Part 16: link
They walk into the station house and Merlin announces “Cookies!” and sets the box on a table. There are a half-dozen other men inside, engaging in various leisure activities. Arthur introduces Gwen مزید casually to these others, basically pointing and naming names. He tells them that Gwen is his girlfriend. Gwen’s دل does a little flip at hearing him announce her as his girlfriend. Get it together woman, you’re not a silly teenager.
Merlin walks over, looking at his watch and saying, “Arthur, we need to change your bandages before آپ commence your tour.”
“Very well. Wait here?” he asks Gwen.
“Of course not.” He takes her hand and the three of them walk to a little room that serves as an infirmary.
“Didn’t آپ go to the hospital?” Gwen asks Arthur.
“No need, really. Merlin fixed me up just fine. He’s also a Registered Nurse.”
“Yep,” Merlin pipes up. “And I do windows.”
“You do not. I’ve been to your flat; you’re a total slob,” Arthur, now seated on a bench, shoves him lightly with his foot as he rummages in a drawer.
Gwen helps Arthur take his گوفن, جھلانا and t-shirt off. Removing his شرٹ, قمیض seems fairly painful for him.
“You should wear a button-down shirt. Then آپ wouldn’t have to pull it over your head,” she tells him.
“I didn’t pack any.”
“None آپ could borrow?”
“Merlin’s would be too tight and Paul’s would be a tent.”
She rolls her eyes, but sits اگلے to him as Merlin comes over to remove the bandages. Arthur sits stoically, but Gwen can see the muscle twitching in his jaw. I hope he’s not being unnecessarily brave just for me,
she thinks, but says nothing. Instead she holds his free hand, and turns to look at the burned flesh. It is pink, red in places, with a few blisters, white.
“He’ll be fine, Gwen,” Merlin says, aware of her watching him but keeping his eyes on his task, spreading some sort of gel on the wound. Gwen pretends not to notice that Arthur is holding her hand quite tightly.
an impressive bruise,” she notes, trying to lighten the mood. “A friend of mine at school had a bruise like that on her hip after she took a fall. We had to check it out each دن to see what colors it was turning.”
Merlin finally looks at her. “You’re weird,” he tells her. Arthur guffaws and relaxes his hand a little.
He puts fresh bandages on and between the three of them they manage to get Arthur’s شرٹ, قمیض back on. Merlin reseats Arthur’s arm in the گوفن, جھلانا and hands him 2 pills and a paper cup filled with water. Once Arthur has taken the pills, Merlin announces, “All set. آپ may go.”
Arthur looks at Gwen. “We’ve been dismissed, apparently.” He hops off the bench and extends his right hand for her, which she takes.
He shows her around the firehouse. She sits in the truck. She tries on Arthur’s helmet, which he finds inexplicably alluring. He turns on the lights and siren for her, making sure she covers her ears first. He shows her some of their training areas, and she crawls through a tunnel they use to practice getting through tight places with their gear on.
“Paul can get through here?” she asks, incredulous. She maneuvers through easily, but she is quite a bit smaller than all of them.
“Amazingly, yes. It’s quite a sight, though. And his first attempt was priceless. We almost had to dismantle the tunnel.” Arthur laughs.
“I can imagine.”
They return to the common area to find the box of کوکیز has been emptied.
“You didn’t get one,” Gwen says, disappointed. Just then Paul walks up with a cookie he has on a napkin and hands it to Arthur.
“Saved one for you, Chief,” he says.
“Thanks, Paul,” Arthur tells him. Paul smiles again at Gwen and returns to a میز, جدول where Leon is waiting, shuffling a deck of cards.
“I’d better go,” Gwen says reluctantly.
“I’ll walk آپ out.”
“’Bye,” several of the men call to her as they walk to the door, “Thanks for the cookies.”
Gwen waves, saying, “You’re welcome. Nice to meet آپ all.”
They walk out the door. It is almost dark, but the night is still warm. Arthur walks her to her car.
“I’m sorry,” she tells him when they get there.
“For freaking out on آپ about this. I feel a little foolish. I don’t want to be a needy… girlfriend.”
He leans down and kisses her, saying, “I liked being able to call آپ that tonight. So who’s feeling foolish now?” She can tell, even in the dark, that he is blushing slightly.
“Okay, I’ll admit that I liked hearing آپ announce it to them. So آپ don’t think I’m ridiculous?”
“No. I’ll make a deal with you.” He straightens up, trying to look official. “I promise I will give آپ every lurid detail of any injury I incur if آپ promise not to become a basket case about me having a dangerous job.”
“Deal,” she says, holding out her hand. They shake on it. Then he pulls her to him, carefully, to his right side, and leans down for a kiss. A real kiss. He wraps his arm around her, pressing her to his side as he delves his tongue between her soft lips, teasing hers آگے as they wind around each other inside their mouths, warm and passionate.
Gwen drops back down from her toes; her hands on his stomach and back. His skin feels hot under her cool hands. “I’ll pick آپ up tomorrow for the match,” she tells him.
“You’re driving?” he asks, raising an eyebrow.
“You are injured. Besides, I have rock سٹار, ستارہ parking privileges about which آپ can only dream.” She leans up and kisses him one last time, then gets in her car. Arthur watches her drive away before walking back inside.
Part 18: link