Feisty Francesca

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#5 Officer blue-eyes

One minute later, everyone is yelling, my friends are being thrown in police cars and getting cuffed like they’re criminals. One cop comes over to me, kneeling next to me and Joshua.

“His leg is broken, his ribs are bruised or maybe even broken, and he coughed up blood a few minutes ago,” I tell him. “We need to get him to a hospital.”

“Actually, I think I have to arrest you,” he says, looking at me with big blue eyes. “You fit the description of one of the people who was involved in the fight.”

We stare at each other for a moment, and I can tell that he doesn’t want to arrest me. He’s young, probably in his late twenties, barely older than I am. His eyes are focused on me, but then he gets called by one of the other cops and he jumps up to help put Hollister in handcuffs. Tyson, they’re calling the blue-eyed cop. I look up to see what’s going on and I see officer Tyson moving from Hollister to Aston. For some reason, there are three cops on Aston’s back, including the one who was just with me, pushing him against the pavement even though he isn’t struggling.

Shaughna rushes over to him before I can, yelling at the cops to let go of Aston. She’s being held back by a cop, but officer Tyson looks up at her, and then over to me, and he gets up and tells his colleagues to ease up on Aston.
“Just cuff him,” I hear officer Tyson say. “No need to use force.”

He’s right. Aston isn’t fighting. He’s bleeding though, and my hands are itching to examine him to make sure he’s not injured too badly, buy I know that I can’t just rush into an arrest. Besides, Joshua is coughing up blood again. This has to stop.

“Arrest him!” I yell, jumping up to point at the guy who hasn’t been arrested yet, the one who was assaulting Shaughna. “And we need an ambulance over here! His breathing is constricted, and I think his leg is broken.”

Officer Tyson comes back to me and kneels down again, putting a hand on my shoulder. “An ambulance is on its way already. What happened to him?”

“He got hurt,” I say, almost rolling my eyes. “I already told you that he coughed up blood. He needs a chest x-ray. Stat.”

“You’re a doctor,” officer Tyson says, looking at me with respect in his eyes.

“Nurse,” I reply. No one has ever assumed I’m a doctor before. “Joshua, how are you holding up?”

“Leg hurts,” he says, coughing again. “I’m okay though. It just… hurts.”

There’s screaming and crying going on behind me, but I can’t take my eyes off Joshua. He keeps coughing up blood and tries to curl up on himself, but I need him to stay in one position and not keep shifting, so I keep him down, happy to have officer Tyson with me to access Joshua’s injuries as well. Cops have basic medical training, first aid and stuff. It’s good to have a second pair of eyes.

Suddenly, Joshua shudders and his eyes roll back into his head.

“Joshua?” I ask, toughing his face gently. “Joshua?” Fuck. He’s unconscious.

“The ambulance is here,” officer Tyson says besides me. “He’ll be fine.”

“He’d better be,” I bite out. From what Shaughna told me, Joshua is a good guy. One of those rare men who don’t let their dicks rule their lives. He can’t die just because he tried to defend Shaughna.

I tell the paramedics what happened and how Joshua is doing while they lift him up with officer Tyson’s help, putting him on a gurney.

“I’m coming with him,” I say, trying to sound confident. “I work at the hospital. I’m an ER nurse.”

“You can’t,” officer Tyson says, pulling me back when I try to get into the ambulance. “Like I said, I have to arrest you.”

“Well fuck you,” I bite out, pulling my arm out of his grasp.

“Look, I don’t want to fight you or put you in cuffs, but if you don’t come with me on your own, I’ll have to.” The cop’s eyes are so blue that it’s almost unnatural how bright they are.

“Fine,” I snap. I know Joshua is in good hands now, and that helps me to feel okay about stepping away from him. I know one of the paramedics and he’s great at his job. His colleague probably is too.

Officer Tyson looks relieved that I’m not fighting him, and he gently escorts me to his car, putting me in the back with Caroline.

“You okay?” I ask her, relieved to see that she’s not in cuffs either.

“No,” she says, looking at me with tears in her eyes. “Not even a little.”

***

“You’re letting me go?” I ask officer Tyson, a little surprised that I was only questioned for about twenty minutes.

The cop looks more at ease now that he’s not in the middle of a fight anymore, with a guy unconscious on the pavement. His eyes are crazy blue and I find myself looking into them a little longer than I should. He was the one to take my statement and he even got me a cup of coffee and a muffin, watching me with those intense eyes while I ate it.

“Yes, I’m letting you go,” he says, holding open the door for me. “No one is pressing charges against you, and we’re convinced that you only acted in self-defense. We’ve got your info, so if there’s anything we need, we’ll be in touch.”

“Okay.” I’m not going to question that. No way. I’m out of here. “Thanks, I guess.”

“So, you’re a nurse?” he asks, walking alongside me down the hallway, back to the front of the station where I had to leave my phone, wallet and keys.

“Yeah,” I say, looking up at him with a frown. “ER.”

“I called the hospital to find out about that guy you were taking care of,” the cop goes on, holding open another door for me. “Joshua, right? He’s fine. You were right. Broken leg and bruised ribs. Nothing too bad, apparently.”

That’s a relief. I know Shaugha would feel horrible if something worse had happened to him.

“I know this is inappropriate, but could I…” Officer Tyson stops walking and he takes a deep breath. “Could I get your number, maybe?”

“My number?” I repeat, feeling like I’m in a dream. My friends just got arrested, my friend was assaulted, someone ended up in the goddamn hospital, and now a cop I just met wants my number. What is happening right now?

“Yeah, you know, so I can text you?” he explains, looking a little flustered. “I just… I mean… Are you single?”

Oh wow. Okay, so he’s truly coming onto me right now. My little black dress is torn and bloody, my hair is all over the place, and I’m not in the mood to flirt, yet some young cop is hitting on me. This is not how I thought this night might end up. I don’t even know where Thomas is or where he thinks I am.

“Sure,” I decide, not knowing how else to react. “Why not?”

“Okay.” The cop smiles now, his whole face lighting up. “I’m James, by the way.”

“Francesca.”

We shake hands, both of us smiling and unsure what else to say. When he lets go of my hand, he hands me his phone. I blink in confusion, but then I realize that he wants me to put in my number. Once I’m done, I hand back the phone.

“Francesca Berger,” he says, looking down at his screen. Strange thing to say after I already gave him all my info half an hour ago, before he took down my statement. In fact, my number is already in the system, so he didn’t even had to ask me for it. He could just get it from my file. I guess it’s nice that he’s given me the choice to say no, right?

“James Tyson,” I reply, trying to make him see how weird he’s being.

He laughs and opens the next door for me, motioning for me to walk though. “You’re good to go,” he tells me while he motions for the cop behind the desk up front to get my stuff for me. “And I’ll keep an eye out for your friends. They’ll be fine.”

I take my stuff from the other officer and nod at both of them, walking out of the station in my heels and little black dress, feeling weird. This is the most fucked-up night of my life for sure.

My phone buzzes and I look down to see that I’ve got two texts. One from Thomas and one from an unknown number.

Where are you? Thomas asked half an hour ago. I’m waiting ten more minutes and then I’m heading home. You know where I live. Please tell me you’re not hooking up with your ex again.

I roll my eyes and shoot him a text telling him I will explain everything tomorrow. The other text has me frowning.

Sorry for arresting you. Can I take you out for a bite to eat soon?

Okay, so it’s obviously James Tyson, but… why? I mean, I’m not one of those girls who thinks she’s ugly or anything, I know I can look fine as hell when I put in the work and I’m great in bed, but… I truly don’t get why anyone who saw me kneeling on the pavement in my black dress, covered in sweat and blood, would look at me and think: huh, that’s a cute girl, let’s ask her out. All we did was talk about what happened, he wrote down my statement, and then he sent me on my way. I don’t know anything about him except that he’s a cop, has blue eyes, and apparently thinks arresting girls is a major turn-on or something.

I decide not to reply to officer Tyson – James – until this situation is all worked out, my friends are free as well, and I’ve gotten some sleep. I’m not in a dating mood right now.

It’s not until I put away my phone that I realize I have no idea what to do. No one else seems to be out yet, and I don’t have my car here. I know that James said he’d look out for my friends, but what can he really do? He’s obviously just a cop, not someone actually in charge. He’s basically me. As a nurse, I can do a lot of things, save people, make people feel at ease, but in the end I always need a doctor for the big decisions. I’m sure it works that way in a police station as well.

Okay. First things first. I need to get my car here, so I can drive my friends home when they get out. I also need to make sure that Joshua is truly okay. James reassured me a little, but I won’t believe it until I check it myself.

I order an uber so I can get home and then call the hospital, asking to talk to one of the nurses in the ER. Candice’s voice sounds and I let out a relieved breath knowing she’s there tonight. She’s amazing and she likes me, so it shouldn’t be hard to get her to tell me about Joshua.

“Oh right, the cute blonde guy,” she says when I explain who I’m asking about. “Yeah, he came in a little while ago. Broken leg, bruised ribs, probably a little internal damage as well, but nothing rest won’t heal. I sent him up to get a chest x-ray and to see Dr. Richards in ortho. Is he your boyfriend or something?”

“No, not at all,” I reply, almost laughing at that idea. “He’s a friend of a friend. Got involved in a fight he never should have been a part of. Let’s just say I’ve had one hell of a night.”

“Sounds like it. Don’t worry about the cute blonde though, he’ll probably be going home in a few hours. He called his parents while we were working on him, so he won’t be alone for long.”

“Good.” Some of the tension leaves my body, making me realize just how stressed I am. “Could you give him my number and ask him to call me?”

“Trying to make him your boyfriend?” Candice teases. “Sure, hon, I’ll tell him-” She stops talking and I hear yelling the background. “Duty calls,” she says in a rush before hanging up.

I hope she won’t forget to give Joshua my number. I want to check up on him, hear his voice, make sure he’s got family with him. He’ll probably be just fine, but I can’t help but worry about him. Poor guy. He was so brave fighting guys twice his seize. Anyone who will go to those lengths to protect Shaughna is someone who deserves my care and loyalty, so he’s got it now, whether he wants it or not.

I turn back to the police station to wait inside until my ride gets here. The officer behind the desk in the entrance hall looks up when I enter and he nods in greeting, recognizing me. Which isn’t surprising, since I doubt there is more than one girl with purple highlights, a nose ring and a torn black dress walking around his place of work in the middle of the night.

“Do you have any idea when my friends will be released?” I ask him, leaning against his desk to keep myself upright. Damn, I’m exhausted. With the adrenaline out of my body, I’m starting to truly feel the draining day catching up to me. The alcohol didn’t help of course, although I sobered up from everything that happened since I walked out of the club.

“There’s one of them right now,” the cop says, pointing to my left.

I turn and feel relieved to see Shaughna walking out, holding her heels in her hand and tugging on her short red dress. She rushes over to me and hugs me, making me wince at how bad she reeks. Then again, it’s not like I smell like roses right now, so I shouldn’t judge.

“The others?” she asks when she pulls back.

I shake my head. “No one yet.”

“Joshua?” she asks next, just like I knew she would.

I explain what I found out so far. “I asked Candice to give him my number, so I’m hoping I’ll get to talk to him soon to make sure he’s truly okay.”

“Oh, I’ve got his number,” she says, grabbing her phone to call him. When he doesn’t pick up, she sends him a text and then shoots me his number so I can contact him later. “I’ll try again soon,” she says, rubbing her eyes. “He never should have gotten involved.”

“Don’t worry, leave checking up on him to me.” She’s trying to keep it together, but it’s obvious she’s got too much going on in her mind to add more to the list of things she’s worrying about. “By the way, what happened? Who was that guy?”

Shaughna grunts and pulls me to the side, away from the cop. “That was my lovely ex-boyfriend, Melchior Havemeyer.”

Oh shit. The guy who abused her and who’s been stalking her the past weeks. Of course it’s him. I should have recognized him from pictures she’s shown me, but the whole fight was such a blur that I didn’t get a good look at him.

“That fucker,” I groan, hating him even more than I did before.

Before I can say more, Caroline walks in, escorted by James Tyson. He winks at me while he waits for Caroline to be handed back her phone and other belongings. I still don’t know how to feel about him flirting with me. I hold up my phone to convey to him that I got his text and mouth ’later’ to him. He nods, his blue eyes sparling at me across the room. He’s cute, I realize. Hot, even. He’s got dark that’s slicked back, making him look a little older than he probably is. He can’t be more than two years older than I am, and he’s got a nice built. Broad, muscular, but not as ripped as Aston. And the uniform is like catnip to me, of course. Who doesn’t like a guy in uniform, right?

“Where Nathan?” Caroline asks us, her eyes brimming with tears. “Is he okay?”

I see James take out his phone. Mine buzzes a few seconds later, and I give him an incredulous look before opening his text. We fixed up his hand, he’s fine. Still being questioned. Won’t be out for a while.

“He’s okay,” I tell her. “They had someone look at his hand. He won’t be out for a few more hours, though.”

Shaughna and Caroline don’t even ask me how I know that, and James gives me a grateful smile. He’s not supposed to text me about my friends, I’m sure of that. I just don’t get why he’d risk his job just to make me feel better. We hardly know each other, after all.

Thanks, I text him while Shaughna comforts Caroline, who just started crying with loud sobs.

I said I’d look after your friends, didn’t I? he shoots back.

I want to ask him why, but I don’t, scared he will stop keeping me in the loop the moment I question his intentions. Yes, I text him, making a decision.

‘Yes?’ he mouths to me from across the room, frowning.

Yes to that date you want to take me on, I reply, typing away on my phone.

His whole face lights up and he gives me the thumbs up behind my friends’ backs. The cop behind the desk looks from me to James with an incredulous look, probably wondering why we’re staring at each other, but he doesn’t say anything. James winks at me one more time before turning around and walking back into the station, hopefully to see if Aston, Nathan and Dshawn are doing alright.

I get a notification on my phone to alert me that my uber is only a few minutes away. Quickly, I explain to Shaughna that I’m going to get my car, but she seems too out of it to truly register my words. She just nods and hugs me goodbye, turning back to comforting Caroline the moment I step away. I’m a little annoyed with Caroline for being such a goddamn drama queen. Of course she’s worried and upset, but Shaughna is the one who should be falling apart right now, not Caroline. If Shaughna and I can keep it together, surely Caroline can manage to stop bawling her eyes out, right?

When I get into the car I ordered, I get a weird look from the driver.

“Hard night?” he asks after I’ve told him where to go.

“Don’t even get me started,” I tell him, putting on my seatbelt.

“Just don’t get any blood on the seats,” he warns, looking at me over his shoulder.

I roll my eyes. That’s hardly the biggest issue I’m dealing with tonight.

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