Thursday’s Child

Forgot what day of the week it was for a moment. Either lockdown brain or a senior moment. Or a blonde moment. Any will do 😉

So, on to Thursday’s Child. Again lots of action and daring rescues and a firefighter for a hero. His name is easy. Jared. The heroine is Niamh. That’s Neeve, btw, and doesn’t rhyme with her twin’s name. A piece of background information. Some of my stories are based on what if… What if a firefighter/police officer/ paramedic was called to an emergency and it was their house/family involved? This is one of those stories…

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Thursday’s Child chases the whole…

Broken…with bits missing. That’s how Niamh, senior prosecutor for the CPS, feels when she wakes in hospital severely injured with no knowledge what happened–for the past ten years. A tall man in a firefighters uniform claims he’s her husband. While he’s everything she’s ever dreamed of in a man and more, she doesn’t know him. And if he was so important why can’t she remember? Was there something so terrible, so painful in her marriage, her mind has suppressed it?

First on the scene at a horrific accident, Jared Harkin is devastated to find his wife one of the injured. He’s already lost a child, can he live through this? Niamh survives the crash, but awakens with ten years missing and no memories of their life together. Determined to help her remember the past and their love, he sets about wooing her all over again. But are some things best forgotten?

As Niamh struggles to remember, the investigation into the accident reveals foul play. Did her recent caseload have anything to do with the attempt on her life? Or was it someone closer to her?  As bit and pieces of memory return, the attacker strikes again. Can she piece together the whole of her past before it’s too late?

extract 1

Niamh was unable to suppress her smile as Judge Matheson promptly dismissed the jury and remanded the convicted man into custody until sentencing the following week. She gathered her papers.

Someone blocked the light in front of her. It could only be one person.

“Is something wrong, Miles?”

“That was a dirty trick, Niamh,” Miles Kingsman hissed.

Niamh viewed the angry man before her. “What was a dirty trick? It’s not my fault that your client changed his plea. Or are you referring to the fact that I managed to track down the witness someone tried to hide? When I did find her, the paperwork conveniently went missing. I had to hunt high and low for those files, and if I ever find out your office had something to do with their disappearance—”

“Then you’ll what? Are you making an allegation here, Mrs. Harkin?”

“Of course not, Mr. Kingsman.” Why had he gone all formal?

“If you have any kind of proof—”

“Oh, please. If I could prove it, do you think I’d be standing here having this conversation? I said if I ever find out. There is a difference.”

“Are you threatening me, Mrs. Harkin?”

Niamh picked up her files and briefcase and got to her feet. “I don’t do threats, Mr. Kingsman. I leave that sort of thing to your clientele. I deal in promises and the truth. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a pile of paperwork that needs attending to.” She swept past him, wanting nothing more than to de-robe and head back to her office. She’d put the papers in her briefcase in the robing room.

She was almost to the door when a hand grabbed her and spun her around. She gasped, her files flying to the floor. A figure in black shoved her back hard against the wall. She’d have a bruise where her hip caught the edge of the bench. She stifled her instant reaction. “What are you playing at, Miles?”

“Don’t start something you’re not prepared to finish.” Miles’s low, deadly voice hissed in her ear. “Or you will regret it.”

Niamh stared at the blond man holding her. His icy lavender eyes glinted at her. She swallowed, refusing to show fear. “Now who’s making threats?”

“To coin a phrase, that wasn’t a threat, Niamh, that was a promise.”

Ice slid down her spine. It wasn’t the first time she’d been threatened in her career. In fact she’d also received a series of death threats over the few weeks she’d been preparing this case. It came with the job, but this? This was something different. Miles was a colleague, even if they were on opposite sides of the fence.

Judge Matheson’s voice came from the other side of the courtroom. “Is everything all right over there?”

Miles nodded and dropped her arm as if it burned. He turned to face the judge, his voice a more normal level. “Everything’s fine, Your Honor. Niamh tripped and dropped her papers. I was just making sure she was all right.”

Niamh bent to retrieve her files, snatching them off him.

“Mrs. Harkin?” Concern filled the judge’s voice.

“Everything’s fine, Your Honor.” Niamh took the last of the papers and shoved them into her briefcase.

“Very well. Good work by the way.”

“Thank you.” Niamh stood and looked at him, her fingers tightening on the briefcase. She forced her voice to remain calm. “I should be going.”

extract 2

Jared sat in the fire engine as it raced along the wet roads, blue lights flashing and sirens blaring. Forty minutes before the shift ends and we get called to a shout. A car crash was hardly surprising in this weather. People drove like maniacs, ignoring road conditions and other vehicles and the fact they couldn’t see out of the windscreen due to the driving rain. The traffic around them slowed as they got closer to the pile up.

The fire engine stopped and the firefighters jumped out. A police officer came over to them, his yellow reflective jacket pulled over his uniform. Water dripped off his hat. Phil looked at him. “Hey, Pete. What have we got?”

“Five cars and a lorry. From what we can tell, the black car aquaplaned into the red one sending it into the path of the lorry and it escalated from there. Driver of the blue car is dead. The lorry driver is shaken, but unhurt. The lady in the red car is trapped. She’s alive, but non-responsive. The other drivers are trapped, but talking. The paramedics haven’t got here yet.”

Phil nodded. “Jared, Steve, start unloading. We’ll need cutting gear, combi-tools and the trauma care kit. Jared, I want you to supervise Steve.”

“Sure thing.” Jared glanced over at the red car. Same model as Niamh’s . He pulled open the side of the truck and grabbed the equipment. He glanced at Steve, the probationer. “Have you ever done one of these?”

Steve shook his head. “In training, yeah, but not for real.”

“There’s a first time for everything. Nothing to it. Just remember what they taught you. And if you forget, don’t be afraid to ask. No such thing as a stupid question.”

Steve smiled. “Thanks.”

Jared shouldered the gear. “Don’t mention it.” He headed towards the smashed vehicles, the oil and petrol from shattered engines and tanks, mixing with the rain water. Other firefighters started running out hose having considered the high risk of fire. He could hear them talking and equipment buzzing, the normal sounds of a shout mixing with what he knew he had to do.

He got closer to the red car. The woman lay slumped over the steering wheel, black hair stained red with blood. He looked at Steve. “Did you bring the trauma care kit?”

“No.”

“Go get it. That way we can start treating her until the paramedics arrive.”

Steve nodded and ran back to the fire engine. Jared smiled and then moved closer to the car. Though the teeming rain he could make out the start of the number plate in the tangled wreckage. ROO. The rest of the plate was torn off.

It’s the same as Niamh’s. Don’t be silly. There are probably a thousand red cars that start ROO, if not more than that.

He got closer and suddenly the Station Manager, Brad Peters was there, blocking his path. “Jared…”

Jared looked at him. The look on the Guv’s face said it all. Oh, God, no, please… “Guv?”

“I’m sorry. It’s Niamh.”

Nausea and sheer panic filled him. Dropping the equipment to the ground, Jared moved as if in fire or lime. Everything slowed down, voices and sounds echoing. He shook off the arm that held him, his whole being determined to get to her, his eyes fixed on the wreck. Somewhere in that tortured and twisted hunk of metal was his wife.

“N-n-n-i-i-a-a-m-m-h-h-h.”

(yup I’m a mean author and went there.)

extract 3

Jared watched her go. He very nearly hadn’t come back, but something had told him not to leave without  saying goodbye. His heart had almost stopped when he got on the ward in time to hear Niamh cry out and then pulled the curtain back to find her collapsed on the floor. He’d feared the worst for a moment and still did. He eyed the doctor carefully. “What do you think she’s done?”

Dr. Anders looked at him. “Without the x-rays we won’t know for certain. Her ribs are more painful than I’d like, but that could just be bruising.”

“Can you ring and let me know?” He paused. “I know she doesn’t know me, but I’m still her next of kin until she says otherwise. And Liam will only tell me anyway.”

Dr. Anders nodded. “Of course, but I can only do that until she specifies otherwise. After that, I’m afraid I can’t tell you anything.”

Jared nodded. “That’s fine, thanks Doctor. Any idea when she can come home?”

“Probably in the next day or two. Maybe even tomorrow, but that does depend a lot on these x-rays.”

“Thank you. If you need me I’ll be at home until about five thirty, and then I’ll be at work from six p.m. until nine tomorrow morning.” Jared left the ward and headed for the car park. He sat in the car for a moment, and pinched the bridge of his nose before he started the engine.

Nine years of history wiped out in the blink of an eye. He took a deep breath.

I will wait for you. I will always wait for you. And if you don’t remember me when you come back, then I will find you, and make you fall in love with me again and never let you go. Niamh had told him that once years ago, right after a huge fire which left several Firefighters from his station dead and one suffering severe brain damage resulting in total memory loss.

How do I deal with this? Oh, Lord, help me because I can’t do this alone. I look at her and see the woman I love, the one I spent the past nine years loving and caring for and protecting. Yet she looks at me like I’m a stranger. But perhaps the stranger is her. The stranger with her face. Is this Your will? That I do for her what she promised me all those years ago, should I be severely injured? To find her and bring her back and help her remember? Then that’s what I’ll do. Help her remember, woo her and make her fall in love with me all over again. 

Amazon UK   Amazon US

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