Chapter 1: Finding A Hero

He wasn’t a ‘pretty boy’ nor was he ruggedly handsome. In short, his visage wouldn’t cause women to cross a room to be near him. He was in good shape, but he looked ‘ordinary.’

Pēteris Aloysius Boyle, Junior (of course) - otherwise known as Pete - was often perceived as an indolent man. Some thought he was lazy, but a more observant individual would see him as very economical of thought and motion. For that matter, Pete was economical with money, too. He would carry twice the normal load to avoid making an extra trip or would research the price of toothpaste to save a nickel.

While he was in the US Army, he was both a sergeant’s dream and a sergeant’s nightmare. A dream in that Pete would follow orders and instructions to the letter, and a nightmare because he would follow orders and instructions to the letter. Pete did not suffer well fools or the truly lazy, even when they outranked him. If a sergeant wanted Pete to do something, instructions and the goal needed to be clear, or the results were likely to be other than what was intended.

Pete was always searching for a twofer or even threefer. When exposed to martial arts in basic training, he recognized that he could put his needed exercise to an additional purpose and applied himself diligently. He was an excellent shot, but seeing no need to waste money on a bullet when putting meat on his family’s table, he was also deadly accurate with a sling. Having been trained in folk medicine by his grandmother, he saw more long-term value in medicine than in toting a rifle - especially for after his term of enlistment was over. Pete applied for and was accepted to train as a combat medic.

Because Pete saw little value in prolonged seductions, he had fewer paramours rather than many. But he saw much value in prolonged trips to orgasm, and those women who discovered him were loath to let him go. Thus, Pete had many more liaisons than most. With his ladies, he was gentle and kind, but not romantic. His grasp of the mechanics of sex was legendary among those few, enduring love - not so much.

The end of Pete’s military commitment found him making the rounds, looking for employment as an EMT.

Dusk was settling in with a rosy sunset as Pete left the latest employment agency on a Friday, ending a long week. His choice of fields was beginning to feel not so wise, at least in this city. Here at least, politics, connections, and under-the-table expectations seemed to play larger roles than training, experience, and competence. Pete shuddered to think of those poor individuals needing an EMT in this benighted location.

He turned right as he exited the agency, and as he passed the corner of the building, he heard a shrill scream. Pete was no coward, so he took it upon himself to investigate. Down the dimly lit alley, a girl or young woman was struggling against two large male figures. Her successful escape was doubtful.

Pete had full confidence in his martial arts training, but economical man that he was, he let fly two half inch steel bearings from the supply that he carried with his ever-present sling. The two men slumped to the pavement, and Pete sauntered over to help their intended victim.

He reached down to help her stand. Assured that she was unharmed, he looked for, retrieved, and pocketed the two missiles. The attackers had selected a location without security cameras, and Pete had no intention of spending hours answering police questions. With no weapon trail and no clear cause of the yahoos’ injuries, he felt no need for further bother, except perhaps to see their intended victim safely home.

“May I escort you home or to some place safer, miss?” Pete asked politely.

“Yes, please, Mr. Boyle.” He looked again, and recognized the woman from the agency he had just exited. “I live with my grandfather and sister. It’s only a few blocks away.”

“Why don’t you take my arm and steer me.” Pete said, offering his arm.

They exited the alley onto a lighted sidewalk and proceeded at a fast walk so as not to be near the alley if the two hulks were noticed. He looked down at the pretty red head who didn’t reach to his shoulder. Looking up, her clear green eyes met his. “I’m afraid that I can’t offer you the usual Hero’s reward,” she blushed and started. “It’s not that I’m ungrateful, but I’m engaged to be married, and I’m very faithful.”

“I’m sure you are,” responded Pete, “but what reward would that be?”

The girl - errr woman - on his arm turned a darker shade of red - something he would have thought unlikely. “You know. Sex!” she responded.

“No, I guess I don’t know,” Pete said as they walked on.

“Well, if my sister, Robyn, is home, she might be very grateful. She’s the grateful type.” came the response along with a refusal to look at him.

The pair turned up a cobbled path leading to a very old but well maintained house. She took a key and unlocked the door, calling as she entered, “Papa, I’m home. I brought a guest with me. A Hero!

Seated in what could only be described as a well-appointed parlor and sipping a brandy on ice, Pete waited for the reappearance of his hostess.

When she entered the room, she was accompanied by a man, clearly over sixty, who approached with hand outstretched. “My Miriam tells me you are a Hero who saved her from two ruffians.”

Pete could hear the capital ‘H’ and the formal nature of the older man’s speech.

“I offer our sincerest gratitude,” he glanced at Miriam, “Well maybe not quite her sincerest - but true at any rate.”

Pete remained puzzled at the implications from both individuals that something - sex? - was expected as a reward.

Covering the awkward pause, Pete offered, “Sir, I’m Pēteris, ‘Pete, ‘ Boyle, and ah gratitude is not expected.”

Miriam’s grandfather offered up his name, ‘Daniel Moon.’ “That caused a lot of trouble for me growing up. Not quite as bad as ‘Sue’ but close.” He laughed.

“Stay for supper,” he invited. “Miriam’s sister Robyn should be home shortly, and I have a big pot of chili and a pan of cornbread just waiting for her to get here.”

“Robyn and Miriam, really?” chuckled Pete as he finally focused on the pair of names.

“Yeah,” answered Miriam. “Papa’s father wasn’t the only one in the family with a whacked out sense of humor. This time it was our mother. Sis and I are just thankful our last name isn’t Hood.”

Upon the arrival of platinum blonde Robyn, they adjourned to the dining table. During the meal, beer and conversation flowed, followed by a few tequila shots back in the parlor.

Pete was smart and controlled enough not to get plastered, but he likewise had somewhat of a buzz that came and went.

During the evening, he learned that Robyn was an emergency room nurse and that the women’s grandfather had retired from the Marines as a gunny sergeant.

Though Pete had only one combat assignment under his belt, that year gave him many war stories to swap with the older man. His detailed descriptions of some of the casualties enabled Robyn to relate to him as well. He was savvy enough to tell many of the combat stories as happening to others, but the details he provided gave lie to his attempts at modesty.

Pete found that he liked this family, and he felt more at home and welcome than at any time since he joined the army.

As the evening progressed, the older man finally worked around to what he really wanted to know. “Miriam says that you put down those two hoodlums before you ever reached them. No gun, no knife, no stick, no nothing. Was she out of it, or what? Give!” he almost demanded.

“Well, Miriam was partially correct. I didn’t use a gun or knife or stick; I used this,” and he produced his sling. “At that range, it wouldn’t surprise me if I cracked two skulls. I’m not particularly concerned one way or another. The authorities weren’t where they needed to be; they can clean up the mess.”

He passed his sling to Daniel, who examined it with interest. “Growing up, my family wasn’t particularly well off, so I put meat on the table with that. I’m a reasonable shot with a long gun, but this is cheaper.” He grinned and continued, “There’s an added bonus. It doesn’t blow rabbits, squirrels, and such into small fragments, and I don’t have to pick buckshot out of my dinner.”

After examining the well-used sling, Daniel passed it over for the two women to see. “I don’t suppose you used anything else?”

“Well, snares - of course - and in emergencies I threw my knife,” Peter offered, “but I don’t have my knife with me. Left it with my little sister in case her honor was threatened. Pity the numbnut that gets her dander up,” he mused.

“Well, it’s time for this old man’s sleep,” stated Daniel after a pause. “You’ve had a dram or two to drink. Will you stay the night? There’s plenty of spare beds, and I’d like to visit a little more in the morning.”

Pete agreed, and was led up the stairs to a nicely furnished guestroom, shown the bath, and given a heavy green robe and a toothbrush. The two ladies kissed his cheek, bid him a good night, and left him.

Pete was almost asleep when his door cracked and a slim body slipped into the room and under the covers with him. The body was naked.

After a moment, Robyn snuggled up and whispered, “I don’t sleep around; I only sleep with Heroes.” She giggled, “You’re the first real Hero I’ve ever met, well other than my father and grandfather. I’m grateful that you rescued my favorite sister.”

She was grateful several times during the night, and each time, Pete was grateful in return.

In the morning, Robyn was riding him fast and hard when the door opened and a t-shirt clad Miriam entered with a tray covered with juice, coffee, homemade biscuits, and jam. She smirked and said, “I told you she was the grateful type.”

Robyn never paused or took her eyes from his, but Pete looked around her and remonstrated, “Shame! You malign your sister. She came to me a virgin.”

“I never said that she wasn’t,” protested Miriam as she sat the tray on a table. She looked at her sister and demanded, “Finish up before your coffee gets cold.”

Robyn shuddered in completion, lay her head on Pete’s chest, and then lifted it and pretended to glare at her sibling, “You didn’t want him, so don’t go getting uppity with me.” Then she added, “You can bet I’m not throwing him back in the pond.”

Miriam shrugged and sat on the bed beside them holding her own coffee mug.

“You’re awfully calm about this,” Pete observed wryly. “How is your grandfather going to react? Do I need to exit, stage left?”

“No!” exclaimed the two women together, then Robyn continued, “He of all people knows of Heroes and Rewards! There was that emphasis again.

Breakfast finished, Pete excused himself to take care of his overdue morning business. He had just stepped into the warm spray from the multiple heads in the over-large shower, when the curtains opened and two nymphs stepped in and began to wash him. Apparently, Miriam’s reserving her virginity did not extend to refraining from touchy-freely.

The two ladies were of similar build and of equal beauty, but a stranger would not take them for sisters. Miriam’s hair might be described as Irish red, and she had green eyes set in a round, freckled face. Robyn’s crystal blue eyes, white-blond hair, and pale clear skin would be termed Scandinavian. Perky tits, well-toned bodies, and neatly trimmed pubic hair had Pete standing at attention.

The shower was fun. Hair was washed and rinsed; most body parts were laved and even kissed. A few lip-lock kisses were exchanged. But no tab A entered either woman’s slot B, C, or D. After his night with Robyn, Pete was pretty much done.

Dressed, the happy, compatible trio drifted downstairs to find a nattily dressed Daniel in the kitchen - reading the paper and sipping coffee. “Sleep well?” he asked, winking. “I always find a good rest after strenuous activity to be very rewarding.”

The women blushed, leaving Pete to feel he’d stumbled into a fairy tale. Maybe he had.

Saturday was spent talking, exchanging more war stories, followed by Pete demonstrating his prowess with the sling. This led to other demonstrations by all four of them. Both ladies and Daniel were excellent shots with bow and arrow, but Pete showed an utter lack of skill with that tool.

At one time, he had toyed with high school level fencing, but was no match for the three Moons. Ah, but with a throwing knife ... Once he tested the balance and feel, he was far-and-away better.

The surprise came when they began discussing hand-to-hand combat and the various martial arts. Both women proved proficient when they sparred with each other and with Pete.

By the time they had finished running through their paces, it was late afternoon, and Pete was again invited to stay for dinner - and for the night, if he wanted to.

“So how did those two yahoos get the better of you?” Pete asked Miriam as the family and guest ate leftover chili - this time with tortillas and shredded cheese.

“Well, they hadn’t completely - but two strong, aggressive men are dangerous, no matter how well a woman is trained,” she answered. “That’s one of the reasons we are taught to scream for help. I did. You came. I survived.”

That evening, after dinner, the four played dominoes and continued to explore their histories. Pete inquired about the ladies’ various skills.

Miriam started, “We told you that Papa is a Hero, and our father was as well. Dad died while trying to save our mother from a burning car crash. They both died when we were quite little, and Papa and Grams raised us until she died. Then it was Papa, and Papa wanted to be sure we could take care of ourselves”

“I have another reason that I’ll be glad to tell you when I know you better,” joined in Robyn. “Miriam doesn’t share it though. She’s found a man and just wants to marry and have kids.”

“Nothing wrong with that!” answered Pete and Daniel together, but Pete wondered about the absent fiancé.

That night saw Robyn in Pete’s bed with two changes. Robyn made no effort to conceal her liaison with Pete; entering his room with him when it came time to retire. The biggest change was Miriam’s participation.

Saturday evening, when Pete and Robyn cleaned up and adjourned to his room, Miriam followed shortly after, clad in the same over-sized t-shirt from that morning. “Don’t mind me,” she stated when she saw Pete’s startled expression. “I’m just going to watch and make sure Robyn does it right!” She smiled and sat on the far side of the queen-sized bed.

Robyn looked at Pete and began lifting his shirt. Soon the two were naked and rewarding each other vigorously. Apparently, all was to Miriam’s satisfaction, because she offered no corrections or advice.

When at last the two were exhausted, Pete cuddled Robyn to his shoulder for sleep. Only then, Miriam inserted herself under the covers to snuggle up on Pete’s other shoulder. “You make me feel safe,” she told him before drifting off to sleep.

Sunday was a day of relaxation, with a trip to his boarding house room for clean clothes, on to the library, and followed by dinner out. Neither day’s paper nor broadcast news made any reference to bodies or assaults near Miriam’s work.

Sunday night was a repeat of Saturday except Miriam snuggled in sans t-shirt. Pete discovered, that like her sister’s, Miriam’s short bush tickled.

Very early Monday morning, Robyn once again field tested Pete’s happy-making appendage. Finding that it remained acceptable, she showered, breakfasted, donned war paint, and headed for her hospital. When her mid-morning break rolled around, she marched into Human Resources, grabbed the recruiter by the tie, hauled him into the director’s office, and shut the door.

“Listen up you two, and you have a hope of avoiding a major lawsuit!” She let go of the tie and waited a moment to make sure the sputtering department head was paying attention. “When I leave this office, William is going to call my sister’s agency and put in a job order for a med tech - veteran preferred. When she sends a candidate, you will hire him for that vacancy we’ve had open for months. He’s more than qualified. And - after I leave this office - neither of you will ever let on that I had anything to do with this hire.”

She held up her hand to forestall interruption. “In return, I will not rat you out to investigative reporters for hiring the mayor’s incompetent bimbo mistress or your stud wannabe here hitting on everything wearing skirts.”

She was about to leave, but she turned and declared, “Yes, Millie, I’m trying to fuck his brains out. He makes Superman look like Caspar Milquetoast. Don’t even think about moving in on me!” Then she was gone - her break was over.

By the time he’d showered and descended to have coffee with Daniel, both sisters were gone. The two men shared a companionable silence, followed by an offer from the older man, “You know we have lots of room in this old house, and both my girls like you. Why not move in with us for a while until you find a job and settle into a more permanent situation? Heck, you may decide not to move at all. What do you say? Did I tell you that both of my girls like you?” He grinned.

‘What a strange turn of events, ‘ Pete thought to himself. Not being a complete idiot, he gladly accepted the offer.

Pete was on his way back to his boarding house when his cell phone rang. He answered, and Miriam told him that she had a new opening to fill and asked if he was interested in a hospital assignment instead of riding around in an ambulance. Pete began to feel that he’d been visited by his fairy godmother.

He continued on to his room to change into his interviewing suit, then returned to Miriam’s office to complete the required paperwork and let her make a copy of his DD-214 (military discharge paperwork.) The suit wasn’t needed, as his interview was to be the next morning.

Returning to his room, Pete packed, gave notice, and returned to his new residence.

That evening, an exuberant Miriam told Robyn and Daniel of the pending interview.

Robyn offered, “It’s about time. That slot and another have been open for months. The silly asses would rather pay overtime than add staff.” She continued, “Did Miriam tell you that’s my hospital? I’d give you a ride, but my shift starts way too early.”

Two weeks passed, and Pete was happy with his new job. Though he still had days of training ahead, he was now alternately shadowing two experienced technicians. His military training, and especially his field experience, was going to make him a natural go-to person when the emergency room was overly busy.

One of the ER nurses was also a veteran who, like Pete, had served with a Battalion Aid Station and also in triage and surgery for a Combat Support Hospital. The two quickly bonded during quiet times and breaks, agreeing that the military allowed trained medical practitioners much more independence and autonomy than was common in the civilian world. Supervising physicians could still be total jerks in either venue.

In his new home - nice feeling - Pete was gaining a comfort that he didn’t know he had missed. Both sisters still slept with him - though his relationship with Miriam remained unconsummated. Her fiancé remained absent, undescribed, and mysterious.

There were almost daily workouts, sometimes sparring in the basement dojo/gym or jogging in the wooded park. ‘His’ ‘girls’ teased him into teaching them to use his sling, and in turn prodded him into learning basic medieval-style swordplay and archery. Progress in this cross training was barely adequate - understandable with the limited time they had to learn and practice.

‘His girls’. Now that was a new thought. He wasn’t in love, and he was pretty sure Robyn wasn’t either, but the growing respect and affection was unmistakable and noted quietly by Daniel as well.

One Saturday morning while his granddaughters were away shopping, the two men were enjoying a prolonged quiet session with coffee. “Pete,” the older man leaned on the red checked tablecloth, “until now, I was worried about the future for Miriam and Robyn. Now, not so much.” He mused aloud, “They like and respect you, and they are clearly comfortable with you.”

Pete reddened, and Daniel continued. “Financially, they will be more than okay when I’m gone. Emotionally, I wasn’t so sure. I don’t care for Miriam’s fiancé. There’s something odd there, but I can’t put my finger on it. I think you’ve figured out that Robyn has an itch. Next weekend, you and I will take a little trip, and I’ll brief you on it. Can I count on you to take care of my girls?”

It was like enlisting in the army, but this time the term of enlistment was apparently ‘indefinite’. Pete nodded and shook Daniel’s hand, wondering if Daniel’s granddaughters were aware they’d just become as good as married.

Friday, all hell broke loose. That evening, Miriam discovered that her absent fiancé had a chickie in Seattle - two chickies, actually - a she chickie and a he chickie. Daniel, Pete, and the ladies were watching the late news when the anchor broke from the obligatory cute-puppy-story to deliver breaking news.

Miriam’s fiancé had told her that he would be in Seattle for management training. He was, but the café he was in was the scene of a shooting. A local news camera, there to cover a politician, recorded it all. In the video clip, there was the gunman, and there behind him was Miriam’s fiancé, lip locked to the he chickie and with an arm around the she chickie - hand in her peasant blouse clearly tweaking her nipple. The three looked up, straight at the camera when the photographer caught them; there was no mistaken identity.

Miriam turned to Robyn and declared, “Well, that’s history. You darned well better be prepared to share!” Then she burst into tears.

There was no sex that evening. Pete and Robyn cuddled and petted Miriam until she finally fell asleep spooned between them.

Saturday morning, Daniel made a huge batch of scrambled eggs, bacon, and toast. He watched to ensure that Miriam ate, and herded the three into the parlor, each with a fresh mug of coffee. He took his usual chair and indicated the three younger folk should take the sofa.

“Well girls,” he began, “I thought Pete was going to have one Companion, now it looks like two. Yes?”

Miriam and Robyn looked across Pete at each other and nodded. Pete looked puzzled. Here was extra emphasis on another word - ‘Companion’.

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