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Chapter One


 

The first thing she noticed was that she was wet - damp all over and uncomfortable from it.  The second thing she noticed was that there seemed to be some sort of weight on top of her, a heavy one that moved and swayed in a deceptively gentle rhythm.

She hadn’t opened her eyes yet, but she’d swallowed automatically in the hot sun, only to be rewarded by immediately and violently choking a mouthful of briny seawater, sand, and something that tasted like blood, and she couldn’t even sit up for the weight of whatever it was that was that was holding her down.

Make that whoever it was, she discovered with a scream she was unable to stifle when she opened her eyes and discovered Capt. Frank MacMurray’s charred, dead body lying draped over her.

She wasn’t sure whether she hoped he was the source of the blood she’d tasted or not, but she knew she wanted him the hell off of her, now.

Keeping her mouth tightly sealed, she pushed and pulled and tugged and tried to roll him off her, but got absolutely nowhere as she grew more and more panicked, until, suddenly, it was as if Superman had appeared, and she was entirely free of her former encumbrance.

Kit was elated, until she realized who her savior was.

Commander Bond Archer was one of the most annoying men she’d ever had the intense displeasure of knowing, and he was the last person she wanted rescuing her in any situation, despite the fact that, as a Navy SEAL Commander, that was exactly what he’d been trained to do, and the role of hero fit him like a glove, unfortunately.

“You okay?” came the clipped question.

She shook her head, barely knowing herself if that was the truth, but eager to do anything that would get him – and the dead body that had been holding her down - away from her.

“Then get your ass out of the water and up to the tree line immediately, Commander.”

It had been a damned long time since anyone had dared to speak to her in that manner.  She realized that expecting common courtesy from a SEAL was like expecting caviar from Mickey D’s, but they’d just been in a plane crash, and he was still in her care, as he had been several hours ago when they’d begun their journey from Australia, and she knew of nothing that had happened to change that status.

“Do you require further assistance?”

Kit did a quick assessment of herself then, finding nothing overtly wrong, got up slowly, taking several steps towards him in order to do the same assessment of him, since he’d been the injured one prior to the crash.

“Was I not speaking clearly enough when I gave you my order, Commander?” he asked, taking several steps back so that she couldn’t reach him, his head cocked to the side in that arrogant manner he had that set her blood to boiling instantaneously.

And her crotch tingling, but that was something she’d done her level best to ignore from the moment she’d seen him.  She could handle being annoyed by him, but attracted to him?  What was wrong with her?  Hero or not – and the man was a bona fide hero, she had to admit, however reluctantly - she usually had much better taste!

Kit clenched her jaw, but managed to answer evenly, “I heard your order, Commander.  However, since you’re still my patient, I am the one who’s in charge here, not you, and I need to make an assessment of your medical condition post-crash -”

The rest of her sentence was lost as he rushed towards her, scooping her up onto his shoulder as if she was no more than a sack of grain, and carrying her several yards up the beach, carefully placing her where he’d already ordered her to stand - right in front of the tree line.

When he deposited her on her feet again, he said, “When I get back, you and I are going to have a talk.  Meanwhile, gather some broad leaves from the bushes over there, take off all of your clothes and put them on the leaves.  I’ll be back as quickly as I can.”

He trotted back to the wreckage - where pretty much just the nose, half of one of the wings, and parts of the cockpit and cabin were visible above the water - as if he didn’t have five broken ribs, a badly dislocated shoulder, a concussion and about seventy five stitches from various jagged cuts about his rock hard body, all of which had been sustained prior to him stepping on the plane.

But if he thought she was just going to disrobe for his amusement, he had another thing coming.  Wishing she could be some sort of help, she watched him trying to grab stuff from the plane as the surf pounded it, dodging debris – and bodies – as he did so, but she knew she didn’t have the physical strength necessary to assist him, and if she went back into the water he’d just end up rescuing her again, and she couldn’t bear the thought of seeing that smug look on his face again in the space of five minutes.

So she stayed put, hating every minute of it because it meant both that she wasn’t involved in doing anything that would actively assist their cause, but mostly because it meant that she was actually obeying him, and she didn’t want him to get used to that idea.

He wasn’t able to retrieve much, unfortunately, but he brought what he’d acquired to where she was, his face a grim line – not that she’d ever seen it as much else – when he saw that she was still standing there exactly the way he’d left her – fully clothed.

Bond carefully tucked the few kit bags and paraphernalia he’d been able to scarf from the plane under the brush, where, if you weren’t looking carefully, you wouldn’t know they were.  No sense in being anything but cautious.  They didn’t know where this God forsaken rock was or who else might be here, and he wasn’t one for giving anything away unnecessarily, be it his position or his rations.

Probably the most important thing he’d been able to find was the disaster kit, which contained a little of everything including desalination pills and the first aid kit, as well as some extra bottles of water and other useful items.  There was no telling whether there was clean drinking water on this place or not, and that would keep them going – if they rationed it carefully – for a little while, anyway.  He’d known Frank MacMurray like the back of his hand, and knew a pack rat like him would have a few MREs lying around somewhere for a rainy day, which weren’t great, but when you had precious little else to eat, they sure could seem like gourmet grub; he knew that from personal experience.

He’d grabbed some rope, some plastic containers that he hoped would hold rainwater if it rained eventually to add to their fresh water reserves and some seatbelts that he’d cut.  They could go through the bags he’d rescued and keep what they wanted later.

Right now, his biggest problem was probably standing in front of him, shivering in the soaking wet clothes that, if he couldn’t get her out of, were going to kill her eventually.

Not that he was going to allow her to get away with defying him – and disobeying a direct order – by simply doing nothing. Luckily, he had several weapons at his disposal that would do very nicely to circumvent her stubbornness because he didn’t want her to wear those clothes any longer than she absolutely had to.

And the annoyingly persistent, raging hard on he’d had since they’d first met only had about thirty percent to do with that.

Okay, seventy percent, but he really did need to get her out of those clothes for a much better reason than his usually much more selective libido.

So, without a word, Bond’s left hand – his naturally weaker one, and even more so now when he should have been wearing the sling she’d given him for his formerly dislocated shoulder – snaked out and grabbed her wrist, holding it tightly so that she couldn’t get away from him, then his right hand swiftly and stealthily wielded a knife the size of a  machete, carving her clothes from her body as if he was sculpting a statue, leaving her standing completely naked in front of him in a matter of seconds.

Kit was beyond mortified, but she had to admit that he didn’t even seem to notice.  He gathered her clothes in one hand, took his big khaki t-shirt off over his head with the other and handed it to her, then turned and went back to the plane.

“Stay put.”

She was dumbstruck, but not enough to keep her from donning the proffered shirt hastily.  What the hell had that been about?  And where the eff was he going with her clothes?  If he truly had nefarious intentions – which she wouldn’t put past him in the least – then why would he have given her his t-shirt to wear?

And why was he putting her clothes into the plane’s charred carcass and then. . . setting . . .fire . . . to . . . the . . . plane!

Kit ran towards him, but not in time to stop him from dropping a match onto the sand near his feet, and the resultant wall of flames knocked her onto her ass just as she reached him.

He had turned to come back to her, and it blew him into her, knocking the both of them to the ground, with him, of course, landing directly on top of her.

But she had to hand it to him.  He didn’t revel in his position, despite the fact that they were just about as intimate as they could get.  The only thing saving them from completely connecting was the fact that he was still wearing his BDUs, which were terribly rough against the completely unprotected, very delicate areas against which they were pressed.

“Get up,” he ordered, already up and off her seconds later.

She didn’t need to be told twice.

They ended up right back where he had put her in the first place, and he didn’t waste any time lighting into her, taking a deliberately intimidating stance and looming over her, getting just about as close to her as he could without actually touching her, which, from a man like him, was a threat in and of itself.  “Is it something about me in particular, Laughlin, or are you always this insubordinate?  That’s three direct orders I’ve given you now, all of which you’ve completely ignored.”

There was little Kit wished for right now other than a pair of pants or shorts or even just panties.  He towered over her, and she was standing there in nothing more than his shirt, which, while it covered her decently, she supposed – to almost mid thigh - still it left her feeling just that much more exposed since she could detect even the slightest of breezes in places she really did not want to – particularly around this very masculine man.  But there was no hope of finding any more of her clothes – or anyone else’s - now that he’d burned down the remnants of the plane! 

And here he was lecturing her on insubordination when he was her patient, and as the Chief Medical Officer on this mission, she had jurisdiction over him

And she intended to remind him of exactly that fact.

Instead of backing up, as she figured he thought she was going to, she inched herself even closer, as if she didn’t care in the least that she could feel that part of him that was the most male poking demandingly into her stomach.  She met his angry, aggressive glare with one of her own.  “Probably because you do not outrank me, and therefore I have no duty to follow your orders, Commander Archer.”  Her tone left no room for doubt that she thought their superiors severely lacking somehow in allowing him to attain that rank, here or not. “I’m the CMO on this mission, and you are in my care.  You need to follow my orders, not vice versa.”

She barely got the words out before he was holding her bent at the waist with his left arm – which she knew from having seen the x-rays and the MRIs had to be absolutely killing him, not that he let on at all – which naturally made the t-shirt he’d so generously donated to her rise up, leaving her bottom entirely unprotected.

But that wasn’t enough for him.  He hauled the hem of the t-shirt up so far it was bunched high across her back, just under her breasts, so that she was completely exposed from there down, literally hanging helplessly from the grip he had around her waist.

And then that big, no nonsense hand of his lit into her with what felt like full force open palmed swats, each issued in a very deliberate manner, each of them so distinctly painful it succeeded in robbing her of her breath.  Just when she thought she’d gotten it back under control, that paddle like hand of his would descend again, and, by only the third or so spank, she found she could no more control the shrieks she was emitting than she could find a way to escape the punishment she was receiving.

It only got worse when he began to scold her like a child, while continuing to roast every available inch of her backside.  “I was your patient until the moment we crashed.  Once this became an exercise in survival, then I became the expert and therefore the ranking officer, not you.  Unless you have SEAL training that I’m unaware of - ” he paused for a few seconds, as if giving her time to respond in the affirmative, the bastard, when he knew she wasn’t going to  “ – then I’m the one that can get us through this alive, and I expect you to obey me as your commanding officer, immediately and without question.

“And if you choose not to, believe me, you’ll find yourself in exactly this position again as soon as I clean up whatever mess you’ve made by not doing exactly as you were told.”

The last thing Bond did was give her twenty very hard smacks in a very concentrated area, mostly near the bottom of her butt and the tops of her thighs, so that she would have something to remember this by every time she sat down for quite some time.

When he let her loose, she stumbled away from him, still bawling and fighting for breath and hating herself for letting him break her down that way – and so damned easily!  By spanking her like a child!  She was so angry she wanted to kill him with her bare hands.

But she’d settle for a court martial once they got back to civilization.

Still hiccoughing sobs as she hastily pulled down the t shirt, and knowing how stupid she must’ve sounded, Kit still couldn’t prevent herself from saying, “If you touch me again, I’ll kill you where you stand.”  The problem was that they both knew what a hollow threat that was.  There was no way she could best him in any fight unless she had a knife or a gun.  And even then, Kit wasn’t at all sure who she’d bet on in that fight, knowing Archer’s capabilities and having just gotten an abominably personal taste of his strength, even well leashed as she fully recognized it had been.  “I am going to enjoy every single minute of pressing charges against you for striking a fellow officer once we’re home.”  It would be a hollow victory if he continued to punish her for every perceived infraction of whatever rules he came up with while they were on this presumably deserted island prison, but it would have to do.

His response was nothing like she expected.  He’d already begun to do something else, as if he didn’t really need to pay her much attention - she was no threat or consequence to him - rummaging in one of the kits he’d rescued and picking something out of it.  He merely grinned at her, and grabbed her upper arm, practically dragging her down towards the water as he said in an overly enthusiastic, exasperatingly confident tone, “You just go right ahead and do that, Laughlin. I’d like several copies of the transcript of that trial myself to send to my buddies.  You telling the J.A.G. how I set your butt on fire for not following orders is certainly going to be titillating reading.  You might just make it onto the bestseller list.”

She hadn’t thought about that at all, she had to admit to herself as she was dragged to the water’s edge.

“To say nothing of the fact that, if we make it off this place, and that’s a big “if” right now, Kit, it will be due, in no small part, to my survival skills.”  He caught her eye as he pulled her into the ocean until the water was thigh high, then tugged his shirt off of her yet again, balling it up and throwing onto the beach before she could reclaim it from him.  “Having to defend myself through a court martial and the subsequent damage that that would do to my career would be a lovely thank you for saving your life, don’t you think?”

She was nude in front of him now, again, and so flabbergasted by what he’d said and done in the past fifteen minutes that she wasn’t sure which way was up, especially when he soaped up his hands and began to wash her all over, matter of factly, as if she was an oil covered pelican or something.

“What the fuck are you doing?” Kit asked, trying to dance away from his touch.  Even as angry as she was right now, and that was plenty angry, her body was doing things that she couldn’t seem to control, and there was no way she wanted him to realize that fact.  But the way his big palms were rubbing over her body, even though it wasn’t with nefarious intent, she didn’t think, her body was definitely hoping that it was!  Kit was very alarmed to realize that she wanted to squeeze her thighs together against the ache that suddenly appeared there, and her nipples were rapidly coming to ripe peaks entirely without her consent.

And she was getting damned sick and tired of things happening to her on this mission without her consent!

“Stand still.”  He hadn’t raised his voice in the least, but she knew she was hearing his “command tone”, and was expected to obey.  This time his palm connected with a wet, already sore bottom, and it had her very nearly howling.  “You’re covered in jet fuel. That’s why I told you to take off your clothes in the first place, and then peeled them off you and burned them when you didn’t do as you were told.  It’s toxic and we need to wash it off you ASAP.”

“Get away from me!  I’ve been bathing myself for quite some time now!”  She knew she sounded like a hysterical shrew; she’d never heard that particular shrieking tone in her own voice before.  Kit tried to shove him, but it was like trying to shove a mountain.  “And why didn’t you just say that to me in the first place, damn it!  I would have gotten out of them immediately.”

Aside from a slyly murmured, “I mistakenly assumed that an order from your commanding officer would have been sufficient,” which had her literally growling at him under her breath, he ignored her completely, as if she was a buzzing fly he couldn’t be bothered to swat – although he seemed all too eager to swat her.  Her attempts to push him away from her were laughable, and Bond brushed her hands aside as he continued to wash her very thoroughly, although he did stay pretty much to the back of her, whereas she took care of the front.

Bond was busily admiring his handiwork on her bottom and the backs of her thighs as the water sluiced down over them, but then he noticed the bruises across her back and shoulder blades, and his mouth became a grim line.   She also had a couple good sized cuts that probably wanted stitching, although they didn’t really have that capability here in beautiful downtown Gilligan’s Island.

She was going to have scars from this, and he was deeply sorry to have been the cause of it.

He could hear the hiss of her indrawn breath when the soap and salty water came in contact with those open wounds, the biggest of which was a good sized laceration on her side, only a few inches below her right breast.  It wasn’t long, but it was deep. “I know it hurts,” he whispered, his touch becoming less perfunctory and more caressing.  “But we’ve got to clean them out to prevent infection.”

“I know,” she whispered back, on the verge of tears again and trying to resist the urge to scream at him that he didn’t have to tell her that; she was a doctor, for God’s sake.  What was happening to her?  She rarely cried at all, and now she’d cried twice in front of him, both times over something juvenile – although Kit wasn’t at all sure that that spanking could have been considered juvenile in the least; it had hurt too damned much!

He left her for a second and grabbed his t-shirt off the beach, shaking it out carefully, not wanting any stray grains of sand to settle into her cuts or even just rub that baby soft skin of hers in the wrong way, bunching the hem into his hands and slipping it on over her head, dressing her as tenderly as he would a child.  “Let’s get you back on shore and I’ll bandage that wound.”

Archer took her hand this time, instead of clamping autocratically down on her upper arm, and why that made a difference she’d never know, but she found herself following docilely behind him.  He rummaged under the bushes again, hauling a few things out, then made a makeshift chair out of some of the suitcases he’d rescued from the plane, but when Kit went to take a seat, he beat her to it and she nearly ended up on his lap.

“Whoa, I don’t mind you using me as a chair at all, but I need you standing in front of me to have the best angle at getting at that cut.”

His rakish smile – that she was sure worked on all of his other women and got him laid more times than not – didn’t do a thing for her except serve to remind her how annoyed she was with him.

A first aid kit appeared, along with a few battered boxes of band-aids, some hand sanitizer, and duct tape.  He made free with his hands, planting them boldly on her hips and positioning her the way he wanted, until she was cradled between his legs, almost perpendicular to him, her injury – and by din of anatomy alone – and her right breast facing him.

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