Gideon Sterling, Carter (Gil) Gillespie, Lyle Ashley Tate, with mention of Miles Sutherland and Aiden Parker
Early morning, 25th January, Mystery Island
Gideon waved to the plane as it rose into the air again, shielding his eyes against the sun’s glare. He just about saw his co-pilot give him the thumbs up as the plane banked and turned, heading out into the flawless blue. He turned and surveyed the men who stood nearby, looking like fish out of water. He had to sympathise, Breslaw hadn’t given too much away on the phone but he had intimated that their present situation wasn’t the fault of the disparate group he saw before him. They were victims of circumstance.
He’d sensed tension between Gillespie, Tate and Sutherland, while Parker had seemed withdrawn and even more anxious than the rest. The kid had almost had a meltdown before he picked them up in Japan and would only be placated by a phone call. He had kept well out of that. If Pierce was dealing with them, frankly it was no wonder. Parker had calmed considerably but Gideon would lay bets that he was suffering PTSD. Of the others, Gillespie and Sutherland looked to be the better prepared for this jaunt, although they were medical personnel and rumour had it one of them had served with Medecins sans Frontieres. He couldn’t remember which one. Sutherland was the doctor, wasn’t he, and Gillespie was the paramedic? They were both useful people to have around.
“Okay, gentlemen, we’d better get this stuff stowed. There’s another storm-front coming over tonight and we’ll need to get the rest of these boxes under cover fast. According to the satellite data it’s not going to be a bad one but it’s bound to be wet. We need to effect repairs asap.” Gideon noted that Sutherland had already gone walkabout. One less pair of hands to help, he thought with exasperation. “Right, guys, I’m not going to put too fine point on this but we need all hands on deck. I expect you to at least show willing and not sit on your arses getting a tan.” He shouldered a large pack and picked up a tool box.
“We’re not stupid. We didn’t ask to come here. We’re not fucking tourists and we’re not bloody labourers either…” Tate seemed to be winding up for a real rant. Gideon sighed heavily.
“No, Mr.Tate, you are not fucking tourists and you are not bloody labourers as you so eloquently put it. But what you are is part of a team. You and I are stuck here at least for the foreseeable future and as such, we need to depend on each other. Otherwise life here is going to be that much harder for all of us. Now, I am sure you are in need of a shower, food and bed. I know I am. All that and more can be yours, but first, we get this stuff shifted. Am I making myself clear?” Gideon’s voice had hardened. He really didn’t want any shit from any of them. There was a lot of equipment to move to the resort complex and nothing to move it with except their own muscles. They had Bill and Colly with them but there was a heap of shit that wouldn’t fare well if left to the elements. After flying for 30 hours Gideon wanted a shower and to stretch out on his bunk for a couple of hours, but knew that was a while away yet. The others had been flying longer than that, so although he couldn’t tolerate it right now he could see why they would be a bit pissy; that and being ripped out of their comfort zones with less than twenty-four hours notice.
“Fine by me.” Gil shouldered his backpack and grabbed his canvas bag, picking up another toolbox in his other hand. Balanced, he followed Gideon without complaint as the big man moved along the jetty. As they moved out, it seemed as though Gideon also walked with a very slight limp, and Gil resolved to ask him about it. Boy, he had a nice arse on him. Gil mentally slapped himself. It wasn’t five minutes ago that he had been fucked into the mattress by Miles. He wondered where the doctor had got to. Vaguely concerned, Gil hoped Miles hadn’t got himself into trouble somewhere. The dogs had run off as well, too busy playing to heed their masters, enjoying their freedom after such a long time cooped up on the plane. Aiden was quiet, carrying his own and what Gil presumed was Flynn’s bag too. Miles’ case was also there in the pile. Gil decided he would come back for that, unless Miles put in an appearance later.
It looked to Gil like Gideon’s ploy of turning away from Lyle had worked; he filed the ploy for later use if needs be. Lyle bent and grabbed some bags from the jetty and came after them. Lyle Tate was too intelligent to bother wasting breath arguing with a man’s back. Aiden came after, trailing slightly, looking despondent. He was obviously missing Flynn but for the life of him, Gil couldn’t imagine what the teacher saw in the obnoxious little shit.
The trail to the complex was a bit overgrown but Gideon had ordered it be kept that way. The less visible they were from the shore the better. Everyone followed him through the trees and up toward the reception building, which from the air had looked the least badly damaged of the buildings. He produced a key and opened the door and guided them past the built-in reception desk, through another set of double doors and left down a short corridor. Thankfully his assessment from the air had been right, this building seemed pretty intact and water tight.
“We can get some shut eye once we get all our stuff inside.” He opened a door on what looked like a hospital ward. “Stow your stuff in here then come help me shift the rest, okay? Your sheets and pillowcases are on the jetty right now.” Gideon ducked out and left them to it.
The room was outfitted with six bed frames–thankfully with mattresses–but little else. One door in the corner lead to a toilet, they quickly discovered. There was a scramble to use the facilities.
Lyle looked at the place with dismay. That it was basic wasn’t a worry, but that it was communal was. How the hell was he going to get around this one? Gil was the only one aware of his transman status, as far as he knew, and he wasn’t ready or willing to come out to everyone right now. He drew a few deep breaths, pushing down the emotions that were roiling around in him, trying to work out a way past the issues. He was so damn tired though!
He had no idea what Sterling knew about them all. He had already worked out that Gideon Sterling was their new guardian angel, though. Or demon? Either way, he would have to speak to him, alone, and as soon as possible.