by Hollis Shiloh
(takes place after Fireproof)
With a life that never seems to stay orderly and neat, and relationship skills to grow into, they have their work cut out if they want to stay together...and fireproof.
Takes place after "Fireproof"
Contains some homophobic language
Length: 30,000 words
Heat level: Low
"Jett!" The brakes squeaked as Levi pulled up, leaned out the window of my ratty old truck, and called my name. He was wearing reflective sunglasses and the brakes squealed a little and he honked the horn a couple of times.
"Yo, Jett!" He waved, leaning half out the window, then pulled himself back inside and tumbled out, all muscle and charm, acting like an overgrown pup assured of his welcome. He was the hottest fireman in the world.
He wore jeans, suspenders, and a tight, tan t-shirt that clung to all the hard places on his chest and shoulders and upper arms. Looked like he'd barely squeezed himself into it. It was clean, so he must've showered after work.
He headed towards me, arms outstretched, grin maniacal.
"Don't," I said, smiling, trying halfheartedly to shy away from his arms. "I'll get you filthy!"
"Mm, filth!" He caught me, squeezing me jubilantly and exuberantly close. He squeezed and cuddled me against him with all his strength, planting a big, sloppy wet kiss on my neck. "Mm! Delicious filth."
"Would you stop?" I laughed and finally got free of him, wiping the wet kiss off my neck.
"Oh, nice." He rolled his eyes, and pushed his sunglasses up to the top of his head. He thumped me on the arm, sucked his full lips into his mouth briefly, and grinned. His smile was cherubic and naughty at the same time. I don't know how he avoided growing up to be a total brat, because who could say no to a face like that?
"Any of your boys comin'?" he asked.
"Oh hell, I don't know." I glanced back, raised a hand to wave in mute greeting and farewell. I realized that they'd been watching me and that, technically, I'd probably come out of the closet to them today.
José raised a hand tentatively back. Tyrell gave me the guy nod, a single jerk of his head. Could mean anything. I walked around to my side of my truck — the passenger's side.
"I think I came out of the closet today," I told Levi.
"No shit?" He cast me a curious look as we moved to get into the truck. He hadn't picked up the wings yet or I'd smell 'em. "They didn't know?"
"Apparently not." I buckled my belt. It was old, frayed.
I was glad Levi was driving. I've always hated being behind a wheel. It feels more like responsibility than freedom to me, and not the good kind of responsibility, but the kind that can kill innocent people if you make a single mistake. I'm a tense driver; my shoulders get tight from holding onto the wheel so hard.
Levi, now he's cool. He sort of drapes himself on the wheel; he's alert but relaxed. You can see he's just enjoying the hell out of it, even driving my old banger. It's an old white pickup truck, and I took it all the way to Alaska a couple of years ago when I was running from Levi and from my magic.
Somehow, it had survived the trip, the long winters there, the hard miles I'd put on it, and the journey all the way back. Like me. Still kicking, and yet I'd never managed to develop an affection for the truck, like guys are supposed to have for their vehicles. I mean, shit, I wasn't that guy.