Sunday, November 25, 2012


I was recently informed by my publisher that an anthology that contained a story of mine was going out of print, and would I like to publish that story with them as a stand-alone novella? WHY YES, I replied, that would be lovely. Especially since it's a Chance and Tucker story, and they featured in my very first novel with Torquere Press.

Here's a little sample:


They battled flames for nine hours, stopping only briefly to gulp bottles of water or wolf down the sandwiches that magically appeared from some of the neighboring restaurants. Chance was drenched in sweat inside his turnouts before noon and wished desperately for a dry t-shirt, but there was no time to change before he found himself back on the roof, holding a hose line.

The only truly frightening part of the day occurred when the captain at Station Four got caught under one of the falling rafters inside a building. Chance hadn’t been anywhere near the incident at the time; he’d been in the cab of his engine, on the radio with Station Two’s engineer. There had been shouts and the sound of running feet and Chance looked up in time to see the captain being carried out and loaded into the back of a medic van.

The guy had been brought not to one of their local hospitals, but one that was farther away because of their excellent burn unit, and all the men on scene had grown quiet when they’d found out. Being transported to a burn unit only meant one thing: pain.

It was nearing six o’clock before one of the chiefs finally dismissed Chance’s engine. Two other companies stayed to assess damage and cool hotspots, but Chance’s crew climbed wearily onto their rig and rolled out. They discussed the fire on their short trip back to the station, and Chance complimented all of them on doing what they'd been trained to do.

C shift greeted them when they returned, grumbling about how they’d missed the call by only twenty minutes. Chance was just considering grabbing a fast shower before heading home to Tucker when Jim nudged him.

“Your boy’s here.”

His head whipped around, shower forgotten. It had been dark when they’d pulled in; he must have missed Tucker’s truck in the lot. “Where?”

“Your office.”

Chance headed down the hallway to the small office he shared with the other two captains, eager to see Tucker and tell him about their day. The adrenaline still flowed through him and he realized he was hard inside his shorts, same as he’d been since they’d arrived on scene that morning. Fire had that effect on him.

Tucker sat in Chance’s chair behind the desk, his expression serious. He rose when Chance stopped in the doorway and came around the desk to stand in front of him, studying Chance’s face. “You didn’t call.”

Chance raised a brow. “You think I had time to call?”

“You could’ve,” Tucker insisted, a furrow appearing on his forehead. “You always have your cell. You coulda called when you stopped to eat.”

Chance stared at him. This wasn’t typical; Tucker knew better than anyone what it was like when things were too busy to even take a piss, much less find time to call home. “Didn’t C shift tell you where we were?”

Tucker studied his fingernails. “I called. They said – they said a captain went down and they didn’t know who. Called both hospitals and they wouldn’t tell me.”

Oh. Chance had nearly forgotten. “It was Sheridan. Not me.”

“Well, I didn’t fuckin’ know, now did I.”

Chance reached out a hand and curved it briefly around Tucker’s jaw. “It wasn’t me,” he said again. “I wasn’t even in the building.”

Tucker leaned into the touch briefly before pulling away. “Yeah. I got that. M’outta here, I’ll see you at home.” He pushed past Chance and took off down the hall, heading toward the back door and the parking lot.


A little bit of tension between firemen makes for a really good (hot) story. This will be available in March 2013, so stick around for updates!

Happy Sunday, everyone.

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