Story Excerpt
Fireman's Flame

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Chester shook his head as the red traffic light he was stopped at turned green. He knew it was going to take a whole hell of a lot more than a desire to start a new life for it to actually happen, and he hoped his friend Yancy could help.

Chester eased the car into traffic once again, heading for the Cade Creek Diner, a place he had been to before and fallen in love with. Granted, it had taken a lot of talking and some fluttering eyelashes to convince the cook to add a few vegetarian dishes to the menu but now that he had, it was one of Chester’s favorite places to visit in Cade Creek.

A vegetarian cheese omelet sounded like just what he needed before calling Yancy and asking the man to come into town so they could talk and he could explain to him how his life had gone so horribly wrong…and then ask for his help.

Chester didn’t even have enough time to scream as something hard and heavy slammed into the side of his car. The sound of metal on metal was horrendous, but it was better than the sound his vehicle made as it was crushed like a tin can—with him inside of it.

When the world stopped spinning, Chester found himself lying against the door of his powder blue VW Bug, his legs pinned by the steering wheel and the dashboard. Pain made his vision blurry as it exploded throughout every inch of his body. His very cells screamed in agony. Something warm and wet trickled down the left side of his face.

Chester made sure he didn’t move any more than he had to as he took stock of his injuries. His head ached but not as much as his legs. Tears sprang to Chester’s eyes when he was able to wiggle his toes. He wasn’t paralyzed but it was obvious from the amount of pain he was feeling that something serious was wrong.

There was a gash on the side of his head. Chester suspected that he had hit his head on the side window as the glass had shattered, most likely from his head hitting it as the car flipped through the air. There were some cuts on his face and neck, also most likely caused by the breaking glass.

“Are you okay?”

Chester turned to see a dark haired man looking down at him from the passenger side window, which strangely enough seemed to be the top of his car now. “What happened?”

“A truck ran the red light and hit you.”

Well, that would explain it then.

“I’m Kapheri. Can you tell me your name?”


“Good.” Kapheri smiled. “Do you know where you are, Chester?”

“Um…in my car.”


“True.” Kapheri chuckled. “Can you tell me where your car is?”

Chester almost said the street but he knew the answer the man was looking for. “Cade Creek.”

“Can you tell me what year it is, Chester?”

Chester frowned. “Really?”

“Afraid so.”

“Twenty fifteen.”

“Good, good.” Kapheri’s perfectly white teeth gleamed when he smiled. “Okay, an ambulance is on its way. Try not to move.”

“Thank you.” But he really didn’t have any plans to move any time soon. It hurt too damn much. “The driver of the truck? Was he hurt?”

“He walked away without a scratch on him.” A deep scowl crossed the man’s face as he looked up and past the car at something Chester couldn’t see. “The police should be here in a minute or so to take him into custody. The bloody bastard reeks of alcohol.”

Chester sputtered with bitter amusement. “I’m going to die because some asshole had too much to drink and decided to take a five ton truck for a joy ride?”

“Well, I don’t think you’re going to die, but…yes.”

“Is…” Chester licked his lips. “Is there anything left of my stuff?”

Once again, Kapheri lifted his head and looked beyond what Chester could see. “You might be able to salvage some of it but I’m pretty sure the trailer is a write off.”

“Damn.” He hadn’t taken the insurance clause out on it. In retrospect, that had been pretty stupid of him. He had been fairly confident of his own driving skills. He never dreamed he’d have to worry about some ass wipe with too much to drink ramming into him. “There’s snow in my car.”

“You hit a snow bank, Chester. There’s snow over fifty percent of your car.”

“Oh.” Chester screamed as he involuntarily tried to move his leg and a spike of pain ripped through his body that was worse than anything he had ever felt in his life. He was positive he was going to die because nothing that hurt this bad couldn’t be fatal.

“Ho-how far away is…is that ambulance?”

“Soon, Chester.”

Chester almost cried out when the man’s face disappeared. He wanted to beg the man to stay, to not leave him alone. But another face appeared, one that took Chester’s breath away with its sheer masculine beauty, and with the way he was panting that was pretty hard to do.

“Hey, I’m Jack. I’m going to help get you out of here.”