tagRomanceAngels and Guardians Pt. 01

Angels and Guardians Pt. 01

byphotodad©

Author's note:

The following story is about an eventful fall that brings a cheerleader from another state to know a very special group of friends. This story is 9 parts storyline, 1 part sex. If you're looking for "Wham Bam" right off, it isn't for you. All characters are aged 18 at the time sex is described. Thank you for reading.


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Chapter 1

Living On a Prayer

"You really need to stop saving my life. You're gonna kill yourself someday." Joe looked at the direction where the voice came from through half-opened eyes. "Wha--?" Ashely flashed a smile and just repeated,"you really need to stop saving my life. It's gonna get you killed." Joe looked around the room, and listened to the various beeps and chatter in the hallway.

"This looks familiar," he said.

Ashley couldn't suppress a little giggle. "This is the same room you were in after you caught me two months ago."

Joe, still more than a little foggy, "oh....yeah." His eyes focused more and he looked at Ashley. "That outfit becomes you."

She lifted her arms as to somewhat model the gown. "It's kinda mandatory if you stay here."

That got his attention. "You got hurt too? Oh my god, I'm sorry" The last bit was after he readjusted the focus on her face.

"Joe, it's fine. It's....more than fine actually. What you did saved my life. I'm being discharged tomorrow."

"...What I did?"

Ashley looked confused, too, but more so at Joe not remembering. "Well, they told me that the truck would have flattened me, had it not been for your quick thinking." Now, Joe remembered. "What made you...how did....why did you do that, you were almost kil..." Ashley stopped mid-word remembering the torturous two weeks after the accident.

Joe did his best to smile and said, "it would have been a tragedy for the world to lose such a beautiful angel so early."

Ashley fought back tears at this and replied, "well what can I do to repay you?"

Joe without thinking said, "go forth and be fruitful...er, divide...er, whatever."

"Multiply?"

"Yeah, that's it."

"Seriously, how can I repay you?"

"You can turn around in that gown for me."

"JOE!!" He didn't see his mom in the corner behind him. "I taught you better manners than that!"

"Mom, you can spin in a gown beside her."

Ashley started laughing at this. "Ms. Smith, I think the drugs are still affecting Joe."

Joe's mom looked at the doorway and addressed the two officers. "Will the meds he is on affect what you need?"

The captain chuckled, "No, I think they might have loosened up his sense of humor, but that's all. Joe, I'm Captain Daniels, this is Deputy Rogers. We need to ask you a few questions about the accident."

Joe wrapped his mind around this and asked, "Can't this wait? I'm still really sore....and hungry."

Daniels shook his head. He said that the investigation has gone on for two weeks, and they needed to wrap it up. Joe was surprised at the mention of two weeks, and his mom told him that he had been in an induced coma for that long.

Joe sighed...his mind wasn't ready for this. But he closed his eyes and forced the gears in motion. "I was coming home from practice. Ashley was two car lengths ahead. Something ahead didn't look right to me. I don't know what, but something wasn't right and it made me scan the road ahead of her. I saw the semi coming the wrong way. Not really being steered....don't know how to describe it, more like the truck wasn't being controlled by a driver. It was kinda meandering towards us. Anyway, it was coming for our lane, Ashley didn't brake, so I knew she didn't see him. I punched the gas to pull beside her. I was gonna try to knock her out of the way, but I guess she finally saw him, as she slowed hard. That made me miss her car, so I hit the brakes, hoping I could be...I don't know a cushion. Swerving into Ashley's lane and hitting the brakes spun my car sideways and next thing I know I see his grill hit the passenger window."

Ashley was standing wide-eyed during this and when Joe finished, she started sobbing and left the room. Joe, confused, looked at the captain and asked "what?"

Captain Daniels replied, "well that fills in all the holes we didn't know. The truck driver didn't survive. We had suspected he had maybe passed before the accident. If you say the truck seemed to run on it's own, that confirms that he died at the wheel well before the wreck. So, we couldn't get his side. Ashley only remembers that she saw the truck, stomped on the brakes, saw your car appear in front of hers, then airbag to the face. She told us she thought you accidentally spun in front of her, that someone had cut you off."

Joe's mom stepped in. "She's been denying that it was intentional. Now she knows that you did it on purpose to save her. I'm sure she feels overwhelmed and is thinking about the debt she has to pay you."

"Mom! That's terrible to say that! She owes me nothing. I didn't think...just did."

Daniels said, "Well whatever went through your mind, you achieved it. Though, I wouldn't recommend trying that again. You're lucky to be living, let alone awake. And she does owe her life to you. That stunt slowed the collision between her car and the truck enough that all she has are bruises. You on the other hand...took about 1 ½ hours to get you out from between the other two."

With that, Joe passed out.

The second half of the night, he slept fitfully. Joe half remembers the nurses coming in every half hour to probe and prod him as they went about their jobs. That morning they removed his catheter and when he rolled over for them to change his bed pan, he saw Ashley sitting there watching. "Oh god! Shouldn't you be in your room?"

Ashley giggled, "I AM in my room. Don't worry, I've watched them change that pan about a hundred times now." The nurse then explained how Ashley threw a tantrum when she was able to move around easier after being admitted, and the only thing to quiet her was to put her in the same room as Joe.

He didn't believe her until the doctor walked through the door, checked Ashley out and declared her discharged. He turned his attention to Joe and commented on the remarkable progress in his recovery. "I'll keep you here another 48 hours for observation, then you can go home."

After the doctor and nurse left, Joe faced Ashley, a little embarrassed, and asked where their parents were. She told him they had gone to breakfast and would be back any minute. "Well, now that you are released, what are you going to do for entertainment? Now that you won't see the 'bed pan show' anymore."

"Oh please...it's not THAT entertaining! Besides, we still have school, remember? Jill and crew have been bringing me the homework assignments, so I'm still caught up. I'm worried about you, though. Being two weeks out, senior year, that's gonna be tough to make up."

"Well, it'll be okay. It can't be that hard, as it IS the beginning of the school year. You gonna be cheering after school?"

"No, the doctor said I can't cheer for a few more days. Besides, I don't think my bruised face and chest could take all that bouncing." She paused. Then, "I'm coming up here after school to see you."

"Ah, 'and now for the encore'! ha. ha."

"Oh shut up! I told you that wasn't entertaining."

"Well, since you're coming up anyway, could you bring my assignments? I'm not going anywhere."

Ashley lit up and said that she'd be glad to. She got up and got her clothes from her duffel bag. When she started tugging up her gown, Joe stopped her. "What are you doing? I'm still here!"

"Well," she said. "I've seen you, it's only fair you see me, though with the bruising it may not be as pretty."

"That's not possible, I'm sure. You being less pretty, that is."

Ashley blushed at that and resumed tugging, albeit painfully.

"Seriously, Ashley stop."

"Why? You did ask me to turn around for you yesterday."

"I did?"

"Oh wow, you don't remember? Those drugs must be good!"

"Well, I'm sorry for asking that of you, though I wouldn't mind seeing what you have. But, aren't our parents due back soon?"

Ashley pondered this, then grabbed her clothes and changed in the bathroom. As if on cue, both sets of parents walked in as she closed the door.

Joe related what the doctor said about the two of them. Ashley's parents were happy that their daughter was getting ready to go home. Joe's parents were happy that he would be released sooner than anyone hoped. His father remarked that the decision to let him play football was a good one, since a less built person wouldn't have survived. His mother firmly reminded him that if Joe didn't play football, he wouldn't have been at the wreck at all. "All the more reason he's a hero," Ashley's dad quipped.

"He's my guardian," Ashley stated when she emerged from the bathroom, dressed in jeans and a t-shirt. "Twice." Joe thought it interesting that she used that word. He called the offensive line his "Guardians."

The room fell silent when everyone remembered a similar conversation in this same room two months ago. Joe was in the same bed for two days after catching Ashley during a failed stunt attempt at practice. Joe was lined up at the QB position, calling an audible when he glanced at the cheerleaders. Something didn't look right to him when Ashley was about to get tossed. He stopped mid play-call and sprinted towards the girls. One of the tossing girls' knees gave out, sending Ashley off-balance into the air. As she plummeted toward the ground headfirst, Joe took two more long, almost superhuman, strides, reached out and caught her shoulders. She landed on her back, instead of her head. The resulting tumble he took strained his shoulder and stomach muscles. Their coaches were not too pleased. With either the failed stunt, or with Joe rushing off mid-practice, ending with their starting quarterback being behind a week of training. But, Ashley and Joe's teammates had a new respect for Joe.

Ashley's mom snapped back to the present, and declared she was tired of the hospital. At this, Joe's parents said they had to get ready for a big day at work tomorrow. While the goodbyes were being said, Ashley pleaded to be able to stay with Joe to keep him company. But she was shot down, her parents insisting she go home to get rest for her return to school tomorrow.

Joe's coach stopped in later that day, providing a welcome break from the lame Sunday broadcast programming. Joe told him that he'd be released in a couple of days, and hopefully conditioning within a week later. He asked how the first two games went. "Well, nobody takes the reins on the field like you do," Coach Mike responded. "We won, but mostly by running." Joe nodded at this, the wheels turning in his head. Coach Mike said that he was thinking the same thing. That if they can run the ball even somewhat successfully, with Joe back passing, it was going be a great year.

They chatted on for about a half hour or so, mostly about the two games that were played while Joe was unconscious. At times, the coach would run by an idea or two for plays, to see if Joe would be comfortable running them. "I can't wait to have you back," Coach said while leaving. "I can't wait to be back, Coach."

The rest of the day and the beginning of the next was an exercise of sheer boredom. The nurses were nice enough, but had the build and resemblance of gorillas. Joe was polite to them as they went about every once in a while changing his IV or helping him to the bathroom. Things looked up quite a bit when a young petite blond came in and announced she was his nurse for the afternoon shift. She was very professional and efficient in her duties, but MUCH better eye entertainment Joe decided. The nurse was cheerful, and always had a pleasant expression. Much like Kim. At that very thought, Joe panicked. Was Kim with him in the crash? No, but where was she? Why hadn't Kim stopped by? You'd think a girlfriend would at least check on him. After chasing these thoughts around his head for a few minutes he finally remembered, with some sadness, the week before the crash. "Damn, I gotta get off these drugs," Joe thought aloud. He reflected about how he and Kim had been dating each other since most of last year. Nothing too serious, but they enjoyed each other's company. Things were going well, and he had started thinking into the future regarding her. Would she go to school near him, would they stay together, did they want to? Then, suddenly last week, no, three weeks ago (stupid coma), Kim broke the news that her dad was getting transferred out of state. "So, we've had fun, but we won't last a long distance thing," she'd said. "I can feel it in my heart." Joe looked inward and agreed. They hung out after school and the last weekend before her family left town. That Sunday they said their goodbyes to each other through slow, memorable sex, hugged, and walked away.

When his nurse came in to check his vitals again, Joe asked that the pain medicine be stopped. She asked if he was sure, because with all the things on his body that got banged, it would be a pretty harsh wake-up call. Joe was sure and he was tired of being in a fog all the time. After a call to his doctor, she came back in and turned off the morphine pump. He thanked her and at Joe's request, she handed him all the cards displayed about the room. He passed the time most of the afternoon reading the well wishes from the school population and his relatives. The ones from close friends were humorous, calling him "pin cushion" and "secondary airbag." From his parents' close friends were thoughts of sincere concern. The acquaintance wishes were generally a standard card with just a signature or maybe a handwritten "get well soon." The two that really surprised him were from the cheerleaders and from Ashley. The squad had chosen a thank you card that originally read "To our Guardian Angel" but they crossed out "Angel" and replaced it with "Hottie." Joe really didn't think of himself as that, especially now being sore and stiff. The handwritten notes from each member of the squad were heartfelt and appreciative of his efforts to save their teammate. They were also peppered with a bit of seduction, promising any "reward" he wanted. Joe chuckled at this. Surely they didn't mean it. The Seniors did, but not the underclassmen. None of them ever showed interest. Still, he passively fantasized about what reward he would take. Ashley also signed it, in different ink. Joe deducted that she must have signed it here in the room after the others delivered it. Her note simply said, "Read my card. Ashley."

Hers was a plain white card that on the front had the words "Thank You" printed in black calligraphy. The inside was blank of any preprinted material. Ashley's elegant handwriting filled the page instead.

"My dearest Joe,

I've stared at this white page for over an hour now, not knowing what to write. I've finally decided to just start writing, so I apologize if it doesn't make sense. The last week and a half have been hell. They've put me in your room after I insisted, and it's been both a comfort to my physical pain to see you, and agony to watch your incessant ups and downs. I've lost count how many times you stopped breathing, but somehow you so far have always fought back. Today they said they are going to take you out of your coma next week, that the pain should be somewhat bearable by then. When you wake up, I plan on being the first thing you see. I want to offer my unconditional thanks for being at the right place at the right time. Everyone who's been in, rescue workers, police, media, have said that your reaction saved me. I don't know if that's what you intended, but I do know this: You are my Guardian Angel. I will never forget the pain you've endured on my behalf. My life, my love is now yours, forever.

Love,

Ashley"

Joe read the card over and over for the better part of an hour. So much information to process. He almost died? A number of times? The media was here? What the hell? The part that really got his attention was that Ashley wrote the word "love" twice. Ashley is a beautiful girl. Small, barely over 5 feet tall, she is thin, but toned. Her flame red hair long and usually in a pony tail. And, he remembered she looks great in a skirt. But, he didn't want her to "owe" her LOVE to him, just because of this. He made a mental note to be sure she understood this. Just then a huge wave of pain from all parts of his body came crashing over him. Joe wasn't ready for it and passed out.

Somewhere, far away, Joe heard his name. Then he felt the delicate pat on his arm and his name was repeated. He awoke with a start, and nearly sat bolt upright.

"Joe, it's okay. It's just me."

"Oh, hey Ashley." Joe replied, his head clearing. He winced at the pain, but was able to push it to the side of his mind. "How was school?"

Ashley proceeded to tell him about her eventful day. How everyone swarmed her as she entered the senior locker hallway. Every teacher remarked how it was nice she was back. She related how she turned in about ten pounds of homework, but got the feeling it went straight to the trash anyway. But, for the most part, school was the same. Other than the wreck, the buzz around school was revolving mostly around the upcoming talent show. The teachers even seemed anxious about it this year. Mostly because last year was a huge success, and the staff and participants were wondering how to top it. "And," she said. "EVERYONE asked about you."

Joe grinned at the last part. "Yeah right, I'm sure. They were asking you, a goddess of an angel, about me."

Ashley gave him a quick light tap on the arm. "Shut up! You're not bad of a looker yourself. You don't give yourself enough credit. YES, everyone asked about you." Joe changed the subject and asked how she got to school. Ashley told him her mom drove her to school, and her dad drove her to the hospital.

"Where is he?" Joe asked.

She told him that he dropped her off and would pick her up at the end of visiting hours, 7pm. Her eyes sparkled when she said, "So that gives us about two and a half hours alone."

"Well, us and the nurse," he corrected just as his nurse walked in.

"Hmph, I see now why you want to stay here," Ashley said as she gave the nurse a once-over. The nurse giggled and turned her attention to her patient, asking him what he wanted for dinner. Joe placed his order and asked for a guest tray for Ashley. Ashley declined, stating she had enough bedside food to last for a while. When the nurse left, Ashley told Joe that she heard good things about the cafeteria and would eat there when his dinner arrived.

"And now on to business," she announced, pulling a stack of notebooks and textbooks from her book bag. The two had mostly the same classes, just during different periods for most of them. There were two periods that they were in the same class. And two classes on Joe's schedule Ashley had taken the year before. She opted for more electives on senior year. Joe just took whatever the guidance counselor handed him. Ashley gave him the list of assignments that he missed and the schedule that they were due. The faculty decided that he could make up bits at a time, on top of current assignments. Joe had other plans. He asked for his hardest subject, Trig, and Ashley handed him a textbook and his trig notebook. "How did you get my notebook?" Joe asked. She responded, "the janitor let me in your locker to get it. He likes you enough that he said no problem." Joe nodded and looked up his assignment. While he was reading the chapter, Ashley worked on her own homework on a different subject. She would answer an occasional question he had, as it was one of the subjects she took last year.

Dinner arrived and Ashley went down to the cafeteria while Joe ate, watching TV. When she returned, they made small talk about their meals and the sitcom that was playing on the televisions in his room and the cafeteria. Then they hit the books, resuming their previous roles. Before long, the lights in the hallway dimmed and the announcement about visiting hours ending came over the PA. Joe stretched the visiting time by about fifteen minutes, promising Ashley he was almost done with the Trig make-up work. She was surprised, but used the time to finish up the last of her subjects for the night. When he finished, Joe asked her to turn in his assignment. She smiled and said of course.

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