Apologies to those reading this novel for the big delay in finishing Chapter Two. The way Chapter Three is going, it most likely will have a part I/part II. Hey – at least I didn’t leave you “hanging” in the middle of things (this time!)…
“Doc”, was just how she imagined him. An older gentleman, with graying hair and a thick mustache. He was on the portly side, but not fat, and his eyes twinkled when he smiled. He would make a fabulous Santa Claus.
As if she weren’t in the room, Doc and Mr. Perfect discussed her injuries, and the stitches he did.
Mr. Perfect was doctor Frankenstein? The conversation became even more interesting when they stepped out of the cabin and on to the porch. Lowering his voice to a whisper, Mr. Perfect told Doc , “She can’t stay here. I’m too busy this season to play nursemaid to a dim-witted city girl.”
What? He doesn’t even know me! She bit her tongue, so she could keep eavesdropping.
“She seems normal enough to me.” Doc told him. “Kind of cute too. Don’t tell me you haven’t noticed.”
“Yeah, I noticed.” He said reluctantly.
He thinks I’m cute!
Enough of this crap. She wanted to jump into the conversation, but her throat was really sore and she didn’t want to yell. She was going to have to get out of bed and outside somehow. Dammit! When she moved, Zeus began barking and ratted her out.
“Et tu’, Zeus?” The dog lay down with his snout between his front paws, watching her with sad eyes.
Both men came inside to see what was going on.
“I may be a city girl, but I’m not dim-witted enough to stay here if I’m not welcome.”
She watched him redden, hearing his own words thrown back at him.
“Speaking of where you’re welcome,” Mr. Perfect challenged, “Why the Hell were you roaming, or should I say trespassing, in the middle of the night?”
Mollie had no explanation. Since she was an awful liar, she switched subjects.
“What are you trying to catch with that big-assed trap?” She countered. “Besides women, I mean.”
Doc nearly choked on his coffee.
“Women?! –” Mr. Perfect was perfectly tongue-tied.
“Look,” she interrupted, pulling herself up in a sitting position. “I don’t want to be a burden, I’ll just be on my way.” She scooted off the bed and stood using her good leg, but it was shaky and weak. Instinctively, her right leg compensated, to keep her balance. The pain that shot up her leg went all the way to her ribs, taking her breath away. She fell over sideways. Neither of her legs could hold her up. Dammit!
With all the dignity she could muster, she climbed up the bed and stood again – this time not putting pressure on her wounded leg, and steadying herself with the bedpost.
“Of course, I’ll need to borrow a pair of pants,” she said, looking directly at the guy who ruined hers.
“I’ll be happy to give you a pair of pants,” he said, “and a ride back to wherever you came from.”
Doc jumped into the conversation.
“Whoa! Now listen – She needs to stay off her feet, keep the wound raised above your heart, and swab it with the medicine I will give to you. And you already set up a bed for her -“
“Just wait right there,” Mr. Perfect interrupted, “That happens to be my bed.”
What a big baby! She thought but did not say. After all, she may be staying here a bit longer.
“I promise, I’ll stay on my side,” this she did say.
He actually blushed. What did he think she meant?
Doc cleared his throat to get their attention. “So? What’s it going to be?”
Before Mr. Perfect could answer, Mollie asked Doc if he could give her a ride to town.
“I don’t think you’re up to the trip, my dear,” Doc said, “its 16 miles of mountain roads to contend with and some are very treacherous.”
“I’ll deal with it,” she said, glaring at Mr. Not So Perfect After All.
“You two need to work this arrangement out between yourselves. Zeus and I will wait outside,” Doc opened the door and whistled for the dog. They heard Doc settle into the rocker and strike a match for his cigar.
“Well…,” Mollie demanded.
“All right,” Mr. Perfect said. His tone softened and he sat on the edge of the bed. “I know your accident was my fault. And besides, my pants won’t fit you.”
The sudden flash of his dimple was the convincer. She wondered if he was aware of the power that small indentation had.
“By the way, city girl, what is your name?”
“It’s Mollie,” she said.
“Nice to meet you, Mollie.” He took her hand. “I’m Travis”
Travis. His name suited him well. You could say it was ‘perfect’ for him. Ha!
Since she didn’t have anywhere else to be, she supposed she could stay here. Let Travis take care of her for a while. Catch up on her beauty sleep.
Doc explained to both of them how to care for her wound. He left them with extra gauze, a pair of crutches, and some foul-smelling crap that she was, gratefully, not required to drink.
“I’ll check on you in a couple of days,” Doc told her. “Keep your leg raised above your heart and do NOT put any weight on it – no matter how angry he makes you.” Doc winked at her. “Oh, and I’ll consult with my wife about what clothing she can live without and bring it up with me.”
“Thank you so much!” she gave him a big hug.
She hoped that included undergarments. She cringed, wondering what condition her granny-panties would be in after “a couple” days. And she would need some feminine products in a week or so. She decided not to bring that subject up, for now. Mr. Perf- Travis had already had enough for one day.
After nodding off a few more hours, a hideous smell woke her. Travis was sitting at the table cutting up veggies, while some kind of meat fried in the frying pan, propped on the fireplace.
“Is that bear meat?” she asked.
“Cooking? No, it’s a rabbit, for stew.”
Molly gasped. “Bunny stew?!?”
“Believe me, it’s way better than bear stew,” he stopped chopping and dumped the veggies into the frying pan with the rabbit. “Besides, I did not catch a bear. Remember?”
“My leg will never forget.”
“And it won’t let me forget either.”
“What? I haven’t said a thing about that!”
“I know you haven’t,” Travis said. “It’s just that I know how lovely it used to be.”
Mollie frowned. “But you never saw it before!”
“I assumed it was as lovely as your left one.”
She was stunned. Never had anyone said something so sweet to her.
Trying to be a good sport, Mollie tried the Bunny Stew. It did not taste like chicken. It tasted like greasy and gamey liver.
“You have the worst poker face I’ve ever seen,” laughed Travis.
“Sorry – My brain and my taste-buds can’t get over the fact that it’s a bunny. I like my bunnies chocolate.”
Mollie laughed. “Next time you go hunting for rabbit, look for a chocolate one for me, OK?”