I'm Only Here for the Beard

By: Lani Lynn Vale


My brows rose. “I wouldn’t freak out over something so trivial,” I informed her. “Now steal my cookies that I brought for dinner and I can’t make that same promise.”

She graced me with a smile and I forgot how to breathe.

She really was beautiful, even in the ugly white shirt that Allegiance made us wear.

It looked like it swallowed her whole, and I wondered if the one she was wearing was donated like my first one had been. At least her pants looked new.

The company was slowly transitioning to blue tops and blue bottoms with a white reflective stripe down the sides.

And fuck, but what looked butt ass ugly on most women, she filled out like a goddamned wet dream.

Even her little tactical boots were cute. I didn’t realize that women’s feet came in such a small size. Was she even in adult footwear?

“Can you even lift a person?” I found myself asking.

She froze, turned to face me and nodded her head. Her hands were wrapped around all of her things that she was hastily shoving back into her bag, and I nearly laughed at how pissy she looked.

“I’m sorry. It’s just that you’re tiny. I was curious.” I held my hands up, dropped my backpack to the ground and walked back to the living room where I parked my ass in my favorite chair right in front of the TV.

It took her ten more minutes of moving her things before she joined me, and by the time she sat on the couch I was curious if she had something against men. She kept staring at me like I was going to jump up and bite her.

I flipped to my favorite station and had just put my hands up behind my head when the tones dropped.

Every fucking time.

Get comfortable? Tones drop.

Taking a shit? Tones drop.

Getting gas? Tones drop.

Eating out? Tones drop.

Sighing, I slowly let the foot of the recliner down and walked behind the woman who was about ten steps in front of me.

She was in the passenger seat of the medic when I got there and I smiled.

I did not ride in the passenger seat if I wasn’t in the back. I hated it. Not having control of the wheel literally drove me fucking nuts.

That’d also been why I’d requested this particular shift with another medic so I wasn’t stepping on any toes with the basics who were usually the ones to drive.

“Do you want to take lead?” I asked.

She looked at me and nodded, pressing the button that let our dispatch know that we were in the medic and on our way.

Okay then.

Did she speak at all? I wasn’t sure.

Thirty minutes later, I secretly thanked the good lord above that she’d volunteered to take the call.

I turned the sirens on and accelerated slowly, being careful not to go too fast in case my partner, Naomi, (I had to get her name from her name badge because she still hadn’t told me) was standing up in the back.

Which was likely since she was about to catch the baby that was about to fly straight out of the patient’s vagina.

Maneuvering the streets of Mooresville, I made my way hurriedly to the hospital while still obeying most of the traffic laws.

I was thanking my lucky stars, too. In the nine and a half years I’d been a paramedic, I had not had to deliver one single baby, and I would hopefully keep it that way.

“Shit!”

Uh-oh. That didn’t sound good.

“Oh, my God. Did I just poop?”

I winced.

“Don’t worry, baby,” the father that was riding in the passenger seat responded to his laboring wife. “The doctor said that was normal.” He turned to me and whispered, “That’s normal, right?”

I barely contained the urge to laugh.

“Yeah,” I confirmed. “From what I hear, it is normal.”

The soon to be daddy nodded, comforted by my words, and returned his gaze back behind him.

Did I relay the amount of relief pouring through me at not having to deliver this child?

I could do anything.

Blood, gore, exposed bone. Decapitated heads. Gunshot wounds. Vomit. Piss. Shit. But childbirth? Hell fucking no. That squigged me out.

As we passed the last street before the turnoff to the hospital, I heard the woman on the cot give an almighty screech, and then a few moments later came Naomi’s ‘you have a baby girl’ as I was pulling into the bay.

I grinned at the father, who looked as white as a sheet.

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