I've been away from writing for a couple of years running MLR Press
but I'm back to writing, starting with this short story that is part
of the STORMING LOVE:WILD FIRE series. I'm #6 in the series this
time around along with T.A. Chase, Talia Carmichael, Devon Rhodes,
Megan Slayer and Laurie Terson.
I hope you enjoy it! I'm really looking for honest feedback on it.
|Jackson & Nick
Storming Love Wild Fire #6
||MLR-1-02015-0460 (ebook) $4.99
Fireman Jackson Kain and ER physician Dr. Nick Kirby would both
like nothing better than to leave behind their high-pressure NY
City lives for a just a few days in the peaceful wilds of Northern
Ca. Two ordinary men exploring their growing relationship in
glorious, undisturbed beauty of nature. Before this trip is over,
both men will need all their specialized abilities and training to
survive their romantic interlude turned WILD FIRE.
Recuperating from an work-related injury, NY City fireman Jackson
Kain convinces new boyfriend Dr. Nicolas Kirby to spend a few days
at a secluded California cabin in the woods far away from the
hustle and bustle of their stressful worlds.
Nick is a cautious man with protective walls around him that
persistent, persuasive Jackson is determined to breakdown, scale or
tunnel under. These few days are Jackson's best chance to convince
Nick he is sincere and reliable in all things, including matters of
the heart. Unfortunately, both men are going to get more
opportunities to prove themselves than either bargained for.
What was supposed to be a relaxing break from the world to get to
know one another better turns into a struggle for survival, that
pits both men against nature and time.
minute the automatic doors slid open and Jackson Kain stepped
them, he was transported to another world. The air smelled like
alcohol, disinfectant, and a faint acidic odor most people
pinpoint. Jackson knew it was the mixed aromas of stomach acid and
blood. It always seemed to linger in the halls no matter what time
day it was. He had long ago mentally labeled it 'ode de
Some might be turned off by it but, to him, and every New York
firefighter, it was the scent of help, healing, and hope. Lives
saved here every minute of every day.
the sickly, luminescent whiteness of fluorescent lighting, pale
walls stood in stark contrast to the flashes of bright colored
and white lab coats of the ER staff. They hustled between lines of
stretchers parked against the walls or pushed into curtained
cubicles, accessing, monitoring, and calming patients according to
their degree of need.
X-ray machines trolled by, lumbering ogres that had only one very
slow speed. Instrument carts seemed to block Jackson's way every
dozen feet or so. With practiced ease, he headed toward the center
the storm. He weaved in and out of the obstacle course, his six
four frame and broad muscled body exhibiting a grace most people
wouldn't guess at. It didn't hurt any that people naturally
aside to let him by, most responding to his charming smile and
chiseled good looks as much as his size.
couldn't count the number of times he'd been down these halls over
the last ten years for one reason or another, most of them bad.
inhalation, burns, injuries from falling debris, or just checking
on a victim or co-worker. Emergency Rooms were a fact of life for
fireman, especially in a large city. He'd come to think of them as
necessary but unhappy extension of his workplace.
as of late, his reasons for visiting made him look forward to the
controlled chaos happening around him. The 'reason' was at the
of the chaos, he was sure. The same reason was at the center of
own personal chaos as well.
he pulled at his right earlobe and ran his hand over his
short, black hair, letting the waves of noise roll over him with
practiced ease, soaking it in, letting it fuel his determination.
Handsome could only get you so far in a relationship, then
and effort were the key to winning over a new boyfriend. For the
first time in his life, Jackson wanted this budding relationship
last and grow into something permanent. And that
was challenging as hell. Five alarm fires had nothing on the
scorching power of love! He tugged at his earlobe again, but never
broke his stride down the hallway.
beeping machines were occasionally replaced with the anxious
of insistent alarms. Multiple conversations at various levels of
volume and intensity hammered at him from all sides with the
intermittent groan or cry of pain. All of it was underscored by
thudding, sticky sound of gurney wheels on old linoleum. His pulse
matched the rhythmic undercurrent.
pounding in his chest, Jackson felt the familiar adrenaline rush
building. He'd been out of the field for six weeks recuperating
a work injury and it was beginning to show. He was ready to get
into action soon. He missed his job.
but not just
yet. He had two more weeks off and he knew what he wanted to do
pushed the clamor into a subdued murmur surrounding him, just like
did with the roar and heat of a fire. Control
your response to the environment and you control the situation.
motto had saved his life too many times to count and now he hoped
would help get his future on track.
a deep breath, Jackson concentrated on slowing his adrenaline
response and turned his impressive frame around the next corner,
heading toward the central nurse's station. Passing the first
cubicle, he was blindsided by a petite, blonde whirlwind. Christie
Carlyse, ER nurse and confident to most of the unit staff. He had
grab her by the arms to keep her from falling over after she
off his side.
there, crazy lady!" He gave her his best grin and winked as he
set her on her feet. Christie laughed, squeezed his hand then
a strand of blonde hair that had escaped its ponytail back behind
ear. A purple stethoscope hung from her neck, tangled in her name
lanyard, bright against her navy scrubs. Christie's husband, Jim,
one of Jackson's fellow firefighters and a close friend.
knew we would see you tonight." She arched her eyebrows
suggestively. A gurney rushed by them and she darted to one side
evade the wheels. "He hasn't taken a break all shift. You are
just the thing he needs to steal him away for a few minutes."
Her turquoise-blue eyes grew serious. "Twenty minutes, no less.
We're getting hammered tonight and he's getting the worst of it."
She spun off down the hall then turned back, still speed-walking
backward. "And get him to eat something! Find him some of
whatever you eat, Mountain Man! He's too thin." Pausing, she
leaned forward, lowering her voice just enough to still be heard
the din of the hallway, "If you two ever get to third base,
he'll snap like kindling wood!" Her fingers wiggled in the air
in his direction then she ducked into the cubicle to her right,
disappearing behind a curtain.
a snicker, Jackson nodded a hello to a passing, eavesdropping
orderly. The man's tired face lit up. Jackson was used to having
effect on people and he tried to be mindful of it. Now thirty-two,
he'd been blessed with good looks and a towering, muscled body
his teenage years. Most of the time it was a positive attribute
sometimes, like in matters of the heart, it worked against him.
people, people who mattered, couldn't believe attractive equaled
trustworthy. It was a situation he needed to gain control of and
tonight was the start of his plan to do just that.
he could weave his way through all these bodies.
moved to one side to let two police officers lead a man in
to a bench against the far wall. The faint smell of pepper spray
trailed after them. He nodded hello to both officers. They each
acknowledged him with a jut of the chin or a nod. Emergency
were a small world. Cops, firemen, EMTs, hospital staff, they all
inhabited the same world.
knew all of the staff working tonight. He was friendly with most
socialized with a few of them. Good people. One of the new nurses,
Vicky, around twenty-one he guessed, gave him a shy wave from
a med cart. He rewarded her with a wink that made her blush,
and turn away.
always thought this ER had a higher than normal percentage of
nurses. Some good-looking male staff, too. Still, there was only
person he made visits to the ER on his time off to see and it
a nurse, an orderly, or a tech.
needed to find himself a doctor.
thirty-two-year-old, dark-haired, deep blue-eyed, outrageously
gorgeous, brilliant, dedicated, compassionate, OCD but
gun-shy, doctor named Nick Kirby. Just thinking about Nick kicked
Jackson's adrenaline response back into high gear. His pulse
in his neck and...a few other places. What could he say? He was a