Jared the Paramedic III ~ Redemption

Chapter 43: Time Out

The school bus with the LGBT youth group members pulled up to Tom's marina.  14 young men got off the bus, all with their eyes wide open as they looked around frantically.  They unconsciously began to move towards each other, feeling safe in a group.  Patrick jumped off the bus, followed by Adam.

The front door of the marina opened.  Tom quickly came out, moving towards his grandson.

"Adam, my grandson!" Tom exclaimed as he embraced him warmly.

"Grandfather Tom, it's wonderful to be here with you."

Tom released Adam only to embrace Patrick.  "And my other grandson."

"Good to see you, Grandfather Tom."

The three men turned to look at the group of youth who had got off the bus.  Patrick waved them over to them.  "Guys, this is our grandfather.  In the culture, it's a title of respect given to all people who…"

Adam leaned over Patrick's shoulder, "Be careful how you choose your words for this."

Tom quietly stepped behind Patrick, carefully grabbing the back elastic of his underwear.  "Yes Patrick, please continue."

Patrick swallowed, and continued, "It's a title of respect given to people who are the most knowledgeable elders of the community."

Grandfather released his grip on Patrick's underwear elastic slightly.   A sigh of relief escaped from Patrick's lips.

Adam added, "What Patrick meant to say was anyone who is old…"  He didn't even see Tom grab his underwear to give him a wedgie.  The youth in the group were shocked at first but then began to laugh.  Tom let Adam go.

"Don't you forget Grandson, I can still take you.  Cop or no cop."  Tom said quietly as he headed over to the marina store.  Opening the door, he called out, "The rest of you, get out here.  I've had enough of you eating me out of house and home."

Mark, Nikita, Conner, and Trevor came running out of the building, stopping in front of Tom.  "Grandfather, Liam's being a meanie," complained Conner.

"I don't want to hear about it.  Get over there next to the group."  As Conner began walking away, he muttered.  Tom slapped the back of his head.  "No muttering."

"Yes, Grandfather."  He continued walking while rubbing his head.

"The rest of you too.  Get out of here," Tom demanded with a big smile.

Tyler, Troy, Jared and Liam came out.  Liam was carrying a box containing graham crackers, marshmallows and chocolate bars.  Tom held up his hand, "Stop. Where do you think you're going with that? Did you pay for it?"

Liam smiled, fluttering his eyelashes. "You wouldn't want your favourite grandson to really rough it with no smores, would you?"

Jared walked by with his hands up, "I'm out of this one.  You're on your own, husband."

Tom reached out, "Give me the stuff."

"Please, no! Anything but that, Grandfather.  I love you so much."

Tyler and Troy walked by.  Troy added, "I thought you said he was a pushover, Liam?"

Liam gushed, "I never said that about my favourite grandfather."

Tom had a firm grip on the box, "Give this back to me for real customers."

Jesse and Zane walked by.  "Grandfather, if you don't let him have it, he'll pout the whole trip."

"I do not pout."

Conner yelled over his shoulder, "Like when he pouted over not being able to drive the ambulance that one night.  It was terrible.  He sat there with his chin stuck out, arms crossed and muttering."

"I never did such a thing," Liam answered back.

"Do you remember when we hid the last piece of cheesecake and he thought someone had eaten it?" Troy added.

"You guys were being jerks that day," Liam snorted.

Jesse was laughing, "He stomped his feet, jumped up and down with his hands in fists while screaming."

"Oh you be telling porkie pies you be ya ambulance chaser you," Liam said defiantly.

"Oh, oh, I've got the Irish coming out of him now," Jesse said while laughing.

Liam stuck his tongue out at him.

Jared walked back to Grandfather, "Please let him have his smore makings.  If you don't, we'll have to deal with him pouting the whole trip.  Plus, I have to share a sleeping bag with him."

Liam looked at his husband, "I wouldn't count on that if I were you, Mr.  Bear."

The rest of the brothers all starting makings sounds or statements such as "ewww", "he used your last name, no tail for you" or "You're in trouble now, Jared."

Liam turned to Grandfather, giving him big watery puppy-dog eyes, quivering lower lip, sniffling as if he was going to cry.  "Jared, Shadow has been teaching your husband how to beg," Tom observed.

Jared laughed, "He is the master of it.  Speaking of Shadow..." Jared yelled into the store, "Shadow, are you staying here with Grandfather or travelling with us?"

Liam was almost ready to cry when he begged, "Pleeeeeeeeeesssse my loving and favourite grandfather?"

Shadow came bounding out of the store, stopped to look around at what was going on.  He then ran over to sit next to Liam.  Not to be outdone for whatever was being given out, Shadow began to beg for whatever Liam was begging for.

Tom looked at the wolf, "Will you share the marshmallows and smores with Shadow?"

"Of course I will Grandfather, but without the chocolate."

"Shadow, you'll tell me if he doesn't share them with you?" The wolf looked at Liam and grinned.  He nodded his head to Tom as he did he Muttly imitation.  Tom relented, "Ok Liam, because Shadow loves them I'll let you take this stuff."

"Because Shadow does?  That's not fair!"

"Do you want it or not?"

Liam hugged Shadow, "I love ya, ya big puppy."

Shadow growled.

"Ok... ya big wolf," as he kissed Shadow on the snout.  Liam stood, gave Grandfather a big hug, kissing him on the cheek as well.

Tom looked at Liam, "Get in the bus."

"Yes, sir," he said as he took off.

Shadow had moved on from Liam and was checking out the group of young men.  The attention he was getting from them was satisfying to the big animal.

Tom embraced Jared, "Stay in touch on the trip please, just so I know you guys are all ok."

"Of course I will Grandfather.  Thank you for organizing everything for us."

"My pleasure, my grandson."

Starting with Shadow, the brothers all introduced themselves to the youth group members.  They went on to explain the equipment and canoes were already at the embarkation point at Manitou Landing and Beach.  It would take an hour for the bus ride to get there.  The first night would be spent at the camping site at the landing, with an early morning start the next day.  At the mention of early morning, the teenagers all groaned.  Including the little brothers.  Jared smirked at them.  Everyone trooped back onto the bus.  Shadow took the first seat on the passenger side, sniffing every person as they came in.  When Nikita got onto the bus, Shadow yipped at him.  Nikita gave him a puzzled look which resulted in another yip from Shadow.  The young man tried to keep walking down the aisle but Shadow stopped him.  Everyone was looking at Shadow and Nikita trying to figure out what the problem was.  Trevor had nudged his boyfriend, whispering something into his ear.  Nikita reached into his pocket, took out a bag of beef jerky giving a big piece to Shadow.  The wolf gently took it, yipped, and snorting a 'thank you', promptly sat on the seat to eat it.

Jared had been watching Shadow inspecting everyone getting onto the bus, unsure what the wolf was doing.  When he sniffed out the beef jerky, he laughed at his four-legged Friend.  "Liam," Jared called out.  "Stop teaching Shadow how to mooch food.  He's going to get fat."

"What? Me? I'm not teaching that overstuffed puppy anything."

"He just shook Nikita down for some beef jerky."

"Nik has beef jerky?" Liam stood to look around the bus, "Where are you, Nik? Do you still have beef jerky?"

Tyler shook his head, "At least Shadow is subtle when he's mooching or begging, unlike Liam."

Jared smiled as he said, "Shadow has been at it longer.  But, his ass is going to get bigger like…"

"If you finish that sentence, Mr.  Jared Alphonse Mathew Bear…"

Jesse was roaring with laughter as he said, "You're in even deeper shit now Jared, he used your full name."

"And my ass is not getting any bigger, it's still prime grade-triple-A beef," Liam said as stood to wiggled it.

"Shadow, Trevor, and I ate all the jerky Liam, sorry," Nikita said as he threw the last piece to the wolf.  Shadow caught it in his mouth, threw it up into the air above his head, swallowing it one piece as it fell back down into his mouth.  Shadow looked at Liam and used his Mutley wheezing to laugh.

"Jared, your puppy has an attitude problem," Liam pouted.

Jared pulled Liam down to sit on the seat next to him, "It's ok.  It's not a problem to be outsmarted by Shadow."

"I was not…"

"Liam, he's been outsmarting me for years.  Don't even try to beat him."  Before Liam could continue, Jared pulled him in tight, guiding his head onto his shoulder.  "Now, this is the way I like to travel."

Liam gave up, put his arm around Jared, snuggled in tighter and said, "Me too."

"Plus you're not driving…" Jared said quietly.  Before Liam could say anything, Jared kissed him.  Liam grunted, snuggling back into his husband.

The school bus had just started up, the old standard transmission had just been ground from first to second gear when there was chatter all over the bus: 'Oh my god.'  'Something died nearby'  'Did we hit a skunk?'  Within seconds, more of the youth group were complaining about the smell travelling through the bus.  As soon as the brothers smelled it, they yelled 'PATRICK!" 

Patrick yelled, "The dog did it!" but Shadow knew what had been said and quickly barked his reply.  The bus stopped, the door opened, Patrick flew out the door head-first, landing on the soft long grass in the ditch.  The door closed and the bus started up again.  Patrick got up, running after the bus screaming that he was sorry. 

The bus ride to Manitou Beach was uneventful, even after they did stop the bus to let Patrick back in.  It allowed everyone to start chatting, getting to know each other.  The youth were all 16-18, raised in the city, had never been out of the city before, had never been in the wilderness before, and they all thought a single street light being out at night was dark.  Luke and Logan were still living in a room at the LGBT Centre after Zane figured out they had nowhere to go.  Both had joined them for the trip.  Zane wanted them to learn something positive about their lives, the completion of this trip would be a big step to help them in their self-images.

The biggest shock was Trey and his boyfriend had signed up for the trip.  After the confrontation with Trey at a youth group meeting, followed by the disastrous meeting with his father, the meeting between Jack and Mr. Zenith saw Jack giving the man a second chance in the company.  Jack saw real potential in the man, and as opposed to terminating his contract he is mentoring him in parenting techniques.  The light must've come on for Mr.  Zenith.  He immediately had changed his parenting techniques.  Zane also allowed Trey back into the youth group after they had agreed upon a behavioural contract for the young man to follow.  After some time, a positive change was noticeable in Trey as well.  He still had a long way to go, but now it appeared he really was trying to change.

The bus arrived at Manitou Beach around 4:00 pm where they found Grandfather Mathew meditating on a large rock waiting patiently for them.  Zane and Patrick had the young men organized quickly into setting up lean-to style shelters, gathering firewood and helping to cook supper.  With 14 of the brothers on the trip, the supervision of the 14 youth was not a problem.  This was a good opportunity to work one on one with the youth, possibly being able to help them in some way.  After supper, everyone gathered around the fire to hear Grandfather speak.

"I would like to welcome the guests of my grandchildren who are here to experience mother nature.  The earth was created by the Creator for all to share, and our family is very happy to share their knowledge and skills but most importantly their time with all of you."

Logan raised his hand cautiously, "Sir, are you the one who paid for this trip?"

Mathew looked at the young man, "Logan, the costs for this trip are not important.  The important thing is that you and Luke are here along with friends and my family.  You will have fun, eat lots, maybe learn a few things about life and yourself while helping the camp succeed by helping with every job which needs to be completed.  In the old days, every member from the youngest to the oldest helped to ensure the tribe survived.  We don't expect perfection, but we won't accept anything that is less than your best effort."

Logan was about to ask a second question when Zane cut him off.  "Logan, have no fear about the costs of the trip.  I know money is something you do worry about, but for the next few days just enjoy yourself.  You and the rest of the youth group just need to relax and have some fun.  You are very, very safe here with my brothers and I."

Just then, Liam was heard calling, "Jared!"

Everyone looked over to where they had set up the kitchen area.  Liam was standing there with his hands on his hips, facing Shadow.  The wolf was sitting with a smirk on his face.

"You two sort it out; I don't want to know about it," Jared yelled back without looking.  The youth all looked at Jared with questions on their minds.  "Grandfather?"

The old man nodded with a smile.

"Ok, I need to explain to you guys that Shadow is not a dog... he's a timber wolf," explained Jared.  That caused a few gasps from the young people.  "He's been my companion since he was a pup.  He hasn't got a mean bone in his body, but he loves to antagonize people.  Liam is my husband, and from the first day they met, they have antagonized each other in a loving way like brothers."

Liam yelled over, "It's all Shadow's fault."  Shadow barked his disagreement.

Jared rolled his eyes, "As you see, they are constantly at each other in fun.  But, Shadow wins most of the time."

"He does not!"

"For you guys, he loves people.  You will find he is a very, very smart animal who will protect you if needed.  In fact, you will see my brothers and I talk with him, sometimes arguing with him too."

Jared's thought was broken by the big animal bushing up against him.  "Shadow stood up, placing his paws on Jared's shoulders.  The big animal opened his mouth, placing it around Jared's throat.  The young people all gasped, but watched as the wolf kept his mouth in place, teeth exposed and on Jared's neck.  A moment later, Shadow moved slightly, taking Jared's lower jaw into his mouth, holding it. What really surprised the youth was when Jared opened his mouth to take Shadows exposed throat into it.  A moment later, Jared took Shadows Jaw into his mouth. Finally, the wolf and man embraced, before Shadow dropped to the ground.

"What you guys just saw was our commitment, trust and respect to each other.  When a wolf attacks, just like a dog, it goes for the throat of the victim.  By placing his teeth on my throat, I am trusting him with my life.  When I place my teeth on his throat, he is trusting me as well.  Shadow will not hurt anyone intentionally, even if you are being violent or threatening to another member of the group.  He will intervene, just enough to stop it until one of us can arrive to take over.  Understand clearly that as a member of this group, he will protect you from any harm.  I would not want to be the person or animal that threatened someone he is protecting."

The young people all chatted for a moment before Jared asked Shadow, "Who started it this time?"

Shadow replied with yips, barks, whines, and coughs.  Jared had a funny look on his face as he listened to the wolf.

One of the youths named Travis asked another youth, "Is he really talking with the wolf?"

Finally, Jared called over, "Liam, did you hide his after-meal cookies?"

Zane smiled, addressed the group. "After meals, Shadow gets a teeth-cleaning biscuit treat or his breath is terrible."

Shadow looked over at Zane, giving him a couple of barks and yips.

"You know it's the truth.  Your breath is terrible later after you eat," replied Zane.

Travis was shaking his head, "They really do talk to the wolf."

Jared called over again, "Liam, did you hide his cookies?"

A quiet, sheepish voice replied, "Maybe."

The brothers started laughing as Jared made his way over to the kitchen, the wolf tagging along behind him, his tail wagging. "I can't leave you two together for five minutes."

"He started it."

"He's a wolf, how did he start it?"

"He ate the last part of my sandwich right off my plate."

Jared stopped, looked at Shadow, "Did you eat his sandwich?" The wolf slowly nodded his head yes.

"Come with me you two, you both need a time out.  Let's go down to the water to talk."

The brothers were laughing, the youth felt comfortable enough to begin joining in as well.

"That wolf really does talk with you guys," Travis observed.

"You'll all understand him soon enough if you want to," said Tyler.  "When he's around, just open your minds to hear what he has to say."

Grandfather got everyone's attention again before continuing.  "Now that the distraction is done," he started with a big smile.  "What you just saw was how my family works.  They have fun, do not lie about anything, and work to a conclusion.  This weekend, you are all my children and are protected by the spirits of the Bear and Wolf.  No harm will come to you with that protection.  We want you to enjoy the trip, learn some new skills but have fun.  I won't be with you all the time, but I will drop in at times."

Logan looked puzzled, asked, "How does that work?"

"You'll see."

Logan looked at Grandfather, then shrugged his shoulders and said, "Ok".

"One of the big rules we have is to treat yourself with respect, treat everyone else with respect, treat nature with respect.  All of my grandchildren live by that philosophy.  If you want to ask questions, do so.  Ask when everyone is sitting around the fire or if you want to talk to one of my grandchildren without others hearing, just ask."

Grandfather looked at the group from right to left.  The youth were all actively listening to every word he had said.

"Zane, do they have time for a quick swim at the sand dunes?"

Zane thought for a moment, "I think we should get everyone settled with their gear into the shelters and get supper on the go.  I'm sure everyone could eat by now."  The mention of food got everyone's attention.  "We could do it after supper though."

It didn't take long to get supper ready.  Zane designated a couple of the youth to help out preparing the meal with him, Jesse, Tyler and Troy.  Conner supervised the preparation until he was chased away by Jesse for taking too many samples of the food.  The meal consisted of hamburgers and smokies cooked over the open fire along with fresh vegetables and fruit.  After a short prayer led by Grandfather, the group consumed the food fairly quickly and in a reasonably respectable manner, too.  The clean up after the meal was done by Conner, Mark, Patrick and Adam along with two of the youth.  Grandfather bid farewell to the group, walking into the tree line after hugging his grandchildren.  The youth all had questions about what he was doing but they were deflected with the suggestion to go swimming.

Three of the youth asked if it was ok if they swam in their underwear.  Zane smiled and replied, "no problem."  The group went to where their gear had been stored, digging into it find their shorts.  It was then they realized there was nowhere to change.  They followed the brothers across the landing, down a short path where they found themselves in a series of sand dunes along the river's edge.  Conner, Mark, Nikita and Trevor all ran to the edge of the water, stripped off, and ran into the river.

Patrick was in the middle of the youth and simply said, "We skinny dip all the time, but you don't have to.  Wear shorts, gitch, or a bathing suit if you want.  We expect you to do what makes you comfortable, and you are free to choose."

Patrick caught up to Adam, Tyler and Troy who were all stripping off to go swimming.

Jesse was behind the group, but they hadn't moved yet.  "What's up, guys?"

"I'm a little uncomfortable with being… naked… getting changed in front of people," one young man said.

"Ok, don't do it.  Easy as that."


"Yup. If you go over that hill, you can change without anyone seeing you.  No problem," Jesse said.  Four of the young men ran over to the dune.  The rest stayed with Jesse.  "Let's go."

Jared, Liam and Shadow joined them in the water.  The sand under the water had large areas where it was only knee deep.  They set up a volleyball net and played there in the water.  A couple of the young guys were really interested in the plant life along the edge of the river.  Adam joined them, teaching them the names and uses for the plants.  After a couple of hours of playing in the water, a few of the brothers went up to the kitchen to make some hot chocolate and tea.  Zane made some fresh bannock dough which could be cooked on sticks like marshmallows.

Everyone came up from the water, hung up their towels to dry and finished dressing.  The little group who had been shy didn't hide as much this time.  While still being shy, they didn't hide while they got dressed.

None of the youth could believe it was only 10:00 pm and still fairly light out.  The group sat around the campfire, drinking their drinks and cooking the bannock.  Shadow got his share too.

One of the youngest there, Grayson timidly spoke.  "Can I ask a question, Patrick?"

"Sure you can, anytime you want, Gray."

"Are you guys really brothers?  I mean, I see you all have a bear-paw tattoo on your chest.  Liam and Jared have a couple of more tattoos, but…"

Patrick looked over at Liam, who nodded.  He stood while removing his shirt.  "The tattoo on Jared's and my arms are the eagle feather and bear claw.  My spirit guide is the eagle, and Jared's is the bear.  The night Jared proposed to me, our spirit guides gave us these tattoos to symbolize their support for our engagement."

Patrick continued, "The bear paw on our chest is the clan or tribal sign we use as our family.  It is the protection of the bear given to us by our grandfather Mathew."

For the first time, Trey spoke out loud, "So you guys are all Indians?"  The other young people began to say things to Trey, but Patrick held his hand up.  Trey spoke quickly, "I didn't mean any disrespect in that question."

"I believe you, Trey.  To answer your question, some of the brothers are First Nations, some of us are Metis, some aren't full blood or members of a nation.  There are other factors at play here which brought us together as a family, and as brothers."

Trey smiled, "Thank you for answering that."

Patrick thought to himself, "He really is trying to be nice."  He looked at Trey again, "It was a good question.  We don't want anyone to be afraid to ask a question.  Please, leave it up to us to let the person know if it's an inappropriate question."

Conner asked the group, "So who of you guys are boyfriends?"  Six of them put up their hands.  Conner pointed at them, "Guys - these are the ones to watch.  We don't want any teenage pregnancies from this trip."  It took a moment before the youth understood the joke and laughed.

Travis held his hand up, "Ahhh, I'm really worried about animals coming into camp when we go to sleep.   I mean, there isn't even walls to hide behind.  Do you guys have guns with you?"

Jared stood forward for this one.  "Little brother, you heard our grandfather say you were protected by the bear and the wolf?"  The young man nodded.  "You've met the wolf, haven't you?" 

He thought for a moment, then it hit him.  "Shadow."

"Right, and he will protect us while we are here.  Even now he's protecting us by listening, smelling and watching.  But, we will now tell the animals in the area this camp is off limits."

Jared started with the growl of the bear.  He was joined by the howls of wolves, coyotes, elk, foxes and cougars.  When the brothers finished, they turned to look at the young people.  Every one of them sat with their eyes wide, mouths open and not sure what to say.  It was Grayson who finally said, "Fucking cool guys.  Will you teach us how to make those calls?"

Jesse leaned over to Tyler.  Asking quietly, "You guys have a couple of rifles, right?"

"Of course we do.  There will be one in Jared's canoe and one in mine.  Both in sealed, waterproof, floating containers."

"Sat phone?"

"In the bow of your canoe."

The drinks and food all finished, everyone headed off to bed.  Only Zane, Jesse, Liam and Jared were left still up.  They were finishing up the dishes and putting away the leftovers into coolers.  Liam went to one of the coolers, pulled out a bone he had hidden in it.  "Shadow."  The wolf appeared as if out of thin air, accepting the bone with gentle actions.  He trotted away, his tail lifted, happy to have a bone.

Jesse shook his head, "I don't get it, Liam.  You two drive each other nuts, and you do this for him."

"You didn't have a brother, did you, Jesse?" asked Liam.

"No, I didn't."

"Shadow and I are like brothers.  We love each other, we compete for the attention of Jared, would defend each other to our dying breath, but we also love to irritate each other.  Just like real brothers."

"I'll come home and find the two of them on the couch sleeping together," Jared added. "But then Liam will bend over and Shadow will nip him in the butt for fun.  They both do it."

Zane was laughing, "And Molly thinks Jesse and I are two peas in a pod. She hasn't seen the real Liam and Shadow."

Jesse smirked which caused Zane to ask, "What?"

"Let's go for a run... four Cougars." It didn't even need to be said twice.  The group quickly finished up what needed to be done.  Just before they disappeared into the trees, Jared gave Shadow a one-word command, "Protect."  Shadow nodded his head, immediately moving to the high rock where Grandfather had been meditating earlier in the day.  He sat with ears up like radar dishes, eyes open and sniffing the air.  Satisfied, he returned to chewing on the bone he had been given, crushing it to small pieces using his teeth to emulsify it easily.  If anyone had seen Shadow crush the beef hip bone with his teeth, they would've realized exactly how powerful that jaw and those teeth were.  They would've appreciated the gesture even more of Shadow using his teeth to lightly touch the throat and jaw of Jared and Tyler, understanding what he is capable of.

Luke and Logan had watched them all disappear into the trees, wondering what they were up to.  Neither one of them was able to stay awake to see them return.  Shadow was watching everyone settle down under the lean-tos.  He sensed Grayson and Travis were a little uncomfortable, watching them as they zipped their sleeping bags together.  The big wolf watched, listened and even snoozed for a while on guard duty.  It became dark, and the two young ones were still not settling down.  Shadow stood, stretched and quietly padded over to where they were laying.  He nudged them, separating them, turned around and flopped between them.  Both young men quickly snuggled into the wolf, holding the best security blanket anyone could ever have as they fell asleep. 

The four cats chased each other through the forest, up the hills, and onto some large rocks.  It was there the four men returned to their human forms while laying on their backs, staring at the stars.

Jared had a lot going through his mind, and it was time to share it with the three people who would understand his thoughts.  "I don't know how to say this, other than to repeat what I've said a few times in the last little while.  This is what I enjoy, being out here.  I mean, I live to help others, but I don't get to do this enough.  I keep saying that I don't want to do it anymore.  I'm tired."

Liam moved over to his side, placing his head on Jared's chest.  "No matter what you chose, I will stay by your side."

Jared gently kissed the top of Liam's head.

"I've heard you say that you're tired a couple of times now," Jesse stated carefully. "I didn't want to ask you to explain until now.  You don't have to explain, but it's just us out here."

"In all honesty, it's because it's just us four I brought it up.  I've come to think of us as the executive members of the family."  Both Liam and Zane were asked, "Any money with that title?" when Jared added, "Unpaid titles." 

Both  muttered, "Damn."

Jesse tried to bring the topic back into line.  "Jared, would you tell us what's really bothering you, wanting to make you quit what you do so well."

"It's hard to put into words.  I love working as a paramedic.  But now I'm getting involved more in the management side of the operation.  I mean training is ok, but the never-ending paper that comes with it is a pain.  I'm getting short tempered with people's attitudes too.  I can deal with a lot of things, but I'm finding it difficult to deal with bad work ethics and generally negative people; you know, the negative Nelly's.  People's attitudes have become self-entitled and screw anyone else who doesn't agree." Jared was getting upset.  Liam put his arm over Jared's chest to hold him firmly.  Before anyone could say anything, Jared continued.  "I know not everyone is like that, and there are a lot of good people out there, but… I don't know what it is.  I'm just tired."

"I love you, husband."

Jared grasped Liam's hand, brought it to his mouth and kissed it gently.

"There is more to it than just the job, isn't there?"

Jared took a deep breath, "I've never run from responsibility or accountability, but it's weighing on me more and more.  Although I know I am doing the best I can, I'm afraid to make a mistake, even if I'm right.  I mean, look at what happened to Tyler and he did nothing wrong.  I couldn't protect him.  Could you imagine the fall out if he'd been wrong?"

"No one is perfect Jared, and we as a family stood with him."

"But I have to be, Liam." Jared rolled over onto his side to look Liam in the face directly.  "I have the responsibility for the family, fulfilling our destiny, for being a paramedic and trainer, for being a friend and brother, and most important for being a husband."

Liam sat up cross-legged, pulling Jared into the same position in front of him, their knees touching.  They grasped each other's hands gently.  "Are you expecting too much of yourself?"

"I don't think so.  I love being a paramedic and a brother to everyone, but most of all I love being your husband.  The bus accident caused me to think a lot about my future.  It had been building before that, but that really got me focusing on it."

"Does it include me?"

"If you even need to ask that question, I've failed to be a good enough husband for you." Jared took a deep breath as he said, "I am nothing without you, Liam. I need you."

"Whatever you do or wherever you go, I would stand beside you with pride." Liam leaned forward, kissing his husband.  "I love you."

"I love you, too."

Zane and Jesse had remained quiet while their two friends talked, but that ended when Zane said, "Jared, a vision from Buddha was said to be 'You need to remember the mind is like water.  When it's turbulent, it's difficult to see.  When it's calm, everything becomes clear.'  Perhaps the two of you should spend some time together alone in the near future, as friends and husbands."

It was Liam who replied, "Thank you for that wisdom.  Perhaps its something we should think about doing in the near future.  We get too busy in our lives, and forget about our lives together as husbands and boyfriends."

"I always knew you were the smart one out of the two of us," said Jesse with a big smile towards Zane.

Zane reached up and placed his finger on Jesse's lips, "Shush."

Liam kissed Jared once again.  He pulled back so that the end of his nose was touching Jared's as he said, "I love you with all my heart."

Jared immediately began to settle down, "It's those words which can settle me down no matter what is upsetting me.  When you tell me that you love me, everything inside of me feels warm and happy.  It sounds dumb, I know."

"It sounds mushy," Jesse mumbled.  It was followed quickly by a slap to the top of his head from his boyfriend.

Zane corrected him, "I think its wonderful.  Jesse, your words do the same to me when you speak them."

Jesse rolled on his side to look into Zane's eyes.  "Are you serious about that? You mean you really feel that way?"

"You big dummy.  Yes, I feel that way when you tell me that you love me.  When you hold my hand or kiss the back of it, my heart just skips in happiness."

Jesse took Zane's hand into his, brought to his mouth, and kissed it.  Immediately followed by a couple of gentle licks.  Zane purred in response.

Liam was using one finger to flick Jared's nipple, causing it to stiffen up.

Finally, Jared said, "I adjourn this meeting of the family executive so I can have sex with my husband."

No one seconded the motion as the two couples were frantically grinding their bodies together, kissing and using their hands to remove clothing.

End of Chapter Forty-Three


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;\">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 (future, still in training)<\/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 (future, still in training)<\/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 (future, still in training)<\/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;\">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;\">")