This is one of my favorite scenes. Mostly because James is extremely annoyed.
‘Mr. Sheriff’s Deputy with the extra smelly cologne’ had his hand on her leg and a soft look on his face. “You okay?”
“Yeah, I’m fine.” Her brow narrowed and wrinkled between her eyes. It was a look she often gave when trying to figure something out. There was something off about him, yet something overwhelmingly pleasant as well. “You good?” She didn’t know why she asked it back, but she couldn’t help herself.
He nodded and smiled, his white teeth showing and his eyes crinkling in the corners. “Yeah, for now. Don’t ask me tonight though.”
James cocked her head to the side reading his name badge. She hadn’t seen him around and in a town this size she knew all the officers of law. “Deputy Taylor.”
“Heath Taylor, at your service ma’am.” He bowed his head slightly.
“First off, don’t call me ma’am.” James jumped down from the truck and started for the back to check on her supplies. “Second, I’m James.”
“James? What’s your first name?” He followed her and stood closely as she opened a storage hold, the hinges swinging up until she set the metal leg in its locked position so she could dig around inside.
She was having a slight issue with how close he was to her, but let it slide without comment. “James Matthews. My mother liked jokes.” The last statement was bland and obviously not the truth. She shut the door and looked to her left noting that the people from her station were starting to come back; she could feel their adrenaline running around and their minds whirling. She knew what each was thinking and feeling without looking at their faces. Adrenaline was always a good sign and one that she took to steady herself. The boys started to round up all the supplies, used and un-used while cleaning up the area as best they could.
“What you did today was really brave,” his voice was hushed and his eyes cascaded across her face, tracing the lines of her cheeks and jaw.
Taking a moment to pause, James realized that she had no idea what she should say. She was never good with compliments, but this one was extremely odd coming from him—he didn’t seem like the type to give out compliments. “Ummm… thanks. Just doing my job, you know.” And really, she was. This time she had done little outside of her job description. “You know we’re not just fire anymore, we’re fire and rescue.” Giving a quirk of her lips and showing some teeth in the smile, she hoped it was enough for a quiet hint.
“I love your eyes.”
James stepped back and blinked: obviously not enough for a dismissal or a hint. She really had no idea how to reply to his comment, and she was beginning to feel rather uneasy.
“I mean, they’re so unique and expressive.” He amended, trying to explain away his sudden outburst that had clearly made James uncomfortable.
Air was slowly pulled into her lungs and she let it out in a rush deciding on what to say. “Yeah, everyone says that, try to be a bit more original.” Turning on her heel, she made for where her Battalion Chief was standing and away from the nosy and creepy deputy.
All Rights Reserved Copyright 2013 Adrian J. Smith