Hearts on Fire 8: Saving C.C.(5)By: Dixie Lynn Dwyer
He shook his head and headed back inside. He had a fucked-up shoulder that would never heal, and he took each day at a time, feeling guilty for surviving when Doland had a wife and two little kids. I’ve got nothing to offer a beautiful young woman but scars, regrets, and a piss-poor attitude to boot. Why the hell am I even thinking about this? Goddamn, one look at some sexy little woman, new to town, and I’m thinking of shit I shouldn’t be thinking of. Hell knows my brothers still haven’t come around to wanting to share a woman again.
After the little Felicia escapade and how screwed up she’d been, their whole ménage experience had turned into an orgy, nothing more. That was exactly what Felicia, Mercury’s girl, had wanted.
It was no sweat off his back. None of them had a hard time finding women to help scratch that itch, but it was that bond, that connection they all felt when they were with a woman together that was truly magical. If they could find the right woman to share.
He shook his head. He couldn’t even get Frank to hang out in public and go to the Station. Jenks was always on some adventure or running off with friends for some exciting escapade of rock climbing, deep-sea fishing, or bungee jumping. Mercury kept busy as a paramedic and was the most social of them all, and him, well, he tried to be friendly and outgoing with friends and family but felt displaced. Almost as though he wasn’t whole anymore and something was missing.
He swallowed hard and went back to work. Maybe if things were different, he and his brothers could get back to where they’d been years ago before they went after their dreams and sought out adventure. That was the time Kyle had felt closest to them, and also most protected, as if nothing could ever break them apart. He wanted that, but did his brothers? Unless he got the guts to ask them, he would never know. Maybe it wasn’t worth it right now anyway.
C.C. Walker learned about the different crews and groups of first responders pretty quickly. But considering she’d been working in the Station for only the past month, new faces appeared here and there throughout her various shifts. It was an exceptional town she’d stumbled upon because her hunk of junk quit on her once and for all. She couldn’t help but smile when she thought about that day and how she’d met Frank and Kyle St. James. They were nice but also pretty intense, and initially when she met Kyle, he seemed so friendly and helpful. But when she returned to the shop, he’d acted different. She didn’t know why and didn’t bother to waste time trying to figure it out.
While at The Station waiting on word about her car, she’d heard about a job opening and snagged it just in case she had to stay in Treasure Town. Who would have thought she would love the town and the people she’d met so far? She’d been lucky enough to show up at the right time, when Burt and Jerome, the owners, were desperate for a good waitress. Like her grandmother always said, when one door closes, another door opens. That was the case for C.C.
She’d just set a tray of drinks down for some guys from Engine 20. Chief Raul Sanchez was a character and a half. Married, in his forties, with four kids, he was here on a Friday night celebrating with his crew after a pretty bad multi-car fire that closed down Luana Highway for a few hours. Because of the Station’s location, she had been knee-deep in drink orders and even had to assist making some of the drinks herself.
But she wasn’t complaining. It meant more money saved and hopefully a better place to live than the dive she was in now. Not that she had to live in such a small place on the outskirts of town. She had just been ensuring this was the place she wanted to stay in for a while to clear her head. She missed New York. Hell, she missed a lot of things and people too, but her original plan of driving to California after hearing “Hotel California” on the radio when she left New York had quickly lost its appeal. She started thinking that living in Treasure Town, New Jersey, only a state away from her own home, was a good thing in case she was needed by her family. Plane fare was a hell of a lot more than a train or bus fare.
But things were too strange back home. She felt uneasy, on display, like some poor damaged soul whose life would consist of being “that girl, the one from that family.” How tragic.
“C.C., do you get any days or nights off or what? I see you here all the time?” Brandon Polaski asked, his words slurred from how much beer he’d drunk tonight.
He was a big guy, filled with muscles and facial hair. Whenever he drank a lot, he flirted.
“Who needs days off when everyone is so nice around here?” She set down the last drink and picking up the tray. This time Kurt put the money down to pay. They didn’t want to run a tab. They wanted to take turns paying. She was fine with that. They tipped her every time.