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Several days later, Martin is caught in a thunderstorm with a failed boat engine. The dolphins tow his boat into a hidden cave for shelter from the storm, but Martin hits his head on the way into the cave. He feels dizzy and sick as he unloads the boat, and realises that he's concussed. When two strange men appear, he assumes he's hallucinating:
Martin looked around for something to tie the boat to, to stop it drifting away. Then he realised that he could just climb up the steps with the line in his hand, walk along the rock shelf, and simply tow the whole thing to the shingle beach. That way he could climb out without getting any wetter than he already was, but would still have the boat close to hand.
He managed to get the boat half out onto the beach and even found a rusted iron ring to tie it to. Getting the tarpaulin and blanket out took the last of his strength. He staggered up the beach and was delighted to find a stretch of dry sand past the shingle. He spread out the tarp, then the blanket on top of that, and started stripping off his wet clothes. It seemed to take a long time, and his fingers felt like rubber. In fact, he felt rather as if he were drunk.
He stopped and closed his eyes, and the nausea receded a little. But he knew now that he had concussion. That bang on the head had been enough to do it.
Wonderful. Lost, trapped by a storm, and concussed. Not the best situation to be in. He had to hope that the concussion was mild, because if he had any serious injury he was in deep shit.
"Don't go to sleep just yet," a deep, attractive voice said. "You owe us something for the rescue, I think."
Startled, Martin opened his eyes again. There was a man standing in front of him, and another just walking out of the water.
And no dolphins in the water.
Naked men. Tall, handsome, naked men. The one in front of him was definitely tall, a good bit taller than he was. And strapping with it, muscular without being muscle-bound. Tall, blond, and handsome. The one just shaking the water off his legs was dark-haired, but otherwise more of the same. Martin felt his cock rise, and then his cheeks flush as he remembered that he was naked too and they could see his reaction. The man in front of him looked down at his erection and then back up at his face, and grinned.
He tried to remember whether you got hallucinations with concussion. It was too long since the last time he'd been on a first-aid course. He closed his eyes again. "You're not real." They couldn't be real; dazed or not, he'd have noticed if another boat had followed his in.
"Oh, you're half naked and find yourself faced with a couple of naked men instead of a couple of dolphins, so you go into denial."
They must have seen him arrive with the dolphins. But how? How had they got here? Could there be a passage down from the surface? Unlikely. They'd come out of the water, not from further back in the cave. And there was nowhere for them to have come from, unless they'd swum in after him, for there was only his own boat and no other. It was an unlikely place to go for a swim. "I'm hallucinating. They're not real," he said to himself.
Then he felt bodies pressed up against him. "If we're not real, this isn't happening," another voice said.
He grabbed at the man in front of him, too dizzy now to care about anything but the support he offered. Arms went around him, holding him tightly.
"Grateful for your rescue? How grateful?"
"No." He should let go, should pull away. But he wasn't sure he could even stand up without help now.
Hands pressed on his shoulders, forcing him to his knees. He could feel body heat in front of his face. He opened his eyes and saw what he expected to see -- a cock. And felt a sudden rush of bile to his mouth. "I'll be sick."
"Not your sort of thing, is it? Amazing how many want it when they think they're going to be on top, and then change their minds. I suppose you'd have been the same given half a chance."
He tried to fight down the dizziness and looked up. Hallucination or not, the man was in front of him and looking fairly determined. Though there was no attempt to force him to take the man's cock now that he was on his knees. "No, I'll really be sick. Seasick. And concussion."
The man stared at him for a moment; then his expression changed to concern, and he knelt down in front of Martin. "What happened?"
"Bumped my head coming into the cave." God, his speech was slurred now. It had taken a little while for the effects to set in, but he was very definitely concussed. "Here." He tried to point to where he'd hit his head.
"He's putting it on," the man behind him said.
"No, I don't think he is," the first one said. He touched Martin's temple. Martin flinched, but the touch was gentler than he'd expected after their initial aggression. It didn't hurt. All he felt was a light touch on his skin and a strange buzzing in his head that must be an effect of the concussion.
"He's hurt, Patrick. Go and see if he's got a torch in the boat; I can't see whether there's any surface damage." The man smiled at Martin, and there was only gentle humour in it, no threat. "All right, payment can wait."
"Really can't ..."
"Shhh, it's all right. We didn't realise you were hurt, or we wouldn't have pushed you like that." Nothing but concern in the man's face now, the aggression stripped away. He put his arms around Martin again. "Try to stay awake for a few minutes; we need to check how bad it is."
Martin let himself sag into the man's embrace and closed his eyes again. He was in no shape to try to get away, and no longer felt any need to. "Wish I could. Couple of pretty lads like you, and I'm too fucking sick to fuck," he muttered. "Though if I wasn't sick, I bet you wouldn't be here." Something in the back of his mind still said that they couldn't really be here, that he was more badly injured than he'd realised and this was some sort of fever dream.
He felt the man stiffen slightly and realised that he'd said it out loud. Realised what he'd said out loud and was astonished at himself. He wasn't one for making passes at strangers, and certainly not strangers who'd been pretty damned sure of themselves in making a pass at him.
Aggressive, yes, but concerned for him when they'd realised he was hurt. At least, this one was. He'd dropped all interest in dominance games as soon as he'd seen that Martin was genuinely hurt. Martin wasn't so dazed that he couldn't understand his own reaction to that. The contrast with Barry's behaviour was only too stark. It just reinforced his theory that this was a dream, that these two men were something from his subconscious mind, a projection of what he wanted.
"You do like men, then?"
"Mmm." He rested his head against the man's chest. "Still feel sick. Think it's seasickness as well, though."
"That must have been a rough ride at the end."
"Don't want to think about it."
He heard a quiet chuckle, then, "No, I don't suppose you do."
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