A Raging Fire

an excerpt

Prologue



WHITE PINE FIRE DEPARTMENT WELCOMES ACTING DEPUTY FROM NEIGHBORING TOWN; CHIEF AWAY ON SECOND HONEYMOON



Special Report by Kent Crandall



White Pine, NY. In what can only be seen as a positive step forward, the depleted ranks of the White Pine Fire Department will receive an influx of new blood, starting with the arrival of Joseph "Joey" Silva as the acting deputy chief. The hunky Silva, 34, comes to White Pine after a distinguished career in neighboring Honor Hills, where he has served under his father, Chief Alex Silva, since he was eighteen years old.

Another newcomer to White Pine is Nick Lynch, 35, a decorated firefighter with over ten years experience in Central New York. Lynch has recently relocated to White Pine and was instantly snapped up by Chief Devon O'Connell, who in recent seasons has seen the tragic loss of former Chief Patrick "Paddy" Rodgers, as well as the departure of his son, Trent Rodgers, who fled White Pine with newcomer and fellow firefighter Angel Montero.

Chief O'Connell had long promised his wife, Anne, a second honeymoon in Ireland upon their twenty-fifth anniversary, and so the O'Connells will be away for two months. "Joey Silva is a total professional and a steadying force for any team of firefighters. White Pine is fortunate to have secured his great work ethic and is greatly appreciative of Chief Silva's willingness to see his son succeed at a new level. Even here."

"I've always seen White Pine as a rival force," the burly, bearded Joey Silva stated, who has starred in many of the Fire Ball contests against his new force during the annual Hibernation Festival, "but in the end, we're all part of the same brotherhood, and I look forward to my time in White Pine, and in ensuring the safety of its residents."

Newcomer Lynch, interviewed down at Sally's Dive on an off-day, stated he was looking forward to joining a new team. "My life changed dramatically this last year, so with all that finally behind me I'm ready for a fresh start. But that doesn't mean I'm eager to put out any fire that comes along, I hope everyone will practice safety. We should be a last resort."

Rounding out the White Pine staff is Austin Walker, 24, the young hero from last year's Fire Ball contest, and Dickey Tenders, 44, a seasoned vet who didn't appear all that pleased to see Joey Silva take the reins down at the station. The force is filled out by a rotating number of volunteers including Gil Keane, Sammy Henderson, and John Johnson.

"It's Chief O'Connell's decision," Tenders said of Silva's appointment.

It's winter folks, and the cold and snow has clung tough to our little Adirondack town, but things look like they are heating up down at the White Pine fire department. Watch this column for future developments.





The Singe of Heat

Chapter One

Gil



Someone had to stay behind and mind the store.

Or in this case, the firehouse.

Turned out to not be a bad thing, otherwise he never would have set off on this journey of his, one of self-discovery that found him getting in touch with previously untapped desires and finally admitting to himself his sexuality. A journey he would see brought to fruition only when the object of his ardent affection landed in his arms and in his bed, doing unspeakably wonderful things that ignited his flesh. But enough of the imaginary heat flaming his loins, it wasn't real, certainly not yet. Besides, he'd only seen the hot, stunning piece of manhood in photographs and from afar at this point, on the rare occasions he dared show his face in White Pine So, the heat inside him would have to wait, because for now, there was a fire. A real one.

Six twenty-five on a cold January evening, a call was put through by the 911 operators.

Gil Keane, at twenty-three and standing just five eight, topped by an unruly mop of curly brown hair, easily a hundred and forty pounds when soaking wet, was the low man on the totem pole, the newest volunteer at the White Pine Fire Department, and as such he was manning the dispatch desk.

"White Pine Fire Department, this is Gil, what's your emergency?"

He listened, typing notes into the log he'd called up on his computer screen.

"We'll be right there, don't try and put the fire out yourself," he advised and when he put down the phone, the portly Dickey Tenders, acting chief for all of six hours, was hovering over him.

"What have we got?"

"Guy frying a turkey in his back yard."

"Seriously? It's fucking January out there."

Gil shrugged. "Guy's gotta eat."

"The idiot is going to burn his house down in the process."

The whirling whistle sounded throughout the two-story brick station house, and suddenly the place was alive with frenzied anticipation. With Dickey clapping his hands in an effort to get the guys motivated--an unnecessary gesture from a man unaccustomed to authority, from where Gil sat--the pool game upstairs ended mid-shot, sticks thrust onto the green felt with abandon. From the shower emerged a still soapy Austin Walker, who threw a towel around his trim waist before quickly tossing on clothes before sliding down the pole and put his gear on over them, all done in a span of thirty seconds. Eager men readily jumped on the fire engine, on the back and sides of the gleaming red truck and clung for dear life as Dickey took his normal spot behind the wheel and gunned it out of the garage and onto the street.

"Let's go, let's go, shit, who is that...Lynch?" Dickey could be heard saying as one last guy, tall and sturdily built, raced behind them, only to make a brave, athletic leap onto the back of the engine. Austin reached out a muscled arm to secure his landing, swinging him to safety.

Gil watched from his post. Surely Dickey could have waited two more seconds.

But Dickey was, for the moment, in charge and he had something to prove to anyone.

Their regular chief, Devon O'Connell, had departed this morning, en route to the airport in Albany with his wife in tow, ready for two months of R&R while touring what he referred to as the motherland, Ireland. O'Connell, head of the White Pine Fire Department for just under a year now, hadn't yet named a second in command. So he'd gone outside the rank and file and borrowed someone from the nearby village of Honor Hills, located just south of their nestled, isolated little town, just a few miles across the expanse of the Paddy Rodgers Memorial Bridge. But the new deputy chief had yet to arrive, leaving Dickey Tenders with a window of power.

From the sounds of his yelling, he was taking full advantage of his authority.

Feeling left behind, Gil rose from his desk and walked into the empty space where the engine had been parked, a grease stain on the cement exposed. Another truck, the oversize hook and ladder, stood silent and proud in its spot, the only thing keeping him company. The fried turkey fire wouldn't require the big guns. The garage door still open, Gil stepped out into the cold night, darkness floating down over the village like a blanket. He felt envy wash over him, wishing he had gone with them. He imagined he could smell the acrid fire in the air, the smoky ash, that poor tortured turkey. In only his third month of volunteering, Gil had seen little action.

Story of his life, if you asked him.

Gil Keane worked the day shift as a short order cook down at the rhythmically named Shiner's Diner, and he'd been looking for more out of his ho-hum life, especially with the long, dark winter looming. So, reading an article in the White Pine Gazette and after a sleepless night alone in his empty bed, Gil marched on down to the station house and passed muster with Chief O'Connell. The fact he flipped burgers over a hot flame meant he wasn't intimidated by fire.

"It takes a strong man to want to fight fire," the chief had said to his new recruit.

While the chief sized him up, Gil had given himself the once over, taking note of his less than muscled body. He was fast, agile, and alert, that much he knew, if not possessing natural brute strength. Burly would never be a word to describe him.

"I mean here," the chief had said, pointing first to his head, then his heart. "Fortitude."

"I'm not afraid of fire."

"Hmm. You should be. But welcome aboard."

"I'm honored, sir."

"The training will be brutal. You won't see action for awhile."

"I'm patient. I have to be. I live in White Pine."

And that had been that, Gil Keane was a member of the White Pine Fire Department.

Just now, from inside the station house he heard the sharp crackle of voices coming over the radio monitor. They'd reached the house in question and Dickey was barking out orders like he was channeling the late Chief Rodgers.

"The flames are nipping at the roof, foam it down boys, don't let it spread."

Gil, not accustomed to having the station house to himself and who hating being alone--it's one of the reasons why he'd joined, to be part of something good--listened in on the action, mentally inserting himself into the melee, grabbing equipment, holding on while the water shot forth from the thick canvas hose. He could feel the rush, the back-spray, but he stayed firmly planted on the ground, the shooting flames a fiery enemy that would not burn him. With his fists tight, he leaned in further to the speaker as he heard further orders being thrown out by Dickey.

"No, not there...there. I don't care about the f-ing turkey, we're not here for dinner!"

From behind him Gil heard a slight chuckle and quickly he turned, surprise written on his face. He looked straight ahead, then up, and up still, finally coming to rest on the face of a man who redefined tall, at least to a hunched-over Gil. The guy was shoulder-wide, too, with a thick dark beard that made Gil wonder if he was gazing at Paul Bunyan himself, except there was no axe resting on those big shoulders and his name was of course Joey Silva. He'd seen the man's picture in the Gazette, and he also knew him by reputation. Still, looming before him with that cocksure grin, the new deputy chief of the White Pine Fire Department cut an imposing figure.

"Uh, hi."

"Evening. Boys out on a job, I hear?"

"Fried turkey gone wrong."

"Ah, now that comment makes sense." He extended a hand. "Joey Silva."

"Hi, I'm, uh, Gil Keane."

"Why aren't you out fighting that fire?"

"Someone's got to mind the store."

"New recruit?"

"Newest volunteer."

Again, he nodded. "Sorry I'm missing out on the action. Had my own fire to put out."

Indeed, beneath the heavy beard, Gil could see ash-coated cheeks and he smelled, faintly, of gasoline. Like a car fire had needed to be doused. Gil imagined the hot beast before putting the flames out all on his own, probably just lifting the car on his strong shoulders and throwing it into the rushing waters of the Iroquois River that separated White Pine from the rest of the world. Gil swallowed hard at the image and then said, "Anything I can do to help?"

Rubbing his bearded chin while peering around the station house, the deputy appeared to already be looking for ways to improve efficiency. But then he said, "Just point me toward the showers, might as well get cleaned up and look all nice for the boys when they return. Though I don't really officially start until tomorrow."

"Oh, uh, sure, upstairs. Down the hall, last left."

"Thanks...uh..."

"Gil. Gil Keane."

"Right. Sorry, got a few names to remember." He paused. "Austin out on that truck?"

"Yes, sir."

"Good fire-fighter."

"Sure, the best."

"Wrong, Gil. That would be me."

With that, Joey Silva strode determinedly toward the stairs and took them two at a time, like they'd been built for children, his large frame disappearing into the environs of the station house. Gil found that he was still staring at the space Joey had filled, wishing he hadn't been caught so unawares, thinking about how sexily distracting he was, and then wondering why he'd asked after Austin? Wanting to make a good impression on the new Deputy Chief, he too went upstairs, intent on fetching the guy a beverage. Probably parched after fighting his own fire. He wasn't on duty, maybe Joey would appreciate a beer.

Grabbing a cold Saranac Lager from the fridge, Gil made his way down the corridor.

He could hear the shower already. Guy didn't waste time.

Gil opened the door to the showers, intent on leaving the beer on the sink basin.

That's when he caught a glimpse in the steamed mirror of a naked Joey Silva, soaping his hard body beneath the hot spray. Forget Paul Bunyan, this guy was all Bigfoot, his thick beard just a furry tease of a fit, tanned, and nicely hairy body, not to mention the healthy size cock, even while soft, dangling from his crotch. Gil's experience with such a sight was limited to porn movies and he already found himself more turned on by the hairy-chested hunks than those who were smooth or waxed. A big cock was nice, too, real nice. He stole another look and saw that even with swirls of soap coating Joey's chest, Gil could see a thicket of black fur buried beneath it.

He felt an instant rush of blood to his cock and immediately backed out of the communal shower, like the force of his hard-on thrust him back out into the hallway. The last thing a new recruit like himself needed from the temporary chief was to get caught staring at him, especially under such conditions. Not the way to make a good impression. Stumbling on his way out, he nearly knocking over the beer he'd brought.

Suddenly he didn't mind so much being left behind, thinking that done-for turkey could fend for itself.

Instead, Gil Keane had just seen a sexy bear, and he knew he was in trouble.

"Oh shit," he thought, "I've got the hots for our new deputy."

Gil was no longer imaging himself fighting a fire. He was the one aflame. He turned and ran back to his bunk, a hose of a different kind on his horny mind. Knowing Joey was busy in the shower and the rest of the guys were out, he whipped down his pants and grabbed hold of his hard cock. His mind blossomed with erotic pictures of Joey Silva without all that soap covering him, and it was like one of those movies he watched coming life.

Gil the willing twink. Joey the aggressively hairy beast.

Sliding into him, thrusting at him till he blew.

It didn't take him long at all to burst.

Gil let out a heavy sigh and fell back against his pillow, gooey white oozing all over his hand, like always. He wondered how such a sexual experience would feel. Gil had never before been with a man.

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