Bonnie Dee
Ignite
Bonnie Dee
May 5, 2012
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Fireman. Firestarter. When the two come together, their world ignites!

Pete Santori is a New York City fireman committed to his job who doesn’t take time for personal relationships. That all changes one night when he saves a man from a fire the victim appears to have started. But holding the man in his arms, a strange connection passes between them.

Alan Delaine is a firestarter, who manifests powerful energy when he experiences strong emotion. He’s been held captive in a facility, where he was tested physically and psychologically. When he meets Pete, he’s living on the run after escaping the lab.

As the two men come together, physical attraction grows into something deeper. Can love strike a balance between passion and incineration?

Note: Previously included in the Hearts Afire anthology.

What people are saying

Fallen Angel Reviews – 4 angels, Reviewer Whitney
Alan triggers in Pete the ability to deal with the heat he generates, otherwise this story would give a whole new bent to the idea of a “combustible” love scene. The burst of action at the end of this story is very entertaining and makes the story well worth reading.

Romance Junkies Blue Ribbon Review, 4 1/2, Reviewer Jhayboy
A must read, you certainly won’t regret IGNITE.

Literary Nymphs Reviews – 4 stars
If you enjoy gay firefighters, who aren’t scared of love and commitments, then you won’t want to miss reading this story.

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Read an Excerpt

“Is anyone hurt? I didn’t mean to hurt anyone.” The man’s almond-shaped eyes were as black as coal with sparks flickering in their dark depths. He clutched the front of Pete’s jacket and his soot-streaked face was close enough that his breath brushed Pete’s cheek. “I was trying to end it.”

Ignite

Despite the sweat drenching his hot body, a chill made the hair on the fireman’s nape rise. “Whoa, buddy. What are you saying?”

“The fire; it was my fault.”

Pete felt like all the air had been sucked from his body. Was this a confession of arson from the man whose life he’d just saved? He glanced at the organized chaos of the scene: the pump crew still extinguishing the last of the flames while other firefighters continued to search the damaged building for survivors, the paramedics, the cops, the media; actually, only a couple of reporters. Since the blaze had taken place in an abandoned building, it was hardly newsworthy. Red lights flashed and emergency beams illuminated the dark night, reflecting off the pall of smoke shrouding the area.

“You saying you set this?”

The guy shook his head, long black hair falling over his eyes. “It’s not like that.”

“What is it like?” Irrationally, Pete wanted to smooth the furrow between the man’s slanting brows, but settled for squeezing his shoulder, offering comfort while coaxing a confession.

“I can’t help it. It’s out of my control.” The dark gaze fixed on his so intently he couldn’t have moved if he tried.

“Starting fires?” Pete clarified. It was worse than he’d thought. The guy was a firebug, a psycho who thrived on the sight of flames and the destruction they caused.

“Yes.” The man’s eyes drifted closed, dark smudges beneath his lashes stark against his pale face. “It doesn’t matter. You won’t believe me.”

“Try me. Tell me the truth.”

“Fires start when I’m around. You know, like in that old Stephen King story. I don’t set them. They just happen. So, I thought I could…” His eyes opened and he seized Pete’s coat again. “I can’t live like this any more.”

Silence surrounded them. It was as if the noise and bustle of the world had faded away. Pete could only hear his own breathing and that of the man who lay on the muddy ground.

“Hey, Santori, we could use your help over here,” Mroczek called, snapping the silent connection and bringing back noise and confusion. “Is that some guy you pulled out?” He waved an arm at the paramedics. “Over here! We’ve got a live one.”

Pete locked gazes with the man once more. “The police are going to talk to you. Unless you want to end up in the psych ward, don’t tell that story.”
The man’s eyes closed, cutting off the strange connection between them once more, then there was no time to talk as the emergency team took over, surrounding the stranger and blocking him from Pete’s sight.

He returned to his duties, helping his crew douse the smoking building to prevent another flare-up. As he tramped through the jumble of charred beams and collapsed walls, checking to make sure the fire was completely extinguished, he thought of what the man had said. Firestarter. Spontaneous combustion. Crazy talk.

He should report this to the fire marshal who’d be investigating the scene right away. Knowing what combustible substance the man had used and where and how he’d started the blaze would save a lot of time. Yet Pete kept the man’s insane tale to himself. There was something about the guy that was so melancholy, so vulnerable Pete didn’t want to cause him further pain. In fact, he found himself wanting to protect the man he’d carried through blinding black smoke from the burning building.

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