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Author's Note: FIRSTS was my second novel and third ever story.
I was inspired to write when I joined the list sisters on Shfanfic. This
is the first chapter, which deals with how the boys met and takes them
through the beginning of the academy to graduation. I hope you enjoy this
Ó FIRSTS Î
CHAPTER ONE: First Decisions
Ken Hutchinson lay awake in his bed. His mind
was full of a wide variety of thoughts that seemed to be chasing each
other endlessly. He and his wife had been invited to dinner at the
Huntley's, their neighbors. The evening had been a late one and Ken was
physically tired but his mind was not about to stop. Ken stretched,
yawned, and curled over towards his wife who was sleeping soundly. He let
his hand stroke her thick brown hair. Then he caressed her shoulder,
enjoying the feel of her silky skin. She moved slightly and moaned. He
immediately withdrew his hand. He had faced the wrath of waking his
sleeping beauty before. Vanessa had made it clear early in their marriage
that it was okay to cuddle and touch while they were involved, but once
they were ready to go to sleep, he was to remain on his side and she would
be on her side. Not that they had been married all that long. Ken had met
Vanessa just a little over two years ago, in college, back in Minnesota.
He was in the pre-med program there and had done very well academically.
After a whirlwind three-month summer romance they had married. A family
friend, who was a doctor, had strongly suggested to her and his parents
that Ken's best shot at getting a good medical education would be to
attend UCLA and then go on to the Medical Center there for Medical School.
The decision was made. And before Ken knew what was happening Vanessa was
registering him for school at UCLA and the move was made. Although they
really didn't want to see their little boy go, his parents had provided
all the financial assistance to make the move. Vanessa had recently
finished Gemology School and had no trouble landing a position as
assistant manager of a very ritzy jewelry store just a few miles from
their new Los Angeles apartment.
Ken lay there wide-eyed and unable to sleep.
His mind was racing a hundred miles an hour. His mind seemed to want to
replay all twenty years of his life. His thoughts were scrambling around
from childhood to meeting Vanessa and then darting into the future. (I
am so sick of letting everyone else tell me what to do. My life has been
planned for me since I was just a kid, ha, probably before I was even
conceived. My mother and father always talked about me being a lawyer,
doctor, or an engineer. It didn't really matter, as long as I made a lot
of money and held a respectable position. Respectable enough that they
could brag about their successful prodigy. I remember once when I got a
'C' on my report card You'd of thought I'd committed a major sin!)
"Kenny Hutchinson," Mrs. Ellis, the sixth
called from her desk. "Please come up and we will discuss your
Kenny slid out of his desk and walked up to his
teacher. His heart
sunk as she explained that his history report, which was a major part
of his grade, had been turned in late and that he would be receiving a
'C' and not his usual 'A.'
"But . . . I . . . was sick, ma'am," Kenny
said trying to
be respectful as he knew he had too.
"Yes, and I gave you an extra day to get it in.
have turned it in the day after you returned to school. You knew about
this report for several weeks, Kenny. You had just as much time as the
other students. It wouldn't be fair for me to allow you to turn yours
in late," Mrs. Ellis said with finality.
Kenny learned long ago that you don't argue with Mrs.
talked back to her once when she had wrongly punished him for talking
during class. That mistake had earned him a few licks with his
father's belt that day after school when Mrs. Ellis called home. He
could tell, now, from her tone that arguing would get him nowhere,
except in more trouble.
"Yes, ma'am," Kenny dropped his head and
returned to his
seat. Report cards would be sent home the next day and he knew the
routine. At the dinner table that night his sister and him would have
to give their father their report cards. Sandra was allowed to get
grades other than 'A's', as she was a girl. Kenneth had to have
straight 'A's' or he could expect a major lecture and some type of
restrictions until the next grades were issued and he had brought the
grade up. Actually he'd never gotten a 'C' before. The lectures and
restrictions were always for getting 'B's'. He had no idea what his
parents would do when they saw this 'C'.
Kenneth placed the report card in his father's hand.
smiled as he began to open it. "Let's see how well my bright boy
did this six weeks!"
Upon unfolding the paper it didn't take long for
Hutchinson's face to show what he was looking at. "What?" He
exclaimed. "What happened in history?" Mr. Hutchinson said
"I'm sorry, sir. Mrs. Ellis said my report was
late and she
took off half credit. I had been sick and . . ."
"Why didn't you hand it in on time?" Mr.
Hutchinson stood to
"I handed it in as soon as I could. I missed
school and she
didn't give me enough time," Kenny's voice was cracking with fear
as he saw his father's large frame rise.
"Don't blame the teacher! I've told you that
should have worked on this report while you were home . . . lying
around . . . doing nothing. You must not have done well on other
assignments as well. A grade isn't based just on one report!"
"But . . ."
"Silence! Get up to your room and prepare for a
Kenneth wanted to say more but he knew better. It
would only make
matters worse. He turned away from his family and went to his room.
After the rest of the family had eaten he heard his father's footsteps
making their way to his room. The lump in his throat made it almost
impossible to swallow. He stood when his father came in the room. His
eyes were transfixed on the rod in his father's hand. It was a plastic
dowel rod. He knew it was going to sting badly when it hit his bare
"Lower your trousers, young man."
Kenny complied and then bent over the edge of his
bed. His father
hit him fifteen times with the plastic rod. The pain radiated all the
way from his buttocks to his feet. He didn't cry out. He knew he
Kenny was barely able to comply, but managed. Tears
from his face.
"Now, we'll have no more 'C's'. Right?"
"Yes . . . s . . . sir," Kenny managed to
"Yes . . . s . . . sir," Kenneth Hutchinson
said into his
pillow, realizing it was wet with fresh tears.
In his dream it seemed as though he had just relived that
childhood incident again. He rubbed his eyes to brush the tears away. (I've
been under such pressure, ever since I can remember . . . pressure
to perform. In my father's eyes I've only been successful if I was
perfect. I'm tired of being perfect. I'm tired of satisfying everyone
else. I don't want to be a doctor. I don't want to be a lawyer or an
engineer. Well then, Ken Hutchinson, what do you want to do?)
Ken's thoughts ran back to the cookout at the Huntley's.
He admired how
happy the couple seemed together. Luke and Doris made the ideal couple.
She treated him with so much respect and he doted over her as though she
were a princess. (I remember the first time I met him. It was when Van
and I were moving in.) The memory made Ken smile and laugh softly to
"Ken! Ken! I can't hold it!"
"Just set it down then!"
"I can't believe you expect me to lift that
heavy piece of
furniture!" Vanessa yelled, red faced.
"Sorry! I guess I'll get it on my own," Ken
said to her. (To
himself he said, You're the one that insisted we bring this
monstrosity. I told you it was too heavy, but you never listen to me!)
"Hey, can I be of some assistance?"
Ken looked up from his crouched position to see a
man. He was
slightly shorter then Ken and appeared to be in his mid-thirties.
"You . . . ah . . . look like you could use a hand."
"Yes, sir. I sure could use some help. I'm
afraid it's a
little more than my wife and I can handle."
The stranger went down to the other end of the sofa
and lifted it.
"Okay, I've got it!" the stranger shouted.
The two men, still reeling under the weight, began to
move the sofa
toward the apartment. "Tell me you don't live in the upstairs
apartment?" The stranger asked fearfully but with a smile.
"Yes, sir. I'm afraid that's where we have to
take it! Are you
sure you can handle it," Ken asked, concerned.
"No problem! I got it just fine. I was just
"Yeah! I know! My wife didn't want a bottom
floor apartment .
. . thinks we'll be safer upstairs!"
Managing to get the couch up the steps, they began to
way into the apartment door. Ken was walking backwards and holding
onto the couch with all his might. He swore to himself when they moved
again the couch was staying! They managed to get it angled around the
doorway and headed almost straight in the apartment. Ken was about two
feet into the door when his backward motion was stopped by a small box
that Van had left sitting in the way. He fell backwards and the couch
came tumbling down on top of his legs.
Vanessa came running into the front room. "What
The stranger set the couch down and came up to the
"Can you help me get this thing off?" Ken
yelled to him.
There was no way to get into the apartment—the
couch was blocking
the entire doorway and he couldn't walk over it because that would put
even more pressure on his new neighbor.
Vanessa was standing there offering worthless
"Ken just lift it off yourself . . . it's not that heavy!"
"Can you let me in the window here?" the
to Vanessa. She went over to the large front room windows and began to
unlatch and take the screens out. Meanwhile Ken was trying to remove
the weight from his legs, but he couldn't get any leverage. From the
pain he was in, he could tell at least his foot was broken.
Vanessa and the stranger-turned-Samaritan managed to
get the window
open. He climbed through and ran to lift the couch off of the young
man. Once the weight was gone, Ken used his arms to pull his body out
from under the weight. After setting the couch back on the floor the
man yelled to Vanessa to call an ambulance. He could tell that the
young man had a major injury to his foot. The swelling was bad and he
needed to get ice on it right away.
Vanessa went to use the phone and then it dawned on
her that it
hadn't been connected yet. "We don't have phone service
"Do you have any ice?'
"No. We haven't moved the refrigerator in
"Look," the man said to Ken, "I'm
going to run over
to my house. I'll call you an ambulance and get some ice."
"Thanks," Ken said grimacing from the
As the man climbed back through the window Vanessa
"Excuse me, but are you sure we need to call an ambulance?"
"Yes, his foot is swelling up fast. With the
pain he's in I
think it's probably broken. I don't think we can get him out of here
without some help."
Vanessa began to protest again, but the man was
"Are you really hurt?" Vanessa asked as she
beside her husband.
Ken rolled his eyes as he thought about how stupid
was. Can't she see my foot is already swelled tight in the shoe? I
have to get that off!
"I wish you would be more careful," Vanessa
"we'll never get everything moved in now!"
Ken looked at her, astonished. "You wish I'd
have been more
careful!" And then a little louder, "You wish I'D OF BEEN
MORE CAREFUL! Who left that damn box in the doorway!" Ken reached
down to untie his tennis shoes.
"I set it there. I didn't know you would trip
"Okay. Okay. Just forget it," Ken said. He
could hear a
major argument coming on and was in too much pain to defend his
position with his wife. "Will you help me get this shoe
Vanessa helped her husband remove the shoe. Then she
took off the
The stranger and a woman appeared back at the window.
through, with his help, carrying a large bowl of ice. The man climbed
through after her carrying some towels.
"Oh, you poor thing," the woman said full
of pity as she
knelt down beside Ken. "What's your name, dear?" The lady
"Ken, ma'am. What's yours?"
"Oh, I'm Doris."
The stranger jumped in and said, "My name is
Luke . . . Luke
Huntley. This is my wife. We live just across the Street in the yellow
house. Some day . . . huh? The ambulance will be here soon. You just
The couple worked together to cover Ken's foot with
ambulance did arrive soon, just as Luke had promised. Ken was
surprised by how the ambulance workers and a police officer seemed to
be familiar with Luke. The paramedics immobilized Ken's foot and leg
and lifted him over the couch to the walkway and onto a stretcher.
"What am I going to do with this couch in my
Vanessa asked, almost in tears. That was the last thing Ken heard as
he was rolled away on the stretcher.
"Don't worry about it, sweetie," Luke said.
get Officer Quinton here to help me move it. Come on, Joe help me get
this couch inside."
"Sure thing, Sergeant." the police officer
"Sergeant?" Vanessa asked.
"Yeah, I guess we haven't had a chance to get to
other yet. I'm Sergeant 1st Class Luke Huntley, Los Angeles
"Pleased to meet you," Vanessa said,
"Darlin', would you like me to drive you to the
hospital to be
with your husband?" Doris asked.
"Oh, no. I can take a cab. Thank you."
The two men moved the couch into the apartment and
placed it right
where Vanessa instructed them. Vanessa left about an hour later in a
cab to see how her husband was doing.
When Ken and Vanessa returned from the hospital Luke
and a few of
his buddies from the local precinct had moved all of the furniture
from the moving van inside the apartment. They were both speechless.
(Luke. Luke Huntley. He is quite a guy.) As he lay
Ken stretched his foot out. Every now and again it stiffened up on him,
but it was completely healed. He laughed again as he remembered the
unlucky way in which he and Vanessa started their lives in Los Angeles.
Even though it was a traumatic beginning, the people he had met and the
friends he had made, somehow made the memory a good one. He and Vanessa
had been invited to the Huntley's on several occasions. Ken had gotten to
know some of Luke's friends on the force and had been duly impressed with
their courage and camaraderie. He envied them and the job they had.
(Maybe that's what I want to do. Maybe I want to be a
cop. Luke keeps
telling me I'd be a good one. I wonder what Vanessa would say if she knew
what I was thinking? I'm sure I'd be in for one royal lecture! I suppose I
could take the civil service test and she wouldn't have to know. Yeah!
I'll just not tell her. After all, I might not even be accepted) With
the decision made Ken felt a peace he hadn't had in a long time. Picturing
himself in a blue uniform, he quickly drifted off to sleep.