One lick of flame will burn them all.
Alonzo walks in on Merin kissing Callin and drives her from the house. He forbids Callin to see her again. All the while, Callin is investigating rogue forest fires. Merin gets dragged to Alonzo’s shop by her best friend. He apologizes to her and invites her back to their place for dinner. At once, their mutual passion blazes between all three of them.
Meanwhile, their commander tells them to ditch Merin and for Callin to discover whose setting the unscheduled fires before the angels notice. If the angels get involved, all of them will be punished. What will happen between the three lovers?
Will Callin find whose lighting the infernos or will the angels get to it first?
Excerpt from "Smoke Jumpers"
Merin opened her eyes slowly. The first breath she drew in tasted clean, without the hint of smoke or ash. Once she realized that the heat of the fire wasn’t licking at her heels, she sat up. The events of the night rushed back to her. A man had rescued her. The flames caressed her legs when she jumped over them. She touched her face coming away with soot. He wasn’t a mirage! She didn’t understand why he was there or how he could have been there with the horse. Was there a horse? He got me out of there somehow. I swear I saw a horse.She listened for any sound in the house, but everything was silent. After a moment, she began to look around. “Hello? Anyone home?”
Her gaze swept the coffee table. On it were a stack of plain white coasters, a few magazines arranged in a fan, and a mug with a cloth next to it. There was also a note. The penmanship was neat and in a straight line, even on a plain piece of paper. The message said for her to make herself comfortable and he would be back. She spied her backpack by the door. It was also covered in grunge. Going over to it, she passed a small mirror that hung on the wall.
Her face was semi-clean, but the skin underneath was freckled. Her red hair stuck out every which way. Her green eyes were bright, but her body hurt from what happened to her the night before. I look like death warmed over. She ran her hands through her hair, trying to tame it. It almost worked. Sighing, she opened her backpack. Inside she was surprised to find that everything wasn’t smudged. Her clothes she had planned to wear that day were still clean although they smelled smoky. That didn’t deter her. She pulled them out along with her toiletries. I don’t think he’ll mind if I take a quick shower.
Holding her things away from her, she peeked into the kitchen and saw the door that led outside, but no cars. A hallway led from the spacious living room down to a couple of other doors and a bathroom at the end. She didn’t poke around even though her curiosity wanted her to. Everything was neat and clean in the bathroom. In the toothbrush holder were two toothbrushes. Guess my hero has a missus around. Hopefully she won’t mind that I’m naked in her shower. God this is so weird. A small nook in the wall was home to several shelves of towels and washcloths. She pulled a towel out, happy to see it was large and soft. Merin turned the water on, waited until it was hot, and then stepped under the stream. The bottom of the tub turned black from the ash washing out from her hair. After a moment she grabbed the soap and then started cleaning her body. She picked up one of the shampoo bottles and smelled the wonderful perfume of lavender and orange.
After she was done, she squeeze dried her hair and let it tumble down her back to below her waist. She began drying off and examined her calves to see if the fire had scorched her. There was some redness, but nothing else. It sure felt like it was worse last night. She poked at the area and then heard the door open. Her blood ran cold. She took in a sharp breath and froze. Whoever had come in had a view of her backside.
“Ahh…hi!” she called.
The tension in the air was palpable. Merin didn’t move, afraid that she would expose more skin. Glancing behind her, she caught the glimpse of a dark pant leg and a heavy work boot. “Hi. I see you’re awake.”
“Yeah. Uh. Do you mind getting out so I can get dressed?”
A loud chuckle echoed in the steamy bathroom. “Why? I haven’t seen anything yet.”
Who the hell does this guy think he is? “Maybe so, but I don’t know if you’re a serial killer, an axe murder, or some screwed up guy who likes to kidnap women just for the hell of it and spy on them when they’re in the bathroom. So if you don’t mind, I want to get dressed.”
“Sorry. My house. My bathroom. You should at least let me get a look at you. I don’t think my partner would believe that I walked in on you naked. How could I tell him that I saw this beautiful woman and I wasn’t taking advantage of her?”
His partner? It took a moment for her to realize that the two toothbrushes belonged to two men and not another woman. Taking a breath, she came up slowly and wrapped the towel around her front to stare at the intruder. His lopsided smile lit up his face and a small dimple appeared below his chin. His face was broad with defined cheekbones. A stray piece of blond hair fell across his forehead, giving him a boyish appearance. A few smudges of ash marred his tanned skin. His dark chocolate gaze roved over her body. It burned through her, but she didn’t break his look and give him the satisfaction.
“Like what you see?”
His smile widened. “Yeah. From what I can tell, you weren’t hurt. It was a good thing I was there. If not, you’d have been camper-ka-bob.”
She clasped the towel closer to her body. “Why were you there? How did we get back here? Where are we anyway?”
“Why don’t you get dressed?”
Her stomach gurgled at that exact moment.
He chuckled. “I’ll make you some lunch. Alonzo should be back in a few minutes and he’s always hungry.”
Her stomach turned again. She was famished. She hadn’t eaten much the night before. A flash of heat went through her staring at his smile. Her gaze slid from his face, to his wide chest, and lower. His muscular legs were encased in dark jeans. He was mouthwatering. Everything she would expect to see on a hunky fireman’s calendar. Cheryl is going to be so jealous when I tell her about this. I wonder what his partner looks like.
“Sounds great.” She forced a smile.
He closed the bathroom door and left her. She let out a long breath, glad of the rush of oxygen that came into her lungs when she breathed in again. The air was damp. Her muscles were relaxed from her shower and she almost melted against the lip of the bathtub as she struggled to get her bearings. This doesn’t happen to regular people. You don’t have a brush with death everyday. Does this mean I’m getting a second chance? After a moment, she got herself together again and dressed. When she was done, she opened the door and heard a man singing. The tune was way off key. She bit her lip to keep from laughing. The aroma of food made her hunger increase. In the kitchen, the man from the bathroom was dressed in a blue apron. He was dancing while chopping onions and moving at the stove. A large sizzle and a burst of smoke rose from the frying pan when he dumped the contents of the chopping board into the pan.