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Ray pulled up outside the. Fire. House as the. Cloudy sky. Turned to rain clouds as he took off his helmet he closed his eyes as ever drop reminded him of the kiss he had given Clara the night in his mind he felt. bad but also it heightened the other feeling he felt when Clara was on his mind, or he was with her /
Ray got off his bike as he made his way into the firehouse taking the usual route he usually made to get changed into his work clothes, but as he was representing the fire department he worked a Navy blue polo shirt with the Fire department on the back, and the ECFD crest on his front shirt as he made his way out of the changing room the waft of coffee from the machine hit his nose as he made his way over to the to the jug pouring himself a big mug before turning into the briefing room sitting in his usual spot as the chief stepped indirectly at 8 am
The chief began rattling off the tasks on his clipboard as he began to smirk as he looked to ray as he laid his clipboard down and picked up a large box with. Smoke alarms. Flyers and other things he needed to inspect the building as a. boo erupted in the briefing room Ray chuckled as he faked a bow " Ill be thinking of you while I'm sipping my Latte" building inspections didn't bother ray too much as it allowed him to practice his element. Between appointments, as he moved off the wall towards the table, Ray picked up the box as he made his way to the hangers bypassing the engines and bus heading towards on of the two rapid response vehicles.
Several hours passed as the first three checks went fast. The building passed with little or no errors as he looked down at the clipboard he saw the library was next as he travelled through the snail-like traffic as his radio console buzzed on iff with transmissions bu this time his house had been on four calls already as much as he loved the action he loved the downtime to as he looked up and down the street as his vehicles call sign came over the radio to inform him that a member from another house would assist him at the library due to the size of the building Ray picked up the radio handset as he pulled in at the library as he waved at the firefighter at the steps to the library as he pressed the transmission button " RA3 messaged received on location " ray put down the radio as he picked up his items as he made his way towards the steps where his colleague was waiting: hey. I'm ray " the. Other nodded and called himself paul as they made there way. up the steps into the library
Clara's cheeks burned with a blush, she wasn't used to taking so many compliments all on the same day and so far anytime Ray and she had spent any time together he always complimented her, he was sweet to her. When the rice pieces dropped she couldn't help but giggle, he looked so adorable struggling to eat with chopsticks, though she imagined he wouldn't want to be called adorable, especially by her. "You'll get it, here try it this way," she moved out her hands and moved his hand in the correct position, then she picked up hers, "Now watch how I do it," she said and then she demonstrated, it was the same way she had been eating with chopsticks for years, it got the job done. She just hoped it would work for Ray, so he could finally eat some of this delicious dinner.
Clara reached over and interlaced their hands together, "Well, I'm not sure I've met them all before, but I can't wait," she wanted to meet all the people in his life who cared for him, she wanted to make sure that he was happy, though looking across this table she knew he was, his eyes told her so.
"Sounds perfect, tomorrow then?" they hadn't even left the restaurant but she wanted to know that they would have another date, another tomorrow.
Ray smiled as Clara placed the chopsticks in the right places as he smiled trying them out “ your correct £ he smiled as he had a better go at eating some rice “ if the main character in kill bill learnt to eat rice with chop Sticks so can i “ he smiled “ may be odd but I have a weird question do you have a routine before bed that you do religiously read watch tv etc “ he sat back in his seat as he took his drink taking another small gulp as he listened to the back round music a little .;
I have this “ Ray took off a little necklace with a figure of Saint Florian the patron saint of the firefighter” on the way to any shout I use pray a fellow firefighter told me Archangelmichaelprotect us in battle” believe it not for me it world when im home but working at the bar im in the land of ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ “ he chuckled a little bit on a day off I like to be out and doing what I like in the dry of rain and when evening comes a few beers and tv or video games and lately I’ve been reading a lot of books recommended to me “ he winked a little. and yes tomorrow if you would like to “ he smiles gently as he squeezed her hand gently “,
No, you haven’t my house the guy that came with me was from another station even though we do see each other o shouts but ill feel happy you know who has my back “ he smiled warmly “ beside the house is looking to adopt a dog “ he smiled
She smiled at him once more, it was an evening of smiling apparently. "No, I don't mind you asking, you want to get to know me," she put some spiced rice in her mouth, chewed then swallowed. "I usually make myself dinner and then in the evening I'll read a book, or go for an evening walk, sometimes in the warmer weather I'll watch the stars, then I'll get changed, maybe read some more, or watch some television while doing some embroidery, and then I'll go to bed." she took a sip of her water. "What about you?" she asked.
Her lips tilted up softly at his words, she prayed for him too, she worried he wouldn't be alright and if there was a mighty power up there she wanted to make sure he had all the help he got. "I remember that prayer, from when I was little," she told him. Flashes of her sitting in school, with a classmate sitting beside her and whispering words, she had asked what she was saying and the little girl had said a prayer, the little girl even taught it to her.
"I would very much like to go with you," she answered.
"Sounds wonderful, dogs need to be adopted all the time, they need homes, just like humans, with love and care." she reponed.
“ Do you watch from the lake or do you find a hill to find the perfect spot but when you want to let me know I have something you might like to have “ he chuckled a little she mentioned going for walks “I hope you are a little more prepared then you were when we met “ Ray carefully gripped a prawn on his plate as an achievement look appeared on his face before eating it quickly not wanting it to go anywhere but his mouth a minute or two after finishing his bite he smiled gently “ what sort of tv do you like “ he tilted his head curiously.
Well, it depends on where I am “ he chuckled as he thought about the firehouse “ there’s a saying get to bed before Ray and no it’s not cause I snore “ he stuck his tongue out quickly as he blushed normally its cause as soon as I get to bed the alarm goes off “ Ray ate some more of his plate as he smiled “ but on an average night we sit down for dinner around 7 pm normally finished by 8 pm that’s including doing the dishes around 8-9 pm I head to a bunker room to practice all my elements and normally by then its dark so I grab a cup of coffee and head up to the roof via the ladder and sit on the couches looking at the stars till I head to bed.
Now when im at the bar it’s very much different constantly busy only time to do something different is when you’re on break and opposite the bar, there is a skeleton of a building it got burnt down about 3 or 4 years ago so I grab my hot wings and drink and head over there which reminds me never takes wings off my plate unless you really like hot food he deliberately makes it hotter but there I spend 30 mins being my self once I have break i don’t see the sky till im heading home at 2 am but when im home I do have a new routine and im really enjoying it so I get home and have some dinner after that I play a few rounds of call of duty with a few members of the firehouse after a while I clean up before looking out my window before getting on my bed and reading a book someone close to me highly recommended “ he smiled
When Clara mentioned the pray a bit of sadness hit him “ my stepdad was not big in the spiritual department he claimed if there was a god he would have smote the devils in Washington but when I met Samuel he was really big on it he said a firefighter uses the lords prays to help him to jump into the fire and walk out again and when Samuel brought me to Evermore I was very confused but Samuel sat there and told me if there was no god why was i given the tools to help those who cant them selfs “ he smiled before blushed a little hearing what Clara had said
Very true “ he smiled “ just aslong as there dont mess with the chilli there good tuesday the last dog dropped additionalthings into the chilli “ he laughed “ in my bowel i had a squeaky bone anf ball but there all indeed need a good home and loving family
She blushed remembering the first time they had met, it had been near sunrise and she had still only been in her white nightgown, barefoot. "Yes, I'm definitely more prepared, but sometimes I like going outside in my nightgowns it makes me feel like a princess running away in the middle of the night so she doesn't have to marry the man her father chose for her," Clara said, her imagination was a vivid tool, one she used often. "Romance, really, two people falling in love, escaping from trouble, or adventure movies the ones where the kids save the day, What about you?" she replied.
"Wow, do you ever end up falling asleep under the stars?" she asked her mind painting a pretty picture.
"Your life seems so busy, I can't imagine trying to have to different routines going on at the same time, call me simple, but I enjoy slower living," It had always been that way for her, with everything that had gone down with her past she liked the structure, sure an adventure here or there didn't hurt but home always called to her. "Which book had I recommended to you, because I'm sure I have more up my sleeves, after all, I know you even better now," she said, smiling at him.
She took his hand in hers and gave it a gentle squeeze, it was easy to talk to him, and she seemed to understand whatever he said, they had just spoken about spirituality on their first date and it had gone smoothly, "I agree with that, Sammul sounds like a very wise man, I'm happy you had him in your life,"
Her smile widened letting out a small laugh. "Well, I look forward to trying it, I'll have to make you, chilli once, and then you can compare," she mentioned, she was not an extremely good cook but she could hold her own. When she looked down at her plate and saw that it was empty she looked up towards him. "Are we getting dessert?" she asked.
Ray smiled as he listened to Clara “ and the princess runs into the woods who comes across a huntsman who is in that s wood that day “ he smiled gently as he finished his meal” but they feel a connection that they do not understand but learn from it “ he smiled before pretending to be shocked and a little hurt “ how could you forget poor Me Darcey “ he chuckled a little before sticking his tongue out.
Ray stopped as he thought about it before he smirked “I did once but I can’t recall what I saw was a dream or I just wasn’t awake enough “ he grinned “I swear I saw a guy walking down the street in his birthday suit “ he smiled gently “ the bar is pretty good they work around my Firefighting duty 3 days on 3 days off and they let me work 2 contracted bar shifts extra if I need it “ he smiled “ well maybe I would like to slow down as well “ he smiled gently “ each person lives at there own speed “.
He smiled as Clara took his hand gently squeezing as he smiled like always he felt at peace when with Clara all his day to day issues eased away and his past meant nothing “ of course “he smiled as he put his hand up to the waiter that came by “ excuse me can you split the leftovers into two separate bags and bring two menu’s over “ the waiter nodded as he took the two lots of leftovers away returning shortly with two desert menus “ now your gonna have to choose for me i have never ever had a Chinese dessert before” he smiled.
She grinned at his playfulness, How could she forget? She didn't not really, Ray seemed to always be on her mind now, sometimes she would find herself wondering how they had been so lucky, he had stumbled upon her in the woods, it had been just like a fairytale. "And how do you see the story ending?' she sound herself asking. The world was full of questions and sometimes she needed answers.
"I'm very impressed with you, you really are a hero, putting out fires and saving little old ladies, but you also serve at a bar, kind of fearless, don't you think?" she said. Clara wasn't making light of his work, she admired and respected him too much for that, working at a bar could be just as dangerous sometimes as putting out a fire. "I guess you're right everyone does have their own speed."
She smiled excitcitly and practically skimmed over the menu, when her eyes landed on her prize she practically squealed. "Found it,," she turned up to the waiter, " We'll have two plates of the crispy peanut dumplings." she requested. When the waiter nodded and left she turned back to him. "These are to die for you'll love them," she said.
Ray smiled as he listened to Clara “well a story can have many endings heartbreak sadness, tragedy , happiness and love but I always vote for the last two I find they work best “ he blushed a little as he smiled” but I honestly like the ending where they explore each other to make sure they’re the one and stand beside each other through each other’s trials “ he smiled watching “.
Ray chuckled a little as he listened “ the barman that knows how to put out the fire in his bar “ he chuckled a little “some times I think could I do a simpler life not have the upbringing I had but then again would I be the person im here as right now but your heroic in your own way you don’t need to go running into fires or saving people every day people are heroes in there own right living everyone’s lives, for example, your knowledge of books and knowing every inch of the library and able to give a person not sure what to read a good book to read”.
He smiled as he heard her little squeal as he watched Clara order the desert “I admit I’ve never had Chinese pudding before so I hope they are nice and sweet like the person who ordered them “he smiled as he gently held her hand she smiled “well I hope you don’t die for them but im happy to give a kiss of life “ he winked gently.
"I would have to agree," though she hadn't found a book where that had happened yet, she could find that real-life held a different sort of fairy-tale one that brought people together as much as it brought them apart. She loved how romantic he was not just with actions but with words too.
"I'm happy with who you are, no lives are easy and I'm sad you had to go through a rough childhood I understand that very well because I didn't have an amazing one either but I'm glad it lead you here, to me," He was brave, intelligent, kind, they were after all what there struggles had made them, just like a diamond in the rough. "I'm don't think it's the same, but thank you, I like to think I help people in their own way, I feel my work at the shelter is probably more helpful than the librarian gig, but,... I love it," she replied.
"Why Mr. Herald, I'll be overjoyed if you saved me, it would be quite an honour, but to die for a dessert would make a good story to tell wouldn't you agree?" she joked. It was a heavenly dessert and when the waitress brought it out she could barely contain her excitement. She picked up her fork and offered it to him. "Here, try it," she brought it closer to his mouth.
Ray smiled as he lifted his fork doing the same raising a piece to Clara’s lips as he gently took the piece off Claras fork chewing on the piece as he smiled finishing his mouthful watching Clara doing the same as he smiled “ you are definitely right you've definitely brought me a dessert for when I have Chinese “ he smiled as he blushed “ good job I’m not allergic to peanuts else you would be saving me “
Ray smiled “ Samuel when I first learnt about what i am what initia are he said you may meet other fire Intia but they are no means like you some may be completely away from there element but there are some that choose fire fighting to get to closer but you are your own person “ he smiles “ well there we go Clara Carter Librarian and dog rescuer “he smiled, “I think rescuing you would definitely be my top 2 rescues “ he smiled as he ate some of his desert” regarding what you said while we were training “ he stopped “ the worse kind of rescue for me would be a cat 5 incident every firefighter in the district attends you don’t know if there are casualties how safe the structure is or how bad the fire is “ he smiled as he watched eat her desert with excitement as his mind took note for if she was sad or upset “ out of every book you have read what is your top 5 “ he knew Clara worried so he thought he better change the subject
Her eyes were drawn to his lips as he took the dessert off the fork and her mind wandered off wondering if he would kiss her goodnight. She hadn't really thought about it much but what she already knew was that he was most certainly a good kisser. Clara's attention refocused on the moment, he was talking and she had gotten distracted, which wasn't like her at all. "It's a good thing you're not allergic to peanut butter, I had a peanut butter sandwich for lunch, are you allergic to anything?" she asked worried.
She blushed at his compliment, momentarily looking away, only to be brought back as he spoke on, she shouldn't be surprised at all the wonderful things he thought about her, but in truth she was, Clara always wondered if she was enough, smart enough, helpful enough, kind enough, it didn't seem to matter what anyone said, it had always been a worry for her but listening as he spoke, she was moved by his words. "Thank you," she responded.
He knew her very well she realized, as he switched the topic, yes she worried about him, she knew she always would but he wanted to change her thoughts from falling down a worrying hole so she played along. "Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Caroll, On the Island by Tracey Garvis Graves, Anne of green gables by L.M Montgomery, The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert and Fallen by Lauren Kate, what about you, top five favourite books," she answered immediately.
He smiled as he listened to Claras question “ no as far as im aware I am not with the pranks the firehouse do “ he smiled as he thought his own question “ my top 5 is Pride and Prejudice, Treasure Island, The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien “ he blushed a little “ the Harry Potter series and the 3 musketeers “ ray smiled unable to take his eyes off Clara being brought back in the room by the waiter placing the two bags on the table
Ray smiled as he gently blushed “I would like to say thank you for coming on this date tonight with me” he gently squeezed her hand” its the first time I’ve ever been to an event where I actually brought a plus one.” he smiled “ listen we don’t have to head straight back if you, like we could go for a walk in the park around the lake, maybe “ smiled as he took his glass sipping some more of his water “he smiled gently as he thought about something as he smiled “in a few months would you like to come with me star gazing we take a tent sleeping bag enough food for a few days and spend the night looking at stars” its a spot I’ve never shown anyone but I would like to show you
Ray smiled as he took some cash out of his pocket handing a waiter for some cash handing it to the waiter as he smiled “ what is your favourite time of year mine is Summer/Autumn “ he smiled as he rose from his seat as he offered his hand before leading her out of the restaurant the night had turned a little colder as he gently wrapped his jacket around Clara.