Disclaimer: The characters in this story are fictional and are from my own sick, twisted mind. Resemblance to anyone living or dead is coincidence, or I could seeking revenge on you in a very subtle way, depending one how I am depicting you. There is a resemblance to a certain blonde we all know and love; yes, even those of you who are in denial. So I would have to call this a "semi-fanfic"story. No reproduction or distribution of this story may be done without written permission from the author.

Sex/ Love: Depicted in this story are relationships between men and women, women and women, and whatever else I care to think of. But the main "text"is between women, and the degrees of that love will vary from chapter to chapter. Soooo, if you are not into same sex love, or are under 18, or blah, blah, blah….then find something else to read.

Thanks: To all my friends who have encouraged me to write this story and stop bothering them with the idea; Kim, Kris, Jana, and others who have read and enjoyed what I put down on paper, or disc for that matter. Your constructive criticism was heard. To MT and Amanda T… you are the inspirations behind this all. A very special thanks to Jenn, my beta, who helped me write what I wanted to say. And from my heart, to my green eyed friend…thank you.

Any comments and ideas (I like positive ones best <g>) can be sent to irishdeargdu@yahoo.com

To my Anam Cara…I hope I find you soon…





by Tara Cullen


Chapter One


Rain. That is the forecast for today. Again. I have always been one to enjoy overcast and rainy days, but enough already. I hate working in this stuff. And it's a bloody cold rain. Even better. The world outside my bedroom window is every shade of grey this morning. My breath fogs the glass as I rest my forehead against the cold barrier separating me from the elements. Damn it's early. I hate mornings. I'd be happy just lying around in my current state of dress; blue/ green plaid flannel pajama bottoms and a heather grey T-shirt. I have never been a morning person, but there are times when my mind won't let my body rest. I think I rest better awake than I do when I'm asleep.

A shiver travels up my spine as I remember bits and pieces of the dreams that woke me this morning. I was so comfortable, but I had to get up out of my nest of blankets. I felt restless. This has been happening more often, and the frequency is making me wonder, am Iclose?

I can hear the bed covers shuffling behind me and I'm able to make out a few mumbled words over the pounding of the rain blasting against my bedroom window. I turn and see eyes just peeking through a small hole in the pile of blankets. Hazel eyes still full of sleep peer out at me. I can tell she is smiling by the way they are crinkling in the corners.

"Come back to bed, baby. Gotta keep me warm."

A smirk worms its way across my face as I slowly approach the queen size bed. I decide at the last minute to jump on top of Emma, effectively pinning her under the blankets.

I growl. She giggles.

"Are you warm now, Em?"I ask while she tries to wiggle free.

"I'd be warmer if you were under here with me, not on top of me."

I squint my eyes and get down right into her face and draw out, "Oh, really? I thought you liked it when I was on top."

Her eyes get wide as her face is a mask of mock innocence. With a bad southern drawl she says, "Well! I never!"

"Yeah, right"is my only response while I roll off of her and get up from the bed. I do a mental check in my head as to what I need to do this morning: TeaseEmma…check, make coffee…check, drink coffee…AH-HA! Now I know what to do next. I cleaned and pressed my uniforms for work the night before, upon Emma's urging. She knows how I am in the morning. I'm the poster child for procrastination, and I'm proud of it.

I slowly head downstairs, cross through the living room, and walk into the kitchen of my townhouse where my beloved brew awaits me. Coffee… nectar of the gods. People that have known me over the past many, many years know how to tame the savage beast that dwells beneath my normally easy- going exterior. To tame the beast, one of two things can appease it. One, and the most common offering, is coffee. And do not try to offer de-caf; you might have one of your body parts handed back to you gift wrapped at Christmas time. I like it extra cream, no sugar. The second, well, that offering I need to take care of on my own. I probably would not have any friends in my life if they knew the second necessity. Most of my crankiness, when I am afflicted, is usually assumed by others as a lack of sleep and under-caffeination. But I do have a beast that resides inside me, and if I do not stick to certain diet requirements on a regular basis, the beast will make itself known. No amount of coffee can tame this beast. Coffee is the last thing I need.

As I prepare my coffee in a big mug, Emma comes up behind me and wraps her arms around my waist. "You okay Evan?"

I sigh and she tightens her arms for a brief moment while she rests her head between my shoulder blades. "Yeah. I just didn't sleep well last night. Do want some coffee?"

I don't feel the need to tell her about my dreams. She would just end up worrying, and how do I explain something that even I don't fully understand.

"Mmmmmm. Coffee sounds great. You make the greatest coffee. Do you have any of that French vanilla stuff I like?"

"It's in the fridge, hon. In the door."

When she releases me to move across the kitchen, I immediately feel the coolness on my back. I like Emma a lot. She is a great friend, lover, and all around wonderful person. I met her while I was working one night. Em was working third shift at the local hospital in the E/R, and I was working EMS. I was bringing in a patient who was involved in a minor car accident and I was directed towards an exam room down the hall by the charge nurse. Hearing my incoming report on the radio, Emma was the nurse getting the room ready for our arrival. I gave the report to her again about the patient, listing his injuries, past medical history, and what treatments were done on the scene and enroute to the E/R. While we moved him from my stretcher to the hospital gurney by the long backboard that the patient was strapped to, the patient became agitated and started to fight with Emma. Well, being the nice person that I am, I helped Emma with getting the patient settled while she examined him for her report to the doctor. Afterwards I realized that I didn't remember seeing her there in the E/R before. I mentioned this to her, and she told me she used to work second shift, but moved to third. I work third, with the exception of today. I'm filling in for a guy at work who has a family "thing"to go to today. The night we met was about eight months ago. We quickly became friends shortly after our initial introductions.

On the nights my partner, Tom, and I work, we will hang out in the E/R on our downtime between calls. It is not uncommon to see our ambulance parked in the corner of the E/R bay. The staff loves us because we will help them out as much as we can; drawing bloods, starting IVs, triaging, even changing the linens on the gurneys is a big help on nights that they are flooded with walk-ins. I think they love us most because we do late night food and coffee runs for them. The Dunkin Donuts down the street is a hot spot at night. Plus, Tom and I have ended up being one of the medical director's favorite medic crews in our city's Emergency Medical Services. Dr. Susan Connelly will ask our opinions on stuff, like how new equipment is working out, if we use the new meds on the truck often,and other such stuff that would be introduced in the field. Tom and I get the heads up on everything. Emma is one of Susan's friends in and out of work. So, I would hang out with the doctor, and in turn, ended up hanging out with Emma. And ALL who know me know I'm an awful flirt. The people I work with know I'm a lesbian, and they seem to get off on it. Especially the guys. They ask me questions all the time. I had one guy ask me how to perform "proper"oral sex on his girlfriend. I explaineda few "techniques"that have worked for me in the past. A few days later, as I was washing the ambulance down after my shift, he walked up to me. He had a cell phone pinned to his ear, shaking his head side to side saying "No."repeatedly. I looked at him as he stood next to me. He rolled his eyes and said, "Fine". He handed me his cell phone and told me his girlfriend Tina wanted to talk to me. I took the phone and said "Hello?"I couldn't image what Tina wanted.

"Hey Evan. It's Tina. I wanted to say thaaaaaaaaaaank yoouuuuuuuu for talking to Rob. Ok, that's all. Bye"CLICK.

I remember staring at the phone and starting to giggle. I said "You're welcome"to Rob as I handed him back the phone. Now, all the guys ask me questions on behalf of their girlfriends, wives, and in some cases, both. Tina was always known as a big mouth.

The E/R staff knows about me, as well. They don't give me a hassle about it, and even some of them play along with me. The straight women love to flirt right back. I never told Emma I was gay, but she asked the staff about me. She later confessed to me that she had a big crush on me from day one. After Tom bugged the crap out of me for about three months, and the urging from some of the E/R staff, I asked Emma out. We dated for a month, and have been lovers for the past four. We usually stay at each others home on our nights off, and try to spend the days doing something together.

Today, I have work at 0730, and Emma is a little upset that I have to work. I lean back on the counter sipping my coffee while Emma puts the creamer she just used back in the fridge. She looks up at me with a small smile on her face. I put my mug down on the counter behind me and reach out for her. I pull her against the front of my body and kiss her forehead. With me standing at 5'7, and her at about 5'5, her head fits perfectly into the crook of my neck.

"Don't be upset, Em. I'm not working a full shift. It's only for six hours. I think you can find something to do while I'm gone."

She sighs against my neck and says, "I know. I know. I was just hoping to snuggle up on the couch with you and watch TV and movies all day. I know that's what you like to do on days like this. And you've got me liking to do that, too."

I tell her she still can, but she says it's not the same with out me. Emma is too cute when she pouts. Her long, light brown hair is a mess from being in bed, and her hazel eyes take on a puppy dog quality. I shake my head, smile, and kiss her softly on the lips.

"Well, if it's still cruddy out when I get back, we'll snuggle up when I get home. Okay?"Emma nods and steps back, grabs her coffee mug, and heads into the living room, with me carrying my own mug in right behind her.

Emma sits down on the end of the couch while grabbing the TV remote off the wooden coffee table. I take the soft flannel blanket off the back of the couch and lay it across her lap. She looks at me as I settle down next to her and whispers "Thanks."I check the time that is displayed on the bottom of the screen. Emma is addicted to the Weather Channel. She watches it religiously. I watch it before I go to bed and when I wake up on days I have to work. That is a way for me to gauge how my shift may go. The crappier the weather, the busier we are. Inclement weather brings idiots out of the woodwork. Don't tell people to stay off the roads if the weather is bad. I think they see it as a dare. Today is supposed to be rainy all day. I have to remember to bring my rain gear to work. I'm not worried about getting sick; I just hate being cold and wet. Just the thought sends a shiver through me. Was it the thought of the cold and wet that made me shiver, or was it something else? Is it time for that already? Damn it. My abdomen starts to cramp as I sit next to Emma. I get up from the couch and tell her I'm going to take a shower and get ready for work. I head back upstairs with my arms wrapped around my middle. I tell myself that I just need to wait a few more hours, and then I can take care of my problem. I strip out of my pajamas and get under the warm sprays. Emma was saying that I felt cold last night. It must be time already. I wash up quickly, turn off the shower, and start to dry my self as I step out of the shower stall. I take the corner of my towel and wipe the mirror over the sink clear. I look at the darkness that is under my brown eyes, and the paleness of my skin. I'm fair skinned to begin with, but I look sickly. I towel dry my short hair, leaving my bleached blonde streaked, light brown hair standing up in every direction. I open the bathroom door, shudder as I feel the temperature difference, and scurry into my bedroom which is off to the left. I slip a white sports bra over my head, a pair of white women's boxers up my legs, and start to slather myself with lotion. My skin has gotten drier over the years. The things they do to water now-a-days to "purify"it makes it rougher on my skin. I have the stereotypical fair Irish skin. Being from Ireland, I would think so. Other than my obvious physical trait giving away my nationality, my slight accent lets others know. My brogue has softened greatly over the years, and it is usually when I am upset or highly emotional that the accent becomes more evident.

I take care to ensure I put extra lotion on both of my upper arms. I have tattoos on both of my upper arms, which also help advertise my ethnic background. Around my left bicep, I have a band of Celtic knot work, blue and green in color, with a separate Celtic knot tattoo above it, with varying shades of blues and greens. On my right bicep, I have a large Celtic cross in green with yellow accents, with another band of knot work "holding"the cross to my arm of the same coloring as the cross. The cross has a meaning that many do not understand. The cross pretty much sums up my life. In the Celtic culture, the cross has meaning that is twofold; one is the Christian reference to Christ on the cross. The second meaning, the one that explains how I feel about my existence, is the vertical "line"of the cross represents the spiritual world; the horizontal "line"represents the earthly world. The simple form of two lines intersecting as they form a cross has been a symbol for centuries. Kingdoms and nations have rallied behind it, for it, and against it. The same symbol has been the cause of wars and corruption, but has also been the sign of strength and hope at many other times. In some, it has inspired awe, while in others, it has instilled fear. I think I fall somewhere between awestruck and afraid. Depending on the day, month, or year, one feeling will be stronger than the other.

Another cramp rips through my abdomen as I look into the mirror over my dresser. I lean in closer and look at my eyes. My normally dark brown eyes are getting lighter, and the outsides of the irises are taking on a golden hue. I head to my closet and hurry to dress myself. I need to get out of here before I get worse. I can't let Emma see me like this. I can't believe I got so careless. I slip my navy blue EMS cargo pants over my legs, put on a white undershirt, and then my white uniform shirt. I tuck in my shirts, put on my black nylon belt, and put my socks and black work boots on. I make one more stop into the bathroom, rub gel between my hands, and run them through my hair. I look at the image reflecting back. My hair is chaos on top of my head. Perfect.

I quietly make my way back downstairs and see Emma asleep on the couch. She's as much of a morning person as I am. She just handles them better than I do. I retrieve my rain gear from the closet near the front door and stuff it into my gear bag. I drop the bag near the front door and turn back to the couch where Emma is sleeping. As I kneel next to the couch, I take a long look at her sleeping form. I tuck the blanket around her slim body and run the fingers of my right hand through her hair and down her left cheek. She smiles in her sleep and leans into the contact. I lean over and start to kiss the left side of her neck, which she exposes to me. I know she is awake now as she places her left hand behind my head pulls me closer. I feel my heart start to beat faster as my lips trail down her neck towards the pulse point just below the skin. My own pulse is pounding in my head and is becoming deafening, drowning out Emma's soft moans as I kiss, lick, and nip at her neck. Emma's breathing is getting ragged, and so is mine, but for a different reason. My body is suddenly filled with a rush of energy, an anxiety that I am starting to lose control of. My mouth is getting dry, my vision blurry, and the cramping in my chest and stomach are so painful that I see bright lights spark into view. I pull back suddenly, and bury my face into the blanket that covers Emma's chest. I must leave NOW!

"Em, I gotta go or I'll be late for work."I am barely able to breath, let alone speak, and I get up abruptly. I cannot let her see my eyes.

"Sure, get me all riled up, and leave me here to fend for myself. You're so cruel."She says this with a smile on her flushed face.

"I'm sorry. I'll pick up where I left off when I get home, okay?"I try to avoid making eye contact with her by playing with my uniform, making like I'm straightening it out. "Okay, hon. I'll miss you and be thinking of you. Now, kiss me goodbye and get out of here. You know how I like a woman in uniform, and there is just too much temptation here for me to handle."My thoughts exactly.

I lean over and place a quick, chaste kiss on Emma's lips and head for the door, grabbing my cell phone and gear bag on the way out. I lean on the outside of the now closed front door, close my eyes, tilt my head back and take slow, controlled breathes.

After a few moments, I head towards my car. Thankfully, there is lull in the rain right now and it is just lightly drizzling. I toss my bag into the back of my Jeep and climb in behind the wheel. I pull out my wrap around style Gargoyles from the middle console and place the shades on my face. Even on overcast days, my eyes are still very sensitive to light. I turn the ignition key, adjust the volume of the stereo to a dull roar, and head off to work. I have a good 20 minute commute ahead of me, if traffic is agreeable.

I lean my elbow on the window edge of the door, hold my head up while I sit in traffic, and think about what almost happened back at my house. That was too close. Ineed to request that Jeff and I are based out of the E/R today. I grab my cell phone from the passenger seat and call the main base. When my call is answered, I ask to speak to the shift supervisor. After a few moments of listening to the tacky "hold"music, Tim's gruff voice can be heard on the other end. I place my request regarding the shift assignment, and he tells me it was already taken care of. I thank him and hang up just as traffic starts to move again. God, I hate Mondays. I make one more quick call, and then toss the phone back into the passenger seat. The rain picked up again shortly after I started my drive to work, and my nerves actually were calmed by the rhythmic motion and sound of the wipers going back and forth across the windshield. I plan my day as I get closer to the main base, hoping that Jeff and I can get to the hospital without any calls before I can see Josh at the hospital. Josh is an old friend, and he is the one who can help me out with this particular problem I'm currently suffering from.

I pull up to the old, renovated brick firehouse which is the main EMS base. I park in the small asphalt lot next to the building reserved for shift staff, shoulder my gear, and head through one of the open front bay doors. The firehouse was built back in the days when fire apparatus was pulled by horses. The front of the building has two large bay doors, and the bay is large enough to hold four box ambulances comfortably, but can hold six with some creative parking. Towards the back of the firehouse, above the bay, is where the hay loft used to be. Nowadays that is where the shift supervisors make their offices. Above the left side of the bay is what shift crews call their "home away from home". The large, long room has bunks for the crews to sleep for long tours on duty, and up there is where the shower rooms and sitting areas are. We have a small kitchenette complete with fridge, microwave, water cooler, and my favorite, a commercial grade coffee maker. This IS my home away from home. Our gear lockers are lined up against the right hand wall of the main bay area for easy access. We also have lockers up in the crew room for our personal stuff.

I look up at the chalk board hanging on the wall to the left of the bay that has the daily shift assignments posted. Jeff and I are in unit 406, and are to be on stand-by, or based out of the local medical center emergency room. Excellent. I look for my partner and my truck when I hear my name being called out in that all too familiar gruff voice. "Evan! Come up stairs after you stow your gear on the bus! Jeff has already started the rig check! You can help him finish in a bit if he's not done!"

I look around for Tim, and then I finally spot him up in the loft outside the supervisor's offices. "Yes sir! I'll be right up!"I holler back. Now what? I just got here. What could I have possibly done already?

I find 406 in the back right hand corner of the bay, with the back patient compartment doors wide open and the box's lights on. I peer inside and see Jeff sitting on the bench seat with medical equipment everywhere on top of the stretcher. Jeff is in his early twenties, about my height, with black hair, cut short, almost like a crew cut, but not as neat. He has thick, black framed glasses on, and his uniform looks like he slept in it last night. He boots aren't any better, looking as though he stomped through a cow pasture to get to work. Wonderful. I'm workingwithSloppy Joe today.

"Morning Jeff. How does it look so far?"

Jeff started when he heard me and pushed his glasses back up his nose. "Good morning, Evan. So far, so good. I'm just checking the trauma bag out now. I'm pretty much done. We just need to get the narcs."

I nod my head and go the exterior compartment door behind the passenger side door of the rig. I put my bag down on the bay floor and unzip it to get my duty belt and Mag light out. The rest of the stuff in the bag is my turnout gear that includes my helmet, coat, and bunker pants, which are rolled down over the heavy rubber boots so I can just jump right in and pull them on. I stow the bag in the compartment, grab my flashlight and duty belt, and head over to the stairs that lead up to the offices and crew areas. The stairs run up the left side bay wall and onto a loft. Make a sharp left; you'll go the crew's quarters. Go right, and there you will find the offices.

I knock on the door closest to the stairs and wait to be waved in. Without looking up, Tim gives me the "one minute"hand gesture. Tim has his head down and is diligently writing away on a yellow legal pad. As I wait, I pull my duty belt around my waist and fasten it in place. I slide the Mag light into it's holder on my left hip, and adjust the radio holster on my right. I grab a portable radio off of the charger that sits on a table outside of Tim's office and sign it out. I put the radio in the holster and clip the lapel mic to my shirt on my right shoulder. I turn it on, and squeeze the button on the lapel mic, calling dispatch for a radio check and give the responding dispatcher my ID, or medic number. All of our radios have identifiers on them, so when you key up any radio, dispatch knows who is calling. This is especially important with the portable radios. God forbid you run into trouble, and you need help while out of the truck. Each portable has a "panic"or alarm button on it that the wearer can hit, and dispatch will know who is in trouble, even if you can't say anything to them.

After I finish with my radio check with dispatch, Tim waves me into his office. Tim stands up behind his desk and circles around to the front of it, and sits on the edge. Tim is about six foot whatever, has short blonde hair that is graying at the temples, small, round, wire rimmed glasses, and has a face which looks like he is always flushed. The man is perpetually pink. It's March, but you would swear the man just came in from being poolside with no sunscreen on. The crews are taking bets as to when Tim is going to stroke out. His shoulders and chest are broad, and so is his mid section. The buttons just above the waist of his pants are straining against his gut. I guesshe's too proud to acknowledge it's time for a bigger sized shirt.

I ask Tim, "What did I do?"as he crosses his arms in front of his chest. He smiles and shakes his head.

"Nothing Evan. I need your help. You're an FTO and crew chief on third, but I might need you to do some Field Training Officer work with a crew member today. He is having some, how should I put this, difficulties, while working on the road. He just needs a few pointers and some good guidance, and I think he will be a great crew member. He seems to lack…"

"Confidence."I interject. Tim smiles and nods his head. I ask, "Let me guess. Is it Jeff?"Tim again grins and nods his head.

"No problem Tim. I like Jeff. He seems to be a good kid. He just needs to clean up his act a bit. Apparently in more ways than one."

Tim starts to laugh and says, "I take it that you noticed the condition of his uniform. He looks rough, doesn't he?"

I nod my head and tell Tim, "I'll have him ship-shape for you, sir"and half salute him. Tim reaches out with his right hand and I shake it. Tim dismisses me and I head back down to the rig. Jeff has finished the rig check, signed out the narcotic drugs, or "narcs", for the truck and the only thing left for him to do is get his own radio. I tell him good job as he jogs off towards the stairs.

As I wait for Jeff to get back, a wave of dizziness washes over me. I hear Jeff over my radio checking in with dispatch while I climb into the passenger seat of the ambulance. The crew in the truck that was parked in front of us had headed out for breakfast, leaving our exit from the bay unobstructed. As I get my breathing under control, Jeff's head pops up in the passenger window.

"Jeff, why don't you drive first. I'm not quite awake yet."

Jeff runs around the front of the truck and climbs in behind the wheel. Jeff turns to me while starting the truck with a concerned look on his face and asks, "Are you okay, chief? You don't look so hot. How about some breakfast and coffee?"

I shake my head to clear it a bit and tell him, "Yeah, I'm fine. I do need something to eat. Let's get to the hospital and we can eat in the cafeteria. My treat."I give him a crooked smile, which he returns.

"I won't argue with that, chief."Jeff slowly drives the ambulance out of the bay, radios dispatch with our intended destination, and makes a right onto the street heading towards the medical center. I close my eyes and pray to any god listening that we make it there before we get a call. That would totally suck.

To Be Continued In Chapter 2

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