Note: the story below is purely fictional and not based on reality at all. It is not indicative, in any way shape or form, of that which would or would not happen in real life. It does not reflect the actions that would (or should) be expected in real life.
Note: In the first part of the story…. Jack had recently been promoted to rank of Lieutenant, but as I wrote this part of the story…. I’m not so sure that fits in quite right.
“Well that was a complete waste of…..” Jack grumbled as he and the rest of the crew climbed back into the engine. The call they had gotten turned out to be nothing more than a minor fender bender that had gotten blown out of proportion. Just as quickly, he pushed the negative thought from his mind. At least they could get back, quickly, to the store where they had left their groceries sitting earlier. It had been on the way to the call that one of the younger firefighters had made mention of said groceries. “Shit!!” Jack had mumbled at the time, but there was nothing that could be done but to go back later and hope that someone had brought their groceries up to the front…. Either that or they would have to go back and redo the earlier shopping trip.-
When they got back to the grocery store, Jack and the crew headed in and stopped off at the Customer Service Desk to inquire about the groceries they had left behind…. The young clerk at the desk mentioned that she recalled that a young lady had come through one of the checkout lines pulling two, only partially, filled baskets. She recalled the comment being made by one of the cashiers of “what a sweet gesture it was that she was doing”.
It didn’t take Jack long to guess who that young lady would have been. “Do you happen to recall what she was wearing?” Jack wanted to know.
“Yeah,” the clerk replied, “She was wearing a dark green skirt and a purple top….”
“Brenda” Jack broke in.
“She didn’t give her name” The clerk replied, but Jack knew he was correct.
“Do you know what happened to the groceries?” Jack asked
“Yeah, she said something about stopping by the station, I guess”
Jack, along with the rest of the crew headed back to the rig and back to the station.
Pulling up to the station, Jack noticed an unfamiliar car out front, and as he was positioning the rig to back in he saw a young lady get out of the car and open up the back door. “Brenda” he realized with a smile. Pulling the rig to a stop and setting the brakes, Jack turned off the rig and jumped down then trotted over to Brenda’s car as she was retrieving several bags from the back seat.
“Can I help you?” he asked.
Brenda whipped around suddenly at the voice behind her…. A little too suddenly, because she found herself swaying slightly, nearly toppling on the high heels she wore. It didn’t help when she found herself face to chest with a solid muscular mass that she soon discovered belonged to Jack, the same jack that had just caught her at the grocery store earlier. Jack once again gripped Brenda’s arm to steady her.
“Like I said before,” Jack said with a slight laugh, “You really should be more careful”
Brenda fought the urge to thump him one for scaring her. “Your the one that sneaked up on me” she muttered somewhat meekly.
“So Next time I’ll blast the air horn first so you know there’s someone here”
“NO!” Brenda exclaimed, Nearly thumping him again.
“So what’s in the bags” Jack asked, although he already had a pretty good idea.
“Your groceries,” Brenda replied, “You, ummmmm, left them at the store earlier”
Brenda reached in once again to retrieve the groceries from the back seat but Jack stopped her. “Here, let me get them” he offered. Brenda found herself standing out of the way as Jack reached in and grabbed the several bags of groceries.
“Thanks for doing this, you didn’t have to you know” Jack said as he turned to face Brenda
“I know” was Brenda soft reply.
“If you want to come in to the station for a minute, we can pay you back…..”
“You don’t have to do that”
“Are you sure?” Jack asked, “It really is no problem, after all we would have been buying them at the store if we hadn’t gotten called away and forgot them”
“I’m sure” Brenda insisted. It’s the least I can do to say thanks to you guys”
“Well then why don’t you come in anyway.”
“I don’t know,” Brenda hesitated, “I mean do they allow you to let civilians in the station?” Brenda knew that ‘allowing’ a civilian inside the bay was perfectly acceptable, especially to show them around. But she wasn’t quite sure about inside the station house itself… Especially with the way things had changed over the years within the Fire Department.
“Sure Jack,” replied, “As long as there’s some one from the station here with them…. And, as long as you stay out of the way if we get a call.”
“Of course” Brenda replied.
“It’s up to you, ” Jack said as he started towards the station. Brenda hesitated for a moment, undecided, then found herself quickly following in the direction Jack had just headed.
(to be continued).