Twenty-two-year-old Ashleigh Daniels entered the kitchen of her flat and she smiled when her four ex-K9 German Shepherds and her current K9 German Shepherd greeted her and she took the armor plated vest from the hook and pulled it on for Duke, the young K9, and then gave them food and she petted each of them before she washed her hands and got the cereal container of homemade muesli out with the yogurt and had breakfast. She smiled when Amy, her fourteen-year-old half-sister came in looking totally disheveled as usual and she pushed the tub of yogurt to her. “That is the last yogurt. Eat up and then go and get dressed.”
“I finished my yogurt last week already.” Amy said.
“Well we finished the milk last night. I am only getting paid today and the child support money from grandfather is only coming in next week when he gets his pension if he gets enough.” Ashleigh said.
“Ashleigh, I can manage.” Amy said.
“You cannot have muesli and the cereal is finished.” Ashleigh said. “Either you eat the yogurt or you go without breakfast or without lunch. I cannot just grab some takeaways for a full of nonsense teenager for lunch.”
“Okay.” Amy said and she got a spoon and began eating the yogurt.
Ashleigh stood up and she got the last of the bread out and she got the butter and peanut butter out and began making their lunch. “Do you want to tell me what is going on that you are getting into fights at school?”
“You know?” Amy asked.
“Yes. Your teacher, Miss Robyn called me yesterday and said she is concerned about you because she had to split a fight between you and some other girl up again for the umpteenth time this week.” Ashleigh said. “But when I got home yesterday you were already sleeping and your homework was done so I left you to sleep.”
“Karen keeps on mocking me and teasing me because I did not get new summer clothes like they did and then I reached my limit and slapped her on Monday.” Amy said. “Well I did but she does not think it is new. She says I pulled them out of the dumpster.”
“Amy, Karen is rich and a spoiled brat. When you react to her she gets what she wants. Try and ignore her.” Ashleigh said. “I cannot concentrate on keeping peace on the streets if my sister is getting into fights at school.”
“I am trying.” Amy said and she stood up and stormed out. “I am so sick and tired of having to live in this place off your salary and my grandfather’s pension the days he gets enough to send some cash through.”
“Amy!” Ashleigh called and she sighed and finished packing their lunch and then went to her sister’s room and she closed the door behind her and then placed the cooler bag on the desk next to the school bag. “Is that how you feel?”
Amy nodded and she looked out of the window.
“Is that why having cheap clothes is such an issue?” Ashleigh asked sitting down next to her.
“No. The issue is that I know that you are working your behind off day and night, doing your best to buy me as many new outfits as possible every holiday so that I do not look like the poor kids at the government school and that I know you are spending a fortune on my school fees to keep me in the school dad wanted me to go to and then having rich kids mock my clothes you worked so hard for. That is the issue.” Amy said. “You never buy yourself something nice because you buy me new clothes whenever you have a bit of extra money or when I need it even if there is not really extra money.”
“I understand.” Ashleigh said and she played with her promise ring that her step-dad gave her when she got her license
“I wish mom and dad were still alive.” Amy said. “It has been two years.”
“I know. I was on duty that night.” Ashleigh said.
“Yeah I know.” Amy said and she looked at her sister. “I am sorry.”
“It is okay.” Ashleigh said and she smiled at her. “You need to get done so we can leave.”
Amy nodded and she stood up and went to her wardrobe.
Ashleigh went to her and she kissed her head and then left the room and she went to the main bedroom. She pulled her utility belt on and took her hat and jacket and then went to the kitchen and she got the leash clipped onto Duke’s collar and smiled when the elderly lady next door came to the safety gate. “Hi.”
“Hi. I am just coming to fetch your babies.” The lady said.
Ashleigh nodded and she got the other leashes and clipped them to the collars and then gave them to the lady. “Thanks.”
“You are welcome.” The lady said and she left with the ex-K9 dogs for their morning walk.
“Amy!” Ashleigh called and she took her cooler bag and looked up when Amy came to her with her backpack on her back and her cooler bag in her hand. She took the elastic band lying on the counter with the hairbrush and she brushed her sister’s shoulder length hair and tied it into a ponytail.
“Thanks.” Amy said and she took her hairbrush and pushed it into her backpack and then left the flat.
Ashleigh left with Duke and she locked up and then went to her patrol car and got Duke in and she put her stuff in the trunk and then closed it and she climbed into the driver’s seat and drove to the private school and kissed her sister’s temple. “Try to stay out of fights.”
Amy nodded and she climbed out and went in.
Ashleigh sighed and she looked at her dog and then pulled away and she drove to the station and went in and signed in and then went to the canteen and she put her cooler bag in her locker and hung her jacket up on the hook and then put her hat on and went to the table where her buddies sat with mugs of coffee.
“Hi Ash. Grab some coffee.” One of the guys said.
“How about being a gentleman and offering her some coffee?” One of the women asked.
“I can get my own coffee.” Ashleigh said.
“Sit down. Jay could do with serving others.” The female officer said.
“As if I do not serve.” Jay said and he got a mug and poured coffee into it and placed it in front of Ashleigh with the sugar and milk.
“Thanks.” Ashleigh said and she added sugar and milk and then stirred it and she enjoyed the strong brew.
“We have to go and hold a road block on the highway again. It is just a general road safety and license check.” Jay said.
Ashleigh nodded and she finished her coffee and got her cooler bag again and then went with the guys to the cars and she got Duke in and then climbed in with Erika, her partner. She drove to their destination and parked the car in the shade and she got Duke out and got her spot and for hours on end she checked car and driver’s licenses, lights and tires. At twelve-thirty she went to the next car that she stopped and she took the license from the driver and placed it on her clipboard and she checked while going to the front of the car and she did a registration and ID check and then checked the car’s license and tires and she did a light check when she saw the one light was broken and then went to the driver’s door. “Sir, I would suggest getting your light casing fixed because the globe can get hurt easily.”
“I am waiting for the agents to call me. Thank you.” The elderly man said.
“You are welcome.” Ashleigh said and she excused herself when her sergeant called her and she handed him his license and then moved away. “Sir.”
“There is havoc at your sister’s school. You are advised to get there right now. Take Bronsky with you. ” The sergeant said.
“Yes sir.” Ashleigh said and she went to Jay. “We have to go. There is havoc at Amy’s school.”
Jay nodded and he handed the driver his license and told him everything was in order before he ran with Ashleigh to her patrol car.
Ashleigh got Duke in and then climbed into the driver’s seat and she hit the car into gear and pulled out while flipping the lights and siren. “I am strangling her if she got into a fight again.”
“Why is she getting into fights?” Jay asked.
“Because she cannot stand being mocked and made fun of because she does not have fancy clothes like the other students and she knows I am working hard to provide for her.” Ashleigh said while racing to the school and she looked at all the police cars parked at the gate. “This is more serious than just a fight.”
“I noticed.” Jay said and he climbed out.
Ashleigh jumped out and she got Duke out and went to the captain. “Captain, what is going on?”
“Drug dealing and some teenagers have guns. Your sister notified the police right after she managed to get away but she did not get as ‘away’ as she thought she did.” The captain said.
“Amy.” Ashleigh said frustrated and she went into the school with the other police officers and she followed the sound of the gun shots with her hand on her pistol and she drew the gun when she got into the hallway where a girl was holding a pistol at Amy. “Drop your weapons and put your hands above your head.”
“Ashleigh, get away.” Amy said. “Karen, do not do this.”
“I told you that you would regret it if you told on us.” Karen said.
“Drop your weapon and put your hands above your head.” Ashleigh said firmly.
“Very funny, Officer.” Karen said mockingly. “This brat will never tell on anyone ever again.”
“Ashleigh, stay out of this.” Amy said.
“How would you like to join your parents?” Karen asked coldly.
“Do not dare talk about my parents.” Amy said fiercely and she moved to grab Karen and dropped to her knees when shots rang through the hallway while Karen screamed and she put her hand over the searing pain in her chest.
“Shots fired. I repeat. Shots fired. I need medical assistance.” Ashleigh said into her mike and she went to Karen and Amy just as Jay and some of the other officers came running past her and she kneeled next to Amy. “Amy.”
“Ash.” Amy said softly and she removed her hand and looked at the blood on her hand and she pressed on the floor when her world began spinning.
Jay got her onto her back and he pressed the towel against the wound.
“Ashleigh! Jay! Watch out!” One of the officers said when Karen pulled loose and grabbed her gun raising it to them.
Ashleigh pushed Jay down and screamed when the shot got fired while Karen fought the officers and it hit her on the lower right side of her chest.
“Ashleigh.” Amy said when she saw the blood seeping through her sister’s uniform.
“I am okay.” Ashleigh said and she put her hand over the wound and kneeled next to her sister who was losing blood fast. “You need to hang on.”
“You will be better off without me.” Amy said softly.
“She is going into hypovolemic shock.” Jay said.
Ashleigh nodded and she took her sister’s hand and held it close. “You are my sister.”
“Ash, mom and dad and Andy is waiting for me.” Amy said softly, talking about her seven-year-old brother who died in the car accident with their mom and her dad. “Let me go. I will be happier up there.”
“No. I am going to miss you.” Ashleigh said. “I am not going to leave you.”
“I made up my mind.” Amy said softly. “I love you. Tell grandpa I will tell gran he has not gotten into trouble lately.”
“Amy.” Ashleigh said and she began crying when her sister just closed her eyes and went limp. She touched the soft blonde hair and moved away with Jay when he got her away so the paramedics could take her.
“Guys, do not waste your time. She was ready and at peace with going.” Jay said when the paramedics got ready to shock Amy. “She is pain free and reunited with her parents and brother.”
Ashleigh looked at her sister and then pushed her face into Jay’s chest and she began crying hysterically until she got so short of breath with her injury that she was gasping more than she was crying.
“Ashleigh.” Jay said when he felt the gooey substance seeping through his own uniform and he moved her away from him and looked at the blood covering her hand and uniform as well as his own uniform.
“Get her to the hospital.” The one officer said.
Jay nodded and he picked Ashleigh up just as she fainted and he hurried with her to the patrol cars and ambulances. “We have an officer down.”
“Get her to the hospital.” The captain said while the paramedics got her onto oxygen after Jay placed her on the gurney.
“Bronsky, you are also…” The captain began and before he could finish the one paramedic ripped Jay’s shirt open and pulled his shirt up.
“You will scare us.” The paramedic said when he saw there was no wound.
Jay nodded and he climbed into the ambulance and pulled his uniform shirt off and took his name badge and police badge off and gave the shirt to the paramedic busy with Ashleigh. “It is already soaked and the buttons are most of them off. It will be easier to get a new shirt.”
The paramedic smiled and he bundled it up and held it over the wound and he kept it there with one hand while doing what he could and he got Ashleigh out with his partner without moving his hand and they rushed her into the ER where the emergency crew took over and they went to Jay and the captain after getting rid of their gloves. “Once she is stabilized they will take her into surgery to have the bullet removed and her lung inflated and then to patch her up.”
Jay nodded and he looked at the sergeant. “She is a heroine and you better acknowledge her as one. She saved my life and now she is fighting for her own. My wife and I will never be able to thank her enough.”
“I will see what I can do.” The sergeant said.
“You better because other than her step-dad’s father we are all family she has left.” Jay said and he walked out.