Here's the story excerpt from Training TJ! Enjoy!
She was going to jump.
Detective TJ Raines was the first on the scene with SWAT doc Parker Woods.
Parker and TJ had been on their way back to the department from a training session in Covington on stand offs when they spotted the jumper on the bridge.
Rain slanted off the Big Mac Bridge that connected Ohio and Kentucky. The bridge was closed with state troopers blocking the roads with lights flashing. Traffic was backed up for miles and miles on either side of the river.There were days TJ wanted to jump off the bridge, too, but he put the brakes on it to do his job.
TJ edged closer, making eye contact with Parker several feet away. Parker shook his head no once. Yeah, TJ knew it was a bad idea to try and grab her, but that wasn’t going to stop him from the risky decision.
Rain hit Parker in the eyes, clinging to his thick eyelashes. TJ cut his gaze back to the girl. He was going to do what he wanted anyway. Vacant eyes stared through TJ. This jumper would haunt his career if he didn’t get her off the bridge edge and to the hospital for help. Parker eased closer as TJ worked his way along the thin, steel ledge.
“What’s your name?” TJ asked.
Blank stare. The lights were out upstairs but the power was still on. They had to make a move. TJ cut his gaze to Parker again. Parker shook his head no. Yeah, he knew protocol. They were supposed to wait for tactical to arrive on the scene. Problem was, there was no time to wait for SWAT to gear up.
Parker eased forward. TJ could tell he didn’t want him to make the grab he was planning to make on the thin steel ledge. TJ scaled the barrier that separated the road from the walkway, easing carefully over the side.
The two-foot-wide grate was slick with rain and oils from the highway. The river thrashed below his feet. Parker’s eyes were hard. Yup, TJ knew he was taking a chance that could get him killed, but he didn’t care. He couldn’t live with another death on his hands. There were enough bad dreams that woke him up in a sweat at night. TJ knew he had to go for it anyway. He had nothing left to live for except the job. TJ took a deep breath. The jumper’s gaze moved out over the water. She was going to go. He had to move now.
TJ sprung, tackling the woman to the grate. Parker jumped the barrier, protecting them both from falling over the open edge and into the raging Ohio River a hundred feet below. Police officers rushed the side. The woman struggled within TJ’s arms. They needed to get her off the ledge before someone got hurt. Parker grabbed her around the waist, helping TJ lift her over the barrier. The cops on the other side grabbed her by the arms, taking her to safety of the roadway.
The woman kicked out, striking Parker in the chest and chin. Knocked off balance, Parker started falling backward. His arms shot out to grab the steel supports. Fear spiraled through his eyes.
He was falling off the bridge.
Everything moved in slow motion as TJ jumped the three-foot divide that separated
them. He reached out snagging Parker by the tie, yanking him toward safety. It was too late, his momentum was taking him down to the thrashing waters below. Parker cried out as he reached for TJ, grabbing his arm that held the tie. Parker’s hand gripped onto his forearm as his feet left the grated platform. TJ grabbed his arm, anchoring him as Parker swung backward off the bridge. TJ flew forward, between the supports to the grate below his feet.
Everything sped up as TJ’s body made impact with steel, cutting into his
ribs. “Parker! Hold on!”
Someone over the wall jumped to the grate, grabbing hold of Parker’s arm, too. Another officer leaned over the side with his cuffs, locking the cuff around Parker’s arm and onto his own wrist. The officer swung his legs around, bracing them against the supports to pull him back up.
TJ was sliding. He couldn’t stop his momentum from going through the support beam. Sweat dripped down the side of his face. If they didn’t move faster, he was going to go over the edge too. Life flashed before TJ’s eyes as he saw cold fear wash through Parker’s eyes.
“Hold on. I’ve got you.”
His words were meant to comfort Parker, but they were little comfort to either men.
Time was running out. TJ knew he couldn’t hold on much longer. Another cop jumped the barrier, cuffing Parker’s other wrist. He was slipping from TJ’s hands.
End of Excerpt!
Training TJ will be out January 30th!