Kai is working at the site of a tornado at the high school. He’s relieved that the storm hit before school stared—it could have been much worse.
They got back to the site to find that there were no more casualties. The people left behind, were sorting themselves out, figuring out how they were going to get home. Most had friends or family coming, and were arranging rides for those who needed them. Kai was pleased to see Ms. Harper in the middle of it all, organizing everything with a skill that never failed to amaze him.
“Oh, Kai!” she called when she saw him. “How’s Amy?”
The others stopped talking, listening to his reply.
“I don’t know for sure yet, but she was alive when I left her. I think she heard me. I talked to her the whole way. She squeezed my fingers when I said goodbye.”
“I need to call her mother,” Ms. Harper said. “She’s going to team teach with me this year. Her mother is a friend of mine.”
“Will they let us know when she can have visitors?” the principal asked.
Kai remembered Dr. Carney from his high school days
“You can call the hospital for that information. I just get them there, I don’t keep track of them after.”
Impulsively, Ms. Harper hugged him. That prompted the other women to hug him too. He’d never been so smothered by affection, as he was at that moment. They acted like he’d saved everyone single handedly. Despite his best efforts, they ignored everyone else and focused on Kai. He was finally able to extract himself and join his team.
“Dogs confirm that we got them all,” Thad said with a happy sigh. “Thank you, everyone. Fantastic job. I appreciate those of you who came in on your day off. We couldn’t have done this without you.” He shook all their hands, thanking them.
Kai headed home, dirty and exhausted. He stumbled into the house reeking of sweat, dirt and blood. His uniform went right into the wash and he climbed the stairs to his room two at a time. He didn’t bother turning on the light when he got to his room. Instead, he headed right to the bathroom, and took a long, hot, invigorating shower to get the stink off him. He scrubbed so hard, he thought he’d removed an entire layer of skin.
He grabbed boxers from the stack of clean clothing his mother had left on a chair and flopped on the bed. He connected with something soft and cuddly that went “Oof” when he lay on her. He rolled over and turned on the lamp.
“Paisley? What’re you doing here?”
“I wanted to see you as soon as you got in. Is everyone okay?”
Kai told her about Amy and the others, not going into much detail unless she asked.
“You’ll have to go by and see her tomorrow and check on her. That was a good thing you did, talking to her. I know that made her feel better.”
“I don’t know if she even heard me.”
“Part of her did. She wouldn’t have squeezed your fingers otherwise.”
“That could have been reflex, a coincidence.”
“You know it wasn’t.”
“I hope it wasn’t.”
“She was really special to you, wasn’t she?”
“I had a terrible crush for two years…. You have no idea how bad I wanted to take that girl and….”
“You wanted to make love to her. I get that. Believe me, I get that.” Paisley grinned, brushing his damp hair off his brow. “Why didn’t you ever ask her out?”
“I was kind of a goob,” he explained. “Tall, scrawny, gangly. Only place all the limbs moved right, was when I was in the water. Otherwise, I was clumsy as hell. Never much at other sports, cause I couldn’t make all the parts work together. Well, I was okay with one other activity…. But we won’t go into that.”
Paisley giggled, knowing exactly what he meant. He saw the tinge of a blush on her cheeks.
“Amy was captain of the women’s team. The captain of the men’s team made it pretty clear that he wanted her. He pissed on a few trees, and kept the rest of us away.”
“Pissed on trees?”
“Marked his territory.”
She nodded, flopping on her back. “So the rest of you kept clear. Did they date?”
“Not long. She didn’t like him much. He was a selfish, conceited prick. He was also bigger than me the first two years, so I didn’t stand up to him. I had a growth spurt between my sophomore and junior years. By that time, Amy was dating someone else….”
“You definitely need to go see her, and get that kiss you promised.”
“I don’t really need a kiss,” he said shyly. “I just said that to keep her going.”
“You need to give her that kiss. She’ll be expecting it.”
“She may not have heard me at all.”
“She heard. And she’ll want it.”
“How do you know?”
“Cause I would.” Paisley looked like she wanted one right then.
Kai wanted to kiss her badly, but wasn’t sure he’d be able to control himself if he did. The adrenaline surge he’d gotten while working, left him spent, but supercharged at the same time. After very stressful times, he always wanted sex. This time was no different. Normally, if he wasn’t dating someone, he’d have called one of his friends with benefits, for a late night booty call. Otherwise, he’d have dropped by to see whatever girl he was dating, for a satisfying night of stress relieving sex.
© 2019 Dellani Oakes