Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Treasure Trove Recalled from WIP

John stayed rooted to the sofa, his mind drifting, seeking some solace on the incoming tide of desolation. He could see his dive partners, Teri and Spencer, two of the best American marine archaeologists he had ever worked with, about to drop over the side of their boat searching for the wreck on a reef off the Bahamas that they all knew was down there. It was a day he’d never forget. 
They stayed down searching the seabed while he watched the swell picking up as the wind increased. He signalled them on the safety line to surface. The boats had edged dangerously together prow to prow and before he knew what was happening Teri was there between them her feet braced on an anchor chain as she tried to keep them apart. They lurched together on the swell with a sickening crunch. John flung himself into the sea while the captains fired up the boats’ engines to separate them. Blood was pouring from Teri’s thigh, belly and chest, where the sharp metal of the prow had sliced into her. The blood from the jagged incisions was already beginning to colour the water. John pulled her away from the danger area. She felt lifeless in his arms. He knew he would have to be quick as the blood would attract sharks. Holding her with one arm, he pulled once again on the line to hurry Spencer to the surface and swam with her to the side of the boat where willing hands lifted her to safety.
‘What’s up, man?’ Spencer had said immediately he broke the surface. ‘We’re on to something down there.’
‘It’s Teri. She’s badly injured. I’ve done all I could. She’s on board and the captain has radioed for a helicopter.’
The next few hours were hell. Spencer berated everyone. None of them knew why Teri had re-surfaced between the boats. He figured she must have lost her bearings, but wouldn’t admit it in front of the crew. John thought it might have been the current. Her skin grew whiter under her sun-kissed features. They had patched her up as best they could. Loss of blood was immense. She looked like she would not recover. She was slipping away from them.
Eventually the helicopter arrived with paramedics on board and carried her off to Nassau. Spencer went with her and left John to explore the wreck. That evening he sent them a message saying he was not moving from the spot as Spencer had been right. They had discovered the remains of a Spanish ship, the fruit of all their research in the archives, records and charts. And John had put his hand on the first gold coins of what would be a significant find. The next day, once they had stabilised the loss of blood, they moved her to Miami at Spencer’s insistence where Teri was operated on.
John remembered weeks later seeing her at their home recovering from the multiple operations and wanting all the news about the treasure trove. Then, another couple of years on, with Spencer having run off with some undergraduate from FSU, Teri met him for dinner at the Fontainebleu where he was staying a few nights for a conference, dazzling him in a mermaid’s dress of coloured metal leaves that clung to her figure and provided shimmering highlights to her blonde tresses. She had come up to his room and had taken it off to show him the jagged scar, which ran from her thigh across her abdomen to below her breast. 
With Teri it was not horrific but incredibly sexy. She had disrobed with a casualness that was disarming, not that John had needed any prompting to overcome his resistance to her.

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