Masen Crisfield fell in love with Booth Jones when she was sixteen years old. Booth was the love of her life. The rock she needed to get her through the day. Then she rips his heart out while he"s deployed, leaving him wondering just what he"d done to warrant something so severe as a breakup that neither of them wanted.
Stubbornness is their middle name, and ten long years pass before either one of them try to breach the gap.
Circumstances force Booth to come home, and within an hour of him being back in his home town, there she is. Right back in the forefront of his mind where he knows she shouldn"t be.
The day he starts his first civilian job at Kilgore Fire Department, his worst fear of seeing Masen is realized. And not only does he see her, but he sees her with another man. A fellow firefighter that he has to trust with his life.
It soon becomes apparent that they are both still just as much in love with each other now as they were the moment they met. But there"s a problem. Booth"s married, and Masen"s in a committed relationship.
They fight the pull with everything they have, but they"re both about to learn the true meaning of flash point as their lives crash together. Their love consuming everything in it"s path.Books in Series:Kilgore Fire Series by Lani Lynn ValeBooks by Author:Lani Lynn Vale Books
Crash and burn.
There are times when you realize you"ve screwed up"and there are times when you realize that you"ve broken something so perfectly that it will never be the same.
I couldn"t say that what I"d done was on purpose, but I knew only a few short hours after it happened"when my sister was on the brink of death"that I"d screwed up.
I"d lashed out in grief.
I"d done something that would never be able to be fixed"not without him giving me another chance.
And that chance was long gone.
Booth, my boyfriend"now ex-boyfriend"would never give me another one.
Not after the ugly things I"d said to him.
Not after that.
I closed my eyes as tears of frustration poured down my face.
"What"d you say"" My big sister rasped, her breathing so harsh and ragged that I was scared to look at her.
"I said some ugly things"I should"ve," I shook my head. "I should"ve been more understanding. I know he tried."
"What"d you say"" Daniela asked again.
The breath in her lungs rattled her chest as she inhaled and exhaled.
I looked over at her finally, my heart squeezing in my chest as I did.
"I told him I never wanted to see him again, and that," I choked. "That I didn"t love him anymore."
My sister"s eyes closed as she exhaled.
"I know you"re scared," she said in such a soft voice that I could barely hear her. "But you"re going to need him."
My throat swelled, and I felt like I could barely breathe.
"I know," I cried, tears rolling down my cheeks in torrents now.
I laid my head down on the bed next to her hand, and she lifted it up to place it on my head, sifting her fingers lightly through my hair.
My sister was my best friend.
And she was dying.
Doctors didn"t think she"d make it past this weekend.
And that"d been what I"d called Booth about.
I"d been so happy to hear his voice, that low, deep rumble that I hadn"t heard in over a month and a half.
But that quickly fell apart when he said he couldn"t come home. That they wouldn"t let him.
He"d sounded distraught.
And maybe he was.
But I was dying inside.
My heart was literally breaking into a million tiny pieces.
My sister"s breathing was shallow now.
It wouldn"t be long.
She"d likely not make it through the night.
At least that was what the nurse said that came to check on her an hour ago.
We were to call her as soon as we thought it"d gotten to the point of no return.
How do you know what the point of no return is"
Is it just something that you instinctually "know""
Is it something that"ll just be my guess"
My sister had Cystic Fibrosis.
She was diagnosed with it when she was five and had a life expectancy of thirty-one years.
Except she wasn"t going to make it.
Nowhere close, actually.
She was twenty-two. The same age as Booth.
Booth and my sister had actually been friends, but the moment we made eye contact, the rest had been history. He"d been mine for two years, much to my mother and father"s chagrin, at first anyway. Now they didn"t much care about the age difference. Then, they did.
Well, not anymore.
A wet cough had me looking back up at my sister, studying her face.
Her color was nearly gray, and I knew it wouldn"t be long now.
She"d caught an infection, and she"d been in and out of the hospital for the last three weeks.
They"d finally told her that there was nothing else they could do but put her on a respirator, and Daniela had decided to come home instead.
Come home to die.
The bedroom door opened and I turned to see my mother and father come in holding hands.
"Sorry it took us so long," my mom said. "The car had a flat."
Our car was falling apart.
Daniela"s medical bills were killing my parents, but they"d never complain.
We"d been running on tires that were so bald that they were illegal, and we all knew it.
But there was nothing we could do.
I was working full time but had taken off for a week.
My mom and dad worked at the hospital.
My dad was an X-ray tech and my mom was a billing specialist.
They worked the same shift, and it was good that they did or they wouldn"t be able to have only one vehicle.
"I love you," my sister said. "I love you all."
Two hours later, my sister took one final rattling breath and died.
I stared at the plot of dirt, heartbroken and sick to my stomach.
My parents were on either side of me, their arms wrapped around my chest and shoulders.
"I miss her," I whispered to them.
My mother gasped as a sob wracked her body.
"I do, too."
My father"s lips pressed against my hair, and it was all I could do not to cry.
I wish you were here, Booth.
Four months later
I waited at the airport gate for him.
But he never showed.
Everyone else did.