Happy Valentine’s Day. I thought as a little treat I’d give you a taste of Blaze – the fifth book in the Missoula Smokejumper’s Series. Boone is my cowboy, having spent years on the rodeo circuit. Now, what’s better on the day of love than a sexy, strong, muscular and dominating cowboy? Delicious… I hope you enjoying. Releasing in early March. Don’t forget, all the books are exclusive on Amazon so you can read on KU for FREE AND, the first book in the series, Ignite, is only $.99.
BLAZE – (unedited)
“Damn good idea you had, my friend.”
Boone Martin glanced over at his buddy and fellow smokejumper and grinned. “Every once in a while, I have them.” Sawyer Lincoln professed to be a true cowboy but hadn’t been out riding with him since Boone had moved to Missoula. “I thought I’d never get you on a horse.”
Sawyer stretched out on the blanket and closed his eyes, but not before shooting his friend the finger. “Shut your ass up and relax. It’s our day off, remember? I’m exhausted.”
“That means you’re very old.” He couldn’t help but tease. The entire team of smokejumpers had been training almost every day in preparation of what experts called a dangerous upcoming season.
As if these so-called experts had any idea how to predict the weather patterns. Hell, the winter season had been ferocious with several out of control forest fires, including one in West Virginia. The entire team had been flown out in order to provide assistance. They were lucky to be alive.
“This old man is gonna kick your ass if you don’t shut the fuck up,” Sawyer growled.
“Bring it!” Laughing, Boone settled just a few feet away, cradling his knees and studying the water. The river was rough, much more so given the recent early summer storms. Still, the grassy knoll was tranquil, allowing him to process the upcoming event in the morning. What had he gotten himself into? He’d been away from Texas as well as training for years.
“You’re really going through with it?” Sawyer asked, as if reading his mind.
“Hell, yeah. I can’t back out now. Besides, I’m really looking forward to getting in there. Blaze will have a good time.”
“Should be interesting,” Sawyer teased. “A smokejumper snagging a cow.”
Boone laughed. “Roping steer my friend and there’s a lot of money to be made on the rodeo circuit.” The glory days had been the best of his life.
“Whatever you say.”
“Since you’re such a cowboy, we might be able to get you into that ring. Course your ass will be tossed, kicked, trampled and we’ll have to call the paramedics.”
Sawyer lifted his head, giving him the evil eye. “You’re buckin’ to get your ass beat today.”
“Callin’ it as I see-“
“What the hell?” The cry was faint, the wind carrying the strangled voice away almost immediately. “Did you hear that?”
Boone craned his neck and searched the water as well as the shoreline, listening for any additional sounds. “I could have sworn I heard a cry for help.”
“You’re dreaming, dude. Why don’t you grab a beer? Get me one too.”
Boone knew what he’d heard. A single shiver slithered down his spine. Jerking to his feet, he walked closer to the water, shading his eyes from the sun. He could see a few people on the other side of the river, but he doubted no one close enough to hear the distinct word. “I swear I-“
The cry came again, the sound closer.
“Okay, I know I heard that,” Boone walked closer, stepping over rocks.
“Yeah, I did too.” Scrambling to his feet, Sawyer followed him to the edge of the water, scanning the horizon. “Sounded like a girl.”
“No doubt.” His entire body tense, he walked to the right several feet, steadying himself on the few flat rocks. The water was spitting over the jagged edges, lapping against the shoreline. From this vantage point, he could hear the pounding of the waves as they crashed down from the waterfall. This wasn’t a designated swimming area during any time of the year. Squinting, he could swear he noticed a blip of red, but the powerful stream was rolling so fast. “Come on. Come on. Where are you?”
“Shit. What the fuck?” Sawyer walked into the water, almost slipping. “Damn it. Who would be foolish enough to get in the river here?”
“Could be a kayaker or canoer caught in the rapids.”
“Then they don’t have a freakin’ chance,” Sawyer stated, his voice shaking.
They both remained quiet, searching.
After a few seconds, Boone could see the same hint of color, a garish and very bright red. The blob in the water was bobbing up and down, going completely under the raging swirl. Hair. He could just make out blonde hair. “Shit. There’s someone in the water. I can see her and she’s headed straight for the falls.”
“What?” Sawyer raced to his side, turning his head from left to right. “Oh, Jesus. You’re right. There’s no way we can swim out there. None. The fire department can’t get here in time.”
“No, they can’t. Grab my rope off of Blaze.” Boone directed.
“Just fuckin’ do it!” There was little time given how fast the stream was moving. If the girl reached the falls, pitched down over one hundred feet would certainly kill her. “Do it!”
He heard Sawyer racing away and tried to keep his eyes on the girl. The rapids were drawing her closer to this side. She was maybe two hundred yards out. Still too far. He took several long strides into the river, trying to get a better look. The force of the water pummeled him and he slipped, falling into the frigid water. “Shit.” Jerking up, he wiped water out of his eyes as he steadied his feet.
“Here. What in the hell do you think you’re going to do with this?” Sawyer tossed him the rope.
“Try and save her. Call 9-1-1.” He held the rope in his hand and refused to allow fear to enter his system. He could do this. The girl was closer, flailing as she screamed for help. His fingers wrapped around the rope, pulling the thick strand into position. He’d have one shot at this. One. After that, there was nothing else he could do. As he waited he counted, studying the rapids and the distance her body was carried. This wasn’t like wrestling a steer to the ground.
“What are you doing?” Sawyer called from behind. “You don’t actually think you can grab her with the rope?”
“Call them.” Boone gulped as he fingered the twisted strands. This was a new rope, barely broken in and damn, it had better be strong. You can do this. He was no longer certain of his skills, but at this point, there was no self-doubt allowed. None. Concentrate. Concentrate.
“Grabbing my phone.”
“Hey. Look over here!” Boone’s voice boomed over the rustling water and he held his breath as the girl jerked her head in his direction. She began to paddle, as if that would make any difference. “Catch this when I throw it to you.” Whether or not she heard, he couldn’t be certain but he had to try. If he managed to snag her, he’d have only a few seconds to reel her in or the rapids could take both of them. Today was not a good day to die.
Swinging the rope over his head, he thought of nothing but all the weeks of practice, the years of training. He could do this. No, he would do this.
“Goddamn you are. You’re never going to be able to do this,” Sawyer moaned.
I hope you enjoyed!
Kisses and licks on this special day…