Born of Fire
It was never fun to wake up after being dead, but for Willow, it was a regular occurrence. How exactly do you explain to the hunky fire fighter that dragged your corpse from a burnt out of building that you’re not really dead? Even after 1000 years, Willow still didn’t have a good answer for that. It makes things even more awkward to have the conversation while standing in the morgue, wearing only a sheet! This time though, she knows she just might be in trouble.
Length: Full Novel
Word Count: 93,580
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Available formats: PDF, RTF, Epub, HTML, Mobipocket (.prc)
New Concepts Publishing
Lake Park, GA 31636
This is a work of fiction. All characters, events, and places are of the author's imagination and not to be confused with fact. Any resemblance to living persons or events is merely coincidence.
"Head's up people, we got ourselves a live one," yelled a deep voice over the strident ringing of the firehouses alarm. "Looks like you won't be going home to that big juicy steak after all, hey Lieutenant," the voice jibed.
"Damn, I better call your wife and let her know I'll be late then. It's not nice to keep a date waiting," the Lieutenant quipped back as he grabbed his gear and raced toward the truck. His retort was met with chuckles from the others and a good-natured suggestion that was anatomically improbable from the husband in question.
Lieutenant Marcus Bennington was a firefighter and damned proud of his chosen vocation. He was a Company Officer who headed up the Rescue Team of his station and he was barking out orders as people ran in organized chaos across the truck bay.
"So what have we got, Mac?" Marc asked the huge African American man that was now driving the large red truck. Mac, so named because his size resembled a Mac Truck (hey, it may not be original but it was sure as hell appropriate), was driving with an ease that was deceptive, weaving in and out of traffic at speeds that were better not contemplated.
"Dispatch said it's a fully involved warehouse fire. Supposedly, the site is not in use at this time but there are reports that someone might be inside - maybe homeless or druggies - who knows, but nothing's confirmed. There's a unit already on site and they've started up streamers, so hopefully they'll have it under control enough for us to enter the premises when we get there."
"Do they think it's the arsonist again?" piped up Sutherland from the back of the cab. The tall athletic redhead was the third member of the four man team and someone that Marc trusted with his life on a regular basis.
"Not that they said outright," rumbled Mac in his deep voice. When the truck suddenly lurched to the right, Marc resisted urge to close his eyes, but couldn't quite stop the knee-jerk survival instinct of grabbing onto the seat beside his leg. Mac ignored his partners twitching as he muscled the truck around a corner at speeds that should, by all rights, have had the truck on its side. The tone of the huge man's voice never changed, instead continuing in the same conversational manner as they made it around the corner safely only to nearly wipe out the front of a car that had decided to ignore the sirens. "I'm thinking chances are fairly good though. Sounds like the fire is a bit too full on for something that just started by faulty electrical or carelessness."
There was silence for a moment as they all watched the scenery whipping by. "Be honest Mac my man," said Sabatini, the final and newest member of the team; though he, himself, was still a ten year veteran firefighter. "You really started the fire yourself so Bennington couldn't finish shift and go home and tap your wife."
Sutherland and Sabatini laughed uproariously and Marc himself had to chuckle, but Mac was unruffled. "You know well and good that if Steph had the good taste to turn your scrawny white ass down, she sure as hell has better taste then to be looking at him. She doesn't need to look anywhere else but right here baby."
"Hey man, quantity does not beat quality." The easy camaraderie between the four of them had been hard earned, but Marc treasured it. He entered the depths of hell with these men on a regular basis and was a better person for their friendship and support.
The glow of the blaze against the billowing black smoke could be seen while the team was still several blocks from the warehouse. They arrived on site to see two other trucks had beaten them there and were parked haphazardly on the broken asphalt that had once been the loading dock of the factory. Both trucks had already started up streams on the conflagration and fire could be seen coming from the section that had second story windows. Marc guessed that point was probably where the office area had been located, which meant more combustible fuel to burn. The moment the siren from their truck was turned off, the roar of the fire and the shouts of the people spread around the base of the warehouse rushed in to fill the cab with sound. Before the truck had come to a complete stop, the other men were grabbing their gear, turning on radios and readying themselves for the task at hand. All joking was put aside in favor of concentrating on the dangers of the job ahead.
In the instance of a fully involved blaze, the fire was so wide spread and intense no one was able to enter the building before the inferno was showing signs of being brought under control. As they had been advised that there were people suspected to be in the building, the clock was ticking and the longer it took for them to make some headway into controlling the fire-the less likely it was that anyone trapped in the building was coming out alive.
"Okay, we'll do standard two in two out. Mac, you're with me, Sutherland, Sabatini, you guys watch our backs." Marc and Mac stood by the truck, piling on the equipment they would need to survive inside the burning building. When they were ready, Marc liaised with the Commander on site before he made his way to a side door that had been forced open in anticipation of their arrival, Mac following right behind him. Thick bilious smoke poured from the top half of the doorway completely blocking visibility of anything beyond.
Despite the protective gear they had strapped on, the relentless heat slapped at the men as soon as they passed the threshold of the entrance. The smoke curled in thick writhing masses and visibility was almost completely gone. So far the structure of the building seemed to be holding up, no parts of the ceiling that Marc could see having fallen in. That made things easier as they only had to navigate their way around abandoned debris and burning machinery.
"Looks like we won't have much time in here Mac, so let's split up."