Well you all seem to be enjoying this one so I guess I’ll keep going.
After the memorial service for Mark a bunch of us went to our local watering hole to have a few drinks and share stories about him. I asked Ian to come with us but he declined saying that he needed to get some sleep. I knew it was a lot of bullshit and it was only that he felt out of place. I drew him aside before he left. “Listen, you’re as much a part of this unit as any of us. Please don’t feel like you don’t belong. Come with us.” I could see him thinking about it. Still he shook his head no.
“It’s ok Ryan. You go and enjoy remembering Mark and I’ll see you when you get back to work ok?” We hugged briefly and he left. I watched him turn the corner before going inside the bar. The other guys and I must have spent pretty much all night telling stories and laughing. There were a few tears too. Sunday we made a plan to go round to Mindy’s house and see if she needed help with stuff. That was something else we did for each other.
Just because a force member passed away that family was still a member of our family, the blue family and they always would be. So we often went to house to do yard work or repairs and it made the loss a little easier to bare.
I have no idea how I got home. One of the boys must have dropped me off because the last thing I remember is falling out of the car and into the gutter because my legs wouldn’t hold me. Now if you ask anyone I worked with they would all say that was not normal behavior for me but I guess an exception was made because of Mark and they had taken sympathy on me and instead of just leaving me on the door step one of them had taken the time to get me into bed.
I woke with the sun streaming in my window and my head pounding like a son-of-a-bitch. I moved to sit up and felt my stomach heave in protest. I laid back against the pillows to wait out the nausea and thought about Mark.
I just couldn’t believe he was gone. From the first moment I met him he had always treated me with respect and I made some really big mistakes like all rookies do but not once had he rubbed my nose in it. Instead he just smiled patiently and waited for me to figure it all out.
And now there was a gaping hole where Mark should have been. Shaking my heard gently I went to take a shower in the hope of feeling human again. I made it as hot as I could stand gaziantep escort it, once again punishing myself for the loss of my partner. My skin was beet red and a little sore as I dried myself and made a very strong cup of coffee.
I had just sat down when there was a knock at the door. Crap! There stood Ian. How did he manage to continually sneak up on me with that bloody loud bike? His eyes widened and I knew I must have looked a sight in spite of the shower. “Yeah yeah…I know I look like shit. You wanna come in?” He brushed by me, his shoulder nudging mine and I felt a little thrill go through me.
“I just made a cup of coffee. Would you like some?” I rubbed at my shoulder which not suprisingly ached like hell.
He smiled and nodded. “Sure that would be nice. Thanks.”
I felt his gaze on me as I moved about the kitchen. I was starting to feel uncomfortable about where this may be headed. I knew that he was showing signs of being interested in me but I really didn’t want to start anything just yet. It was too soon after Mark. That’s what my reasonable head told me but my heart was starting to give in, just a little.
I took the barstool beside his and slid over his coffee. “So, how are you doing? You look like you tied one on last night and your shoulder must be hurting you. You’ve been rubbing it ever since I got here.”
I was surprised by that observation. It only proved my point that he had indeed been watching me.
“I’m ok thanks. My head hurts more than my shoulder and I am still kind of numb on the inside which is nice but I am not looking forward to the pain I know is coming that’s for sure.” To my horror I started to tear up. Glancing up at the ceiling I tried to wipe the tears away before Ian saw them. No such luck.
“Hey. You don’t have to hide your pain from me Ryan. It’s ok to feel lost and hurt you know. He was your partner for over eight years and I know how much he meant to you.”
My eyes locked onto his. “What do you know?” It came out like an accusation but I didn’t mean for it to sound that way.
Ian lent away from me a little and blushed. “No..Nothing. I didn’t mean anything by it but come on; I’m not blind. I saw how you looked at him. I knew you loved him Ryan. I knew because…It’s the way I look at you.”
The world stopped for a moment. We both held our breath to see if the bottom fell out. Ian let his out first. I couldn’t speak. I wanted to but my throat closed off any noise. He lent in closer, judging my reaction. I didn’t move away because I was too stunned. I guess he took it as a sign to proceed and closed his lips gently on mine.
I moved then. A little too quickly because I almost fell off the stool. Ian looked humiliated. I felt so bad for him. “I’m sorry Ryan. I thought…well I thought that that would be ok with you. I guess I was wrong.” He stood to go and was near the door before I could stop him. “Ian please wait. Ian!” He held out his hand to stop me from going further.
“It’s ok. You don’t have to explain. I’m sorry Ryan, really I am.” And with that he was gone.
I let my head fall to the counter with a thump. God what a bloody idiot I was!! He didn’t even give me a chance to explain. It wasn’t that I didn’t have feelings for him. But it was too soon after Mark and then what if I had to live through loosing someone else? I didn’t think I would survive it.
I hoped to get back to work Monday even it was on restricted duty. At least that way I could find a time to corner Ian and explain.
Oh my God! I am such an idiot!! Ryan practically threw himself off the stool trying to get away from me. I thought I had gotten some signals from him but from what happened just now, I had certainly made a huge mistake. It was going to be so awkward seeing him every time we were at work together. And what if he tried to explain? It would only make me feel more pathetic. What am I going to do?
I went for a long ride on my bike. I usually cleared my head that way and it was such a nice day for a ride. Maybe the boss would let me transfer? I guess I could always avoid Ryan at all costs. Christ. What a mess!
The weekend was long and agonizing. I was hoping I would get the flu but nope. I arrived at work and parked in my usual spot.
I was only ten minutes late. For me that was pretty good! I sat quietly in my chair hoping not to draw attention to myself and waited for role call and assignment duty. I looked around the room. I couldn’t see Ryan anywhere. I went from being worried for him to being annoyed at him. So he was avoiding me. That was a pretty juvenile response but then again I was going to do the same thing.
I was going to ask one of the other guys where Ryan was but the boss interrupted us.
“Before we get started, as you all know we lost Officer Harkins last week and Officer Willis was also wounded. Apparently over the weekend he developed some sort of mild infection and was admitted back into hospital. If you ask me, he shouldn’t have been allowed to go home at all. But my opinion seems to mean nothing so I will keep my mouth shut. I’m sure he would appreciate a few visitors so feel free to stop by if you can. Now, on to our daily business.”
I didn’t hear another word he said at that point. Ryan was sick. Here I was calling him juvenile and a coward and he was back in hospital!
“Alright twinkle toes…Are you ready to hit the road?” I looked up startled and groaned out loud. Oh great! My assignment was with an asshole by the name of Trip. He wasn’t exactly what I would call closed-minded but he always made off color remarks and told the worst jokes I have ever heard! This was going to be long twelve hours and I would be worried about Ryan the entire time. I just sat silently in the passenger seat of the patrol car and prayed for a quiet day.
I woke up puzzled. I had no idea where I was. Everything was so white and it smelt like disinfectant. I glanced to my right. There was a guy in the other bed. Where in the hell was I? A nurse came in to check my temperature. I looked at her. “Am I in hospital?” She looked at me and paused. Probably wondering what the punch line was. “Seriously. I’m in hospital right?”
She took my pulse. “Yes Officer. That’s exactly where you are. Don’t you remember? Apparently you were at the store buying milk and collapsed. The clerk called the ambulance and well…here you are. You have a mild infection that’s all. You need to stay here and rest.”
In a way I was relieved. At least this way I could avoid Ian for a few days and maybe things would cool off a little. “Do you think I could have something for my shoulder? It’s really starting to hurt.”
“I’ll get the Doctor to put in an order for some pain medication. It will take a little while so try and get some rest ok?” Her shoes squeaked on the polished floor.
I tried hard to sleep but between my shoulder aching and Ian’s face making cameo appearances I was out of luck. I hoped he was ok because I at least wanted him for a friend.
End of Chapter Two. I know they’re kind of short but with my schedule it’s all I can manage at one time sorry. I’m glad you’re all enjoying them though.
Next one is coming soon!