Kilgore Fire: Controlled Burn
July Dupree and Dean ‘PD’ Hargrove fell head over heels in love. When PD comes home to tell July the good news about joining the SWAT team as a tactical medic, everything changes.
July can’t fathom why PD would want to be a cop in this day and age. Wasn’t it enough that he already had a dangerous job with the fire department? Now he has to add another, even more dangerous, job to the equation? With so many cruel people in the world who make a sport out of hurting cops just because of the badge they wear, she has to make him understand. But when he refuses to listen to her reasoning, she feels she has no other choice but to issue an ultimatum: her or the SWAT team.
Dean doesn’t like ultimatums. He’s furious with July for putting him in the awful position of having to choose between a dream and her.
July never believes for a second that he’d choose the SWAT team over her, but she is wrong.
A year later, they’re both still in love with each other, but neither one is willing to budge regardless of their feelings.
July’s feelings for Dean haven’t changed, in fact her love for him has only grown. But seeing him living his life seemingly unaffected by the loss of what they had breaks her heart over and over each time she sees him.
Dean has a good poker face, though. He’s just going through the motions of his life until finally, the smoldering embers of his feelings erupt into a full-on blaze of emotion, burning through everything but his love for July. When the smoke clears, Dean wants to know if they can reignite the fire of their love or is he destined to live his life in a constant state of controlled burn?
“Go away,” I murmured tiredly. “I don’t want you here.”
Alexa stood in the doorway, her eyes on the two of us, completely blank.
I wanted to snarl at her, but I just didn’t have the energy to do so.
Maybe later, but right now, it was taking everything I had to keep my eyes open and speak to Dean.
I’d made it to the ER.
I’d been given fluids, had tests ran, and was now listening to the ER doc tell me and Dean that I had a serious infection that would likely require some antibiotics that would likely make me feel like shit for the next few days.
“She’ll need to be watched closely, otherwise we’ll need to admit her,” the doctor was explaining, completely ignoring the fact that I’d asked Dean to leave.
Though, that might be because Dean knew the damn man.
Then again, Dean knew nearly everyone in every hospital in the area.
So it wasn’t a surprise that he’d know my doctor, too. It also came to no surprise to me that he’d stayed, nor that Alexa was my nurse.
I narrowed my eyes at the woman that was standing in the door, and she narrowed them right back at me.
I closed my eyes to block out the woman’s snooty face, and started to slip into sleep when Dean’s voice broke into my calming thoughts.
“She’ll come home with me,” Dean was saying to the doctor. “Her brother’s on a case and can’t come, but I’m free. Already asked for time off, too. Done deal.”
I was shaking my head in the negative, but the doctor was already speaking over my denials.
“Great.” He said. “Alexa, please get her discharge papers in order. She’ll be going home with PD.”
I sighed and closed my eyes once again, this time in defeat.
“What was that?” Dean asked, leaning over me so his ear was close to my mouth.
“Dammit,” I repeated.
“Oh,” he snorted. “That’s what I thought you said.”
Thirty minutes later, Alexa was wheeling me out to the exit with Dean at my side.
I was wearing a pair of blue hospital scrubs and my tank top, but I was upright and aware of what was going on around me.
Expecially the tenseness of the two at my back.
“Don’t forget to let me know how your date goes,” Dean said as he opened the door to his truck.
“I won’t,” Alexa sighed. “Do you want me to stop by tomorrow night for pizza?”
“No.” Dean shook his head. “July and I’ll be having a night in, but thank you.”
I wanted to laugh at the look on Alexa’s face that I saw in the reflection of Dean’s shiny red truck, but refrained.
When he opened the truck door wide and leaned in for me, I put my hands up to stop him.
“Let me try to stand,” I insisted.
He ignored me and lifted me like a rag doll, placing me in the front seat and going as far as to strap my belt on as well.
“Thanks, daddy,” I muttered darkly.
Except his eyes flared in delight.
“We never played that game,” he said softly, his eyes close to mine. “But we can once you’re back in fighting shape.”
I was shaking my head in denial before he’d even finished.
“Negative,” I said. “You’ve already broken me once. If you do it again it’s because I’m the dumbass that let you.”
“We’ve got a lot to talk about,” he suggested.
I shook my head again.
“No, we don’t,” I disagreed. “You said enough a year ago when you stabbed my heart with your words.”
His eyes softened.
“Maybe,” he said. “But you stabbed mine right back by refusing to fight for me.”