Chapter Thirteen

It was shortly after breakfast and Gille was working as best he could at putting the boarding up on the frame for the additional outhouse. After the animal pens and one privy had been built, it was decided there would be enough of the wood left from the crates to build a second one. Mitchell had done the framing last evening and had left Gille with the simple job of hammering up the boards. He was almost finished when Yancey approached him.

“Gille, you’re just the man I’ve been looking for. The doctor sent me to remind you it was time for your physical,” Yancey greeted with a smile.

Gille signed deeply. He was not about to put himself through any examination by any doctor. No one was going to see he didn’t even own skivvies. It was bad enough they could see how badly worn his clothes were. “Sorry, Yancey? I’m busy right now. Another time, okay?” He turned and began to hammer again.

However, the nurse was not going to be easily dissuaded. “I’m afraid it is not okay, and this job will have to wait, Gille. We are trying to stick to a schedule, and we need everyone to keep their appointments. Besides, it is important for you to have this exam. It won’t take too long, and you can come right back here afterwards,” Yancey patiently explained.

“Look, I have a job to do here and I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of having to take a shit while squatting over a hole in the ground whenever the other outhouse is in use. Besides, I’m perfectly healthy so why don’t you go bother someone else?” he responded tersely.

“No one is suggesting you put this task on hold indefinitely, Gille. Nor is it a question of how healthy you think you are. The doctor has a perfectly legitimate reason for requesting everyone to have a medical and that includes you. Now stop arguing and come along,” Yancey firmly insisted.

Gille turned, waving the hammer in Yancey’s face to make his point. “I don’t know how to make this any clearer, but I’m busy. I have no need or interest in a physical exam. I did not volunteer for this. You and your doctor just put my name down and you can just as easily take it off. Now take a hike and let me get on with what I’m doing!” He tried to turn back to continue his work, but Yancey took hold of the hand that had been swinging the would-be weapon.

 “I’d watch whom you were waving this at, young man!” Yancey admonished and quickly disarmed Gille by taking the tool from him.

Taking offence at being so easily manhandled and being called ‘young man’, the thin control Gille had over his temper shattered. He pulled back and swung wildly at Yancey, but the stronger and more experienced man easily restrained him by holding Gille’s hands behind his back.

“Let me go!” Gille shouted, struggling to release himself from the larger man’s grasp.

Thomas and Aiden who had been talking nearby, looked up when the shouting started and witnessed Gille’s attempted assault on Yancey. They immediately ran towards the two men. Aiden took hold of the struggling irate man and pinned him to his side like a small child.

Thomas looked between Yancey and Gille. “What’s the meaning of all this?”

“This young man is refusing to come to the infirmary for his physical,” Yancey calmly informed the two council members.

Gille was angry and frustrated. He swung his leg back and kicked the large Scotsman hard on the shin. “Let me go, you brute!” he yelled.

Aiden turned the smaller man slightly and landed a hard swat on the seat of Gille’s britches. “There’ll be none of that, laddie!” he scolded and pulled Gille back against his side.

Gille struggled for a moment or two but soon stopped when he realised it was gaining him no ground against the mountain known as Aiden Shea. ‘I’ve done it now,’ he thought to himself. ‘My life was bad enough before. What’s going to become of me now?’

“Wheesht, lad. Dinnae fash yerself. ’Twill all work out,” Aiden cooed in an attempt to calm the skittish man.

“Gille, do you not recall what was said after dinner a few evenings ago, and the rules the council put forth about fighting?” Thomas asked. “This cannot be allowed to pass without consequences. The council will have to decide on what the repercussions will be. However, I can promise you that assaulting another member of this community will not be tolerated.”

“Why can’t you just leave me be?” Gille cried. “You can’t make me see your damn doctor!”

“Aiden, will you escort Gille to the mess hall, please? We need to sit down to discuss this calmly and rationally. We’ll bring the other council members in to talk this through,” Thomas said quietly, shaking his head at how such a small thing could have come to blows.

“Aye. Come with me, Gille,” Aiden patiently insisted, steering him towards the large tent while using his own bulk to shield him from the few curious onlookers milling about. “Back to yer chores, lads! ’Tis none of yer concern.”

Thomas turned to the nurse. “Yancey, we’ll need you to attend and explain things from your point of view.”

“Alright, Thomas. Shall I go and request Lakota’s presence?”

“Yes, please, I will need his input as he is a member of the council,” Thomas replied. “I’ll locate Troy and Larry.”

Realising an impromptu meeting was about to take place, Walker quietly ushered Thad and Jordan out of the mess hall in order to allow the men involved as much privacy as possible. He was holding the tent flap open as Larry came jogging up. The ex-marine looked questioningly at Troy, who had also just arrived. The tutor shrugged, as he likewise had no idea as to what had necessitated an emergency meeting.

Lakota came in a few minutes later, with Yancey in tow. Now that all the council leaders were present, everyone took seats in a circle with Aiden still at Gille’s side. The big Scot was prepared to grab onto the young man should he attempt to run. 

Thomas addressed the assembly. “Gentlemen, we have an issue here that Aiden and I felt needed to be dealt with by the council.”

“Can you give us a brief description of what has taken place?” Troy asked, glancing first at Gille and then at Thomas.

Thomas looked towards Yancey. “Aiden and I witnessed Gille arguing with and then taking a swing at Yancey.  I would like Yancey first to explain the situation from his point of view and then Gille from his.”

“Gille was late for his physical and the doctor requested I remind him of it,” Yancey began to inform the five men who made up the council. “Gille made it known that he was not interested in accompanying me to the infirmary. He was holding a hammer at the time and I was forced to take it from him.”

“Were you threatened with the hammer?” Thomas asked for clarification.

“The hammer was raised, and I took preventative measures to keep the situation from getting any further out of control,” Yancey explained, not wanting to make more of it than there was.

Gille listened to this with his head hanging in embarrassment.

“Why are you so adamantly against being seen by the doctor, Gille?” Larry asked softy.

Gille didn’t know what to say. Could he possibly be more embarrassed? “I don’t like doctors,” he mumbled. “And besides, who are you to say I have to see him? I ain’t sick and I shouldn’t be made to go!”

“There are many among us who are uncomfortable with medical examinations, Gille,” Troy quietly spoke up. “But we all voted in support of the council’s decision that physicals were needed.”

Gille looked up defiantly. “No doctor’s gonna go pokin’ at me, sticking me with things and touching in places that he’s got no business touching!”

Lakota gave the young man a gentle look. “Gille, when was the last time you saw a doctor?”

“I seen you at breakfast,” he replied sarcastically.

“Och, ’tis no need to be disrespectful, laddie,” Aiden patiently admonished.

Lakota waited indulgently. “Gille, have you ever had a medical examination?”

Thomas looked at the young man squirming on the log bench and when no answer seemed forthcoming he firmly instructed, “Gille, would you kindly answer the doctor, please.”

Gille shook his head. “No, I ain’t never had any examination. I’ve always been healthy, so I don’t need to start seeing a doctor now.”

“Gille, there is an advantage to being seen by a physician before becoming ill. It is a great deal simpler to prevent illness than cure it,” Yancey commented in an easy manner.

“Well I don’t like it. I just want to be left alone. Why can’t you all do that? Just leave me alone?” he asked, his voice shaking.

Thomas looked thoughtfully towards the young man. “Gille, you are a part of our community and we care about everyone here. Part of that caring includes making sure you are healthy and stay that way. Another part is not just leaving you alone but involving you in all that we are. We’ve been cut off from our homeland and we need to work together to make a new life here and like it or not, you are a part of that life.”

Aiden moved closer and gently placed a large arm around the young man’s trembling shoulders. “Now what would be the real reason for ye wanting us to leave ye alone, lad? Is there something yer not telling us?” he kindly inquired.

Gille shook his head, trying very hard to keep the tears from falling. “You all have fancy schoolin’ and clothes and words to say that makes everything seem so important. I’m just a poor man. I got nothin’ to offer here. Don’t know why you’re so interested in me being healthy or seeing some high-learned doctor.”

Lakota gave a sad smile at Gille’s speech. “We are all equal here, Gille. A formal education and nice clothing don’t make anyone more important than someone else. What is important is that we learn to trust each other and share all that we have to make this community grow and be strong.”

Gille looked around the room. He saw concern and acceptance in every pair of eyes looking at him. “Truth?” he asked. “You all think I’m as important as you are?”

“Yes! We are all equally important to the success in building a new home for ourselves, Gille,” Larry hastened to assure him.

“Are you willing to accept that, Gille?” Thomas asked the young man. 

Gille smiled slightly. “I guess so.”

“That’s the lad!” Aiden praised and patted him encouragingly on the back.

“Now then, there remains the fact that every member of this community has to be treated equally in the rules which we lay down,” Thomas spoke seriously. “Gille, do you have anything to say about the physical attack you attempted on Yancey?”

 Gille shook his head sadly. “No, sir. I was wrong. I lost my temper and for what it’s worth, I am sorry.”

“You never actually intended to use the hammer as a weapon, did you,” Larry stated more than questioned.

“No, sir! I just wanted to be left alone. I’d never hit anyone with a hammer!” Gille responded vehemently.

“Yancey and Gille, would you both wait outside the tent for a short time while we discuss this matter as a council? We will call you back when we’re done,” Thomas requested.

“Of course,” Yancey answered and immediately headed outside.

Once the two men had left, Thomas looked around at the assembled council, his eyes landing on Aiden’s as he spoke. “Well, gentlemen, what are your opinions?”

“Stands to reason the lad ’twill be expected to have a physical,” Aiden stated as a matter of fact.

“I think that needs to be ensured,” Lakota answered. “He is obviously contrite and regrets his actions. However, we cannot allow such actions to go without consequences. We need to maintain discipline that would be a deterrent to anyone doing what Gille did.”

“Although I suspect it will be difficult for him, I feel he should be given lines to write,” Troy suggested. “I will ensure he completes whatever amount we decide upon and assist him as necessary.”

Thomas nodded. “Yes, that would be acceptable as part of his punishment but given the physical nature of the crime, I believe something more is required. Possibly something in the order of extra chores.”

Lakota looked up. “I think I have an idea that might also help him overcome his fear of doctors and medical practices. I believe a few hours of duty in the infirmary might be in order.”

“Sounds reasonable to me,” Larry agreed.

“Would an hour a day for one week sound too much?” the doctor asked.

“Nay, but ’twill have to be later in the day as Gille is part of the farming team, is he not?” Aiden commented.

Thomas nodded. “Yes, but I’m sure it can be worked into the late afternoon or the evening immediately after supper. How many lines would you consider adequate, Troy?"

“Taking into account his limited education, I think twenty would suffice,” the group’s educator replied after giving it some thought.

“Are we all in agreement as to this then?” Thomas asked.

Larry and Troy nodded in response to Thomas’ question.

“Aye!” Aiden cast his vote.

“I feel it is a just decision,” Lakota added.

Thomas walked to the tent flap and opened it to the two men waiting to be summoned. “Gille, Yancey, would you please come back in.”

“Gille, it is the decision of the council that after you have apologised to Yancey, you will take your physical examination. In addition to that, as punishment for your attempted assault on our nurse, you will write out twenty lines under Troy’s direction. You will also be required to spend an hour each day for one week helping the doctor in the infirmary. This will be done after your other chores for the day and you will start today right after our evening meal.”

Gille’s lips quivered but he steadfastly held back his emotions. “I accept your decision, sir.”

“It is a fair one, Gille,” Yancey’s softly spoken words were meant to provide comfort.

“Unless anyone has further business, I would say this meeting is over!” Thomas announced, getting to his feet.

The need for a hasty council meeting and subsequent decision on how to deal with Gille Wheaton’s attempted assault against his nurse had left a bad taste in Lakota’s mouth. Not that he’d felt the decisions made were wrong, it just rubbed against his nature to force a patient into an examination. He was used to his quiet but powerful presence having the desired effect of persuading patients to see situations his way.

The doctor had noticed Gille when they first landed on the beach, but then who wouldn’t notice such a fine-looking young man. He was beautiful with pale blond hair softly curling around the angelic face, and eyes so blue they made the ocean jealous. He’d obviously seen better days. His clothes were tattered and ill fitting, the sole on one of his shoes flapped with each step he took, but none of that hid his handsome features.

Thinking about him, Lakota felt a flush of arousal which he quickly put down. He needed to be professional about this. He gave himself a mental shake and prepared for the arrival of his recalcitrant patient.  

Gille was nothing short of mortified by both his behaviour and the council’s ruling over him. Not only was he to be made to take his physical, but he was to spend time every evening for a week working with Yancey and Lakota in the infirmary, scrubbing and cleaning or whatever other menial chores the two found for him. What a great start to his new life on this island!

Now he was being led by the giant Scotsman and the nurse to the infirmary where like it or not, he was to be examined by the doctor.

Lakota looked up as the three men entered the tent. “Welcome, Gille,” he offered in greeting. The young man in question looked nervous and would not meet his eyes. “Why don’t you sit down, and we can begin. I’d like to ask you some questions about your health history and I’d like you to feel free to ask any questions you might have of me.”

Gille begrudgingly sat on the log the doctor had indicated. He glanced up to where Aiden and Yancey stood then returned his gaze to the ground in front of him. “I got no questions,” he said, shaking his head.

Lakota decided the young man would feel more comfortable without the audience. “Aiden, Yancey, thank you for your assistance but I think Gille and I will be fine on our own now.”

Aiden looked momentarily doubtful, fearing the young man might make a break for it, but a reassuring nod from the doctor set his mind at ease. “Verra well, doctor, I’ll see ye later.”

Yancey had quickly learned to pick-up on Lakota’s cues. “I’m due a bit of a break.”

Lakota took a seat beside Gille and reached out a gentle hand to tip the young man’s face up so they could make eye contact. Clear blue eyes met his own deep brown ones and he felt a momentary tightening in his chest. ‘Gods, this was a beautiful man!’ He had to shake his head to clear it of thoughts a doctor had no business having when with a patient.

Drawing a deep breath, the large native pulled his thoughts back to the matter at hand. “Gille, it seems to me that we have got off to a rough start and I’d like to change that. I promise you I will do everything in my power to make this as comfortable as possible. However, I do need some help from you in answering a few questions and letting me give you a look over. Okay?”

Gille was mesmerised. This big dark man was speaking to him so softly, his voice deep and hypnotic. Gille found himself nodding and wanting to do whatever this voice asked of him. “Okay, I can do that.” His own voice squeaked, and he blushed thinking he sounded like a kid.

They quickly covered the initial questions and answers with Gille confirming Lakota’s suspicions that the younger man had never received any previous medical care and other than a few childhood illnesses and a bad cough which had lasted most of the prior winter, he’d been remarkably healthy.

Though shy, Gille had answered all of Lakota’s questions about his limited sexual history. Having only had two previous sexual partners, one of whom was the sheriff who had assaulted him, there wasn’t a great deal to tell.

“Now, I’d like you to move over to the table and take off just your shirt so I can begin the upper-body part of the exam, alright?” the doctor asked kindly.

Gille slowly unbuttoned the threadbare shirt and shrugged out of it. The sight of the smooth, lightly muscled torso gave the doctor further pause before he could begin the physical. Though a little on the thin side, Gille was still incredibly alluring.

There was something in the gentle touch of the doctor’s hands and the look of the deep, almost black eyes that the younger man found very appealing. Before Gille knew it, he found himself becoming aroused. The moment he had dreaded arrived when the doctor asked him to remove his trousers. He slowly undid the buttons and lowered them to the ground. He blushed deep red when his naked genitals were exposed to the air, feeling even more humiliated by his obvious erection.

Lakota hoped his smile and soothing tone would calm the younger man’s embarrassment, but it only seemed to further his state of arousal. Sounding brisk and professional, he declared as a matter-of-fact, “nothing to feel embarrassed about, Gille. It’s quite common for a young man such as yourself to have an erection during this type of exam. Just try to relax. You can lie down on the table and cover yourself while I get some things I need,” the doctor assured his patient as he handed over a blanket.

Lakota walked to his storage case and took his time, supposedly looking for what he needed but in reality he was attempting to calm his own desires. ‘What the hell is wrong with you, Evans?’ he admonished himself. ‘You’ve examined hundreds of attractive men. Why is this one making you feel like some horny teenager?’ All the reasoning in the world was not relieving him of these feelings. If he wasn’t careful, this young man was going to be his downfall. But God, the fall would be worth it if it brought Gille into his life.

Still aroused but somewhat calmer, Lakota returned to the examination table with a small pot of petroleum jelly.  “Now, I’m going to proceed with the genital and rectal exam I explained to you. I’ll try to be as quick and painless as possible, okay?”

Gille blushed furiously but suffered through the exams stoically. He kept praying the whole time for his raging erection to deflate but if anything, he felt harder. Once the exam was complete, Lakota told him he could dress and go get something to eat. He gratefully slid off the table holding the blanket in front of him, but it slipped from his hands. He bent to pick it up and as he stood his face moved within only inches from the doctor’s crotch. There was no mistaking the impressive tenting in the front of the trousers; Lakota was as hard as he was.

Two men’s eyes met and Gille was sure he could detect a slight redness under the beautiful bronzed skin.

“I…you’re…” Gille could not find the words to express his thoughts.

Lakota knew he had to defuse this moment. “Gille, you are a very attractive man and I would like very much to get to know you better. However, this is neither the time nor place. I still have another patient to see and I believe you have a task to complete. Yes?”

Gilled could only nod.

“This evening after dinner, you are assigned to assist me here in the infirmary. There will be some cleaning up you’ll need to do, and I’d like to show you a little about what is involved in medical care. After we are through, perhaps you would like to take a walk with me along the beach. We could talk and get to know one another.”

Gille smiled. “I’d like that very much. I’ll see you at supper?” he asked as he began inching towards the exit.

Lakota laughed. “Yes, but before you go you might want to put your clothes back on.”

Gille flushed again as he quickly donned his clothing and hurried out of the tent.

After checking the appointment list and noticing that Nathan was to be his next patient, the doctor decided one of the things he would discuss with the tailor was the possibility of getting Gille some decent clothing. Lakota had noted the lack of underwear and knew he was not going without for the sake of ease, as had young Galen. This poor kid just didn’t have any. He realised that nothing of his would fit the lad, but maybe some things could be cut down. He’d also have to see what could be done about the young man’s shoes. They had no cobbler in their midst, but surely someone had spare shoes or boots that could fit Gille’s feet.

With that resolve made, Lakota left the infirmary with plans to procure a late lunch that he felt sure Walker was keeping warm for him.

Much later, after the last of his two patients of the day departed, Lakota sat down to complete his notes for today’s physical exams and wrote:

Nathan O’Sullivan, age 28, a tailor. This man is of robust heath, with no visible scars or deformities. He claims the usual assortment of childhood illnesses with no other disease or injuries mentioned. He obviously involves himself in more physical activities than his choice of profession would suggest, as he is lean and firmly muscled. He demonstrates strong leadership skills and has a calm intelligent nature.

Lakota closed his record book and stretched his aching back. ‘Time I put more effort into physical exercise myself,’ he thought, knowing that spending his days with his patients and his books was taking its toll on his normally well-toned body. His mind wandered to thoughts of Gille and he hoped the younger man liked to walk and swim. Suddenly his body began to respond to the idea of other physical activities he would like to do with the beautiful lad. He would have to concentrate very hard not to allow that kind of thinking to interfere with keeping a level head when with Gille. It wouldn’t be appropriate to have the young man thinking he couldn’t control his urges.

Samuel looked once again for Wayne to invite him to join him for their evening meal. He frowned for a moment when he thought of how often they just seemed to miss each other but decided there was nothing he could do about it. After all, Wayne was his own man and owed him no explanations. But he was extremely curious about Wayne’s behaviour lately and he slowly shook his head as he debated whether or not to check up on him. In this new environment and with so much happening recently, it would be easy for a sensitive young man to be overwhelmed and take foolish or careless chances. He sadly shook his head at the thought of eating yet another meal without Wayne’s company.

Gille arrived at the mess hall feeling hungry for more than just food. All he could think of this whole afternoon was seeing the doctor again. He scanned the tent and quickly realised that Lakota had not yet responded to the dinner bell. He held back from joining the line of men pouring in from around the campsite, as he didn’t want to eat before the doctor even arrived. He was hungrily watching the others fill their plates when a large warm hand closed in on his shoulder.

“Do you plan on just watching or are you going to eat?” Lakota asked with a laugh.

“Hi! I thought I’d wait for you so we could eat together.” Suddenly shy, he added, “that is, if you don’t mind?”

“I think I would mind if you didn’t,” Lakota replied huskily. “Let’s get our food before it’s all gone.”

After exchanging a few words with Walker, the two men found a spot away from the rest of the crowd and dug into their meals. Lakota was happy to see the younger man had a healthy appetite. He sadly realised that Gille was overly slim because he had simply not had enough to eat. Well that would change here. They had plenty of food in store, a long planting season ahead and ample wild game and fish. They were lucky too to have both educated and life-experienced men amongst them. And now here was this beautiful man looking at him with longing in his eyes. ‘Perhaps life here,’ Lakota thought, ‘might bring me the one thing I’ve been lacking before, true happiness.’


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