Original End to hospital scene after dog attack:
“You investigating our girl’s case?” Dad asked. “That dog’s owner should have a dog turned loose on him and see how it feels.”
Mom clasped Dad’s arm. “Can’t you see he’s not in uniform? It’s Cole. Remember Sherri’s Cole?” Mom positively beamed.
At the mortified look on Cole’s face, Sherri wished the floor would open up and swallow her whole. Or better yet, swallow him whole. She should’ve left when she had the chance. Where was the nurse?
A rabies shot—a hundred of them jabbed mercilessly in the belly—would be easier to take than the look on Cole’s face.
Reason: I actually like this ending, but two things changed over the course of writing the story that necessitated it be modified. First, I needed the dog to be caught, which meant they wouldn’t start rabies shots. Secondly, I originally had Sherri and Cole dating before he moved away from Stalwart, but ultimately I didn’t like how unheroic that made him for never having called etc.
Original Version of part of the call to the drug house
Sherri’s gaze swept over Cole’s non-uniform attire. “What are you doing here?”
He couldn’t stop the flinch in his cheek and prayed she hadn’t noticed. He slanted a glance down the street to his truck, but couldn’t see his brother through the windshield.
At the wail of approaching sirens, his pulse ratcheted up another fifty notches. He tightened his grip on his gun. “You need to move the ambulance down the street and wait for the all clear.” If the occupants had figured they were safe sitting tight after the earlier commotion, the sound of police cars descending on them might change their mind. He slammed shut the ambulance’s rear door and ran toward the cover of a nearby tree.
An explosion rocked the street, lifting him off his feet. An eternal second later, he landed on his back, his head smashing the pavement with a deafening thud. The sirens fell eerily silent as a fireball shot into the air.
Red and blue lights bounced off clouds of smoke. Cole blinked, numbly realizing he was lying in the middle of the road. He turned to his side to push to his feet, except his limbs wouldn’t cooperate, his head swam, and…
Police cruisers were heading straight for him!
Flicking bits of her shattered window from her hair, Sherri squinted through the cracked windshield as Dan pulled the ambulance in U-turn at the end of the street. “Dispatch, requesting fire trucks. We have a house explosion, probable meth lab.” She relayed the address.
Dan pulled to the curb half a dozen houses from the fire. “Can you see Donovan?”
Neighbors gathered on their front lawns, but in the deepening twilight it was impossible to make out faces.
Cruisers raced toward the scene from the other corner. Suddenly a runner cut through the headlights’ beam. That’s when she saw the body in the middle of the street.
“Cole!” She sprang out of the ambulance and raced toward him.
The cruiser swerved sideways, narrowly missing the runner. The officer jumped out of his car. “Is he okay? What happened?”
“It’s Deputy Cole Donovan.” Sherri slid to her knees at his side and went into auto-mode, checking airway, breathing, circulation. “The explosion must’ve thrown him off his feet. Cole can you hear me?”
While much of this is still in the story in some form, I felt that everything was happening too quickly. That the story was spending too much time showing them going through the motions of their job than addressing the internal and interpersonal conflict created by their respective jobs, situations and motivations.