This week’s teaser comes from my WIP, Up In Flames. Who doesn’t love a sexy fireman mixed with 100% percent adrenaline and heart? Meet bad boy Jamison and the woman who has a thing for her rescuer, Roux Coleman, who just so happens to be commissioned to shoot the city’s charity calendar, starring the brave men who put their lives in danger every day.
Until next time,
Up In Flames
The dense scent of smoke tingled her nostrils, causing the rumble in her lungs to awaken her with a start. Her eyes stung. It was everywhere. The furious hiss of fire and glowing flames camouflaged her apartment at an alarming rate. Roux Coleman blinked and jerking upward. The last thing she remembered was flying backwards against the wall of her living room as an explosion several floors below rocked the old building she’d stayed in for the last five years. She struggled to get up, the pain in her head made her believe someone was operating a jackhammer inside of it. She tried to stand, wobbled and limped over to the broken window pane.
“Help me! Someone, please. Up here!” She coughed violently; the smoke was taking its toll. She grabbed the bag she’d had earlier that evening before arriving home, with her beloved cameras, several albums, and laptop. She was trapped. Her front door had been blasted open. Her eyes widened to the flames lightening up the hallway. There was no way out. She had no way out!
She cried, thinking she was not ready to go, especially not like this. Her life flashed before her eyes. There were things she still needed to do, accomplish. “Help! This is not the way I want to go out!”
“Good, because this is not the way I want you to go either.” a deep voice said from behind her. Roux turned around to see the fireman.
His face was a pleasant sight indeed. He moved fluidly as he reached for her hand. She ignored the jolt that singed her body as if she’d been burned. The sharp angles outlined high cheekbones, a prominent brow and piercing brown eyes. Hell of a time to be checking out a man, she chided silently.
“Thank God!” The lightheadedness got the best of her as she stumbled. He caught her. She remembered thinking how strong and tall he was.
“Stay with me sweetheart. I’ll get you out of here. Stay with me!” His voice was calming, raspy and edged of the hysterics and panic that were surely about to erupt before his appearance.
“Okay.” She whispered, staring into his dark eyes before her own fluttered close. She tried to keep her gaze on him, but the smoke was burning them. All the strength she managed was slowly fading away and there wasn’t a damn thing she could do about it.
She could only pray that he would get them out of the burning apartment building before the roof or floor caved in. She felt herself being lifted upward and her arm swung over his shoulder, Roux thought. She couldn’t be sure. There was something in his eyes that made she could trust him with her life. An awareness. She wondered if she would ever get to tell him that she liked looking into his eyes. A crazy thing to think of when you were near death.
Roux looked up once more to see flames all about them and silently prayed that this would not be the end. Their end.
“Close your eyes!” the handsome stranger commanded. “We have to move quickly, this entire structure is unstable.”
She did, feeling herself slipping into the darkness. She remembered feeling how grateful she’d been to be home hours before it all went up in flames.
How do you thank the man who saved you from a burning building? You take nearly nude photos of him! Roux Coleman let the wicked smile cross over her lips, before turning an innocent gaze over her shoulder at the unassuming Jamison Brock. Fireman. All male. Bad boy.
She knew men like Jamison. Hell, she’d married one. Evan’s love for the extreme and for his career as a firefighter had left him so badly burned that it was unlikely he’d live. But he’d survived the odds, seven painful surgeries later, in some sense. He’d never been the same. The end of their marriage had ended a year and a half later.
Roux rolled back her shoulders. She was done reliving the past. The demise of her marriage was indeed, the past, as were the nightmares that had frequented her sleep the past three months. Her doctor had tried to prescribe her meds but she’d refused them, determining that the sooner she got on with her life, the sooner she could put the fire and everything that had occurred that horrifying night behind her.
She assessed Jamison quietly from behind a partition. Locating him had been easier than she thought after he’d rescued her and several other residents from the building. No fatalities. She remembered he’d walked over to her ambulance to assure her that she was going to be ok and placed her bag next to the gurney before smiling that megawatt smile at her and closing the doors. She’d stayed in the hospital for a day and then was released. Something within her had wanted to reach out to the man, who’d saved her, but she’d waited and then the dreams had started. It was only two weeks ago that she’d actually gone to his firehouse only to find he was on vacation.
She couldn’t say that Jamison and Evan were exactly alike, but just looking at the naughty gleam in his hazel eyes told her to think again. And well she was at it – run. The chances of her being commissioned for the sexy Firefighter spread and running into the man who’d saved her life made her smile. Despite all the reasons she knew she shouldn’t welcome the idea of any attachment to Jamison, she felt something shift within her. It started the day he’d held her in his arms and she owed him more than an “angle your head to the right.”
Her eyes roamed over those broad shoulders stretching out the firemen gear, the hard lines of his chest and flat stomach. He was a big man. Tall and looked as if he spent every waking moment in the gym. She doubted he had any body fat and it was no wonder that the nearly her whole photo shoot crew was staring as if mesmerized by his every move. Roux rolled her eyes. Better them than you.
Roux cleared her throat, smiled at Jamison and stepped closer. “Before we get started I just wanted to say -“
“You were surprised to see me again, weren’t you?” His deep voice was hoarse and reminded her of throwing back Jack Daniels one dark and lonely night years ago.
“Yes, you could say that.” Liar. “The last time I did, was when you had thrown me over your shoulder.” Roux looked away as her throat tightened. The reality was that she could have died when the apartment building had caught fire three months ago due to faulty electrical wiring. She looked up to find him quietly watching her. “Thank you, I want to thank you for saving my life. There hasn’t been a day that I don’t think what could have happened had you not shown up when you did.”
Jamison smiled and Roux swore something within her snapped to attention. “You don’t have to thank me – it’s my job.”
She grinned. “Are you always so modest?”
“Definitely not,” he replied, letting his eyes travel over her face and lower to the opening of her white fitted blouse.