Don’t forget, I’m looking for thankful entries to use here throughout November. Spots are filling up. Learn more here.
If you love reading fiction, you’re in the right place. If you have a stir to write fiction, you’re absolutely in the right place. This week I’m hosting Friday Fiction. Below you will see my entry and let’s pray you also see the link thing so you can enter your fiction entry.
Today I’m sharing another short story surrounding one of the characters in my contemporary romance WIP, Spectacular Falls. Last round I introduced you to Kyle Swarthmore. This story is about the sheriff, single mom Carla Rowling. I enjoyed coming up with her story as it gave me insight as to why she acts the way she does in my novel. I hope you enjoy it.
Don’t forget to read the others and leave them a comment!
Protect and Serve
Carla Rowling hopped off the cold exam table and resolved to look the doctor in the eye. The same Adirondack area doctor that delivered her just produced his own news.
“Good thing about Speculator Falls, Carla. Everybody takes care of each other. It’s going to be okay. I can see Sara Bivins signing up to babysit as soon as you tell everyone.” Carla noticed although she made the effort to look at him, he didn’t return the favor. Once he handed her the paperwork the good doctor turned on his heel, walked to the door, and left for his next patient.
It took two weeks before Carla worked up the nerve to tell him. Wayne Peterson dominated her every thought only three months ago. He was a Herkimer County Community College alumnus sharing his experience during a college fair in Utica. Carla wanted to know about the Criminal Justice program. She got so much more from visiting that table. She remembered his first words to her like a favorite song.
“Let me guess. Visual and Performing Arts major?” His tropical blue eyes seized her before she reached the literature table. She ran her fingers through her light brown hair and laughed.
“Hardly. Criminal Justice. This fall, I hope.” She stepped to the table and scanned for the CJ brochures. One appeared right in front of her.
“Here you go. I’m a paramedic, proud Herkimer CCC grad. Wayne Anderson.” He extended his hand and gave hers a tight squeeze. She matched his strength and returned his flirtatious gaze.
“Carla Rowling. So, Wayne, what made you think Visual and Performing Arts?”
“Easy. You’re a beautiful piece of work to watch.”
What eighteen-year old knows enough to stay far away from such buttery words? The few boys in her Speculator Falls senior class were like brothers. Listening to Wayne made Carla feel important. When he asked her out she felt honored. That night when he kissed her with a bare restrain, she felt valued. Her feelings and his touches accelerated in the fast time their relationship developed. When he invited her for dinner at his place she felt grown up. When one thing led to another before they even touched their food, she felt loved.
None of those feelings lasted long.
Carla couldn’t help shaking the feeling soon after that night that Wayne was distant. His reasoning made sense. He worked full time. She was prepping for finals. The distance between dates became a giant span. His phone calls stopped. When she left the doctor’s office she knew his number by heart. She wondered if he even remembered hers.
She went alone to his work, despite her best friend offering to go. She wanted to be a sheriff no matter the life growing inside her. The career choice and status demanded mental strength. Carla knew it had to start somewhere. Seeing Wayne look up and grimace at her when she found him didn’t make her task easier.
“Carla, hey. I’m kinda surprised to see you here.” The flirtatious eyes were gone.
“I need to talk to you. In private.” She took the first step towards the break room, praying Wayne would follow. When she turned on the light and stepped inside, she saw him two paces back. He started to talk before entering the room.
“Look Carla, since you’re here, I guess it’s a good time to tell you that I think we need to cool off…”
Carla’s voice shook but she stood with shoulders back and eyes fixed right on his. He seemed to register shock at first. Then his eyes clouded over, revealing another layer to Wayne Anderson Carla never took the time to see.
“I thought you should know.”
“Well, congratulations.” His voice was flat.
“That’s all you have to say?” Carla held her voice steady.
“You don’t mean that this is my problem, do you? Carla, c’mon. As fast as you raced to bed with me, how could I believe for a second that I was the only one? You might think you’re saddling me with this but even by the slim chance this issue is mine, I’m out. I want nothing to do with this. Or. You.” His accusations penetrated her like gunfire.
She fought the growing lump in her throat and dread in her belly. “You need to be sure, Wayne Anderson. I promise if I go out that door, I will never come back.” Her words weren’t even out and she knew. Wayne moved past her fast enough that she lost her footing. He was long gone before she had the chance.
As she drove back to Speculator Falls to tell her family and friends she spotted the college brochure on the floorboard. The bold words jumped off the page.
Criminal Justice. Our future law enforcement officers swear to protect and serve.
Carla reached for her middle abdomen.
Protect and serve.
The phrase just took on a whole new meaning.