Jared the Paramedic III ~ Redemption

Chapter 52: Mistatim

Wednesday morning, Jared and Liam had gone into the nearby town to pick up a few items at the store.  It was a typical prairie small town.  There was about 1,100 people living there, a nursing clinic with a doctor's office, a couple of grocery stores, a couple of gas stations, a big hardware agriculture livestock farming store, a couple of sit-down restaurants, a Chinese restaurant, a pharmacy and a bakery.

During the summer, there are a lot of cabins and campgrounds in the area which fill up with people.  They come to town to get gas, pick up more items, get groceries or have a meal they didn't have to cook.  It brings a lot of money to the town businesses.  During the winter, it's the cabins, ice fishing and snowmobiling.  Everyone knows Jared, and it's difficult for him to get in and out of any store quickly because they all wanted to chat with him. After picking up some fresh vegetables and fruit, Liam led Jared down to the bakery on Main Street.  Fresh cinnamon buns had just been pulled out of the ovens, and Liam bought two along with two cups of coffee.  The little bakery had a half-dozen small round tables with chairs at each so people could enjoy their baked items if they wanted to eat them right away.

"You have quite the nose for things like this," Jared told his husband with a chuckle.

"I smelled them as soon as we opened the door of the SUV at the grocery store."

The older grandmother-type lady from behind the counter called over to Liam, "It's great to see you two back again.  My cheesecake sales were down, but now that Liam's back, they should be getting better."

Liam stuck his tongue out at her.

"Couple of things, Liam.  First, what do you think of the new coffee?"

"Really not bad at all, especially for a house blend.  I give it 9 out of 10," he replied with a thumbs up.

"That's great.  We can advertise to the locals it's Liam approved," she replied with a big smile.  "Second thing, the eight cheesecakes are boxed and ready for you when you're done."

Jared looked at Lucy behind the counter, then to his husband, "Did she say eight cheesecakes?"

Liam's face had a look of panic on it.

"I'm sorry sweetie, was that a secret?" Lucy exclaimed.

Jared was laughing, "Lucy, if he ate all eight, it wouldn't be a secret long.  We'd need a wide load sign for his ass."

"You hush there," Lucy hissed at him.  "His ass is just perfect from what I've seen when he walks by.  If he ever changes sides, I'll take him in.  Or both of you for that matter." Liam and Jared both laughed at Lucy's comments.

"Jared, just to set the record straight, we are having all the brothers at the cabin this weekend so eight cheesecakes are just enough."

Jared had a big smirk on his face as he said, "You could be right.  One for us and seven for you."  Lucy began laughing as Liam crossed his arms and feigned being mad.  "Oh, Liam I know you would share them with me."

"Damned right I would."

"I seem to remember that the crumbs left in the bottom of the pan still constitute sharing."  Liam stuck his tongue out at Jared causing both him and Lucy to laugh.  Jared gently took Liam's hand off the table, brought it to his mouth and gently kissed the back of it.  "I love you."

Liam melted at the gesture.  "I love you too.  Even when you're an ass."  That got Lucy laughing again.

"I see how much you two are in love and I wish everyone understood what love is really about," said Lucy as she brought the coffee pot out to fill their cups again.

"Why don't you join us for a cup," Liam suggested.

"Thank you. I would love to join you.  I'll just yell at the girls in the back that I'm taking a break so they can cover the front.  It's slow right now, anyway."  A moment later, she returned with her own cup of coffee.

"So, it's been a while since you two were in here.  Anything new?"

Jared shrugged, "I'm going to be spending more time up here and not working so much."

"That's good to hear.  I was thinking you were working too much because you used to spend a lot of time up here, all year round."

"I was a little slow grasping that."

Liam was nodding, "It's a lesson we both had to learn."

"I don't normally ask stuff like this, but were you two at the bus crash?"  The facial expression on the two young men's faces told her everything she needed to know.  "I'm sorry I asked, but I was afraid for you two.  I'm going to say prayers for both of you."

Jared had a tear roll down his cheek.  As soon as she saw the reaction, Lucy reached and took Jared's closest hand into hers. "Jared, I've watched you grow up around here.  From an active little guy to one hell of a professional paramedic.  I wasn't prying, honest.  I'm just concerned about you."

Jared took his other hand and put it on top of Lucy's hand.  "It's alright, Lucy.  Both Liam and I were there, and both of us need to rest for a bit."  Jared looked into Lucy's eyes deeply.  He could see the fear, concern, and love for him clearly within them.  "Thank you.  It's wonderful to be among people who actually care."

"The people in this town are very proud of you.  We all watched you grow from a child to the man you are today.  This village is your home; don't you ever forget it."

"I won't forget it, and it's the reason we're back here right now."

"We missed you curling last winter.  Are you going to join us this year?  You can bring Liam, too."

Jared smirked, "It would be interesting to see Liam sliding back and forth sweeping for the rock."

All his husband said was "whatever" as he stuffed more cinnamon bun into his mouth.

"Lucy, can I ask you a question."

"Of course, you can."

"Have you ever lost your way?  I mean, lost sight of what you want to do with your life?"

"That happens weekly for me.  Before you get in a tizzy, let me explain, I wanted to be retired by 55 after having a long career as a nurse.  Look at me, I'm 65 and running a bakery business.  But, I'm so happy doing what I want that I wouldn't trade it for all the gold in Switzerland.  So, what's on your mind?"

"Other than being with my husband, where should I be?  I mean, look at me, I'm 29... soon to be 30, I'm married and soon to have my first anniversary with him."

"I must be missing the point; those are wonderful things in your life."

Liam held his index finger up for Jared, indicating he should hold back for a moment. "Jared, what did you expect to have accomplished by now or where did you see yourself by age 30?"

Lucy liked those questions, nodding her head to Liam in agreement.

"For my life, I wanted to be a husband, have friends, and be a paramedic.  I want to help people, to make a difference."

"Jared, you've accomplished most of that already," Lucy said as she got up to get the coffee pot.

"You carried on your grandfather's legacy very well and have helped this town in so many ways."  She turned to Liam, "Your husband is like a cyclone coming through, except he fixes and leaves things to help people.  Some of us have known for years you're the secret Santa for most of the kids who need help at Christmas.  We've also known for years that you're behind the deliveries of turkeys and hams along with all the food that arrives at Easter, Thanksgiving and again at Christmas.  The boxes full of school supplies each fall is a godsend to people.  You never ask about it but so many people depend upon on those things being given to them especially with the slowdown with jobs the last few years.  Don't forget, you made your first million by age 14."  Jared was going to say something, but Lucy stopped him.  "There's only a few of us that know you that well Jared, so no worries.  Your secrets are safe with us."

Liam was staring at his husband with watery eyes.   "He never even told me he did those things."  Liam reached over, took his husband's hand into his, brought it to his lips and kissed it.  "I love you so much."  Jared's reaction was to blush.

"We know you don't flaunt your money, and we also know you are not one of the richest men in the country.  What we know for sure is that you share it with those who need it without ever wanting credit for it." She looked at Liam, "We have a nursing station in town, but were going to lose it due to cutbacks in the health region and budgets.  The station needed new equipment, and refurbishment to continue being used.  As a community, we raised about half, then hit a dead end.  We couldn't get any more money raised.  Suddenly, one day a new foundation was poured on the lot next to the old clinic on a piece of land owned by the Bear Group of Companies.  Three days later, a prefab building was moved in and dropped on the foundation.  By the end of the following week, it had water, electricity, gas, and telephone service in it along with a very good security system.  It also had some new medical equipment in it for the nurses to use, and a note telling us that this community couldn't do without a clinic.  We spent the money we collected on more equipment, furniture, decorations, and we held the rest in trust and have a committee to oversee it.  The same committee looks after all the distribution of food and Christmas gifts, too. The funding was also no problem anymore after a concerned citizen sat down with the Health Minister to talk to him about it."

Jared was staring at the table and playing with his spoon.  "I don't know what you're talking about."

"Jared, it's just you, me, and your husband talking here.  You said you wanted to help people and I'm telling you how much you have done just that.  There are many people who are alive today because of your food and that clinic."

Jared didn't look up as he mumbled, "Well if I was involved, I would be happy that it is happening."  When Jared looked up at his husband, he had no facial expression, but his eyes were twinkling with life.  Liam immediately saw this which caused him to smile and kiss his husband's hand again.  "Jared, you have a husband who loves you so much he almost died sacrificing his life to save you."  Lucy's head snapped to look directly at Liam as soon as he had spoken those words.  "You have friends and a huge family of brothers who love you."

"Something else you did for this town was to make being gay acceptable," Lucy said slowly.  Jared was surprised by her words. "There are still some here who don't like it, but very few.  What we've told them very clearly is that they don't have to like it, but it is here, it's real and this community will defend any person's right to be who they are."  Lucy put both hands on her hips as she said, "If they don't like gay people, they can get the fuck out of this town.  This is not about tolerance anymore.  Fuck that, accept it or leave."

Liam was sipping his coffee when Lucy said that, causing him to snort it up through his nose.  That was immediately followed by a fit of coughing.  Both Lucy and Jared were laughing at his predicament.  When Liam regained control, he said, "You're both bitches."

"Are you two coming back for our Town of Mistatim Village Day celebrations on July 1st?  It's Canada day or Village days."

"What's Village days?" asked Liam.

"I bet you no one ever told you about the name of our town," Lucy said quickly to Liam.  "Mistatim is Cree for big dog, but what it really means is horses.  The horses that the settlers rode."

"Thanks, Lucy, I forgot to explain that to Liam.  On that day, there's a parade, a fair at the sports grounds in town, a ball tournament, two days of rodeo with chuckwagon racing and chariot racing, too.  They have an agriculture fair for the best calf, breeds, sheep, goats, and all animals raised by the youth.  They also have mud drags with hot rods Saturday afternoon and they're usually really good.   The best part on the first day is the food tents."

Lucy cut him off, "We have so much fun those days.  The local groups raise funds by selling food.  One church group does Ukrainian food, someone else does deep-fried turkey, another group roasts a pig and then a bunch of us make real cream pies, cheesecakes, and strawberry shortcakes.  You can eat all day."

Liam was drooling, and Jared was laughing.  "You mentioned Liam's favourite thing, food."

His husband gave him a hurt look, "You're such an ass.  It was the Ukrainian food that got me."

Both Lucy and Liam said together, "Pierogies and mushroom sauce."

"Well Liam, we'll see if the guys want to come down for a while and see a real rural country fair.  I know they'd love it."

"Maybe Tyler and Troy can find dates in the sheep pens…" Jared smacked Liam's head much to Lucy's delight and laughter.

The three chatted about local news, including those who had passed on over the past year that Jared would've known.  Lucy also filled them both in on some of the gossip about who was doing who on the side. Jared was laughing as she and Liam were interacting throughout the gossip, both using exaggerated lively animated gestures and facial expressions.  It was getting closer to noon, and the bake shop was getting busier with the lunch crowd coming in for fresh sandwiches and homemade soups.  Lucy made both Jared and Liam promise to come back soon for more coffee.

Jared and Liam left the cheesecakes in Lucy's cooler so they could pick them up just before they left town.  Together, they walked down Main Street, Jared telling Liam stories of his growing up in town. They went around the corner to the school and looked in the windows.  Jared explained to Liam it was a K-6 school only, the high school students were bussed over to the next town to their school.  But in his case, Grandfather had taken him into the city during the week to attend a school with more educational potential.  Both he and Melanie had gone to school there.  Jared took Liam's hand into his as they walked back to Main Street.  The town was getting busy not only because of lunchtime, but because there were lots of vacationers in the area who came to buy groceries or other things.  Jared led Liam into a clothing shop, and to the back.

"You need cowboy boots if you're going to be hanging around with me."

"Cowboy boots?"

"You know, the boots with pointy toes and a heel but very different than the ruby red dress shoes you have with pointy toes and heels."

Liam put his hands on his hips, "You are such a cheeky bitch today."  Jared laughed as he picked out a pair for Liam to try on.

While they were trying the boots on, a male sales person came to help them.  "Jared, my God, it's good to see you again.  It's been so long," the man said as he extended his hand in friendship.

Jared looked at him and smiled, "Hank, you're still around here?" as he took his old friend's hand.  "What are you up to?"

"Well, I married Roberta, and we have two beautiful children.  A boy and girl who are now 6 and 8.  They are sitting in the same desks we used to sit in, Jare-bear."

Liam caught that immediately as soon as Hank had said it.  "Jare-bear?"

Jared rolled his eyes, "Hank, this is my husband Liam and thanks to you he now has another name to drive me nuts with."

"Husband? That's fantastic, Jared!" Hank reached over and shook Liam's hand.  "How long you two been married?"

"Just coming up on a year," replied Jared.

"That's great.  I hope you enjoy married life as much as I have been.  I love being a father, too."

Liam and Jared both locked eyes when Hank said the word father.  "Is this what is missing?" they both thought at the same time.  Jared chatted while Liam picked out his boots, as well as a couple of pairs of western cowboy jeans.  After paying for them, they carried the bags out onto Main Street.

Liam didn't even wait for more than three steps on the sidewalk, "Jared, do you want to be a dad?"

Jared froze in place while he thought about how to answer the question.  "I honestly don't know.  But, unless it terrifies you or is totally out of the question, we could talk about it more."

Liam took his husband's hand, "I would like to discuss it more."

Jared passed a few more people, stopping to exchange a few words with each as well as introducing his husband to them.

"So, tell me about Jare-bear."

"No."

"Really, a one-word answer?"

"Yes."

"Please explain how you got the name Jare-bear?"

Once again, he said, "No."  Except, this time Jared had a smirk on his face.

"Before we go back to the cabin, do you want to have lunch, Jare-Bear?"

"Liam, for someone so smart, how can you even ask how I got the nickname Jare-bear."

"Because enquiring minds want to know."

"My name is Jared, and the short form some of my friends used was Jare, you know sort of Jess, Nik, or peckerhead when we talk to you."  Liam stuck his tongue out at him. "And Bear is my last name.  You know, Jare-Bear.  It's just a cute name, that's all."

At that moment, a dozen loud Harley-Davidson motorcycles came into town from the south. As they came up Main Street, talking was impossible.  The bikes pulled into the service station, surrounding the pump.  The college or high school attendant was trying to fill them up and collect money for the gas as well.

All Jared said was, "Let's put these bags in the SUV and see what happens."  Liam nodded.

After locking the SUV, they watched from a distance as the bikes all filled with premium fuel.  Jared was watching the cash being handed to the young man and quickly figured out he was doing quite well for himself.  It appeared they were getting about $12-15 of fuel each and giving him a $20.  They waived the young guy off when he offered them change.   Liam noticed none of the motorcyclists were wearing colours on the back of their jacket, but that may just mean they are out for a low-key ride.  What concerned Jared was that it looked like three of the men had black and white bars on the bottoms of the backs of their jackets with "striker" on it.  The group started up their machines, and drove down Main Street again, stopping at the restaurant.  Every one of them stopped in front of the restaurant front window, backed their motorcycles against the curb, front tire facing out and parked.  The men and the women passengers all went into the diner.

Many local people were cautiously poking their heads out of the doors of the businesses, looking to see where the motorcycles had gone.  People walking along the sidewalk crossed the street to avoid walking by the bikes.

"Well, we still going for lunch?" Jared asked his husband.

"Do you know these guys?"

"There's a couple of them who might know me if I was in uniform, and they would be aware of our agreement."

"You need to fill me in on that agreement sometime."

"You're right, I do.  It's very simple actually.  They touch my ambulances, staff, or my staff's families in any way and I destroy them.  We had a bit of a showdown one day and they understand that we provide a service impartially to all people, even bikers as long as they treat us properly.  I made it very, very clear that my family, my employees, my equipment and my property were all protected, and should any violation occur, I will respond without mercy."

Liam smiled, "Yes, I really need to know what happened that led to that.  Now for something important, let's go for lunch."

"Great idea."

As the two men approached the diner, a family left through the front door in a hurry.  As Jared opened the door, another family came out.  Once inside, Jared and Liam looked around and noticed the group of bikers had moved to the back of the restaurant, pulling some tables together to sit as a group.   They were loud but didn't appear to be causing any problems.  Jared and Liam went and sat down in a booth in the front on the far side.  Jared sat with his back to the group, allowing Liam to face them.

A young girl working as the waitress came to their booth, giving them both menus.  She was very nervous but smiled at the two men.

"These guys have the best chow mien, crispy ginger beef, as well as Chinese curry dishes," explained Jared as he looked through the menu.

"Wow, they really have a wide selection of dishes for a small town."

"Yes, they do, and they are all fantastic."

Jared smiled as he read the menu.  "Jesse would love it here.  He would be chatting away in Mandarin with the owners."

"It still surprises me when he speaks yet another language.  I keep forgetting it comes so naturally to him."

The conversation ended when one of the gang members approached the two men, standing at the end of their table.  "This restaurant is closed for the next couple of hours."

Jared looked up, "It says open in the window."

"Doesn't matter what it says; it's closed."

"I'm on vacation here in my hometown and I'm here to eat some of the best Chinese food for miles around.  I really don't care anything about you guys in the back.  There's more than enough space here for us both, especially after the families left." Jared closed the menu, looked up at the brute of a man, "That cost this business money."

The gang member was expecting them to cower, not for the two men to contradict him.  Then he remembered, "Weren't you two holding hands when you came in?"

Jared smiled, "Yes, we were.  What's your point?"

"You're fags?"

It was Liam who smiled this time as he answered, "No, we're gay.  Not fags." 

"Fags is a better description."

Jared looked up at the man, "Why don't you join your friends back there, and have a great meal.  We'll do the same up here."

The big man laughed but stopped suddenly as he slammed his hands on the table and yelled, "Get the fuck out of here now, you pansies."

Liam was surprised but didn't flinch at the overt sign of aggression by the man.  "I hope you washed your hands before you touched the table, only God knows where they've been." The expression on the big man's face was priceless at Liam's reply... he was stunned to the point his face was blank.

"Well, telling us to get out is strike one, and you're right, Liam.  We're going to have to wipe the table before the food arrives."

The man was really confused as these two weren't reacting the way he had anticipated.  He looked over his shoulder to the rest of the group he'd arrived with, they looked just as surprised.  Finally, his girlfriend made a fist and slammed it into the palm of her hand a couple of times.  The big man thought for a moment, "Ok, I'll give you two the benefit of the doubt there may have been a communication problem on your side.  Like you're too fucking stupid to do anything but breathe.  Get the fuck out of this restaurant right now."

Liam smiled at Jared, "You know Jare-bear, he's right.  There was a communication breakdown between us and him."  Liam looked at the man, "Just to be clear..."  He yelled the rest in the man's face, "We are here for lunch and we're not leaving." In a normal voice, he asked, "Did that make it clearer to you?"

The man was making a fist as he brought his arm back to strike out.  Once he was standing up straight, he jabbed out with his fist in a punch.  Jared's open hand intercepted his fist, engulfing it, then thrusting it backwards. "That's strike two."

The man stepped forward, taking a swing directly at Jared this time.  Jared's eyes flashed as he once again intercepted the man's hand.  The big man collapsed into unconsciousness on the floor.  "That was strike three."  They heard other chairs moving in the back of the restaurant, and people wanting to know what happened to the friend they called 'The Refrigerator'.  Jared and Liam both stood up, held hands, facing the group of people.  They were now linked together allowing Jared the opportunity to share his memories of the agreement he had with the gangs in the city.

"What did you do to him?" the leader of the group demanded as he moved towards Jared and Liam.

"Stop, or it will happen to you too.  Let's talk," replied Jared calmly.   The leader snapped his finger, and another one of the strikers came forward, rushing at the two men.  Liam raised his right hand, palm out, pushing it forward.  It was like the man hit a brick wall.  He suddenly stopped and fell backwards to the floor semi-conscious.  Jared and Liam let go of each other's hand as they carefully moved towards the remaining members.

Before anything else happened, the leader of the group said, "Stop.  Nobody do nothing." His friends all looked at him with disbelief. "I was told a story by the President of the Club that there is a man who we must never cross.  He has no fear and can do things we don't understand."

Jared smiled, nodding to Liam at the same time.  They both closed their eyes, opening them to reveal they had changed to bright white; a moment later they returned to normal.  The women in the group moved backwards, gasping in shock while many of them and the men said, "What the fuck?"

Jared spoke, "First of all, the use of the term fags is inappropriate.  Am I clear on that?"

One other member said, "What the fuck was that trick?"

The leader moved to the front of the group.  "Are you Jared?"

"Yes, I am. This is my husband Liam and he is the same as me."

"We have an agreement with you."

"You broke it.  You are informed as members of the club that the agreement ended the moment your striker tried to punch me out after calling me a fag and after trying to throw me out of this restaurant."

A couple of the women were getting worked up, "Let's just do him and get it over with."  A man was reaching under the back of his jacket to retrieve something as Liam's eyes flashed again.

"That gun is now fused... one solid piece of metal," Liam said clearly.  The man tried to work the action but couldn't.

"Garv, it's fused like someone welded it."  The man looked at both Liam and Jared with concern. "What the fuck did you do?"

One of the women pulled a small gun out of the inside of her jacket.  Liam's eyes flashed again as he opened his hand wide, then closed it like he was wadding up a ball of paper.  The gun in her hand crushed into a ball.  She dropped it in shock, "What the hell?"

One man on the far side of the group thought he'd come around in a flank attack, but Jared didn't even look his way, he just used his hand to push the man against the wall hard, dazing him.  "Liam, I'm growing weary of this.  I guess it's time to let them understand what they declared war on."

"I agree," Liam replied as he began rubbing his hands together.

Jared looked at the man who had been acting as the leader of the group, "I know that your club executive will not like the fact that you broke our treaty, and we are now at war.  It's time you learn what that means."  Both Jared and Liam faced the group with their hands on their hips.

The one man who Jared thought he had recognized stepped forward, turning to his group he said, "Help those guys get up and get your asses in those chairs.  Shut up and say nothing."  He turned to Jared, "He's not the senior one, I am." He cleared his throat and then said, "Jared, he does not speak for the club and I was wrong to let him so you thought he did."

"I knew he wasn't the leader.  That man was too stupid to be in that position even if you were all cub scouts."

The man was about to lunge at Jared when the real leader quietly said, "I would think hard about your next move.  I suspect Jared and his husband have been just toying with you."

"Oh bullshit, I could do them no problem."

The leader looked right at the man, "Take a look at Cindy's gun and think hard about that being your fat fucking head.  Now sit down, shut up or I will put a bullet through your head myself."

Jared indicated for the leader to sit at a nearby table.  As he did, Jared and Liam sat down on the other side of the table.

"The stories I've heard are obviously true.  I have no clue how you do it, but I don't care, it's real.  Whoever breaks the agreement with you in our club is to be dealt with severely.  And I mean terminated."

"Why should I care what happens to you?"

"As I said, I suspect you've been toying with us.  If you really wanted to hurt us, you would've done it by now."

"That's a possible explanation.  How about we're toying with you because that's what we like to do, just like a cat toying with a mouse."

The man's face was expressionless as he thought.  "I'll be honest with you.  I've heard about you and your ambulance staff.  They are good people who have treated us the same as they would anyone else.  I mean no different because we belong to a motorcycle club.  You may not know it, but you and your people have the respect of the clubs in the entire area.  Many of the gangs joined in with that as well.  We're still working on a couple of the other loose cannon gangs, but my point is that we have come to respect you and your people.  To be honest, now that I've seen you toying with us, the stories I've heard must be true."

Jared's face was emotionless as he replied, "It would be a terrible thing for an agreement to be torn up over a… misunderstanding, wouldn't it?"

"Yes, yes it would.  It was a misunderstanding."

Jared turned to his husband, "I could accept that it was a misunderstanding.  Could you?"

"It would be easier if the gentleman who called us fags apologized," Liam suggested.

The man sitting across from Jared turned his head and barked, "Wes, get over here and apologize."

The big man moved slowly, stopped next to the table and looked down at Jared with hate in his eyes.  He leaned forward, putting his hands on the table just like last time.  Jared moved one finger to touch the man's hand, and in that split second, he accessed the man's thoughts to quickly demonstrate what he was capable of.  He replayed a memory.

A few members of the motorcycle club were drunk and stoned.  At some point, an ambulance drove by and some of the club members decided to get all the drugs inside.  They chased it down and circled it, trying to chase the paramedics away so they could get to the drugs.

Jared was inside.  He stepped outside the ambulance and pointed his hand at a motorcycle.  The bike immediately crushed like a tin can right underneath the man who had been riding it.  He unhurriedly did it to all five of the bikes, including the chapter president's bike.

Before the shock registered, the men rushed Jared.  He never touched them physically, but each one looked like they had been badly beaten.  It might have ended there, but the club members kept coming at him and coming at him until Jared finally lost his temper and brought his hands together, knocking every remaining club member to the ground.

He pointed at the crumpled form of the club president who lay writhing on the ground and made the motion 'come here'.  The man's semi-conscious form slid across the pavement to halt at Jared's feet.  Standing over the man, Jared looked down to see he was now fully awake and trembling.  Jared's eyes turned absolutely black while he stared at the beaten president, but they began to soften until they returned to normal.  He then helped the president of the club to his feet.

The memory ended with the discussion between Jared and the club president.  In the end, they reached an agreement.

The man looked horrified at what he'd just seen.  "What the hell are you?"

"Neither one of us are anyone you ever want to piss off like you just did.  You saw the memory which led to the agreement, do you want me to do the same thing again now?"

"NO!! I apologize to you both."  As soon as he finished, he stepped back to be near his friends.

Liam stared at a napkin dispenser.  With simple gestures of his hand, it raised into the air over the table.  The club members were all watching it intently as Liam closed his hand as he had before, crushing the dispenser into a ball.  He let it drop to the tabletop.

"Let's get the hell out of here," The Refrigerator blurted out.

Jared looked at the ride leader, "This is my home town, it is protected.  You did nothing wrong by coming into town for fuel and a meal.  The people were uncomfortable, some even scared but that's fine, it's their problem. You did nothing wrong when you parked out front and came in for a meal.  You weren't their first or even their last choice for a customer, but again you did nothing wrong.  Then you chased the people out of the restaurant and interrupted our meal with insults and threats."  Everyone was waiting for Jared to finish.  "The pulling of the guns, the attempted violence…"

"Even the way you are summarizing the sequence of events tells me that the stories of your honesty and integrity are true.   I would like to think everything was a misunderstanding," the leader said quickly.

"I can accept that.  What you are going to do now is to leave a few hundred dollars at the till to compensate the nice family who owns this business for their losses and inconvenience, then leave town."

Liam sarcastically added, "Do not pass go, do not collect $200 or you will want to go to jail."

The leader barked over his shoulder, "Do it.  Moose, leave a grand of used money on the till.  The rest of you, mount up.  Keep your mouths shut, say nothing.  We're leaving town."

No one said a thing as they did exactly what they were told.  They were all starting up their bikes while the leader sat at the table.  Jared leaned forward, touching the man's hand, giving him the memory of the agreement.  Both Liam's and Jared's eyes turned bright white as he said, "There are forces around you that are more powerful than you ever could think or believe.  The forces are not evil but represent the good and power of the Creator of all of us.  But, as you've seen a sample of, these forces could destroy with a simple hand gesture.   Make sure your club understands this town is now covered within the agreement.  Understand that any further violations of the agreement will be dealt with not just by me, but by a group of people with power beyond your comprehension." Both men's eyes returned to normal.  "Now, please leave."  The man left, got onto his bike, and led them all out of town.

The Chinese family who owned the restaurant came out of the kitchen to talk with Jared and Liam.  From their angle, looking through the doors they hadn't seen most of what had happened, but they had heard every word.  Ten minutes later, both men had a few plates of food scattered on the table around them.  After anything happens in a small town, people all come out onto the sidewalks to gossip or figure out what had happened.  The second thing which happens is the restaurants and coffee shop fill up, each discussing the event and trying to solve all the worlds mysteries.

After finishing their meal, Jared had to argue with the owner to pay for their food.  The man did relent, finally taking Jared's money.  After picking up the cheesecakes at the bakery, they headed home.

"I thought we weren't allowed to things like that," asked Liam.

"There are times it is appropriate, and keep in mind that we only used enough force to stop the threat.  You saw the memory of the first 'battle' we had which led to the agreement?"

"Yes, that was pretty brutal."

"That was the last time my anger got out of control.  That memory left out one scene... Right after I pulled the club president over to me, I was about to destroy one of the bikers who was in the back of the ambulance.  I was seconds away from making a grave mistake when I regained control of my temper.  Instead of destroying him, I mentally pulled him out of the unit, skipping him across the pavement to land at the feet of the chapter president.   Liam, never forget we have the power to turn people into dust, not even leaving a stain on the sidewalk."

"I've always suspected it, but I honestly didn't want to know."

"I found out that day.  I lost my temper and destroyed those bikes.  But I learned to control my temper that day too."

"So, we didn't do anything wrong today?"

"Liam, I can absolutely state with 100% surety that if we had done something wrong, we would've known by now."

The radio went silent for a moment, then Chad Running Squirrels voice came out of the speakers, "You two have got that right."  The music came back on a few seconds later. The two men started to laugh.

Liam thought for a moment, then said, "I have a memory popping up.  It's a story about a Dene man named Yamoria who was known as an old man, wanderer or changer.  There are many stories about him using his cleverness and intelligence to outsmart any enemies he came across."  Liam thought for a moment, "I just translated some more of the story.  Yamoria would use cleverness as opposed to strength to defeat them.  If he needed to use strength, it was just enough to accomplish the win over the enemy.  Once he had accomplished the victory, he would walk away, transform them into something harmless or destroy them all.  It would depend upon the conflict and the enemy."

"Well, looks like history is repeating itself.  We just did the same thing in the 21st century."


That night after supper, Liam and Jared suddenly had the need to sit cross-legged, facing each other, knees touching at the end of the dock during the sunset.  Their hands were palm to palm, fingers wrapped onto the back of the others hand to hold them together.  Both men's eyes were closed as they focused on their activity.

They hadn't talked about it much, but both had a sudden idea and internal desire driving them to do this.  It was more than just an internal desire, it was pure instinct, a strong drive and need to do this.  Tonight was something they had never done before, they were sharing and walking through each other's lifetime of memories.  Liam watched Jared from the time he was a baby, through the challenges of school, not having parents who cared, living with his grandfather along with the love from Melanie as well as the deep respect he had for John as he taught him about business up to meeting Liam and working together.

Jared watched Liam as a baby, the love of his grandparents and the loss of them, growing up through school, the many wonderful conversations and debates he had with his parents while reading the newspapers on the weekends, and the pain of their death.  He watched how Liam had coped with the pain, managing to finish school and meet Jared.

When the memories completed, the two men opened their eyes to the rising sun.  Both said together:

"Creator,
Thank you for:

The sunrise as it brings life to us,
The sunset as it brings sleep to us,
The deep peace of the running wave,
The deep peace of the flowing air,
The deep peace of the quiet earth,
The deep peace of the shining stars.

May we share the deep peace of the infinite peace to you.
May our thanks, hopes, dreams and prayers be carried to your ears."

Jared stared into Liam's eyes and spoke the first words since the two had sat down together the night before.  "Liam, may we each have and give happiness, may we each have given peace, may we each have and give love to each other.  I love you."

Upon hearing the words of his husband, Liam had tears in his eyes.  "Jared, May the Creator give you for every storm, a rainbow.  For every tear, a smile.  For every sigh, a sweet song.  May you have an answer for each and every prayer." Liam took a deep breath as he finished, "I know I have you for my prayer to be loved. I love you." The two men leaned forward, gently kissing, leaning against each other, forehead to forehead.

A few moments later, with some difficulty and stiffness, they both stood up.  Shadow was on the dock, moving to them as they began walking.  Jared reached down, scratching the wolf's head.  "Were you here all night with us?"  The animal nodded yes.  "I should've known better than to even ask."

Liam suggested, "We should get something to eat, feed Shadow and crawl into bed for a bit."

"That's a great idea."

Liam took Jared's hand into his as they walked together towards the cabin.  Both were still thinking, processing and understanding what they had shared together.  Jared and Liam had previously shared their bodies with each other, they had also shared their essence deep inside the other.  Now they had shared the most intimate thing any person can share with another, their minds and memories.  Both were too tired to even talk about it.  After a quiet snack and feeding Shadow, they crawled into their bed together.  Jared spooned behind Liam, holding him tightly.  Both were asleep in moments.

Shadow crawled onto the soft bed of blankets Liam had laid out for him next to the bed.  He had been awake all night, standing guard. He knew his humans were each travelling to a sacred place very few arrive at.  Shadow had clearly understood that during this time, they were both very vulnerable to attack from shadows and evil.  He wasn't alone though.  Shadow had been joined by both Masqua the sacred bear and Mikisow the sacred eagle, all of them there to protect their humans.

The final presence on the dock ensured that both Jared and Liam were going to be safe.  The big man sat on a log near a small fire, sipping tea.  Nimanitôm enjoyed Saskatoon Berry tea, and it tasted even better tonight during such a beautiful evening.  While the sun was slowly setting, he raised his hand slowly waving it from one side of the sunset to the other.  When he dropped his hand back down to grasp the traditional buffalo-horn cup of tea, he smiled at the changes which had taken place.  The sunset was now full of extra shades of yellow, orange, pink, purple, and red making it look like someone had painted it on a canvass.

Nimanitôm was smiling as he thought, "Not bad."  Shadow had quietly yipped, coughed, and growled at him.  "I know, I know.  But Shadow, my old friend, every once in a while, it's ok to indulge myself." He reached over and scratched the old wolf's head.  Once again, Shadow quietly yipped and wheezed.  Nimanitôm laughed, "I still think that's funny.  Yes, the last time I indulged myself I did create the platypus."  He laughed loudly, "It's still driving the educated ones' nuts trying to figure out where it came from.  And they say I don't have a sense of humour."  Shadow gave his Muttley laugh in response as Nimanitôm continued to rub the wolf's head.  "Well Shadow, when this is done, these two will truly be one in mind, body, spirit, and power.  All of it possible because of the gift of love used the way it was meant to be."

End of Chapter Fifty-Two

 

Comments Appreciated at Snowblind

 

Short stories I have written:

The Break In

The Wilderness Canoe Guide

The Extraction

The Veterans

Fourteen Days Which Changed My Christmas

 

     The Brothers     

     Recurring Characters       


JaredJared ("<\/span><\/p>\r\n<h4>Jared<\/h4>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Age: 29<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Description: 6'3\", 230 lbs of solid muscle, trimmed dark black hair and deep chocolate brown eyes<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: Paramedic (Partner: Liam) \/ Shift Supervisor \/ Paramedic Field Trainer<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Husband: Liam<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Relationships: Mathew Bear (grandfather), Melanie Bear (cousin)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Spirit Guide: Bear, Eagle (secondary)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Nations name: Masqua, Standing Bear<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Titles: Most Sacred Eagle-Eyed Bear, Sacred Medicine Man of the People, Shaman of the Forests, President and CEO Bear Investment Group (secret)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared, Chapter 1<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: center;\">") and LiamLiam ("<\/p>\r\n<h4>Liam<\/h4>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Age: 22<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Description: 6'0\", blue eyes, curly blond hair, nicely toned and tanned<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: Paramedic (Partner: Jared)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Husband: Jared<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Spirit Guide: Eagle<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Nations name: Mikisow, Soaring Eagle<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Titles: Most Sacred Soaring Eagle, Shaman of the Lost Tribe (Celtic)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared, Chapter 1<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: center;\">")

TylerTyler ("<\/p>\r\n<h4>Tyler<\/h4>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Age: 25<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Description: 5'11\", brown eyes, dark brown hair, slim<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: Police Officer<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Boyfriend: Troy<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Spirit Guide: Wolf<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared, Chapter 1<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: center;\">") and TroyTroy ("<\/span><\/p>\r\n<h4>Troy<\/h4>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Age: 25<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Description: 5'11\", brown eyes, blonde hair, solid but not overly muscular.<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: Paramedic<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Boyfriend: Tyler<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Spirit Guide: Wolf<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared, Chapter 1<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: center;\">")

JoshJosh ("<\/p>\r\n<h4><span style=\"color: #00ffff;\">Josh<\/span><\/h4>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Age: 25 (Deceased)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Description: 5'8\", blue eyes, light brown hair, solid. He and Darrin could pass for cousins or even brothers<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Boyfriend: Darren (Deceased)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Spirit Guide: Wolf<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Nickname: Ditch Pig<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared, Chapter 1<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Died: Jared II, Chapter 33<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: center;\">") and DarrenDarren ("<\/p>\r\n<h4><span style=\"color: #00ffff;\">Darren<\/span><\/h4>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Age: 26 (Deceased)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Description: 6'0\", green eyes, light brown hair, solid. He and Josh could pass for cousins or even brothers.<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: Fire Fighter<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Boyfriend: Josh (Deceased)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Relationships: Cameron (brother, deceased)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Spirit Guide: Wolf<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Nickname: Hose Puller<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared, Chapter 5<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Died: Jared II, Chapter 33<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: center;\">")

JesseJesse ("<\/p>\r\n<h4>Jesse<\/h4>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Age: 32 (looks 22)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Description: 5'10\" 160 lbs, blonde hair, clear blue eyes, light olive skin (darkens considerably when tanned). Has an eidetic memory.<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: Judge, McCoy &amp; Associates (owner, President, CEO), McAdam Construction (owner, President, CEO)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Husband: Marc (deceased)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Boyfriend: Zane<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Spirit Guide: Cougar, Elk (secondary)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance:&#160;Jared II, Chapter 1 &lt;- Jared, Chapter 16 (phone)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: center;\">") and ZaneZane ("<\/p>\r\n<h4>Zane<\/h4>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Age: 26<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Description: 5'8\" 140 lbs, brown hair, brown eyes<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Director of the LGTBQ2 Centre<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Boyfriend: Jesse<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Spirit Guide: Cougar, Eagle (secondary), Elk (secondary)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Titles: Shaman<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared, Chapter 11<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: center;\">")

MarkMark ("<\/p>\r\n<h4>Mark<\/h4>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Age: 18<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Description: 5'11\", 150 lbs, slightly built, dirty blonde straight hair, grey eyes<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Student: University<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Boyfriend: Conner<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Relationships: Sgt. Frank Myers (father)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Spirit Guide: Fox<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared, Chapter 15<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: center;\">") and ConnerConner ("<\/span><\/p>\r\n<h4>Conner<\/h4>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Age: 18<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Description: 5'10\", 150 lbs, slightly built, brown curly hair, hazel eyes<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: Paramedic<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Boyfriend: Mark<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Relationships:&#160;Frank (surrogate father)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Spirit Guide: Coyote<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Nations name:&#160;Swift Fox, (full: Swift Fox Full of Bravery)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared, Chapter 11<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: center;\">")

AdamAdam ("<\/p>\r\n<h4>Adam<\/h4>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Age: 19<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Description: 5'8\", 145 lbs, black hair, chocolate brown eyes, olive skin<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Student: Police Academy<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Boyfriend: Patrick<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Relationships: Tom (grandfather), Frank (surrogate father)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Spirit Guide: Moose (primary), Otter (secondary), Salamander (transitional)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Titles: Shaman of the Plains<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared, Chapter 17<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: center;\">") and PatrickPatrick ("<\/p>\r\n<h4>Patrick<\/h4>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Age: 17<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Description: 6'0\", dark shaggy hair, large soft brown eyes, contagious smile, and a light mustache<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Student: High School<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Boyfriend: Adam<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Spirit Guide: Lynx, Porcupine (secondary)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Nations name: Tadika (fast runner)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Titles: Shaman of the Aryan Tribe<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared II, Chapter 11<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: center;\">")

 NikitaNikita ("<\/p>\r\n<h4>Nikita<\/h4>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Age: 19<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Description: 5'9\" slim, blonde hair, crystal blue eyes, muscular<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: Works at the Chinese Resturant<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Titles: Shaman of the Siberian Tribe<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared II, Chapter 14<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: center;\">") and TrevorTrevor ("<\/p>\r\n<h4>Trevor<\/h4>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Age: 23<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Description: 5'8\" 130 lbs, long blonde hair, very fine facial features with delicate hands<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: Works at the LGBTQ Centre<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared II, Chapter 4<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: center;\">")


MathewMathew ("<\/p>\r\n<h4>Mathew Bear (Grandfather)<\/h4>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Age: 98?<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Relationships: Jared and Melanie (grandchildren), Liam, Tyler, Troy, Darren (Deceased), Josh Deceased), Jesse, Zane, Conner, Mark, Adam, Patrick (adopted grandchildren)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Titles: Most Sacred Medicine Man of the People, &#160;Shaman of the People, &#160;Most Elder of the People, &#160;Most Respected Elder in the Tribal Council of the Entire Western Region, &#160;Primary Messenger of the Sacred White Buffalo<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Nations name: Running Elk<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared II, Chapter 12 &lt;- Jared, Chapter 8 (astral) &lt;-&#160;Jared, Chapter 2 (mentioned)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: center;\">")

TomTom ("<\/p>\r\n<h4>Grandfather Tom<\/h4>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Age: 75?<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: Owner and Operator of Tom's Marina<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Relationships: Adam (grandson)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Titles: Most Sacred Medicine Man of the People, Most Sacred Healer of the People, Speaker for the Council of Elders, Chairman of Tribal Council, Sacred Messenger of the Creator Himself<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Nations name: Spirit Walker<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared, Chapter 17<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: center;\">")

  MelanieMelanie ("<\/p>\r\n<h4>Melanie Bear<\/h4>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Description: 5'6\", with olive skin and jet black braided hair to her waist<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: Executive Assistant to the CEO\/President, Bear Investment Group (3rd in command)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Relationships: Mathew Bear (grandfather), Jared Bear (cousin)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Spirit Guide: Wolverine<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Nickname: Dragon Lady<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared, Chapter 10 &lt;- Jared, Chapter 2 (mentioned)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: center;\">") and RyanRyan ("<\/p>\r\n<h4>Ryan<\/h4>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Age: 38<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: Medic in the Marines<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Relationships: Jebidiah (son)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared II, Chapter 29<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: center;\">")  

JebJeb ("<\/p>\r\n<h4>Jeb<\/h4>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Age: 18<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Student<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Relationships: Ryan (father)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared II, Chapter 30 &lt;- Chapter 29 (mentioned)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: center;\">")

JettJett ("<\/p>\r\n<h4>Jett<\/h4>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Age: 18<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Description: 5'10\" 185 lbs solid, brown eyes, dark brown hair, bleached blonde on the ends<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999; font-family: inherit; font-size: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-variant-caps: inherit;\">Student: High School<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared II, Chapter 16<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: center;\">")

ShadowShadow ("<\/p>\r\n<h4>Shadow<\/h4>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Wolf<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Description: 200 lbs, 42\" high at the shoulders, ice-blue eyes, gray and silver-white fur with some black tips<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared III, Chapter 10<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: center;\">")

  CliffCliff ("<\/p>\r\n<h4>Cliff Springer<\/h4>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: Chief of Corporate Operations<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared II, Chapter 24<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: center;\">") and CarterCarter ("<\/p>\r\n<h4>Carter Gordon<\/h4>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: Police Office, Computer Specialist<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared III, Chapter 19<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: center;\">")  

ColtColt ("<\/p>\r\n<h4 style=\"text-align: left;\">Colt<\/h4>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li style=\"text-align: left;\"><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Description: 6'2\", 200 lbs, black hair, light olive skin colour, clean shaven but definite beard pattern, beautiful soft brown eyes and a smile that would melt the coldest of hearts<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li style=\"text-align: left;\"><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: Police Officer<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li style=\"text-align: left;\"><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Titles: Shaman of the Northern Tribe (future, training commencing)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li style=\"text-align: left;\"><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared III, Chapter 25<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: center;\">")


JohnJohn ("<\/p>\r\n<h4>John<\/h4>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: CFO and Acting CEO, Bear Investment Group (2nd in command after Jared)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared, Chapter 10<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: center;\">")

RobRob ("<\/p>\r\n<h4>Rob<\/h4>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: Ambulance Base Manager<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared, Chapter 4<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: center;\">")

DawnDawn ("<\/p>\r\n<h4>Dawn<\/h4>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: Ambulance Base HR Manager<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Nickname: Tiger Lady<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared II Prologue<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: center;\">")

  JackJack ("<\/p>\r\n<h4>Jack<\/h4>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: COO of McCoy &amp; Associates<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Relationships: Molly (wife), Jesse (surrogate son)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared II, Chapter 5 &lt;- Jared II, Chapter 3 (phone)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: center;\">") and MollyMolly ("<\/p>\r\n<h4>Molly<\/h4>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Relationships: Jack (husband), Jesse (surrogate son)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared II, Chapter 5<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: center;\">")  

JulieJulie ("<\/p>\r\n<h4>Julie<\/h4>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: Office Manager for the local McCoy &amp; Associates office<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Used to babysit Jesse and Marc when they were young<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared II, Chapter 3<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: center;\">")

  KatKat ("<\/p>\r\n<h4>Kat<\/h4>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: Nurse<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Relationships: Shawn (husband)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared, Chapter 15<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: center;\">") and ShawnShawn ("<\/p>\r\n<h4>Shawn<\/h4>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: Doctor<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Relationships: Kat (wife)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Titles: Dr. Smith<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared, Chapter 11<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: center;\">")  

LyleLyle ("<\/p>\r\n<h4>Lyle<\/h4>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Age: mid-30's<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: Paramedic<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared II, Chapter 9<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p>")


FrankFrank ("<\/p>\r\n<h4>Sgt. Frank Myers<\/h4>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: Police Sergeant<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Relationships: Mark (son) and a daughter, then Conner (surrogate son), Adam (surrogate son)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared, Chapter 1<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: center;\">")

AmandaAmanda ("<\/p>\r\n<h4>Amanda<\/h4>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Description: A pleasant woman, shorter, plump, eyes full of life, and&#160;grandmotherly. &#160;Also a sensitive.<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: Hospital Social Worker<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Relationships: Marci (niece)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared, Chapter 13<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: center;\">")

MarciMarci ("<\/p>\r\n<h4>Marci<\/h4>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: Paramedic<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Relationships: Amanda (aunt)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared, Chapter 14<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: center;\">") 

  JohnJohn ("<\/p>\r\n<h4>John<\/h4>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Age: 39<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Description:&#160;5'11\", 175 lbs, Norwegian descent, with blonde hair, blue eyes and the build of Viking<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: Police Chief Superintendent<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Relationships: Gus (Husband)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared, Chapter 15<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: center;\">") and GusGus ("<\/p>\r\n<h4>Gus<\/h4>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Age: 39<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Description: 5'10\" 180 lbs, Greek ancestry, built like a linebacker with broad shoulders<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: Owner of a dozen Grestaurantsrants in six cities<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Relationships: John (Husband)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared II, Chapter 23 &lt;- Jared II, Chapter 13 (mentioned)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: center;\">")   

  AlexAlex ("<\/p>\r\n<h4>Alex<\/h4>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Age: 18<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Description: 6' 160 lbs, Brown Hair, Brown Eyes<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: College Student<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Relationships: Kyle (Boyfriend)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared II, Chapter 23<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: center;\">") and KyleKyle ("<\/p>\r\n<h4>Kyle<\/h4>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Age: 18<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Description: 6'1\" 165 lbs, Brown Hair, Blue Eyes<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: College Student<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Relationships: Alex (Boyfriend)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared II, Chapter 23<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: center;\">")  

  EricEric ("<\/p>\r\n<h4>Eric<\/h4>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Age: 25<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Description: 5'11\" 220 lbs solid build, brown hair, hazel eyes<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: Police Officer<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Relationships:<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared II, Chapter 13<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: center;\">") and ChadChad ("<\/p>\r\n<h4>Chad<\/h4>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Age: 26<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Description: &#160;6'1\" 180 lbs, dark brown hair, dark brown eyes<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: Police Officer<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Relationships:<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared II, Chapter 13<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p>")  

MartyMarty ("<\/p>\r\n<h4>Marty<\/h4>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: Police Officer<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared III, Chapter 11<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: center;\">")