Fire and Ice: A Story of Courage, Devotion, Love, and Betrayal

Fire and Ice: A Story of Courage, Devotion, Love, and Betrayal

by Michael Erving


Publisher Michael Erving

Published in Literature & Fiction/Action & Adventure, Mystery & Thrillers/Mystery, Romance, Mystery & Thrillers, Literature & Fiction

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Book Description


A winter storm is bearing down on a Mid-Atlantic city. The firefighters of the PGFD are preparing for the coming blizzard. However, in one part of the city, workers are handling a tank of an extremely volatile substance. Before the day is over, multiple fires will be burning out of control.

Seen as heroes by the community, the men and women of the PGFD are also human. Just like everyone else, they share all the complexities of the human heart. This is a story of love, betrayal of the heart, and courage under fire. Some will not live to see the day end. This is their story.

Sample Chapter

Rescue Ambulance 1

“MERCY TRAUMA, THIS IS FD Rescue 1 with a patient report and trauma activation.” Harris was hanging a bag of normal saline as he talked on his cell phone. “How do you copy?’

“This Mercy Trauma, go ahead.”

“We are en route to your facility with a thirty-year-old white female. The patient was lying in a bed when a vehicle came through her house and struck her. The patient was thrown approximately thirty to forty feet through a window and a wall and landed in a yard. The patient has open fractures of both femurs and the left humerus and radial bones. There is crepitus in the hips. The patient has a GCS of three. Vital signs are blood pressure 80/40, pulse 130, and respiration 30 and shallow. She’s in sinus tach on the monitor. Patient is c-collared and spine board. I have two IVs in place, ringers and normal saline. Both wide open. She also has numerous lacerations to her body. She is intubated. ETA your location is about ten minutes.”

“We copy. Trauma 1 upon arrival.”

Morris was driving the ambulance through the snow-covered streets at, what seemed to Harris, a snail’s pace. But he knew that to help the patient you had to get them to the hospital. He ran through his mind the actions he and the rest of the firefighters on the scene of the accident had taken so far. It was pretty much a straightforward load-and-go call. They quickly got the woman on the spine board, placed a c-collar around her neck, and secured her to the board. In the ambulance he, Morris, and a firefighter from Ladder 4 began to start IVs, intubated her with a tube (to secure her airway), and assess her injuries. The firefighter from the ladder company volunteered to ride with them, and he was bagging the patient, pumping air into the patient’s lungs. The only thing that could really help the young mother of three children was an operating room.

The “Golden Hour” that all medics used for the care of a severely injured patient was ticking and she had used up many of her minutes already. Mercy Hospital Trauma Center was one of two Level 1 trauma centers in the county but the only one in the city. Yes, there were three Level 2 trauma centers within the city limits, but Mercy was the big boy on the block. It was part of the university’s training umbrella and many doctors and nurses trained at Mercy. It had several large trauma rooms, a helicopter landing area able to land three helicopters at one time, and an operating room and staff that was available twenty-four hours a day. It was where all Category A trauma patients within the city were transported. Harris was caring for a Cat A patient who was hanging on to life by a thread.

The ambulance pulled up to the ER off-loading area and Morris backed up the unit. What normally would have been a five- to ten-minute trip took nearly twenty in the blowing snow. Harris jumped out of the back of the unit and was pulling out the stretcher even before Morris had reached him. They, along with the member from Ladder 4, quickly wheeled it into the hospital door.

“Talk to me,” a voice yelled out to them as they entered Trauma Room 1. Numerous people in assorted colors of hospital scrubs were waiting for them.

“Thirty-year-old female who was thrown from her bed when a pickup truck crashed through her house and catapulted her through her bedroom window and wall about forty feet.” Even as Harris was speaking, he, Morris, and several people in the room were moving the patient from the stretcher to the hospital bed. “She has bi-lat femur fractures, several large lacerations to her head and body, and fractures to her left arm. Her vitals, as we were pulling up, were 75/40, pulse 130, respiration 30 and shallow. Her chest is clear and bi-lat expansion and abs are soft and non-tender.” The three firefighters backed away from the stretcher as Harris gave his report. Morris continued out of the room to clean the bloodstained stretcher and Harris continued on. “Two 16-gauge IVs, both wide open. One lactated ringers and one normal saline. I gave her at least 900 liters of both, but the BP continues to drop.”

Got it,” one of the doctors said.

Harris watched as the hospital staff turned their full attention to the patient. He stripped off his blood-covered latex gloves and threw them in the biohazard bag. Walking out, he knew that the woman had a slim chance for survival.

Not good, bro,” Morris said, wiping down the stretcher.

“I give her a day at the most.”

"If that,” Harris said. He had started writing the patient care report at the nurse’s station.

"What’s up, sweetness?” Harris looked up to see Morris starting to do his thing with one of the female staff members. But Harris had to admit that she was really pretty. Her tanned skin and blue eyes would get anyone’s attention. And the way her nurse’s uniformed gripped her body could make a gay guy want to go straight. At least for a night. “The last time I saw you was in my dreams last night. I been missing you all day, honey.”

The ER nurse just shook her head and smiled. “You are so full of shit. Greg.”

Morris’s face looked like he was truly hurt by her comments. “Truly, Linda. I dreamt about you last night. We were making passionate love on my big, beautiful bed.”

Brushing past him, Linda quickly said, “I ate my one-minute oatmeal this morning, Greg. I don’t need that or your itty-bitty ding-ding at night, too. We’ve all heard about your abilities, Greg.” His mouth was open but was silent. Morris stood there as the nurse walked away.

“I think your days of laying the pipe in this hospital are over,” Harris said, listening to the conversation. “Your name is mud around here. Kristal took care of that.”

Kristal was a respiratory technician that Morris dated for a few weeks. To say that their relationship was turbulent was a total understatement. Kristal was a very jealous woman who did not take well to Morris’ book full of numbers. After she broke his television one night, during one of her fits of anger, she made it known throughout the ER and wherever else she could, including on social media, that Morris was a lying piece of shit. And she hit him where it would hurt any man. She said he only lasted a minute or two in bed and that his penis was very small.

“Man, Kristal is really trying to fuck me over.” Morris, visibly upset, placed a clean sheet and blanket on the stretcher. “And, dude, that bitch was fucking crazy.” Harris had told his partner that his playing with so many women at one time would get him in deep trouble one day. And with Kristal’s help that day was fast approaching.

“I’ll be outside cleaning the unit.” Morris just wanted to hurry up and get out of the ER. The ambulance was full of bloodied sheets and bandages, and blood was pooled on the floor of the unit. “I still can’t believe that bitch is dogging me out like this,” he said as he wheeled the stretcher out the door. “She’s on Zoloft and Prozac, but I’m the bad one around here?”

0800 Rescue

Ambulance 15

THE RESCUE AMBULANCE SLOWLY MADE its way down the snow-covered street. People were heeding the mayor’s advice and were already heading home. Beckway Boulevard was bumper-to-bumper traffic already, and, of course, tempers were flaring and horns were blowing. Danielle Gifford watched the traffic and the people walking in the blowing snow. It was cold and people were bundled up against the wind, but she quickly turned her attention back to the mobile data terminal and continued to complete her report.

Kevin Patton looked over at her as he drove the unit. He slid his hand over and caressed hers. The softness of her fair black skin and her scent always excited him. She had small lips and a straight nose, products of mixed parentage. Her curly black hair was braided, but it still came down to the middle of her narrow shoulders. She was only five foot five but her body stood out with her huge breasts. She was a little plump for her height but the workout program that he’d designed for her was working well.

From the moment he saw her ten years ago, in paramedic school, he had a strong desire to be with her. Though they were in different departments at the time, he always kept up with her on Facebook. When she joined the PGFD, somehow the two ended up on the same RA. They instantly hit it off. He was always joking about the women he dated and she talked about her husband. But the job and the things they saw also gave them things to talk about.

Their relationship started off innocently—a telephone call here or a text there to discuss the calls of the shift. Next, Danny started to call Kevin on the way home from work. Again, innocent enough, but they would stay on the phone for the entire time it took for her to get home which was about forty-five minutes. They started to meet for breakfast after the night shifts—especially on the days that her husband was working his second job. Again, all innocent-looking, but the conversations started to become more sexual in nature. Kevin would talk about oral sex or make jokes about having a small penis. She would laugh at him, saying all the women that called his phone must love it. He was constantly getting phone calls or text messages.

One day, while sitting in a parking lot doing a report, he got the nerve up, leaned over and kissed her. First she recoiled back but her look told him it was okay. On another morning, while it was still dark, they were in a parking lot covering another district. Both were in the back, he on the stretcher and she on the bench resting. With fear, he got up and leaned over to her. She was on her stomach but he turned her over and she did not resist. Their lips softly touched each other and his tongue explored her mouth. His chest pressed against her breasts and he could feel her breath get deeper as his arms wrapped around her. That was the start of their sexual relationship.

Danielle looked over at him and smiled. His warm touched felt so good. She could not imagine a better lover than Patton. He was 190 pounds of chocolate muscle, and she loved the way he held her. Shaved bald and with an infectious smile he was a great looking dark skinned black man. And his tongue was the greatest. He did things to her, and for her, that no man had ever done before. She loved to make love to him and they did that every chance they could. Even sneaking and doing it in the back of the ambulance, parked under a tree in a dark parking lot. She could never get enough of him. It was difficult at times for the two of them to be together, especially since her husband worked the same shift as she did. But they would make time for each other. Sneak over to his place for their intense lovemaking sessions or to a concert at a club in another part of the county. Dinners, lunches, movies, they spent as much time with each other as they could. She even started calling or texting him when she went out of town with her husband. She would text him when she got to the location and call him whenever she was alone.

She even found herself being jealous of his long-time girlfriend, or any woman that talked to him. Once in the ER she was furious when a female paramedic from a private company started to flirt with him. Her emotions got the best of her and she made it clear to the female paramedic whose man she was trying to talk to. Even one of the staff members saw what was going on and pulled her to the side, but not before she ordered Kevin to go get the unit back in shape. It was an intense affair, one she thought that she could control. But she soon found herself losing her composure. They had to hide their affair from the others at the station, but some knew what was happening. One of the other females at the firehouse said it was the way they looked at each other, not the normal partner look, but one of longing. “It’s one of the worst-kept secrets in the firehouse, Danny,” the woman told her.

The day she said those words were a shock to her. Even as she was writing her report her mind drifted back to that day. It was the moment when she had an orgasm for her third time during another one of their intense sexual encounters that she whispered, “I love you” to him. It surprised not only him (as he had been telling her that he loved her) but it was still a surprise that she said it to him. They had stopped seeing each other for a few months. She had told him that the relationship was too intense and was screwing with her head. It helped, after their breakup, that she got detailed to another shift and unit on the other side of the city. She was there for three months. But the first night they worked a shift together, those feelings she had flooded back into her heart and head. It immediately caused some problems with her husband. She became distant and could not enjoy sex with him again. She lied to herself and said it was because she was tired. No, it was because she had started working with the man she loved again. One night, while coming back from a call, Kevin reached over and tried to hold her hand. She pulled away and told him to stop, that things were not going to be the way they were before. That she loved her husband and that Kevin truly loved the woman he was dating. But later that night, she was in her bunkroom alone and she texted him and asked him to meet her in the unit. Kevin was walking out of the male bunkroom as he read the text. For the next two hours, they sat in the RA and talked about everything. She felt so comfortable with Kevin. It was a feeling she’d never had with anyone before. She just felt safe with him. Their relationship started over again, but this time it was different. It was far more emotionally driven than before.

“I love you, Danny,” he said, looking over at her. “Always have and always will.”

She smiled, typing her report, and thinking about the last eight months. It had been great. “I love you too, Kev.” She leaned over to him and kissed him on the cheek. Her breast pushed against her coat; Patton always joked as to how she got her big breasts from her black mother but a flat ass from her white father.

In her eyes, there was no other man for her than Patton. The last eight months with her husband had been a strain, to say the least. Although he was a loving man and great provider, his talents in the bed were far inferior to her lover sitting in the unit with her. For months, whenever they made love, she would never have an orgasm. But with Kevin, sometimes just the mere caressing of his hands on hers would make her climax. It was like he knew what worked and what didn’t. He once told her that the mere sight of her would get him excited. She didn’t tell him that many times, when she saw him walk into the station, she would cream her panties and would have to go to the bathroom to wipe herself. Once she was so hot for him that when they walked into his apartment, she immediately pulled off her uniform pants and fell to the floor, her legs wide open, as if her body itself were saying, “Get in this right now!” She loved the feel of sucking on his hard penis while she caressed his balls. Yep, Kevin had her pussy and mouth whipped for his dick.

“What are we eating for breakfast, babe?” Kevin turned onto the interstate and merged into the traffic. “Go back to the station or get something on the way there?”

“I think we better get something really quick. Grab some food for tonight and then hunker down at the station. I think we are going to get stuck here tonight. Hopefully it’ll be a slow, boring night.” She could feel her vagina starting to twitch as she looked over at him.

“Whatever my baby wants, my baby gets.” He squeezed her hand and blew her a kiss.

“The lottery number will be great. Not the millions but just a $100,000 will do.” “How about movie, or lunch and a back rub tomorrow when we get off?”

“Looking forward to it.”

Her cell started to ring. She sighed looking at the number. Putting her finger to her mouth she softly said, “Shhh.”

“Him,” Kevin said, looking disgusted.

“Hey, baby,” Danny said into the cell. “How’s my honey doing? Staying warm?”


Excerpted from "Fire and Ice: A Story of Courage, Devotion, Love, and Betrayal" by Michael Erving. Copyright © 2016 by Michael Erving. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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Author Profile

Michael Erving

Michael Erving

Michael Erving is the pen name for Kenneth Padgett. Ken has been involved in emergency services and the US military for over 25 years. He has held the positions firefighter, fire company officer, chief officer, and emergency manager. Ken has been involved in some of the United States' largest disasters, including Hurricanes Katrina, Gustav, and Ike, the BP oil spill, and numerous large-scale fires. Currently, he is a Flight Paramedic, caring for critically injured or ill patients during transport by fixed wing jet aircraft or by helicopter. This is his first work of fiction.

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