Jared the Paramedic II ~ The Family Gathers

Chapter 13: Broken Paths

Main Character ListMain Character List ("<\/p>\r\n<h3 style=\"text-align: justify;\">Main Characters<\/h3>\r\n<h4 style=\"text-align: justify;\">Jared<\/h4>\r\n<ul style=\"text-align: justify;\">\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Age: 29<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Description: 6'3\", 230 lbs of solid muscle, trimmed dark black hair and deep chocolate brown eyes<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: Paramedic (Partner: Liam) \/ Shift Supervisor \/ Paramedic Field Trainer<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Boyfriend: Liam<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Relationships: Mathew Bear (grandfather), Melanie Bear (cousin)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Spirit Guide: Bear<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Nicknames: Masqua, Standing Bear<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Titles: Sacred Medicine Man of the People, President and CEO Bear Investment Group (secret)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<h4 style=\"text-align: justify;\">Liam<\/h4>\r\n<ul style=\"text-align: justify;\">\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Age: 22<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Description: 6'0\", blue eyes, curly blond hair, nicely toned and tanned<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: Paramedic (Partner: Jared)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Boyfriend: Jared<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Spirit Guide: Eagle<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Nicknames: Mikisow, Soaring Eagle<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<hr \/>\r\n<h4 style=\"text-align: justify;\">Troy<\/h4>\r\n<ul style=\"text-align: justify;\">\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Age: 25<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Description: 5'11\", brown eyes, blonde hair, solid but not overly muscular.<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: Paramedic<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Boyfriend: Tyler<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Spirit Guide: Wolf<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<h4 style=\"text-align: justify;\">Tyler<\/h4>\r\n<ul style=\"text-align: justify;\">\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Age: 25<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Description: 5'11\", brown eyes, dark brown hair, slim<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: Police Officer (Partner: Josh)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Boyfriend: Troy<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Spirit Guide: Wolf<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<hr \/>\r\n<h4 style=\"text-align: justify;\">Josh<\/h4>\r\n<ul style=\"text-align: justify;\">\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Age: 25<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Description: 5'8\", blue eyes, light brown hair, solid. He and Darrin could pass for cousins or even brothers,<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: Police Officer (Partner: Tyler)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Boyfriend: Darren<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Spirit Guide: Wolf<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Nickname: Ditch Pig<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<h4 style=\"text-align: justify;\">Darren<\/h4>\r\n<ul style=\"text-align: justify;\">\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Age: 26<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Description: 6'0\", green eyes, light brown hair, solid. He and Josh could pass for cousins or even brothers.<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: Fire Fighter<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Boyfriend: Josh<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Spirit Guide: Wolf<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Nickname: Hose Puller<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<hr \/>\r\n<h4 style=\"text-align: justify;\">Jesse<\/h4>\r\n<ul style=\"text-align: justify;\">\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Age: 32 (looks 22)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Description: 5'10\" 160 lbs, blonde hair, clear blue eyes, light olive skin (darkens considerably when tanned). Has an eidetic memory.<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: Lawyer, McCoy &amp; Associates (owner, President, CEO), McAdam Construction (owner, President, CEO)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Husband: Marc (deceased)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Boyfriend: Zane<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<h4 style=\"text-align: justify;\">Zane<\/h4>\r\n<ul style=\"text-align: justify;\">\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Age: 26<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Description: 5'8\" 140 lbs, brown hair, brown eyes<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Director of the LGTBQ2 Centre<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Boyfriend: Jesse<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<hr \/>\r\n<h4 style=\"text-align: justify;\">Conner<\/h4>\r\n<ul style=\"text-align: justify;\">\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Age: 18<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Description: 5'10\", 150 lbs, slightly built, brown curly hair, hazel eyes<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Student<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Relationships:&#160;Frank (surrogate father)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<hr \/>\r\n<h4 style=\"text-align: justify;\">Mark<\/h4>\r\n<ul style=\"text-align: justify;\">\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Age: 18<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Description: 5'11\", 150 lbs, slightly built, dirty blonde straight hair, grey eyes<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Student<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Relationships: Sgt. Frank Myers (father)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<hr \/>\r\n<h4 style=\"text-align: justify;\">Adam<\/h4>\r\n<ul style=\"text-align: justify;\">\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Age: 19<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Description: 5'8\", 145 lbs, black hair, chocolate brown eyes, olive skin<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Relationships: Tom (grandfather), Frank (surrogate father)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<hr \/>\r\n<h4 style=\"text-align: justify;\">Patrick<\/h4>\r\n<ul style=\"text-align: justify;\">\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Age: 17<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Description: 6'0\", dark shaggy hair, large soft brown eyes, contagious smile, and a light mustache<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<hr \/>\r\n<h4 style=\"text-align: justify;\">Mathew (Grandfather)<\/h4>\r\n<ul style=\"text-align: justify;\">\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Relationships: Jared and Melanie (grandchildren), Liam, Tyler, Troy, Darren, Josh, Jesse, Zane, Conner, Mark, Adam (adopted grandchildren)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<hr \/>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: justify;\">")

Recurring Character ListRecurring Character List ("<\/p>\r\n<h3 style=\"text-align: justify;\"><span style=\"text-decoration: underline; color: #999999;\">Recurring Characters<\/span><\/h3>\r\n<h4 style=\"text-align: justify;\">Sgt. Frank Myers<\/h4>\r\n<ul style=\"text-align: justify;\">\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: Police Sergeant<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Relationships: Mark (son) and a daughter, Conner (surrogate son), Adam (surrogate son)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<hr \/>\r\n<h4 style=\"text-align: justify;\">Rob<\/h4>\r\n<ul style=\"text-align: justify;\">\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: Ambulance Base Manager<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<hr \/>\r\n<h4 style=\"text-align: justify;\">Melanie Bear<\/h4>\r\n<ul style=\"text-align: justify;\">\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Description: 5'6\", with olive skin and jet black braided hair to her waist<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: Executive Assistant to the CEO\/President, Bear Investment Group (3rd in command)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Relationships: Mathew Bear (grandfather), Jared Bear (cousin)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<hr \/>\r\n<h4 style=\"text-align: justify;\">Jack<\/h4>\r\n<ul style=\"text-align: justify;\">\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: COO of McCoy &amp; Associates<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Relationships: Molly (wife), Jesse (surrogate son)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<h4 style=\"text-align: justify;\">Molly<\/h4>\r\n<ul style=\"text-align: justify;\">\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Relationships: Jack (husband), Jesse (surrogate son)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<hr \/>\r\n<h4 style=\"text-align: justify;\">Julie<\/h4>\r\n<ul style=\"text-align: justify;\">\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: Office Manager for the local McCoy &amp; Associates office<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Used to babysit Jesse and Marc when they were young<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<hr \/>\r\n<h4 style=\"text-align: justify;\">John<\/h4>\r\n<ul style=\"text-align: justify;\">\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: CFO and Acting CEO, Bear Investment Group (2nd in command after Jared)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<hr \/>\r\n<h4 style=\"text-align: justify;\">Amanda<\/h4>\r\n<ul style=\"text-align: justify;\">\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Description: A pleasant woman, shorter, plump, eyes full of life, and&#160;grandmotherly. &#160;Also a sensitive.<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: Hospital Social Worker<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<hr \/>\r\n<h4 style=\"text-align: justify;\">Marci<\/h4>\r\n<ul style=\"text-align: justify;\">\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: Paramedic<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<hr \/>\r\n<h4 style=\"text-align: justify;\">Tom<\/h4>\r\n<ul style=\"text-align: justify;\">\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Age: 75<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: Owner and Operator of Tom's Marina<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Relationships: Adam (grandson)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<hr \/>\r\n<h4 style=\"text-align: justify;\">Trevor<\/h4>\r\n<ul style=\"text-align: justify;\">\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Age: 23<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Description: 5'8\" 130 lbs, long blonde hair, very fine facial features with delicate hands<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: Works at the LGBTQ Centre<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<hr \/>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: justify;\">")

On Monday morning, Jared had Rob assign Liam and Troy together for the day, while he stayed home, made some phone calls, and did some of the office work he needed to catch up on.  Liam was concerned but felt better when Jared explained he had thought about the helicopter idea over the weekend and wanted more information on the whole idea.

The information Jared had requested from Melanie and John about the helicopter had been forwarded to him and the costs they had estimated were considerably lower than what he expected.  Jared was smirking as he typed his email reply to them to price out the costs of private license lessons, with additional endorsements for instrumentation and night flying.  Additionally, to draw up a budget for the machine, pilots, maintenance, associated costs, and to also look into the purchase of a Bell 505 Jet Ranger X for personal use.  Jared was smiling broadly knowing what Melanie would be verbalizing as she read 'for personal use.'  He hit send, with a CC to Liam and Rob.

Jared then retrieved the message and prepared it for forwarding to Jesse.  The only message he typed before sending it was, "Would you like to learn how to fly with the eagles or stay on the ground with the turkeys?"  Jared laughed to himself as the message confirmed it had been sent.

Jared was reviewing items for approval from John regarding the purchasing of replacement ambulances, equipment for the new ambulance base, and a contract proposal from the Health Region to operate the clinic at the LGBT Centre.

Jared laughed as his cell phone rang.  "Jesse, it took you a couple more minutes longer than I expected for you to call."

"You're serious about doing this the helicopter for the ambulance and a personal one as well?"

"I'm thinking about it, and just asked Melanie to work with John to get the numbers together."

"Would you be interested in a business arrangement between us?"

"I'm open to ideas at this stage, should we get together to toss some thoughts around?"

"As long as you don't tell Molly I want to take flying lessons."

"She wouldn't like it?"

"I don't know how she would react, especially considering how my parents and Marc's parents died."

"Jesse, please forgive me, buddy…"

He was cut off quickly by Jesse, "Jared, you said nothing wrong.  We are moving into the future and not dwelling in the past.  I would love to learn how to fly a helicopter if we end up doing this, but I would have to tell Molly first.  If I didn't tell her, my ass would be black and blue and don't think she wouldn't do it."

Jared was laughing, and then added, "Especially with Zane's help."

Jesse was laughing, too. "You can bank on that."

The two friends chatted for a few more minutes before ending the call.  Jared continued to review the emails John and Rob had sent him and would continue doing it for most of the day.

Troy and Liam were sitting in a coffee shop near the university when their radio's warbled.  Liam quickly gave the server money to pay for their coffee with a good tip on the way out the door.  The staff waved at the departing medics as this wasn't the first time this had happened.

They were dispatched downtown to an address in an area known to them both as a drug user hang out.  When they got there, a 24-year-old female was leaning against the wall behind a dumpster with a needle still embedded in a now still and flat vein.  She had been found after the garbage truck had picked up the dumpster to empty it.  The police were arriving at the same time the ambulance was but as Liam and Troy approached her they both knew it was too late for this young lady, and unfortunately, it was obvious from a distance.  Liam and Troy knew the police officers casually from other calls, but neither could recall their names until they saw the name tags.

The coloring of the skin and the fixed and drying pupils was all they needed to see to know she was gone, but Liam knelt and gently touched her neck to confirm the absence of a pulse.  Rigor mortis had begun to set in, and she appeared to have lividity already as well.  The young lady had been in this position for a while and exposed to the coolness of the air as well.

Liam and Troy stepped back and positioned themselves in front of her on one knee.  Troy moved next to Liam and placed his hand on his partner's shoulder. Both looked at the ground for a moment, and then skyward.

Liam spoke, "Creator, this child of yours has ended her journey in this life.  Please welcome and guide her spirit to the next world where she will no longer feel the pain or suffer the agony of her physical form."

Troy continued, "The vessel of her life was used, broken, and now is discarded but the body is only a vessel, and the spirit continues."

The police officers didn't see Liam's eyes turn bright white as he was speaking.  They also didn't see the sudden materialization of a translucent but beautiful slim young lady sitting on the curb crying not far from the body. The young lady appeared with her long blonde hair braided which she was nervously playing with.  The spirit of the young lady was free of illness and disease and had very large expressive eyes.

Liam looked at the young lady who was now standing up and smiled at her warmly.  He raised his eyes to the sky.  "Please accept this lost spirit into the warmth, peace, and love of the next world."  The young lady stopped and looked confused for a moment, suddenly realizing these men could see her.

First, it was her hands which began to glow brightly, and the young lady held them in front her looking at them in wonder or amazement.  The glow spread rapidly throughout her body until her entire form glowed.  The process continued until the human form was no longer observable.  Suddenly, the white form began to shrink into a white orb.  Just before it flew skyward, both Liam and Troy heard a woman's voice say, "Thank you."

After a moment, the two men stood and went to Eric and Chad, the police officers standing nearby.

"Do you need anything from us, guys," asked Liam.

"No thanks, the detectives are on the way to take over the investigation to make sure it isn't anything more than what it appears.  This is becoming too common now, isn't it?" said Chad.

"It is," replied Troy.

"You guys are always so good to the people, even the addicts.  I mean, you even said a prayer for her."

"It only takes a moment for someone to do an act of kindness; something the living never seem to remember," replied Troy.

The officers looked at each other and then at the ground.  "I agree with you Troy, and sometimes it's hard to remember that very simple concept, especially as we don't see very many people on their best days."

"It's also hard to think of this person possibly as a mother, a daughter or sister to someone.  When you deal with addicts, drifters and dirtbags all the time you forget they're human, too," said Eric while he nervously picked at his thumbnail. "We've been seeing a few of these people like this, dead I mean.  A couple of the autopsies have found the cause of death to be a drug overdose, suspected fentanyl but they were awaiting confirmation."

Troy looked at the policeman, "Fentanyl? Where the hell is that stuff coming from?  This person was a heroin addict – although I can't remember her name.  I've seen her around."

The two policemen both shook their heads.  Eric said, "I've seen her too but had no clue who she was; she never caused any problems for us.  No clue where this shit is coming from.  She didn't deserve this…"

Liam reached out to both of the officers and touched their shoulders.  He looked into their minds and pushed some of the cynical attitudes an emergency worker develops into the back of their minds.  They needed some of it, but not as much as what he saw in their minds.  Liam knew both were good men from what he saw inside of each of them, and he also saw the faces of a couple of older officers who had planted much of the cynical attitude into them.  One of them was Officer Newberry, and the other one Liam didn't know.  Liam was suddenly pulled into a very well hidden, suppressed, and controlled memory the two of them shared.  One had broken up with a long-term girlfriend, and now did the playing of the field expected of him but was not really happy.  He was searching for something in his life, but it wasn't something within his comfort zone.  The other is married, but it wasn't going well and the relationship could be considered circling the drain.  The officer had been acting as a husband for a long time, but he really knew the relationship was over.  He just didn't want to admit it or be alone.

Liam also sensed frustration, and psychological problems starting in both of them due to an inner conflict which he didn't have the time to delve into at this time.  The conflict may be suppression of gay or bisexual feelings but the two of them were also actively fighting feelings which could simply be love for each other.  Liam realized it was not the love you would have for a brother, close friend, or even a bromance you might develop with a work partner.  It was a stronger love, and both had a fear of revealing the secret, being discovered or losing each other. Liam realized it was love the way it was intended to be, with no labels or reservations.  They just loved each other.  Neither of the men was aware of the other's inner thoughts or desires.  Liam planted his phone number and the suggestion to call him or Jared if they needed friends.  He made the information general, but he also linked the knowledge to a few specific behaviors – including thoughts of self-destruction, mutilation or suicide. If they thought about or acted out one of these behaviors, the need to contact Liam would come to the front of their minds and dominate their minds before they continued along that path.  They would become single-minded in trying to contact Liam or Jared once the planted information was opened.  It was a failsafe way to protect these two people if they found a long-term solution for a short-term problem.

Liam took his hands off the men, and they both snapped their heads in a quick jerk similar to a static shock.

Liam smiled and said, "Eric, Chad – give me a call anytime you think you need someone.  There is always coffee available, and an ear to listen."

The two officers looked at Liam, each other and Liam again.  Eric said, "Thanks, Liam.  I may do that someday."

"Anytime guys, and I mean anytime."

An unmarked police car pulled up as they were chatting.  Liam and Troy spoke with the plainclothes officer and then departed the scene.  Troy was driving as Liam completed the paperwork on the call.

Liam asked Troy if he knew Eric or Chad, but other than crime scenes or accidents he didn't know them at all.  He then briefly explained to Troy about what he had seen in the memories.  Troy commented that he could feel the energy radiate off Liam for the few seconds he was in contact with the two officers, something he had never felt from Jared or even Liam before.  Liam made a note to talk with Jared about it.

Dispatch contacted them and sent them to a call for abdominal pain, followed by a call for a person with general malaise at a Level 1 assisted seniors living home.

They met Marci and Cam for lunch where they tried to figure out who had the grossest call of the day so far.  Cam won because the patient he picked up at the elementary school projectile-vomited and caught him square in the chest.  The regurgitated oatmeal was liberally filled with numerous poorly chewed jujubes and other unknown foods and stuck quite well to the front of his uniform as well as the interior walls in the back of the ambulance. Cam and Marci were developing a friendship, and obviously were beginning to work together quite well.  It would be good for Marci to have a partner she could rely upon.

The next call came in as they were leaving after finishing lunch.  A school bus from the local high school on a trip to the museum was hit by a pickup truck as it ran a red light.  Jared would also be responding with two additional units from the base until they determine the actual number of injured persons.

As Liam and Marci pulled up, the fire department was beginning to remove the walking wounded from the bus, and move them into a control area being set up.  The engine compartment of the pickup truck was embedded into the bus approximately three-quarters of the way towards the back.

Liam ran over to the Fire Captain, "We're here Cap, where do want triage?"

The Captain turned and replied, "Over there next to the parked ladder truck.  How many more units you got coming?"

"Jared is coming with two more fully staffed dual stretcher units."

"Not sure what we have here yet so that sounds good so far."

Liam got on the radio to bring Jared up to date with the Captain's information.

Over the radio, the Captain heard Jared reply, "I'm on the way with Melanie, and Rob is bringing another unit with Dawn and two new hires we were interviewing today and haven't even hired yet."

The Captain smiled, "Tell Jared outstanding for me and he can slide those units in next to the ladder truck.  We'll call you if we need you in the wreck otherwise we will extricate anyone unless they are medically complicated."

"Understood Captain, and as usual we'll help your guys in any way."

"Thanks, I know we can always count on you guys."

Liam was using the radio to bring everyone up to speed on the directions from the Captain as the fire fighters walked a couple of the kids over.  Marci took them to the unit and recorded their names and gave them a quick examination.  Two more young people were brought over and Cam began the process with them.

Jared pulled up in the third unit as the Captain yelled for Liam and Troy to bring their jump kit.  A firefighter brought them into the bus where two girls were trapped by wreckage, and two guys were calmly talking to them.

Liam and Troy immediately began to assess the two patients.  They were conscious of more of the young people leaving the bus, and firefighters beginning to use the jaws of life to cut the seats away.  It didn't appear either of them were seriously injured but they wouldn't know for sure until the seats were cut away.

"Liam," whispered Melanie as she moved in close behind him.  "There's someone in the back of the bus who needs you more than these two.  I'll take over here from you."

Liam looked at her and nodded his head while motioning to Troy for him to move as well.  He moved his way to the back of the bus and immediately went to where a firefighter was waving to him.  A young man was pinned between the inside wall of the bus and the fender of the pickup truck.  His eyes locked on Liam as he moved towards him.

The young man appeared to be 18 years old, a light growth of mustache, piercing blue eyes, and large silver ear rings in both ears.  His brown hair was styled at one time, but was now full of blood and bits of glass.

Liam moved quickly and was looking around him and trying to figure out what was needed to get him out.

The young guy spoke, "Hi."

"Hi, I'm Liam and that's Troy.  What's your name?"

"My name is Gavin.  Liam…" the young man hesitated as tears began to roll down his cheek.  "Liam… I'm not going to make it, am I?"

"Whoa there, Gavin; don't you get the cart before the horse. We are two of the best medics you could have working on you and we do not give up easily," said Troy.

"That's right, Gavin, now let's check you over to see what needs to be done," said Liam.

Liam moved closer to the young man and began to examine him from head to toe while Troy was obtaining the vitals. One of the firefighters was holding Gavin's head in position due to the potential of head, neck and spinal injuries.  Liam was also trying to figure out the potentially easiest way to extricate him from the wreck.  During the examination, Liam found indications of a couple of lacerations, internal abdominal bleeding, the potential for broken ribs and a compound fracture of his lower leg. Two of the firefighters were behind him and explained what they were going to do to get him free.  They were going to have to cover the young man while they made a couple of cuts into the steel pinning him. Troy took control of Gavin's head from the firefighter while Liam moved next to the young man, and took his hand.  The firefighters gently pulled the cover over the three men.

"I'm getting tired, Liam, but thanks for being with me and trying to help," Gavin said slowly.

Now out of sight of the other's, Liam's eyes glowed white and he quickly began to do another assessment of the young man.  Liam prayed silently for the Creator to guide his hands to do their best work.  Liam was able to quickly correct two life threatening problems he found; one was Gavin's left kidney and the liver which had been damaged by the fractured rib.  Inside Gavin's head was damage consistent with the left side of the head hitting the window with a tremendous amount of force.  Both injuries were controlled and healed sufficiently fairly easily by Liam.

"Gavin, while we are here alone, some of the injuries you have are not from this accident, are they?" asked Liam.

"How would you know?"

"I'm not dumb, Gavin.  There are a few injuries at different levels of healing which indicate a couple of previous events."

"If I live, I swear I will tell you."

"I 100% guarantee you are going to live."

"Gavin," said Troy, "when Liam tells you he guarantees you are going to survive, believe it, little man."

The young man hesitated for a moment, and then said, "I actually believe you."

The sound of the equipment was loud as the blades sawed through the sheet metal.  The smell of hot metal was strong as the sparks from the side grinder bounced off the protective sheet. Gavin was trembling as the saw cut metal, and Liam gently squeezed his hand and held it securely.  The young man settled down knowing someone was with him.  Soon enough, the sawing was finished and metal was being removed.

The cover was taken off and Liam saw Rob and a couple of people he has never seen before in ambulance coveralls.

"We'll get him onto a board rapid extrication style, and then get him out of here," said Rob.

Liam stepped back, and the team moved in.  It took them four minutes to collar, strap and place the young man on the spinal board.

"Rob, as you guys have lots of people here, I'll take this one into the hospital with Troy," said Liam as he grabbed his bags.

"Liam, I would prefer…" started Rob.

"I need to go with Gavin to the hospital, Rob," said Liam flatly and making eye contact with Rob.

Rob's eyes opened and fixed on Liam's face.  After a moment he asked, "No problem Liam, do you need anyone else?"

Liam shook his head slightly, "I'll be fine, boss."

"You'll fill me in later?" asked Rob.

Liam leaned over and quietly said, "He has injuries in various stages of healing, pre-existing, and he promised to tell me about them on the way in."

"You guys never to cease to amaze me; good luck, Liam," replied Rob.

The firefighters carried the young man to a stretcher and secured him.  The accident was actually minor by the amount and severity of injuries.  There were only 20 students on the bus, and fortunately, only three of those were stretcher cases along with six who had minor abrasions.  The driver of the pickup truck who hit the bus was dead and awaiting the Coroner to arrive and complete his investigation.

Gavin was in some pain as they pushed him down the road and loaded him into the ambulance.  Troy jumped in the back as the firefighters closed the doors.  Liam and Troy went to work reassessing their patient and ensuring the IV's were running smoothly.  Liam pushed some morphine through the one IV line, and Gavin immediately relaxed somewhat.  Troy packed and wrapped some dressings around the compound fracture.

"How are you feeling?" asked Liam.

"The pain killer helped, but it still hurts to breathe."

"Considering what happened, you are in pretty good shape," replied Liam.  He grabbed a couple of blankets and packed them along Gavin's left side with sandbags.  "Does that help at all?"

Gavin smiled, "Actually, it does help.  Thanks."

"We are going to get going to the hospital now.  Troy, Code 3 only unless something changes," said Liam.

"Sounds good.  You ok there, Gavin?" asked Troy as he reached out and took the young man's hand.

Gavin looked up at Troy, and then to Liam.  "You guys are so nice."

"It's what we do, little guy," said Troy.

Troy started to move but Gavin held his hand and wouldn't let go.

"Gavin?" asked Troy.

"Am I going to live?"

"Absolutely, Gavin," replied Troy.  "We told you earlier we are two of the best paramedics around and we'd never let you die on our shift."

The young man winced, and then smiled.  "You guys make me feel comfortable and safe."

"That's what we do.  What do you need to be safe from?" asked Liam.

Just as he was about to answer, the back door of the ambulance flew open.  A large, slovenly man with a beard was standing there.  "Where is that little bastard?"  He tried to crawl into the ambulance, but if the smell of beverage alcohol was any indication he was going to have problems.  It was Troy who made sure the man would not make it in.

Troy was startled, and turned to the threat filling the back door.  He dropped Gavin's hand and launched himself full force towards the shape as he howled a terrifying wolf growl from deep inside him.  The eyes of the paramedic had changed to a bright white as he scanned and sensed whatever he could of the intruder.  Troy hit the man square in his chest with his full weight causing the two of them to fly backwards, landing on the pavement approximately six feet from the back of the unit.  Troy pinned him to the ground, but was pulled off quickly as Melanie took over.  The police were running to assist her as Melanie flipped the man onto his face and fell into him with her elbow digging in.  The man screamed in agony.

Just before the police arrived, she whispered into his ear, "If you come anywhere near any of my paramedics again, I will rip your head off and piss down your throat.  Do you hear me?  You do not touch my brothers, do you hear me?"

The man could barely get 'yes' out his mouth when she nailed him again.  The police had run over and were taking over from Melanie.

As she stood up, the Chief Superintendent was standing there smiling at her.  "Do I have the pleasure of finally meeting Melanie Bear?" he asked as he extended his hand.

She smartly saluted, which he returned smartly as well.  "Yes, sir."

"Please call me John and may I call you Melanie?"

"John, you can call me Melanie or Mel."

"I learned a long time ago to never underestimate Jared Bear and his brothers and now I'll add sisters or cousins to that as well.  It was incredible to watch you dealing with him."

"Thank you, John, it's cousin and I'm a little out of shape."

"It was what Troy did which shocked me.  It was like he did a running tackle on the man but I'm not sure how he did it in such a short distance to run."

"It's hard to explain, but all of them are very, very strong and capable of the most incredible things."

John looked at her for a moment to allow Melanie to continue, but when it became obvious she wouldn't, he said, "You know Melanie, you were described to me as one of the most beautiful women ever seen in this city."

Melanie blushed slightly.

"But your feet are not as big as I was told, so I find it hard to believe you spit fire and stomp on villages."

Melanie's face went blank, and then she started to laugh as she said, "Fucking Tyler that god damn flatfoot, small dicked little dipshit. I am going to get him one of these days."

John started laughing at her reaction and said, "He almost had your retort word for word, too."

"He and Liam both are going to get it," said Melanie with a big smile.

John thought for a moment, "You're correct, Liam was there, too, and believe it was he who said the big feet to better stomp on the peasants."

"Chief Superintendent, would you like to help me get even with those two someday by any chance?"

"It would be my pleasure, and I'm sure my husband Gus would help as well.  So, would you fill me in on your tour with the Medical Unit with the Marines and what you're doing now with your life?"

Troy had gone back into the ambulance as soon as Melanie had taken over from him.

"You guys ok?" he asked as he entered and closed the doors behind him.  He looked and saw Liam still holding Gavin's hand, but Gavin had a blank look on his face.  "You ok, Gavin?"

"Yeah, yeah I am.  What the fuck happened?  You turned and hit Peter like a freight train, like holy shit."

"He startled me.  Not only was I a football player but I study martial arts.  I'm a protector for my patients, and my partner."

"So that wasn't a growl like a wolf you made as you attacked?"

"Hell ya, it was.  Instead of a cry we were taught in martial arts, I use the cry of my spirit guide – the wolf.  It terrifies the person I'm attacking."

"It was pretty cool, wasn't it?" asked Liam.

"Fucking right it was cool.  Could I ask for another shot of pain killer and then I will tell you about the asshole father of mine that you just flattened, and my injuries from his beatings?"

Troy looked at Liam and they locked eyes, then Liam nodded.  "Gavin, if you are going to talk to us about that, we have a brother who is a cop and would be able to help."

"You two are brothers?"

"Yes, and we have six more," replied Troy.

"If you guys say he's ok, bring him in."

Troy stepped out the back of the ambulance and headed straight over to the Chief Superintendent.  He explained what they needed and suggested Tyler.  John approved and called Tyler over to talk about the situation.  Troy took Tyler to the back of the ambulance, received clearance to drive to the hospital and then ran to the front of the ambulance.  He pulled out of the area, trying not to hit too many bumps.

Gavin told them how his father Peter deals in drugs.  He forces Gavin to cook crystal meth and then deliver it while he waits in the car out front.  On a regular basis his father would try and cheat some his contacts and they would kick the shit out him as the delivery boy, only to have it done again when they got home.  He had been doing this to Gavin for the past six years after his mother overdosed and died.  He allowed Gavin to go to school only to avoid the school from asking questions about why he wasn't there.  Tyler told Gavin his father was in custody for assault, and now that this information was coming out – he would be in custody for a while.  Just as Gavin was finishing the story, they pulled up to the hospital.  Tyler jumped out of the ambulance which surprised the nurses to see a police officer jumping out first.  He immediately got on his phone to the Chief Superintendent and explained what had been said.

Approximately 15 minutes later, Liam and Troy were cleaning the ambulance as four police officers in combat gear with flack vests, helmets, and carrying Colt C8 Assault Rifles came through the ambulance bay and headed into the ER.  They were obviously in a hurry to get somewhere.

Liam looked at Troy and said "Interesting development."

"Do you think it's related to Gavin?"

"I can't think of anyone else, but who knows.  After all, it could be anything," replied Liam.

Tyler stepped out of the ER and smiled at the two paramedics.  "You guys have no clue who it was you just helped to bust, do you?"

"I don't hang around with a lot of druggies especially since my boyfriend is a cop," as Troy winked at Tyler.  "Who was he?"

"Well, the guy you nailed trying to crawl into the ambulance is Big Pete and for some reason, he didn't have any of his body guards with him.  He's the president of the local chapter of the Reapers of Satanic People motorcycle club as they call it."

"Never heard of them," replied Liam calmly.

Tyler chuckled, "That's because you guys have been fortunate enough to never have to deal with them in your role, or if you had they would have been pleasant as they needed you."

"So what does that mean to us?" asked Troy.  "I mean, so what?"

"The Chief wants you to have protection from them in case of retaliation."

"I decline it," replied Liam quickly. "Not something I need."

"So do I," added Troy.

"I told him you would say that, but he wants to speak with you about it with Rob present.  He wanted to make sure Rob was there as he is your boss."

"Yeah, he's probably worried about liability and bad press in addition to his being truly worried about us," replied Liam.  "He's a smart man to get Rob involved so he's aware."

Dispatch contacted Troy and asked if they were clear for a call.  Troy cleared the unit and they were immediately dispatched to a chest pain call in an office tower downtown.  The two men waved at Tyler as they got into the ambulance and took off to the call.

End of Chapter Thirteen

Comments Appreciated at Snowblind


Short stories I have written:

The Break In

The Wilderness Canoe Guide