Late Night: Part 1

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Late Night

Part I

(An EMS Chronicle)

An R.L. Mathewson Chronicle

“Is, like, Eric seeing anyone?” Melissa, their third-rider for the week and the reason that Tara desperately needed to get her hands on some caffeine soon, asked.

Blinking, Tara looked up from the stack of run sheets that she needed to finish before she could make that dream a reality and glanced over at her partner to find him sitting on the other side of the room, glaring at her. When he saw her looking at him, he mouthed, “I. Hate. You,” as his gaze flickered towards the woman who’d set off a psych patient in the back of their ambulance by telling him that Santa Claus wasn’t real.

Beyond hurt, Tara bit back a smile and said, “No, you should go for it.”

“Really?” Melissa said brightly, already pushing away from the table to go do just that.

“Really,” Tara said, nodding solemnly as she watched Melissa stop along the way to grab two Cokes from the fridge before she made her way over to Eric, whom she’d liked to point out looked really mad for some reason.

Unable to help but smile, Tara focused back on the stack of run sheets and-

“I’m not interested in you,” came the unexpected announcement that had her looking up to find Eric’s brother, Nathan, sitting next to her with a determined look on his face, which she could understand given the circumstances, but still…

“I’m sorry, but do I know you?” she somehow managed to ask with a straight face.

Eyes narrowing dangerously on her, he bit out, “Nathan,” and then added, “Eric’s brother.”

“I see,” she murmured, sounding thoughtful as she gestured towards Eric, who had managed to scare off their third rider and was now back to glaring at her, “He’s over there,” before focusing back on her work even as she debated grabbing a Coke for that boost of caffeine that she desperately needed.

“I’m not,” the man that had made it a point to glare at her whenever he saw her, said evenly.

“Not what?” she mumbled absently as she searched her notes to double-check the blood pressure on the last patient to make sure the run sheet was correct.

There was a slight pause and then, “Asking you out.”

“Okay,” Tara said, not bothering to spare him a glance and then, just because she knew how much it bothered him, she reached up and made it a point to run her hand over her short hair.

“You’re not my type,” Nathan added through what sounded like clenched teeth as she finished up the run sheet and moved onto the next.

“Okay,” she said, glancing at her watch to see how late it was and wondered if the Wendy’s on Clay Street was still open. Then again, she could actually go for some pancakes and Dave’s Dinner over on Charlton Ave was open twenty-four seven and had the best-

“I’m just making sure that we’re clear,” Nathan said, and if he hadn’t dropped by the station at two in the morning just to do this, she probably would have ignored him, but he had and she needed caffeine so…

“Got it, John,” she said, pushing her chair back with an understanding nod and a murmured, “It was nice to meet you,” barely sparing him a glance only to add, “Hey, Eric, your cousin Tim is here,” for good measure.


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