Indiana Jones and the Sword of St. George by Susanna Chapter 1

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Chapter 6

A few hours later, Indy stirred restlessly on the floor of the cave. Confused by the moist floor below him, he opened his eyes cautiously. A wave of dizziness swept him, but he weakly sat up anyway. Where am I? What the hell is going on? Indy shuddered. What happened? He struggled to recollect the events of the past night…finally, he remembered vaguely what had occurred. Geez. He moved about slightly. His whole body ached, he was exhausted…other than that, fine. Indy felt his forehead with his hand. Add still running a slight fever to the list, he thought wearily. Goddamn Italians. Oh well. Things could be worse.
Sunlight crept into the cave, illuminating Lauren's sleeping figure in the corner. Indy stared at her, confused. Crap. She was there, too, wasn't she? Why in the world was she there? Indy coughed, rousing Lauren, who looked about her with almost the same degree of confusion that Indy had a few minutes earlier. That's right, she recollected…here I am. She turned to stare at Indy, whose pale face betrayed his exhaustion.
"In-Dr. Jones," Lauren said, breaking the silence, "Are you all right? You still don't look too good."
"I've been better," Indy answered dryly, coughing again. "I've just got one question. Why the hell are you here?"
"Umm…" Lauren looked about her nervously. She hadn't been expecting him to be so angry about it. "Uhh, well…to tell the truth, I don't quite know. Are you sure you feel all right? You were really sick yesterday," she continued, scrutinizing him carefully. She wasn't just trying to change the subject…she did honestly care…but she certainly wished he'd stop questioning her.
"Look I really don't feel up to these games right now, Lauren. I want a straight answer. What are you doing here?" Lauren stared straight at Indy and then proceeded to answer with a boldness that, for her, was extraordinary.
"I snuck along on the plane. I wanted to see a real adventure. I'm sick of my boring life."
"Are you now? Well, what you do to amuse yourself is none of my business, but all I know is that you'd better get home and go to the movies instead. This is no place for you. I've got work to do and don't need anyone tagging along. Besides, don't you see you coulda gotten killed last night? C'mon. Just go home," Indy responded. After he spoke he felt a little guilty - he hadn't meant to be quite so harsh - but he was tired and had no patience for this. Lauren felt tears rising in her eyes.
"Well…if that's the way you feel…I'm…I'm sorry, Dr. Jones," she began, her voice quavering. "But I'm not leaving," she continued with more determination. Indy's eyebrows went up in surprise at her obstinacy. He hadn't expected having to struggle with her.
"Yes, you are leaving. That's all," he answered harshly.
"No, I'm not!" Lauren responded, her lip quivering. "I'm not leaving. You need me to come along." Tears began streaming silently down Lauren's cheeks. He wanted her to leave? So he didn't think she was worthy of going on an adventure with him? Indy chuckled at Lauren's response, but then regretted it as he noticed her bitter tears. "You're laughing. You're laughing at me! I hate you," she yelled, feeling totally betrayed. Indy stopped abruptly. "You'll be surprised, Indiana Jones. I'm no little girl. I'm as tough as you are, and you know it. Please, please, let me come along!"
"Lauren, I'm sorry. You were courageous and I couldn't have asked for a better partner yesterday," he conceded. "I can take care of myself, though. Your place is at home in your classes, not here with me." Indy looked at her closely, surprised at her sudden tenacity. She did have an unexpectedly determined side. I guess if she came along…well, things could be worse than that.
"You aren't gonna change my opinion," Lauren said with icy determination. "I'm staying and that's it. I'm no quitter. I-" she began, and then burst into uncontrollable crying. What a mess she'd made of everything. Now Dr. Jones probably hated her. Before she could stop herself, she ran over to Indy and hugged him with tears still streaming down her face. Indy hugged her back, but she suddenly realized what she had done. He was her professor! Pulling back abruptly, she retreated to a corner, embarrassed at her behavior. She was acting like a complete fool, she realized, mortified.
Indy watched her anxiously. He coughed again, and took a long drink from his water container. Arrg. He really needed to get some real sleep, he thought, yawning. Then, he turned back towards Lauren. Oh well. He couldn't break her heart…she was an amiable little assistant, anyway.
"All right then. Get ready. We're goin' on a little trip!" Lauren smiled broadly, her face lighting up in jubilation, and then quickly resumed a more businesslike attitude. She got up, brushed off her clothing, and waited as Indy slowly got to his feet. "Ethiopia, here we come!"


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