Disclaimer: Yep they resemble and may act a little like the girls, but these ones are all mine. Everything that is in a Xena Ep is in here along with my filthy gutter mouth and sex between the two women. So, if that bothers you or you're not old enough to read it go the hell away. If you are old enough and everything, but it's illegal where you live, why do you live there?

Thanks to Lesia and Sherri for reading this as it developed in my wicked mind.


Flames of a Soul
By Larisa

Hecate3366@Frontiernet.net (If ya want ta yell at me.)

    Jake pulled the shielded helmet off of her head and lowered the flame retardant hood back to let it hang across her wide back. Sweat dripped from her chin to bounce off her heavy jacket. Shaking her head as her Lieutenant came towards her; she knew she was in for an ass chewing for her once again disregards to procedure. She just couldn't help herself, it was in her nature to risk her life and no one was going to change that. She cast steel blue eyes on the short fat man who was rolling towards her. His baldhead glistening from sweat in the colors of the fire engines flashing lights.

    "What in the sam hell did you think you were doing! How many times do I have to tell your stupid ass to not go into a burning structure without your buddy and a damn hose?"

    His face turning the same color as the flames and the veins on his forehead popping out threatening to burst.

    "Do I have to write you up once again and suspend you?"

    She lowered her eyes to her heavy boots and shook her head no; glancing from the corner of her eyes, she gave him a slight grin.

    "Won't do it again." Tonight that is, can't guarantee anything beyond that. She thought to herself.

    "Next time you do it and your ass is mine, you hear me?" He got nose to nose with her which was a feat all in it's own since he was six inches shorter to her six foot and two foot further out in the gut department.

    "Yes sir, no problem." You disgusting little troll! Her little voice that she called Rocky was on a roll, she often wondered about her habit of talking to it but what the hell. Rocky was one way to get all the right answers to her questions.

    "Now get your ass on the truck so we can get back to the station." He rolled away and then tripped and stumbled over a fire hose that the firefighters were just finishing rolling up. "Get that picked up before someone falls!" He yelled at the men who were trying not to laugh as Jake was doing.

    She waved at the little boy who was hugging his puppy to his chest; she had heard a whimper coming from one of the windows of the trailer that was engulfed in flames. Paying no attention to what the others were saying or doing, she used her axe, smashed the window out and then crawled through to find the small puppy scratching at the closed bedroom door. Picking him up and putting him inside her coat, she crawled back out the window to drop down in front of her steaming lieutenant. Shrugging her shoulders at him she strutted away to find the owner of the small black fur ball. Tears threatened to come to her eyes when she saw the little boy sobbing against his fathers shoulder. She knew right then that there would be a happy little boy that night. She handed the puppy over to the little boy and was instantly engulfed in a leg hug. Green eyes looked up at her and a toothless smile came to his face. That was all the thank you she needed, ruffling his dark hair, she smile and then walked away with a swelling feeling in her chest.


    Dropping her boots next to her small rack and then her jacket, she dropped down and sagged back against the thin mattress. Closing her eyes, she felt her body start to relax.

    "What were you thinking Jake? You want Professor Clump's twin to can your dumb ass?"

    Tired blue eyes opened to see one of her friends standing with his hands on his hips glaring down at her.

    "You know he's just waiting for you to screw up enough to fire you."

    "I know John, I don't care." She looked at her bodybuilding fiend of a friend. "I can go to any fire house and get a job; he's just pissed that he can't crawl through windows."

    "He's lucky to make it through a damn door, not to mention a window!" He grinned at her wickedly before he slapped her on the knee and left her in peace.

    "Bet if I threw a Twinkie through a window he'd fit."


    Jake had just finished with her late night work out when the alarms went off, the clanging drove her nuts and she often wondered if the damn things weren't designed to drive the firefighters out of the building instead of letting them know there was an emergency. Running for the stairs to the upper level where her clothes were sprawled out on her rack, she passed all the other firefighters on their way down.

    "We'll wait for ya Jake, so hurry up!" John yelled over his shoulder on his way down.

    "Yeah, yeah I know." She grabbed her clothes and started pulling them on as she went back down the stairs; still carrying her coat, shirt and boots, she ran out and jumped on the back of the ladder truck. "Why didn't ya make me run a little faster?" She mumbled as she hung on and tried to get dressed at the same time. "I know ya just wanted ta see my tits bouncing around ya perverts!" She said loud enough for the guys to hear.

    "Got that right, you may on the same side of the fence as us, but we ain't dead!"

    "Where we going anyway?" She asked as she pulled her hood over her long dark hair and helmet on.

    "Bad crash on Rt. 70E, numerous cars and a fuel tanker right smack dab in the middle. We've got other units there now and more on the way."

    "Ohh great, rubber Neckers and the works, any fires yet?"

    John gave her an exasperated look. "What is it with you and fire?"

    "Pyromania?" She grinned, pulled a rubber hot dog from her pocket, and waved it in front of him. "Did ya bring the buns?"

    "You're a sick bitch Jake, put that thing away! Looks like a damn strap-on."

    "Jealous Johnnie boy, bigger than yours?" She wiggled her dark brows at him and laughed when he turned bright red. "I know it is, remember I saw ya in the shower!" The whole truck went into an uproar with laughter.


    The sirens wailing, lights flashing they raced down the wrong side of the highway towards the accident. Hundreds of cars were lined up on the other side; people were outside of their vehicles watching from a distance the flames shooting up from the wrecked cars and the fuel truck. Vehicles were being turned down at an emergency turn around and sent back the other way. Jake hoped that they got them all out the area before the flames spread and sent off a chain reaction. She was off the back of the truck before it had stopped, grabbing a hose she started to back up, pulling it from the storage area. John came up, got in front of her and helped her drag it to the nearest vehicle. Turning the spray on, she started washing the leaking fuel away and spraying down the car to cool it. As soon as it was cool to the touch, she checked inside for passengers and then they moved onto the next. She kept her eyes on the other cars and watched as EMT's and Paramedics carried and led injured passengers from the area. Before she could turn the spray on another vehicle, a man came running towards her screaming for help. She looked at John who shrugged his shoulders at her.

    "Go on Jake, see what he needs. I'll get one of the others to help me." Before she sprinted away, he yelled to her. "Turn your radio on!"

    The man grabbed her by her arm and dragged her over to his car; his wife was in the back seat and was just about to give birth on the spot.

    "Please help her!" He begged and grabbed her arm. "It's our first baby."

    "Just hold on here a minute, don't move I'll get a paramedic over here."

    "Can't you help her?"

    "Sir, I'm a fireman. I'll get someone who knows what to do."

    "What good are you people?" He ranted. "My wife needs help now!"

    She ignored his outburst and headed to one of the many ambulances that were parked in the grassy median strip. She sent an EMT over to the car and was headed back to find John when a large explosion rocked the ground, she was knocked to the ground and stay there until flying debris stopped falling. Screams penetrated the all ready noisy area, getting to her feet she ran towards the tanker and started helping the other firefighters spray foam on it to try and put out the flames. With all the yelling from the firefighter's her sensitive ears still picked up a cry for help. Raising her shield, she looked around but couldn't figure out where the cry had come from. Wiping the sweat from her eyes, she turned around to see nothing but smoke and small fires sprouting up from some of the cars.

    Deciding to do her normal thing, she left the scene and walked around to the other side of the flaming truck. Another explosion rocked the ground and a blast of hot air hit her in the back and threw her over the top of a turned over vehicle. Landing on her shoulder, she felt a searing pain shoot down her arm and make her fingers tingle.

    "Fuck me!" She cried out and rolled over onto her back, trying to lift her right arm caused so much pain that stars floated in front of her eyes. "This is not good!"

    "Please help me!" A low voice yelled close to where she was. Looking around, she noticed movement in the car she was lying next to. Rolling onto her side, she wiped the dirty window and saw that someone was trapped inside the car. Taking in the way the car was smashed she knew that she wouldn't be able to get the door open. The roof was caved in on one side making the person lean to the side. Reaching for her radio all she found was a melted clump of plastic.

    "Cheap ass shit!" She threw it on the ground and reached for the small axe she carried on her belt. Once it was free, she tapped on the window and told the person to cover their head if possible. Aiming for the center of the window, she hit it with the pointed end of her axe and watched as the glass crumbled and fell to the ground. Poking her head into the car, she wiggled in as far as she could to where the person was trapped.

    "Hi ya, I'm Jake. I'm going to try and get you out of here."

    Looking to where the person was leaning over at an odd angle, she could see that the steering wheel was pressed tightly up against their ribcage and holding them sideways in the seat.

    "Can you breathe OK?"

    A strangled voice came out saying a shaky no. It was a rich voice even in pain and very much a woman's voice.

    "OK, I'm going to try and make you a little more comfortable, this may hurt a little bit but when I'm done you should be able to breathe easier."

    Crawling as far as she could, she was able to get her good arm under the steering wheel and press upward. All it did was groan a little bit.

    "Do you have your seatbelt on?"

    "Yes, it's digging into my side and my legs are going numb."

    "OK, I'm going to cut the belt and see if I can move you a little bit." She pulled a knife from her coat pocket and opened the blade. "Before I do this, can you feel your arms and legs and is there any pain in your back or neck?"

    "Just my legs hurt, the dashboard is on them. Please get me out."

    "I will, just hold on."

    As she cut the belt another explosion went off from the fuel truck, the car rocked and flames bounced around the outside. Jake could feel the heat burning into the bottoms of her feet and legs. She knew she had to hurry before the car either caught fire or exploded with both of them inside. It was so dark in the car that she couldn't see anything, pulling her helmet off she let it fall from her numb fingers. Feeling with her left hand and fumbling, she found the seat belt and cut it as fast as she could. The woman's body moved a little but not enough to get her out.

    "What's your name there little one."

    "Artemis Shields."

    "OK Arty, I'm going to try and move the steering wheel again and see what happens. Using all the strength she had, she pulled the steering wheel towards her and felt it give. Taking a deep breath and bracing her back against the seat, she pulled again and felt it give and break free in her hand. The woman and she fell over on the seat and another explosion rocked the car, this time the flames landed on Jakes legs.

    "UuhhmmŠI'm on fire so after I put the flames out I'll be right back with you." Crawling backwards from the window she sat down and beat the flames from her legs. "Damn things ain't supposed to do this!" She cursed as the last of it was put out and just smoked. Crawling back in with her small flashlight on, she came to the small woman, brushed the hair back from her sweaty face, and froze. The most beautiful sea green eyes she had ever seen were looking up at her.



    John cringed when he heard the LT's voice scream his name, he knew he would want to know where Jake was and he had no idea.

    "Where the hell is your partner?" He screamed as he pressed his face shield against John's.

    "She went to help some guy over that way." He yelled back and pointed to where Jake was last seen.

    "That's it! Her ass is mine; I'll chew on it until she's sitting on bones!"

    John watched him roll in the direction of the other trucks, he knew that Jake wouldn't be able to keep her job this time, and there was nothing he could do about it.

    "Lieutenant Bellowski, I need your men to hit the tanker with foam." Another Lieutenant told him and then motioned for his men to move to the other side of the tanker where the flames were spreading to other cars.

    The short round man gave the other firefighter a mean look, and then shrugged it off. "Have you seen that damn trouble maker Jake? She's missing again!"

    "Nope, just my guys here. Check the other units." He jogged off to help his men leaving the short man fuming behind his face shield.

    "I'll roast her alive! And then I'll feed her to my dog!" He ranted and stomped off towards his own unit.

    John gave the hose over to other guys and went in search of his partner, he had to find her before the LT did. Checking with each firefighter, he finally found one that had seen her right before the first explosion.

    "Damn her to hell!" He said to himself and then shook his head when he thought of how much she would like it down there.


    "IŠahhhŠI'm sorry about that it's justŠdamn!" She closed her blue eyes and took a deep breath.

    She was held spellbound by the pale blue eyes, and only regained her senses when the woman closed them. Even under the dire situation that she was in, Artemis smiled at the flustered firefighter.

    "Let me see if I can get you out of here."

    Sweat was pouring off her face, she felt like she was swimming in her clothes from the built up body heat and the fire so close to the car. Wiggling under the dash, she pushed up with her one hand and groaned when it didn't budge. "Hey Arty, I'm going ta feel around your legs and see how much I have to move this before your free." Gonna get a free feel there hot stuff? Little Rocky snorted at her. "Ha very funny!"

    "Excuse me?" Artemis said and tried to look down at her rescuer.

    "UhhmŠwish it was sunny." You're such an idiot Jake.  "Can you feel my hand?"

    "Gods yes and it hurts!" Artemis cried out in pain.

    "I'm sorry."

    "Jake what the hell are you doing down there?" A deep voice yelled from outside of the car.

    "Johnnie boy I need a small jack!" She yelled from where she was and then yelped when the car rocked from another explosion. "Johnnie you OK?"

    "Yeah Jake, now get the hell out of there the cars gonna blow soon."

    Artemis started to panic, she didn't want to die and if Jake left her that's exactly what would happen. Tears flowed from her eyes at the thought of being burned alive. Reaching down she put her hand on Jakes thigh and squeezed.

    "Please don't leave me!" She begged, her throat tightening from the tears and the smoke coming in to the car. She felt a large calloused hand take hers and squeeze back.

    "I won't leave you, I promise. Johnnie come on I need it now!"

    "I'll be right back, don't do anything stupider than you all ready are!"

    She crawled back out from under the dash to lie on the roof facing Artemis, with her pale blue eyes reflecting the flames took Artemis's breath away. Brushing back the short sweaty blonde hair of the smaller woman, she gave her a lopsided grin.

    "You know when I get you out of here ya owe me coffee." And a full body massage!

    "You get me out of here and I'll by you supper for the rest of your life."

    "I'll chew through the dashboard for that, ever eaten food cooked by guys who play with fire?" Green eyes twinkled at her. "Well let me tell ya, if it ain't burnt to a crisp then it's raw."

    "Jake, here's the jack now get a move on! The damn trucks gonna blow any minute and the LT is on his way over here to chew on your cute ass!" He handed the jack through the window at her and shined his flashlight so that she could see better. He gasped when he saw the little blonde that was trapped. "You evil dog Jake!"

    "OK Arty, now when I get this dash moved I'm going to have Johnnie boy pull you out."

    She slipped back under the dash and set the jack up close to Artemis's trapped legs, she slipped the handle in place and started to raise the dash. A loud creaking was heard and then she could move the woman's legs a little. Giving the jack a few more pumps, she was able to get her free.

    "Do it Johnnie, get her out!" She yelled and moved as out of the way as possible. As soon as Artemis was clear she started backing out when the jack slipped, the handle came loose and smacked her in the face.

    "Mother fucking son of a bitch!" She yelled at the tops of her lungs and then felt herself pulled from the wreckage. Holding a hand to her eye, she looked down to where Artemis was leaning up against the car. Dropping down to her knees, she brushed the hair from her eyes.

    "Come on Arty, lets get out of here." She put her good arm under her legs and had her wrap her arms around her neck. "Come on Johnnie lets get the hell out of here before it blows." When she stood up a low moan came from Artemis.

    "Gods it hurts! My legs are broke." She leaned her head against a strong shoulder and closed her eyes until the pain went away. When she opened them they were nearing an ambulance a short distance from her car. A loud whooshing noise and then an explosion that sent all of them to the ground. Jake covered the small body with her own and stayed that way for long minutes. She pushed herself up with one arm and locked eyes with Artemis, she felt like lightening hit her, her entire body tingled and then went into over drive when a small hand came up and wiped the blood from her eye.

    "You're hurt." She mumbled and wiped some more of the blood away so that Jake could see.

    "Yeah, nothing new for me. Let's get the hell out of here." She looked over to where Johnnie was getting to his feet. "Johnnie boy, tell LT that I'm going to the hospital."

    "Ohh come on Jake, for a little cut above your eyebrow?"

    "No, for my broken shoulder." Two sets of eyes swung to her, one unbelieving set that thought she was only doing this so that she could be with a certain blonde and the other set full of emotions that filled her heart as well. Jake scooped Artemis up in her arms and walked to stand in front of Johnnie. "Here, feel for yourself." He pulled her coat back and shirt open to see the collarbone poking through her flesh.

    "For god sakes Jake get the hell in the ambulance you stupid bitch. I'll handle the LT."


    "She what! She left the scene in an ambulance!" LT. Bellowski yelled as he paced in front of the truck. "This had better not be a way of getting out of trouble!"

    "It's not sir, I saw the bone sticking out of her skin. She was in that car for a long time getting that woman out and did it with a broken shoulder at that."

    The LT narrowed his all ready beady eyes at John and then stomped away.

    "You don't know how lucky you are Jake." He whispered to himself.


    "You can't ride back here Jake, you know the rules." The EMT told her and tried to push her to the side.

    "Wait, I want her with me. Besides, she's hurt pretty bad." Artemis refused to let go of Jakes hand. She grabbed the EMT's shirtfront with her other and pulled him down to her bared teeth. "You will bend the rules or else!" She threatened the man.


    "You want to end up working for me for the rest of your life? I guarantee I can pull the strings!"

    Jake was confused, it looked like they knew each other.

    "It's all right Arty; I'll get Johnnie to bring me over later when we're done here."

    "Nope, now get in there now! And you get this stretcher in there before I get up and knock the shit outta you!"

    "Yes ma'am! Right away your royal highness."


    Jake was sitting up in her hospital bed when Johnnie came strutting in carrying a carton of chocolate milk. A huge grin on his face told her that her ass wouldn't be chewed off by the LT. He tossed her the chocolate milk and turned her TV on.

    "You are one lucky bitch you know that?"

    "What do you mean?" Her pale blue eyes narrowed at him.

    "Take a look at this." He switched the channel to the news, right there in front of her was Artemis along with a bunch of reporters in her hospital room. A reporters voice was heard asking her questions from out of camera range.

    "Dr. Shields, it's rumored that you were rescued just in time by a firefighter that refused to leave you trapped in your car, even though it was close to exploding. Is that true?"

    Bright green eyes sparkled for the camera; a bright smile came to the blondes face when she looked right into the lens.

    "It's true and I would like to thank Jake for everything she did for me and I hope that we can visit soon. I owe her dinner."

    Johnnie flipped the TV off and grinned at her.

    "So, she's gonna by you dinner. You would be the one to save a famous doctor who just happens to be the hospital administrators daughter to boot!"

    "Thems the breaks Johnnie boy. Is LT still pissed at me?"

    "Are you kidding? He's going nuts with all the publicity; he's ranting and raving about you being his best firefighter! He wants to rename the damn station dog after you!" He patted her leg and started for the door. "I'll see you later; my wife is making meatloaf tonight. By the way, Dr. Shields is in room 206 just down the hall from here."

    A huge smile came to her face when she thought of what the little doctor had said about her. "Well Rocky what do ya think of that?" I think you're a pervert and the doc out classes you. "Whose side are you on anyway?" She said as the medication kicked in and pulled her into a deep sleep.


    Artemis wheeled her chair down the hall past the nurses desk and ignored the older nurse yelling at her. No one was going to tell her anything, she was on a mission. Counting the doors, she came to the one that Jake was in. Swinging the chair so that she could back through the closed door, she gave the wheels a hard spin, grabbed one of them as she cleared the door and spun the chair to stop beside Jake's bed. Pulling the chart off the end of the bed, she read what had been done to repair her shoulder.

    "Compound fracture to right collarbone, torn cuff and surrounding tissues. Repaired with screws, plate and sutures." She looked at the chiseled features of her sleeping rescuer, her high cheekbones sloping down to a strong jaw and chin, aquiline nose stopping before full kissable pink lips. "Damn did I just think that?" She said to herself and wondered what had gotten into her; she had never been attracted to a woman before. Usually she went for the tall dark men; she admitted to herself she had a thing for tall lovers whether they were the dark and dangerous type or the blonde beach bum sort. "That must be it?" Her little voice replied. Taking the larger hand in hers, she felt the inside of Jake's wrist and took her pulse, more to make sure that there was no damage to the circulation from the injury she had sustained the night before. She wanted to know how she had gotten hurt so bad and still managed to free her from the wreckage. Rubbing her fingertips over the hard calluses of Jake's palm and up to the tips of her long fingers. She loved the feel of the strong hand and felt light tingles and heat with each touch. Placing the hand against her cheek, she closed her eyes and surprised herself by a deep sigh. "What are you doing?" Her little voice asked. "I don't know but it feels so right." She pulled the hand away, placed a soft kiss to the roughed knuckles and then placed the hand across a tight stomach. Leaving her hand linger, she brushed her fingers back and forth across Jake's knuckles. "Sleep well Jake, I'll check on you later."

    Jake could swear that someone was touching her but she couldn't pull out of the drug-induced sleep she was in. Her heart beat rapidly in her chest, she tried to open her eyes but they felt like they were glued closed. Sending messages down to her fingers, she felt them twitch where they lay on her stomach. Gaining more control, she turned her hand over to lace her long fingers with the shorter ones.

    "Long nuff." She mumbled and surrendered to be pulled back to her unconscious state.

    "Long enough?" Artemis wondered; looking down at their joined hands a bright smile came to her face. "What ever." She sat there until the head nurse came in with a stern look on her face. Artemis raised a dark eyebrow at her.

    "Dr. Shields, what are you doing down here? You are not supposed to be out of bed, you should know this so I shouldn't have to remind you." She looked at the way the two women's hands were joined. "And bothering another patient at that!"

    "She's the firefighter that saved my life; I wanted to see how she was doing."

    The older woman stepped further into the room, pushing her white hair back into the tight bun that it had come loose from she sighed. "That one is nothing but mischief, I found her trying to hide a Penthouse magazine under her pillow this morning and someone keeps sneaking in chocolate milk for her. What ever happened to the rules around here?" She kept mumbling to herself as she made her way out the door and down the hallway.

    Artemis slipped her hand under Jake's pillow and pulled out two magazines, her eyebrows shot to her hairline when she saw what they were.

    "Bare Beavers and Biker Sluts? Please let this one be bald little bucky toothed animals." She opened the magazine and turned a bright red, closing it quickly she went to put it back under Jake's pillow. Instead, she placed it between her back and the wheel chair. Pulling their hands to her lips, she placed a soft kiss on the larger hand then gently un-laced their fingers.


    She was lying in her bed looking at the confiscated magazine when she heard someone clear their throat. Fumbling with the magazine, she juggled it in the air and then quickly shoved it under her pillow.

    "Hi Snoogums, how do you feel?" A tall man came into the room, his blonde hair hanging over one brown eye. "What were you reading?"

    Her face a bright red, she stumbled over her words. "Oohh uhhmmŠone of thoseŠsappy romance magazines." Her eyes narrowed at her boyfriend. "So tell me Brent, where have you been? I called your apartment five times today."

    "Ohhh, it was great! Me and the guys took the boat out and did some water skiing. I just got here in time for rounds." He took a seat on the bed next to her and ran his fingers across the full-length casts. "Tell me you saved my wetsuit that was in your car."

    Sea green eyes looked like a tsunami was forming in them she couldn't believe his gall. Here she was in the hospital after almost dying and all he could think of was his goddamn wetsuit.

    "Do you see what's on my legs?"

    "Yeah, his brown eyes looked up at her and were blank of any kind of worry or compassion.

    "Do you realize that I was almost killed last night, my car was upside down, I was trapped and no sooner had I been rescued than it blew the fuck up! And all you're worried about is your wet suit!" Her hands were clenching the blankets so tight that her knuckles were white.

    "I'm sorry bunny, you now I'm not good with the bedside manner part." He gave her a puppy dog look and smiled when she closed her eyes and sighed. "How long do your casts have to stay on?"

    "For Gods sake Brent, you're a sports doctor." She was quickly reaching her boiling point, one more asinine excuse or question and she was going to blow her top.

    "Does that mean we can't have sex?"

    That was it; her top hit the ceiling with a low throaty yell of.

    "GET OUT BEFORE I KILL YOU!" Her face a bright red, the vein at her temple was throbbing; if he didn't leave she was sure she would either kill him or stroke out, which ever came first.

    "I'm sorry bedbug." He leaned forward and gave her a chaste kiss on her cheek then left the room whistling.

    "YouŠ" What came out of her mouth even she didn't understand what she had said. All she knew was that he had better get real good at ass kissing and very soon. She was just about to throw the water glass out the door when her father stepped into the room.

    "Morning baby girl, how do you feel this morning?" The older version of her sat on the edge of the bed, leaned forward and gave her a kiss on her forehead. "I saw what's his name in the hallway and by the looks of your bright red face I can tell he was his charming ignorant self as usual." He chuckled at the exasperated look on her face. "I still don't know what you see in him?"

    "Neither do I Daddy; if I wasn't in traction I know I would have kicked his ass!"

    "Come on baby girl, we don't need a proctologist to have to remove your foot from his ass. Then again the other staff members will pay to see you do that."

    She couldn't help but laugh, her father always managed to bring her out of her bad moods.

    "Thanks Daddy, I needed to laugh." She gripped his large soft hands in hers and gave them a small squeeze. "When's Mom coming by?"

    "Right after she's done doing her palm readings at the book store, they're having that Psychic fair today." He groaned and tilted his head back. "You are so lucky you don't still live at home, she had the whole house full of smoke last night. Those damn sage sticks of hers burning in every room."

    To this day she just couldn't figure out her parents, they had met in college in the late 60's. Fell in love married within a month, her sister came shortly after that and then a year later her brother. Her mother quit college to raise the kids; her father continued with his medical studies and then went on to his residency. Her mother read Tarot cards and palms, worked in a hotel as the desk clerk to put food on the table and in her spare time held séances in the kitchen. They were complete opposites in every way you could think of; her mother was full Hungarian gypsy and her father the good Irish catholic boy. After 34 years they still acted like newlyweds. She could only hope for the same thing, but time was running out for her. At 32 she'd had numerous relationships that went nowhere, a boyfriend that had the attention span of four quarters of a football game and thought that when they had sex it was supposed to be like the WWF.


    The other firefighter's came by to see Jake later that night; they snuck in junk food, chocolate milk and skin magazines. She was glad for something to read; she had already read cycle sluts and wondered what had happened to her other magazine. What amazed her was that the guys had switched the covers and now it looked like she was reading Cosmo and better homes and gardens. After they had all left, she sat on the edge of her bed for a few moments before she decided to sneak down the hallway to see Artemis. Her insides warmed at the thought of the sea green eyes of the little blonde, having only seen her briefly in the light she wanted to see if her eyes really were as expressive as she remembered. When she stood up she felt a cool draft hit her in her ass and travel up her back, reaching behind her she grabbed the material and pulled it closed.

    "Cheap place let ya run around with your ass hanging out." Grumbling the whole way down the hall, she stopped outside of Artemis's door and peeked around the corner. Looking both ways down the hall before she stepped in. The little blonde was sound asleep, a light snore whispered past her lips when she wasn't mumbling in her sleep. Jake pulled a chair closer to the side of the bed, sitting down she picked up the small delicate hand in hers and rubbed her fingers over the soft knuckles.

    "You sure are a tiny little thing Arty." Jake softly said as she looked at the relaxed face of the doctor. Reaching a hand up, she brushed her short blonde bangs from her forehead and let her fingers trail down a soft cheek. Her face blushed when she realized what she had just done.

    "Excuse me, but who are you." Brent asked from the doorway where he had been watching the tall firefighter.

    Her left brow raised over an ice blue eye, one side of her lip rose to show a canine. "Who are you?" She growled low in her chest before standing to her full six-foot frame that towered over him by a good four inches.

    "I'm Dr. Brent Coakes, Dr. Shields boyfriend."

    Jake wasn't shocked by the knowledge; she knew that the little blonde wasn't part of the family. But she felt protective of the little blonde for some reason unknown to her. She felt a warmness envelope her hand, turning her head she saw sleepy green eyes looking up at her and a small hand grasping her fingers.

    "Jake?" Her voice soft and gravelly.

    "Yeah Arty it's me. Your boyfriends here so I'll see you later." She went to leave but felt a small hand hold tight.

    "No sit down, Brent will be leaving in a minute." She shot a fiery look to her boyfriend. "What do you want?"

    He strutted in with his chest puffed out and tossing the hair out of his eye with a whip of his head.

    "I came to see how you were and to tell you that me and the guys are going to the basketball game tonight, so I won't be home until late." He stepped around Jake and chastely kiss Artemis on her cheek. "Later." Was all he said before he jogged out of the room.

    Artemis saw the glaring look Jake was giving his back, she was surprised that he didn't explode in flames before he got in the hall.

    "I know what you're going to say." Artemis whispered under her breath hoping that Jake didn't hear her.

    Her left brow rose as she swung her head to look into curtained green eyes. "How do you know that?"

    "Because I hear the same thing from everyone, what are you doing with him? He's such an asinine juvenile."

    "Nope, I was thinking more of an egotistical, chauvinistic little bastard prick." She couldn't help but return the smile that formed on Artemis's face. "Am I right?"

    "You just scored a 100%. He even falls under the blonde bimbo category."

    A loud growl interrupted them, Jake looked around the room and then down into a blushing face. "What have you got hidden under your bed?"

    "Actually that was my stomach, I'm starving but they bring those tiny little meals that a bird would starve eating."

    "Like junk food? I got lots of it."

    "Twinkies and Zingers?" Artemis asked with a child like expression on her face.

    Jake leaned in close and whispered close to her ear. "Chocolate milk to. I'll go get it."

    "Take me with you and then we can go down to the doctors lounge and eat in peace. That old battle axe head nurse will throw a bitch fit if she catches us eating non-dietary food."


    With the junk food and chocolate milk gone, they sat in the small lounge watching the TV that was tuned to a talk show, neither one of them was watching anything but the insides of their eyelids. Snores drowned out the speaker and disrupted the doctors who were trying to do their paper work before going home. Numerous times one of them flew an airplane over to bounce off the little blondes head. They were relieved when an older woman dressed in a flowing black gypsy skirt and pirate shirt walked through the doorway. She cast them a bright smile showing off her even white teeth and flashing golden eyes.

    "I could hear her outside in the parking lot. Horrible noise for such a small person." Mrs. Shields remarked to the grinning doctors. "What have we here? A tall dark and very beautiful Greek." She took in the tall figure of the snoring Jake, her naturally dark skin calmed in sleep. "Wonder if you have piercing eyes that can see to the very soul." She whispered to her self. Leaning over Artemis, she grabbed her nose and pinched it closed. It took a few seconds before Artemis's green eyes opened and she gasped for air.

    "Mama! I hate when you do that." She rubbed her nose and tried to hide the wide grin behind her hand.

    "Works every time on both you and your Dad, who's the tall beautiful one?"

    "Mama hush." Her face turned a light pink. "That's JakeŠshe's the one who rescued me."

    "Well, why don't you rescue her and wake her up." She pointed to all the airplanes lying around them. "You two have been used for target practice. And from the looks of all the junk food wrappers, I'd say you have enough sugar in you two to stay awake for the next week."

    "They don't give me enough food." She held her hands up in a prayer fashion. "Please Mama, bring me some food. Like stuffed cabbage or peppers." She gave her mother her puppy dog look and stuck her bottom lip out to add to it.

    "You're in luck, I just happen to have both up in your room. I brought enough for your friend here to. So you better wake her up before it gets to cold to eat."

    Artemis touched Jake on her shoulder and gave her a small shake.


"Whopper, large fries and a large chocolate shake."

Two set's of eyes looked to each other and then to where a pair of pale blue eyes were fluttering open. Mrs. Shields smiled brightly when she saw Jake's eyes open and look right at her.

"Apogh`ebhma." She pointed to her chest and then to Artemis. "Artemis's mitera."

Jake nodded her head, looking at her small blonde friend, she smiled and then spoke in her native tongue to Mrs. Shields. Artemis looked back and forth between the two and became frustrated. She had no idea what they were talking about, she crossed her arms over her chest, narrowed her eyes.

"My baby girl doesn't speak Greek or Hungarian, so she gets a little perturbed at me."

"Probably because she knows that you're talking about her."

Green eyes widened at what was said. "What? Mama!" She grabbed Jakes shoulder in a tight grip. "What did you two say?"

"Oohh nooo! You're not getting me in trouble." Jake grinned at her. "Ask your Mama later, it'll give me a chance to hide."

Artemis gave her mother the evil eye. "Playing match maker again."

"Me?" Mrs. Shields had the most innocent look on her face. "Would I do that to my baby?"


"Well if I was doing that and I'm not saying that I was, then I would do a whole lot better than pick tall, blonde and bimboish." She gave Jake a wink. "Right Jake?"

Jake's face turned a deep red; she gave Artemis a sideways glance. "Right Natasha."

"Great, now I'm being ganged up on." She took Jake and her mothers hands and pulled on them. "Come on you two trouble makers, I'm hungry."


Artemis rolled her head to the side to look at her mother; she ran a hand over her stomach and groaned.

"Thanks Mama, that was so good, I'm stuffed now."

"You're welcome baby, you two could put an all you can eat buffet out of business!" She looked at the empty gallon sized bowls. "Let me see your hand Jake."

Artemis rolled her eyes, a loud sigh bursting past her lips. "Mama!"

"Hush baby, I want to see something."

"My Mama's a gypsy, so she has to look at everyone's hands."

"I'm looking for a missing puzzle piece; you've known that for years."

"Told you I fed it to the dog."

"Haa! Quiet you little twerp." She ran her fingers across the lines and creases of Jake's palm for a few seconds before looking up into her pale curious eyes. "The fire you seek is not in the flame but in the heart and soul, stop taking stupid chances and look around at what is close to you for the answer."

Jake raised an eyebrow at her, shrugging her shoulders she gave the older woman a grin. "Can't hide from you can I?"

"Nope, but you do a good job hiding from yourself and the past."

Jake's eyes darkened, she knew what Natasha was speaking of. It made her feel emotionally naked.

"It's plain as day, all firefighters have the same secret. You can't save everybody Jake, that's just how life is."


After Natasha left to go home, Jake lifted Artemis from her chair and placed her in her bed. When she leaned into her pillow, she heard crinkling paper. Pulling the pillow away, she saw her missing magazine.

"I thought you were in my room while I was sleeping." Pulling the magazine out she waved it in front of startled green eyes and grinned when a light blush worked it's way up her face.

"I was curiousŠand the head nurseŠ"

"Say no more, she took my new Penthouse." A wide smirk covered her face. "That's OK, 'cuz the guys brought me more." She brushed the backs of her knuckles across a smooth cheek. "I'll see you tomorrow, night baby girl." She gave her a soft chuckle when an eyebrow cocked at her.


Checking the hallway in both directions, Jake ran down to Artemis's room and slid in the door on her sock covered feet. Grabbing the door jam to stop her movement, she spun herself around and checked the hallway. Without looking over her shoulder, she knew Artemis was looking at her.

"Like my bare ass?" She could feel the draft of cold air where the gown had come open in the back. Looking over her shoulder into a red face, she smirked and wiggled her dark brows. "Do they make us wear these hoping we won't run around and flash the other patients?"

"AhhhŠ" Artemis's green eyes were huge, her mouth hanging open and drool starting to build up. "Underwear would help." She finally was able to force out of her mouth after she wiped the drool from her chin.

"Don't wear none." She placed a shopping bag on the bed, turned her back and gave Artemis another view of her tight ass. "Untie these things for me." With out wondering why or what Jake was doing Artemis untied her gown. Jake turned back to face her slipped the gown off her one arm and struggled until Artemis helped her get the opening in the front. The whole time her eyes were taking in the muscular body of her tall friend. She felt her heart pick-up and heat rush through her veins. She was very confused with the effect Jake had on her, she had seen numerous men with nothing on, and they had no effect on her what's so ever. Just seeing this woman made her blood boil and settle in a Southern region.

"Jake, why did you do that?"

"So I can flash the head nurse when she threatens to take my skin mags. She tried again this morning; all she found were Cosmo and Good housekeeping and a few sports mags."

Pulling the wheel chair close to the bed, Jake slipped her good arm under Artemis's legs and lifted her in to the chair. Placing the shopping bag on her lap, she pushed her from the room.

"Where we going?" She asked as she tilted her head back to see a mischievous grin working its way onto Jake's face, her pale blue eyes twinkled with glee.

"It's a secret; you'll see when we get there."


As soon as they got in the elevator and Jake pressed the top floor button, Artemis knew where they were going. She shook her head and grinned at her tall firefighter.

"The roof, are you going to throw me off?"

"Nope, but if any body comes up there I might throw them off."

She pushed the wheel chair over to a small table that had one chair sitting under it. A picnic basket was under it along with a shiny bucket with the top of a wine bottle clearly showing from the top. With a lopsided grin plastered all over her face, she bowed to Artemis and waved a hand at the table.

"Chow awaits, my lady."

Artemis was floored, no one had ever done anything remotely romantic for her in her entire life and here was this firefighter doing exactly that. She felt her heart thud and her stomach flitter around. If she does this for friends what does she do for her lovers, she wondered.

"Jake, what's the occasion? I meanŠI've neverŠ"

"I get sprung from this place tomorrow and I wanted to thank you in some way for hanging out with a low life firefighter."

Artemis grabbed her by her arm, pointed a finger at her chest and enunciated each word with a tap to her chest. "You are not a low life anything, you save people every time you go out to a call, so just stop with that way of thinking. You risked your own life to save a total stranger, me!"

"Well, you're special." She gave her a crooked grin that went all the way to her eyes.

"Why am I special?"

Jake flushed with embarrassment, looking to her feet; she scuffed her boot-clad foot on the rubber-coated rooftop. "It's hard to describe, something inside, you know, like a bond."

Artemis had felt something deep inside the first time she looked into pale blue eyes. She knew exactly what Jake was talking about.

"Besides Johnnie boy, you're the only friend I have." She played with the opening of her gown and watched green eyes travel up her body. A blush ran up her neck and her ears caught fire from the lingering look.

Artemis realized that she was taking in every inch of exposed skin with hungry eyes; she tried to not look into questioning blue orbs but failed. Their eyes locked for long moments before Artemis looked to the basket that Jake had set on the table. Clearing her throat, quickly glanced into smiling blue eyes.

"What are we having for supper?"

"No idea, Johnnie boy brought it over for me. He said his wife cooked it so it's got to be good."

After eating the meal of baked chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans and corn bread. Jake opened the bag she had brought with her and pulled out two huge slices of New York Cheese cake with fresh strawberry's on top.

"This looks very familiar to me; Jake did my Mama make this?"

"Uuhh huh, she said it was your favorite." Holding up her wine glass, she waited until Artemis did the same. "To new friends and new beginnings."

They drank their toast and tucked into the rich desert, Artemis snorted when Jake moaned with every mouthful. It was quite erotic and she almost fell out of her chair when Jake liked her fork clean.

"Think your Mama would notice if I hid in her kitchen? It's been years since I had cheesecake this good."

"Probably not if you hide with my brother, he lurks around the pantry and waits until she's done, then sneaks out and sits down at the table. It wouldn't be so bad but he doesn't live there."

"What does your Mama say?"

"Ohh she threatens to tell his wife that he's eating two suppers a night. By the way, I never asked you how you broke your collarbone. It wasn't helping me was it?"

"Nope, the first explosion threw me over your car; if it wasn't for that I don't think I would have found you in time. Guess the fates took care of us. Thanks for getting that Paramedic to let me ride with you; it would have been hours before I got to the hospital."

Artemis laughed, wiping tears from her eyes she looked at the confused firefighter. "He had no choice unless he wanted to change diapers for the next week."

"You have a baby?" Her heart sank at the thought of Arty having a baby.

"Last time I checked I had ten."

Jakes face paled, she took a shuddering breath and let it seep between her lips. "Ten!"

"I'm an OBGYN; I have lots of baby's in the neo natal ward. And my sweet brother the Paramedic would have been stuck there changing all their diapers."

"That explains a lot, I thought you were friends or something."

"We're real close, funny thing is, he and dirty diapers don't go together. He pukes every time he has to change one of his kids."

"I'd be right there with him, me and babies don't get along."

"Why do you say that?" Artemis was curious how a caring person like Jake couldn't get along with a baby.

"One threw up on me and I did the same to him. So now I run the other direction when one of the guys brings his kids to the station." She looked up to the sky and saw that the sun was starting to set. "Do you want to go back down or watch the sunset with me?"

They sat in comfortable silence next to each other and watched the sky change colors as the sun set, Artemis couldn't remember the last time she had just relaxed and watched Mother Nature work her magic. She would be sorry when Jake was released the next day; she would be lonely with out the tall firefighter coming to visit her or vice versa. She had to do something to keep their friendship going, so she made a decision right then.

"Will you come and visit me? I don't get my casts changed for another week so I'll be stuck here until then."

"Yep, I'll come over at lunch time if that's OK?"

"That would be nice, thank you."


Jake walked into Artemis's room to find her boyfriend standing beside her bed, his hand on her shoulder, looking down at her with an exaggerated pout on his face.

"Artemis, it's the last game of the season."

She looked at the door and smiled when she saw Jake, pushing Brent's hand from her shoulder she glared up at him. "Go! I don't give a damn; just go do what ever the hell you want." He smiled and jogged from the room without a word. Jake knew right then that he was a clueless idiot, if she had been spoken to in that manner she wouldn't be smiling one little bit. It made her ecstatic that he was so stupid; maybe she would be able to spend more time with her new friend.

"Are you leaving now?" Artemis said softly with a bit of sadness in her voice.

"Yeah, I have to get back to the station; the LT has a job for me to do when I get back. I'm afraid that I'll be stuck in the kitchen peeling potatoes or something." Sitting on the edge of the bed she gave Artemis a small smile, taking her small hand in hers, she caressed the soft skin and sighed. "I'll miss just running down the hall to see you."

Tears formed in green eyes, she wiped at them and smiled. "I'll miss you to; besides my parents you're the only one who has come to see me."

"What about the Bimbo boy? He's been here a few times."

"He's a pain in my ass, he comes to brag about all the stuff he's been doing since I've been in here. I really don't know what I see in the idiot, I must have been insane when I started dating him."

"One of the reasons I don't date, bimbos come in female form to and I think I've dated all of them. One woman thought that I worked with Smoky the bear."

"Maybe we can set her and Brent up on a date!" Artemis said then broke into gales of laughter. "They could sit and babble all night!"

"He babbles? He's a doctor, doesn't that give you other doc's a bad rep?"

"He's a sports doctor; Daddy is rich so his degree came from having too much money and nothing better to do with it."

Jake hesitated for a brief second before she pulled the small doctor in to a tight hug. She held back tears as she buried her face in the fragrant blonde hair, even though she was the instigator of the hug, she felt comforted by it. Pulling back, she placed a soft kiss on a smooth forehead then blushed from her actions. Her blue eyes bright with unshed tears she gave Artemis a small smile.

"I'll come by tomorrow at lunch time." Dropping her voice to a whisper, she gazed into a startled face. "I'll bring you Chinese food for lunch."


Artemis ran her fingertips over the place on her forehead where Jake had kissed her, a huge smile split her face and tears flowed from her sad green eyes. "What are you doing to me Jake?" Wiping the tears from her face, she slipped down into her bed and sighed. Her eyes fluttered closed as a restless sleep claimed her.

Jake walked into the LT's office and dropped down into the chair across from his cluttered desk, raising an eyebrow when she saw him quickly shove a toy fire engine into the top drawer.

"You wanted to see me LT." Adjusting the sling that kept her arm tight across her stomach before, she leaned back in the chair and gave him a smirk.

The small man sweat continuously even in the middle of winter, right now in the air-conditioned room that had to be 50 degrees, he had sweat running down from his temples. Wiping it with a red hankie, he stuffed it back in the top pocket of his sweat-dampened shirt and looked at her over the top of his reading glasses.

"You know Jake; if that woman hadn't been a doctor and daughter of the hospital administrator you would be out looking for a new job."

"I know sir; I was just doing what I've been trained for."

"No, you were doing what you always do. What is it with you and disobeying orders?"

"I don't disobey; I just see a way of doing things differently."

The small man removed his glasses and wiped his forehead again; rubbing the bridge of his nose, he shook his head before he continued.

"Either way Papalogious, you endanger yourself and that's why as of right now you are suspended until I decide you can come back. Pack your gear and head out."

Blue eyes turned icy, her teeth ground with the stress of keeping her mouth closed against an outburst. Hands clenched so tight that her arms shook and knuckles whitened under the stress. A deep growl rumbled in her chest as she stood up and stalked from the office. Her expression alone without the stomping of booted feet sent the other firefighters jumping from her path. Yanking the sling off her arm, she flung it across the large lounge to hit a wall and slid to the floor. Taking the stairs two at a time, she went to where a speed bag hung from the wall. Drawing her left arm back, she put every once of anger behind the punch. The leather bag hit the circular wood board were it was suspended and burst. She moved over to the heavy bag and threw a combination round house kick and a double jab punch. She repeatedly kicked and punched the bag until her hair was soaked and sweat dripped from her chin. She fell to her knees, dropping her forehead to the floor; she took gulps of air to calm her and to help fight back the sobs that threatened to burst from her lips. She had nothing now, no place to go since she lived at the firehouse and no family. A throbbing pain echoed in her shoulder, she felt a warm dampness flowing down her chest and knew it wasn't sweat. Pulling her shirt back, she saw the deep red blood flowing from where she had torn her sutures.

"Fuck me." She mumbled to herself then got to her feet to go and pack her few belongings.


Artemis sat in her room reading a Cosmo magazine; she looked up when her mother stepped into the room with a swish of her long skirts.

"Baby girl, I brought you some double chocolate chip cookies."

A huge smile crossed Artemis's face at the large tray her mother sat on her lap.

"Thanks Mama, you don't know how I miss your cookies."

"Face it Artemis, you miss my cooking plain and simple. When you get sprung from this place why don't you bring Jake over for supper."

"Mama what are you trying to pull here?" A brow raised above a twinkling left eye. "You and your match making are not going to work with me and Jake for the simple fact that I'm not gay."

"Baby girl, love is love. It doesn't matter who the person is." Natasha ran her fingers down her daughter's cheek. "I see some much happiness in your eyes when she's around. I'm not saying to become intimate with her, she's a very lonely woman and she needs a friend as much as you do."

Artemis took a deep breath and nodded her head, she knew her mother was right. She didn't have any friends and Jake had told her that she was her only friend besides Johnnie.

"OK Mama, I'll bring her for supper."


Jake pulled into the parking lot of the hospital and climbed from her truck with a loud groan. Her shoulder was killing her and her hands were not much better, they were bloody and swollen from her fight with the heavy bag. It had taken years to control her bad temper, but sometimes it got to be so much stronger than her will power and she had to let her hold go and become a slave to it. Taking the side door to the hospital, she took the stairs to the floor where Artemis was. Looking down the hall, she saw Natasha leaving the room; she tried to duck back through the door but was caught by golden eyes.

"Come to see my baby girl have you?"

Jake looked down at the floor and scuffed a toe across the tiles, looking up through her dark bangs; she blushed at the older woman.

"Yes Ma'am, I brought her lunch."

Natasha took her hand, the older woman looked at the bloody and swollen knuckles and clucked her tongue.

"Your temper got the better of you didn't it? Come with me and let my baby take care of you, she's real good at stuff like this you know."

Jake looked at Natasha in shock, the woman somehow was able to look right into her and see things that she tried to hide.

"How did youŠ"

"I'm a mother, we know things."


Natasha pushed Jake into the chair beside Artemis's bed, she pointed a finger at her and told her not to move unless she wanted her ass kicked. Pale blue eyes grew wide at the threat, she looked at Artemis who was stifling a laugh.

"Think that's funny huh?" She grinned. "Wouldn't be the first time I got my ass kicked."

"Won't be the last either!" Natasha tossed over her shoulder. "Show my baby what you did to yourself."

Green eyes became worried, Artemis pinned Jake where she sat.

"What did you do?"

"Well, I kinda beat the shit outta the heavy bag at the fire house." She held her hands up and showed her friend, and then went on to explain what had happened.

"That ignorant asshole, sorry but that's how I feel about him." She saw the blood covering Jake's shirt and motioned her closer. Looking into misty eyes, she placed a hand on her cheek and smiled. "It'll be OK, I promise." Pulling the collar of her shirt to the side, she saw the torn sutures. "Let me call one of the doctors and have them suture your shoulder."

"Can you fix it? I don't want them hauling me back in here again."

When Natasha returned, she carried a surgical tray, bandages and antiseptic wash.

"I knew you would need this stuff Artemis, this one here is stubborn as hell and I knew she wouldn't let anyone touch her but you."

Jake looked up into smiling brown eyes. "You're scary, you know that?"

"She's great at scaring little kids and old people."

"No more than you when you get your dander up." She smiled back at her daughter. "Better fix hot stuff here before she bolts from an old lady. I have to run, I have a palm reading session to do."

With her sutures replaced and hands bandaged, Jake sat on the edge of the bed with her eyes down cast.

"Thank you Arty."

"You're welcome." She gripped a strong forearm and felt tingles cross between them. "What are you going to do now that you're suspended?"

"Get a motel room and wait it out."

Green eyes narrowed at her. "Motel room? Why that?"

"I lived 24/7 at the firehouse, I've never lived anywhere else in years."

Reaching over to the small table by the bed, Artemis pulled her keys from the drawer and held them out to Jake.

"I want you to stay at my house." She placed two fingers over Jakes lips. "Don't argue with me, you need a place to stay and I need someone I can depend on to take care of Zeus."

"Who's Zeus?"

"My ahhŠcat, he's temperamental and I don't trust Brent to feed him."

Her eyes darkened, dark brows dropped over her straight nose. "Brent lives there?" She didn't know if she could handle being in the same place with him, she would love to use him as a punching bag but knew that Arty wouldn't like that one bit.

"Gods no, but he is supposed to be taking care of Zeus." She took Jake's hand, pressed the keys into her palm and closed her fingers over them. "Please Jake."

"OK, I'll do this for you. What if he shows up?" You beat the shit out of him! Her little voice yelled and jumped up and down in glee.

"Tell him to go to hell?" She smirked. "Just tell him to come and see me, I'll tell him to go to hell." If possible, she would have jumped up and down. Then realized that she would still be here and Jake would beŠsleeping in her bed. A wicked grin covered her face and got her a raised dark eyebrow.

Jake's eyebrow buried its self in her hairline; she was confused at the wicked gleam in green eyes. "What?"

"Nothing, I'm just beingŠI don't know what? Anyway, my bedroom is the last one on the left. The other room is just my office/library, Zeus's food is in the pantry and I'm sure he will tell you where it is and when he wants it. Beware he bites." Writing her address on a piece of paper, she pressed it into a large hand. "Here's the address."


Dr. Shields stepped into his daughter's room and smiled at the way she was sleeping. As was usual for her, she had her mouth hanging open and a horrible snoring was vibrating the magazine that was lying across her chest. He picked up the ragged looking magazine and looked at the present page, a dark blush ran from his neck to set his ears on fire with embarrassment. The centerfold was a woman shaving her private parts, her foot placed up on top of a sink counter while a razor was shaving a lathered nether lip.

"Ohh baby girl! What are you doing reading something like this?" He felt the pull at his groin as he tilted the magazine sideways. He heard Artemis take a deep breath signaling that she was waking up, placing the magazine back where he had found it, he jumped backwards towards the door just as blurry green eyes opened.

"Hi baby girl, sleeping again?" He hoped that she didn't notice the redness of his face.

"Hi Daddy, nothing much else to do around here." She saw the sweat forming on his upper lip and the fading red of his face. "Are you OK, you look a little funny?"

"OohhŠI ahhŠran up the stairs, you know at my age every little bit of exercise helps." That was lame!

"You. Exercise? Mama's cooking getting to you?" She then noticed the magazine lying on her chest, moving it slowly off to the side she slipped it under her blanket. "UhhmmŠDaddy, where's that blonde idiot at?"

"You mean the very reason that the gene pool should have been closed? Last I heard he was on his way to roller blade."

"Maybe he'll pick a curvy road that runs along some cliffs, fat change since we don't have any in Martinsburg."

"Do I see some revenge for the way he treats you popping up in green eyes?"

"Would I do something like that? HELL YES!" An evil grin split her face, fire danced in green eyes as she let out a crazed laugh. "Wait until he goes over to feed Zeus." She saw her father's blonde brows gather over his nose and knew she would have to tell him. "Jake is staying at my house to take care of my cat." She went through Jake's little tale and was surprised when her father's temper hit the roof. Only one thing could happen now and that was that someone was going to pay dearly for being an ignorant ass.

"I'll take care of that fat little troll Lieutenant, I'll go over his head and have his ass handed to him on a flatbed truck!" He placed a quick kiss on his daughter's cheek and ran from her room to start his mission of slaying the fat bastard.

"Go Daddy!" Artemis yelled at her fathers retreating back.


Jake opened the door to the ranch style house that was her friends, she wrinkled her nose at the smell of stale beer and marijuana smoke. Stepping over a bag of trash that was inside the door, she dodged dirty clothes, empty beer cans, wine bottles and sports equipment. Picking up one article of clothing with the toe of her boot she grimaced.

"I know damn well that this is not yours Arty." She kicked the dirty jock strap towards the garbage bag. "Seems that your bimbo has used your place for a jock party." Going down the hallway to Artemis's bedroom, she pushed the door open. "Gods have mercy, what a fucking pigsty!" Use her toe again she picked up a bra. "Ohhh Arty, you are not going to like this one bit!" The bra was large enough to hold bowling balls in the cups and she knew damn well that Arty was nowhere near a 42DD. A wicked grin crossed her face, it was one way for Arty to get rid of the creep if she knew he was cheating on her while she was in the hospital. "She I call her?" She weighed the pros and cons. "I hope they have good insurance for when little Arty blows the roof off the hospital."


Arty rolled over and grabbed the phone, she spoke with a deep gravely voice hoping it would be Brent and he would think he got the wrong number.

"Burger King, can I take your order."

"Whopper, fries and a chocolate shake."

"Is that you Jake?" She asked with a bright smile forming on her face, she didn't expect to hear from her so soon. She didn't know how much she missed the tall firefighter until this very second.

"Yep, I hope you're lying down 'cuz I got some bad news for ya."

Artemis's hand gripped the phone so hard that she swore she heard the plastic crack. She was on the verge of a panic attack and it showed in the way her voice cracked as she spoke.

"Is thereŠsomething wrongŠwith Zeus? Please tell me he's OK."

"I haven't found him yet and I don't blame him for one minute for hiding. You're house looks like the aftermath of a frat party."

Fire formed in green eyes, Artemis sat up in her bed and yelled at the top of her lungs. "FRAT PARTY? How bad is it really, should I send in a cleaning crew and hire a hit man?"

"Easy baby girl, it's bad, I can take care of it and as far as the hit man part I give you the honor of killing the pig." She paused to think of a way to tell Arty about the bra. "I found a bra lying on your bedroom floor."

"It's probably mine."

"Only if your tits shrunk during your car accident, it's a 42DD."

"I will kill that son of a bitch! Cut his nuts off and roast them over a fire! Wait a minute hereŠnow's my chance to get rid of that asshole!" She punched a hand in the air and yelled. "YES! Thank you Jake."

"For what?" She was happy as hell and wanted to dance around the room but thought better of it, with her luck she'd trip and fall and break a leg or something. She settled for grinning like an idiot.

"If you wouldn't have agreed to stay there, he would have had the place cleaned before I got home and I would have never known about anything. Not only do I owe you supper but I'm throwing lunch in with it." Both women thought breakfast would also be a nice thing to have together, one smirked while the other turned a beat red and coughed to cover up a low moan. "If you need anything Jake, just call me and I'll have Mama take care of it, OK?"

"No problem, I should have the place cleaned up in no time. I'll let you get some rest, sweet dreams baby girl."

Artemis blushed, a smile gracing her lips at what Jake had called her.

"You to Jake, I'll see you tomorrow for lunch."

She hung up the phone and collapsed back against her pillow, she wrapped her arms around herself.

"Ohh boy am I in trouble."


"Here kitty kitty, Zeus where you hiding?" She looked in every conceivable place that she thought a cat would hide and found nothing. "You wanna eat, I'll feed you anything you want." Giving up for the moment, she searched the kitchen for garbage bags or something to throw all the trash in. With her hands full of trash, she jumped when she heard loud laughter and a feminine voice giggling.

"You are mine now asshole." She whispered as she set the stuff down and crept towards the bedroom where they had gone. Placing her ear to the door, she listened to the voices and couldn't help but chuckle. They were playing Warlord and slave boy. "Just perfect for what he's about to do." Pushing the door open, she jumped in and gave a war cry that had both people come four foot off the floor.

"Sorry to break up your little party, but I'm taking your slave boy." She pointed her finger at the bleach blonde bimbo and yelled. "Out before I go Xena on your ass and kick it!" Stalking Brent like she was a panther, she cornered him against the wall. "You are in deep shit, not only are you going to clean up this pigsty house but you're going to do the windows!"

Clad in only his red jockey shorts, Brent scrubbed, vacuumed, did laundry, dishes and washed every single glass surface in the house and after he finished Jake tossed him out the door without his clothes. Ignoring his pounding on the door, she sat back on the couch and watched Zeus crawl from inside the door under the coffee table.

"Well little king what do ya think of the place?"

Zeus rubbed against her legs and purred before he took off towards the kitchen and scratched at the door to the pantry.

"OK, I get the hint." After she fed him, she laid down on the couch and flipped through the channels on the TV. A few minutes later, he jumped up and made his bed on her chest. "You can lay there but don't you dare pump on my tits." She fell asleep to the sound of purring and kneading feet."


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