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Consumed

Author(s): Darragha Foster

Ben Storms knows fire. A hotshot, he’s not afraid to fight fire with fire and walk into the belly of a blaze to put it out. Only one thing has ever frightened him—how he feels about Hadyn O’Hara, a fellow firefighter. The largest wildland fire in decades brings them together for a hot time. Too bad Fire is a jealous bitch and doesn’t want to share Ben. Hadyn breathes in the spirit of Fire after an injury and sets Ben’s heart ablaze—with dire consequences to them both.

Warning: Anal sex.

Publisher's Note: This was previously published.

Excerpt


Hadyn saw Ben before he saw her. She watched as his idiot friend, Matt, drove them into camp as if they were driving a mule team and not a Chevy. That Matt was hard on the stick. It made her wince to watch him drive. She’d spent plenty of hours manning an engine and could steer with the best of them. Mostly because she was good at most everything she put her hand to. She worked full-time as a firefighter, attended school full-time, played hard when she got the chance and loved harder, when the rare opportunity arose. Ben had been one of those opportunities. She’d liked him right away. His exotic good-looks and build attracted her first. The way he swung his Pulaski, second. She liked a man who knew how to use his tool effectively.

Last season had been the first time she’d gone outside the safety of a full bar with one of her own. She avoided firefighter relationships. Too hot. Burn out, too common. Ben could have been different. He’d been such a gentlemen, even when she’d thrown herself at him in the cab of a ladder truck. He could have done her every which way but loose, and she would have let him, but that hadn’t happened. One little high school style make-out session and it was over. An exchange of email addresses and cell phone numbers followed. She’d thought he was interested enough to show up on her doorstep someday. Instead, he displayed typical male disinterest. Burned by a firefighter is right. She didn’t reply to his sporadic emails. Nothing to respond to, really. What was she supposed to say to a forwarded newsletter about wildfire spotting? “Thanks? I’m on the same list, you idiot?”

Still, she liked him a lot. She had to play it cool. Cool and slow. Maybe a little wink. Something to let him know he could try again. And he’d better try harder this time. I’ll give him an opportunity during down time. Strike up a conversation. Offer him a cup of coffee. Nothing too leading. If he doesn’t take the hint, then I’m so forgetting about him. If I can.

As he approached it dawned on her that maybe he wasn’t interested and that was why he hadn't cowboyed up after last season. Crap. How could that be? Her gut churned and a lump formed in her throat. Not interested? In me? How could he not want me? Every one of these Joes around here wants me. Ben Storms and I are a perfect match. Maybe he thinks I’m not interested. Double crap. This could be awkward.

Good thing they were there to fight a fire. If it were a box social, it’d be insanely uncomfortable. Will he ask me to dance? Should I go ask him? Jesus Christ, I’m thirty-five years old. I’m not here to dance with him. We’re here to dance with fire and step on the bitch’s toes. The job has to come first. Ben would just have to come second. At least that’s how she preferred her men to behave in the sack.

Hadyn chastised herself for even considering bedding Ben Storms when the task at hand was the biggest blast in decades. Still…as she watched his approach, he did look awfully sexy in his protective gear. I do like my men wearing reflective yellow.

Their gazes met as he turned his head in mid-laugh with one of the guys. Hadyn wasn’t ready for the jolt of eye contact with Ben. She shivered as a trickle of ice water shot down her spine. She braced her stance against a stack of water cubies, five foot square plastic water containers used to hydrate hotshots during wildland blazes. She wanted to fan her face and check her pulse. She lowered her eyes and then glanced up through thick lashes. He smiled at her with his cute little happy boy smile. Hadyn squared her shoulders. How cool am I going to play this? I’d like to run into his arms and tell him I was an idiot for not helping him get to know me better. Sometimes guys need help. That’s why they pick strong women. He’s smart, but he’s no different. Come to Hadyn, baby. Yeah, I like watching you walk. You’re so handsome, and you look fabulous in your yellows. Mama likes a man with a package, and you have it going on. Hadyn rolled her eyes. I’m being a slut. Knock it off, girl.

She returned his smile. Nothing too welcoming. More smoldering. Something to let him know he was welcome in her airspace. He was her crew boss, after all. Office romances were bad for business. Guess I’ll just have to make an honest man out of him this season. If that bitch doesn’t kill us first.

Hadyn stepped away from the cubies as one of the crew lit up a cigarette. “Oh, come on, guy. Excuse yourself from the room if you’re going to light up.”

The hotshot waved his lighter at Haydn. “Afraid of a little smoke?” He laughed at his own joke and wandered away from the group, flicking his Zippo.

She scoffed. “I’m not afraid of any puff of smoke. Not yours or hers.” Hadyn nodded toward the mountaintop. 

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ISBN (Print):
ISBN (Electronic): 978-1-92785-940-7
Genre: Paranormal
Date Published: 06/04/2014
Publisher: Forever More Publishing

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