Sunday, November 6, 2011

Firefighter Under The Mistletoe Excerpt

Here's an excerpt from my new release Firefighter Under the Mistletoe:

 One of the backpacks fell away from the snow cave entrance. The other followed. A red helmet poked inside. OMSAR.

Relief flowed through Christian's cold, sore body. Time to get Owen out of here.

"Yes," Owen whispered.

The rescuer crawled into the snow cave. He held a red duffel bag with a white cross on it. Ice covered his helmet, ski mask, goggles and black parka. The word RESCUE was written in white down one sleeve. He removed his goggles and pulled down his ski mask to expose his mouth.

Not a he. Christian's dry lips curved upward. "Thomas."

Leanne Thomas was a paramedic at the station. Pretty with an athletic, hot body. He'd wanted to ask her out when he first started working at the station, but she wasn't his normal type. He'd decided not to pursue her. A good thing, he'd learned.

Tough as nails and all business, Thomas was like a drill sergeant on steroids when it came to being out on a call or breaking in a new rookie. She took her job seriously, expected others to do the same and never let her hair down. Christian wouldn't mind being around if she ever loosened that tight ponytail or those braids she wore.

Her face was pale except for her cheeks, flushed from the cold. She acknowledged him with a nod and sniffled. "Welton."

Surprising warmth flowed through him. His smile widened. "It's so good to see you."

"Good to see you, too, rookie." She removed her climbing gloves. "Paulson's outside. The chief's been letting us switch shifts so we could bring you home. No one wants to go back to eating Frank's Turkey Meatloaf Surprise for dinner."

Christian laughed. Something he hadn't done since yesterday. It really was good to see her. "I'll cook you whatever you want when we get down."

A smile tugged on the corners of her mouth. "Be careful, I might hold you to that."

She'd saved lives as a paramedic. She would help Owen. "Do."

Thomas pulled on exam gloves. "Injured? Feet?"

"Fine. Feet are cold, but I can feel my toes," he said quickly. "My partner—cousin—Owen fell skiing the face. He's twenty-six. No  preexisting medical conditions. Looks like a broken ankle and arm. Some sort of knee injury."

"Hey, I'm right here." Owen sounded annoyed. That was much better than weak. "Conscious, in pain."

"I followed the NEXUS procedure to assess his spine before moving him in here," Christian added. "The threat of hypothermia and surviving the night outweighed spinal injury concerns."

"Good job, Welton," she said.

That was high praise coming from Thomas. He would gloat about it back at the station, but right now, he was relieved she hadn't spotted any problems with his care of his cousin.

As Thomas moved toward Owen, Christian tried to get out of her way. Not an easy feat in the cramped space.

She glanced around. "Did a hobbit design this place?"

"I was in a bit of a hurry," Christian admitted. "After two nights, the snow's settled a bit."

"Well, this cave kept you safe and warm. And you know what they say, size doesn't really matter." She winked at Christian, which caught him totally off guard, then she slid beside Owen. "Hello, Owen. Your cousin's been taking good care of you."

"You have such pretty brown eyes." Owen stared up at her as if she were Aphrodite. "Milk chocolate with a hint of cream."

Christian stiffened. Owen must be in shock if he thought compliments would have an effect on Thomas. She wasn't interested in her looks. Not the way other women were. Sweet words wouldn't sway Thomas, either. She wasn't the flirty type. Christian had never met a more challenging or unapproachable woman in his entire life. But she was strong and capable and here. That made her the most important person in the world at this moment. "My cousin is a chocolatier wannabe."

"I couldn't live without chocolate. Thank you, Owen." Thomas smiled softly, but her gaze focused in on his cuts and bruises. "I'm with OMSAR and a paramedic with Hood Hamlet Fire and Rescue. May I examine you?"

"Yeah." Owen glanced at Christian. "You never told me you worked with any women."

Christian tried hard not to think of her as a woman. "Thomas is one of the guys."

Owen scrunched his face. "You need your eyes examined, dude."

Thomas unzipped the sleeping bag, but kept Owen covered. "What your cousin means is all the men at the station consider me one of the guys. It's the same with the rescue unit."

Appreciation twinkled in Owen's eyes. "Idiots."

Thomas shrugged. "It's easier that way."

Christian found himself nodding, but he wondered if she meant easier on her or the men she worked with. He'd never given any thought to how being one of the guys might make Thomas feel. But then again, he'd never once seen her attempt to show her feminine side. She didn't fuss with makeup or jewelry.

As she examined his ankle, Owen winced. "Still idiots."

Christian stared at his cousin. "You realize you just called me an idiot."

"Yep," Owen said through clenched teeth. "Gotta side with the pretty paramedic in hopes she has pain meds in her bag."

Thomas's eyes twinkled, making her look prettier. "Oh, I have lots of good stuff in here."

"Knew it." Anticipation laced Owen's words.

Okay, so his cousin was flirting to get pain meds. Except…

Owen didn't need to charm medication out of Thomas. He would receive pain meds no matter what. He was flirting to flirt. Thomas didn't seem to mind, either. That was…strange.

Not that what his cousin did was any of his business. Thomas, either. But if anyone was going to get to flirt with her, it should be the guy still on his feet.


Virginia said...

Hi Melissa, finaly caught your post but blogger is giving problems. Great excerpt, would love to read this book. Thanks for sharing and have fun at the swim meet.


Melissa McClone said...

Thanks, Virginia! Blogger acts up sometimes! Hope you're having a nice day!

Debby said...

I really have to get this book. The excerpts are wonderful
debby236 at gmail dot com

Melissa McClone said...

Thanks, Debby!

June M. said...

This does sound like a great book. It would have to be hard being a woman working (and basically living with) so many men. Not to mention just the stress of the jobs.
manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com