Put Out (Kilgore Fire Book 5)(14)

By: Lani Lynn Vale

He grinned, then pointed to the handle. “Grab hold there, and then lift your leg and jump inside.”

I did as instructed, and landed half on the seat.

Scooting fully into the seat, and choosing not to notice how the seat’s cushion was blowing cool air up my ass, I turned to face the front.

“Thank you,” I said. “I appreciate it.”

“I have to go see Grams anyway,” he brushed off the thanks. “It’s about two minutes from the hospital. Won’t even notice the extra minute it’ll take to drop you off.”

I smiled and stared down at my hands.

“Yesterday…” he hesitated.

I waved my hand in the air.

“Don’t worry about it.”

“No,” he stopped. “It…you make me…I swear I feel things when I’m around you that are completely irrational. A paramedic should be able to put those feelings on hold, but I can’t. Something about you makes my heart beat faster.”

I turned to face him fully, and my eyes widened when his eyes were on me instead of the road.

“Are you trying to kill us?” I asked him, pointing to the road.

He turned back, shrugging. “No. But I wanted you to understand that I was serious. That required eye contact.”

“You’re a nice man, Bowe,” I started.

He laughed.

“You know how many times I’ve heard that before?” he questioned me.

I shook my head. “No. But it’s no less true when I say it. I really think you’re nice.”

“But…” He waited for me to finish what I had to say, and he was right to have that skeptical look on his face.

“But I can’t have feelings like that for you.”

“Why not?” he challenged.

“Because you’re a firefighter.”

His brows lifted. “What does that have to do with anything?”

“You’re a hero. A public service official,” I pointed out.

“Yes,” he agreed slowly. “And?”

“And you’re busy. I’m busy. We don’t have enough time to do anything more than say a cursory ‘hi’ when we pass doing whatever the hell we’re doing at that moment in time,” I expounded.

He snorted.

“How about you tell me what is really keeping you behind those high walls, and I’ll tell you that I’m the exact opposite of what you think I am,” he tried.

I shrugged.

“I’m busy.”

“You’re not busy,” he countered.

I smiled at him as he pulled into the hospital turn around that was used for patients to get in and out of their cars.

“You can say that all you want,” I pushed open the door, “But that doesn’t change the fact that I am.”

With that I closed the door to the truck, nodded at him, and walked into the hospital without looking back.

Well, sort of.

The only reason I didn’t look back was because there was a large wall of mirrors directly in front of me, giving me a great view of the man watching me watch him.

And what I saw in his eyes, the promise in them, wasn’t something I thought I could fight.

Chapter 6

Not every man can be bearded. Some need to stand on the sidelines and clap as we pass by.

-A Bearded Man’s secret thoughts


“Whoa,” Booth said the moment he saw me. “What happened to you?”

I paused only long enough to wave at him, then walked out of the bay, into the open floor plan room of the firehouse, and directly down the hallway that led to the bunks.

My room was the first on the right, and I didn’t waste time ducking into the room and shutting the door.

The moment I was within reach of the bed, I fell face forward, collapsing onto the bed and closing my eyes as my bones started to settle once again.

“What’s wrong with you?” Booth asked, following me.

I turned my head only far enough so he could see my glare.

Obviously, though, the glare didn’t have the intended affect when he continued to walk into the room, parking his ass in the bunk straight across from mine.

Sure, the bunk was his, and I wasn’t the only one who shared this room, but I wasn’t up for any chatter. Especially after the night I’d had.

“You gonna make me guess?” he continued as if I weren’t ignoring him.

“You’re a persistent bastard,” I grumbled, turning my head to face the wall.

“Come on, you know you want to talk to your best friend, Booth,” he teased.

I tossed the man a look.

“You’re not my best friend,” I told him.

He pouted and I sighed, rolling until I was on my back, very carefully since it seemed the bed was about the same width as my back.

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