For personal use and select distribution only © by Addmom

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. No financial gain is being realized from it. The story, itself, is the property of the author. Please ask before archiving elsewhere and/or using characters created by the author.

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?
Part III
“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 out.

“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 a wheelchair.

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 either.

“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 nothing.

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 how.”

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 their shift.

“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 school.

“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 investigate.

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 shoulder.

“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 shouldn’t have—“

“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, right?”



“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 time.

“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 really was.

“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 self-appointed guardian.

“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 food.

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 up.

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 fear.

“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 time.

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 insecure sometimes.”

“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 say goodnight.

“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 others followed.

“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 squeezed.

“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 his wife.

“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 51.

“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 now carrying.”

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.

April, 1979

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 wives.

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.

Continued in:

Unwanted Attention

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