74 The Island
Rickie leaned up against the side of the cave, holding his hand over his wound. The flow of blood had appeared to stop, but he was afraid it would start again with the slightest provocation. Instead he was forced to watch Meaghan as she prepared for their stay tonight.
Meaghan first brought back several armfuls of palm leaves, which she arranged on the cave floor before folding over a part of the tarp that had come with them from the boat to form a pallet. Next, she gathered together several stones into a circle and filled it with dried leaves and small branches, with another fuel pile placed against the cave wall. The supplies from the Bayliner included waterproof matches and several bottles of water, but no rations.
She had left to search for something they could eat. As time passed, it became totally dark, and Rick carefully stood up, intending to go look for her.
Once past the artificial light of the fire, his eyes adjusted, and he was able to see with the help from the starlight. Meaghan was just returning, her face flushed and triumphant.
She carried an armload of bright pink globes, and Rickie winced when he realised what they were.
"I found some ripe engkala, so we won't starve tonight!"
Meaghan's bright face shone in the faint light, and Rickie decided to grin and bear it. "Did you manage to find a rice cooking tree as well? Or at least a durian or two?"
She playfully bumped his hip as she carried her cargo back to the cave and laid them on a palm leaf. She began to prepare the fruits, popping off their caps and stems.
Rickie ate his share with good grace, even though he normally didn't like the avocado-like taste. They shared a bottle of water, sitting across the fire in perfect camaraderie.
Rickie loved watching the colors from the fire play across her face, as she finished the meal and turned her eyes to his wound.
Meaghan carefully unbuttoned and pulled back his shirt. The sight of his hard abs momentarily distracted her before she zeroed in on the wound. The bandage was completely soaked through with dark red stains, but she didn't want to remove it in case it was slowing the blood loss. Using the arms of the bloodied shirt around his torso, she fashioned a sling around his waist.
Rick lifted his arms over his head as Meaghan came in close under his arm to wrap the shirt around his torso. He couldn't resist dropping his arm across her shoulders and kissing the top of her head.
"Rickie!" she admonished, smiling a moment before applying herself to her task. Once done, she pulled back and looked at her handiwork. The majority of the shirt was folded into a crude bandage; the sleeves tied around him to put pressure on the bandage. She hoped it would be enough. She assisted him down until he was supine on this pallet.
The light from the mouth of cave had gradually faded as the sun went down, and the temperature began dropping. Rickie began shivering, and Meaghan curled up next to him and pulled the edge of the tarp over both of them, in an attempt to give him her body heat. He turned into her and wrapping his arms around her, effectively trapping them together.
She looked with marvel at his face, tracing the lines of fatigue with her eyes.
Her poor prince.
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She traced the arched wings of his eyebrows with her finger, and then lightly kissed his lips. He stirred slightly and tightened his arms around her, but never woke up.
She laid her head upon his arm and also fell into a deep sleep, done in by their ordeal.