"Why not?"

"Camie," she said as if that would explain everything. Sadly enough it did. She looked at her watch again, looking anxious.

"Mom, you can go. Don't worry about it. If anything happens I'll call one of the guys."

She looked like she was about to agree, but reluctantly shook her head. "No, I'll wait around a little while longer. If worse comes to worse I'll go to Berkley's and deal with those rather disturbing glares."

Knowing there was no point arguing, Joe sighed heavily and headed for the bathroom, grabbing Eric's favorite tee shirt, an old faded...well, she really wasn't sure what the hell it was, but she knew that it was Eric favorite. Ten minutes later she was curled up in bed and drifting off, wishing it was Eric's arms around her instead of his old tee shirt.


"Shh, go back to sleep," Eric said softly sometime later as he curled his large warm body around hers.

"Get out," she mumbled even as she snuggled against him.

When he chuckled she buried her face in her pillow and decided to ignore him.

"How are you feeling?" he asked quietly, gently running his fingers through her hair.

"Like kicking your ass," she muttered into the pillow. "I can't believe you called mom on me."

"You didn't leave me with much of a choice on the matter, now did you?"


"Get some sleep," he said, pressing a kiss against the top of her head.

"I'm going to work tomorrow," she informed him, inwardly daring him to argue, because if he did she was going to kick his-

"I know," he said, surprising her.

"You know?" she repeated slowly, not sure if this was a trap of some kind.

"Mmmhmm, I know you're too stubborn to listen to the doctor. I already talked to Bill and he figured as much, which will actually work out because we have Greg again."

That got her attention.

She rolled over, shoving Eric away so that she could face him. "Why the hell is he still third riding?" The man should already be assigned to a more senior partner to finish his probation period, especially since they were only required to do five ride alongs and he must have done at least a dozen by now.

"He's nervous as hell. Every time he comes close to a patient he loses his lunch and if it's an emergency he loses it when the ambulance comes to a stop. No one's even let him get behind the wheel, afraid that he'll black out and crash," Eric said, lazily scratching his bare chest as he lay back on the bed.

"If it's that bad then maybe he should consider doing something else," she suggested, feeling bad for the man, but not bad enough to suggest someone that would endanger patients should work on one of the ambulances.

"Bill wants you to take another crack at him and see if you can help. If he doesn't improve within a week he's going to have to let him go," Eric said, fighting back a yawn.

She sighed heavily as she flopped back down on the bed and laid her head on Eric's shoulder and wrapped her arm around his waist. As she tried to figure out a way to help Greg deal with his nerves she snuggled closer to Eric. He pressed a kiss to the top of her head as he wrapped an arm around her and pulled her closer.

"I'm not sure if a week's enough time to help him," she said as she absently traced circles over Eric's chest and stomach, loving the way the light dusting of hair felt against her fingers.

"No, it's not. Normally I'd offer to grab a few extra shifts, but with you injured," she rolled her eyes at that, "and the Fireman Muster games this weekend we won't have a chance. I'm hoping Bill will give us until next Friday before he makes his decision."

As bad as she felt for Greg her mind had moved onto another pressing matter. She couldn't believe she almost forgot about it, especially since she was competing again for the first time in four years. "We're going to kick ass this year," she said, knowing it was true.

For years they competed together in the ambulance portion of the Muster, a competition between neighboring fire departments to put their skills to the test, they always won. The last four years she got stuck behind the scenes helping out, but she was sick of that and told Bill he could find someone else to deal with the venders because she was going to kick some ass instead.

Eric gently ran his fingers through her hair, careful of her cut. "Are you sure you're up to it?" he asked softly.

She snorted her disbelief. "Hell yeah, I'm up to it. We are so going to kick some Blackford ass this year!"

"They kicked out asses last year and the year before," Eric pointed out.

"That's because I wasn't competing," she reminded him.

"There is that," he admitted, pressing a kiss to the top of her head. "Get some sleep, Joe. Tomorrow's our twenty-four hour shift and I have a feeling we're going to need every minute of rest that we can get."

Frowning, she tilted her head to look at him. "Why do you say that?

He sighed heavily as he pressed a kiss to her forehead. "Because we have Greg for the entire shift," he announced, making her groan and bury her face against his chest.

"I'm demanding a raise," she muttered against his chest.

"Damn straight."


"Wow, you look like you got your ass handed to you by a psych patient," Jeff said brightly as he held the side door open for her.

Joe shook her head as she walked past the man. "No, this is what Eric did to me when I talked back," she said with a shrug.

"She needs to learn her place," Eric informed Jeff with a straight face.

"They all do," Jeff agreed quickly, earning a playful glare from Joe.

He followed Joe to their bunkroom, wondering how exactly he should tell her. He'd considered making a run for it while she was in the shower this morning and leaving her a note, or send a test message, but he knew that would just piss her off more. Maybe he should just tell her.

It was probably for the best that he just tell her and get it off his chest where they had a modicum of privacy for the fight that would no doubt follow. No doubt she'd be pissed at him, but he could make her understand and he would. This was only temporary anyway, well hopefully it would be.

Actually, he hoped to have her the hell out of this line of work and somewhere safe soon. He was still hoping against hope that Nathan would change his mind and let Joe come work for him, but if that failed, and it probably would, he would find something else for Joe. If worse came to worse he could, and probably would anyway to help out, move in with Joe and take over her bills while she figured out what she wanted to do for the rest of her life.

Tags: R.L. Mathewson EMS Young Adult
Source: www.StudyNovels.com
Articles you may like