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“Tina’s one of us, we would have searched all night for her. It was your damn flag that led us to you, ya know that?” he grinned, and Bette looked at him incredulous.
“Wh-what do you mean?” she asked through chattering teeth.
“It was higher than those reeds on the bank. I saw it and knew that was you. We just had to get the kayaks in to reach ya…” he laughed, relief on his weather-beaten features and if Bette ever had an urge to kiss a man she would have kissed him right then and there. On the cheeks of course.
She was ushered into the small cabin to find Tina trying to get her life jacket off but her hands were shaking too much. In the light the extent of Tina’s injury was evident, a large bruise forming on the side of her head and she would have one helluva a black eye. Her lips were blue and her fingers like prunes as they fumbled with the latches.
“Oh Baby” Bette said, stepping close to tenderly help her remove the jacket, throwing it to the floor as she lifted the water logged tank top to check for other injuries. Other than some scratches and insect bites, there were no other injuries. She helped her get her pants and underwear off then pulled a warm sweatshirt over her head. Getting down on one knee Bette guided Tina’s feet in the holes of the sweatpants someone left for them when she noticed blood running slowly down the inside of Tina’s legs.
It was then that she saw the blood clots in Tina’s wet underwear laying next to her in a heap with her other clothes. Picking them up, Bette saw that Tina’s underwear and crotch area of her pants were soaked through with blood.
Bette sat back on her heels in complete shock. The sweatpants pooled at Tina’s feet as Bette held the bloody clothes in her hands. She watched the slow descent of blood as it made it’s way down the inside of Tina’s leg, bright against the creaminess of her skin. She froze, almost hypnotized by the slow trickle of red, another following in it’s path. She felt surreal, like she was watching herself watching the blood, unable to stop.