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DISCLAIMER: "Emergency!" and its characters © Mark VII Productions,
Inc. and Universal Studios. All rights reserved.
The poems and songs used in this story do not belong to me. I have indicated
the singer/writer of each one.
No infringement of any copyrights or trademarks is intended or should be
inferred. This is a work of fiction, and any similarity to actual persons
or events is purely coincidental. This story is only written for entertainment.
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I am in no way connected to the medical profession and take responsibility
for all mistakes in dealing with treatments, diseases, etc.
Old Friends or Old Enemies?
“But why would he call when he knows where they are and we don’t?”
Marco voiced the thought running through everyone’s mind.
“I don’t think he knows where they are. He was grasping at straws. But if
I find out, I’m sure not going to tell him.” Roy knew that somehow Johnny
and Nicole were no longer where Tim and Cameron Donaldson knew where they
were. But if that was true, where were they?
“Then where are they?” Chet starting twirling his coffee cup in his hands.
“That, Chester B., is the question.” Roy looked at all of them. He couldn’t
answer it and neither could any of the rest of them.
It had been two weeks and Tim Donaldson had not been able to get in contact
with Dr. Warner. He was going crazy trying to find out where Johnny and Nicole
had gone. He and Cameron had even followed Roy and others to see if they
would lead them to Nicole, but that didn’t happen. Dr. Warner was due back
today and Tim Donaldson was going to be in his office when he arrived.
What Tim didn’t expect was the visitor Dr. Warner brought with him. Tim had
been looking out the window of the doctor’s office and turned when he heard
the door open. “Hello Do---his words stopped when he saw that the doctor
was not alone. “Hello, Doctor. I wanted to talk with you, but it can wait.”
Tim started to leave the office.
“No, Tim, I’d like you to meet Mr. Adams. He and I would like to meet with
you and your brother. Where is Cameron?” Doctor Warner didn’t let his inner
feelings show. If Time had only known how angry the doctor and Mr. Adams
were, he would have hightailed it out of there the second they had entered.
“In the waiting room.” Tim was anxious to find out what Dr. Warner knew about
Johnny and Nicole, but he had to wait. He couldn’t confront the man with
this stranger standing there.
“Good, I was going to call both of you. We have an appointment and we wanted
both of you to join us. Let’s go find Cameron and the four of us can ride
together.” Dr. Warner led the way followed by Tim with Mr. Adams bringing
up the rear.
Cameron was as surprised to see the stranger with his brother and Dr. Warner.
He stood to his feet as soon as he saw them. Whereas Tim didn’t think about
this stranger being with them, Cameron had a bad feeling the second he saw
them. However, like Tim, he knew enough not to say anything and followed
the others as they headed to the car.
Mr. Adams drove with Tim sitting in the front with him. Cameron sat in the
back with Dr. Warner. He couldn’t keep his leg still as he worried about
where they were going. Both Tim and Cameron sat up straighter when their
father pulled into the parking lot of station 51. What was going on?
Inside the station a group of people were wondering why a Mr. Adams had called
them all together. Chief McConikee had put Station 51 out of service until
further notice and had joined the group along with Dr. Early, Dr. Brackett,
Dr. Morton, Dixie McCall, Joanne DeSoto, Beth Stoker and Emily Stanley. No
one was sure why they were there, they were just waiting. At the sound of
the car doors, Captain Stanley opened the door to the station and let the
four men in. Right behind them were four policemen led by Vince Howard. The
group really wondered what was going on now.
“Hello, I’m Special Agent Robert Adams. I have been working on a case involving
Tim and Cameron Donaldson.” Agent Adams hoped to get this mess taken care
of as soon as possible. “I am going to get right to the point. These policemen
are here to arrest them for kidnapping, rape and attempted murder of John
and Nicole Gage. And since all of you will be called as witnesses, there
is some evidence that will be presented at their trial that you all need
to be made aware of beforehand. By the way Tim and Cameron, this is one problem
your father can’t make disappear.”
Tim and Cameron would have bolted out the door if they hadn’t flanked by
two policemen each. What was happening? Their father had always made their
problems disappear before. Why couldn’t he this time? They would soon find
“I have the permission of the victims in this case to present the evidence
to you. Please know that what you are about to hear will be very hard for
you to listen to, but you really need to find out what happened now.” With
that Agent Adams nodded to Dr. Warner who started telling them about what
Tim and Cameron Donaldson did to Nicole during the time she was at the Donaldson
Memorial Clinic. Then he had two nurses and an orderly who had been waiting
in the engine bay come in and they recounted what they had heard, too. Then
Dr. Warner pulled out some pictures of Nicole after Tim was through with
her and showed them to the group. And what they saw made them all so angry
that if the police hadn’t been there, they would have killed Tim and Cameron.
By the time the Dr. Warner was done, there was not a dry eye in the room
except for Tim and Cameron.
“Well, we can’t be arrested without victims and Johnny and Nicole Gage disappeared
two weeks ago. No one has seen or heard from them. I think they are gone
for good. I also really don’t think that those pictures and what you say
you four heard by leaving the intercom on will convict us. How do we know
it was Nicole’s room you were listening to? And who took those pictures?
They could have been faked. We can say that it was all made up—that you were
trying to frame us.” Tim thought that maybe when they talked to their father
he would be able to make this problem disappear after all.
“That’s where you are wrong. These pictures and their testimony will convict
both of you and we do have victims. And don’t forget that during a couple
of your ‘sessions’ with Nicole these witnesses overheard you admit to staging
the accident that killed Nicole’s friends back in Philadelphia. I was also
listening in on the last encounter you had with Nicole Gage.” Agent Adams
walked over to the door to the engine bay and motioned to someone. He stepped
aside as Dr. Samuels entered the room followed by Johnny pushing Nicole in
Tim and Cameron both started to bolt, but were stopped and placed in handcuffs.
Vince had the pleasure of reading them their rights.
While the Donaldson boys were being restrained, Johnny and Nicole were surrounded
by all their family and friends. It took five minutes, but eventually Dr.
Brackett got everyone back to their chairs so that everyone could hear.
“You see, Tim and Cameron, you have gone too far this time. Vince, they are
all yours. There are too many witnesses to be bought off by your father.
He can’t make this problem disappear no matter how hard he tries.” The two
men were led out to the police cars and taken to jail. Agent Adams would
do everything he could to see that they received the punishment they deserve.
“Where have you guys been for the last two weeks?” Chet was the first one
to be able to make his voice heard by all.
“At Rampart.” Dr. Samuels answered the question for them.
“Rampart? Where?” Dr. Brackett couldn’t believe that Johnny and Nicole had
been there for two weeks and he didn’t know about it.
“Dr. Samuels and Dr. Warner worked with the administration of the hospital
and had us in a room on sixth floor that no one else knew about. Dr. Warner
moved us the day Tim found out Nicole was pregnant.” Johnny’s voice cracked
as he talked about Nicole being pregnant.
“But why Rampart?” Dixie was surprised she didn’t know that they were there
“Because I had to take them somewhere no one would think to look for them
so I could save their lives. We weren’t sure Nicole was going to make it
until three days ago. She was literally fighting for her life until then.
The damage done by Tim was severe enough that she lost the baby and almost
lost her life.” Dr. Warner was glad that Nicole had made it. He had really
been afraid she wouldn’t.
Joanne was sitting by Nicole and put her arm around her when she heard that
Nicole had lost her baby. She was surprised when she felt Nicole stiffen
at her touch. There was a lot of emotional as well as physical damage that
both Johnny and Nicole would have to heal from and their friends would be
there every step of the way.
“But we are now back where we belong.” Johnny wanted to turn their thoughts
away from what they had just seen and the pain that went with it.
“Do you have to go back to the hospital tonight?” Roy didn’t want his friends
out of his sight for a while.
“Well, we have been discussing what we are going to do. I am still recuperating
and we have to make a decision on what we want to do.” Johnny glanced at
Nicole. She had not said a word since Tim Donaldson had attacked her two
weeks ago. Right now she was doing what she had done since that day—staring
at nothing with a blank look on her face. He was really worried about her
and hoped that being around her family and friends would help her.
“We want you to come home with us and stay as long as you want or need to.”
Joanne knew what Roy had in mind when he asked his question.
“I think that would be the best thing in the world for both of them. They
need your love and support right now more than anything else.” Dr. Warner
was relieved that he had been able to save the lives of these two people.
He was very concerned about Nicole too. But he knew that not only was she
dealing with the emotional pain of the rape and losing her baby, she was
dealing with strong feelings of guilt for everything that had happened from
the death of her friends in Philadelphia to what had happened here in LA.
He prayed that she would be able to recover fully from her emotional injuries.
“Thanks, we’d like that.” Johnny was hoping that Nicole would acknowledge
what was going on around her. But she sat staring at the far wall and saying
The others had noticed that she had not looked at any of them and had not
said a word since they had arrived at the station. The worry was evident
in each of their faces.
“Well, let’s get you both home and settled.” Joanne hoped it was just facing
their friends for the first time since all this had started that kept Nicole
silent. She stood and waited for Johnny as he positioned himself to wheel
Nicole out to Joanne’s station wagon.
As Johnny turned Nicole towards the door no one said a word. Then very quietly
they heard Nicole. “I’m so very sorry.”
Everyone had to strain to hear what Nicole said, but they all heard it.
“Sorry for what, Nicole?” Everyone wondered why Nicole who had suffered so
much would be apologizing to them.
“For everything—if I had just gone along with Tim back in Philadelphia none
of this would have ever happened. Daniel and our friends would still be alive,
no one here would have been hurt and Tim and Cameron wouldn’t be going to
prison right now. All of this is my fault and I am so very sorry. I just
wish there was some way I could make it up to all of you, but I don’t know
No one said a word. Nicole had suffered the most of any of them and yet she
was apologizing. She was blaming herself for something she had no control
over. They all knew they had a very long road ahead of them to help her recover.
Johnny knelt in front of Nicole and looked into her eyes. His heart broke
when he saw that her eyes were blank—there was no expression in them and
it was like she was looking straight through him. “Nicole, it is not your
fault. None of this is your fault.”
Johnny never got a response. Nicole had once again shut herself off from
the rest of the world. He didn’t try to hide the tears in his eyes as he
stood after five minutes having not gotten any kind of response from her.
With a heart filled with pain, Johnny pushed her towards the door with Joanne
following behind. Emily Stanley, Beth Stoker and Dixie had agreed to meet
them at the DeSoto home to help get them settled.
As the door closed behind them, Chet was the first one to speak. “Why does
she feel it’s her fault? She didn’t do anything wrong.”
“Well, you must remember that within the last two and a half years, Nicole
has suffered the death of some very close friends, a severe beating, a rape,
having her husband seriously injured, having all of you threatened and losing
her baby. Add to that the fact that the beating rape, injury of her husband,
the threats and losing her baby have actually happened in the last month
and you have someone who has suffered some very severe emotional damage.
Her emotional recovery can take a long time and will depend on a lot of things.
Plus you all need to be prepared that she may never fully recover from her
ordeal.” Dr. Warner knew there were going to be questions when these people
learned more about Johnny and Nicole’s ordeal.
“You said that her recovery depends on a lot of things. What are those ‘things’?”
Chet wanted to help both of his friends get through this.
“All of you for one. The reactions and help of those closest to her can influence
how quick and successful that recovery will be.”
“What should we expect?” Johnny had talked Joanne, Dixie, Beth Stoker and
Emily Stanley into taking Nicole home. He wanted to talk with Dr. Warner
and Dr. Brackett to see what he could do to help Nicole.
“Each person recovers differently. Her reactions will probably include feeling
vulnerable, having a sense of a loss of security and, as she has already
demonstrated, feeling guilty. Some of you may even experience guilt whether
it is because you feel you should have protected her more or done something
that she asked you to do that you didn’t or as in Johnny’s case, stopping
them when there was nothing he could have done. But I must stress to all
of you that there was absolutely nothing Nicole or any of you could have
done to prevent the events of the last month. If you blame yourselves, it
is going to make it that much harder for you to be able to help Nicole recover.
“So how can we help her get through this?” Johnny really listened as Dr.
Warner talked. He had been blaming himself for not doing things differently
from the moment he first met Cameron Donaldson. But Dr. Warner was right—there
was nothing he could have done and if he just continued to blame himself,
he wouldn’t be there for Nicole. There were quiet “yeah, what can we do?”
heard all through the room.
“You will need to reassure her that you still love her and that she is safe.
But don’t overdo it or over protect her as that will make her feel that much
more insecure and vulnerable. Let her know that she did nothing wrong and
that surviving the ordeal was the most important thing. Don’t question what
she did or push her to talk about it or for details. Encourage her to talk
about it when she is ready. She needs to set the pace as to when and how
much to talk about it. There may be times when she repeats things over and
over again and other times when she will go for days without talking about
it. Don’t push her into talking to you or anyone else, but remind her occasionally
that talking about it and expressing her feelings will help to promote her
healing. But if she does start to talk make sure that you are ready to listen
and give support. If she starts talking and you don’t really listen, she
will feel it and stop talking. Then you might not get her to open up again.
You need to be prepared to hear the details and things she needs to share
with you when she is ready no matter how hard it may be for you to hear them
or listen to. Remember, her talking about the events means that she will
be reliving them. It will be hard for all of you. If this goes to trial,
you will all need to talk to a counselor before you get into that court room
and hear the things that are going to be said and done. Someone outside the
situation needs to be there to help all of you through it.” Dr. Warner stopped
a minute to let what he saying sink was in.
Dr. Brackett picked it up from there a few minutes later. “Nicole will probably
have flashbacks and/or nightmares of the whole ordeal. That is the time she
will need a lot of support. Don’t brush them off or tell her it will be all
right. You need to give her what she needs at that moment whether it is just
sitting and holding her without saying a word after she has a flashback or
nightmare or letting her cry or letting her talk. I am going to set up a
group session with one of our sexual abuse crisis counselors at the hospital
for all of you tomorrow. The sooner we can face this, the sooner Nicole will
be on the road to recovery.
“Thanks, Doc, I think that’s a great idea.” Johnny wanted to go home and
hold Nicole in his arms and keep her safe for the rest of their lives. He
just prayed that she would let him hold her. She hadn’t let him touch her
for the last two weeks. “And thank you, Dr. Warner, for everything. If it
hadn’t been for you going to Agent Adams and doing what you did, I don’t
know what would have happened to either me or Nicole.”
“I’m glad he did come to me. I have been trying to find these two men for
the last two and a half years for the murder of Nicole’s friends in Philadelphia.
With all the evidence we now have, there is no way their father could get
them out of this one.” Agent Adams was glad there was a happy ending to this
situation. He knew just how close the Gage’s came to having a different ending.
Six firemen walked into the day room in uniform. Chief McConikee turned to
the members of the A-shift. “These are your replacements, gentlemen. The
department is giving you all a paid leave for this shift. Roy, I hope I’m
not being too presumptuous, but I for one would like to take this gathering
to your house and help get Johnny and Nicole settled. We need to let Nicole
know we are there for her.”
“No, Chief, you are not being presumptuous. I know that all of these guys
would have been at my house as soon as the shift was over anyway, so I think
it is a great idea to do it now. Everyone, we meet at my house in half-an-hour.”
Roy was thankful. He knew that all of them would have had a hard time finishing
“Hey, Dr. Brackett, is there any way you can get that crisis counselor over
to Roy’s today?” Johnny wanted to start as soon as possible helping Nicole
in any way he could. And he knew that all of them needed to start their own
healing process as soon as possible, too.
Nicole sat in the back seat of Joanne DeSoto’s car as they drove through
the streets of LA. Her heart was breaking as she thought of the baby that
she had lost. How could Johnny ever love her now? Tim had raped her and she
had lost their baby. What do her friends and family really think of her?
It would have been better if she had died that day. Then they wouldn’t have
to be reminded of the threats made against them. If she shut them out, then
she wouldn’t have to see their pain. They will leave her alone eventually
and then she can disappear out of their lives. They would be better off without
her. Johnny deserved better. And he had stayed at the station instead of
coming with her now. He must really hate her. Well, she would make it easy
for him. The first chance she got, she would make the arrangements for Johnny
to go on with his life without her.
Joanne and Emily sat in the front seat silently praying. Joanne knew that
the thoughts Nicole was having at that moment were not good ones. She just
prayed that they would be able to help her get through this and see that
she was very special indeed.
Nicole was still in her own world when they pulled into the DeSoto driveway.
Joanne’s heart broke as she guided Nicole into the house and over to the
couch. It was as if Nicole was a robot—she showed no emotion at all. ~Please,
Lord, let us help her. Please help us to know how to reach her to let her
know she is loved and that she did nothing wrong.~
Johnny rode from the station to the DeSoto home with Roy. He knew that he
had to prove to her how much he still loved her and how special she was.
~Please help me to reach her, Lord. She means the world to me and I can’t
lose her now.~
“How are you doing, Johnny?” Roy knew his partner was hurting.
“I just need to hold Nicole and let her know I love her. But she wouldn’t
let me touch her. Roy, I can’t lose her now.” Johnny let the tears flow.
“I know, Junior, I know. Maybe something will happen this afternoon and you
will be able to hold her. But all of us are here and we’ll help you and Nicole
both to get through this.” Roy felt his partner’s pain.
“Thanks, Roy. Man I missed you guys these last three weeks. I know Nicole
did, too. I heard her crying, but couldn’t even comfort her. But the one
thing that both of us knew was that all of you were safe and that was what
was important to us.” Johnny smiled as they pulled into the DeSoto driveway
and Chris and Jennifer came running down the sidewalk on their way home from
“Uncle Johnny, we’ve missed you.” Even though she was eight years old, Jennifer
jumped into Johnny’s arms.
“Hey, squirt. Hey, sport.” Johnny gave Jennifer a hug and then set her down.
He ruffled Chris’ hair as he headed towards the house.
“Where’s Aunt Nicole?” Jennifer had missed her “Aunt and Uncle.”
“She’s in the house, squirt, but she’s not feeling very well right now.”
Johnny knew the kids loved Nicole as much as the rest of them, but how could
he explain what had happened to them the last three weeks.
Jennifer wanted to see her Aunt and thought she could make her feel better.
After all that was what Aunt Nicole told her the last time they were together—that
Jennifer could always make her feel better. Before anyone could stop her,
she ignored the shouts of both her father and Uncle Johnny and ran into the
house to find her Aunt.
Johnny and Roy exchanged looks and took off running with Chris close behind.
When they reached the living room, they stopped in the doorway. Looking up,
Johnny saw Dixie, Joanne and Emily standing in the kitchen doorway. They
had heard the commotion of Jennifer running into the house and had come to
With all the adults watching, Jennifer was sitting on the couch next to Nicole.
“Aunt Nicole, I sure have missed you.” Oblivious to the blank look on Nicole’s
face, Jennifer reached up and grabbed her hand. “I’m glad you’re here though,
because our class is having a play in a couple of weeks and I really want
you to come.” Not waiting for a response, Jennifer continued. But what she
said next made the group that was watching her catch their breaths. “Aunt
Nicole, have you and Uncle Johnny picked out a name for your baby yet?”
Joanne was just about to go get Jennifer, when everyone stopped. Nicole had
turned to look at the girl. “Jenny, your Uncle Johnny and I didn’t get a
chance to pick out a name for the baby.”
“Why not? What do you mean?”
“Well, Jenny, two weeks ago God decided that our baby was needed back in
heaven. God needed him or her to be an Angel to watch over your Uncle Johnny
and me and I think even you. It hurts in our hearts, but our baby is watching
over us right now and he is happy. That’s what counts, Jenny.”
“Uncle Johnny said you aren’t feeling very well right now.” Jennifer had
climbed into Nicole’s lap.
Roy stood ready to go and get his daughter, but Johnny held him back. For
some reason Johnny felt that this was exactly what Nicole needed right now.
All the other men of station 51 and the doctors from Rampart were standing
behind Johnny and Roy. No one said a word.
“Well, Jenny, some really bad men did some mean things to both your Uncle
Johnny and me over the last three weeks. Both of us almost died because of
it. And I have been feeling guilty about some things those bad men did.”
“But if they did the bad things, why do you feel guilty?”
“You know, Jenny that is a very good question. I shouldn’t feel guilty. There
was nothing that anyone could have done differently.”
“Aunt Nicole, what did those bad men do?” Chris had joined Jennifer and Nicole
without anyone realizing it.
“Well, Chris, do you remember the fire that your Uncle Johnny got hurt at
three weeks ago?”
“Yeah, he was hurt really bad and you were really upset.”
“Well, one of the bad men left your Uncle Johnny in the building pinned under
a couple of beams. Then when the building fell in because of an explosion,
Uncle Johnny was trapped. But your Dad, Uncle Chet, Uncle Marco and Uncle
Hank all worked very hard to get him out. Then Dr. Brackett and the others
at Rampart worked very hard to take care of him.”
“What happened after that? You and Uncle Johnny just disappeared and everyone
around here was so sad.” Jennifer had curled up in Nicole’s arms and was
resting her head on Nicole’s shoulders.
“Well, those bad men told your Uncle Johnny and me that if we didn’t do what
they wanted us to do, they would hurt one of the men Uncle Johnny worked
with or their families or our friends from Rampart. We love you all so much
that we wouldn’t let that happen, so we did what they wanted us to do.”
“And what was that?” Even though he was 10, Chris had snuggled closed to
Nicole. He had missed Johnny and Nicole, too.
Nicole closed her eyes for a minute, then opened them and continued. “They
moved us to another hospital a couple of days after Uncle Johnny’s accident.
Because Uncle Johnny was hurt so bad, he was unconscious for a couple of
days.” Johnny was listening as intently as the others, because he didn’t
even know what had happened during that week before Tim had raped Nicole.
He had been out of it almost the entire time. “Dr. Warner and I talked about
it and we knew that the best way to keep Uncle Johnny safe was to keep him
asleep. So when he started to wake up, Dr. Warner sedated him and kept him
that way until he moved us back to Rampart.”
“Why did he move you back to Rampart?” Chris leaned his head on Nicole’s
“Well, for three days after we were moved to the new hospital, one of the
bad men would come in and hit me. I couldn’t do anything about it because
he had made the doctor restrain both Uncle Johnny and me. He kept me gagged
so I couldn’t cry out. Each time he came in, he seemed to get angrier and
angrier. Then one day Dr. Warner made the mistake of telling him about our
baby. That day he was so angry he beat me so bad and did something that he
“Did he rape you, Aunt Nicole?” Jennifer had heard one of the girls at school
talking about her cousin being raped. She and Chris had discussed it and
knew it was bad.
“Yes, Jenny, he did. It was because of that beating and rape that I lost
the baby.” Nicole knew by then that everyone was watching her. She looked
up at Johnny and saw the pain and love in his eyes.
“But how did you get away from those bad men?” Chris was crying as hard as
Jennifer and Nicole by now.
“Well, after the first time the bad man hit me Dr. Warner got two of his
nurses and an orderly to help him. They fixed the intercom so they could
listen to everything going on in my room. After the bad man left each time,
they took pictures of me to use as evidence. Then Dr. Warner went to the
bad men’s father, who is very powerful, and told him everything that was
going on. He helped Dr. Warner move us back to Rampart two weeks ago. But
until they could get all the pieces of their plan into place, no one knew
we were there—not even the doctors and nurses at Rampart. Then this morning,
Dr. Warner had them arrested and here we are.”
“Are you going to be ok now, Aunt Nicole?” Jennifer wrapped her arms around
Nicole’s neck. Everyone held their breath. This was the question they all
had and they wondered how Nicole would answer.
“Well, Jennifer, I have Uncle Johnny to love me and all
of our family and friends. It will be hard and there may be times of pain,
sorrow and trouble, but God promised us the strength we need to face each
new day and the grace to face each situation as it happens. He didn’t promise
that everything will be perfect, but with my friends, family and God, I can’t
lose, no matter what the future brings.” Nicole smiled as she looked at the
blessings God had given her—her family and friends. Johnny had her in his
arms in less than 10 seconds. He would have held on forever, but Jennifer
let him know she didn’t like being squished in the middle.
“Well, Nicole you are on the right track to recovery.”
A lady stepped into the room. It was the crisis counselor Dr. Brackett had
arranged to meet them at the DeSoto home. “I am Dr. Susan Canfield. I am
a member of the sexual abuse crisis team at Rampart hospital. I have been
standing here since you started talking and the fact that you recounted every
detail and know that friends, family and God will help you through all of
this means that you have gone further along the road to recovery than most
victims go in two years. Keep this in mind and soon all of this will just
be a bad memory.” Dr. Canfield smiled as she turned and left the DeSoto home.
“Aunt Nicole, would those bad men have killed you and Uncle Johnny?” Jennifer
had one arm around Nicole’s neck and the other around Johnny’s neck.
“You are going to hear some things in the next few months, so I think it
is only right that you hear the truth now and from us. Yes, they were planning
on it. But you see, Dr. Warner and I had talked about what his plans were
and I knew that he would do whatever he could to keep us safe.”
“You and Uncle Johnny were willing to do whatever those bad men said so that
all of us were safe, right?”
“And then you and that doctor kept Uncle Johnny asleep so he would be safe,
“Because we love all of you and I love Uncle Johnny and we would do everything
we could to keep you safe.”
“But we would all have been so sad if something had happened to you.”
“I know. But we are in God’s hands. Even if something had happened to us,
we would always have been in your hearts. Nothing could ever change that.
And God would have given you the strength to keep us in your hearts and remember
how much we love you. Well, I don’t know about the rest of you, but I am
starved and I’m sure Johnny is hungry, too.” Nicole set Jennifer down and
for the first time in three weeks held Johnny in her arms as everyone else
laughed through their tears.
“Why don’t you guys get Nicole settled in the lawn chair out back and we
will have dinner ready in about half an hour.” Joanne led the women back
into the kitchen while Roy led the men out back with Johnny carrying Nicole
in his arms with Chris and Jennifer close behind.
Johnny got Nicole settled and pulled up a chair to sit next to her. Now that
she was letting him touch her again, he was going to make sure that nothing
broke the fragile thread that she was hanging onto emotionally. He was going
to do everything in his power to make sure she knew she was loved, safe and
his special Nicole. Chris and Jennifer stayed close, too.
It didn’t surprise anyone but Johnny and Nicole when Chet appointed himself
their guardian. He pulled up a chair close to them and every time one of
them wanted something he went and got it. Johnny was even more surprised
when “the Phantom” didn’t take advantage of a couple of opportunities to
get his favorite “pigeon”. He just smiled when Chet asked them for the 20th
time in the last 25 minutes if they were ok. However, he was relieved when
Joanne came and told the group that dinner was served.
As the others started getting their food, Roy and Joanne walked over to talk
to Nicole and Johnny. Nicole smiled as she saw them approaching.
“Roy, Joanne, Johnny, I have to apologize to each of you.” Nicole’s heart
was filled with love for the three people standing in front of her.
“Apologize to us? For what?” All three asked at the same
“I need to apologize to Johnny for shutting him out for the last two weeks.
I didn’t think about how much he was probably hurting, too, and needed my
support. And I need to apologize to Roy and Joanne for telling Chris and
Jenny everything without asking you first. Once, I started talking it was
like I needed to get it all out. I needed to be honest with them.” Nicole
looked at her hands instead of at the faces of those closest to her.
“Nicole, you went through a lot more than I did these last three weeks. You
made sure that I was safe, but there wasn’t anyone to make sure you were
safe from the beatings and rape of Tim Donaldson. I’m just thankful that
you love me enough to let me be here for you now.” Johnny gently lifted Nicole’s
face so she could see his face.
“And I agree with you that it was the right thing for you to be honest with
Chris and Jenny. There will be a lot that is going to come out in the media
and it is better they know the truth now.” Joanne put her hand on Nicole’s
shoulder to let her know that she would be there, too.
“Nicole, you did the right thing. I was afraid when Chris and Jenny started
asking you all those questions that you would shut us out even more. But
instead it helped and telling them the truth can never be wrong.” Roy once
again realized how special the lady that his partner and “brother” had married
“I could shut myself down when it came to all of you, but I could never shut
myself down when it comes to Christopher and Jennifer. They mean the world
to me. The things that Johnny and I faced are things that I was hoping they
would have a few more years to find out about. But that didn’t happen and
as I started answering their questions, I realized that I could never really
shut myself down when it came to any of you either.” Nicole wiped away her
tears as Chet walked towards the group.
Not being aware of what was taking place; Chet had brought Nicole her dinner.
“Your dinner is served.” Everyone laughed as they looked at the huge amounts
of food Chet had piled on the plate he was offering Nicole.
“Chet, are you feeding me or the San Diego Chargers?” Nicole smiled at her
“Well, I wasn’t sure what you wanted or how much, so I took a lot of everything
to make sure.”
“Thank you, Chet.” Nicole laughed as Chet blushed when she took the plate
and kissed him on the cheek.
“You’re welcome.” Chet cleared his throat and went to get his own plate of
Nicole smiled as she watched their family and friends around them. It was
going to be a long, hard process, but she knew they had so much support and
love they would get through it. She laughed as Johnny romped and played with
Jennifer and Chris. She was a little sad knowing that they would have to
wait a little longer for the baby they both wanted so very much. But she
also knew that God was in control and they would have a family of their own.
The good meal and excitement of the day took their toll on Nicole and before
long she drifted off to sleep. Joanne noticed and brought out a blanket to
cover her with as the sun had gone down and a light, cooling breeze was blowing.
She had slept through the volleyball game, the game of tag and all the other
activities that were anything but quiet. Things were beginning to wind down
when Nicole’s agitated voice could be heard all over the yard. Johnny was
at her side in less than five seconds.
“No, Tim, please don’t hurt them. They didn’t do anything to you. I’m the
one you’re mad at.—Being an Indian does not make Johnny any less of a man
than anyone else. He is one of the kindest, most loving men in the world.—No,
I don’t care what you do to me just leave Johnny and our friends alone.—Of
course, I want this baby. It means the world to me because it is a symbol
of Johnny’s love for me and is a part of him. Tim, NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!”
Johnny had been trying to quietly wake Nicole up, but was not being very
successful. “Nicole, it’s me—Johnny. Nicole, you’re alright. Nothing can
hurt you now.”
Nicole was quiet for a minute and Johnny thought she was waking up. Then
she started talking again with tears streaming down her face. They all knew
it was from her childhood when her voice was like that of a five-year old.
“Mommy, why do you stand there and let him do that to me? Don’t you love
me?—You didn’t want me? Why?—I’m sorry I was born, Mommy. I really am. I
love you and Daddy. Maybe I should just disappear. I could run away.—I know
I’m too little, but if I die everyone would be happier.—Oh no, here comes
Daddy and he’s brought them with him. Please help me, Mommy, please—please!—Mommy,
why did you tell them where I was?—I wish I was dead.”
Johnny still could not get her to wake up. Dr. Brackett, Dr. Early, Dixie
and Dr. Morton had gone into the house to get their things and leave. Roy
hoped they were still there and ran to see if he could get them. Johnny started
to take Nicole in his arms. She pulled away from him. When she started speaking
again, this time it was back to the ordeal Tim Donaldson had put her through.
“No, Tim, just leave me alone. I don’t care if you kill me—maybe everyone
would be better off if I was dead. Then I wouldn’t cause anyone else any
more pain. I know I’m not worth anything, but it doesn’t matter. I don’t
deserve Johnny’s love or the love of my friends and family so just kill me
and get it over with. You are angry with me—not them.”
By this time Roy was back with Dr. Brackett. Dr. Warner had stopped by to
check on Johnny and Nicole so he had heard the last part, too. He stepped
forward as he heard Nicole say she didn’t deserve anyone’s love. This was
one of the times Tim had slipped into Nicole’s room and they had not had
the intercom on. Now he knew why she wouldn’t tell him what had happened
during those times.
Dr. Warner knelt down beside Johnny who was still trying to convince Nicole
that she was alright and that no one would hurt her. He put his hand on Nicole’s
arm. She tried to pull away from him, but he kept his hand there. “Nicole,
this is Dr. Warner. Remember we are keeping Johnny safe. And it’s time to
get you out of here so you are safe, too. Tim won’t hurt you any more. Nicole,
you need to wake up now. It’s ok.” Nicole quieted, but still didn’t wake
Johnny was worried. He pulled Nicole into his embrace. This time she didn’t
pull away from him. “Nicole, this is Johnny. You are ok. I’m ok and so is
everyone else. We love you Nicole. Please wake up.”
Nicole slowly opened her eyes. “Johnny, I hate these nightmares.”
“You’ve had them before?” Johnny was not aware that Nicole had been having
nightmares for the two weeks they were at Rampart.
Looking at Johnny and then at Dr. Warner, Nicole just nodded her head. “And
they keep getting worse.”
“Nicole, I need to ask you something.” Roy was bothered by Nicole’s statements
about not deserving anyone’s love.
“What is it, Roy?” Nicole thought she had a good idea. She must have relived
that one meeting with Tim where her insecurities had come out.
“In your nightmare you were telling Tim that you thought we would all be
better off if you were dead and that you didn’t deserve love from any of
us including Johnny. Is that the way you really feel?” Roy had been paying
closer attention to what Nicole was saying while everyone else had been concentrating
on Johnny trying to wake her up. Now as they heard what Roy asked there were
several gasps heard—including one from Johnny.
Nicole looked from one face to another with tears in her eyes. She had hoped
to be able to come to terms with her feelings without any of them finding
out. She just nodded her head yes.
“But why, honey? We all love you so much.” Johnny pulled her onto his lap.
“Because I’m not lovable.”
“What do you mean you’re not lovable?” Johnny had hoped his love and the
love of their friends had changed the way Nicole felt.
“Well, if I am lovable, why would my father and cousins beat and rape me?
And why would my mother stand by and watch? Why did she tell me she really
didn’t want me? Why did she tell my father where I was every time he wanted
to have his way with me? If I am lovable, why did Tim and Cameron want to
hurt me so bad that I wish I were dead? Why did he just prove that I am not
worth the air I breathe? Why did he just reinforce that everyone would be
better off if I had never been born or if I had never met Johnny? None of
you would have been threatened. Johnny wouldn’t have been hurt. And I would
not have lost our—Johnny’s baby.” Nicole stood up and moved closer to the
sliding door to the kitchen. “And nothing any of you can say will ever make
me believe otherwise. Just as I was beginning to think that maybe I did count
for something, Tim and Cameron showed up to remind me of the truth. I don’t
deserve your love and I know what to do about that.” And before anybody realized
what was happening or could stop her Nicole had gone into the house through
the sliding door, locked it and was on her way out the front.
Johnny was the first one at the door, but he found it was locked. By the
time they had gotten through the garage and into the house, they realized
Nicole had run out the front. But she was nowhere in sight. They all stopped
in the middle of the front yard.
“Where could she have gone, Roy?” Johnny’s face was etched with worry and
“I don’t know. She didn’t take a car so she can’t have gotten too far. Let’s
split up and look for her.”
“We need to find her. She’s not really in very good condition right now.
We need to calm her down.” Dr. Warner was worried about Nicole, too. He knew
that there had been a couple of times Tim Donaldson had been able to slip
into Nicole’s room without them knowing and now he realized that Tim had
done more emotional damage than physical at this point.
Roy, Chet, Johnny and Chief McConikee went one direction while Marco, Mike,
Cap and Dr. Brackett went the other way. Dixie, Joanne, Dr. Warner, Dr. Early,
Beth Stoker and Emily Stanley waited at the house in case she showed up.
When it turned dark two hours later, Nicole was still missing. Everyone returned
to the house dejected.
“Why haven’t we been able to find her? She is weak and on foot. We should
have found her by now.” Chet was pacing back and forth by the picnic table.
“We haven’t found her because she doesn’t want to be found.” Johnny thought
about what Nicole had told him when she finally told him about her father
and cousins. She had learned to hide so that if she didn’t want to be found,
she wouldn’t be.
“What do you mean?” Roy looked at his best friend and saw the pain there.
“She learned how to hide when she was a kid to protect herself from her father
and cousins and what they would do to her. She even hid from her mother.
Unless she wants to be found, we won’t find her.” Johnny was crying by this
No one knew what to say or do so they just sat there. Finally Roy took Johnny
for a walk. “She’ll be alright and want to be found soon. You’ll see.” Roy
was trying to convince himself more than Johnny.
“But she feels like we are all better off without her—you heard what she
said.” Johnny didn’t know what to do. He just wanted to reassure Nicole that
she was very special indeed. “She has gone through so much in her life. It’s
time something good happened to her.”
Johnny started talking to Nicole as they were walking. He didn’t think it
would do any good, but maybe if she heard him, she would let them know where
she was. “Nicole, I love you with all my heart. Remember our wedding day?
I promised to be your strength and you promised to share your feelings and
needs. I promised to be here for you to lean on and to help you through the
storms. I know this is a storm, Nicole, and I am here. We will get through
it. Please let me help you.” Johnny and Roy had stopped at the end of the
street that had a small group of trees in it. Johnny was leaning against
the tree and letting the tears flow.
Both men jumped as they heard the rustle behind them. Johnny turned as Nicole
walked through the bushes. Not knowing if he would scare her off, Johnny
opened his arms. Nicole saw nothing but love in his eyes and walked into
his embrace with tears running down her face. “I’m sorry, Johnny, I love
you so much. I just feel like everything that has happened in the last two
and a half years is all my fault.”
“Honey, nothing is your fault and you are the best thing that ever happened
to me. If anything ever happened to you, I wouldn’t be able to go on living
and I definitely wouldn’t want to. Please let me help you through this.”
Johnny felt the sobs raking Nicole’s body.
“And please let the rest of us help, too, Nicole. You may not feel like it,
but you are special to all of us. There are several people who would be very
upset if anything ever happened to either you or Johnny. Remember what you
told Jenny—you would always be in our hearts.” Roy watched his two friends.
“Thank you both. Are you sure no one will be mad at me for acting like a
two-year old and taking off?”
Seeing how tired Nicole had become, Johnny picked her up to carry her in
his arms. “No, honey, you’ve been through a lot. No one is mad and you aren’t
acting like a two-year old.”
Roy would have taken Nicole from Johnny, but he knew that the two of them
needed each other at that moment, so he offered his support by grabbing Johnny’s
arm and leading him away. “Nicole, you have been through so much in your
life. You are stronger than any of the rest of us. You have a right to feel
“That’s where you’re wrong, Roy. Johnny is stronger than any of you know.
Johnny, I think it’s about time you let your friends help you through our
storm, too. I know that you are having nightmares and some of them run along
the same lines as mine. I will only let you and the others help me if you
let me and the others help you.” Nicole looked at Johnny with all the love
she had inside.
“Yeah, I think you’re right.” Johnny smiled at his special Nicole.
“What is she talking about, Junior?”
“Let’s go out back with the others and I’ll tell you.” Johnny knew it was
time to let his friends learn a little more about him.
Dr. Brackett was the first one to see them as Roy and Johnny stepped through
the sliding glass doors. He quickly pulled up a chair. He thought Johnny
would set Nicole down, but was surprised when Johnny sat down still holding
Nicole. It was then everyone realized they were back and had found Nicole.
A collective sigh of relief was heard.
“I’m sorry I took off.” Nicole saw the worried faces changing to smiles as
she looked at each one.
“There’s nothing to be sorry for. We just want you to know that we are here
and we all love you very much.” Joanne was now in Roy’s embrace.
“I know. Both Johnny and Roy told me. But Johnny has something he needs to
tell all of you. There are going to be hard times ahead for both of us. This
ordeal has brought nightmares for both of us—nightmares of what happened
when we were younger. You all know what my nightmares are about. But I’m
not the only one that is going to need help—Johnny is too. So I have persuaded
him to tell all of you so that you can help him, too.”
Johnny took a deep breath and told the others of his childhood. He had been
physically abused like Nicole by both his mother and his father and had to
endure the taunts that came with being a “half-breed.” Cameron Donaldson’s
prejudice had brought all the memories and feelings to the surface. By the
time Johnny had finished, Nicole was asleep in his arms.
“We will do whatever it takes to help both of you through this, Johnny. It’s
time that both of you had something good happen in your life.” Mike Stoker
surprised everyone when he was the first one to speak after Johnny finished.
“Thanks everyone. Now I think it is time for me to take Nicole to bed. We
are both still recovering and I am as tired as she is. Thanks for being our
friends.” Johnny stood and was getting ready to carry Nicole into the house
when Joanne appeared at the back door. Nicole had woken up just in time to
“Nicole? While the others were out looking for you, I remembered a poem I
saw in one of my magazines the other day and I want to give it to you. Jenny
drew a picture of a tiny angel and I copied it down so you could have it.”
With that Joanne handed Nicole a sheet of paper with a child’s drawing of
an Angel on the top.
Johnny sat back down with Nicole on his lap as she read the poem Joanne had
copied for her.
Heaven's Nursery (author unknown)
In Heaven there must surely be
A special place, a nursery
Where 'little spirits' not fully grown
Go to live in their Heavenly home.
The angels must attend with love
Tiny spirits on wings of doves,
The choir of angels must sing lullabies
Maybe quieten their tiny cries.
The Father must come by each day
To cuddle and play in a special way
These tiny spirits left earth too soon
Little ones called Home from the womb.
These sparks of life did not perish
But came to the Father's love to cherish,
To grow and be taught in His own arms
Safely away from all earthly harm.
The comforter was sent to earth at once
To the parents who lost their little one
Their hearts so ache, their arms feel empty
The question 'why' seems so tempting.
Then all at once in the midst of tears
There comes a peace that stills the fears
The parents share the Father's own need
To hold their tiny spirit being.
They relinquish their own desperate hold
And release their baby to the Father's fold,
Then comes an angel to whisper the truth
Of a nursery in Heaven bearing rich fruit
Of tiny spirits chosen to worship the Father
A place that couldn't be filled by another,
Called to be spared from the struggles of earth,
Chosen to be one of Heaven's births.
So Father, whisper words of love from me
To our unborn 'life' in your nursery.
“Thank you, Joanne. I needed to be reminded that God needs to hold the little
ones, too. I will always cherish this.” Nicole didn’t try to stop the tears
that ran down her face.
“Yeah Joanne, thanks. It means a lot to me, too. Our little one is in Heaven
and who better to watch over him or her but God. Thanks, everyone for caring
for us so much. Now I’m going to take my wife to bed if you don’t mind.”
Johnny stood and carried Nicole to the guest room where they would be staying
for the next month or so as everyone said good night.
After the door had closed on their two friends, the others talked quietly
among themselves about what they learned about Johnny’s past. They also talked
about what would lie ahead for both Nicole and Johnny. Then they developed
a schedule where Nicole and Johnny would have time to themselves, but that
someone would either be with them or available 24 hours a day when they were
needed. As they started to break up, Johnny appeared at the back door again.
“We just want to thank you all again for being here. Nicole said to thank
you, too, just before she went back to sleep. Thank you for being our family.
We love you all so much.” Johnny turned and went back into the house as the
“We love you, too, junior.” Roy put his arm around Johnny as he led him back
to the guestroom.
“Good night everyone.” Johnny smiled just before going back into the room
and closing the door.
It was a somber but determined group that left the DeSoto home that night.
Three weeks later Johnny returned to work. He was glad to be back. Life was
beginning to get back to normal. Nicole was gaining back her strength and
she was gaining every day emotionally. And both Johnny and Nicole knew that
it was because of the love and support of their “family.”
“Good morning, guys.” Johnny’s trademark grin was plastered on his face as
he entered the locker room. Roy was close behind.
“It’s great to have you back, Johnny.” Chet patted Johnny on the back as
he walked by. “Now the family is all together again.”
“Thanks, Chet. It’s good to be home.” Johnny grabbed Chet’s arm and lightly
“Roll call in five minutes. Welcome back, Johnny.” Captain Stanley smiled
as he poked his head in the door.
“Thanks, Cap. It’s good to be back.” Johnny smiled at the thought of how
much these people cared about him. The klaxons sounded and everyone headed
for their places in the squad and engine glad to be a full team again.
The men were loading the equipment back into the trucks after having spent
the entire day at the warehouse fire. Since they had missed lunch, they wondered
if any of them would have the energy to fix anything for dinner. They were
bushed. Johnny had been put on dinner detail and everyone figured he would
probably cook hot dogs again. Oh, well, at least it would be food.
As they climbed down from the trucks, they all looked at each other and headed
towards the kitchen. Something smelled great. Entering the kitchen, smiles
broke out on all their faces. Nicole and Joanne were fixing them dinner.
Nicole tuned at the sound of the men entering the room. “Hi guys. Why don’t
you all go and take your showers and get cleaned up? Dinner will be ready
in about 20 minutes.”
They didn’t have to be told twice. In 20 minutes six hungry firefighters
were sitting down to a steak dinner. Joanne and Nicole both chuckled as they
watched the men eat without saying a word. When they were done, Cap spoke
for all of them.
“Ladies, we didn’t get a chance for lunch, so this was great! We weren’t
sure if we had the energy to cook and this is a whole lot better than the
hot dogs we were going to have.”
Nicole and Joanne laughed with the others as Johnny turned red. “Hey, my
hot dogs aren’t that bad and at least we would have had something to eat.”
“Nicole said she wanted to do something for her family and she thought you
might have had a hard day. We brought stuff for you to snack on later and
a quiche for you to warm up for breakfast in the morning.” Joanne was happy
she could help her friend do something special.
Johnny and Roy stood and hugged their wives just as the klaxons went off
and the men were on their way again. Both men kissed their wives as they
ran for the squad.
Thanksgiving Day, 1978
A-shift had pulled duty on Thanksgiving Day. They prayed that it would be
a quiet day, but the klaxons sounded less than 20 minutes after roll call.
Roy and Johnny were supposed to cook the “special” Thanksgiving lunch, but
when they got to the fire that was spreading down the row of houses, they
were wondering if they would make it back even for dinner.
Nicole had called Chief McConikee and gotten permission for the families
of A-shift to join them at the station for a Thanksgiving dinner. They invited
the Chief, Dixie, Dr. Brackett, Dr. Early and Dr. Morton to join them. So
while the trucks were out, Nicole, Joanne, Emily Stanley, Dixie and even
the doctors carried in the meal they had put together. They had all brought
a part of the meal and set it up.
The fire didn’t turn out as bad as they had feared. It took them until lunch,
but they had it out and cleaned up. “When we get back to the station, we’ll
all just grab something to nibble on until you can get our meal cooked.”
Captain Stanley looked at Roy and Johnny as they headed towards their trucks.
“Man, its bad enough that we have to work on Thanksgiving. Now we have to
eat our lunch late because of a fire. Let’s just hope we can get lunch prepared
before we can another run.” Johnny was hungry. He really wasn’t looking forward
to having to take the time to cook and he was missing Nicole. It was their
first Thanksgiving as a married couple and he had really wanted to spend
it with her.
The wonderful smells of a Turkey dinner met the A-shift crew of Station 51
when they got out of their trucks. With wide smiles, they all ran to the
locker room and cleaned up before heading to the day room. They were surprised
to see all the people who had come to celebrate with them.
Captain Stanley led the way in and smiled when he saw his wife. “Thanks everyone.
I bet that this was Nicole’s idea.” He walked over and put his arm around
“Yes, it was her idea, but it was a great one. I think we will try to do
something like this every year for both Thanksgiving and Christmas.” Chief
McConikee liked the effect this gathering was having on the morale of Station
“Let’s eat.” Johnny put his arm around Nicole and headed towards the food.
Everyone laughed as they followed him in line.
Station 51 was granted a time of peace as they ate. The klaxons did not sound
and they were enjoying the time with family and friends. As they finished,
Mike Stoker surprised them all. “When we were growing up, after we ate Thanksgiving
dinner we would go around the table and tell what we were thankful for. Would
it be alright if we did it this year?”
After a few seconds of silence everyone agreed that it would be a great idea.
Nicole looked at the faces of her “family.” “Can I start?” She smiled as
everyone agreed it would be all right. “Well, I want to thank God for all
of you and for everything that happened this year. Not that I want to be
taken hostage at a bank robbery or have Johnny hurt or have Tim and Cameron
show up again. But each of those situations God used to show me that I am
loveable and that I do have people who care about me and love me and I am
not alone. I thank God that He gave me each one of you to care for me. I
am most thankful that God saw fit to let me have such a wonderful man as
Johnny is to love me and care for me. And—“ Nicole stopped for a minute and
looked at Johnny. Her smile grew bigger. “I am thankful for the twins I am
It was quiet for about 30 seconds as what Nicole said sunk in. It was Johnny
who realized what she had said first. “Twins? We’re going to have twins?
Two at once?” The look on Johnny’s face made everyone laugh.
“Yes, honey, you are going to be a daddy and we are having two at once.”
Nicole put her arms around Johnny’s neck as he pulled her onto his lap.
“How do you know you’re having two already?” Joanne was happy for her friends.
She had been suspicious of some of Nicole’s symptoms over the last month.
Now she knew for sure.
“When they did the test and found out I was pregnant, they did an ultrasound
to make sure that things were alright after I lost the last baby. Well, the
babies seemed to be in a cooperative mood and we found out that there were
two of them.”
“Johnny, you never do anything in a small way, do you?” Dixie was happy for
their friends. It was time that something good happened to them.
“No, Dix, doing things in a small way wouldn’t be any fun, now would it?”
He smiled as the others laughed. “But I am thankful for the angel God has
given me for a wife and for the chance to become a father. And I am thankful
for all of you. As Nicole said, I am thankful for the love each one of you
gives me—us. Neither one of us was fortunate enough to have the love of a
family nor friends growing up and having both now means the world to us.
Thank you.” None of them knew that the “family” would be put to the test
in a very short time.
It was silent for a moment and then each of the others in the room shared
what they were thankful for. This Thanksgiving was one that none of them
would ever forget.
Just as they finished, the klaxons sounded and Station 51 was on its way
to another rescue. The rest of the group cleaned up the kitchen, did the
dishes, put the leftovers in the refrigerator and left Station 51.
Life had settled into a routine for the family and friends of Station 51s
A-shift. On the days Johnny worked, Nicole would stay at the DeSotos. The
doctors had wanted to make sure someone was with her all the time since she
had miscarried once, been shot in the chest and had smoke inhalation from
the fire. Plus with the expectation of twins, she was on complete bed rest.
So every night Roy and Johnny would call the DeSoto home and talk to their
The day was quiet. For once there were no calls. All the men had the chance
to get their chores done and they got through lunch. Then the call came for
an MVA on the freeway. They knew that when four squads and engines were called
out that it was a bad one.
Johnny and Roy shook their heads when they arrived at the scene. There were
about 20 cars involved. Johnny sent up a silent prayer of thanks that most
of the injuries were minor ones. From the looks of it, the injuries could
have been a lot worse. The most severe injuries were in the four front cars.
Seeing that three squads were already at work, Johnny and Roy took the fourth
car. Inside were two women.
Johnny smiled to himself as he worked. Up until two years ago, he would have
wanted the phone numbers of both these women. Now he thought of them as pretty,
but he wasn’t interested. He thought quickly about Nicole and then shoved
all thoughts except of his job out of his mind.
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