Eddie: Crystal Lake Firefighter Romance Serial - Chapter Two
I heard great feed back after posting chapter one, WOOHOO!
Just a friendly reminder: This story is not professionally edited yet. When it's time to publish the book we will get her all prettified. For now, it's a fun story just for us!
I hope you enjoy chapter two!
Happy reading! oxox
~ Eddie ~
It was noon on a Friday and we had just finished with our last call from a woman who lived about a mile from the firehouse. As we headed back to the truck. “Did you see her eyeing you?” Alan, the fire chief teased and slapped me on my back.
“What? Come on.” I brushed off his words. We had a job to do, it wasn’t a dating service. Plus, the woman placed a call weekly, probably so she could eye one of us.
There was a diner within walking distance of the firehouse, so we all took a break and headed over to get lunch. As I opened the door, my stomach made a plea for food. I glanced around looking for a table, like always it was packed.
A twenty-something woman with short jet-black hair was holding a few menus against her chest chewing her gum. “Hey, guys. Just the four of you today?”
“Hey, Angie. Yeah, Milo couldn’t make it.”
She led us to a table and looked back in my direction. “What? Is he trying to avoid me?” she asked and placed the menus in front of us.
As I slid into my seat, I noticed a young woman in the booth in front of me. She had her head down reading what looked like classified ads. I had lived in the small town for four years now and had never seen her before.
Leaning forward and out of earshot of the woman. “Who’s that?” The guys all at the same time turned to see who I was talking about. “Well, don’t look obvious or anything.” I teased and grabbed the menu.
“No clue,” Jackson said and leaned his arm over the booth. “Hi,” he said in a husky voice. The woman looked at him, grabbed the paper she was reading and slid out of the booth so fast. She almost ran toward the door but a couple stepped in her way.
“Good one, Jackson,” I teased. “I thought you were a ladies man?”
Jackson was from Frankfort and was one of the other full-time firefighters. He was what we all called, “the player.” He had a different woman each week. Which was impressive since we lived in a small town?
I glanced out the window and noticed the woman sit down on a bench. She had her hand against her heart and was rocking back and forth. “Hey, let me out,” I tapped Alan on the shoulder and slid out of the booth.
“Cleaning up my mess,” Jackson asked.
I knew I had to be careful and not scare the woman as I approached. Standing about a foot away. “Are you okay?”
The woman jumped up. “What do you want?”
“Nothing,” I said and put my hands above my head in a surrender. She looked frightened. “I wanted to make sure you were okay. Jackson is a good guy, direct, but still good.”
“Oh no, it’s okay.”
It was weird, she was biting her nails like it was her last supper. “Are you new here?”
“Um, I need to go,” she said, grabbing her bag sitting on the bench and then she disappeared.
The guys were doing a dive bomb whistle as I walked back inside. “Shut up,” I said and sat back down in the booth. “Wow, someone damaged that woman.”
“We were watching, she seemed freaked out,” Alan said and took a drink.
Just then Angie walked up to take our order. “Hey Angie, do you know who that woman was that sat there?” I pointed to the booth in front of me.
“Who, Sarah? She moved into town a few days ago.”
I repeated her name. Sarah.
The table went quiet at the mention of her name.
My wife’s name was, Sarah.
“Uh oh,” I raised my hands and wiggled my fingers. “Tickle hands have been engaged.” I arrived home and noticed my daughter on the couch with our dog, Tucker. Her head was resting on his side and she was holding the remote.
The moment I mentioned tickle hands she leaped up. “What? No,” Kelsey said trying to act scared.
“Hey, you know I can’t control them. Tickle hands have a mind of their own,” I explained and continued to advance on her.
Kelsey squealed and ran behind the couch. Then Tucker barked and stood in front of my daughter. He was the great protector.
“You think Tucker can stop these hands,” I teased and reached over the seventy-five-pound dog. Tucker pushed me away from Kelsey and barked louder. I lost my balance and fell backwards. “Okay, okay, you both win.”
Kelsey stood over me in fits of giggles. “Daddy, you fell.”
I reached up and grabbed her around her waist to pull her down with me. “And oh no, so did you.”
Tucker was not happy and lunged forward to lick my face.
We were still on the floor giggling. “So, what should we have for dinner?”
Kelsey yelled out. “Steak!”
“What? You are not a normal four-year-old at all. What about mac n’cheese or chicken nuggets?”
“Nope,” she blurted. “I want steak.”
“Okay, that means we have to go shopping.”
She hopped up and reached for my hand to pull me up. “Grocery store.”
I was still chuckling to myself as we headed to the truck. My daughter liked steak, who would have thought. Now I needed to prevent her from falling in love with lobster or even caviar.
The store was about five miles from our house. When we arrived, I noticed the woman from the diner, Sarah locking her bike and walking inside. There was this pull to want to talk to her, but I knew anything I said would scare her more.
Since Kelsey was born I have always whistled songs and even show tunes. When she could talk, she also mimicked everything I did, even when I whistled. As we walked into the store hand in hand, she kicked off the whistling with one of our favorite songs. I’m sure the store was used to us by now.
Frank was behind the customer service counter with his pen behind his ear like always. “Kelsey,” he smiled and walked around to squat down in front of my daughter. “How are you today?” he asked and handed her a lollipop.
“I good. We’re getting a steak.”
Frank looked up at me. “She eats steak already.”
“Hey, I’m just as surprised as you are.”
Kelsey hopped around and touched each hard surface the moment her feet would hit the ground. She never wandered far, so I wasn’t worried.
“Frank, do you have any extra boxes?”
“Let me check with Susie in the back. Before you leave stop back over here.”
“Sounds good, thanks.”
I turned to go meet up with Kelsey and stopped in my tracks. She was talking to Sarah. What was different this time, Sarah had a smile on her face and was holding Kelsey’s hand.
~ Sarah ~
As I went to log out of my register someone whistling caught my attention. I glanced over and noticed the same little girl from the other day. She was hopping around and holding a lollipop in one hand.
She hopped next to me and stopped. “Hi.”
I bent down to be eye level with her. “Hi there.”
“Look, I got a lolli.”
“Yum. What flavor did you get?”
She eyed it and then handed it to me. “You check.”
“Okay,” I laughed and read the label. “Hmmmm, yum, strawberry.”
“I love strawberries,” she said excitedly. “I Kelsey, what your name?”
I had to laugh at how forward she was. “Hi, Kelsey. My name is Sarah.” Kelsey stopped bouncing around and I noticed her smile fall. “Are you okay, Kelsey?”
Before she had the chance to answer a familiar voice called for her. I looked up to find the guy from the diner standing about two feet away. My mind always went to fear, something I knew needed to change. I stood and stepped away from the little girl. “It was nice meeting you, Kelsey.”
She whispered. “Nice meeting you.”
The guy was handsome. Anyone could see that, but he was still of the male species and that meant red flag in my book. A part of me wanted to avoid talking to him. Yet the other part of me was begging for him to start a conversation. Instead, he nodded, grabbed his daughter’s hand and headed in the opposite direction.
Jackie, the cashier working next to me said, “He’s so dreamy."
“I guess,” I tried to sound nonchalant.
“Oh please, I saw you watching him,” she teased and waved to the next costumer. “We all love when they come in because they give us the best whistling show.”
“Where is the mom?” I asked and was met with sad eyes. “What did I say?”
“His wife died.” Then she had to focus on the customer.
I wanted to hit myself. Seriously, I let myself get scared of a man who was dealing with his own struggles, and oh my goodness, lost his wife.
My bike was only two years old. I bought it and then let it sit in a closet for two years. Today, as I rode to work there was an unusual shake with each push on the peddles. Now it was time to head home, and I noticed the shake was worse. Suddenly, my bike stopped, and I almost tumbled over the handle bars. The wheel in the front looked low, and the chain was positioned incorrectly.
My bike was better as a decoration. So much for getting home before sunset since the trek home was about five miles.
After a few minutes, I heard a honk from behind me. I turned and noticed a truck slowing down beside me. The guy from the diner rolled his window down and smiled. “You need a ride?”
“We won’t bite.”
The little girl, Kelsey yelled from the backseat. “Snuffles might.”
I scowled. “Snuffles?”
“That’s her stuffed baby,” he chuckled. “She’s right, he may. We’ll try to control him.”
Kelsey was in the back laughing; she had the most beautiful laugh. “Come on, Sarah.”
I noticed the guy glance back at his daughter. “You know this nice lady’s name?”
“Yeah, it’s just like momma’s name.”
This was getting awkward, and I didn’t want to make him more uncomfortable. “Listen, I’m fine.”
The guy opened his door and put his hands up in surrender. “I’m just going to get out and put your bike in the back. Okay?”
“Why do you have your hands up?”
“You seem scared every time I get close to you.”
Well, so much for blending in. I wanted to hit myself. “Oh, um, no, here.” I handed him my bike and walked around to the passenger side.
When the guy hopped back up in the truck, he turned in his seat. “I’m Eddie and I see you’ve already meet that little rascal.”
“It’s nice to meet you. I’m sorry to bother you.”
Sitting next to him I could soak up every inch of him, the man was handsome. He had dark mysterious eyes, short dark brown hair, and well, let’s be honest…he made my girl parts come back alive. It had been a long time since I felt my insides swirl around with excitement.
“You’re not bothering us. Right, Kelsey?”
“Nope. Not bothering. We going to eat steak.”
“Steak, huh,” I teased. “You like a fancy pants dinner already at your age?”
Something felt weird. I was in Eddie’s truck with his daughter. Clearly, I knew neither of them. Yet, for the first time in a long time, I felt comfortable. My go-to emotion was fear, but at this moment all I could feel was…happiness.
Which confused me.
Did you enjoy chapter two of Eddie? Let me know in the comments below! :-)
Stay tuned to see what will happen next Wednesday. Will Sarah let go of her fears and have dinner with Eddie and Kelsey? Will we find out how Eddie's wife passed away?
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PLUS: Jackson's story will be coming your way in the Fall!