Disclaimers: This is a work of original fiction. Please do not reproduce this story without permission of the author. Copyright by Jenah, October 2003.
Thanks to the Academy for asking me to participate in their Halloween Special.
Also, thanks to KGG and Gin for taking the time to beta read for me.
The Title Needs Some Work
Shannon Marshall was totally absorbed in the words on her computer screen when the telephone rang.
"Damn!" She reached for the phone without taking her eyes from the monitor.
Sam grasped the bottom of Tinas tee shirt and slowly lifted it over the compliant womans head. Dropping the garment on the floor, she leaned in for a kiss, reaching around and unclasping Tinas bra at the same time. She slid the straps off broad shoulders and down lengthy arms. The bra quickly joined the shirt on the floor. "Ive wanted you for so long," Sam said softly.
Sighing, Shannon put the receiver to her ear. "Animal Services. Officer Marshall speaking."
"Shannon, this is Stephanie over at 911 Dispatch. Weve got a doozy for you tonight."
"Hi, Steph." Shannon reluctantly closed the computer file and picked up a pencil. "Whats up?"
"Theres some Yankee over in Woodland Heights who called here in hysterics saying theres a bat in her house."
"A bat?" The officer began jotting down the information on an incident report. "And how do you know the person is a Yankee?"
"Well, she was very upset and talking so fast, I didnt get all of it. But I did catch that she was outside on the pawch because she thawt it might be a vampiah bat."
"Vampiah?" Shannon laughed. "Give me the address and Ill get right over there. We cant have those high-faluttin Yankee ladies being attacked by vampiah bats!"
"362 Lakeshore. I already have a patrol car on the way."
"Okay, got it. Thanks, Steph." The officer hung up, grabbed her keys and headed out on the call.
Kellie McNamara paced back and forth nervously on the porch. She frequently glanced skyward, assuming if there was a bat in her house, there most certainly could be more outside. Just as she was contemplating sprinting for the safety of her Honda, the police showed up.
Finally! Kellie jogged down the steps and hurried toward the patrol car. When she got there, the officer was still inside. She watched impatiently as he typed something on a small computer, fidgeted with several knobs on the dashboard and picked up his hat, which he dusted off with his hand before reaching for the door handle.
Kellie sighed. What was I thinking
leaving New England and moving here? I dont know anybody. And these people! Its like theyre in slow motion. Absolutely nothing seems to affect the pace at which they do things.
The officer climbed out of the car. "Evening Maam," he drawled.
The woman rolled her eyes. If one more person calls me Maam
Kellie started back toward the house quickly rattling off the details of her predicament.
"A bat, huh?" The officer went up the porch steps and looked through the living room window.
"YES! A bat!" Kellies voice rose in irritation. "Ah you goin to get it out of my house?"
"Someone from Animal Services is coming," the man explained. "Its best to let them handle it."
Kellie threw her hands up in exasperation and started pacing the length of the porch again. By now it was well after midnight and she was feeling tired, cold, and downright cranky.
Thankfully, it wasnt long before a white van pulled into the driveway.
"You wait here Maam, Ill be right back." The policeman strolled over to the vehicle.
Several minutes passed as the two officers conversed through the open drivers side window.
Sheesh! Kellie glared in the direction of the van. What the heck is taking so long? All he needs to say is
theres a bat in the house
go get it!
As Shannon listened to the policeman, her attention was focused on the porch and the homeowner who was well illuminated by the overhead light. The attractive woman looked to be in her late twenties or early thirties, slim and fairly tall, with shoulder-length reddish-blonde hair. And she appeared to be mad as all get out. I wonder what color her eyes are?
"Officer?" The policeman tapped Shannon on the shoulder. "Are you all right?"
"Oh! Yes." Shannon shook her head as she admonished herself for her lapse of concentration. Ive obviously been reading way too much fan fiction. She got out of the van and retrieved two blankets and a muslin sack from the cargo area. "Lets go."
Kellie was trying not to lose her temper. After all, these people were going to get rid of the bat. Being confrontational was NOT going to expedite things. She took a deep breath and tried to calm down as the officers approached.
"Evening, Maam," Shannon said as she stepped from the darkness up onto the porch. "Im Officer Marshall from Animal Services."
Kellie was momentarily speechless. She had put no thought whatsoever into who might be arriving to help and she was completely caught off guard when she saw the person standing in front of her. The female officer was about two inches taller than Kellie and all five foot ten of her seemed to be well-toned muscle. She was dressed in a short-sleeved khaki shirt, matching shorts, brown hiking boots and white ankle socks. Her long, dark hair was pulled back into a ponytail. She looks like one of those crocodile hunting people on TV, except this is an even better version. And when SHE calls me maam, it suddenly sounds like the most charming expression Ive ever heard. Kellie managed to stop staring and find her voice. "Offissa Mahshull," she smiled and extended her hand, "Im SO glad yaw hea."
Blue. Shannon grinned. She has beautiful blue eyes that have checked me out from top to bottom. And that accent
shes definitely a Northerner. Why is she in Woodland Heights?
Seeing the playful sparkle in the officers dark brown eyes, Kellie realized that her staring had not gone unnoticed. She felt the heat rise to her face and she attempted to hide it by directing her attention to the gun hanging next to the womans left hip. "Yaw not goin to shoot it, ah you?"
"No, Maam." Shannon chuckled. "I rescue the animals, not kill them. Besides, I dont think youd appreciate a bunch of bullet holes in your living room, would you?" Id only need one shot, but theres no need to brag.
of cawse not." Kellie said. "Im sahrry. Its been a long day. I dont know what I was thinkin. I just saw the gun
" and it was a suitable diversion from my blushing.
"A woman working the night shift alone
it could be dangerous." Shannon patted the holster. "Its a good idea to have protection. So, I got a permit to carry this."
"That makes sense."
"Youve been very patient and we appreciate it." Shannon said sincerely to Kellie before turning to smirk at the policeman who had warned her that the Yankee was going to irritable and difficult.
The man shrugged. Hed been standing there silently, totally perplexed at the homeowners change of demeanor. Women.
Shannon handed him a blanket. "Are we ready to catch a bat?"
The policemans eyes widened. "We?"
"Yes, we." Shannon unfolded the other blanket and gave it to Kellie. "It gets chilly here at night this time of year. Put this around you. Well take care of the bat as quickly as possible so you can get back into your house."
"Thanks, Offissa." Kellie wrapped the heavy material around her shoulders and immediately began feeling warmer.
The Animal Services officer gave the policeman his instructions and they entered the house. Kellie heard several shouts, thumps, muffled curses and one distinctive crash before it got quiet and the door opened.
Shannon came out first, muslin sack raised in her left hand triumphantly. "Got it, Maam!"
My hero. Kellie smiled. And shes adorable.
The policeman stumbled out next, rubbing his shin. "I almost had him. If I hadnt run into that coffee table
" The man was interrupted by the walkie-talkie clipped to his belt. "Excuse me ladies." He went to the far end of the porch to take the call.
"Is it safe for me to go inside now, Offissa Mahshull?" Kellie asked.
"Well, I think we should check the house first to make certain its secure. You wouldnt want me to release the bat and have him go right back in, would you?"
"NO!" The thought of a repeat performance of the bat swooping around her in the living room alarmed Kellie. "You mean
the bat could
" Eying the muslin bag warily, she moved away from Shannon. She pulled the blanket tighter against her body and unsuccessfully tried to restrain the tears that sprang to her eyes.
"Im sorry." Shannon tied the top of the sack and carefully placed it on the lowest step of the porch. "I didnt mean to scare you. I just want to be sure you wont have the problem again."
At that moment, the policeman returned. "If everythings taken care of here
I have an emergency call."
"Everythings fine." Shannon replied. "Thanks for your help."
"No problem, ladies." He tipped his hat. "Yall have a good evening."
The women watched as the officer got in his car and drove off.
"So," Kellie said with significantly more bravado than she felt, "time to check the house to be sure its safe. Right, Offissa Mahshull?" PLEASE dont leave yet.
"Right, Maam. Why dont you wait out here
"Nope." The homeowner took off the blanket, folded it, and draped it on the porch railing. "If yaw goin to be in theah, I know Ill be awlright." She squared her shoulders. "Lets go."
Shannon smiled. The woman was obviously still frightened, but she wanted to face her fears. What a gal. And pretty as can be, too. "Follow me."
Kellie walked directly behind Shannon and rested one hand on the officers back.
They entered the living room slowly, with Shannon scanning the area for any sign of where the bat may have gotten in. "Were any windows open earlier?"
"Doors left ajar?"
The officer stopped in front of the brick fireplace.
Kellie bumped into her. "Sahrry."
"Its okay." Shannon was acutely aware of the womans close proximity. She felt tingling where the warm hand was pressed against her back and it was making it difficult for her to stay focused. Sheesh
its been a long time
or maybe its those mushy fan fiction stories
maybe its a combination of both
but this woman has me all flustered.
Kellie peeked around the officer to examine the fireplace. "Do you think he came in from theah?"
"Its a good possibility." Shannon bent down and jiggled the handle of the chimney flue. "Yup
this is loose here. Even when its closed, theres a space where he probably came in." She straightened up, again being bumped by the homeowner who was mere inches behind her. "Were going to need to block this off until you can get it fixed."
"Okay." Kellie looked around the room at the piles of boxes and hodgepodge of furniture. "What can we use?"
"Do you have any heavy duty, plastic garbage bags?"
"Thatll work. Ive got some strong tape in the van." Shannon turned and looked at Kellie. "Will you be all right while I run out and get it?"
The officer hurried out to the vehicle, got the tape, and came back to find Kellie standing in the doorway with a handful of garbage bags. The women went inside and Shannon used the silver adhesive tape to seal the plastic over the fireplace opening. "Hows that?"
"Do you think itll be strawng enough to keep the bat out?" Kellie looked skeptical.
Shannon was quite sure the tiny bat wouldnt be able to break through the barrier. However, she could see the woman was still scared. "Why dont I put a few boxes in front for extra support?"
"Thats a great idear!" Kellie gestured toward the living room. "Ive got lots of boxes that I havent unpacked yet."
Shannon started pushing some of the cartons up against the plastic. "You just moved in?"
"Yeah. My grandmotha left this place to me. Ive only been hea for about a week."
Shannon worked quickly, completely covering the fireplace with boxes. "Is that better?"
"Yes." Kellie answered. Maybe now I can actually sleep a little tonight.
"Well, Maam." Shannon picked up her roll of tape and the blanket the policeman had left on a chair. "I guess youre all set."
call me Kellie."
okay, Kellie." Kellie
I like that. Heck, I like HER. "Umm
Im Shannon." The officer took a business card from her shirt pocket. "If you have any more trouble at all, you call me. Ill be on duty all night."
"Thanks, Shannon." Kellie visibly relaxed and smiled. "I feel MUCH betta now."
"Good." So do I.
The women walked to the door together and stood in awkward silence for several seconds. Suddenly, they both started to speak at once and they broke into laughter.
"You go ahead." Shannon grinned at the homeowner, who blushed and ducked her head to try and conceal it.
"I just wanted to say thanks again." Cmon Kel
its your first chance to make a friend here. Kellie mustered the courage to look up into interested brown eyes. Maybe even more than a friend. Dont let her get away. "And I
was thinkin. When yaw finished with werk
if you want to stop by, Id like to express my gratitude by makin you breakfast."
Shannon felt her heart pounding rapidly. There was nothing she wanted to do more than spend some time with the attractive Northerner. "Id really like that." She reached for the knob and opened the door. "How about around 8:00?"
"Okay." Kellie smiled at the officer, whose cheeks had also become flushed.
The brisk air from outside was a welcome relief to the overheated women as they exchanged good-byes.
Kellie closed the door and then rushed over to the window.
Shannon took the blanket from the railing, picked up the muslin sack, and went to the van. She put away the supplies, untied the sack, and shook it a little. That was all the persuasion the bat needed and he flew up into the night sky.
Observing from the house, Kellie strained to see the bat when it was released, but it was too dark. She watched as Shannon climbed into the drivers seat and drove off. Long after the van disappeared from sight, Kellie remained at the window, deep in thought.
Stopped at a red light, Shannon checked her pager. No calls
great. Maybe I can finish that fanfic story when I get back to the office. The light turned green and she proceeded down the deserted street. I MUST be reading too much of that stuff, because tonight I kept thinking I was in one of those stories. Though, I doubt anyone would write about an Animal Services officer rescuing a woman from a bat. Its just not as exciting as the stories about cops or outlaws or corporate intrigue.
What in the world would they call it?
Shannon Marshall To the Rescue Hmm
too egotistical, even for me. Perhaps something about vampires or bats. That would sound exciting.
Vampires in the Mist Nah. No mist tonight.
The Good, The Bat and the Ugly Ack
nothing ugly about that Northerner, no siree.
The Vampire Strikes Back Shannon laughed out loud. Okay
the title needs some work.
I sure am looking forward to breakfast in the morning. It could turn out to be the beginning of my own, real life fanfic adventure. Wouldnt that be something?
And it was.