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Brother’s Fireman Friend
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My brother’s best friend is one hot fireman, and the hottest older man this younger woman has ever seen.
It’s the first time I’ve ever felt this way about anyone, but just as things heat up and I’m truly ready to give my first time to him, trouble from my past finds me, and this isn’t the first time either…and if I don’t keep running it won’t be the last.
With trouble on my tail, and thoughts that my brother is growing more suspicious of what’s really going on between my brother’s best friend and I by the day, is it better to give up hope that true love, and peace, exit for me in this small town?
Or to my surprise, will my older man firefighter show me that despite his own troubled past, and the many daring rescues he’s made before, this fireman isn’t about to let what we have go up in flames, as he saves his greatest moment of courage just for me, making me his…forever?
*Brother’s Fireman Friend is an insta-everything standalone instalove romance with an HEA, no cheating, and no cliffhanger.
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“That one,” I say, pointing to a practically generic bottle I’ve seen at CVS that sells for five dollars a fifth.
The bartender raises an awkward eyebrow as his head twists sideways. “You sure? That one’s like drinking death warmed up.”
“Just what I’m after.” And exactly how I feel.
I stare straight ahead into the mirror behind the bar, but my eyes aren’t focusing on what’s going on behind me…they’re glossed over.
For the last four years of my life this was the worst night of my life and I want it to be over as quickly as possible, but that’s not about to happen considering The Ladder, the name of the place, is packed with well over one hundred current and retired firefighters and at least another fifty that have spilled outside onto the street. Not that the cops are gonna write any public intox tickets tonight. Not when we’re here to celebrate the life of a man who dedicated his life to public service. The only difference is we don’t carry a gun and a badge. We carry hoses, extinguishers, Jaws of Life, and brass balls.
Tonight is the yearly reminder of the burden I carry and I deserve to feel pain. I want to feel pain. I need to feel pain…just the way former Captain Callahan’s widow now does.
Every single day for the rest of her life.
The sound of the shot glass finding the worn out wooden bar top is like a bell and I’m Pavlov’s dog, ready for my punishment.
I tip back the poison and am immediately reminded of the bartender’s too accurate description.
He exhales hard and this time both eyebrows come up as he pivots on his toes and refills the same shot glass, and a second later he’s staring down the same result.
And I’m still staring at the wall.
When your bar is called The Ladder, and runs on the support of men and women in uniform, whether fire, police, military, first responders or other, you don’t often ask questions or question the judgment of your patrons. At least I’ve got that going in my favor tonight.
He fills the glass but this time I do nothing, much to his relief. He pauses before turning to place the bottle back on the lowest rack and going back about his business of serving other customers.
I’m a big man but I only drink this one night a year. Despite my size the buzz is already setting in. I should feel more relaxed, but instead I only feel my anger multiply at myself.
“My kitty’s stuck and I was hoping you could…rescue her.”
My eyes don’t come into focus even though I’m looking ahead straight into the mirror. I don’t need to. I heard her words and my sight doesn’t have to be perfect to make out a blurry red dress, platinum blond hair that’s been bleached so many times it’s the color of snow, or to smell the scent of vodka, cigarettes, and cheap perfume.
Not to mention hear her heels, as she takes turns lightly moving her feet up and down as if she’s some sort of female reincarnation of Sammy Davis, Jr.
A badge bunny. If you’ve seen one you’ve seen them all. They chase policeman mostly, but sometimes they go slumming for a fireman, or vice versa depending on what their fix is. The only fix I need is to fix this situation…permanently.
I tip back the final shot and shove my hand into my pants, digging for the crumpled up bills I’d hastily pulled from my locker at the station and stuffed inside my pocket as I rushed over right after my forty-eight hour shift ended.
“Want me to help check your other pocket? Maybe I can find something in there you can use to rescue my…pussy…cat.”
She leans in, her rock hard oversized breast implants grinding into my shoulder. I can feel her nipples cutting through that cheap rayon dress and my own long sleeve shirt.
“No,” I say, not feeling the need to elaborate. Everybody in this place knows I’m not interested in that kind of woman, except apparently her. Not to mention I’ve been buried in my job since the moment I started at age twenty-two, which somehow has been an entire decade now.
I look down and see a crinkled Ulysses S. Grant. I jerk it out of my pocket and slap the fifty down on the bar as I turn and make my way to the door.
I can’t blame the lady for coming here to meet a man in uniform. All the best predators in the world know you hunt where you’re prey is, whether it’s a small town bar like this or the plains of Africa, depending on where you sit on the predator hierarchy.
But at a memorial for a fire captain who died in the line of duty four years ago? Get a clue, lady.