“Ever been up here before?” Lt. Noah Keaton asked his crew. “Socially, I mean.” The fire call had come for Harris Hill, the local Glider Club and Social Center where planes could be rented to glide around the county along with barbeques, other events and flying lessons. Noah’s firehouse covered the site.
“Nope.” This from Will Kirkland, the senior member of Truck 3 after Noah.
Lucy Law, a very competent female firefighter responded, “I have. My boyfriend took me here. It was romantic.”
Of course, the guys teased. But Noah said, “I do think it’s sweet. Pay them no mind, Luce.”
“I can always count on you, LT.”
They all sobered as they pulled in right behind Engine 4. Jarek Zenko jumped off his rig and crossed to Noah’s. When Noah climbed out, Jarek said, “Seems like a contained blaze. We don’t know the origin.” His team was already getting out two hoses.
Cameras were set up at different angles, people standing around looking at the cabin and various other members of the crew.
A harried looking man crossed to them. “I’m in charge of this project. Al Jenkins. I don’t know what happened. The main actors are inside. The camera people got out because they were closest to the door.”
“Any idea why it started?” Noah asked.
He looked chagrined. Noah said, “We need to know, sir.”
“The fire pit.”
“There’s a fire pit inside the cabin? That you lit?”
Jenkins shook his head.
“How big is the inside?”
“Fifteen hundred square feet. But the rooms are chopped up. We were filming in the main area.”
“Let’s go,” he said to his group. He said gruffly, “We’ll deal with you later Jenkins.” He headed toward the building.
Noah’s team carried tools when they reached the door.
They all headed inside. The water from two hoses put out the fire in a minute. “You and me will check the downstairs, Law. Kirkland and Davidson, go up to the second floor.”
Jarek said, “We’ll take a hose up there, too.”
Smoke filled the air, but it wasn’t too bad. Noah said, “I’ll go to left.”
Noah walked through a doorway and found restrooms. He opened the first one. Nobody. He tried the second and was met with resistance. He pushed. The door nudged forward. Inside he found a woman sitting on the john. She wore a bra and skirt. And by God, he recognized her. “Are you all right, ma’am?”
She coughed. “Just a little smoke in my lungs.”
“I took off my blouse, wet it and put it in front of the door.”
“Yeah. How am I going to get out of here?”
The fire was out. Not too much smoke. Noah whipped off his turnout coat and when she stood, he put it around her. She did it up “Let’s go. Fires can reignite before we finish the search.”
He took her hand. She gripped his. He led her to the living room and out the door. She sighed audibly when they reached the fresh air and took in deep breaths. He left her on bench with the director. “Thanks…”
Noah headed back inside. Soon, the search was finished. Only the costar was inside and they got him out quickly, too. This was one of the easy ones. The team started salvage and overhaul, where they took down drywall or wood, in this case, looking for fire that might be hiding. Noah went back outside and whipped off his facemask.
He saw her still wearing his coat, sitting where he left her. Jarek was talking to the director and producer. He crossed to the woman who he’d been trying hard to forget after he met her on the sidewalk one summer morning. Where she kissed him soundly. “Hello again.”
She startled. Then delight filled those green eyes. “Hello. I remember you.” Despite her greasy hair from the smoke, and the smudges on her face, she was still a knockout.
He couldn’t help a grin. “I remember you, too.”
“I’m Chloe Logan.”
“As I said before, Lt. Noah Keaton.”
“Thank you for finding me in there. Getting me out.”
“You’re welcome.” He nodded over his shoulder. “Why on earth was there a fire pit lit inside the cabin?”
“Ask the producer. Jackson and I told him that was ridiculous. He said they wouldn’t leave it lit for long.”
“Very, very dangerous.”
“Obviously. We should have refused to go in and film.”
A man came up to them. He was movie-star handsome. “Chloe, are you all right? We got separated.”
“Yes, Jackson, I’m fine. You?” He nodded. She gestured to Noah. “This is Lt. Noah Keaton.”
“Hey, thanks for all this. We tried to tell Al the fire was a stupid move.”
“So I heard.”
He sat beside Chloe and took her hand. She glanced at Noah, seeming uncomfortable.
“Why do you have on his coat?”
“I took off my blouse to block the door gap. There was nothing else to do it with the bathroom.”
“I’ll walk you back to our trailer.”
Just then, Jarek returned. “We’re set to go.”
“I’ll wait until my guys are out.”
“Sure thing.” He left without acknowledging the couple on the bench.
The costar was holding her hand. Noah wondered if their on- screen romance extended into the personal lives.
Jackson stood and pulled her up. “Let’s go, honey.”
“Don’t get carried away, Jackson.” She shrugged off his hand and turned to Noah. “I’ll be right back with your coat.” They headed to the trailers.
She returned when the team had just finished and walked right up to Noah and handed him his coat. “Thanks again. Your firehouse covers this area?”
“Yeah, we’re a small one, positioned on the east side of Crystal City.”
“Good to know.”
“Nice to see you again, Ms. Logan.”
She gave him a lush smiled. “I think Chloe is called for in our situation, Noah. I hope to see you soon.” She walked away.
Noah stared after her. Damn, he never planned to see her again. When the dreams about her started right after they met, he’d forced his conscious mind to…eliminate thoughts of her. But now, the image of her in just a skimpy black bra would make that impossible for a while again.
Hell, he had more important things to think about.
Between his career as a firefighter and being a single father to his four children Noah is kept very busy. While his children are spending time with his sister, Chloe comes into his life and he doesn’t want to do anything that could derail the short time they have together so he isn’t upfront about what his life is really like.
Chloe enjoys her job as an actress but when she meets Noah she wonders if there is more to her life than her career. What was supposed to be a casual relationship becomes so much more but will it be strong enough to overcome what Noah hasn’t shared?
Although Noah and Chloe live opposite lives just being together fulfills them in a way that is unexpected. They do have some turmoil to overcome but they prove with love anything is possible.