For a moment, everyone was stunned.
Then everyone began to help—all at once.
“What happened to your knee?” Viviane asked, quickly standing. “Can you move it?”
“Are you okay?” Selina asked, rushing to his side.
Lolita signaled for someone.
“Ow, fuck, fuck, fuck,” Marcus moaned, rolling and holding his left thigh. “I don’t know, fuck, fuck fuck!”
“Wait, wait, look at me,” Barry commanded, crouching by Marcus. “Eyes on me. Can you stand?”
Marcus opened his eyes and focused. “What? What are you talking about?”
“Can you stand and extend your leg?” Barry repeated. “Like this?” Barry held out his own leg.
“I don’t know . . .” Marcus began. Barry took an elbow as Marcus bounced up on one foot, allowing his injured leg to dangle.
“Okay, now: slowly drop it into place,” Barry said.
Marcus straightened his leg and tried to stand. “Ow, shit! Down, down, put me down!” Barry lowered Marcus back to the mat. “God, don’t ask me to do that again!”
“Okay, that’s it,” Barry stood and faced the crowd pressing close. “He’s wrecked his ACL, maybe torn a ligament.”
The trannie we had met outside rushed over. “Are you having trouble with your leg?”
“Yes, fuck it! It hurts,” Marcus fairly cried.
“Sweetheart . . . “ I said, kneeling.
The trannie took a walkie-talkie from her belt. “Medical, pick up, this is Julie, MOD at the dungeon. Pick up.”
The device in Julie’s hand squawked a reply. Julie described the situation and listened again. She turned to Marcus.
“Can you stand?” she asked.
“Are you fucking kidding?” he said, clutching his thigh again.
“Tell them he ruptured his ACL,” Barry said. “He tore a ligament.”
“Let them do their work, Barry,” Lolita said sternly.
“You need to elevate that leg, honey,” Viviane said, bringing a chair nearby. “I had a bad leg injury once.”
“No one should do anything until medical arrives,” Lolita asserted.
Julie returned the walkie-talkie to her belt. “Medical is on the way. You aren’t to move, honey.”
“Well, I’m glad you agree with me,” Marcus said. He turned to Barry. “What are you saying? I busted an ACLU?”
“The ACL,” Barry said. “It runs from the center of your knee to your femur, right here.” Barry ran a finger over his own knee. “See? And you probably ruptured it when you fell. Did you hear a popping noise?”
“No . . . I don’t know, I just fell . . . does that need surgery?”
“Probably. It happens a lot in sports. It will take you out for about six weeks.”
“Six weeks?!” Marcus said, his shoulders falling. He looked at me. “I can’t miss work for six weeks.”
Lolita put her mouth close to my ear. “Can you make Barry stop? He’s not a doctor. He’s going to upset Marcus.”
I nodded. “Hey Barry, can you give him some room?”
Barry looked up. “We need to see if he can move his knee to the side.”
“Don’t move your knee,” another man said.
“Okay,” Marcus said, noticing the young man who had suddenly appeared from behind a curtain.
“I’m going to take your heel. Try to resist me as I push up.”
“Uh huh, and who are you?” Marcus asked.
“Firefly. Camp first responder. EMT, firefighter. Do you feel my hand on your heel?”
“Yes . . .”
“Barry, give them room to work,” Lolita instructed. Barry moved to one side.
“It’s the ACL,” Barry repeated to the man Marcus had been wrestling. “He’s going to be out for a while.” The poor fellow looked stricken.
Firefly gently moved Marcus’s leg from side to side, asking questions as he did so. He spoke into his walkie-talkie and listened to responses.
“Do you need anything?” Selina asked Marcus.
“Shouldn’t we elevate his leg?” Viviane asked Firefly.
“The medic is on his way,” Firefly said. “Yes, let’s elevate his leg, but no more movement. I’m going to get a kit. Can you stay here, Marcus?”
“I’m not going anywhere,” he said, wincing as Viviane and I lifted his foot into a chair.
Firefly spoke into his walkie-talkie as he stepped away.
“Would you like a glass of wine?” smiled a nude woman holding a whip.
Marcus looked up, taking in the incongruity of the offer. “Uh, yes, I would, thanks.”
“You shouldn’t drink wine,” Viviane warned. “You’re going to be taking ibuprofen for the pain.”
“I can manage a glass,” Marcus said, taking the cup being offered.
Viviane looked at me. “He shouldn’t drink anything.”
Selina sat and held Marcus’s hand. “They’ll be back soon,” she smiled.
“The ACL can usually be repaired, no problem,” Barry told someone.
Marcus sipped his wine and motioned me close. He leaned into my ear.
“I know everyone wants to help,” he whispered. “But I’m kind of going nuts here. Can you, you know, make them stop?”
I nodded. I looked at Viviane and Selina. “I think he needs some space.”
“Of course you do, sweetie,” Viviane said, standing.
“Let us know if you need anything,” Selina squeezed his hand. Our two friends asked the crowd to stand back. The match was over, they announced.
“Jefferson,” Marcus whispered. “I can’t be out for six weeks.”
“Shhh.” I lay beside him and took his head on my shoulder. I kissed his forehead. “Let’s see what the medical people say.”
“I can’t work without my knee,” he said, closing his eyes.
“I know, but let’s not worry about that.” I took the cup from his hand.
“It hurts so much . . . ,“ he trailed off.
Marcus’s head went limp against my neck. I held him still.
“I’m the camp medic,” a voice said from over my shoulder. “What’s happening?”
“His breathing is shallow and he’s unresponsive,” I replied.
“That’s not what I want to hear,” he said, kneeling. He directed Firefly to take Marcus’s blood pressure as he opened Marcus’s eyelids and shined a light into his pupils. Gradually, Marcus came around.
“Wha . . . what happened?” Marcus asked weakly.
“You had a vasovagal reaction,” the medic explained as he put a stethoscope on Marcus’s chest. “Essentially, you fainted. Very common in times of medical stress. Has this happened to you before?”
“No . . . what, you mean the fainting thing?” Marcus said, looking at me. “I don’t think so . . .”
“His pressure is coming back,” Firefly reported, unstrapping the Velcro from Marcus’s arm.
“Good.” The medic turned back to Marcus. “We’re taking you to a hospital. Do you think you can stretch out your leg in a van, or will we need an ambulance?”
“You can stretch your leg, right Marcus?” I asked.
“Yeah, just don’t ask me to bend it,” he said. “What, are we going in an ambulance?”
“Good. We’ll take the camp van. All right, I want your friend to come with us.” The medic turned to me. “Can you get a car and follow the van? You’ll be bringing him back. If you need us for anything, we’ll come back for you. Okay?”
“Good. You should get dressed and help your friend to get dressed.”
I had forgotten we were still naked.
I dressed and helped Marcus with his clothes. Viviane returned to our cabin for our wallets and keys. A van showed up at the dungeon. Firefly and I helped Marcus into a bench in the back. He winced at any motion to his knee.
Firefly sat with Marcus, his medical kit by his side. Colten was behind the driver’s seat. Tristan hopped into the passenger side.
She turned to the backseat. “Anything for attention, huh, Marcus?” she teased.
“Tristan,” he smiled. “You know, I’ll go to any length to make you notice me.”
At the hospital, Marcus was put into a wheelchair and admitted into Emergency. I waited with Tristan, Colten and Firefly as an administrator took his information.
“Jefferson?” Marcus called. “Can you come here for a moment, please?”
I joined him and rested a hand on his wheelchair. “What’s up?” I asked.
“I want to give them your phone number as an emergency contact and I don’t have my cell. What is it?”
The administrator looked up at me, her pen ready for the information. I gave her my number.
“Okay,” she said, writing the final digit. “And is Jefferson your first or last name?”
I looked at Marcus. I had forgotten. “Jefferson” is not my name at all.
I leaned forward and quietly gave my real name.
Reality had ruptured the neat bubble of sex camp the moment Marcus fell on the mats.
A door opened into the waiting room, near the seats occupied by Tristan, Colton and Firefly. A nurse called loudly for Marcus—using his real name, of course.
“So much for anonymity,” Marcus sighed.
“We can trust them, of all people,” I said, wheeling him to the examination area. Firefly joined us. He spoke to the nurse, bringing her up to speed.
“Okay, that’s all we can do for you,” Firefly said. “You are in good hands, so we are going back to camp, because we are on duty tonight. If you need us for anything, please call us.”
I shook Firefly’s hand and sat with Marcus. He was examined by a doctor and given painkillers before being taken for X-rays.
As we waited for results, Marcus worried that he was now out of commission for the duration of sex camp.
“I can’t fuck anyone if I can’t put weight on my knee,” he fretted.
“You’re very creative,” I assured him. “If there’s someone willing, you’ll find a way.”
To distract him, we made up dirty stories about the cute young father soothing his baby in the next examination area.
The doctor came back to explain that there was no evidence of a break, but Marcus would need to get an MRI when he returned home to rule out further damage. He was released after being outfitted with a brace, crutches and a prescription for more painkillers.
As we prepared to leave, I turned to Marcus.
“Remember this morning, when you said it was my own fault that you didn’t share that boy Felix? That this was my comeuppance for hogging Madeline one night last year?”
“Yes . . .” he began.
“Well, you do realize that it is your own fault that you hurt your knee.”
“And how do you figure that?” he smiled, hobbling.
“If you had shared the boy, we would not have wrestled this morning. If we had not wrestled, you would not have been inspired to organize the match. If there had been no match, you would not have been injured. So you see, this is really all your doing.”
He leaned on a desk to get his balance. “I’m glad you’re my friend,” he said. “I’d hate to be your enemy.”
I held a door as he passed on his crutches. “Don’t worry,” I said. “I'm sure we can find a way to pin this all on Madeline.”