Flames of Gold
Christmas Romance Anthology
Highland Press
October 2008
ISBN: 978-0981855059



A Christmas Flame

Jacob pulled into the parking lot of station two. Late for his shift, but he didn’t care.

His thoughts still lingered on Grace.

He’d obviously interrupted a nap by the look of her sleep ruffled hair and half-awake eyes, which he found quite becoming. Although now that he thought about it, anything would be becoming on her.

God, how he’d wanted to grab her and kiss the sleep from her pouty lips and awaken her in a much more stimulating manner. He had no doubt she’d felt the instant chemistry as he had. It fairly crackled in the air between them. Not that she would ever show it or admit it. Obviously, she had no intention of allowing another person in. Had demons of the past pushed their way in and taken up residence within her tiny 5’2” body?

Maybe she would actually show up at the Thai restaurant. Yeah, and hell was in the process of freezing over. He shook his head and sighed. Thursday night would find him sitting in the designated place, waiting on an imaginary woman. He would get the pity glances from the wait staff as time ticked away and still no one showed. Yet, he planned on being there like a hopeful fool.

After he got out of his truck, he shoved his keys into the front pocket of his jeans and reached around to the back seat to grab his freshly laundered uniform off the clothes hook. When he walked through the door of the station, the all too familiar sound of a call dropping pulled him out of his thoughts. He held his breath as he waited for the details to come over the loudspeakers.

“Woman stuck in a tub,” the dispatcher announced.

Jacob exchanged glances with the rest of the guys, each wearing a perplexed look much like the one he imagined was plastered on his own face.

Woman stuck in tub? He shuddered. How large would she have to be to get stuck in a tub?

He ripped the plastic from his blue uniform shirt and quickly slipped it over his white t-shirt, buttoning it with lightning speed. Jeans would have to do for now. He’d finish changing when he got back.

“…5400 La Frontera Boulevard, apartment 109.”

Not sure he heard the address correctly, he paused to listen to the repeated location.

“That’s 5400 La Frontera Boulevard, apartment 109.”

He’d heard it right. Grace’s apartment complex. And her number was 109. This was turning out to be an eventfully strange day where Grace McKenzie was concerned. But, stuck in a tub? He couldn’t even begin to imagine how someone her size could be in that predicament.

Could it be a sign? It had to be. He’d always believed everything happened for a reason, even if the reason wasn’t immediately revealed. Nothing was ever random—not even the bad stuff.

When they arrived on the scene, one of the apartment personnel greeted them, letting them into the apartment. He and Jimmy went in first to assess the situation. Not sure of what they would find, they slowly entered the bathroom.

No matter what visions he had conjured of Grace stuck in a tub, nothing could have prepared him for the sight that met his eyes.