Read The Vampire and The Paramedic Online

Authors: Jamie Davis

Tags: #vampire, #paranormal, #angel, #werewolf, #paramedic, #medical romance, #paranormal adventure romance, #medical emergency, #vampire action romance

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BOOK: The Vampire and The Paramedic
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“That’s quite alright, James,” she said. “I
think I responded in an inappropriate fashion myself. I should have
realized that our cultural differences were getting in the way. I
assure you that a sincere thank-you is all I require for my
services. I like what I do, and hope that enjoyment shows through
in the effort I put into my work.”

“It does show, and your hard work is
appreciated,” James said. “I have heard from several members of our
community about how pleased they are to be able to access your
services when they need medical help. It’s one of the reasons I
reached out to Dr. Spirelli about connecting with you on this
internship. It is my hope that you will be able to better
understand the people you are treating by living and working among
us for a time.”

“I look forward to that,” Brynne responded.
“I’m curious on how you would propose we begin?”

“There are different gathering places around
Elk City where we congregate,” James offered. “I think our time
will be best spent going to some of these gatherings over the next
several nights and meeting the Unusuals there. They are just as
interested in learning about what it is that you do as you are
about them. We have never had what you would call open access to
high-quality health care services.”

“Before our program here in Elk City, what
did you do for care?” Brynne asked.

“We had some human doctors who worked with
us, usually for greatly inflated prices. There were also a limited
number of Unusual healers and physicians, but they were few and far
between. Most of us who needed such services relied on their own
folk medicines, what they could get at a local drugstore, or simply
their own healing powers, if they had any.”

“Do many of you have ‘healing powers’ of your
own?”

“Only a few of us are what you might refer to
as resilient when it comes to injury. Vampires and Lycans are the
ones you’ll most likely encounter like that. As with Rudolph the
other night, if something doesn’t rapidly kill us, we can heal
ourselves of most injuries, given enough time,” James said.

Brynne nodded. She likely already knew that
much, but James could sense she wanted to know more. That was,
after all, why she was here in his home. James rose from his chair
gesturing to Brynne to do the same.

“I think we should go to the first of those
gatherings I was referring to,” James said coming around the desk
towards her. He smiled as he approached. “Did you bring a change of
clothes as requested? Your uniform will make you stand out and make
if harder for you to mingle and mix with the crowd.”

“I did,” She answered. “I have several
options with me. Where are we headed tonight?”

“I thought we’d take in a dinner club,” He
said. “They serve unusual dishes for Unusuals’ tastes. I thought it
would be a low-key way to offer you a look at many different
members of our community without too much pressure to interact
right away. I would say business casual attire is suitable for this
location. Nothing too dressy is required.”

“What will you be wearing?” She asked.

“I have appearances to maintain,” He said,
chuckling to himself. “I’ll be wearing a black sports coat over
this shirt and slacks.” He gestured to his own shirt and pants.

She looked at him for a moment and then
picked up her shoulder bag. “I have a few things in the car
downstairs. Is there a place I can change?”

“Yes, I’ll have Celeste go with you. She can
show you to an apartment with an office I’ve made available to you
while you are working with me on this project. Feel free to use it
for work, and as a crash pad if you need it while you’re here.”

Celeste entered the room from a nearby
hallway. “Did I hear my name?”

“Yes Celeste, please take Brynne down and get
her settled in the apartment we arranged for her. She’s going to
get a change of clothes from her car for tonight’s endeavors.”

“Brynne?” Celeste said, leading the way to
the elevator. “If you come with me, I’ll help you pick out
something from what you brought that will be perfect for tonight.
I’m sure he wasn’t much help in that department.” She shot James a
glance with a smile and led the paramedic from the room to the
elevator and downstairs.

CHAPTER SIX

 

 

James checked his phone for any text messages
again as he waited in the basement garage for his companion for the
evening. The last text from Celeste was “She’ll be right down.” In
woman code, that could mean anything from ten to thirty minutes.
That was something that had certainly never changed over the
centuries. The ladies took time to prepare for even the most
innocuous event. Tonight was a casual dinner. He had put on a
sports coat, and he was ready to go. He checked his watch again and
looked up as he heard the elevator doors open into the underground
parking garage below the apartment building.

He arched
an eyebrow in reaction to what he saw. Paramedic Brynne Garvey
cleaned up nice. He’d have to ask how Celeste had been able to make
such a transformation in such a short time. She wore form-fitting
black leggings with black high heels. Above that she wore a light
gray, loose fitting tee-shirt with a dark green fitted blazer. Her
silver cross pendant still nestled at the base of her throat. She
fingered it absently as she stepped out of the elevator. She looked
up at him, and he saw her blush as she caught him watching her. She
crossed the garage to where he was standing with his silver Lexus
sedan.

“I hope this is suitable?” she asked. “I know
that casual dinner attire means different things to different
people. Celeste helped me pick out a few things from my selection
of outfits. Most of the people I know would have dressed in jeans
and a tee-shirt given that description.”

“It’s absolutely perfect,” James said. “You
look marvelous. I’ll be proud to have you as my companion for the
evening.” He opened the passenger door for her as she walked up.
“Shall we go?”

Brynne smiled as she climbed into his car.
James sensed her surface mix of emotions and was surprised by the
slightest hint of satisfaction at his reaction to her outfit. Some
things were universal for humans or Unusuals. It never hurt to
compliment a woman on her clothing before a night out on the
town.

“I have to say, James, this is the strangest
thing I’ve done as part of my job as a paramedic,” she said as he
settled into the driver’s seat.

“I talked with Doctor Spirelli about what I
wanted to do. He agreed with me that it would require something
different. We want you to blend in and meet people on their own
terms,” James said. “If you were in uniform, it would be
off-putting to some. This way most will see you as a human on a
dinner outing with me. Perhaps you are an associate of mine, and
that puts you in the realm of someone they can trust. If we do this
right, that initial feeling of trust can be parlayed into trust for
your work on the ambulance later on.”

“If you say so,” Brynne said. She put on her
seat belt and shifted to be more comfortable in her seat. He
thought she was a little uncomfortable being this close to him in a
confined space. She kept toying with the cross pendant at her
throat.

“That’s a pretty necklace you have,” James
offered as they drove out of the underground garage and onto the
nighttime streets of Elk City. “Did you get that to wear just
because of me? I assure you that you are completely safe in my
presence, Brynne.”

“My supervisor, Mike Farver, gave it to me
when I started working on the Station U paramedic program,” she
said dropping her hands to her lap. “He said we all had to have
some protection from those who might wish to harm us while on the
job. He said, ‘Some medics wear bulletproof vests. We wear
crosses.’” She looked over at him. “You are not offended by this,
are you?”

“Not at all my dear,” James chuckled. “I’m
nearly old enough to remember the early days of Christianity. It’s
had its ups and downs but overall has offered much good to the
world.” He cast a sideways glance at her as he drove. “What, you’re
surprised by a vampire who has something nice to say about
religion?”

“Well actually, yes,” Brynne replied. “Does
that mean that this holy symbol has no effect on you at all?”

“Oh, no,” James said. “If you held that out
in defiance of me, were I to come at you, it would work. I should
say, it would work if you believed in the religion behind it, that
Jesus Christ is your savior. In that case, I would be forced aside.
It has more to do with the strength of your beliefs than mine.
Without strong belief, it’s just a piece of jewelry.”

“Interesting,” She said, mulling over the new
information. “That wasn’t what we learned. We were told that a
cross would fend off some hostile Unusuals in a dangerous
situation.”

“It has to do with the individual’s
underlying beliefs,” James offered. “It doesn’t have to be a cross.
Any religious symbol, blessed by a cleric of that belief system
would work. I remember a particularly annoying Rabbi in Barcelona
who was turning out silver Stars of David for his Temple
congregation that kept my entire coven at bay there back in the
17th Century.”

“So you admit to feeding on people, on humans
in your past?” Brynne said, her hand back fiddling with her
cross.

“We all have a past, my dear,” James said.
“Once upon a time we Unusuals were both hunters and hunted. We were
killed on sight merely because we were different. Most of us who
had to feed on human blood tried not to kill our prey. Most of us
believed in letting our prey live, if only so as to not draw
attention to our presence. That has all changed in the last hundred
years or so. This is a new age of cooperation between the human and
Unusual communities, albeit in secret. It is why you are here with
me tonight. We hope to become more integrated into human society
than ever before. This project is a step in that direction.”

“I see,” Brynne said.

They rode on in silence for a few minutes
before James turned into a street-level parking lot in the
Restaurant District of downtown Elk City. Brynne looked around and
then at over at James. He paid the attendant and pulled his car
into one of the empty slots. Only then did he notice Brynne’s
stare. She had a curious look on her face.

“What is it?” James asked.

“I’ve eaten down here many times,” Brynne
said. “I don’t remember there being any Unusual establishments
here.”

“We don’t advertise our presence, Brynne. You
know that. Besides, what should a restaurant that caters to
Unusuals look like or advertise?” James asked.

“I don’t know,” Brynne stammered in reply. “I
just thought I’d know, you know? Because of my job.”

“Well, that’s why we are here,” James said
opening his door. “It’s time to begin your true education on us.
Shall we?” He got out of his side of the Lexus and waited for her
to emerge.

Brynne nodded and opened her door, climbing
out of the car and looking around. James walked around towards her
and then gestured to the sidewalk nearby.

“It’s just a block or so down the
street.”

The two walked side by side down the street.
James inclined his head in recognition from time to time when a
fellow Unusual would pass and nod to him in deference. They arrived
in front of the restaurant he had chosen. The sign on the front of
the building read “Sabatani’s.” Brynne stopped and looked at
him.

“You’re kidding,” She said. “Sabatani’s? But,
I’ve eaten here several times.”

“What kind of business would it be to turn
away paying customers just because they were different?” James
said. “Of course they serve humans. The owner of this restaurant is
one of the best Italian chefs in the world. He just can’t advertise
who he is because he’s supposed to be dead, many times over. That’s
the challenge we face in a human world with human lifespans. For
those of us who are longer lived, we have to uproot ourselves and
move around quite frequently to avoid drawing attention to who we
are.” He opened the door and gestured for her to precede him
inside.

A well-dressed hostess in a tight black
cocktail dress came over as soon as they entered. She had long
curly blond hair with an inch-wide streak of bright green dyed into
her hair on one side.

“Ah, Mr. Lee,” She said. “We were told by
your assistant to expect you.” She picked up two menus and a wine
list from the podium in front of her and turned back to them. “If
you’ll follow me.” She led them into the restaurant to a booth in
the back corner. It offered some privacy but gave them a good view
of the whole room from its vantage point.

“This is perfect, Shelby,” James said. “Thank
you.”

James waited until the hostess had left
before speaking again to Brynne. “Any guesses about our
hostess?”

Brynne looked up from her menu. “Huh?”

“Our hostess,” James repeated. “Do you have
any guesses about her Unusual status or type?”

“Um, no,” Brynne replied. She looked out to
the where the hostess was chatting with another patron by the
entrance to the restaurant. “I hadn’t thought about it. Is everyone
who works here an Unusual?”

“No, probably not,” James said. “But she is.
You should start looking at everyone around you and look for clues
that might tell you if someone is one of us or not. You could also
try to discern what type of Unusual you’re dealing with. In
Shelby’s case, she’s a Dryad, a wood nymph. She inhabits a tree in
the park not too far from here in sort of a symbiotic relationship.
That streak in her hair is not dye but signifies her link to the
tree. It’s chlorophyll and in a pinch, without food, she can turn
sunlight into sustenance.”

“You’re B.S.ing me,” Brynne said, quirking a
smile.

“No, I’m not,” James said. “Brynne, I am very
serious about this project, and I will not lie or mislead you about
our people. I will answer any question you put to me truthfully if
I can, and I will try to educate you about as many kinds of us as I
am able in our few, short days together.”

BOOK: The Vampire and The Paramedic
2.76Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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