Saturday, 22 October 2016

On Fire by Alicia Nordwell


Nothing beats getting out of the concrete jungle and into the quiet of the forest. Website designer Scottie Ness is taking a well-deserved vacation from the grindstone, and he plans to spend it in the solitude of Washington’s Gifford Pinchot National Forest around Mt. Adams. He’s prepared for everything—except the lightning storm that traps him in a wildfire.

The firefighter who rescues him sustains serious injuries and ends up in the hospital. Jax Quintero might be abrasive, but the guy saved his life, and Scottie wants to thank him. As they spend time together during Jax’s recovery and exploring the state’s landmarks when he’s released from the hospital, Scottie discovers there’s more to Jax than a smart-ass adrenaline junkie. Jax reassesses his opinion of Scottie as an arrogant city boy who has no business in the mountains. Though Jax’s wounds prevent them from taking things as far as they’d like for a while, they can’t deny the heat building between them—and this is one fire they don’t want to put out.

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Scottie pulled off his headlamp and scrubbed his face and head with one hand, trying to wipe away the sleepiness still plaguing him. When he opened his eyes, the first tinges of yellow stained the paler blue, highlighting a thin layer of clouds laying over the peaks and glaciers of the mountain. He snapped shot after shot, panning the camera to create a panorama. At one point, the clouds looked like golden fluff, the sun’s rays shooting through the moisture and setting it afire.
By the time the sun had risen fully, he’d taken nearly four hundred pictures. Hopefully he’d get enough to make a panorama plus a few nice shots of the sun’s light breaking into rays behind the mountain. He carefully folded up his tripod, cleaning the dirt out of the tips before he put it away. The camera bag fit against his hip and he slung his pack on his back. It was a lot to carry, but his dad’s second favorite saying was “Better safe than sorry.”
He chuckled. As a teen he’d hated what he viewed as nagging, but now he got it, and, more often than not, said them himself. Switching out the lenses again, he made his way down the trail, stopping to take pictures of a bunch of orange and red Indian Paintbrushes and the pretty purple stripes decorating the delicate white petals of the Grass Widow flower. The knees of his jeans were filthy by the time he made it back down to the gravel road. He whistled as he walked, scrambling through the wash that marked the end of the drivable section of the road.
First order of business once he reached camp was to appease the angry growling of his stomach. Scottie pulled out the spray butter from the ice chest and slathered a few slices of bread. They sizzled in the pan over his propane camp stove until they were crispy on one side. He grabbed an iced coffee out of the cooler and sat down. He’d forgotten to fold up his chair the night before, so it was damp, but his pants were already dirty anyway.
Biting off the crusts and then peeling off the softer back side of the bread, Scottie saved the buttery, crispy tops of the toast for last. He licked his greasy fingers and downed the last of the iced mocha. He splashed some water in the pan and washed it with his fingers, tossing out the dirty water at the far edge of the trees.

Author Bio:

The number one question folks ask Alicia when she shares she's a MM romance author: "Why gay fiction? Why write men when you're a woman?" and her answer is: "Why the hell not!" Alicia Nordwell is one of those not so rare creatures, a reader turned writer. Striving to find an interesting story one day, she decided to write what she wanted instead. Then the voices started... Yep, not only does she talk about herself in the third person for bios, she has voices in her head constantly clamoring to get out. Fortunately, with the encouragement of her family and friends, she decided for her own sanity to keep writing.

Now you can find her stories both free and e-published. When she’s not on the computer typing away, she's a wife and a mom of two in the dreary, yet ideal for her redhead complexion, Pacific Northwest. Except for when she disappears into one of the many worlds in her head, of course! She can also be found quite often at her blog, where she has a lot of free fiction for readers to enjoy or working hard, or maybe hardly working, as an admin on under her online nickname, Cia.

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