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When the nurse came in to take Tim’s vital signs, she had to wake him up. He turned his head and saw Heidi, sound asleep, sitting in the chair next to his bed. His heart began to pound and he looked at his nurse. “How long has she been here?” he whispered.
The nurse wrapped the blood pressure cuff around his arm. “I think about four hours,” she said. “She came in just after I gave you the pain shot. I’m not surprised she’s asleep. She looked beat when she came in.”
“She ought to be, after what’s been happening to her,” Tim said. He kept looking at Heidi. He couldn’t stop. She was wearing a sweat suit, had on no makeup, and her hair was disheveled, but he thought she looked prettier than any woman he’d ever seen.
“You know her?” the nurse asked. The look in the young policeman’s eyes as he gazed at Heidi wasn’t lost on her.
Tim nodded, keeping his eyes on Heidi. “Yeah,” he said. “I knew her in school.”
Heidi heard them talking and opened her eyes. She looked at Tim, saw him looking at her, and smiled. “Hi, Tim,” she said.
“Hi, Heidi,” Tim replied. He reached out his hand and she took it. Warmth ran up his arm as her fingers nestled in his. “You OK?”
“I’m fine,” Heidi replied. “Thanks to you.”
“I was just doing my job,” Tim said.
The nurse stuck a thermometer in his mouth, shutting him up. “That’s what all the cops and firemen who come in here say,” she told Heidi. “I never seen guys like them. They risk their necks, get hurt, and all they say afterward is, ‘I was just doing my job.'”
“He…he got shot trying to protect me,” Heidi said. “He…he shot a man who…who was trying to…to hurt me.”
“No kidding?” the nurse said. “So he really is a hero, huh?” She chuckled. “I guess it’s good we aren’t doing rectal temps, then, huh?”
Tim, the thermometer still in his mouth, groaned. He didn’t see what was so funny.
“How long have you been a police officer?” Heidi asked Tim after the nurse left.
“About a year, now,” Tim said.
“I didn’t know,” Heidi said. “I…I often wondered about you, how you were, what you were doing, but…”
“I’ve thought about you a casino oyna lot, too,” Tim said. “I…”
Before he could finish what he was saying, two men walked into the room. Tim and Heidi looked toward the doorway.
“Your honor,” Chief of Police Dexter Pollard said, “this is our department’s newest hero, Officer Tim Jackman. He’s the one who stopped that sick S.O.B. I was telling you about.”
Mayor Richard Lincoln walked to Tim’s bed and grabbed the young man’s hand. “I’m honored to meet you, Officer Jackman,” he said. “You represent what I want all of our police officers to stand for.”
“I…I was just doing my job, sir,” Tim protested. “The other guys would have done the same thing I did. I mean, Sergeant Dawson, he…”
“We’re awarding you the Medal of Valor, Tim,” Chief Pollard said. “Sergeant Dawson, too. Actually, it will be Lieutenant Dawson once I have the time to process his promotion papers.”
“Ah…thank you, sir,” Tim said, stunned. The Medal of Valor was the department’s highest honor. Few officers ever got it. He never dreamed he’d be one of them. “I…I don’t know what to say.”
“You don’t have to say anything, young man,” the chief continued. “Your actions said enough. I’m very proud of you. We all are. If you continue with such a high level of performance, I’m sure you have a very good future in the department. In fact, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if you weren’t offered the opportunity to transfer to the detective division in six months or so. By the way, we got hold of your parents where they were staying in Florida. They’re on their way back, should be here any time. Some of our people are meeting them at the airport.”
“Transfer…?” Tim was stunned. A transfer to detectives was his goal. “Detectives? Me?”
“If your performance reports continue to be as good as they have been up to now, that wouldn’t surprise me,” the chief said. “I assure you, I’ll be reviewing them carefully.” He turned to Heidi. “And who is this lovely lady?”
“Ah…Chief Pollard, Your Honor, this is Mrs. Tate, she’s the lady…” he began.
“Mrs. Tate!” Chief Pollard reddened. “Please, forgive me, Mrs. Tate. I didn’t realize…” canlı casino He turned to the mayor. “Your Honor, this is the lady whose life Officer Jackman saved.”
“I’m honored to meet you, Mrs. Tate,” the mayor said, actively pumping Heidi’s hand. “I hope you are satisfied with the performance of our police department.”
“Very much so,” Heidi said. “Especially the performance of Officer Jackman.”
“And well you should be,” the mayor said. He let go of Heidi’s hand and turned to the chief. “Well, I suppose we should be going, Chief,” he said. “Officer Jackman needs his rest.”
“Yes,” the chief said. “Mrs. Tate, can we offer you a ride somewhere?”
“Ah, no, but thank you,” Heidi said. “I…I was just thanking Officer Jackman for all he’s done for me. I…I’d like to talk with him a bit longer.”
“Fine,” the chief said. He looked at Tim. “By the way, Tim, the doctors tell me you should be able to return to duty in about a month. Take all the time off you need.”
“Thank you, sir,” Tim said.
He and Heidi watched the chief and mayor leave the room. Then Heidi turned to him. “You are a hero,” she said softly. “My hero.”
Tim felt his face getting hot. “Aw, Heidi…” he protested.
Heidi bent over and kissed him. She felt his arms go around her, and the kiss became much more than she intended it to when she bestowed it on him. When, finally, it ended, she stood next to the bed, her heart pounding, her breathing ragged, clutching his hand.
“That felt wonderful,” Tim said softly. “Heidi, I…”
“Timothy!” a feminine voice said. “My God! Are you all right? My baby!”
Heidi stepped back to let the young man’s parents approach the bed. Both of them looked at her, then at their son.
“Mom, Dad, this is Heidi Tate,” Tim said.
“You’re the lady…” Tim’s father said.
“Yes,” Heidi said, “I’m the person whose life your son saved.”
“You were school nurse at the high school, weren’t you?” Tim’s mother said.
“I still am,” Heidi replied. She felt a bit uncomfortable there, with Tim’s parents, so she took a deep breath. “Tim, I think I’ll go home now,” she said, although she really didn’t kaçak casino want to. “I’ll come back later.”
“You better,” he said. He was very aware of his parents’ puzzled looks. He’d explain who Heidi was and why she was there after she left. He reached out his hand and Heidi took it. “I do want you to come back,” he said.
“I will,” Heidi told him. She reluctantly let go of his hand and left the room.
“Timothy, are you really all right?” Tim’s mother asked once Heidi was gone.
“Yeah, son, are you sure?” his father added. “What kinda gun did the guy have, where did he hit you?”
“Mom, I’m fine,” Tim told his concerned mother, who was clutching his hand. “I really am. I had my vest on. I’ve got a heck of a bruise, but no broken ribs, even. They did all kinds of X-rays and even a CAT Scan.” He looked at his father. “I think it was a 9 mm., Dad,” he said. “I didn’t really see the gun.”
“Oh,” his father said, sounding a bit disappointed. Almost from the minute Tim had joined the police force, his father had turned into one of the biggest police buffs in town. His father had a very expensive police scanner, and would spend hours listening to it, then critique the calls with Tim.
“Chief Pollard and the mayor were here just before you guys got here,” Tim said.
“You gonna get promoted for this?” his father asked.
“No, Dad,” the young man replied. “I’ve only been on the job a year. How would that look?”
“You oughta be promoted, doin’ what you did,” his father said.
“Tim,” his mother said, “that woman, Mrs. Tate, what was she doing here?”
“I…she just came to see how I was,” Tim replied. He felt his ears heating up. “I mean, I saved her life and all, and she’s grateful.”
“I see,” his mother said, looking at him carefully. Tim knew the look, and also knew his mother wasn’t accepting his answer, not one little bit.
“She’s a good-looking lady,” his father said. “Damn good-looking.” He ignored his wife’s frosty glare and kept talking. “Damn, Millie, if she was the school nurse when Tim was in school, she can’t be too much younger than we are. I wish…”
“Dad, did I tell you we got new computer terminals in the cruisers?” Tim said. He could see the direction his father’s thoughts were going, and didn’t want a fight starting between his parents in his hospital room.
“Really?” his father said. “What kind?”
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