He happened on the fire, after hearing it on his special radio in the truck. At the time, he was already on his way home after his shift was over. He went over in that direction, since it wasn't far for him to get there.
Once he arrive, Win, Sergeant Winfield Tucker, checked in with the various officers in charge, who were working on the perimeter of the incident. There were people standing around, more especially since it was an apartment building fire.
He'd learned, once he arrived at the scene that it had started in the garage in the basement of the structure. Apparently some kids were fooling around in the garage, 'up to no good' he told himself, and had started the blaze.
Now there were people standing around, some of them in their night clothes and watching the progress of the fire, which had pretty quickly engulfed almost all of the building.
It was then that he noticed his Mom's doctor, Dr Margaret Simms standing toward the back of the crowd, pretty much alone. She had a thin, short robe on over what looked like an ankle length night gown, and she was obviously cold, and, Win could tell from looking at her, obviously in almost a kind of shock.
He went back to his truck right away, and brought a coat that he carried in the truck, going to Dr Simms.
"Dr Simms," he said softly, putting the coat around her shoulders.
She looked at him, giving him a grateful look and put the coat on. Then she did the unexpected. She turned to him saying: "Oh, Sergeant Tucker," and put her arms around him and held onto him, and cried. She was shaking and sobbing into his chest, and he simply held her.
(The Sergeant, Sergeant Winfield Tucker, 'Win' to just about everyone, was at that point 40 years old. He'd come out of the service and became a policeman at the age of 28, after serving a couple hitches. After joining the police force, he spent his leisure time taking care of his wonderful Momma. He'd been, you see, a 'love child', born late in their lives to his Mom and Dad. He'd been living in their wonderful, stately victorian -- which he and his Dad had worked constantly to fix up, until that horrible day, when his Dad died of a coronary -- since coming out of the service. He'd taken care of his Momma then in her final illness, and had been living alone there with his faithful companion 'Mozart' since that time.
He'd gotten to know Dr Margaret Simms especially during his Mom's final illness, and had always liked her very much.
This situation now, was so very different, however, with this lovely woman clinging to him and crying for all she was worth.)
He held her and let her cry it out, at least for now, and finally, she looked up at him, a totally grateful look on her face.
She said softly: "Everything!"
He understood immediately.
"Gone?" he asked.
"Yes," she said, sobbing again, "Everything." She looked as though she were about to cry again and said, with resolution, that he knew might not last. "Sorry to be a baby."
"Hey!" he broke in, "None of that; you've just had the trauma of losing everything, as you've said."
"Thank you," she said softly.
He still held her by the shoulders.
(Margaret Simms loved being a doctor! It was her goal ever since she was a child and 'consulted' with her Doctor Father about medical things. It had been her whole life dream. She went into general practice because she loved dealing with people. She certainly remembered Win Tucker's Mom, Ceilia, with great tenderness -- a wonderful woman.
Margaret had given her life, as had her father, to her practice. She was an active woman, worked out and, even at her current age of 58, was simply lovely. It was one of the things that Win Tucker always thought about her, that loveliness.
Her father and mother had provided well for her, especially upon their deaths, with Mom going first and then her dad. She lived comfortably in an apartment, commenting from time to time that she'd look for a house, which she never took the time to do!
Margaret paid special attention, as she aged, to her workouts. She kept her weight pretty constant at about 132 or so. She was critical of herself and took time, now and again to evaluate herself in front of a mirror, after a shower or when she was starting to dress. She liked the fact that her rather large breasts, 36d, didn't sag overly and that her butt cheeks were still round and firm. She usually ended those sessions in front of the mirror giggling at herself.
She'd had a fiancé who'd gotten 'wedding jitters' at the last moment and backed out. They'd gotten together after that off and on over a ten year period but it put her off of entanglements with men for the most part. Gradually for Margaret Simms it just wasn't a priority or a problem. There had been affairs, though not ever with married men. She was determined that that wasn't going to happen and those affairs were rich for the sex and the closeness at the time but the men were simply not 'keepers' for Margie Simms.)
And right then she was trying to calm down and force her mind to consider what she was going to do. She didn't know rightly. She'd really no one to go to. Once her Mom and Dad died, and her Uncle Andy and Aunt Betsy, they were all gone. They'd left her incredibly well off, pretty much rich, but they'd left her, and after that it was the practice. There was no one that she could think of to go to now.
It chagrined her to realize that she was actually saying all of this to Sergeant Tucker.
"Sorry!" she said, looking up at him, realizing then that she was still holding on to him for all she was worth.
"No, no 'sorries' now for us!" Win said. "You'll come home with me and we'll get you to rights and deal with all of this in the morning."
"Oh, yes," she sighed, "What a wonderful, thoughtful thing!" She was, right then, too much in shock to have second thoughts about his offer. It was just as though she resigned herself to being taken care of by him.
He led her then to his truck, telling the duty officer at the scene that he was going to take her home with him. The big cop smiled and said: "Say 'hey' to Mozie for me!"
When they got in the truck, Margie asked: "Mozie?"
"My dog!" he said, "The one who shares my life with me!"
She smiled, and said softly: "Mozie" as though approving.
She was silent for a few blocks and said, finally: "I'm smelling up your truck!"
"Well," he answered, "We'll throw you into the bath, when we get home and get you all washed up and shiny. You'll be just fine."
When he pulled into the driveway that led to the garage in the back of the property, Margie Simms exclaimed: "Oh, this is lovely! I've seen this any number of times; I didn't know that you lived here."
"Me and Mozart!" he said.
"Yes, Mozart!" she said, "Well, I approve because I love his music!"
"You can tell him yourself," he said.
He led her in the door that went into the kitchen and they were swarmed immediately by a friendly, noisy black lab who was all movement and wanted his share of petting and friendly talk from both Win and from Margie. She was taken with Mozie right away.
"This is so nice of you!" she said softly, when they were inside.
"Well, come on," he said, "We want to get you into the bath right away. It'll help you. Glass of wine? Beer?"
"You know," she answered, "I'd love a beer."
"Light? Dark? Stout?" he asked.
"Oh, my host is equipped!" she said, her first light hearted comment.
He smiled and she answered: "Stout! Fine!"
He got them each a glass of stout and then led her through the house, with her making wondering noises at the loveliness of the whole place.
"My Dad and I worked on it," he said, "Right up to the time he had the coronary."
"Yes," she answered, "I remember that. I'm so sorry."
"He was a grand guy!" Win said.
BATH TIME AND THE NIGHT:
"How about if I go and run a bath for you?" he asked.
"Oh, please!" she said, "What a treat that will be."
He led her to a bathroom on the second floor, where she remarked about the claw footed tub and he started filling the tub.
"Bubbles?" he asked.
"Oh, yes," she said, "Bubbles!"
As the tub was filling and she sat there, he said: "I have some running pants and tee shirts that you can wear tomorrow but for tonight how about if I get you a tee shirt and a pair of boxers?"
"Lovely!" she said, scratching Mozie on the head, who was sitting there with her, as though protecting her.
He came back with the small pile of clothes and said: "I'll launder your things tonight too.
"You're so nice, Win Tucker!" she said, a sob in her voice.
"I'll let you get settled now into the bath," he said, leaving.
He went back a little later, with Mozart with him, and saw the small pile of clothes outside of the door. He stood there and could hear her in the bathroom sobbing.
"Margaret? Dr Simms?" he said. "Are you okay?"
"No!" she said, "Win, please come in! And Mozart too!"
Win opened the door and found her sitting in the tub crying. As soon as he was in the bathroom, with Mozart, who seemed concerned too, she stood up, all soapy but naked and grabbed onto Win and held him, giving in to the crying again. He held her again and let her cry this time too.
"Sorry!" she said, noticing that she'd gotten him all sudsy. "Getting you wet and me with no clothes on!"
"Beautiful!" he said softly, "What Mozie and I think!"
She smiled up at him and gave him a quick kiss for the comment.
.... There is more of this story ...