Off Duty by Kristen Hope Mazzola is NOW AVAILABLE!
Cover Model: Robert Kelly
Cover Photographer: R+M Photography
One kiss – that’s all it took
For her to go from off limits to my off duty lover. For years we worked side by side and in an instant everything changed in the best way possible.
Jessica McBee was my best friend, my partner on the force and my only weakness.
When Myla Hayes, the wife of the captain of the NY Otters hockey team, is being harassed, we have to work together to take down the suspect.
But how can I let her be in the line of fire when I’m in love?
I would never forget the first fatality I had while on the job. It was staple gunned into my mind – plaguing me, haunting me. I watched as the life of a mother was snuffed out, feeling her last breath escape her lips in the freezing rain in the middle of the road.
Early evening, in terrible weather with black ice covering the asphalt, my partner and I got the call. I had been on the job for only a few months – needless to say I was not prepared for what we were about to encounter. I was a young buck, fearless, ready to be the big bad hero – swoop in and save the damsel in destress. What a fucking joke that idea was. Up until that point, the worst that I had dealt with was a drug bust gone wrong were a UC was shot in the shoulder by a kingpin. That was child’s play compared to what I was about to witness.
With lights flashing, my partner pushed the engine of our squad car to her limits – flying down the road to the intersection. It only took minutes and we were on the scene. Off in the distance, the whaling of horns and blaring of sirens signaled that the ambulance and firetruck were already in route to our aid. We were the first to arrive out of all responding units and I wished that that hadn’t been the case.
The scene was what you’d expect from a damn movie. An eighteen-wheeler was jackknifed, slid off onto the shoulder with a four door Sudan plastered to its grill like a damn bug stuck in the grate. The entire driver’s side of the car was smashed in, the horn was blaring, the windshield was blown out. The driver had been expelled from the car, the passenger’s head was a bloody mess on the side window. Neither were moving. The truck driver whaled in agony as he frantically tried to open the cab’s door.
“Sir! Try to remain calm!” My parented was a senior officer, he knew what he was doing. He sprang into action as I froze in my seat Get the woman!” Todd screamed at me as he flew out of the driver’s seat. “I’ll try to get the girl out of the car.”
I rushed to the lady that was sprawled out on the frozen pavement, her limbs thrown about as she lay on her back, gasping for air.
Looking down into her pleading eyes, I tried to figure out what to say. But, what do you say when you know that someone is fighting for their life? How the fuck are you supposed to comfort a stranger when they are dying right in front of you?
“Ma’am. Can you tell me your name?” I asked trying to assess her injuries.
“My daughter!” She cried, “Help Myla!”
“My partner is with her. He’s got her. What’s your name? Can you tell me your name?”
She started to gurgle as blood poured from her lips. Her skin drained of color. Her body shook. Her eyes got wide. I pulled her mangled, bloody body into my arms, rocking her while trying to comfort her last moments on this earth.
“You’re going to be all right. The paramedics are on their way. You’re going to be all right.” I repeated it over and over until the EMTs were rushing to my aid. They were too late. She had slipped between the cracks.
In pouring down, freezing rain, I felt her last breath leave her lungs. I watched as she blinked for the last time. I held her as she cried for us to save her daughter. In her last seconds, she was completely selfless. Her love for her daughter was at the forefront of her mind. That is true love. Right there, I learned what true love looked like in its final moments.
About the Author
I am just an average twenty-something following my dreams. I have a full time “day job” and by night I am an author. I guess you could say that writing is like my super power (I always wanted one of those). I am the lover of wine, sushi, football and the ocean; that is when I am not wrapped up in the literary world.
Please feel free to contact me to chat about my writing, books you think I’d like or just to shoot the, well you know.
A portion of all my royalties are donated to The Marcie Mazzola Foundation.