Authors note: Thanks for being awesome readers and sticking with the story :)
This chapter has a bit of intensity in it. A lot of things get heated up. We will see how that goes...
An entire night had passed. All they managed to find was trees... more trees, a few more trees... and trees. They were all growing extremely irritated of the green leaves and bugs zipping around their heads. Eventually they all grew exhausted and decided it was time for rest and made camp in a serene opening surrounded by the large exotic trees.
Hank started a fire in the middle of their camp while Alexander dug out some canned food they had managed to salvage from the crash. There was quite as the two worked to feed the four other mouths that sat on the ground around the warm flames.
"What kind of trees are these?" asked Emmie as she gazed at the tops of the large leafy plants. "I've never seen anything like them before."
"That's because they are extinct," Hank responded as he stuck a stick in the fire to try and spread the flames. "Or at least they are supposed to be."
Sean frowned showing the concern he felt etched in his brows, "We need to come up with a plan. This wandering around aimlessly is not helping find Trevor or Hannah."
"That sounds like a great idea," agreed his step-father. "How about we take out some of those maps and go over it? Maybe we can figure out which direction they headed."
"Yeah..." Emmie glowered at Alexander still unforgiving for leaving an unconscious Sean on the beach that morning. "Why don't you take out some of those maps Grandpa?"
Alexander raised his white eyebrows at Emmie's condescending tone, "Of course."
The elder man stuck a spoon in the tin can of beans and handed it over to Herman. Then Sean, Hank and him crowded around a pile of the old maps immediately getting lost in their world.
Herman passed the tin of beans to Emmie. She had not realized how hungry she was until she scooped a spoonful of beans into her mouth. As soon as the black beans touched her tongue her stomach growled angrily at her. Frowning, she took another bite before dejectedly passing the beans over to Kailani.
Emmie eyed the younger girl through her peripheral curiously. She took in Kailani's somewhat matted dark curls hanging in knots around her head, the way her brows furrowed strategically to match her narrowed coffee eyes, and the frown plastered on her chapped lips. Since Emmie had threatened to punch the girl and Sean spat a few unhappy comments of his own, Kailani had become mute. She would have thought the girl disappeared if she hadn't heard her feet crunching on the ground the entire way to their campsite.
"What?" Kailani snapped testily as her eyes met Emmie's. She had felt someone watching her and was hoping it had been Sean. Just maybe she had hoped that her boyfriend was concerned about her. No, he was zoned in on the map with Alexander and Hank. It had to be Emmie of all the people that met her gaze.
Not caring that she had been caught staring, Emmie shrugged, "Nothing."
"You've been staring at me for a while so it has to be something," she argued. If possible, her eyes narrowed even more into thin slits. The judging, yet uncaring look Emmie had been gazing at her with unnerved her. Kailani hated to admit, but she wished the girl died in the crash.
"I was just staring," admitted the older female. Although, Emmie did not realize until after the words escaped her mouth that she had been more than staring. She was analyzing everything. Her movements, the way the flames from the campfire danced over her bronzed skin, how many times her thick lashes flickered when the smoke blew in her eyes due to the wind. Not only that, but she was thinking of what made Kailani so much more desirable than herself. How could Sean leave her to be with someone is distasteful as Kailani? Emmie had been independent, bossy and caring. The only thing it seemed Kailani and her had in common was the bossy part. Why would Sean want someone so clingy and rude? It just didn't make sense.
"We should clean up your knee," Herman interrupted as he caught the tension filing the air. He leant to his side to inspect the caked up blood on Emmie's wounded skin. "We wouldn't want that to get infected, especially with no antibiotics."
Stretching out her leg she winced, how had she not noticed she had been in so much pain?
"Here," Herman patted his thigh urging her to prop her leg on him. She obliged as he pulled out the first aid kit and started to shuffle through the contents. Unraveling an antiseptic wipe his aquatic eyes met her own. "This is going to sting."
Emmie bit her lip, "I bet."
With that he touched the antibacterial cleanse to her tender skin erupting a loud hiss through her clenched teeth, "This doesn't look good."
"What?" she bit out worriedly.
Sean was up on his feet hovering over Emmie's leg overprotectively. He had been watching the entire interaction between Herman and Emmie since she had handed him the can of beans. It was extremely difficult to focus on the map with them so close to one another. The way Herman's eyes were glued to her body… every move she made caused Herman's eyes to be drawn to her… it was a living nightmare.
Then as soon as she put her leg on top of his lap it was like a fire ignited in the pit of his stomach. He felt a burning sensation crawl through his gut, up his chest, straight through his heart, and to his brain. His fists clenched tightly around the map in his hands and he tried to control his breathing as it started to pick up in his rage. Sean was the one that was supposed to take care of her. That had always been his job.
"This should be stitched up," Herman glanced at Hank. "I don't have a steady hand. Want to take this one?"
"I've got it," Sean objected as he peered at the open wound.
Herman raised a single golden brow, "Are you sure?"
"Yes," he barked, his caramel eyes meeting Herman's aquatic ones in a forceful glare. "I'm not a moron."
"I was just making sure," Herman appeased. He guided Emmie's leg off his lap and took a seat across the fire beside Kailani. Who did not appear happy that Sean volunteered for the job either.
Hank and Herman shared a look that clearly read they were not positive that the younger man was capable of doing the job correctly. However, Sean clearly did not care about their opinions. Replacing Herman, Sean plopped down in the seat and helped prop Emmie's leg onto his lap. His eyes widened at the nice chunk that was missing from her skin.
"How have you been walking?" asked Sean in disbelief. He had been moaning about his arm that had already been stitched up the entire trek and here she was with a three inch gash that was probably more than an inch and a half deep.
"I wasn't thinking about it," Emmie muttered getting irritated by the now scolding glare Sean was giving her. "I have a lot on my mind at the moment."
"So do I," he frowned unhappily at her response. Looking through the first aid kit he took out the supplies Hank had used on his arm. "I still managed to get my arm stitched up."
"Because I made you. If I hadn't you would have gotten up and started looking for your grandfather."
Sean met her gaze and by the look in her sparkling gray eyes she knew she won that argument. He would have started looking for his grandfather, than his uncle and Hannah before thinking about stitching up his arm. It just wasn't as important as his loved ones lives.
"Make sure you're more conscious of these things. How do you expect us to find Hannah and Trevor alive with you dead?"
She rolled her eyes, "I'm not going to die Sean. I've got this."
"You've got this?" a soft chuckle escaped his lips. "Such a typical Emmie thing to say."
"What's that supposed to mean?"
Raising his eyebrows, Sean ignored her question and sterilized the needle that previously impaired his skin. Glancing at her he almost lost himself in her eyes. The way the flames danced across the gray irises as she stared irritably into the warm fire. The burning sensation from the lighter hitting his fingertips made him hiss and realize he was no longer burning the needle, but his hand. Shaking his fingers to fight off the burning he noted that Emmie's eyes had returned to watch him apprehensively.
"You ready?" Sean asked sternly.
Biting her lip, Emmie nodded her head slowly. No she wasn't ready. She hated getting hurt, even if she tended to do it quite frequently with how clumsy she was. Over the years she had just grown better at ignoring or tolerating the pain from her constant mishaps.
Sean saw the way she chewed on her plump bottom lip. He dug a hand into his pocket and pulled out the pocket watch that Trevor had given him (which had originally belonged to his father). Taking Emmie's hand he stuck the watch in it and molded her fingertips so that it was holding the metal strongly in her grasp.
"Squeeze that," he suggested as he returned his view to her gaping knee. "It always helps me forget."
Bringing her hand into her lap she opened her fingertips. A faint smile crossed her mouth as she recognized the pocket watch. She grazed her thumb over the exterior as a few memories crossed her mind. All of Sean, of course.
"Ahh!" a strangled cry escaped her lips. Like Sean told her to do, she squeezed the pocket watch up to her chest as the needle pierced her skin. "Damn it Sean. You could have warned me."
"I asked if you were ready," he muttered as he stuck the needle through her porcelain skin once more.
"And then you handed me a pocket watch! You should have asked me if I was ready again," she grumbled. Her eyes began to water and she fought hard to keep her tears hidden.
Kailani finally spoke up. She had been watching the entire scene between the two growing with rage every second that passed. The way Sean's eyes looked at her with such devotion it made her want to puke, how his hands slid over her body tenderly as if she were so fragile she would break, and the sound of his voice; how passionate he was about Emmie. The pocket watch was the final straw. Never, never, never was Kailani allowed to touch his father's pocket watch.
"Is that your father's pocket watch?"
Sean glanced at her, "Yeah."
She laughed, "The one that I'm not even allowed to look at?"
"You're allowed to look at it," he rolled his eyes. Focusing back on the stitching he didn't further comment about how he didn't think Kailani would appreciate it the way Emmie did. Emmie was just so much more accepting and emotional than his girlfriend that he was able to share sentimental things and know she'd understand. Unlike Kailani who might try and pretend to comprehend, but really couldn't. So whenever he took out his pocket watch and Kailani would ask to look he'd usually just stick it back in his pocket.
Crossing her arms over her chest she looked at Emmie who had the pocket watch cradled against her chest like it was actually helping her pain, "Whatever Sean. You'd never let me touch the stupid thing even if I asked."
"Stupid? Kailani are you fucking serious?"
Emmie reached out a hand and grabbed onto Sean's now shaking forearm comfortingly. Even his ex-girlfriend of two years had not heard such venom in his voice before, "Can you please finish stitching this before you stab her with the needle?"
"How about you keep your mouth shut Emmie?" Kailani got to her feet aggressively. There was such frenzy in her that she swore she could kill her at the moment. "Stay out of Sean's and my relationship! You've been over for years. Don't you dare destroy what I've been working so hard to maintain. Ever since you came into the picture it's like I don't even know him anymore."
"How about I finish this?" Hank stood as he could see how the situation was escalating in a way that did not seem good at all.
"I can do it," seethed Sean his eyes focused on Emmie's knee and nowhere else. "Just let me do this. Okay?"
"Kailani, Herman why don't we go look for some fresh water?" Alexander dusted off his hands onto his pants. The bronzed beauty tried to fight back, but Herman tugged on her arm leading her behind the older man through the multicolored extinct trees.
Hank sat back on the ground, but kept his gaze sternly on Sean's quivering hands. There were a few times the guardian had seen him this hurt. The first time was when Hank had been introduced to Sean as his mother's new boyfriend, the second when they had announced they would be married, the third was at the wedding, and the last time had been when his mother had brought up trying to have another child. All those times he had no idea how to tame the beast that would unravel itself shortly afterwards.
"It's not stupid Sean," whispered Emmie. Her hand was still positioned on his exposed skin and she gently rubbed her thumb in hopes of making him feel better. She would hate for anyone to call something that meant so much to her stupid. "Don't let it get to you. She's just upset."
"I don't care how upset she is. She had no reason to say that."
Emmie sighed, "No…"
"I'm just so sick of her," he spat. "It's always something… I'm not paying enough attention to her, I don't take her here, I don't say this, and I don't do that. She's never satisfied."
Thankfully, Sean finished the stitching. He whipped his bloody hands on a torn piece of cloth that Hank had stuck in the bag from when he had done Sean's stitches. He leaned back on the palms of his hands shifting his eyes around the fire, Hank, and Emmie.
"I'm so tired of being with someone who doesn't accept me for who I am."
Hank ran a hand behind his neck, "Maybe it's time to move on?"
Sean locked eyes with him, "Maybe."
A fleet wave of happiness rushed through Emmie, but only momentarily. She still had lost trust for Sean that even if he did ask for her back she was not sure she could. The years have changed her and she wasn't ready to be with someone who couldn't handle her, who would not be with her one hundred percent, or might leave her to experience other girls.
"Or maybe it's time for you to talk out your problems like adults?" she surprised herself as the words left her mouth. It seemed they surprised Sean as well; seeing as out of everyone she clearly did not ship Kailani at all.
"Or that," agreed Hank.
I'm excited to know what you guys are thinking! What do you think is in store for this Island? Next chapter will reveal MUCH of what is to come in the land of Lemuria!