*Just finished the first chapter. I hope you like it. Please let me know what you think. I'd really appreciate it. :)
Madison Summers was never late, especially when it came to something as important as her work. Many people hated their jobs, but not Madison; she had loved taking pictures since she had gotten her first camera at age six. But today, on what could be the most important day of her career, she was late. This was her first trip to New York City and she'd decided to take a taxi, not knowing where anything was.
"That was your first mistake," she muttered to herself.
"The traffic in this city is terrible."
Forget about asking for directions. The two people she'd asked had looked at her like she had three heads. Then finally after scrambling around the city all morning she found the sign she was had been looking for. Running quickly down the sidewalk in the direction of the her destination she clutched her portfolio in her already sweating hand and cursed the city of New York, and it's people.
Just as she reached the steps her phone rang. Thinking it could be the editor she was supposed to have met twenty minutes ago she answered it.
"Mads! What is wrong with you? Your mother called me last night and said you gave John his ring back. While I think that's the best decision you ever made, I want to know why I am last to know."
"Hails, I'm so sorry but you know my mother, she never backs off. I didn't even tell her. John and her are like peas in a pod. He was the one who told her."
Knowing that her best friend would want all the details she shifted her purse and portfolio back over her aching shoulder and practically ran up the remaining steps. Madison made a mental note to have words with her mother later.
She had met Hailey three years ago when she first moved to L.A. Hailey, an up and coming fashion model, had needed a roommate and Madison had quickly responded to the ad. She had been looking for affordable places for weeks and Hailey's ad had been a blessing in more ways than one. They laughed when it turned out that Madison's first L.A. shoot had been the fashion show that Hailey was featured in. The rest as they say was history. Madison was so thankful to have found a best friend in Hails.
"Hailey!" she tried to quiet her friend so she could explain why she couldn't talk about this now. She'd finally reached the thirteenth floor.
"Can we talk about this later? I'm already really late for my meeting."
"Oh, shit Mads I'm sorry. National Geographic! That's always been your dream. Kick ass girl and call me when it's over. I want to know how it went and I want details about what happened with John," Hailey rambled excitedly.
"I promised you details about both. I won't leave anything－" There was a loud boom, screams and then silence.
"Mads?!? Madison are you there? MADISON!"
"I can't believe you're leaving the big city and moving back south. What does the south have that New York doesn't?"
Cole looked up from is paperwork, stretching his long, cramped up legs to glance at Rodgers before answering. "Southerners."
He said with a humorous glint in his sky blue eyes.
"Smartass. But seriously man, why?"
Letting out a deep breath Cole answered honestly. "It's time for me to stop running and go home."
Cole didn't hear Rodgers response, instead his mind drifted back to the last time he'd been home. He'd been twenty-three, fresh out of college and engaged to the love of his life. Not that that had worked out he thought with a shutter.
"Yo! Earth to Kendrick. You all right, man? Your eyes completely glazed over."
Shaking his head to clear the cobwebs, Cole looked up to see all the guys in the department staring at him, concern in their eyes. Man he'd miss these guys. They were like brothers to him but he knew the distance wouldn't change anything. No matter what these guys had his back just as he had theirs, it was a bond that nothing could break: a fireman's bond.
"Yeah. I'm fine, guys. Just reliving some memories better left in the past."
He could tell they didn't fully believe him and were waiting for him to say more but before he could the alarm went off.
The screaming was deafening and the people flying past made her dizzy. What was going on? Had something bad happened? She searched for her phone but doubted Hailey was still on the line. Just as she spotted it lying a few feet away someone smacked into her almost knocking her over again. What was it with these New Yorkers and knocking people over? If she ever made it to her meeting she swore she'd never come to this damn city again.
This time though the man stopped to help her up. Once she was on her feet he grabbed her ran and started running.
"What are you doing? Where are we going? Please let go of me," she pleaded with him, frightened.
"We need to get out of here. A plane has hit the building," he replied still dragging her along behind him.
Confusion and fear made her stop dead. A plane hit the building? That didn't make sense. The man looked back and told her to hurry, they didn't have much time to get out. Before she could move another loud boom sounded and when she fell this time her world went black.
Maneuvering through the crowd was more challenging than it had ever been before. It seemed like the whole city was running through the streets. Honking the horn was no use. No one was paying attention. It was utter chaos and Cole couldn't figure out why.
That's when he saw it. He had to blink several times before he could believe his eyes. Hell he still couldn't believe what he saw. Two planes had struck the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. What the hell was going on?
The sight was horrific and Cole knew that this was a sight that would stay with him forever. It seemed like a lifetime before their fire truck reached the Towers. People were everywhere. Some were crying and some were shouting for help.
Captain Taylor yelled directions out to Cole and the rest of the guys bringing Cole back to the task at hand: saving as many lives as humanly possible.
Sorting through the rubble was a challenge and a very dangerous one but knowing there could be survivors only made Cole work harder. Tossing aside chunks of metal carefully making sure not to miss anything, Cole thought he saw something.
"Hey guys I need some help over here," he heard one of the men say.
Everyone rushed to help except Cole who needed to know if what he saw was real. A few feet in front of him he saw what looked like a woman's hair. It was a beautiful brown with all sorts of lighter shades mixed in. Cole had only seen hair that beautiful once before.
Rushing over he knelt down and slowly began pulling the debris away revealing a beautiful but badly injured woman. Studying her face more carefully a sense of familiarity hit him. His body responded in a way that it had only once before. He didn't have time to analyze the feeling though because he needed to get this woman help immediately.
"Aiden," he yelled to his best friend and fellow firefighter. "Can you give me a hand over here? This woman desperately needs medical attention."
Aiden rushed over stumbling slightly as the metal debris gave way under his feet. "Whoa buddy, looks like she needs an ambulance," replied Aiden as soon as he saw the woman.
"You think?" Cole snapped sarcastically. "Get the stretcher ready while I bring her over."
Not wanting to injure her further Cole slowly lifted the woman and placed her on the stretcher Aiden had brought. The woman didn't move once not even to open her eyes, which worried Cole. He hoped it wasn't to late for her. As medics started buzzing around Cole hovered over her protectively wanting to make sure that no more warm came to her.
Captain Taylor approached and told Cole that he was to ride to the hospital with her. Cole started to argue thinking he would be more useful here helping to find more survivors but looking at the woman's face again he decided against saying anything. He wanted to know what would happen to this woman. Hopping up into the back of the ambulance he gently grabbed her still warm hand. The cuts were deep, the burns were bad but the bruises were the worst. He bowed his head and silently prayed she would be all right.
They made it to the hospital in record time. As soon as the ambulance doors opened the bright sunlight streamed in and the doctors whisked the woman away. Cole couldn't believe such a sunny beautiful day could be such a horrific one. He took his time making his way inside as to try and control the stream of emotions running through him.
Breathing in the fresh air did nothing to calm him and his thoughts drifted back to the woman. He needed to find out where they took her. There was no way that the doctors could keep him from being by her side.
Going around and asking every nurse and doctor he cam across where his mystery woman was got him nowhere. His frustration rising and the events of the day catching up with him Cole located a chair and plopped himself onto the cool hard plastic. Dropping his head in his hands he sighed loudly, drawing the attention of a nearby doctor. He came and stood next to Cole who had yet to look up.
"Is there something I can help you with, young man?" he asked.
With his head still buried in his hands Cole said, "I'm looking for someone."
The doctor took the empty seat next to Cole and rested his hand on Cole's leg. This made Cole take his hands away from his face and look at the older man sitting next to him. His nametag said "Jones" and he wore the same white coat that all doctors wear. Tired eyes peered at him through thick round glasses. Brown eyes that showed concern and genuine interest.
"Who are you looking for, son?" he asked still looking at Cole.
Another sigh escaped his mouth, "I don't know her name but she's about 5'8 with brilliant brown hair. I rode with her in the ambulance from the Trade Towers."
Dr. Jones straightened in his chair, "I know whom you're talking about. As it happens she is still getting some tests done."
It was Dr. Jones' turn to sigh. "There is no internal bleeding but she suffered a severe head injury and as of yet we don't know the extent of the damage."
"If you would like to wait a little longer I can let you see her after the tests are done. She may not be awake or know what happened so make sure not to frighten her."
Relief rushed over Cole at the doctor's words. "Thank you, Doctor. I appreciate that more than you know. I won't disturb her. I just want to see for myself that she is okay."
It took several more hours before all the tests were done. Doctor Jones made sure that he kept Cole informed of everything that was going on. The woman had some brain damage but they were still not sure to what extent. She still had yet to move or open her eyes and it made Cole think of sleeping beauty.
He refused to leave her side and somehow throughout the night had fallen asleep beside he bed in one of the ugliest most uncomfortable chairs he'd ever sat it. It wasn't until he felt a movement under his hand that he woke. Groggily he looked up at the woman who had filled his dreams. She still had her eyes closed but they opened as soon as he squeezed her hand.
She stared at him and said only one word, "Cole?"