Eddie: Crystal Lake Firefighters Romance Serial - Chapter Fourteen
We finally made it to the end. I'm actually really sad it's over.
Admit it though, the ending pulled at your heartstrings. Eddie and Sarah's story was so special.
I left us with an epilogue. I went back and forth on if I would write one. I 'm glad I did. That basically means I have Jackson's story ready to be written now.
Remember: This story has not been edited yet. Once it is ready to be published she will get prettified.
Sending Love, Terra
~ Eddie ~
“Do you need any help?” I pulled back the shower curtain.
“What?” She jumped and threw her hand to her chest. “Now I do.”
“Oh, well, I’ll get right on that.” I pulled down my shorts and stepped in. The water was scalding hot. “Holy shit.” I stepped back.
“A little too warm?”
Sarah reached down and moved the handle over just a smidge. She wrapped her arms around my neck. “Is that better?”
“Are you laughing at me?” I teased and started to poke her sides. She jumped back and slipped, but I quickly wrapped my arms around her waist. I pulled her body flush to mine and had to take in a deep breath; I loved how she made me feel.
“So,” I winked.
“I’ve been thinking.”
She placed her hands on my forehead. “Are you okay?”
“Ha ha.” I tried to hold in my laugh but failed. “Hear me out, okay?”
“Okay.” She gave me a questioned look.
“No, this is good.”
My mind flashed back to right before my wife got sick, we both talked about having another baby. I wanted Kelsey to have a brother or sister. Then when my wife died, I let those thoughts wash away. I knew Kelsey and I would be okay alone.
Then I met Sarah.
“I can’t get what we talked about last night out of my mind.”
“Oh Eddie, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean…”
“Sarah, stop,” I said and bent to kiss her before she could say another word. “I’m not saying let’s try today or anything. Well, we can practice maybe.” I squeezed her ass and pulled her even closer. “But I don’t plan on letting you out of my sight. I’m in this for the long haul.”
“What do you mean?”
“What I’m saying.” I kissed her nose. “I want you to make Michigan home. I want you to make my home yours. We can redecorate, sell some things, whatever you want.”
“Eddie, are you sure you’re ready to make that big of a change?”
“I want this,” I picked her up and pushed her body against the shower wall. “I want you.”
Sarah wrapped her legs around my waist. “Are you sure?”
I pushed hard against her and she sucked in a breath. “Is that a good enough answer?” A small moan escaped her lips. The vibration caused me to get harder. I leaned forward and kissed her. “If I have to prove to you every single day for the rest of my life that this is what I want, I’ll do it.”
“Every. Single. Day.”
She closed her eyes and shook her head. I could see she was holding in a laugh. In a mocking tone, “Eddie, how will you go to work with that new crazy schedule?”
Sarah’s eyes went wide as I pushed deep inside her. “We’ll figure out something.”
“What? Tell me?”
She was quiet for several long moments. “I need more.”
There was a look in her eyes I couldn’t quite figure it out. I slid my hands down her back and over her gorgeous ass, squeezing lightly. I pushed her body closer to my own. She felt so good. It felt like we both were made to be together.
“Please don’t stop,” she begged.
I rested my forehead on her own–“Never”–as I pulled her closer and wrapped my arms around her body. The words “I love you” were on the tip of my tongue but I was too afraid to give voice to them.
But I did love her.
I somehow managed to find love again.
Two months later…
“Daddy!” Kelsey ran down the hallway.
“Hi, baby girl!” I squatted down and wrapped my arms around her little body. “How’s my sweet pea?”
“Good. I helped Aunt Jan bake cookies because she’s sick.”
I stood up and made my way into my sister’s kitchen. Jan was sitting at the table with her hand on her now bigger than ever baby bump. “Hey, sis.” I let Kelsey down then sat down opposite my sister and reached for a cookie. “Oh, wow. You made these?” I looked over at Kelsey.
“Yup,” she said moving her head up and down so fast.
“All by yourself?”
“Yup.” You could tell she was trying to keep a straight face but then burst out laughing. “No, daddy,” she said in fits of giggles. “Aunt Jan helped, too.”
My girl. She had the best laugh, and she always knew how to make me smile. I reached over and tickled her side. “Hey sweetie, do you think I could talk to your Aunt Jan alone for a few minutes?”
“Sure Daddy, you’ll let me know when you’re done, right?”
“I promise.” I held out my finger for her grab. “I pinky swear.” She connected my finger with her own and shook our hands up and down. Then she turned, and I watched her run down the hallway toward the living room.
“It sounds like you both had fun today?” I turned back to my sister.
“You have that look.”
She pushed her chair back, then stood and walked to the kitchen sink. After filling her glass with water she leaned her back against the counter. “Eddie, you have a look for every emotion. I’m just not sure I recognize this one though.”
I put my arms up in surrender. “You caught me. I’m guilty.”
She playfully pushed my arms down. “What is it?”
“I…I want to ask Sarah to marry me.” Jan’s eyes went so wide. “Is that a bad idea? Should I wait?”
“What? No.” She grabbed my hand and sat down beside me. “Eddie, I didn’t think I would hear those words fall from your lips ever again.”
“You and me both.”
“When? Where? Tell me.”
I patted her hand. “Breathe.”
“Oh stop stalling and tell me.”
“Okay, okay. Kelsey and I were thinking Sleeping Bear Dunes.”
“Ask her on a camping trip?” she said sounding confused.
“No, I was thinking when we reached the top of the dunes.”
“Oh, Eddie,” she sighed and grabbed my hands. “Minus the camping, right?”
“Well, Kelsey seems to think Sarah would enjoy a trip in a camper.”
“My guess, she has never camped before.”
“I thought that, too.” I leaned back in my chair. “What do you think?” Jan sighed and rested her head in her hand. “I guess this is a good plan, eh?”
“Who’s idea was this?”
“Mine,” Kelsey said from the doorway.
“What?” I reached out my hand and tugged her closer to the table. “I suggested Sleeping Bear Dunes,” I said tickling her side.
“And I asked you if she would be my momma someday.”
Jan wiped a tear away. “Eddie.”
Kelsey stopped laughing and ran over to Jan. “Don’t cry Aunt Jan, it’s okay.”
“Actually, I think your aunt approves of our idea. Those may be happy tears.”
My daughter’s eyes became saucers they were so big. “You do?”
“I do,” Jan said bending to kiss Kelsey on the cheek.
“So, it’s a date.”
~ Sarah ~
Over the past two weeks when I would step into a room, Eddie, Kelsey, and even Jan would stop talking. To say I felt insecure was putting it mildly. Growing up, I would always find my mother and father whispering about something behind my back.
Eddie tried to assure me that everything was okay, but I still felt uncomfortable. Then, yesterday out of the blue Eddie told me to pack a few things because we were going on a weekend trip.
My hand was interlaced with Eddie as my eyes scanned the horizon. I had no idea where he was taking us but Kelsey seemed a little too excited. Plus, we had a camper strapped to the back of the truck. I had never camped a day in my life. I know, I know, North Carolina has some amazing spots to rough it, but I always felt a hotel made more sense.
I glanced back at Kelsey in her car seat, her head was lulling back and forth like she was fighting sleep. Turing to Eddie. “Want to share your deep dark secret yet?”
“In about sixty-five minutes.”
“That long, eh?”
He pulled my hand up to his mouth and brushed a kissed across my knuckles. “Do you trust me, Sarah?”
A word I hated all my life, but with Eddie, I had grown to accept it. “I do. You know that.”
“Then trust you are in for a treat in sixty-fi…well, now sixty minutes.”
I rested my head back against the seat. “I can’t wait.”
“Sarah,” I heard a soft male voice say next to my ear.
As I opened my eyes, Eddie’s handsome features came into focus. “Hey.” I lifted my head. “Did I crash out?”
“You didn’t want to wait the sixty minutes, eh?”
“I slept the whole time.”
“It’s okay, now this moment will be even better than I imagined.”
Kelsey popped into view. “Sarah, come see.” She reached out her hand for me to take.
I stretched and unbuckled my seatbelt. Then I lifted my head and looked out the front window. There was a big hill in front of me covered in sand. “Um, Eddie.”
He leaned back in the truck. “Yeah, you okay?”
“You took me to a sand hill?”
Eddie chuckled. “Not just any old sand hill. Come on, hurry up. Kelsey may start up that hill without us soon.”
I hesitated for a beat. Then noticed Kelsey hopping around with her stuffed baby flying up and down in her outstretched hand. Her smile caused a lump to form in my throat.
Eddie walked over. “Remember when I asked if you trusted me?”
“And I said I do.”
“Good, just making sure nothing changed.”
“I…” Before I could get the words out, he walked over to my side of the truck, opened the door, and lifted me out of the seat. “What are you doing,” I said giggling.
“Taking you on our first adventure.”
Kelsey skipped over to us. “It will be the best.”
When Eddie put me down, he grabbed my one hand and Kelsey latched onto my other hand. I looked down, then I looked at both of them staring at me. My heart. While still holding Eddie’s hand I touched the center of my chest and noticed something was different. Was the pain I felt for so long washing away?
He flashed his heart-stopping smile. “What is it?”
“I’m not sure.” The lump was still in the back of my throat.
Eddie leaned over and kissed my temple. “I think I may know.” He walked up the steep hill. “Let’s find out if I’m right.”
“I can’t wait,” Kelsey started singing over and over.
The hill was making me start to hate sand. Right before we reached the top of the hill Eddie tugged on my arm. “Sarah, the next thing you see, I want this moment to pop in your mind whenever a bad thought tries to invade your happiness.”
“Um, okay. So you want me to think about sand when I get sad?”
He shook his head and surprised me by bending down and picking me up in his arms. Then he took the last six steps up the hill. “Not sand. This.” He let me down so I could take it all in.
The view took my breath away. Literally. I stood there with my hand over my mouth. Then someone cleared their throat, and I glanced over. My body felt overstimulated, and I fell to the ground like a rag doll.
“Sarah.” I heard Eddie yell.
~ Eddie ~
“Are you okay?” I bent down beside Sarah. She had tears streaming down her face and her hand was still covering her mouth. “What is it? Are you sick?”
She didn’t say anything for the longest time. I knew Kelsey was worried because she had her little body wrapped around Sarah so tight.
Finally, she cleared her throat. “Can we have a take-two?”
“Yeah, this time I’ll be ready. I promise.”
I realized what she was asking. “A take-two. Yes, I think that can be arranged.” Reaching my hand out to Kelsey. “Come here, sweet pea.” I watched Sarah stand and turn away. Bending down, I whispered in Kelsey’s ear, “Let’s try to ask her again.”
Her eyes flew open, and she hopped up. “Okay.”
Then I cleared my throat again to get Sarah’s attention. I was secretly hoping she did not fall over this time.
~ Sarah ~
My heart was pounding.
My breath was ragged.
My eyes were going in and out of focus.
I heard Eddie clear his throat, and I had to use every ounce of strength I had left in me to turn around. Eddie was on bended knee holding out a little black velvet box. Kelsey was on bended knee holding a key in the palm of her hand. Even L’elephant, Kelsey’s stuffed baby was on the ground.
It was hard to process this moment and what was happening.
For twenty-two years all I knew was dark.
Now, I only wanted to see light.
Eddie stood up and walked toward me. “Thank goodness take-two went as planned.”
“Did it?” I asked reaching for his hand.
“Well, I think so, I’ll let you know in a second. First, we have a question to ask you.”
Kelsey spun around in front of me. “Sarah.”
I bent down in front of her. “Yes, love.”
“Will you be my mommy?”
The words escaped me. I wasn’t ready for that question.
Eddie knelt down beside me. “And will you be my wife?”
I looked out at Lake Michigan and wondered why I was given this gift. There was a flash of light and someone smiling about forty yards away. I looked at Kelsey and Eddie, then glanced back at the smiling figure. Was that? No, it couldn’t be.
Eddie wrapped his arms around my waist. “You okay?” Then I looked down as Kelsey wrapped her body around my legs.
“I’m more than okay.” I reached my hand up and touched the side of his face. “Yes. I want it all.” I turned back toward the flash of light but it was gone. “She…she’s gone.”
“Who's gone?” He sounded confused.
“Sara,” I whispered.
“You saw her?”
“Yeah, and she’s really happy.”
Eddie pulled me closer to his body. “Because of you."
~ Anika ~
“Stay close to me, baby,” I said to my niece as we crawled into my bedroom away from the flames.
“I’m scared, Aunt Ani,” my niece said clutching her journal to her chest.
“Me too.” I brushed my hand over her long brunette hair and brought her body close to mine. “They’ll be here any minute. I promise.”
I was trying to figure out what happened. One minute my niece was sitting on the couch writing in her journal. The next moment she was yelling fire.
We usually spent every Summer together. Her parents lived in the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan. So Sophie always begged to stay at the lake with me. She was not much for the city life. I looked down at her profile and feared this was our last Summer together. Wrapping my arms tighter around her body, I prayed (something I was never good at) and hoped someone was listening to my pleas.
Just then an explosion sounded off.
“It’s okay, Sophie.” I rocked her back and forth.
“Anybody in here?” I heard someone yell from down the hall.
Sophie looked up at me. “They’re here.”
I placed my hands on either side of her face. “They are.” I leaned down and kissed her nose. I lifted my head and yelled, “Yeah, we’re in here.”
The smoke was causing my lungs to feel constricted and my vision to go blurry. I noticed a figure dressed in a yellow uniform from head to toe taking up the whole doorway of my bedroom.
“Ma’am, are you okay,” the male voice asked bending down to be eye level with me.
“Um, yeah, I think so.”
“Can you walk?”
Sophie stood up. Then the firefighter reached out his hand to help me up. Just then my legs gave out, and he placed his arms under my legs and brought me close to his body. I could see his features through the blackened plastic of the face mask. He was stunning.
~ Jackson ~
“Is there anyone else in here?” I looked at the woman in my arms.
“Um, no,” she stammered.
“We can go this way,” I pointed to the bedroom across the hall.
The woman had her arms wrapped around my neck so tight I was finding it difficult to take in a deep breath. Once we reached the window, I placed the woman in a chair. “Cover your eyes.” Then, Eddie, another firefighter broke the glass from outside and moved away from all the small pieces. “Miss me?” I teased to my partner.
“Not even a little,” Eddie said and placed a towel on the edge of the window sill.
I pointed to the young girl. “You go first.”
The girl looked at the woman. “You’re coming too, right?”
I placed my hand on her shoulder. “We’ll be right behind you.” I noticed the woman was going in and out of consciousness as her body slid down out of the chair. I reached forward right before she fell to the floor. “Stay with me, ma’am.” Walking over to the window. “Eddie, she needs attention stat.”
“You sure you don’t want to take over, playboy?”
I rolled my eyes at the nickname my co-workers had given me and held up my middle finger. “Just take care of her.”
Just then another explosion sounded off from down the hall. “It’s an all clear in hear. We need to dowse this baby with water.”
As I climbed out of the window, I felt a tug on my sleeve. I pulled my helmet off and turned around. It was the young girl. “You okay?”
She opened her mouth to say something but then closed it.
“Here, let’s get you over to the ambulance so they can give you a once over.”
“Sophie,” a woman yelled.
“Is that your name?” I looked down at the girl. She only shook her head up and down.
I walked up beside the woman who was sitting on the edge of the ambulance. “I think you were looking for her?” Placing my hands on the girl’s shoulders and pushing her toward the woman.
“Sophie, there you are.” The woman looked up and started to say something then stopped.
“Hey playboy,” Eddie yelled from across the yard. “We need your help.”
“Fuck.” I looked at the girl. “I mean, sorry, I need to go. They’ll get you taken care of and run you to the hospital for a full workup.”
I wanted to punch Eddie. I inherited the name two years ago and was now wishing for a way to make the name disappear.
Eddie yelled once more and almost said the name again.
I held my hand up as I approached my team. “Don’t you dare say it.”
“What?” Milo teased. “Playboy?” He jumped back out of my reach. “Prove you deserve a new nickname and we’ll think about changing it.”
Prove? I didn’t need to prove anything to them. I knew how to have a long-term relationship.
Did my twelve-year relationship with my dog count?
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