Jared the Paramedic

Chapter 1: Eponymous

A gentle breeze off the river kept the mosquitos from swarming the people scattered in the area and made it a perfect evening for a walk. Jared was one of them out for an evening walk through the community park, something he did on a regular basis after work if he didn't go for a run. He enjoyed running, but sometimes it was just more pleasant to walk and enjoy the scents and beauty of nature. Jared also loved to stare at the intricate colour patterns of the sun setting in the west, something not easily done while jogging. He was a complex man, more complex than most people would ever realize if they judged him by his appearance alone. Jared considered himself to be happy in life, and fortunate to have a family, friends, and a good career. In his young life, he had been able to accomplish many things already; others would take a lifetime to achieve but none of that ever caused him to stray from his path in life.

Jared had left the park and was now walking along the side of the street in the area known as 'Chinatown'. The university wasn't far from here and the students were in abundance on the sidewalks, eating at the restaurants, buying groceries, or having a few drinks at the bars. He had paused at a sidewalk vendor to look at the fresh fruits and vegetables Mr. Chow had on display when his attention was abruptly diverted from the dragon fruit he was examining in his hand.

The young man gently put the fruit back and moved quickly to a street light to lean against it for a moment. It only took a few seconds, but Jared understood he had to be somewhere else and he began to walk around the block towards an alley at an urgent pace. The smells from the various restaurants in the area were blowing by him on the wind, and he appreciated each one of them. Jared could almost taste the garlic and ginger combination in the air as he was reminded he hadn't eaten supper yet.

There was no hesitation on Jared's part to go where he was being directed; it was something he knew well. It wasn't the first time he had been pulled out of his normal day to day activities to go somewhere special. It was also never wrong when it happened. Jared always followed it to where ever it took him; it was his path in life to do this type of mission at times.

In this case, he already had a clear image in his mind of what he would find at his destination, something in need of urgent intervention. As Jared entered the alley he could hear some voices raised in laughter and one in pain. Sizing up the situation with experience, he moved towards a small group of people standing over another lying on the ground.

Jared was an imposing man of 6'3', 230 lbs of solid muscle, trimmed dark black hair, olive skin, and deep chocolate brown eyes. Normally, he could blend or disappear into a crowd regardless of his looks and size. When it was necessary, Jared would straighten up to use to his build and size to his best advantage.

He moved as soundlessly as a cat to cover the remaining ground between him and the group... something you would never expect of a man so large. Jared suddenly appeared among the group of people and spoke softly to them.

"Leave the person alone."

The three college-aged men had the build of university football players and were quite startled at the sudden appearance of Jared. They stepped back slightly from him, but not quick enough before Jared could smell beer in the air. These students have probably been at one of the bars for a few drinks.

"Fuck off dude. This doesn't concern you," one of them said.

"He's just a gay boy," a second one added.

Jared softly spoke again, but still in a commanding and emotionless tone, "Leave the person alone."

The first one who had spoken before now said, "You a fag boy like him?"

The third one spoke finally, "Maybe we should do the same to you as we're doing to this little piece of shit."

Jared locked eyes with each one of them and then spoke again. "Leave the boy alone. All people have the right to live, and walk on their intended path through life."

The three college young men huffed at Jared in shock he wasn't running away.

"This is your last warning, leave him alone, and walk away now."

One of the college boys had enough of the intruder and began to move towards Jared. Jared looked at him while he very subtly repositioned himself into a fighting stance. When in range, the college man tried to punch Jared. From his defensive position, Jared grabbed the fist and quickly pivoted to the right. He extended his arms and pulling the fist with him as he pivoted which caused the man to move forward and off balance. Jared released the young man's fist with a push, and let momentum finish the job for him. The young man landed face first on the ground, promptly letting out a string of profanities.

Jared sensed movement behind him and spun around in time to see the second college boy coming at him. This one was trying to take Jared down with a football tackle. Jared watched him calmly, and then simply stepped backward as the young man continued by him grabbing empty air. The second young man landed on the first one, winding them both.

The third one rushed Jared as well. This time Jared stood his ground and straight-armed the attacker, hitting his sternum hard. At the last second, he pushed hard against the young man's already painful chest. This action knocked the wind out of the young man, throwing him flat onto his back. He turned to look at the first two young men who were preparing to renew their attack on him.

Jared didn't want to hurt the young men, but this was delaying him assisting the injured young man on the ground. When the young men looked at Jared's face, the first thing they noticed was his eyes now glowing a bright white and they froze in their tracks.

Jared spoke in a loud voice, "Leave the boy alone. Walk away from here now before you get hurt!"

This time, when Jared spoke, the ground under the college boy's feet seemed to vibrate with his words. Jared also focused on the young men with the same gift which had brought him here to intervene, and planted the suggestion in each of them to leave now.

This time the young men seemed to feel something deep inside them suggest they had better do as they were told as shivers ran down their spine. The two young men grabbed their barely moving buddy off the ground and dragged him out of the alley towards the street.

Jared looked at the young man on the ground, who was crying in pain and curled into a fetal position. He quickly moved to his side and kneeled, gently touching the injured man's shoulder. In a very calm voice, Jared said, "My name is Jared and I'm here to help you. What's your name?"

The young man looked up with difficulty, his swollen and bloody eyes barely open. He replied in a whisper, "JJJJJ-Jake. Thanks for stopping them."

Jared could hear multiple sirens in the distance but coming closer from different directions. Someone must have called 911 he thought to himself.

Jared looked at the young man and said quietly, "Creator, please guide my hands to do their best work." He placed his hand on the injured boy's forehead, and his eyes began to glow white again... except very bright this time.

Jake felt Jared's hand on his head. He thought he could feel a warming sensation where Jared's hand was, and it seemed to be more than just skin to skin warmth. The warmth also seemed to be spreading from his head down through his neck, into his chest and finally into his abdomen. As the warmth spread, Jake was beginning to think, "So this is how it feels to die."

Jared sensed the injuries the boy had and knew he had to act quickly. The young man had been kicked repeatedly in the stomach and the back so Jared's thoughts focused on the damaged solid organs. Blunt force trauma from the kicking had the potential to cause extensive trauma to the spleen, liver and kidneys and even the hollow organs in the rest of the cavity as well. It is not unusual to have major or potentially fatal internal bleeding after an attack like this, and Jared knew too well people could bleed to death internally without ever seeing a drop of blood externally.

Jake felt warmth in his lower stomach and it was spreading into his back. As the warmth increased, the pain in those areas began to decrease. The boy opened his eyes and looked at Jared just before he went unconscious; Jake thought he saw an angel with glowing white eyes.

Jared knew the young man was now unconscious, but unlike other situations with a sudden decrease in the level of consciousness, he wasn't concerned this time. He knew exactly what was happening and was in total control of his patient. Jared could hear the police cars and ambulance stopping in the ally, and doors slamming as people got out to run towards him.

One of the paramedics recognized him and yelled over as he ran up, "Hey Jared, what've you got?"

Jared looked up and saw Troy with his jump kit, and two policemen right behind him. Jared smiled at the two policemen Josh and Tyler who were trying to help with the stretcher.

"Hey guys, about 10 minutes ago, I heard a fight in the alley and came to see what was going on. Three guys were putting the boots to this young man and he was on the ground already. I chased them away but didn't really get a good look at them in the dark. The patient has just gone unconscious but has a patent airway, regular breathing, tender left ribs, left arm deformed, abdomen soft and the rest unremarkable at the time I checked him. No other problems noted in the short time I have been with him." Jared stood up and let Troy and his partner take over treatment. Soon enough, the young man was all bundled up on the stretcher with IV's running.

As they were pushing the stretcher into the back of the ambulance, Troy spoke to Jared, "Thanks for being here, buddy. When are you on shift next?"

Jared replied, "I'm back in the morning… day shift."

"Sounds good. See you in the morning at shift change."

Josh and Tyler stood on each side of Jared, and all three of them watched silently as the ambulance drove away. Jared thought about Jake, the young man they had in the back of the ambulance. It would take some time for the young man to heal the couple of broken bones, but he wouldn't have been alive much longer if his liver and kidney hadn't been fixed right away. Jake's future path was strong and he was destined to be part of something which would make a difference in many people's lives. He would live, and grow stronger in his resolve because of both the assault and his successful recovery from the injuries. He was destined to make a difference, and this was a focal point in Jake's life path. Believe or not, it was a focal point for the positive.

Tyler looked at Jared, "You came across it or were you brought here?"

Jared smiled at Tyler, "Did you really need to ask?"

Josh laughed at Jared's reply before saying' "Well, let's get his statement from the point where he entered the alleyway. Then we can head to the hospital and see how Jake is doing. Maybe we can get a statement from him tonight."

"It's your turn to take the witness statement from Jared, Josh. I did the last one," Tyler stated clearly.

Jared smiled, "Did you bring his crayons, Tyler, or is he using a pencil now?"

Josh smirked, "You're both bastards, but I'm saying it with the utmost love and respect," as he moved to the car to get the paperwork together.



Jared walked to his apartment, his thoughts clear but his body was tired. When he got home, he took off all his clothes and threw them into the dirty laundry basket. It was a modest three-bedroom apartment, with just enough furniture to fill it, and none of it would be considered the latest styles. Most people who visit him consider his apartment to be furnished in the style of 'Early American Yard and Garage Style.' His household was spotless and the well-used furniture was clean and tastefully organized throughout the apartment. Jared went into the washroom and looked at himself in the mirror. At 29, he considered himself to be average. Most men and women would disagree and consider him to be one of the hottest men to walk the planet. Jared's face reflected his First Nations ancestry, with a strong jawline, high cheekbones, light facial hair growth, defined nose, and his beautiful soft brown eyes. His 6'3" olive skinned body was toned, arms large, stomach flat, hairless except for his armpits and a defined treasure trail leading to the sparse bush above his cock. His legs were solid and had some dark hair on the calves. His uncut cock was hanging down 4" soft over two egg-sized hairless testicles. He turned to the toilet and let loose a solid stream. Flushing it, he padded across the living room and grabbed his smartphone.

Sitting down on the couch, he saw there were a couple of emails from his financial advisor. He replied to both of them after very careful consideration, giving very clear directions as to what needed to be done.

Jared got up and went into the third bedroom to kneel on a small pillow before a coffee table in the centre. On the table were five pillar candles, and a clay bowl. In the clay bowl was a smudging bundle made of sweet grass, cedar and sage. The candles were yellow, red, black and white arranged as a diamond shape, with a thick pillar candle of dark green in the centre. He used a wooden match to light the first candle. While doing this, he chanted, "I invoke the light within. I am a clear and perfect channel. The light is my guide." He did this for each of the five candles. Using the centre candle, he lit a smudging bundle, and then tapped it slightly in the bowl until the flames were out. It was the smoke now rising from it he needed. He drew the smoke with his hands towards his heart, and then over his head. He did this for each arm, over his shoulders and pushing the smoke down his back, his stomach, the groin, and each leg. While doing this, he chanted prayers in the ancient language.

After covering all his body with the sacred smoke, he looked at the candles. Jared spoke aloud, "Thank you, Creator, for allowing me to continue to do your work."

Jared closed his eyes and remained kneeling as he meditated for a few moments. During his meditation, the smoke from the smudging bundle in the clay bowl continued to gently drift toward the young man. It was as if the smoke had a life of its own as it clung to Jared's body as opposed to it floating with the gentle breeze through the room. Jared opened his eyes, they both glowed bright white. As the glow in his eyes diminished, Jared's beautiful dark brown eyes were once again obvious.

Jared repeated a final prayer he knew very well. It is a prayer from Chief Dan George of the Salish band in British Columbia, and although the Great Chief has walked the next world for many years, it is still a powerful prayer.

"O Great Spirit whose voice I hear in the winds," as he snuffed the yellow candle.

"I come to you as one of your many children," as he snuffed the red candle.

"I need your strength and your wisdom," as he snuffed the black candle.

"Make me strong not to be superior to my brother, but to be able to fight my greatest enemy," as he snuffed the white candle.

"Myself," as he snuffed the green candle in the middle.

Jared made sure the smudging bundle was out. He got up and went to bed, falling quickly into a deep and peaceful sleep.

In the morning, Jared woke well rested and feeling relaxed. His only problem for the morning was his hard-on demanding attention. He got out of bed with his hard-on acting like a compass needle and headed for the bathroom. After some difficulty, he finished his morning piss and started the shower.

After getting in, Jared used some shower gel to wash his chest and groin. He allowed his hand to travel further down until it had taken hold of his cock. Jared stroked lightly up the shaft and over the big head and then back down again. Jared used one hand to rub and pinch his nipples and the other to play with his foreskin, sliding it up and over the big purple head. Jared thought to himself, this one has to be quick – I have to get ready for work. He leaned his forehead against the shower wall and then spread his legs wider, allowing the warm water to pour down his back and over his hairless muscled ass. Some of the water was flowing in between the cheeks of his ass and over his tight little rosebud too. He was imagining his work partner Liam naked and was jacking faster. Jared's muscled pelvis was moving now, thrusting his hard cock into his hand as the hand stroked down. Jared's head tilted up and he began to groan as pulse after pulse of cum splashed onto the wall. He used his two hands to support himself for a minute, and then started to clean the mess off the shower wall. Jared finished getting washed, turned off the shower and got out. He grabbed a towel and dried himself off. He looked back at the shower and thought, "That wasn't a bad load at all this morning." He chuckled to himself while thinking, "It's better with someone else, but this one wasn't bad. One of these days I'll find someone as a soul mate to share it with."



The shift changeover between the night crew and day crew proceeded smoothly as usual. The shifts ran 12 hours and started at 7:00 am or 7:00 pm each day... making it easy for people to remember. The night crew was finishing their paperwork, unit checks and restocking whatever supplies had been used while the day crew reviewed the calls which had been run from the night before. The Base Manager Rob also discussed anything of interest or affected the employees such as special events, upcoming training, or administrative matters. The last item of the meeting was the unit, zone assignments, and unit team members. The advanced life support teams rarely changed, but the rest were altered for zone assignments frequently to change things up and better knowledge of the entire area being serviced. Troy brought Jared up to date with the prognosis on Jake at the hospital just before he left to head for home. The young man would heal in time, and continue his path in life.

Jared and Liam were assigned to the advanced life support vehicle as usual. Their vehicle was a larger cube van with dual stretchers and equipment on each side of the ambulance. It was the unit which was on primary call for the most serious emergency calls or they often backed up the other units or backfilled into their zones if they were busy on a call. Liam had always hated the term 'bus' or 'car' used for the ambulance, and he considered it demeaning to the scientific and advanced equipment they carried within it. The only thing which bothered him more was when a paramedic was called an 'ambulance driver'. Until the days of Squad 51 with Roy Desoto and Johnny Gage, that's all they were. The two people drove the ambulance and didn't provide treatment or patient care while en route; they just tossed the person on a stretcher, into the back of a station wagon and drove to the hospital. Very rarely did one of the attendants even stay in the back during the trip. Liam and Jared were both Critical Care Paramedics with Flight Certification, which meant anyone they treated while en route had a very good chance of survival.

The radio system the regional dispatch used had a series of electronic tones for each level of response required. The Basic Life Support, the Interfacility Transfers, Advanced Life Support, and Multiple Unit Response were the most common signals or warbles. Jared and Liam had been at work for a couple of hours that morning when the call came in for injuries resulting from a domestic fight at a location a few minutes away from their current location.

This type of call is one of the most dangerous for police and paramedics. It is uncommon to have the combatants rethink police or paramedic involvement when the aggressor is being arrested. Although rare, it does happen too often where the one spouse (usually the male) is being arrested and the other (usually the female) attacks the police to save their spouse from going to jail. Many police and paramedics have been injured or even knifed when this happens. This time, the police were already on scene when they arrived so the scene was safe for the paramedics to enter and access their patients. Coming into the house with their jump kits they found a man sitting on the couch, and they could see another man sitting at the kitchen table. There were police officers with each of them.

The uniformed sergeant met them at the door, "Guys, be careful with these two; it's a domestic situation between a couple of gay guys."

Jared stopped and gave the sergeant a look which would've killed anyone else. They locked eyes for a moment, and the sergeant corrected himself.

"There is a domestic situation between two males, probably lovers. We don't see anything serious but if you guys would check them over for us, it would be appreciated. But, be careful of the big one on the couch, I'm not too sure about him yet and he's pretty agitated," the sergeant said as he pointed at him.

Jared acknowledged the sergeant, looked and nodded towards the man in the kitchen for his partner. Liam moved to the kitchen to look him over while Jared walked slowly over to the bear of a man sitting on the couch. He was dressed only in a pair of boxers with a wife beater, an ironic shirt for the situation thought Jared. He could also easily recognize as well as smell that he had been drinking a lot of beer at some point. The man had a shaved head, about 5'10" with dark hair across his shoulders disappearing under the front and back of the shirt. He was a solid man, not muscle but not fat.

"Hi, I'm Jared and I'd like to take a look at your injuries. Is that ok?" Jared moved closer to him and went down on one knee. The man looked up slowly. His eyes were bloodshot and he had a flushed ruddy complexion. There was a laceration, mostly crusted over above his right eye.

"I'm ok. The toaster hit my head when the little pansy over there threw it at me," he said.

"How hard did it hit you? Were you unconscious or blackout at all?"

The man didn't answer Jared.

Jared continued to look at him and said, "May I ask why he threw the toaster at you?"

The man looked at Jared for a moment, and then said, "None of your fucking business."

Jared looked at him and locked eyes with him. He didn't know why this guy was toaster target practice this morning but he could sense very strongly this man was going to explode at any second. Jared moved backward quickly out of the patients reach while rising into a standing position. The man stood up quickly and caught the police officer near him off guard. The man stepped into the officer and hit him in the nose with an open palm. The officer began to fall backward; at the same time, he grabbed the officer's weapon from its holster. He shoved the officer backward as he raised the Smith and Wesson 9mm and pointed it directly at Jared's face.

Jared just stood there stoic and looked back at him. The sergeant and the other officer who was still in the kitchen had now drawn their weapons and they were pointed at the man. Out of the corner of Jared's eye, he could see his partner grab the other patient and pull him around the corner of the kitchen out of the line of sight to safety.

The big man said, "Anyone moves, I pull the trigger on this gun. It will be your fault if I pull the trigger because you moved. I will have no blame. I will pull the trigger and this paramedic will die but it will be your fault because you forced me to do it by moving. Understood?"

Jared stood still and looked at him, locking eyes. He had touched the man to check his wounds earlier and in that moment of connection, he had seen the torment within his head. The man was married, baby on the way, two other kids at home. He was having a bisexual experimental affair with the young man in the house when they had been found by his wife's sister this morning. His wife had been trying to phone him and when there was no answer she had been concerned. She had sent her sister over to check on him. The sister had found them both in bed together. His only thought right now was his life was over.

Jared continued to look at him and said very calmly, "I understand what you're saying. I also know your life is not over. There is some rebuilding to be done, but it is not over."

"I disagree," he said.

"Your life is not over; the future will be different but it can be rebuilt. You need to stop now before your future is not within your control anymore."

"What the fuck are talking about? You think I'm in control now?"

"You're in control of me, the gun, and how this situation ends. You're in control of your life, and what happens next. You have the control to give me the gun, and go peacefully with the police."

"I'm not in control, the police are. In fact, I've already told you that It will be your fault if I pull the trigger because you moved. I will have no blame."

"I heard you the first time," said Jared calmly. "I don't believe you want to pull the trigger let alone hurt anyone or even kill someone. You are in control to end this and prevent it."


"You are in control, you have the gun and this can end now with no one being injured by giving it to me."

The man didn't move as he continued to lock eyes with Jared. "You must have balls of steel, you're not even sweating or nervous."

"We don't take sides as paramedics, we just treat the injured. I am also very concerned about you and your safety. You need to make a decision before you lose the control you have. Give the gun to me and go peacefully with the police. Your two children need you in their lives."

The man stared at Jared and thought to himself, "There is something about this paramedic, his words are making sense…"

A patrol officer moved into the doorway from outside, and the man saw this in his peripheral vision. He swung the gun towards the sergeant and started to pull the trigger.

Jared stared at the man as he stepped in towards him. His eyes flashed white for a split second while he spoke, "Sleep." Jared's left arm also moved quickly to grasp the gun as the man collapsed into a heap on the floor. The unconscious man let go of the gun, relinquishing it easily to Jared's grip.

The sergeant and other police officers moved to grab him, restrain, and cuff him. It was a good thing they had cuffed him because he woke up right after and started yelling and thrashing. Other police officers rushed in through the front door to assist. Jared handed the gun to the sergeant, butt first. The police officer who had been smacked in the face was trying to get up when one of the other officers who had just arrived went to his aid. His nose was bleeding so Jared handed him a couple of gauze pads to hold on it.

The sergeant yelled, "Get them both out of here and down to booking, we'll figure it out there!" After all the men hustled out of the house, the sergeant and Jared were standing there looking out the front window as the man was being put into the back of the van. The sergeant moved to the door and yelled over to his men, "Get Officer Smyth checked out at the hospital."

Jared turned to his partner and said, "Please take the gear back to the unit and I'll be out in a moment." Liam smiled, and gathered the bags together and went out through the door looking like a pack mule in the Grand Canyon.

The sergeant looked at Jared and breathed deep, "You have nerves of steel. You didn't even flinch when he pulled the gun."

"Sergeant, I knew I wasn't going to die at this time so I wasn't afraid."

The sergeant looked at him for a long moment, sizing him up. He'd heard a lot about Jared and Liam and their work as paramedics. His men had mentioned them many times in meetings and casually, especially in respect to their professionalism. "You had a gun pointed at your chest, how would you know that you weren't going to be shot?"

"It's a long story Sergeant, but I know it for a fact. I also knew he wouldn't stand long, I just had to keep him talking until it happened."

"Until what happened?"

"I knew he had been sitting for a while with a head injury and he had been sitting for a while. I was calculating how long it would take for orthostatic hypotension to kick in."

The sergeant looked at him and blurted out, "What the fuck is orthosomethingtension?"

Jared laughed and said, "Have you ever got up off the couch too fast and had the head spins? That is one form of it. I knew it would happen to him and I was watching his eyes for it to happen. I wasn't a hero in the least, just an educated paramedic."

The sergeant had a puzzled look on his face. "So what you are saying is if you're on the couch and want a beer, it's safer to send one of the kids or wife for another beer?" he asked with a smirk.

"I am not going to acknowledge that question in any way, shape or form. Theoretically speaking, of course, Sergeant, it could be a death wish if you were to ask the wife that question," Jared laughed as he offered his hand to the sergeant. The sergeant took it firmly and shook it; and found there was a genuine feeling of warmth between their clasped hands.

The firm handshake gave Jared an excellent connection with the sergeant, and access to his consciousness as well as his memories. Jared could see the sergeant's son had recently come out to him and it had not gone well. Jared could also see that the sergeant loved his child but was afraid to show it because he didn't understand his son making the choice of being gay. Into the subconscious of the sergeant, Jared placed a couple of thoughts. The first was, "All people on the planet are the children of the Creator and they do not choose who to love. Love was given as a gift to mankind by the Creator and true love between two people is beautiful and not an abomination. Gay people are born that way, not made. Your son's future education and career will make you proud." The second thought Jared put into his mind was, "Hug your child often and always love them. You may not approve of their actions at times but you will always love them, unconditionally." Then he saw something else and quickly added into the sergeant's head, "Let your daughter have the cat." Although they had only shaken hands for a couple of seconds, it seemed to be in slow motion for the sergeant. When they released hands, the sergeant stepped back.

Jared looked at the sergeant who was shaking his head and said to him, "As always, it's a pleasure to work with the police and to have you guys here at domestic situations."

The sergeant replied, "Yes, thank you for your help, Jared."

Jared looked at him and said, "Time to hit the road unless you need anything else."

The sergeant replied, "If we do, we know where to find you."

Jared left and jumped into the ambulance.

Jared put his seatbelt on, grabbed the clipboard and started completing the patient care reports. A moment later he realized the ambulance wasn't moving and he looked over to Liam. His partner was looking at him and his face was skewed with confusion.

"What Liam? Let's go for coffee."

"What? You just had a gun pointed at you and you went face to face with a guy who was going to shoot you and you say let's go for coffee? What the fuck, Jared?" Liam said rather loud and agitated.

Jared looked into his partner's eyes for a moment before putting the clipboard up on the dash. "Liam, nothing happened, no one was hurt, everything's good."

"Nothing happened? Jared, you just had a gun in your face and you're treating it like a minor or routine thing!" exclaimed Liam.

"Liam, I knew I was safe; it was not my time to die."

"Jared, my partner could've been shot to death in front of me and you don't think it's serious?"

The man sat looking into Liam's eyes, and then down at the radio as a diversion. There was silence for a moment when Jared looked up again and spoke. "Liam, I'm sorry. I never thought of it from your point of view. Are you ok with what happened?"

"This is not about me Jared, don't you turn it around; I could have watched my partner being shot to death in there…"

"Liam, this is not the first time I've stared down a gun or even a knife. I knew I was safe… it was not my time to die. He didn't want to kill me and I could see that in his eyes, I just needed to get him to think about the situation and stop his knee-jerk reactions. I've been on a couple of hostage courses with the police so I was just following procedures in my mind."

"You're not listening to me, I could've watched my partner and my friend gunned down in front of me. Jared, I don't know what I would've done without you…"

"It's not only the training of those courses but a lifetime of teaching by my grandfather to always keep your head clear during emergencies. Mistakes are made in the heat of the moment because of the 'fight or flight' response by our bodies. If we don't control it, bad decisions are made. On top of that the discipline taught in the martial arts classes I studied for years were a big part of not reacting to stressful situations. I've been conditioned this way, Liam."

"You've said that twice now, that you knew it wasn't your time to die. No one knows that, Jared."

"Not only have I spent a lifetime training in the ancient medicines but also the spiritual world of my tribe. As a spiritual leader, there are many things I accept and know as true. While I don't know when my life will end, I knew it wasn't today, here or now. My spiritualism and faith give me strength, Liam."

"I don't know what I would've done if it had been me who was looking at the gun. I was terrified of it from where I was, let alone in front of it."

"Everyone has an inner strength for situations like that. Some people know how to bring it forward and control it when the strength is needed. Others never call upon it and they fall apart when something happens. If you didn't have it, Liam, you wouldn't be working as a paramedic."

"You may be right."

"May be right? I'm always right," laughed Jared. "I need a coffee though partner, lets go."

"Coffee shop on second avenue good enough?"

"That's a good one," replied Jared. "Liam, I appreciate your talking to me about this and if you ever need to chat, don't be afraid to discuss anything with me."

End of chapter one


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