Love Takes a Swim Part 18 by Dellani Oakes

Love Takes a Swim cover smallKai has an unfortunate occurrence when he’s taking a nap at the fire house.

Kai laughed. “Sure—rub my face in it. She works right across the street at the club. Go over when she’s doing class. You’ll get a good look.”

“Might just have to do that. Hurry up, they’re waiting.”

Kai and his team mates went to the grocery store, wandering around until they found something for dinner. Usually they had some kind of plan, but this time none of them had any good ideas. Finally, Cherise, the only woman on the team, stopped by the kitchen kiosk in the front of the store.

“This smells good,” she said, taking a sample. “Eat.” She handed it around to the men. “We’ll take this,” she told the woman.

“Ingredients are in the cabinet over there. Everything you need for the recipe, plus sides, wine, etc.”

“No wine, we’re on duty. However, the rest of it. Load it up, guys. I decided, you cook.”

Kai laughed at the other men. All bachelors, none of them had much skill in the kitchen. He suspected he and Cherise would be cooking. He was the only one who could handle himself in food prep, and not set the kitchen on fire, or take off a finger.

As he predicted, he and Cherise fixed the meal while the others set the table and basically got in the way. When it was ready, they ate, laughing and cutting up like crazy. The meal was barely over when the alarm went off.

Grabbing their gear, they listened to find out their destination. Multiple car wreck on US-1. They hopped in the truck, taking off, sirens blaring. Traffic moved quickly out of the way, as they sped down the road.

At the scene, police had blocked off the highway, diverting traffic down a side street. Four cars littered the road, scattered from the south bound lanes to the north bound. One of the officers gave them a brief rundown as they approached.

“I’ve got six vics,” he said. “Two minor, the rest are pretty bad. One I’m not sure is gonna make it. Old guy, drunk, turned the wrong way down the highway, started going north in the south bound lanes. He’s real hurt.”

Their team was joined by EVAC from another station. They split up, two of them doing a quick triage. The others started on the worst victims first. Kai did triage, then helped as needed. Soon, they were all at the hospital being attended to by trauma physicians.

Back at the station, they cleaned up the kitchen and prayed the rest of the night was quiet. Unfortunately, an hour and a half later, another call came in.

“What is it? A full moon?” Cherise asked, gazing up at the sky as they drove.

Kai looked up too, squinting at the darkening sky through the canopy of palm trees. “Don’t see the moon yet. I dunno.”

“I was being facetious,” Cherise replied, digging his ribs with her elbow.

It was another car crash, but this one minor. No one needed an ambulance. Only scratches and bruises on the two passengers.

“I’m gonna kill Greg,” Kai said as he walked back in the station. “It’s never this busy on my shift. It’s like the bastard knew.”

“Well, I’d sure as hell rather work with you when it’s like this,” Cherise told him. “I can count on you to do what you’re told, and not argue. You don’t give me shit, or question. And you can work independently, without me riding your ass. I, for one, am glad you’re here.”

“Kai’s got a new woman,” Tommy said with a sly grin.

“And just how do you know that?” Kai was rather annoyed that the entire team knew.

“Thad told me. So, she hot?” Davis asked him as he popped open a soda.

“Does it matter?” Cherise asked, her dark eyes flashing. “Maybe Kai isn’t that superficial.”

“I’ve never seen him with a chick who wasn’t smokin’,” Davis said. “If there’s a sweet piece of ass, anywhere in the neighborhood, Kai’ll find her.” He held out his knuckles for the younger man to tap.

Kai hung his head, ignoring the dubious compliment. “Thanks, man. Make me sound as bad as you. Cherise, she’s very pretty. But I’d like her even if she wasn’t. She’s got a tender spirit,” he mused quietly, knowing she would understand, even if the men wouldn’t.

They didn’t, and teased him about it for quite some time. Cherise came to him later, sitting beside him at the table as the others watched TV.

“So, tell me about Miss Tender Spirit. What’s her name?”

Kai told her all about Paisley, including the abusive ex, and everything else that made her unique.

“She sounds real special. I’m glad she met you. If she’d met one of the goon squad, can you imagine?”

“Am I really that different? I’m just a guy.”

“You’re not just a guy,” she said quietly. “No doubt, you’re a man.” She grinned, punching his broad shoulder. “But you’re more considerate than the rest of them. You’re a lot like my husband….”

© 2019 Dellani Oakes

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