Strange Brew, Chapter 11

  • Posted on April 22, 2023 at 2:48 pm

A quick recap of the Story Thus Far: Rural paramedic Nettie Hastings finds herself in the middle of a flurry of unexplained overdose calls, and has begun putting clues together linking the source to her own hometown. She and her former lover, author Terry Wilder, suspect the involvement of police chief George Fronse, but have no proof to back it up. Meanwhile, she has finally consummated a burning desire for Terry’s preteen daughter.

After she and Terry work out the location of what they believe to be the drug dealers’ headquarters, they contact the police chief and a raid is hurriedly set up. But things go wrong right away — has a trap been set? In the fallout, Nettie’s father is killed.

For a more detailed breakdown of this story’s chapters, please consult the Chapter Links.

by Rachael Yukey

The glare of the overheads in the back of the ambulance was blinding after the overcast skies outside. I squinted as my ass hit the bench seat, and Samantha Jensen’s supine form came into focus. Her eyes were open, and she cast her gaze around wildly. “Samantha,” I said to her. She looked in my direction, eyes heavy and unseeing. Then she dropped her head to the pillow, closed her eyes, and moaned. There was soot around the edges of her mouth. Jessie was trying to hold pressure on the big abdominal dressing, which by now was completely red.

“Let go of it,” I told her. “You’re not gonna stop the bleeding. Change your gloves and get a neb mask on her with some albuterol; it’ll buy us a few minutes while I get ready for a tube. Then get me some vitals.”

The rig pulled out, jouncing badly on the rough terrain. Jessie let go of the dressing. Pulling it back, I ignored Sam’s yelp, examining the ugly laceration across her lower left quadrant. Blood pooled around protruding intestines. Setting the dressing back in place, I stripped off my blood-smeared gloves and tossed them to the floor. I had new ones on in seconds, and began hastily laying out IV supplies.

Jessie had the nebulizer in place and running, and was getting vitals like I’d asked. But when she started pulling the ECG cables from the monitor saddlebag, I had to resist the urge to smack her fingers.

“To hell with the four-lead,” I snapped. “Get a fresh dressing to put on the wound, but get it wet before you apply it. Just cut open a bag of saline and douse the damn thing. I need to get this IV started.” I thought it better not to tell Jessie that if I didn’t get a line and damn fast, this was all going to be for nothing. The niceties had to go out the window.

Jessie pulled a new dressing out of an overhead cabinet. I found a good spot for the IV almost right away, but held off for the sixty extra seconds it took Stacy to pull us out of the woods and onto the comparatively smooth gravel road, using the time to squirt medication into a bag of saline.

“Sam,” I said as I filled syringes, “can you hear me?” She shook her head violently from side to side, eyes squeezed shut. “We’re taking care of you, sweetheart,” I told her. “I know it hurts. Try to relax as much as you can.”

I got the IV on the first try, and hung the bag with the clotting agent. In my peripheral vision I could see Jessie cutting away the girl’s garments, rapidly inspecting for additional injuries. I turned my attention to the head, considering the layer of soot around the lips. Getting out my penlight, I moved the neb mask to one side and peered into her mouth, feeling my jaw tighten at the first signs of inflammation in her airway. Smoke inhalation for sure. Fuck, fuck, FUCK.

I knew I was going to have to intubate her before her pipes closed altogether, but I stole a second to peel back an eyelid and shine my light on a pupil. Sam started, blinked, and looked up. With obvious effort, she focused in on me.

“I think the bleeding is slowing down a little,” Jessie said. I glanced over, and noticed that while the bottom of the new dressing was saturated in red ooze, the upper portion looked clean.

“Beautiful,” I said, turning my eyes back to Sam, who was still staring at me. Unzipping the ALS bag, I began extracting the items I would need for the tube. The whole time I was uncomfortably aware of Sam Jensen’s gaze.

Finally she spoke. “You’re… Nettie Hastings?” Even muffled by the mask, it sounded like the voice of a throat cancer patient with a two pack a day habit, and was followed by a dry, hacking cough. I could just barely make out what she was saying.

“Yeah,” I said. I got into the narc safe and pulled out the little box of magic contained therein. I briefly debated going for a second IV; I dislike sedating and paralyzing someone for intubation without a backup line. I dismissed the notion; time was not on our side.

“Mom says you t-took me to the hospital when I got sick,” the raspy voice informed me.

“That was me,” I said, putting as much cheer in my voice as possible. I busied myself drawing up the meds for the procedure. By this time Jessie had divested the girl of her garments and placed blankets over her private areas.

“What were you doing at the meat locker, Sam?” I inquired.

“Was I at the locker?” I wasn’t surprised that she didn’t remember. Sam and the other kids had clearly been under the influence of a sedative of some kind, and many of the common varieties burn away the memory of whatever was happening right before and right after the dose.

“Tell me about the locker, Sam.”

“I’m… not s’posed to… it’s a secret.”

“I can keep a secret.” I laid my labeled syringes down for a second, deciding to go for that second IV after all. So long as she was able to talk, I had time, and maybe there was a chance to find out what was going on.

“We p-party there.” The voice was low, the eyes distant. “We… we… good times. The best shit’s there. All of it. We get the good shit.”

“Who do you get it from? I might want some.” I slid the second IV catheter in, with no noticeable reaction from Sam. I’d probably gotten as much information out of her as I was going to.

Sam tried to speak, failed, and coughed. Interview over, I decided, and attached the syringe of sedative to the IV port.

But then her eyes popped open again. “Shutting it down,” she croaked. “Shutting… they’re shutting it down. Need to get… they said we’d g-get… don’t want withdrawal again. I need…” Her face contorted in agony.

“Withdrawal?” I said, sitting up straight.

“Yeah… like when you took me… hospital. Withdrawal…” She began to cough again, but it came out as dry wheezes. No more time.

“You’re going to sleep, Sam,” I told her as I was pushing the sedative. “I need to put you to sleep so I can help you. You’ll wake up in a couple of days.” So rapidly did the drug take hold that I’m not sure if she heard me or not. I waited sixty seconds, then flicked an eyelid  and got no response. I pushed the paralytic, and watched Sam Jensen’s breathing slow, then stop.

“Ready with the bougie,” I said to Jessie. I slipped my laryngoscope into the mouth and swept the tongue aside. A bead of sweat trickled down my nose; I ignored it. The edema was starting to get bad, but I could still see everything clearly. The airway was inflamed, but not ashy or particularly discolored, and I had some hope that it hadn’t gone deeper to do significant damage to the alveoli.

“Bougie,” I said. Just as Jessie slid a long blue stick of plastic into the mouth the truck hit a pothole, very nearly robbing me of my precious view of the trachea. I hissed, “Fuck!” took a moment to steady myself, then took the blue plastic stick from Jessie’s hand, easing it down and in.

“Tube me,” I commanded. Jessie slipped the endotracheal tube over the bougie, and I took it from her, sliding it in deeper and watching as it slipped between the vocal cords, then inflating the cuff.

“Bag,” I said. Jessie hooked the bulbous bag valve mask to the end of the tube and squeezed. I watched the chest rise. “Nice,” I exulted.

But the self-satisfaction that always comes in the wake of a successful field tube was short-lived. The memory of my father’s waxy, gray visage blurred my vision, and I pushed it aside with a herculean effort.

I secured the tube, then listened to the lungs to ensure we were getting air on both sides. I glanced at the monitor; vitals looked good. The dressing still draped across the abdomen didn’t appear to be absorbing any more blood. There was a reasonable chance that Sam’s luck would hold out once again.


“We weren’t even really that close,” I said numbly. I was on Terry’s love seat, legs drawn up, Halee seated next to me with her arm around my shoulders. My hair was still wet from the shower, and I held a drink in trembling hands. “I mean… after he split up with my mom, I always felt like he was more interested in his business than he was in me. I don’t know, Terry, I…” I broke off, fighting back tears.

There’d been a lot to cry about that day. Two firefighters had died, with three more still in critical condition. Two of the teens who were still in the building at the time of the explosion were also critical. The rest of them were fine; turns out they’d been under the influence of an ordinary sedative, not whatever wild shit had been plaguing the Bronning area of late.

I’d delivered Sam Jensen to Pinewood hospital in Johnstown, still alive and reasonably stable. Thormleton Ambulance had brought in three other patients from the meat locker scene while we were still at the hospital, one about as badly off as Sam, and two non-critical cases in a single truck. Terry had done a masterful job of resource allocation, distributing the patients so that no hospital emergency department or ambulance service was pushed too far beyond its limits.

There had been a bunch of officers at the hospital, along with two men in black suits who were clearly in authority over the cops. Terry told me later that a number of black-suited men and women in a black Suburban had appeared in the valley shortly after the last patient had been shipped off, politely but firmly taking charge of the scene. Thus far there was radio silence; we had been given no information regarding the cause of the explosion, or what else might have been found in the old brick building. The only real news was that all seven kids, injured or otherwise, were being held overnight for observation at the hospitals where they’d been taken, apparently on the insistence of the black suits.

“How’s your mom taking it?” Terry asked gently. I shook myself out of my reverie.

Terry had been waiting at the station upon my return. He shepherded me into his car and drove me back to his place. I didn’t have it in me to argue. He’d already farmed out his three youngest to a babysitter for the night. Now he was sitting in his recliner, drink in hand. If he suspected that Halee snuggling with me was anything more than an attempt at comfort, he didn’t say so.

“I don’t know,” I said. “She’d heard about it by the time I talked to her, and she was already putting a brave face on it. Or maybe she really doesn’t give a shit. They’ve been divorced for seventeen years, you know.”

I tossed my drink back in a single gulp. “Got any more where that came from?”

Terry regarded me sidelong, opened his mouth as if to speak, then rose from his chair. He plucked the glass from my hand, disappeared into the kitchen, and returned a moment later with a refill. I gave him what I hoped was a grateful little smile, and put away half the glass in one go.

Terry took only one step towards his recliner, halting in midstride at a sharp rap on the front door. Halee’s dog Lanie uncurled herself from her lap and hit the floor at a dead run, yipping obnoxiously as she made a beeline down the hall towards the foyer.

“Who the fuck…?” Terry muttered, following the dog at a more sedate pace. I heard the door open, then a moment’s silence.

“George,” Terry finally said. “Can I help you? This isn’t a great time.”

George Fronse gave a reply I couldn’t quite catch, and moments later the two men appeared in the hallway, George following close behind Terry. He was wearing jeans and a t-shirt, and looked as if he’d just gotten out of the shower.

“Nettie,” George said as he strode into the living room, “I don’t even know how to start telling you how sorry I am. I knew your dad for a long, long time.”

“Thanks, George,” I managed.

Terry waved vaguely in the direction of the couch. “Have a seat, George,” he said. “Can I offer you a drink?”

George shook his head. “No, I’d better…” The words seemed to stick in his throat. “What have you got?” he said at last.

Terry blinked, but that was his only outward reaction. It would have gone unnoticed by anyone who didn’t know him well. “We’re enjoying a scotch that stands an above-average chance of changing your religion,” he said. “I also have some very good bourbon and rye, a decent spiced rum, or vodka and plain rum with appropriate mixers if you suffer from a delicate palate.”

“What do you have to mix? I don’t want you to go to a lot of trouble…”

“I could make you a screwdriver easily enough.”

“That’ll work. Thank you, Terry.” George sat, and Terry disappeared into the kitchen. An awkward silence fell, broken only by the sounds of ice and gurgling liquid from the kitchen. George made a point of examining his hands. Halee’s arm tightened around my shoulders, and I pulled her close.

Terry returned a moment later, pressing a drink into George Fronse’s hand. George took a sip, nodded approval, then took another. He cast his eyes back and forth across the room, between the recliner and the love seat. Finally his eyes settled on Halee.

“It might be better for this to be an adults-only conversation,” he said.

Terry opened his mouth, then closed it again. His eyes turned to his daughter, then back to George. “She stays for the moment,” he said.

George shrugged. “I’ll come right to the point, then. I covered for the two of you today. I told the DEA people that we went to that valley based on an anonymous tip. I did it out of respect for you, Nettie, but it puts my butt in a major bind if anyone finds out. I want to know what the hell’s going on, and how you knew where to go.”

He fixed his eyes on Terry, his expression suddenly hard. “And I especially want to know what your part is in all this. If I don’t get answers I like, you and me are going to have a major problem, and I promise you won’t like the way it ends.”

Terry met his gaze, unflinching. “I get it,” he said. “You figure all you have to do is tell the Feds that I had information no one else had access to, they’ll do some digging and find me guilty as hell, and you get the satisfaction of seeing me clapped in irons. I don’t know in what way I pissed in your Cheerios when I moved to town, but I’m officially through trying to get on your good side. Go fuck yourself, George.”

Halee stirred uncomfortably at my side, and I stole a glance at her. She was staring at her father. I looked back over at George, who was gazing steadily back into Terry’s furious eyes.

“I’ve probably deserved that,” he said. “But not this time. In case you weren’t listening, I covered for you today, Terry. I did it mostly for Nettie, but if I hadn’t, you’d have federal agents in here right this minute crawling up your ass with a microscope. I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt here for the moment, but that has to end if you can’t tell me something that makes sense.”

Terry settled back, the hardness fading from his face. “Fair enough,” said after a moment’s thought. “but it has to be tit for tat, even taking into account your unfortunate lack of tits.”

Maybe it was just the stress of the preceding twelve hours or so, but even George cracked up a little at that. “Meaning?” he said.

“Meaning,” said Terry, “that you’re not the only one here who’s harbored suspicions. You’ve been acting just plain fucking weird ever since Jason Bixley face-planted that dump truck. Did you actually think Nettie and I didn’t notice how you just randomly appeared on calls you ordinarily wouldn’t have bothered responding to? Or how about that bullshit you fed Nettie about not being able to authorize access to the Bixley autopsy? You talk to us, and we’ll talk to you.”

George sipped his drink, staring straight ahead at nothing in particular. He looked at me, then Terry, and at length began to speak.

“You probably know I’m part of the narcotics task force in this part of the state,” he said at last. “Just a bunch of city, state, and county cops that coordinate to try and chase down traffickers. There’s a big bust every year or so, but to be honest we don’t even really make a dent in the supply. We have a DEA contact who gets in touch with us once in a while, but mostly we’re on our own.

“Anyway, we received information from our DEA lady a few weeks back that people associated with some major cartels might be operating in our county, and to be extra vigilant for suspicious activity. Also to keep anything unusual under wraps as much as possible until DEA agents had a chance to look at the evidence.”

He looked at me apologetically. “That’s why I tried to keep the autopsy report away from you, Nettie. I guess if you wanted it badly enough, you probably got it through other channels, anyway.”

“Yeah,” I said, “I saw it. I suppose you already know that Sam Jensen had the same stuff in her system that Jason did. You wanna tell me what that shit is?”

“I wish I knew,” George said. “I’d like to say that our DEA contact is holding out on us, but I have an idea she doesn’t really know, either.”

Terry waved a hand towards George’s empty glass. “Another one, George?” he inquired.

“Sure, why the hell not?” said George. “Wes is hurt, so I’m the only city cop left, but after today I don’t really care. If anything happens tonight, I don’t think anyone will fault me if I just call in a mutual aid from the county.”

Terry fetched him another drink, while another silent pallor descended on the room. After he’d returned, handed over the glass and resumed his seat, George straightened from his slouch and fixed Terry with a steady gaze.

“Your turn,” said George. “How did you know where to look today?”

Terry fixed his gaze upon the ceiling, lips pursed. Finally he appeared to come to a decision. Halee,” he said at last, “tell the chief everything you’ve told us.”

She began, haltingly at first, then with an increasing confidence. By the time she was done, it was evident that the only thing standing between Halee and her father’s multisyllabic verbosity was time.

George was nodding slowly, almost to himself, as she finished. “I want to say I wish you’d come to me with that, Terry” he said at last, “but I understand why you didn’t, and to be honest I don’t think I’d have made the connection, either.”

He fixed his gaze directly on Halee. “You saved some lives today, young lady.”

I felt her tense in my arms. “If I’d just stayed in school,” she said bitterly, “Nettie’s dad would still be alive.”

George nodded. ”That’s possible,” he said, “but think about the numbers. Two people died today. If you hadn’t acted, we’d have lost all seven of the kids who were in that room. It wasn’t the only factor, either. I ran the operation by the numbers; slow and careful. It was textbook, and I’m going to come out smelling like a rose on paper. But if I’d moved faster, maybe we’d have got everyone out before the place went up. We can’t predict these things; we just have to do the best we can with the information we have. You did the right thing. Don’t ever think otherwise.”

Terry was looking at George with something like wonder. He turned his eyes to his daughter. “Consider the old soldier’s axiom that no battle plan survives first contact with the enemy,” he said. “Events of this nature are impossible to predict. We asked you to sound the alarm, and you did. Nothing else could have been expected of you, kiddo.”

Halee said nothing. I knew that she was going to have to work this out in her own way, and just hoped I could find a way to help her with that.

“What caused the explosion, George?” I inquired.

“The feds probably know,” he said. “I sure don’t. They’ve got the whole scene locked down, and aren’t talking about anything they find. There were a whole slew of pressure tanks in there for various types of gasses, and who knows what the hell was under that tarp or in the crates? I don’t know when or if we’re going to get access to the facility, or any information.”

“Have the kids who didn’t get hurt said anything?’ said Terry. “Or don’t you know?”

“I managed to talk to a couple of them before the feds took over,” said George. “They were just coming out from under some kind of narcotic and were pretty damn groggy, but what I was able to get was that the place has been a sort of party spot for the past month or so, with some really good drugs. The kids said there were some adults there kind of running the show, but it wasn’t anybody they knew from before. They had some names, but they struck me as fake ones. They had names for the drugs too, stuff like ‘frizzies,’ and ‘carbon boosters.’ Nothing I’ve ever heard of.”

“I talked to Sam Jensen a little before I tubed her,” I put in. George raised his eyebrows.

“She said some of the same things,” I said, “except for the names. And she said something about the place shutting down, and wanting to get some stuff before she went into withdrawal.”

Terry sat forward, and it dawned on me that I hadn’t gotten around to telling him, either. “Withdrawal?” he said. “You haven’t mentioned that.”

I met his eyes. “I’m sorry,” I said. “What with Dad and everything, I almost forgot about it. She talked about withdrawals, and specifically referenced the time I took her to the hospital last weekend.”

Terry shifted in his seat. “So maybe she wasn’t actually high, but going through withdrawal? How likely do you think that is?”

“It’s possible,” I replied. Despite the grief and the booze, the clinician in me was starting to take over, and I welcomed the respite. “Withdrawal manifests in all kinds of ways. Look at heroin; overdose is deadly, but the withdrawal won’t kill you. It just makes you so sick you wish you were dead. But alcohol withdrawal is dangerous as hell. The DTs can spark a cardiac arrest. If I see that, I’m pushing Versed faster than you can blink. So yeah… I thought she was high on something, you did too, but it could have been some really ugly withdrawal symptoms.”

“So… the same shit could conceivably happen to them all over again. Maybe we should make some phone calls.” Terry was already stabbing at his phone.

I dismissed this with a wave of my hand. “Everyone’s getting held for observation,” I reminded him. “They’re all in hospitals. If we hear tomorrow that kids are being sent home, we can deal with it then.”

George looked from me to Terry, who was reluctantly lowering his phone. “It probably doesn’t matter,” he said. “The investigation is out of my hands, and whoever was behind it is probably on another continent by now. I’m guessing the DEA people are going to be talking to you, Nettie, along with anyone else who transported one of the kids. Make sure you tell them everything Sam Jensen said to you; it might matter. I don’t like the way they cut me and the county people out, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t give them whatever information they need to go after these bastards.”

“As long as we can keep Halee’s name out of it,” Terry said, in a tone that left no room for argument.

“Fair enough,” said George. He stood. “I should go,” he said. “Nettie, I’m more sorry than I can say.”

I nodded numbly. Terry rose to his feet, beckoning George in the direction of the hallway. Moments later, I heard their voices from the foyer.

“Terry,” George was saying, “I don’t know that you and I are ever going to see eye-to-eye. But maybe we can declare a truce until this is over?”

“George,” I heard Terry reply in a weary voice, “if there’s any conflict here, it’s always been one-sided. I don’t have a problem with you. All that’s needed is for you to back the fuck off.”

There was a long silence. “I’ll do my best,” George said at last. The door opened, then closed again. Halee wrapped her arms around me and squeezed, sapping any restraint I had left. By the time Terry returned to the living room, I was weeping into her shoulder.


I ended up in Terry’s guest room for the night. I made a token effort to go home, but both Halee and Terry insisted otherwise, and I was simply in no condition to resist. As I lay back on the bed, I reflected that Terry and I both have dominating alpha personalities, and it’s probably the biggest source of friction between us. Halee was clearly developing the same characteristic, and I wondered what that would mean in the long term. Probably, I thought with wry amusement, she’ll end up hating both me AND her dad.

Then the door cracked open, and Halee was framed in the light from the downstairs hallway. She was wearing a yellow nightgown that came to her knees. Closing the door behind her, she crossed to the bed, sat, and took my hand in hers.

“Do you want company?” she asked simply. There was maturity beyond her years in the voice. “I’ll sleep in here with you if you want, or go away if you want to be alone.”

I slid over to one side of the bed and lifted the comforter. Halee slipped in next to me and snuggled up. I wrapped an arm around her.

“Think your dad will be okay with this?” I inquired in a whisper.

“I told him I was coming to check on you, and I might sleep in here with you if you wanted it,” she replied, also sotto voce. “He just sees it as two girls sleeping in the same bed, y’know?”

I leaned in and kissed her, my lips parted slightly. She opened her mouth a little, but made no other moves. I slipped my tongue inside. She teased the tip with hers for a moment, then pulled away.

“We shouldn’t,” she said.

“Because your dad’s in the house?” I asked. “We’d hear him on the stairs long before he got to us, and anyway I doubt he’d just barge in.”

“Well, there’s that,” she said, “but I didn’t think you’d really want to, after… you know…”

I kissed her again, this time more fervently. After a moment’s hesitation, she kissed me back with equal ardor.

“I don’t know how much I’m up to,” I told her, “but I need something. Make me forget the world exists, Halee.”

She was kissing my neck, gently, with love rather than passion. All the same, the heat was rising in me, and I felt myself getting wet. I took her hand and guided it downwards, stuffing it under the waistband of the sweat pants I was wearing. Understanding what I was asking for, she slipped her fingers beneath the elastic of my panties. Softly she caressed my mound, then went deeper, moistening her fingers on my slippery hole before starting a slow circular motion on my clit.

My response was immediate and I gasped for air, rocking my hips against her hand. She picked up the pace a little, and our mouths came together once more. When she pulled away, I registered through the waves of pleasure that her own breathing was ragged and strained. I slipped a hand up her leg and towards her center, only to find Halee’s hand already there and at work. I looked into her eyes, and she smiled even as a gasp of pleasure escaped her lips.

“You just relax,” she whispered with a sly grin. “I’m doing everything tonight.”

I gave in, burying my face in her shoulder. The waves were coming closer together, and with a greater intensity. With my head pressed to Halee’s chest, I could feel her shuddering response, and hear the hitch and tear of her breathing. I fed off of the sexual energy pulsating from this exquisite creature, just barely on the cusp of adolescence, and no more than a minute later I felt the inexorable birth of my climax. I bucked against her hand, pressing my lips together to stifle the cries.

Halee’s fingers slowed, delicately caressing my outer lips, but I could feel her other arm working furiously as she drove herself to ecstasy. As she fell off the edge of the cliff she twisted her head, burying her face deep in the pillow. I wrapped both arms around her and squeezed tightly as her body convulsed. Then we lay in each other’s arms, caressing and kissing. That’s the last thing I remember before merciful sleep overtook me.

On to Chapter Twelve!


22 Comments on Strange Brew, Chapter 11

  1. Levon Tostig says:

    Nettie and Halee doing it in Terry’s house while Terry is home? Is this a sign that their sexual encounters are moving toward thrill seeking to heighten the pleasure? Was the game of footsie and their park bench groping earlier indications of where the story is taking us? I cannot wait to find out.

  2. Michael v. says:

    Dear Rachael

    Wow…after a couple of chapters that moved the investigation plot along but only heightened our need for some kind of sexual relief of the Nettie/Halee tension, you masterfully delivered a home run on both plot lines! Nettie’s father dying in the explosion added extra drama to the still unresolved mystery of what is causing the drug crisis.

    Nettie ending up at Terry’s house after the incident in an attempt to grieve has her sleeping over and Halee comforting Nettie by joining her in bed. It is a beautiful scene of Halee giving Nettie what she needs to put the tragedy out of mind and be lost in the physical loving between them both. So nice that it is from love 💓 not lust.

    Looking forward to soon enjoying chapter 12. Just like the man in the desert dying of thirst, providence provides a new chapter to soothe our parched souls. Well done Rachael 👏👏👏!

    It is difficult to be patient while waiting, but you always exceed my expectations in the payoff!

    Thank you for sharing your talent and imagination with us,

  3. Jules says:

    One of the best series I have read. I love the characters, they feel like real people.

    Thank you Rachael

  4. Kim & Sue says:

    Fantastic chapter, Questions answered questions raised. And as always can’t wait for the next chapter.

  5. cybare says:

    A nice job and b im waiting with jet and everbody else for pages to drop

  6. Lakeisha says:

    I’ve read every chapter almost as soon as I received notice of its posting. Every chapter captivates me, drawing me deeper into the plot.

    The writing is superb! I’ve enjoyed the story immensely from the beginning and hope there are many more chapters to come!

    My apologies for not commenting more often than I have.

    Thank you for sharing your talents with the Juicy Secrets community❣️

    • Rachael Yukey says:

      It’s ok… comment when you can, but the important thing is that you’re enjoying the story. Thanks for that!

  7. Sue says:

    Can’t imagine the amount of research you do to produce each chapter. The play by play puts you there.

    • Rachael Yukey says:

      Well, it helps that I used to be a volunteer EMT, but it was a long time ago and I never did become a paramedic. It took awhile to realize I was in over my head, but I was able to get a protocol book from a rural ALS service in the region. That’s helped a lot. The tough thing is being realistic without being boring; there’s a reason most medical TV dramas don’t even pretend to try for accuracy. What fire and law enforcement does translates very well to fiction … medicine not so much. Thanks for letting me know I’ve found the right balance!

  8. Mo says:

    Rachael wow another incredible chapter! The urgent action and stress of the immediate aftermath of the explosion juxtaposed with the tension of discussion with George captivated me!

    Oh and then the love scene at the end in Terry’s House…came so hard!

    Can’t wait for chapter 12!

  9. kacey says:

    Great chapter, Racheal, but now i REALLY think Halee is in too deep after George’s visit to Terry’s place.
    Excellent writing. Am gripped ☺

  10. Rachael Yukey says:

    Okay, weird… I replied to a few comments and now I’m getting server errors when I try to do more. If I don’t get back to it, thanks to everyone who commented.

  11. Dondo says:

    I’m still hooked. Anxiously anticipating my next “fix”. I’ll be sad when this story eventually comes to a close. Hopefully a long way off.

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