sandy received a call from a colleague who observed a group of Orcas, which moved to the north. Her colleague sounded very excited and he told her he found the matriarch of the group of whales floating dead in the ocean.
"Are you sure it was the matriarch of the group?", She asked and gave her guests coffee.
"Yes," replied the colleague and he said he kept the animals apart by their dorsal fins. Sandy of course knew and she had learned in the study the Orca Whale was the largest mammalian in the sea. When her father was alive, they took a trip out of the ocean and had observed how an Orca Whale attacked a Great White Shark and killed him. Afterwards he told her that Orcas love to eat shark liver. Which animal could be able to kill an adult female Killer Whale?
After breakfast they left with Queen Miranda, the old yacht, to visit the colleague who brought the matriarch of his group of whales to the beach. On the way they passed a rocky sand bank. Sandy looked at it anxiously. "Actually, a huge seal colony is living on Grand Banks," she said. But now the sand was deserted. Since she lived here, there was no day on which hundreds of seals weren´t resting here or taking care of their pups.
After another half hour, they reached a secluded beach on the coast. They had seen the black sea mammals from a distance. Sandy slowed Queen Miranda´s engine, anchored and all came off the ship. They saw the dead Orca Whale: On the right side was a huge bite, the flesh hung in shreds from the body. In addition, part of a pectoral fin was bitten off. Above the carcass already hungry seagulls circled and it reeked of dead fish. They took photographs of the dead animal and returned home. Sandy immediately wanted to develop the pictures. It took almost the whole evening, so she asked Peter to feed the Lemon Sharks with gripping pliers. Lindsay should help him, because she had helped to feed the two Hammerheads.
The photos were done after dinner when the team was watching "Jaws" on TV. As if there wouldn´t have been enough shark attacks here!
Sandy told in passing that her colleague, the Whale- Guy, had called again. He had told her the bite marks on the dead whale were identically with the marks found on the diver. "That means it's always the same animal that attacks people?", asked Cooper and Sandy nodded, "But what I´m worried about is: Whale Sharks usually eat fish and plankton. They never attack wild Orca Whales. Normally a Whale Shark aspirated food and filtered it through the gills. A close relative of the Whale Shark, the Basking Shark, was swimming through the ocean with wide open mouth and let the water flow through its gills. From this scene was even a picture at the entrance of the aquarium.
Actually, she could not believe a Whale Shark should be responsible for all this. Should really ...
"We interrupt the broadcast for a special report," suddenly a newscaster on TV said, "This evening, tourists in Port Reyes found a group of dead Whale Shark pups. Because the young animals belong to a new form of Whale Sharks, the dead bodies were brought to the Marine Research Institute in San Diego. Oceanographers figured out the young animals were attacked by a huge Orca."
"You idiots!", Sandy grumbled about the messaging people and Cooper was surprised by this expression of his niece, "It was a shark, a harmless shark." She went to the phone and the team watched how she spoke with another colleague. She asked him to make impressions of the bite marks and tell her the results. Then she went out.
"What´s wrong with her?", asked Peter confused and Cooper had an idea: "What would be worse: a male or a female Shark Wale that kills all those people and animals?"
The answer was simple: a male animal would be worse because it could reproduce faster.
"The problem is: Whale Sharks give birth up to 300 pups in one pregnancy."
In the background Peter muttered a quiet "Oh God." He couldn´t imagine another 300 beasts outside in the ocean.
"You think, our Whale Shark is female?", asked Lindsay.
"We have to expect that." After all, the newsreader on television said the pups were a new form of Whale Sharks. Cooper thought his suspicions to the end. If the animal was actually female, this would explain the mutation of the pups. They probably had not survived because they were not pure-bred animals... or because the mother had attacked her own pups. Cooper remembered that the mother might have been no pure bred. He believed it was a hybrid, trying to reproduce. However, he had heard of Tiger hybrids bred in zoos, but they were infertile. He wondered where came the mother from?
"Excuse me?", shouted a man from a shipping company at the next evening. A Part of the team was still busy with the evaluation of bite marks and Peter came to the closed door. "I've got a delivery for the Shark Reef Aquarium," said the man, pointed to a huge box and handed Peter a note, he should sign. Peter then managed the box alone into the main building´s office and noticed how hard it was.
"What's in the box?", asked Peter. He wasn´t in the mood to spend another night at the aquarium´s office: Last night he got up and had been looking for the toilet when he walked past the brightly lit shark pools. He found it almost scary to watch the sharks.
"Looks like a buoy," said Lindsay, when Peter had unpacked the freight. She thought, it wasn´t right to open the package.
"To be honest, this is a device which´s part of a system that sharks stay away from the island. The Research Institute in San Diego sends the buoys and they will soon be placed around the entire island. These should be placed here till Grand Banks." Sandy hoped the buoy would help. The buoys should send out a signal that sharks stay away from the island, but Sandy did not believe it would really help. Moreover, the signals were dangerous for the Dolphins, which lived in the sea.
The office phone rang and Lindsay, who sat behind the desk, answered. "Shark Reef Aquarium at Shark Point", she introduced herself. Then she handed the phone to her hostess. "Someone named Professor Madison is on the phone," she whispered. She hadn´t heard for a long time from the old professor and first Sandy thanked him for sending the buoys. Professor Madison, however, liked the sound of his own voice, that's why the conversation lasted nearly an hour.
"I hope these kind of defense system works", Connor said. Then he asked when they wanted to test the buoys out on the ocean. "Not today," said Cooper, "One of the shark tanks is leaking and before it´s totally broken, the shark has to move into another pool." It was the pool of a harmless Carpet Shark but because he liked to hide in the sand on the bottom of the pool, it was not easy to find him. So they had no time to intermit the buoys today. In addition, it was already dark outside and cold.
"Can we help you?", asked Lindsay.
"Yes," Cooper nodded, "Let me know when you see the little shark."
Lindsay actually thought they could do something useful, but she decided to help Cooper. She dragged a black plastic bucket to the defective shark tank. In front of them were already several water-filled buckets. Through a window she saw next to the old yacht behind the house a small motor boat in the ocean. She turned to Connor, who had received the special mission by Cooper to help her to catch the shark. Connor brought a net with which they should catch the shark.
"Connor, what do you think if we place the defense system- buoy? Cooper said we should help. Let´s do something."
The new pool for the little Carpet Shark was soon finished: it was filled with salt water, the sand floor was thick enough so the shark could dig it. Now only the resident of the new pool was missing. Cooper waited for Connor and Lindsay to bring the shark and because he waited more and more, he decided to look why it took so long. He was almost frightened a little, when he saw the black plastic bucket next to the old aquarium. He also noticed that the boat was missing. Cooper went back to Peter, who was sitting in the office and he was talking on the phone.
"Little Leslie is gone!"
Little Leslie was a small boat and it belonged, like the yacht Queen Miranda, to the vessels of the aquarium. They immediately had an idea where the boat was and who was on board.
Meanwhile, the little boat sped through the water and the engine hummed and growled loudly. When they reached Grand Banks, Connor turned off the engine so the boat wouldn´t crash on the rocks, which were on the sand bank. He stretched for a rock and one moment later Little Leslie was pushed to side. Luckily, Connor stayed on board, but Little Leslie came closer to a sharp stone edge. Of course it was clear to Lindsay who or better what moved the boat and she grabbed Connor's hand and at the last moment she jumped off the boat with him. She slipped on the rocks, half covered with water, she fell and felt a terrible pain in her head and wrist. Connor helped her out of the water and they remained sitting together on the stone. Their invader from the depths pushed the boat out to sea then returned to them and in front of them it opened a gigantic mouth. It was almost like it wanted to intimidate them with the razor-sharp teeth. Finally, the animal disappeared in the depths, but it was too dangerous to swim out to the drifting boat.
Connor helped Lindsay to get up and went with her to the highest point of the sand bank. They run for shelter behind a large rock from the elements. "Your jacket is wet," Connor noted, as he leaned her against the cold stone. In addition, she had injured her head, she was bleeding. He asked her to take off her wet jacket and gave her his jacket.
He was glad that a backpack with the equipment could be saved. The signal pistol would hopefully help them. Because there was no wood on the sand bank, they couldn´t make any fire.
"Do you have a cell phone with you?", he asked, Lindsay nodded. She pulled the phone from her jacket pocket, but it was broken. It had not survived the crash on the rocks.
"What about the radio? And the buoy, where is the buoy?", she asked. Connor told her she should guess where it was and she knew the answer: Little Leslie and the buoy were floating on the ocean.
"Why didn´t you tell me they want to set the buoy?", Sandy was almost insane. How foolish it was to go out on the ocean at night on a motor boat!
"We haven´t known it!", Peter defended.
"The buoy´s technology isn´t ready yet!"
"You mean the device is just a test?", asked Cooper in horror, his niece tore her hair in despair and asked him what he thought, what Professor Madison wanted to discuss with her for one hour. She made her way to Queen Miranda. There was a radio. Maybe she could reach Connor and Lindsay.
Connor had lost all sense of time. It seemed to him, as he and Lindsay waited for hours till they were finally rescued by someone. He hoped Peter and the others had noticed they haven´t returned until now. Lindsay shivered a little bit. Her forehead was leaning on his shoulder, but she was still breathing calmly and evenly. "Is your headache very bad?", Connor wanted to know worried.
"It's tolerable," Lindsay replied wearily, "The cold is almost unpleasant." Because of her downfall into the ocean her jacked was soaked with water and her sweater was a little bit wet, too. It was nice from Connor to give her his jacket after he had escaped unscathed, when the shark rudely separated them from Little Leslie. "Aren´t you cold?", he heard her voice.
"A little," but Connor remembered the fleece blanket what was in the backpack and grabbed it. Lindsay thought she shouldn´t use the blanket alone, so she threw her arms around him and clung to him. She heard him laugh softly and she asked him why he did it. Their breath formed clouds in the air.
"We both have to strand on a sand bank and a shark has to attack us before we come a little bit closer."
"What's so funny?", her voice was very gentle when she snuggled to him under the blanket.
"Nothing... Actually... What are your favorite flowers?"
"White roses. Why do you want to know that?"
"Because my next question would be, what I have to do so you go out for dinner with me. Just you and me."
She hadn´t expected that he would flirt with her. "If that's your style, to ask me here on a date, then it´s quite weird," she thought for a brief moment, "You have to protect me from the shark. I think then I would go out with you." She felt like he gave her a gentle kiss on the ear and then muttered to her she should choose a nice restaurant for their first date. Lindsay giggled, but that pleasant sound stopped, when they saw the huge Whale Shark appeared in the ocean ant then it disappeared in the water into the depths of the sea.
"Can Whale Sharks actually jump out of the water?", asked Lindsay. Her head and her arm ached like crazy, but at least the blood in her wound had dried a bit.
"Unfortunately I don´t know," Connor answered her questions very honestly. But he could not imagine that the animal was able to balance a clumsy body out of the ocean. However, he did know that Great White Sharks were able to jump out of the water until he read a book about a small island named Seal Island on the coast of South Africa.
Connor felt like Lindsay´s head was getting heavier and her lashes were gently tickling his neck. Her eyelids fluttered. He could not let her sleep in this cold. Therefore, he called her name and she told him how tired she was. "I can´t stay awake," she murmured.
"You have to... It's extremely cold and your open wound ...", worried he petted her cheek, "You might never wake up."
Of course she understood his concern, but she was really tired. "Hold me", she whispered and snuggled up to him. She knew there was no escape from this situation, if they were not found in time.
It took almost two hours until Sandy in the interior of the yacht found the buoy´s signal after nobody answered her radio messages. She worried more and more and imagined the wildest stories, why Connor couldn´t answer the radio. Finally, the tracking device beeped in front of her. She printed out a map on which the exact position of the buoy was shown and she assumed the buoy was still on Leslie Little. With the sheet of paper in her hand Sandy ran back to the main house, where Cooper was trying to reach the Coast Guard, Peter spoke to the local police, but they did not feel responsible.
"I was able to locate Little Leslie," she cried, slamming the paper on the table. The boat was located about one mile west of Grand Banks. She told Peter and Cooper, they should get the guns which were stored in a locked cabinet in the basement.
Outside, they prepared Queen Miranda and drove off. They hoped they would not need the guns, but if they had to use them, then they could not prevent it. After all, their friends were in danger.
They had no idea what danger Connor and Lindsay were. They sat still on Grand Banks behind the rock. But suddenly Connor heard a loud splash. He had closed his eyes for a second and when he opened it, he saw the sharp teeth of the Whale Shark and he swallowed them both with one single bite...
"No!", Connor quietly exclaimed and banged with the back of his head against the stone cliff. Relieved, he realized it was just a dream. He and Lindsay were still on Grand Banks. She was sitting right next to him, her head nestled against him. Worried, she looked up at him. Not his nightmare was the reason for her concern, but a different sound that came from the other side of Grand Banks.
"Don´t run away," Connor said to her, got up and walked around the rocks. He did not believe what he saw: The Whale Shark had dug with its huge body a considerable amount of sand and some of the rocks were already plunged into the sea. Connor knew what the animal wanted to do. It probably wanted to dig away the ground under their feet, so they ended up at some point in the natural water and it was able to eat them without much effort.
He went back to Lindsay and sat down beside her. "She is quite intelligent," he told her and reached for the backpack he had with him. In the backpack there was a signal pistol. Because at this time nobody was near Grand Banks, nobody would notice the signal.
"Do you think she´s gonna kill us?", Lindsay asked worried.
"She will try anyway," said Connor and threw his arms around Lindsay, "Are you still tired?"
"No," she shook her head and trembled. But it was getting colder and she suspected the temperature was close to freezing point. "Tell me something... ", asked Lindsay.
"What do you want to hear?", He wondered, how he could cheer her up a little, "I have two older siblings," he said suddenly, "When we were children, we played, we were astronauts. My brothers had placed our mother's kitchen pots on their heads and I thought I could put a huge pitcher on mine. Unfortunately, my head disappeared in the pitcher."
Lindsay laughed softly when he told it.
"... Fortunately, my brother quickly realized in which situation I was. He took a hammer and struck the pitcher and freed me." The cold gnawed relentlessly at their fingers and because it was getting worse, Lindsay clung on to him. "Connor, why´d you ask me if I would like to go out with you?"
"I wanted to do this a long time ago. Maybe I hadn´t enough courage, maybe I did it because it might be possible we don´t survive and then it would only be half as terrible if you don´t want to go out with me."
"How can you say that?", Lindsay sounded horrified. She raised her head and looked at him. The cold wind was blowing a few strands of hair out of her face. She could not imagine that there was any woman who would want to go out with such a courteous, loyal and charming man like he was.
"I'm glad you've said yes," Connor raised his hand gently to touch the cold skin of her cheek. Then he leaned toward her and kissed her. For a moment she forgot where she was and how cold it actually was. She sighed, as they broke the kiss. "You´re a great kisser," she noted and he laughed.
"Can I return that compliment?"
Lindsay blushed and she giggled.
Suddenly they heard a noise on the sea. It sounded like an engine and instantly Connor grabbed the signal pistol. If he doesn´t fire the flare, he never had to do this anymore because they were frozen until tomorrow morning. The bright red ball shot whistling into the sky.
Cooper and Peter were standing with night vision equipment on the bridge of the old boat and they saw the flare. "There!," Peter called and Sandy stopped Queen Miranda's engine. They also saw how the Whale Shark tried to destroy the sand bank. Cooper immediately started to shot at the animal with his shotgun. He hit the shark in back and then it let go Grand Banks and plowed through the water. It swam straight to Queen Miranda. Sandy let out a panicked cry and her uncle fired the shotgun as much as he could. He hit the animal, too, but it did not seem to be impresses. Only when Peter came with another shotgun and hit the animal several times in the eye and forehead, it slowed the speed and it stopped in front of Queen Miranda in the ocean.
With the yacht they pushed the motionless shark up to the Grand Banks. Finally they had to save Connor and Lindsay.
Arriving at Grand Banks, Peter jumped over the railing. "Come on board," he cried and helped Connor and Lindsay to enter the yacht. "We lost the buoy," Connor apologized first.
"Don´t worry. Main thing is you are safe", Sandy said. Then they all were standing side by side at the railing, gazing at the motionless animal. "What´s that?", Lindsay asked, pointing to the green slime which covered the animal´s head. The stuff smelled like a garbage dump.
Even Sandy did not know what it should be, so she went inside and took a cotton swab to take a smear of it. She packed the swab carefully into a plastic container.
"What do we do with it?", Cooper was visibly at a loss and he hoped the animal was knocked out, hopefully forever. But Peter had already an idea: "Go to the bridge of the ship," he said, "Sandy, you start the engine and when I tell you, you drive as fast as you can."
They did what he said: Connor and Cooper helped Lindsay, Sandy started Queen Miranda's engines and Peter went into the interior of the old yacht to get the gas can and the signal pistol he had found. He tipped the contents of the canister over the motionless animal, poured some liquid into his mouth and then reached for a pistol. He called out to Sandy, she should depart immediately and the ship began to move. When they were far enough away from the Whale Shark, Peter aims the pistol at him. The shot had to hit, they had no second rocket. It was aimed at the mouth of the animal, the cartridge fired away and he was lucky: it landed right in between the animal´s teeth.
Queen Miranda rocked uneasily in the sea when the wave of explosion reached the boat and the passengers were holding themselves at the railing when shredded meat parts splashed into the sea. All of a sudden it smelled of blood and Sandy decided to disappear as quickly as possible. She had an idea what the green liquid at the head of the beast was and she told her uncle and Peter about it, who had cleaned up the flare gun and came to her. "I guess, it's toxic waste," she said flatly, "Two years ago in the sea a toxic waste tanker ran aground. Today, there is a beautiful Coral Sea, although the water is too cold." Peter and Cooper also speculated the Whale Shark was involved in this accident, somehow, and the toxic waste substances mutated him in appearance and behavior. And how they should figure out later, the smear by the animal´s skin contained actually a huge part of toxic waste. Peter asked her what they should do next and Cooper suggested to take Connor and Lindsay to hospital. After all, they had spent hours in the freezing cold.
They watched how Lindsay was standing alone at the railing and looked out onto the dark ocean. It was almost like she had to convince herself the Whale Shark was truly dead and couldn´t followed them. Connor came to her. "How are you?", he asked.
"Now that we are safe, I am doing very much better," she said and smiled.
"Fine," he said and put his arm around her waist, "I know the perfect restaurant for our first date. Have you ever been to this small restaurant on the beach of Los Angeles, it´s called Magic Garden?"
"Excellent," said Connor, smiling, "I never been there, too. What do you think, if we go there?"
"Sounds good... Are there any sharks?"
"Some of it will be there, I guess. If you want a place where no sharks live, we must travel to North Pole."
"That wouldn´t be nice... It's too cold," suddenly her headaches were worse and she fell to the ground. Connor caught her before she passed out and saw that her eyelids fluttered. He yelled to Sandy to raise the pressure for Queen Miranda and should go faster, so they reached the mainland. Lindsay lay motionless in his arms ...
Lindsay initially felt very tired and weak, but after one week in hospital she felt better. Her wrist hurt and it was still swollen and the skin was discolored in blue. Her forearm was also broken and the small laceration on her head was scraped up. Because of the concussion she couldn´t remember correctly what happened on Grand Banks and she had to stay in bed a few more days.
Connor was also in hospital and he came to visit her every day. Yesterday she received a visit by Sandy, who told her the press had got wind of the story and some people in Hollywood were planning to make a movie. "You haven´t told me that there´s something between you and Connor," she said, "If it´s not true, you should do something. If things continue as before, Donner will be the name that is written on your grave stone."
"Pardon?", Lindsay was confused.
Sandy reported then today morning a man from Los Angeles was with her and he had questioned about some details. He was director and writer and because the story needed more liveliness, he decided he wanted to include a love story in the film. Likewise, the man shot a few photos of the animals which lived in Sandy´s Shark Reef Aquarium.
The following Monday, Valentine's Day, Lindsay heard how a nurse told her colleague excited her husband had given her today a white orchid by delivery service and a card which says she should enjoy their coming soon holiday. Lindsay envied the nurse. Tired she fell back into her pillow and tried to look out of the window and enjoy the sunny day, when someone knocked on her door.
"Miss Lindsay Donner?", asked a young man with a baseball cap and she turned her head toward the door, "I have a delivery for you." He placed a bouquet of white roses in a vase and put it on the table beside her bed.
"Who sent the flowers?", she asked.
"I don´t know," the man admitted, "I only deliver the flowers. The ladies in flower shop take care of the cards."
The card! When the supplier was gone, she sat up in her bed and checked if there was a card between the roses. She hadn´t found a personal message from the person who sent her the flowers, but only a business card with the theme of the flower shop: "Happy Valentine's Day... and night... and the morning after..."
She had almost forgotten today was Valentine's Day but because she didn´t know who sent her the flowers, it didn´t matter. It was a pity she hadn´t received any message. She let herself sink back again into the pillow and looked out of the window.
"You look sad," a voice suddenly said and she looked to the door. It was Connor who came to visit her. He sat on a chair beside the bed and he ignored the flowers.
"No, it's just ...", she didn´t know what to say. She was confused that she had received a bouquet of flowers by a secret admirer.
"Fine. You might be happy to hear you can leave hospital in two days. I already called the headquarters and requested a two week holiday for both of us."
She seemed to be surprised, because he had done that and looked at him surprised.
"You wanted to go out with me, remember?"
"Is that true?"
He nodded. But if she was too tired to go out with him, he would not force her. Connor said goodbye to her, kissed her on the cheek and asked her if she liked the flowers. Then she realized the flowers were sent by him and she looked at him in astonishment. Connor left the hospital room and wanted to walk down the hall and pack his things because he was allowed to leave hospital today. Suddenly he heard a loud noise behind him. "Connor!", Lindsay called his name, she held onto the door frame. Her arm ached and she felt dizzy because she got up too fast, but she had to follow him. Connor immediately came back to her so she wouldn´t became unconscious and fell down to the ground and hurt worse.
"Connor, I didn´t know you send the flowers," she breathed heavily.
"You run after me because of a bouquet of roses?", he asked a little amused.
"No, I love you and ... I'm running after you to do this again", she stretched out for him and kissed him. It felt warm and her entire body started to tingle. She held his hand in hers and noted delighted he also kissed her.
"You should lie down again," Connor whispered very concerned when they had finished the kiss. Lindsay nodded.
"Shall I pick you up in two days?"
"It would be nice ...", she didn´t know why, but she couldn´t let go his hand. Connor took her back to her room and after he had assured himself she stayed in bed, he said goodbye to her with a kiss. It hadn´t been easy to deal with the shark, but it was over.
He was sure that their future together had just begun...
Continue with Chapter 2!