Chief Noah Baird's job was to direct his team of firemen/womenand his para rescue teams to emergency locations. Their job - to help rescue people inneed. Always the calm, cool and collected man in charge who carried ahyper awareness sense of dangers around him. He loved his job and he was good at it, until TV reporter Shayna Allen arrived on his scenes creating distraction and confrontations.
Shayna Allen, career focused reporter, only cared about getting the almighty story. However, latelyshe's been hitting a wall. That wall came in the form of sexy fire Chief Noah Baird who seemed hell bent on thwarting her every attempt.
Their lives are forever changed when lightning strikes.
Chief Noah Baird had an eerie ability of keeping a watchful eye on everything around him at the same time. Nothing magical about it, just a hyper awareness. The dark storm clouds turned normal daytime into a gloomy haze all over town, creating a ‘something wicked this way come’ feel with a touch of unpredictability with it. He prayed that a sudden tornado didn’t spring from the clouds that would complete the total havoc already pelting them. His job, as South Westfield Fire Chief, was not only to help protect the citizens in all foreseeable situation but to protect his men as well which meant he was point man, accumulating information all at once.
Above him, slicing through the charged thick air as it hovered over the river, he could hear the whomp of the department’s Para rescue helicopter.
Squinting through the downpour, he could see Jake repelling from the steel bird in his attempt to rescue a woman in the river below. He’d learned long ago to trust his teams in the air and on the ground to get the job done, especially under treacherous weather conditions. He returned his attention to the ground team and their attempts at keeping spectators clear from impending dangers and to make sure that no one else fell into the river by accident.
“Okay, Lucas. How’s here for location?”
Noah’s body reacted to the voice before he turned around to confirm his fear. Even in the high winds and downpour, he’d know it anywhere. Shayna Allen, South Westfield, TV news reporter, stood twenty feet away, mic in hand wearing a yellow slicker, trying to keep her hood from blowing off her head. It never failed as Noah watched the dark-haired beauty instruct her cameraman on angles, that she always found herself in the middle of places both risky and dangerous.
He stalked her way, preparing himself for another one of their verbal confrontations . Over the last eighteen months they’d gone head-to-head on all matters, including filming locations. Since coming to his town to continue her career in broadcasting, she had wreaked havoc on his life and his libido.
“Lucas, can you get the scene behind me? I think that someone is repelling out of the helicopter and that looks like a stranded motorist in the water. Do you see her?” Shayna yelled through the rain and wind.
“Got it, Shay. Any time you’re ready we can roll film. I don’t know how good the quality of sound is going to be. Might be more howling than anything else,” Lucas answered.
As Noah approached the pair, he took little satisfaction that Shayna was having trouble standing upright. Her resistance might have been more effective if she didn’t wear pumps in this kind of weather.
“Sorry, folks. Can’t film here. This area needs to be cleared of any civilians.” Noah’s voice carried over and caught the TV team’s attention.
“We won’t be long.” She barely turned to look at him. “Just want to let the town’s people know what’s going on.”
"Most of the town people don’t have electricity right now so you’re wasting your time. Please take it away from here.”
“I have a right to be here. I’m doing my job.” Her green eyes flashed at Noah causing his heart to thump against his chest. Excitement skimmed across the hairs on his arms as his gaze followed the hand that she placed on her hip as she widened her stance in a challenge.
God, he didn’t need this right now.
“I understand that you have a job to do,” he said, striving for a patient tone, “But I have a job, too, and it’s protecting my men, the people who really need help, and at the moment stubborn TV reporters. Please take your broadcast away from this location.”
“Keep rolling, Lucas,” she said defiantly.
“Move it, Lucas.” Noah didn’t bother to look Lucas’s way.
“You can’t stop me from getting this story, Chief!” Shayna stalked further into the opening, enduring the rain and winds. “Luc, how’s this angle?” She turned to her cameraman and shouted so that her voice carried.
“Shayna, I’m going to have to ask you again to leave this area. It’s not safe.” Chief Noah Baird stood between her and the camera with his arms folded across his chest purposely blocking the cameraman’s view.
Odd? Shayna noticed that the chief had no problem maintaining his balance as he barked orders at her and Lucas. In addition to trying to ruin her career, he had the audacity to look good while doing it. His 6’1 height should have toppled against the gust but stood strong when even Lucas needed to correct his own balance from time to time.
“Look, Noah,” she started. Maybe if she used his first name, she could get under his skin like the use of her name on his lips did to her. “I take full responsibility should anything happen, but I am getting this story. So can you please step aside?”
His smile did not reach his eyes as he turned his head to the side where a few other firemen grouped.
“Hey, Joe!” he called. “Ms. Allen here, needs assistance moving to a safe locat—”
A loud crack pierced the air, shaking the ground and interrupting his command. Noah’s eyes darted, left, then right and before anyone knew what was happening, Noah twisted his body sharp and dove for Shayna tackling her to the ground and rolling her away from the clearing.
The flying tackle was hard, worthy of a college lineman scholarship, but he didn’t have time to be gentle. He needed to move them out of the falling tree branch’s path, fast. Lucas was lucky to be standing at an angle and out of harm’s way, but he moved anyway, after he realized what was happening.
Breathing hard, Noah lifted his head and did a quick count of the people around him, his men included, and confirmed they were all accounted for. While several men ran his way, he peered down at Shayna as he lay sprawled on top of her. For the first time since meeting her, she was silent.
“Shayna? Are you all right?”
When she didn’t respond or open her eyes, the first wave of panic spread through him.
Nothing. He placed two fingers at her neck. She had a pulse but she wasn’t breathing.
Tilting her head back, he angled his body off her chest then placed his mouth over hers forcing air into her lungs. Feeling her chest rise with each one,he blew three more times until her body took over and allowed an exaggerated breath in.
“Easy.” Noah’s voice softened as he watched as she attempted to control her breathing and get her bearings.
“What happened?” She looked into his eyes.
“You got the wind knocked out of you.”
“But . . . How did that happened?”
“The chief saved your life, Shay.” Lucas stood behind Noah puffing after racing toward them. “That big-ass branch over there broke off and fell, taking most of the tree with it. The chief pushed you out of the way.”
Shayna swung her gaze back at Noah, who still crouched over her. “Really?”
“I told you it wasn’t safe here.” His fingers wanted to brush the wet, plastered hair from her brow but he didn’t.
“I know. I was just trying to get the—”
“Story. Yes, I know. Are you okay?”
“I think so," She wiggled her feet taking stock of her body "Are you?”
He tried to roll the rest of his body off of hers when the stabbing pain in his side forced him to stop movement. “What the hell?” Noah twisted enough to see chunks of wood broken in pieces around him.
“Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Chief, don’t move,” Joe yelled and dropped down on one knee, bracing Noah's body with his hands.
“What do you mean, don’t move? I need to get up and--Ah!” Noah winced, sucked in a deep breath, and began seeing stars.
“Noah? Are you okay,” Shayna asked, eyes wide, alarm in her voice.
“No, ma’am, he’s not. Chief, you’ve got a chunk of wood sticking out of your side, and I need you to be very still until we can load you onto a gurney.” Joe continued.
I started reading romance novels in high school when a friend introduced me to a Harlequin book. I thought it was so refreshing that I bought another one, then another one and read them every spare moment I had. This was also around the time I developed a passion to write my own stories and I've been writing ever since.
I write romantic suspense. Half of my novels are part of a 3-5 book series. I've written a couple of contemporaries and I wrote my first paranormal that was contracted in 2013 and will be published in Summer 2014.
I have way too much fun creating people and building situations for them that has lead me to accomplishing my true goal. Publishing.
If you have aspirations of publishing a book, I encourage you to take steps towards making that happen. A great start is to look up your local Romance Writers of America (RWA) chapter and attend a couple of meetings to see if it's for you. This organization has helped me to learn not only the business of writing but the craft as well.
For more information about my upcoming books, please visit:
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