Hidden Embers by Stephanie Mayfield
Sometimes love doesn't want to settle with just being friends. Trayce and David have tried over the years to remain just friends and ignore the constant pull of something more. Caught in the daily grind of their day to day lives, these two firefighters are mainly intent on keeping the people of their town safe, until one small turn of events pulls them both into a life and death game with a man they both know very well.
After a large warehouse explosion threatens to take away the man she loves, Trayce must make the decision to stay and fight for their love, or turn away from it. Twists and turns take them on a roller coaster ride of close calls and even closer moments to remember, paving the way toward a future neither one would have ever dreamed of.
I knew my weakness had started to show, and I had begun to visibly tremble. David stepped forward and wrapped his arm around my waist. “We need to get you inside. Hold on.”
By the time we made it through the bay doors, I had developed full body tremors. “I’ll be all right, I’m cold. I just need to sit down,” I chattered, trying to step away from him.
He ignored my protest and led me up stairs to the shower room at the end of the hall. Dave has worked with me for five of my six years at East Crest, and he knew that I always took a hot shower after a call. It was my way of coming down from the adrenaline rush that always came with each call. We all have our ways to cope beyond the debriefing, and I hadn’t had the chance to come down yet. I had hit the peak of the rush and I was crashing hard.
“Hang on, we’ll fix it. Just stay with me for a few more minutes,” He was muttering to me as he turned the water on as hot as it would go. Fully clothed, he picked me up and stepped in to the steaming spray and kicked the door closed. I was shivering so hard that my teeth were chattering together as we stood there under the hot spray. Closing my eyes, I began to drift, letting what happened to me that night wash away with the water.
I don’t know how long we stood there when I was jerked suddenly back to reality by the stations tones sounding off. I went to step out of the spray when Dave stopped me. “That’s not ours, baby,” he whispered as I turned to him. The shivering had stopped for the most part and the water had started to cool.
I couldn’t deal with the feelings that were still swamping me and as I looked into his eyes whatever threads that where holding me together snapped. “Dave, make it stop. Please, I’m so cold, make it stop,” I pleaded with him. Tears began to fall, and I suddenly felt completely drained.
Not saying a word he pulled me to him, framing my face in his hands, and I saw the hurt and worry that he’d dealt with cloud his eyes as he searched my expression, trying to figure out how to stop my tears. Then he did the only thing he knew to do, he pulled me closer and kissed me.
The tenderness of his kiss robbed me of what breath I had left. Slowly the cold that had been seeping into my bones began to recede with the gentle trace of the tip of his tongue. With a groan he pulled back, and I suddenly realized that the water was still running and had turned cold. Reaching around me he turned the knob, killing the shower and placed his hands on the wall beside my head.
I had never felt more out of place than I had at that moment. Dave and I had always shared a special kind of connection, but he never showed that he thought of it more than a close friendship. I, on the other hand, had never told him how I really felt. I played it off to myself as being afraid to hurt him anymore, but all along I was just afraid of losing him.
Set in and around a fire station, Hidden Embers is an action packed read that draws you in from the first page. Ms. Mayfield balances the details of fire fighting enough to pull you in and immerse you in their world, without bogging you down. Add to that the mystery, romance, and heart stopping action, supplemented by a cast of well-rounded characters, and you have gripping book you don’t want to miss.