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The Fireman And The Cop
Book 1 in the new Ellery Mountain Series
Rescuing cop Finn Ryan from a burning precinct was one thing.
Keeping him alive after that is a task fireman Max Harrison is faced with in more ways than one.
* * * * *
Ellery is a quiet town in the Smoky Mountains, at the base of Ellery Peak, where nothing ever happens. Max Harrison escaped from his firefighting job in the city to take up a role as assistant to the mayor, whilst also holding the position of a volunteer firefighter.
Finn Ryan is one of only three cops in the small town and it soon seems to Max that someone is out to hurt the sexy cop. Rescuing Finn from a burning precinct was the easy part—it’s keeping him alive after that that fireman Max Harrison finds difficult.
* * * * *
Max Harrison sent the chief a narrow-eyed look and said nothing. He was focused on the call and they were only two minutes out. Parts of him wished to hell Chief Quinn would quit with the ‘probie’ shit. At thirty-two and with ten years of city fireman experience, he hadn’t been the new guy for a long while in the true sense of the word. He dismissed it most of the time as gentle teasing—in a small place like Ellery, with a fire team staffed by volunteers, he was the last one in. Unless someone else joined the half-permanent, half-volunteer fire team then he would always be the probie, just by virtue of the fact no one had joined after him.
At least there was no malice or hate in Quinn’s ribbing, which was very different to what he had received back in the city. Didn’t matter that the whole crap about who he was or wasn’t dating had been dealt with, he couldn’t force himself to stay somewhere that his sexual identity was deemed a threat to the shift. Assholes.
“The precinct is an old place and burning high,” Duncan reported from the driver’s seat. They weren’t bothering with sirens, it was ass o’clock in the a.m. and there was little traffic on these windy back roads even in the daylight. “Fire inspections were cleared but I know for a fact no sprinklers.” Duncan turned the heavy engine past the last turn, and finally downtown Ellery—if it could be called downtown—came into sight.
A prickle of excitement started at the base of Max’s neck as adrenaline began to pump through his body. The glow of the fire could be seen over the mayor’s hall and beyond to where he knew the precinct was. He’d started work at the mayor’s office only yesterday. Immediately the rig stopped in front of the burning building, he was off and assessing what they had.
Quinn was feeding instructions to the crew, but this was clearly a fire well past being contained. Turning in a rough one-eighty, Finn assessed the exposure issue. The precinct was part of an older area of town. A jumble of gift shops, a couple of restaurants and the mayor’s building. Luckily, the precinct itself—little more than a large two-storey building—was separated from other structures close by with fifty feet to spare. The only endangered structures that could be subsequently damaged by the initial fire travelling to them were first on the list to hose down.
Like a well-oiled team the volunteer fighters stood next to the full-timers and began their work. A man fell out of the fire-ringed main door and onto his knees in front of Max. He stumbled about, dishevelled and coughing.
Max was there in an instant, manhandling the guy away from danger, and guiding him to the paramedics who had arrived a few seconds after the engine.
“Someone…” A coughing fit overtook the man. “Inside,” he finished when he could get his breath. He was pointing back the way he had come out.
Max stiffened. Someone was still inside? He focused on the chaos around him and on shouting.
|Book 2 – March 2013|
“Finn’s still in there,” someone yelled. A tall man being held back by a group of onlookers was struggling to get free.
No way was a freaking civilian getting anywhere near this scene and Max didn’t even think before crossing to the struggling men.
“Where?” he snapped.
The guy blinked but didn’t falter. “Straight in. To the back and left rear. The lockup. He went in to get Mike.”
“That’s Mike?” Max asked, pointing to the old man who had just walked out of the fire.
“Okay. Going in,” Max confirmed into his mic.
Quinn spun on his heel at the words to face Max and Max could see his chief’s expression of ‘what the fuck’ coupled with resignation. With a quick wave and no more thought than focusing on the job, Max ensured his face mask was secure and ran straight into the red and orange through the only space he had assessed as suitable ingress. The small area formed from an iron beam holding up the remains of the ceiling in the reception area.