About Out of the Frying Pan
Author: Julia Talbot
Word Count: 20000
Page Count (pdf): 69
Genre: Adventure/ Contemporary
Date Published: 002/22/2017
Publisher: Turtlehat Creatives
File Types available: pdf, mobi, epub
Jenson Parkinson can’t believe it when Sloane Marlen shows up at his Colorado mountain fire station. They were lovers years ago, until Sloane broke Jenson’s trust, and his heart.
Sloane knows he’s not guilty of the misdeeds Jenson believes he committed, but he never figured out how to convince Jenson. Or how to get over him. Can Sloane grab this second chance with both hands and teach Jenson he’s worthy of trust… and love?
“The training session will start tomorrow morning at nine AM.” Jenson looked at his guys, some of them volunteer, a few career, and gave them the stern eye. “I know we all have jobs to do, but they’re expecting a wildfire season like no other this year thanks to the drought, and the Forestry Service wants all able bodied personnel to be able to dig firelines, offer support to hot shots and smokejumpers, and know how not to die.”
They all murmured, but no one argued. Carroll, Colorado was big enough to have a permanent fire crew only because of the ski areas that surrounded it, the population transient but relatively wealthy. Their very existence in this Rocky Mountain paradise was predicated on the fact that people had expensive homes and vacation rentals which they’d never let burn down. Jenson frickin’ loved his life. He didn’t want to have to move back to Denver or Boulder or someplace.
“They’re sending several scientists who should help map possible fire routing and containment, as well as two of their lead trainers in hot shots and smokejumping. In addition to our regular duties, we’ll be giving full attention and support to the training team so that we can deploy and offer assistance during the wildfire season. Clear?”
His men and women all nodded, and Jenson gave them all a tight smile. “Good deal. Assignments have been posted for the new shifts. See Josh for all the deets.” Jenson left the meeting room, ready to get on with his day as best he could. He had to get the station ready for the influx of personnel he was about to have, not just the trainers but the firefighters from other small towns around the area. He knew it was a coup for the mayor that Carroll was chosen for this big get together of high mucky mucks, but really, all he knew was he was going to be handing out coffee and doughnuts to a bunch of assholes who did a lot of dick measuring and making a mess in his territory.
“You ready for this, Cap?” Carson Diets asked. Carson was a Forestry guy, and he worked closely with the Carroll department to keep their area clear and keep the campers educated.
“No.” He winked, though, trying for light and happy. “If I get through this without losing my shit we’ll all be grateful. It’s good for the guys, though, right? Trading ideas and shit.”
“Yep.” Carson stepped close and lowered his voice. “There are a couple of real big names in the biz coming, Jenson. Just be diplomatic, huh?”
“Don’t make you look bad, is that what you’re saying?” He grimaced. “Come on, man, I got your back. You know that.”
“I do know that.” Carson clapped him on the back. “I also know you have a reputation for ruling this place with an iron fist and being pissy when someone invades your territory.”
“Well, I’ll try to be all sweetness and light. I don’t suppose you have a roster of who’s coming so I can prepare myself?”
“I do.” Carson pulled out his phone. “I’ll email it to you.”
“Great. Thanks.” His head started to throb, his temples tight and his neck freezing up. Lord. He needed more coffee before he could deal with this shit. His phone chimed, an email popping up from Carson when he looked at his notifications. Jenson walked into his office and set up his K-Cup coffee maker for a hazelnut cream latte. That was his one luxury, because he was from Boulder, dammit. He loathed the Folgers sludge the other guys seemed to adore so much.
He sat at his desk and opened the email, a forward of an interdepartmental memo. When he read the list of presenters, Jenson’s eyes widened. Oh, Jesus fuck. No way. He tried to blink away the name he’d just read, but when he opened his eyes it was still there.
Jenson leaned back in his chair, letting his head thunk against the backrest. He hadn’t seen Sloane since they were probies, and he really never wanted to see the bastard again.
There wasn’t enough coffee on earth to make this shitty day better now. Jenson was never gonna make it through tomorrow.