Title - Drive
Author - K.S. Thomas
Genre - Action/Suspense/Romance
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Jordan Hall's shift is cut short when she takes yet another risk she shouldn't have. Not only does it lead to a suspension, but her partner of four years decides it's time to move on and team up with another paramedic who's less keen on breaking all the rules. Then, when Jordan's ambulance is high-jacked with her still in it, things quickly go from bad to even worse.
Sawyer Lazzaro, the mysterious stranger who kidnaps Jordan at gun point, is an absolute enigma. In spite of the fact that her life is in danger from the moment they meet, Jordan can't help but be drawn to him and soon finds that beneath the dangerous exterior lies her own personal safe haven.
Never one to shy away from a challenge, Jordan jumps into the driver's seat as the two make a run for it, evading enemies on both sides of the law and searching for the road that will get them out alive.
**CONTENT WARNING: Language/Some Violence**
Jordan’s hand was still resting on her keys, preparing to take them from the ignition when the passenger side door flew open and a man climbed into the seat. He wasn’t much older than her, with blond slicked back hair and two days’ worth of scruff collecting on his chin and jawline. His piercing blue eyes glared at her as he lifted the barrel of his gun until it was even with her head and shouted, “Drive!” He briefly lowered the weapon to use its handle to smash the radio before pointing it directly at her temple again.
Jordan bit down on her lip as she considered the predicament she had suddenly found herself in. Given her reckless tendencies, being at the wrong end of a weapon was a place she was not surprisingly not unaccustomed to. To say she was entirely comfortable there would have been a stretch, but it didn’t send her into a panic which was more than most people could say. Of course, even by her standards, having a gun pointed at her twice in one day was borderline ridiculous.
Feeling particularly defiant after her meeting with Brenson, Jordan gripped the keys and turned them, bringing the engine back to life.
She looked over at the gun toting stranger and nodded, “You got it.” Then she pushed her foot down on the gas and peeled out of her parking spot, knocking the guy back into his seat with a thud. He cried out in pain and reached for his shoulder. When he did so, his leather jacket slipped up just far enough for Jordan to see his blood stained shirt underneath. From the looks of it, she guessed he had been shot himself. Dealing with this asshole was going to be easier than she had anticipated.
With her eyes locked onto the road, Jordan’s mind began to focus on the game again. She took in every detail of her surroundings as she led the ambulance down the busy nighttime streets of the city. She didn’t even bother to ask the guy where he wanted to go. She had her own destination in mind. Just in case he had started to think she was driving aimlessly, Jordan pressed down on the gas harder, gaining speed with every second.
“What the hell are you doing? Slow down!” the guy demanded, the tip of his gun brushing against her skin. It was cold and wet, probably from his own blood. Out of the corner of her eye, Jordan could see that the deep red stain on his shirt was expanding. This guy was losing more blood by the minute. Deciding that he really wasn’t in any position to shoot her just then, Jordan ignored his demands and floored it. The highway ahead was wide open and there wasn’t a soul in sight to stop them.
“I mean it! Stop this fucking ambulance now!”
Without looking up, Jordan said, “Fine.”
She slammed on the break and jerked the steering wheel as far left as it would go, sending the ambulance spinning. By the time it stopped moving, Jordan’s entire body was shaking from the adrenaline while her passenger had been thrown pretty unceremoniously. He landed head first in the windshield before getting pushed back into his seat from the momentum of their vehicle spiraling out of control.
Jordan unbuckled her seatbelt and moved out of her seat to get a better look at the man’s injuries. He had a pretty decent gash on his forehead now to go with the already blood gushing gunshot wound right below his shoulder. Still pretty dazed from the impact, the guy was in no condition to move very much, let alone threaten her again anytime soon.
Jordan picked up his gun from where it had fallen to the floor and shoved it into the glove compartment. Then she shifted back into drive and made her way toward the next exit, leaving the guy still slumped half on the floor while she drove. She didn’t intend to go very far.
A few minutes later the ambulance was pulling into the back parking lot of a strip mall. At this time of night there would be no one around to ask questions.
Jordan climbed into the back of her rig and collected the items she would need to tend to her passenger. After a moment she was hovering over him and putting pressure on his chest. The pain of her pressing down on his wound brought him to instantly.
“What the hell happened?” he asked trying to get up. He didn’t get very far before he gave up again.
“You hit your head. You know, you should really wear a seatbelt. Even in a car heist it’s important to put safety first.” The sarcasm in her tone brought a faint smirk to the man’s lips, but he didn’t say anything. So, Jordan continued, “Maybe you should tell me what’s going on. You’ve obviously been shot, but based on the way you went about getting a ride, I’m guessing you weren’t wanting me to take you to the hospital.”
The guy shook his head, “No. No, hospital.”
Jordan looked up from what she was doing. She couldn’t get a read on this guy. In spite of everything, she wasn’t afraid of him although she knew she probably should have been.
“Relax, I’m not taking you in. I’m off duty anyway.”
“You’re being pretty cavalier about this whole thing. This sort of stuff happen to you often?”
“You mean do I frequently get abducted at gunpoint and forced to treat GSW’s to the chest in the front seat of my ambulance because my patient is a criminal who can’t go to the hospital? No, this is a first for me.” Jordan stood up to get more supplies. From what she could tell the bullet had gone straight through, but the wound would need to be cleaned and stitched up if she wanted to get it to stop bleeding anytime soon. And since she didn’t have any blood on hand to give him a transfusion, sooner would definitely be better than later.
“So, given your, uh, predicament, I don’t expect you to give me your real name or anything, but there’s gotta be something I can call you other than gun toting stranger. It just seems so impersonal, and quite frankly, it’s too damn long.”
His blue eyes watched intently as Jordan cleaned up his shoulder, using one had to cut away a section of his shirt for better access, while still keeping pressure on the wound with the other. When she lifted his arm to try and remove the sleeve of his jacket, it sent a piercing pain through his chest and he coughed out loud.
Finally he said, “Sawyer. My name’s Sawyer.” His voice was hoarse and strained and Jordan was certain he was in more pain than he was letting on. She had already given him something to try and make him more comfortable, but there was only so much she could do given the circumstances. So, she kept him talking while she worked, cutting away sections of his jacket to grant her better access and hoping the distraction would help until the meds kicked in completely.
“Sawyer it is then. My name’s Jordan by the way. Not that you asked, but I’d personally prefer you call me that over ‘crazy bitch’ which I imagine is what you’ve been silently referring to me as since we first met.”
Sawyer studied her curiously.
“Why are you doing this? You could have delivered me to the cops by now.”
Jordan finished what she was doing and looked up at him.
“I may still do that. Just seems inefficient to drop you off in such a mess when I have the means to clean you up a bit first.”
Sawyer reached for her wrist and held it.
“Honestly, I don’t know. I’m pissed at my boss and this just seems like a good way to stick it to him, I guess.” She tossed the bloody gauze pads into the trash and stripped off her gloves. She had done all she could for the time being. “Just tell me that you didn’t shoot any women or children – or innocent people, period – and I can pretend this whole thing never happened.”
Sawyer sighed loudly.
“I promise there were no women and children. And nobody there was innocent.”
Jordan nodded, satisfied with his answer. She was about to suggest they get him up off of the floor and onto the gurney in the back when the glare of headlights caught her eye.
“What?” Sawyer was straining to try and see out the window.
“No, it’s just, I’ve never seen anyone here at night. We park here quite a bit when we have some down time, and it’s always completely empty.”
As she spoke, the car slowly cruised up beside them. Hearing the quiet hum of the motor hovering outside his door, Sawyer reached for Jordan’s arm and yanked her toward him.
Jordan didn’t even have a chance to process what was happening when an explosion of bullets came crashing through the passenger side window.
“Who is that?!” she shouted over the noise.
“I’ll explain later. Right now we need to get out of here!” Sawyer yelled back. Jordan couldn’t argue with him there. Keeping her head down, she crawled backwards until she reached her keys and the gear shift. She couldn’t hear the motor over the gunfire, but she could feel the vibration of the engine as she shifted out of park. Without hesitating, she used her right hand to press down on the gas with as much force as she could, sending the ambulance flying through the parking lot in reverse and stunning their unknown attackers just long enough for the bullets to cease. Jordan took advantage of the momentary silence and took her seat, putting her back in control of her own destiny as well as anyone else’s, should they decide to get in her way.
It took less than thirty seconds for Jordan to steer the ambulance back onto the main drag. As tempting as it was to flip the switch and activate the lights and sirens to guarantee her a clear path ahead, it just didn’t seem logical to stand out like a shining beacon in the dark of night while someone was following them, bullets flying and all.