From behind the huge duct work she cautiously scanned the floor below. The two fire trucks were bathed in the red glow of the night lights. Not seeing anyone, she scampered down the steel ladder. At the door leading to the Security Building, she turned and blew Carter a kiss.

With the two firemen coats folded in his arms, he watched as she disappeared from sight, only then did he descend the ladder. Hanging up the coats he headed for the office. He and Paul were the only firemen working the graveyard shift and, though illegal, they took turns taking naps; that is, until Annie was hired for security.

Annie was twenty three and, according to her, in a loveless marrage. Carter was thirty nine, married and smitten with Annie. As he approached the office he could hear voices. Damn, he thought. Another surprise visit from the new captain. Carter entered the office.

"....and that means two men." Captain Rubbin was saying to Paul.

"Hello, Captain, " Carter said, "What brings you down here so early in the morning? I hope you brought some donuts, all we have are stale cookies."

"Where you been, Carter?  I've been here for fifteen minutes."

Paul said, "I told him you were taking a shower."

Rubbin turned his head, and scowled at Paul, then back to Carter. "You know you are on probation for that last stunt you pulled. So if you want to stay in this house I expect to see you toeing the line."

"Yes, sir, I'm toeing," Carter said, pouring himself some old burnt coffee.

"You make sure you do," Rubbin said, walking to the door. "I guess you don't wash your hair when you take a shower."

"Takes too long to dry in this damp weather," Carter ran  his hand down the back of his head.

"I'm watching you, Carter," and with that he left the office.    

The End

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