(an excerpt from Final Sin)
“Matt…” Julie tried to stop him.
Matt appeared at the kitchen doorway and stopped short when he saw Jake. He noted Jake’s half-undressed state and Julie’s swollen lips as she came up beside him.
“Good morning, Matt.” Jake faced him calmly and was aware of the derision in the younger man’s eyes as he correctly assessed the scene.
Matt answered him gruffly. “Good morning officer.” He had told her he didn’t like the guy. Matt couldn’t help it, Julie was like a sister to him and he didn’t like it when he saw the predatory look of hunger in Jake’s eyes.
Julie went to Jake’s side. “Matt has some paperwork we have to fill out.”
“Yeah, I heard.” His voice was tender as he looked down at her. “I’ll go finish getting dressed now.” He bent to place a quick kiss on her lips.
As Jake passed Matt, both men’s eyes met with a matching hostility. Julie couldn’t ignore the tension between them.
Matt went to the cabinet for a coffee cup. “So, he got you in the sack after all.”
“Don’t make it sound like something sordid, Matt.”
“Hey Jules, the man has a son whose age is closer to yours than you are to him.” Julie had told Matt about the broken date when he called on the phone last night. “You know, a few years ago you could even have been babysitting for the boy. He’s like some pervert who would’ve seduced the teen-age babysitter.”
“I’m not exactly a teen-ager Matt.”
Matt sounded disgusted. “So what are you doing, huh? Figure when he’s too old to pop you, the son will be the right age?” He cringed as soon as he said it.
“You are a pig!” Her voice was filled with hurt.
“I’m sorry Jules.” Matt was contrite. “I wasn’t thinking. That was stupid.”
She ignored his apology.
“I just meant that I think he’s too old for you.”
“Age has nothing to do with it, Matt. Jake is a really nice guy.” And a fantastic lover, Julie thought quietly.
“He talked you into bed right after he left his ex-wife. How nice is that? For him, maybe. But he used you.”
“I asked him to come over and I was very clear that I knew what was going to happen. I wanted to go to bed with him.” Julie sounded annoyed. “So just mind your business, Matt. You may be my best friend and I know you mean well, but butt out about this. I can make my own decisions in this area.”
Both were silent as Julie got two more coffee cups from the cabinet. She closed the door a little more forcefully than she meant to. Matt sat at the table and watched quietly as she buttered a couple of slices of toast. She was putting milk and sugar to the table when Matt finally broke the silence.
“So, how are you feeling this morning?” His concern sounded genuine. He was sure she had made a mistake, but he would never want Julie to have regrets. But he was sure that the last thing she needed in her life was this cop….
It was a unique relationship that fostered between paramedic partners. They worked together to save lives and were there to console each other when they couldn’t save someone. No matter how much someone else tried to feel compassion, you couldn’t possibly understand the emotions unless you were there yourself. Jake was a cop and he had a pretty good idea of what she faced on a daily basis, but he didn’t work by her side the way that Matt did. Julie wondered if she could even try to make Jake understand the depth of her friendship with Matt.
Hyphema: Bleeding in the eye caused by trauma…
Matt Garratti, a paramedic from New York, moves his wife and son to North Carolina to work at his dream job as a flight medic. Pakistani born Sudah, his wife, receives frosty stares and insensitive comments from their new neighbors.
Before long, Matt wonders if he is pursuing his dream or bringing his family into a nightmare which they may never wake from.