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Love opened his eyes and stretched. He looked over at the clock and saw he had only been sleeping for an hour and a half. He shrugged and rolled over. He sat on the edge of the small twin bed and rubbed his eyes. He yawned and stood up, leaving the sleeping quarters.
“Been sleepin’, Gordon?” The chief asked as he passed him in the hallway.
“Just dozing…Have the guys eaten yet?” Love asked.
“Nope, you know it’s your turn to cook.” The chief laughed and walked into his office, closing the door behind him. Love stumbled down the stairs slowly, finding himself in the kitchen.
“Hey, Gordon.” The series of deep voices greeted him.
“Hey, I’ll start making dinner.” Love said, walking over to the stove and turning on the burner.
“We voted, we want steak.”
“Well, you get chicken. You have a problem with it, get your ass up here and make your god damn steak.” Love smiled at his fellow firefighters and winked. They rolled their eyes and grumbled, going back to their cards or newspapers. Heavy footsteps were heard on the floors of the kitchen.
“Hey, Adams.” The same deep voices greeted the man walking into the room.
“Hey, what’s for dinner.” Adams leaned over Love’s shoulder. “Aw man, I thought we were having steak.” Adams frowned and sat down at the table, peeking at the others cards before he sat.
“Shut up, bitches.” Love shook his head.
“Pay attention, assholes.” The chief walked in. A few looked up, most kept doing what they were doing before.
“What’s up, Chief?” one of the guys said, a cigarrette hanging from his mouth. The chief pulled away the smoke and crushed it out on the table, throwing it into the trash.
“We have a new guy joining the crew, after losing Reed…We needed another guy around.” The chief said, trailing off when mentioning their fallen brother. The room was quiet as they all thought about their friend.
“When is he joining.” Adams asked, in his thick southern drawl.
“Now. Guys, this is Garrett.” A tall man stepped into the kitchen, a smile across his face. Love looked him up and down and went back to his food without saying anything. He didn’t have anything against the guy personally, but no one could replace Reed.
“Hey.” Garrett held up a hand. The guys looked at him before going back to what they were doing. The chief sighed and rolled his eyes.
“Don’t be dickheads.” He said simply, before walking back to his office. The room was awkwardly quiet as Love set down the plates of food. It was a simple meal, chicken, rice, and peas. He set down the plates in front of each crew member and then stared up at Garrett.
“Have a seat, I’ll make another plate.” Love said.
“Gordon.” Love said, introducing himself by his last name. The other men dug into their meals, still complaining about the chicken. Love set down the last plate in front of Garrett.
“So, Gordon. When are you gonna learn how to cook food that doesn’t taste like shit?” Adams teased, poking him with his fork.
“When you learn how to cook at all. So basically, when pigs shitting snowballs in hell start flying.” Love threw a pea at him. Suddenly, the alarm went off and immediatly all the men stepped into action. As they tried to crowd out the room, a few jumped over the table and rushed to the room where the truck was. They pulled on their gear quickly and climbed into the car. Adams got behind the wheel and the rest of the men piled in. Love sat on the end and during the drive, took the chance to look at himself and the crew. He stared at his reflection in the window silently.
He supposed he was good looking. His hair was black and straight, hanging down just above his eyes and barely above his neck. His eyes were green and his nose small. He was the smallest on the crew, weighing only 180 pounds. He stood at only 5′ 5″ while most of the others were 5′ 10″ or more. He was small, but he was the fastest on the crew. And, as a bonus, his size allowed him in the small places they often found themselves in. He turned to the rest of the crew in the car. He had been on the crew for over six years now.
The main crew consisted of himself, Adams, the Chief, Ross, Thomas, and now Garrett. Of course there were a lot more people. But the ones he usually had contact with were just those five. Adams and the chief had been on long before he had. They were both older, being on the crew for more than fifteen years now. Adams still looked young, his blonde hair was cut short in a buzz and his features were sharp and hard, unlike his personality. He was always the first to make the jokes.
Love looked at Ross, the permanantly stoic one. He hardly ever spoke, and was always the first one in and the last one out of a fire. His father had been a firefighter, and though he joined the crew only a month or two before Love did, he was more dedicated than any of them. He even shaved his head to stay safer in the fires. His eyes were so dark they were almost black.
Thomas had joined at the same time Love had. He was casino şirketleri shy and quiet. He was so timid that a lot of the time it was a burden on the crew. But he worked the best with the children and women. His equipment skills had much to be desired, but his people skills were the best on the team. His red hair was usually kept under his helmet, few of the crew had actually ever seen it. But it was cut short, falling in small curls around his head. His brown eyes had a way of sucking people in, making them trust him with their lives.
Love looked at Garrett. It sucked being thrown into a call with a new crew member. They didn’t even know if they could trust him. Adams pulled the truck up next to the building. Love pulled his helmet on and made sure it was on tight. They stared up at the burning building, smoke poured from the windows and screams could be heard.
“Gordon, Thomas, Garrett. Inside. Ross, Adams, on the hoses.” The chief walked around. Love, Garrett, and Thomas turned on their radios.
“Please!” A crying woman ran up to Garrett, holding his jacket in her fists. “Please, save my daughter!” She begged, in tears.
“We’re going to do our best, Ma’am.” Thomas said. One of the paramedics led the hysterical woman away.
“Garrett,” The chief said. The new member turned around. The chief handed their largest member an axe. “Get your asses in there.” He shouted, over the roaring fire.
Love was the first one in. His oxygen mask was on firmly and he got used to breathing through it quickly. Garrett was close behind him, and Thomas trailed behind.
“Get up there fast, boys.” The chief said, through the radio. “She’s on the third.” The chief said.
“You guys hear that?” Love asked. The other two men said they did. They reached the third and Love hesitated. “What room?” Love asked. The apartment building was large and there had to be at least twenty rooms on this floor alone.
“Fuck if I know.” The chief said.
“Shit.” Garrett muttered behind Love. They heard feint crying, but it was impossible to tell where it was coming from.
“Little girl?” Thomas called out through his mask, which muffled the call. The crying got louder. Garret turned towards the nearest door.
“Get away from the door!” He shouted, before swinging the axe hard at the wood. It crumbled beneath the metal, already soft from the fire that had been weakening it. The men piled into the room, searching the apartment quickly.
“Next one!” Love sighed, there was no way they were going to find her in time. He could already feel the floor bending with their weight. Suddenly, his foot fell through the floor. He shouted in surprise and Garrett and Thomas tried to help him up quickly.
“Spread out, the floor is to weak. We have to split up. Check the right rooms.” He said to Garrett. “Check the left, I’ll go through there.” He said to Thomas, pointing out his direction under a fallen piece of ceiling. He ducked under a huge piece of wood and continued to the other half of the hallway. The crying was definitly louder here.
“She’s somewhere over here. Can you guys get through?” Love asked.
“No, it’s to small. We’ll just make it fall all the way.” Garrett answered.
“Throw me the axe. Get your asses out of here.” Love said, the radio crackling. The axe slid across the wooden floors, through the gap under the piece of wood. Love took it, and checked each door, listening for the crying and feeling for the heat that indicated a fire behind it. Finally, at the end of the hall was a cooler door with the crying behind it.
“Get away from the door!” He shouted loud enough so she could hear. He heard the floor creak under his and her weight and he pulled back the axe. It took several swings but the door finally cracked in half. He kicked the rest of it down before stepping into the room. The room was small, he found her quickly. She was huddled in the far corner of the living room behind a couch. Love stepped forward and the floor whined under him. He heard it begin to snap and crunch. He stepped back.
“I need you to come to me, just walk slowly over here.” He held out his hand to the little girl. She picked up the teddybear she was holding and began walking slowly over to Love. He held his hand as far as he could, inching over the burning floor. She held her teddbear to her with her left hand, reaching out for Love’s with the right. He stretched farther and wrapped his slim fingers around her wrist as the floor gave out under them. He ended up hanging over the edge halfway. She dangled above a pit of burning splinters of wood. She screamed and dropped her bear. It landed in the fire and began melting with the heat.
“Gordon, what the fuck is going on in there?” The chief asked. Love couldn’t speak. He held himself and the girl with all the strength he had. He tugged her back up, hearing her wrist crack with the force he had to use. She screamed louder and he scooped her up, holding her against his chest. He stepped out of the room and walked down the hallway.
“You casino firmaları have to climb through there, I’ll be right behind you, just wait for me.” Love directed her. She shook her head and held on to him. “You have to go, now.” Love pulled her off him and set her down on the creaking floor. He heard the roof above them creak and groan as a huge chunk of it fell to the ground floor only five feet behind them “Shit!” He cursed. She shook her head and tried to back up against him. He was getting frustrated. If they didn’t move now, they would both die. Suddenly an arm appeared under the fallen beam. It grabbed her and pulled her under the piece of ceiling. Love crawled through right behind her. Garrett stood on the other end.
“I told you to get the fuck out of here.” Love shouted. Garrett didn’t answer. Half the hallway collapsed behind them and they got moving. Love scooped up the girl and they high tailed it out of there. A piece of ceiling fell in front of them, blocking off that path. Love looked around quickly. In the room to their right the floor had caved in, a large wooden beam slanted down towards the ground floor.
“That’s the only way.” Garrett said.
“Fuck me.” Love cursed. He looked over at the girl and saw she was coughing. He took off his mask and put it over her face.
“What are you doing?” Garrett asked. Love didn’t waste any of the valuable oxygen he had taken in before giving up his only source of air. He handed Garrett the girl and tested the weight of the thin beam. It creaked, but didn’t bend. He wrapped his legs around it and crawled down slowly. A few feet seperated his out stretched hands from the girls dangling feet.
“I have to drop her.” Garrett said, as another piece of ceiling fell behind him, making him flinch. Love nodded, beginning to feel dizzy. Garrett counted down slowly. “One, two…Three!” He dropped the girl and Love caught her, falling back on his ass. Garrett climbed down the pole quickly and the two men and child ran out of the building. Not thirty seconds after they got out, the building collapsed, sending smoke and ash everywhere. The girl cried and Love choked and coughed on the ground. Garrett picked up the girl and handed her to the medics who took her to the ambulance waiting with her mother. He knealed next to Love. He patted him on the back as he choked and coughed.
Another medic came and sat him down on the back of the ambulance. He breathed in deeply through an oxygen mask as the chief walked over.
“You’re an idiot.” He said, a scowl on his face. “And a god damn hero.” He gave a small smile, slapping Love on the back, making him cough again. Love pulled the mask away from his face, giving it back to the medic.
“Why didn’t you send Garrett back out here?” He asked, voice raspy.
“It’s a god damn good thing I didn’t. If he hadn’t been there you wouldn’t be sitting here right now, you moron.” The chief slapped him on the back of the head. Love nodded.
“Yeah, where is he?” He asked. The chief pointed. He pushed himself off the back of the ambulance and headed towards Garrett who was grabbing a bottle of water and chugging it.
“Hey.” Love said.
“Hey.” Garrett greeted him between a gulp or two of water.
“Thanks, for what you did back there. Staying in…” Love said.
“It’s no problem, Gordon. It’s what crewmembers are for.” Garrett shrugged. Love nodded before beginning to walk away. He stopped and turned around.
“Call me Love.” He said. Garrett wrinkled his brow.
“It’s my name, doofus.” Love smiled, walking back to the truck to get his own bottle of water.
“Daaaamn.” Adams said, slapping Garrett on the back.
“He’s only ever let one other person call him Love. Ever.” He explained.
“Is it really his name?” Garrett asked.
“Yep, on his birth certificate and everything. Love Gordon.” Adams said. “If anyone else calls him that, he’ll kick our asses.”
“Who was the other person?” Garrett asked.
“Reed, the guy you replaced.” Adams said, suddenly serious. He slapped Garrett on the back again, and walked away. “He was the only other person who’s ever saved his life.” Adams called back over his shoulder. Garrett watched him walk away, and then let his eyes wander over to Love.
Four months ago
“Hey, Love.” Reed stepped up to the smaller firefighter.
“Reed.” Love smiled without looking up at him. He sat there, cleaning his gear while he was on his four days off. Reed had to work five days on four days off this one time, replacing one of the other crew’s members while he was in the hospital.
“I’m off tomorrow, we should go out.” Reed smiled, sitting next to Love with a hand on his shoulder.
“Reed.” Love pushed his hand away and looked at him, angry.
“What? No one’s around.” Reed looked around the empty room, proving his point.
“But if someone came in and saw us.” Love mumbled, going back to cleaning his gear.
“You’re to paranoid. What’s güvenilir casino so bad about somebody seeing us together?” Reed asked.
“You know what’s so bad about that. We work in a firehouse for christs sake Reed. The fact that we work together should be reason enough not to do anything.” Love said.
“Well…We’re not working together now.” Reed smiled.
“But we will be later.” Love pushed away the hand that had been wandering up his thigh.
“Hey guys, Gordon, what are you still doing here?” The chief walked in suddenly.
“Just getting some shit done before my shift starts in a few days.” Love said.
“Oh, well don’t work yourself to hard. These 4-4 scheduals are a bitch. The chief said, leaving the room.
“I told you.” Love said. “We cant. It’s to dangerous.” He went back to washing his boots.
“Maybe I like the danger.” Reed moved his chin to face him and kissed his lips firmly. Love moaned and leaned into the kiss. They kissed for a minute before his brain decided to come back to him. He pushed him away and wiped his mouth.
“Reed.” He said, not needing to say anything more.
“I know, I know. ” Reed sighed and pulled away from Love.
“I’m sorry. You know it’s not that I don’t want it.” Love said.
“I know.” Reed repeated. Love looked at the sadness in his eyes and he felt his heart break.
“Just one date. When neither of us are on shift.” Love said. Reed’s eyes lit up.
“And we have to go to the next town over.” Love said. Reed seemed unhappy about that, but agreed. He stood up and began walking away.
“I’ll pick you up tomorrow at seven.” Reed smiled, and walked away.
“Hey, Gordon.” Garrett said as he walked into the locker rooms.
“I told you, you can call me Love.” Love said.
“It’s fine.” Love smiled. He wrapped the towel around his waist and went to his locker.
“It was really impressive, what you did today.” Garrett said. “You saved that little girls life.”
“It’s my job.” Love shrugged. “Besides, I couldn’t have done it without you.” He smiled.
“It was nothing, I couldn’t just let you stay in there alone.” Garrett said.
“Yes, you could have. Thomas did.” Love laughed.
“Yeah, well. I’m not Thomas.” Garrett looked at Love, with something that Love couldn’t exactly place in, in his eyes.
“Well thank you anyways.” Love smiled. He pulled on his shirt and began buttoning it up.
“Are you off?” Garrett asked.
“Yeah, the last call was my fourth day.” Love said.
“The chief said I start on your scheduel, so technically I only had to be on call one day.” Garrett laughed. “You want to go get something to eat?” Garrett asked.
“Sure, I’m starving. I didn’t get to eat dinner last night.” Love said.
“Me either, come on.” Garrett pulled on his shoe and grabbed his jacket, before Love followed him out the door.
They sat at the small diner. Garrett ordered the steak and Love ordered a salad. They waited for their order to arrive from the older waitress and took the time to talk.
“So, how long have you been a firefighter?” Love asked.
“Seven years, now.” Garrett said.
“Wow, not bad. And here we all were thinking you were a scrub.” Love asked.
“Nope, how about you?”
“Six.” Love said, smiling at the waitress as she set down their food.
“What made you start?”
“Well, when I was little, my house caught on fire. I had to have been five or six. I remember it was really early in the morning, still dark out. The house caught fire, and the door was warped so I couldn’t open it. My room wasn’t on fire, but it was filled with smoke. I remember this older firefighter was sent to get me. He had to have been on the crew for at least ten years, he was definitly seasoned. But anyways, he broke down the door, and carried me out. I don’t think I’ll ever forget that. He held me when they told me they couldn’t get my parents out.” Love said the last part with bitter remourse.
“I’m sorry.” Garrett said, and he sounded sincere.
“Yeah, me too. I just wanted to keep that from happening to any other kid. You know?”
“Yeah, that must have been rough. Growing up without parents.” Garrett said.
“Yeah, my foster parents were just in it for the check they got each month.” Love shrugged. “What about you? Let me hear your sob story.” Love smiled, stealing one of Garrett’s fries.
“I don’t really have on I guess. My dad was a firefighter, he retired a few years ago. I just wanted to follow in his footsteps. I have a big family, three sisters and two brothers. My sister lives in new york, she’s decided to follow in my dads footsteps too.” Garrett laughed.
“Sounds nice, having a big family.”Love smiled.
“It is, except when we have to share the bathroom. There’s never any hot water left.” Garrett smiled. “That’s why I moved out so fast I guess.” Garrett laughed. “Now I’m stuck in this little one bedroom apartment.”
“Sounds like my place.” Love laughed.
“Yeah, it’s tough finding a decent place to hang your hat in this town.” Garrett smiled.
“So why did you leave your old crew?” Love asked. Garrett hesitated. “What?”
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