Blood Obsession: Max

Dave Jordan weaved through midtown traffic. Max Buckley sat quietly in the passenger seat staring out the window through aviator sunglasses. His mouth was formed into a grim line. He did not take in the babble of his partner. Dave regaled Max with his participation in an academy buddy’s wedding party. “The bride’s mother was so uptight, she refused to let anyone bring a plus one unless they were married or engaged.” He laughed. “You should have seen her face when I opened her other daughter’s hotel room door the morning after the wedding.” Max shook his head. He was calculating how he was going to question a potential suspect to a burglary.

The radio cracked to life. A silent alarm was signaling a robbery in progress at an upscale clothing boutique. Dave hit the switch for the light on the dashboard. “We are two blocks out.” Max radioed that two plainclothes officers were responding.

The store sat in the center of the West 51st Street block. Dave turned off the light before turning onto the crowded street. Max signaled Dave with two fingers to approach the entrance from the left. He would take the left. The atmosphere of the store was cave like. Dim, dark lighting and loud music. The smell was an overpowering array of floral and musky perfumes. The two detectives scanned through the window. A lone woman stood at the counter in the center of the store. A man dressed in a sleek black snake skin suit leaned against the counter. Max could make out a small blued weapon. “He’s armed.” Max whispered. Dave smiled a knowing smile. Max pulled open the door. “I told you that a blender was not a good gift.” Dave bantered lightly. “Ok we are here. I’ll get her that slinky little red dress she wanted.” Max strode through the store. He automatically assessed the man. Tall. 6’2” tall about 175. When he got closer he saw a small gold earring. The look in the young sales girls eyes reminded him of the deer in the headlights.

Max approached the counter. “Hi doll face. I’m sorry to bother you but I need to get in an out quick. My girl wants that red dress.” He pointed to the ornately dressed manikin at the side of the floor.” The man at the desk whirled to face Max. When he did this, Dave placed his weapon next to his ear. “Don’t move, NYPD. You are under arrest.” The smartly dressed bad guy froze. Max watched his fingers flex over the trigger on his weapon. Calmly, Max arched an eyebrow and pointed his weapon between his eyes. “I don’t think you want to do that.” Hoping he would take the hint. He looked directly into Max’s eyes and gave up.

Dave handcuffed him and radioed in one in custody. At that point the store filled with uniformed police officers. Max handed off the weapon and turned his attention to the girl behind the counter. The adrenalin of the situation began to ebb. Max saw she was holing so tightly to the counter that her knuckles were white. She was trying desperately to maintain her composure. Max recognized the look and rapidly moved behind the young girl. He reached her just as her knocking knees gave out from under her. His big warm hands wrapped around her as he eased her to the floor. “Honey, put your head between your knees and take a breath for me.” His voice was filled with strength. “You are safe.” Her face was pale and covered with sweat from fear. Tears poured from her eyes and sobs wracked her chest. “Detective, do we need a bus.” A fresh faced cop asked him. Max nodded yes.”

He knelt beside her. “Honey, breathe for me.” He placed his hand at the small of her back. The young girl began to shake. Max slipped off his jacket and wrapped it around the girl. The simple sleeveless pink sheath offered her no protection from these shudders. He slipped to the floor and sat beside her placing a protective paternal arm around her. His broad chest was warm and tight. The ambulance crew arrived and as he tried to let them in, she grabbed onto him. His sweet smile soothed her. “It’s all right. Let these boys give you a hand. I’ll be right here.” Dave leaned over the counter and reached out a hand to help his partner off the ground. “Daddy. I’ll meet you at the hospital.” Max’s eyes twinkled at Dave’s knowing eye.

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Blood Obsession: Fire and Love

Bobbi snatched one of Markie’s cookies off the counter. The delicious oatmeal raisin confection melted in her mouth. She smiled as she stepped from the third floor appointment. “Breakfast of Champions.” The day was warm, sunny and inviting. She sucked in a breath wishing she was on her way to anywhere but work. Her body was still tingling from her first kiss with Max.

The subway stop was busy and hot. The smell of the city was wafting through the grates. She watched the people rushing to get to work or home. They moved engrossed in their actions, not paying any attention to the world around them. On the other hand, she saw it all: the woman in heels so high, she looked like she was going to fall after every step. The man talking loudly on his phone to his wife trying to explain that he spent the night before in the office while escorting a woman clearly not his wife. The mother taking her children to school and the two marine recruiters literally pressed into the uniforms. She held the steel pole and swayed with the moving car. All of a sudden, a bump disrupted her footing and she held tightly trying not to fall.

Thick smoke began to fill the train. Screams and coughing rolled through the derailed cars. Bobbi pulled her phone from her bag and called in the emergency advising the operator that she was onboard. She needed to figure out a plan of attack. Quickly she identified herself and advised the car’s occupants to stay low. As panic set in among the souls on the train, she did her best to prevent people from jumping onto the electrified track.

Within minutes, the city’s bravest began to gain access. Bobbi’s lungs felt scorched. Her eyes stung and her nose poured irritated by the acrid smoke. She pulled her badge from her bag and strung it around her neck. She stayed present in the car until the last passenger was evacuated.

Max strutted into the office carrying coffee for all his colleagues. Bob McCauley entered the squad room, a look of concern on his face. The one train derailed between 14th and 18th. There are reports of smoke and fire. “Bobbi is on board.” Anxiety ripped at his stomach. Her friends all immediately stood and took to the door. They split up. Half went to the 14th street station and Max and Dave Jordan and two others headed to 18th street.

Fire apparatus littered the street. Smoke continued to pour from the exits and EMS personnel were busy treating the injured. Max raked his fingers through his hair. His grey eyes were filled with fear. Dave Jordan approached the three star fire chief on scene. “We’ve got a cop on board the train.” The Chief crisply called into the radio. His dark eyes gave nothing away. But the smoke filling the air and the carnage displayed in the roadway said it all.

Firefighters held Max back as he tried to run into the fray. “It’s two dangerous man.” A burly firefighter grabbed him. “There’s no air down there.” Bobbi fought to breathe, the acrid smoke started to take its toll. Sooted, silver streaks stained her cheeks. Her swollen eyes leaked wet tears. The last person, an obese male who collapsed was cleared from the car. “C’mon Ma’am”, a young, tall firefighter with brown unkempt hair led her to the ladder that would free her from the car. As she climbed the rungs, he maintained a hand in the small of her back to support her rapidly weakening knees.

Bobbi reached the top of the ladder and her lungs no longer provided the needed air for her exertion. Her head spun and she collapsed. The firefighter caught her before she crashed back to the subway car floor. Moments later the smokey sunlight enveloped the pair. Max whipped around at the sight. His eyes filled with terror. His first instinct was to rip her from the firefighter’s arms. But common sense took over and he let the EMT’s treat her.

As cool oxygen filled her lungs her eyes opened. His grey stare met her hazel eyes. His lips caressed her sooty brow. “Princess.” He took her hand and brushed the back of it with his rough fingers. “Hi.” She coughed heavily. “Shhhh.” He winked at her. New sooty tears filled her eyes. He smiled at her with sexy eyes. His lips remained tight in a grim line unable to hide his worry. Her senses reeled at his protective touch. “Rest. Let them take care of you.” She closed her eyes, his face imprinted in her mind, his love filling her heart.