Authors Note: In the next coming days if all goes as planned and Lit approves all the chapters. All eight chapters will be coming up live. I’ve renamed the series to Chris & Jasper from The Fireman & The Librarian. I’m still thinking about possibly adding to this story and publishing it through Amazon. Of course, finding an editor, which I tried many times within the last year to get this edited via here as I was finishing it up but failed.
Chapter 8 changed from a realistic ending to as my sister told me, IF I EVER WANT HER TO READ ANOTHER STORY, I BETTER NEVER END A STORY THAT WAY EVER AGAIN. Mind you I’ve only succeeded in getting her to read F & L. Chapter 1 is nearly the same, 2 has changed. That’s why I’m reposting them. As always, thank you for reading. Sorry it’s been a while since I’ve posted.
Note for aclassylady, yes sometimes I’m still writing for me, sometimes when my characters decide to be quiet (like Leroy and Adam) its hard to finish chapters (they’re started, can’t finish them) and then it’s not fun anymore.
The Fireman and The Librarian
Incipient – Where There’s Smoke There’s Fire
Chris Johnston was walking towards the fire station; he was only a little early for his shift. He’s a floater, which means he’s not always at the same fire station; floaters fill in where they’re needed. For his next seventy-two hours, Chris will be calling The Engine 46 and Ladder Company 27 his home. He had a little under six months with the city but has been a firefighter for nearly six years.
Chris is six foot two and around two hundred and twenty pounds of muscle, light brown eyes, black hair cut close, and a five o’clock shadow. It didn’t matter how much he shaved. He always had a shadow.
Chris just moved back to Brooklyn to be near his hometown, after an eight-year hiatus. He didn’t want to leave but had no choice; his father was angry and told him never to return. Chris called his friend Aaron, moved to DC and lived with him until he was able to get on his feet. While there, he took a two-year course to become a Firefighter EMT and worked in Virginia for a little over five years before he had the urge to move back to New York.
He had his turnout gear in a large duffle, and in a smaller one was his change of uniforms, underclothes, and bedding. He was walking from the bus stop when he passed a club where a band was warming and tuning up. He looked up at the marquee which read “Turning Point” plays there every Wednesday night. He laughed and smiled genuinely to himself because it was his brother Jeff’s band. He was happy to see Jeff had continued with his dream, even though they weren’t big yet, at least he hadn’t given up.
Chris looked at his watch; it was a little before nine in the morning, he couldn’t believe they’d be practicing this early, but he could hear the music and knew it was live. He walked up to the doors of the club, and they were open, so he walked in and stood in the back and just watched them practice. Chris had noticed some men in the bar who were eating in the corner but didn’t look closely at them. He closed his eyes while listening to the music and didn’t notice a woman approaching him. “Chrissy, is that you?” He quickly opened his eyes and turned towards the woman and smiled when he recognized her.
“Hey Sara, I’m not staying long. I just saw the band’s name outside and thought I’d pop in for a quick listen. I better go.”
“Chris, please stay.” Chris finally looked down at the five-foot-two woman and laughed. She looked like she was ten months pregnant. She was so round; she looked like she was trying to hide a beach ball under her shirt.
“Sara, you let my idiot brother knock you up?”
“Yeah, twice.” She smiled at Chris. “I’d love you to come and meet your nephew.” She pleaded with him.
“You know that’s not a good idea. Dad would surely cut Jeff off his trust fund, and then what would you do? He loves playing too much to get a real job.”
“At least stay long enough to see Jeff, he’s about to end this set and rest for a bit.”
It didn’t take long when Jeff saw who his wife was talking to, he cut the song short and jumped off the stage. “You motherfucker, how the hell are you?” He came and grabbed Chris in a hug. “Damn it, Chris, where have you been?”
“Virginia, mostly, I just moved back six months ago.”
“Why didn’t you contact us? Why did you cut all contact and change your number?”
“One person – ‘Dad.’ He said if I contact you or Emily, he’ll cut your trusts, and I didn’t want to risk that he could be bluffing.”
“It’s bullshit man, you know Mom would kill him if he cut us off.”
“He cut me off, and she didn’t stop him.”
“He was just angry; he wasn’t ready to hear, well, you know.” Jeff blew out a breath. “Especially coming from his oldest son.”
“Dad was never going to be ready. He would’ve found out eventually. It also didn’t help that he walked in on Sam and me kissing.”
“It was only kissing! Shit, he made it sound like şişli bayan escort you two were going at it hot and heavy.”
“We were only standing there kissing when suddenly he started yelling at the two of us and telling me to pack my shit. I didn’t hear my bedroom door open. Nice graduation present, get the fuck out of my house, and never come back.”
“Mom went to the graduation ceremony to see if you would show. She still has your diploma for you.” Jeff looked at Chris. “Mom would love to see you.”
“I don’t think it would be a great idea. Dad was clear when he told me to leave, and never to contact any of you again, I probably shouldn’t have even walked in here. I just saw your band’s name and couldn’t believe you were still playing.”
“What are you doing for a living, where are you staying?”
“I live here in the Bronx. I’m a firefighter, not stationed at one house yet, been waiting for an opening. So, I rotate around for my shifts, and this is my first time at this house, I’ll be here for the next three days.”
“Why didn’t you move back home to Eastchester?”
“And risk being seen by Dad? No, I’ll pass. At least living in the Bronx, I don’t need a car, if I lived there, I would.
“Can I come down and see you tomorrow?”
“You shouldn’t, but I know I can’t stop you. I gotta go and report in with the Chief. It was nice seeing you, little bro.”
“Yeah Chris, my number is still the same, please call me.”
Chris went to turn around, and Jeff grabbed him up in a hug, Chris hugged back and then turned towards the door and froze. There stood their father; Jeff immediately looked down because he knew their dad would be going off his rocker. Chris looked at his father and then nodded his head and walked out.
Christopher Allen Johnston Sr. walked over to his son and almost yelled, but he looked
around and saw there were others in the bar. He tried to control his anger, but it still came out loud. “Jeff, what the hell was he doing here?”
“Dad, he was walking by, saw my band’s name and came in. He didn’t seek me out, I swear.”
“Remember he’s dead to this family. There’s no contact.”
“Dad, he’s just gay, he….”
“NO, JEFF, HE IS NOT MY SON ANYMORE. I’ll see you and your family tomorrow?”
Chris walked the few blocks left to the station and reported in with Chief John O’Malley. He knew he shouldn’t have stepped into the bar. After being briefed, he was directed to the bunkroom, which Chris made his bed and then placed his turnout gear in the engine bay. He dropped the pants around the boot ankles so they can be stepped into quickly. He had his coat on the peg and his hat hanging just above his jacket.
He looked at his duty assignments. He was due to make dinner for the crew that evening, so he needed to sit down and make out a list and see what they already had on hand. Chris went to the kitchen and opened the fridge and saw they didn’t have much. He looked in the drink fridge. It was full of water, milk, juice, and pop. He checked the cupboards, and there was rice, so he thought the natural thing would be to cook chicken and rice and a side of some veggie.
“Hey, there’s the floating Probie?” One of the guys was coming through the door of the kitchen. It was nine-thirty in the morning now, so Chris was now officially on duty.
“Hi, I’m Chris.”
“James, this is Harry and Tom. You’ll meet the others in a bit. They’re still over at the bar eating breakfast.”
Chris groaned; he hoped the bunch of guys in the corner weren’t the other fireman. He was sure they’d gotten an ear full after he’d left, and his father reamed Jeff out for talking to him.
“I see you’re the dinner crew tonight.”
“Yeah, I hope to make it to the grocery store in a bit.”
“Yeah, we’ll grab our gear in an hour or so and go, Tom is on lunch today.”
Before they could make plans, the familiar tones were going off in the building, and a voice came over the loudspeakers stating there was a four-alarm fire in the warehouse district. They were already running to the engine bay to suit up and head out. The guys from the bar were walking in when they heard the tones and grabbed their gear and jumped in the trucks.
When their two trucks pulled up with the other departments to the fire, the crew jumped out and immediately started pulling out the hoses. Chris was ordered to climb the ladder and spray the fire from above along with Tom. The others were hooking up other hoses at the hydrant to spray through the windows and doors of the warehouse; they were informed no one was inside.
The blaze took several hours to contain, the warehouse was a total loss. By the time they were putting out hot spots, the roof had caved and taken some of the walls down with it. When they finally were able to clear the scene, it was well past six in the evening. They loaded the trucks with the hoses, lowered the ladder, and headed back to the station.
“Hey Probie, what are we having şişli escort for dinner?” Tom asked.
“Well, I still need to go to the store was going to do chicken and rice.”
“Did you leave your list on the counter when we got the call?” James asked.
“Yeah,” Chris responded.
“Then the food will already be in the fridge, the Chief would’ve called his wife and she’ll do the shopping if we’re at a fire and can’t make it to the store.”
“That would be awesome.”
When they arrived back at the station, all the hoses were checked and loaded back on the truck. They finished the truck check for any supplies which were used. In the morning, they’ll wash the trucks, but right now, everyone was tired and needed a shower.
“Hey Probie?” Someone shouted back at Chris.
“Heard you were gay?”
“Yeah, I am, is it going to be a problem?”
“Nope, just heard you were gay, and giving anyone who might have a problem with it a chance to wait to shower is all. I’m Bill.”
They all headed to the showers, and no one seemed to shy away from Chris. He wouldn’t have cared if they did. It wouldn’t have been the first time someone refused to shower with him.
Chris stripped at his bunk and grabbed his towel and headed in, most of the men had done the same, a few just headed straight to the shower, stripping off their clothes as they went. It was noisy as all the men were talking with one another and all the showers were running.
The Chief stopped by the shower and told Chris the dinner he wanted to prepare was in the fridge. Chris thanked him and left the shower to get dressed so he could make the food before someone complained they were hungry.
Preparing the dinner was easy; getting the guys to stop telling him they hated chicken and wanted anything else was a pain in the ass. Chris just left it on the counter for guys to serve themselves. Once Chris ate his portion, he went to his bunk to sleep a bit.
Sleep didn’t come; they were dispatched on a few more calls that night. One was a small kitchen fire, and it only took an hour. Then around midnight, they were called out, smoke in a building but no fire.
They had to go apartment by apartment, clearing tenants out of the building until they found the source of the smoke. It turned out to be someone who had forgotten eggs on the stove. All the water had boiled out of the pan, and the eggs had started to blow up, and what remained of the eggs around the pot began to burn and caused the smoke. The tenant had left his apartment to run for cigs and forgot he was boiling eggs.
Once they were able to clear the smoke out of the apartment, they had to be professionals and keep their composure from laughing. The kitchen looked like a mini murder scene, and there were egg particles everywhere. Chris didn’t know how many eggs the tenant put on to boil, but he suspected at least one or two became mini grenades. The tenant will be cleaning them up for days.
Chris was thinking to himself as they loaded into the trucks to head back to the station, that life in the city will never be dull. When they returned to the station, everyone headed straight for their bunks and quickly fell asleep.
The next day went about the same, small fires and rescues. Everyone was tired, but they did their truck checks and made sure the hoses were still in good shape. Some of them went straight to the shower, and some went to the kitchen to eat. Chris chose both, he stopped in the kitchen, grabbed a sandwich the Chief’s wife made and headed to the shower while eating.
After showering, he went straight to his bunk and fell asleep. Someone touched him, and he stirred from his sleep. “You have a visitor,” the voice said. Chris just grunted and nodded, he sat on the edge of his bunk and rubbed his eyes. He fell back to sleep sitting up, and the person had to come back and wake him again. He put his pants and shirt on and started making his way sluggishly down to the kitchen to where the voice said his visitor was.
Chris walked into the kitchen and was surprised to see his mother Evelyn, brother Jeff, and sister Emily. They were talking amongst themselves while they waited for Chris to come down. Chris noticed Bill had a visitor too, and they were quietly talking in the corner.
“What are you guys doing here?” Chris asked.
“Is that any way to talk to your mother?” Evelyn was smiling. “Chris, I’m so sorry Baby.”
“Mom, it’s okay, but don’t get in trouble on my behalf.” She hugged him, as did Emily and Jeff.
“Shit man, dad can go fuck himself. If I would’ve known where you disappeared to, I would’ve contacted you years ago.” Jeff responded.
“You were sixteen then, I didn’t want you in trouble, and he told me to pack, I did and left.”
“Honey, I still wish you would’ve stayed. I couldn’t have changed your father’s view, but at least I could’ve gotten him to let you stay.”
“And you weren’t around when I needed a tough ass brother to beat up the boys that were after me.” Emily mecidiyeköy escort teased.
“And you would’ve gotten mad if I scared off anyone you were interested in. How are ya, Sis?” Chris laughed.
“I’m good, and it sucked not having you around while I was growing up.”
Chris just looked down. He couldn’t respond to her. He was sad he couldn’t see her grow up. He noticed the guy talking to Bill was staring at him. He just smiled and turned his attention back to his mother.
“Honey, if you just tell your father you’re not gay, he…”
“Mom, I’m not going to lie just to get accepted by him. I hope you weren’t hoping I wasn’t gay, if you were, I guess we won’t see one another either.”
“I didn’t mean it that way Christopher, just lie to him, I want my boy home,” Evelyn spoke louder than she meant to.
“I can’t Mom, if he found out later, shit would hit the fan worse than before. I love you, but I can’t lie about who I am. I’m a grown-ass man.”
“Mom, hate to cut this short, but we’re supposed to be meeting dad at the restaurant.” Emily informed her.
They all hug once more before leaving, but Evelyn again asked Chris to lie so they could all be together, and Chris told her he couldn’t, it wasn’t in him. He gave them his number before they left, and then he was standing in the kitchen alone. He was staring into space, but at the guy, Bill was talking to.
He noticed the guy was about five-six, Bill and the guy had been standing for a while when Chris first walked in but now, they were sitting. The guy had a fair complexion, blonde hair, cut short but not as short as Chris’s. He could see he had blue eyes and a nice build. He looked similar to Bill, but Bill was six-foot, blonde hair, cut short like Chris’s, and a bigger build.
Bill called Chris over, but because Chris was off in his thoughts, it took Bill a minute to break through to him. “Chris, I’d like you to meet my brother Jasper?” Chris stuck his hand out to shake, and when they shook hands, they literally got a shock and they both laughed.
“Nice to meet you, guess one of us has a shocking personality.” Chris smiled at Jasper.
“Yeah, I guess.” Jasper laughed.
“Well, I’d say have a seat Probie, but you look like death.”
“I just need some coffee, that’s all.”
“Well, have a seat and talk to Jasper, and I’ll get you some. How do you like it?”
“Black, thanks,” Chris stated as he sunk in the chair.
The Chief walked into the kitchen, “Bill, can I see you for a few minutes?”
“Yeah, give me a sec.” Bill walked over and handed both Chris and Jasper their cups and then went to talk to the Chief.
“What’s up, Chief?”
“Was going to ask, what do you think of the Probie?”
“He’s good and hardworking, seems to get along with the crew. Why what’s up?”
The Chief looked up from Chris’s file and exhaled. “Was thinking about offering him the open position. I hate seeing a good man be a floater when he can have a station, he can call home.” He leans back in the chair. “He has a great rep, and he gets along with every crew he’s worked with. I’ve even called down to his station in Virginia.”
“Are you asking me to put feelers out in the crew to see what they think?”
“If you could, that would be great.”
“Will do Chief.”
He walked back in the kitchen and noticed Chris and Jasper were holding their own. Since they seemed to be enjoying one another’s company, Bill decided to run what the Chief asked him through a few crew members to see what they thought.
“Jasper, what do you do for a living?”
“My job is a little on the boring side. I’m a Librarian at the New York Public Library on Washington.”
“I’m sure it has its days for being interesting; you have to deal with the crazy public patrons. We only have to deal with them setting fires or doing other stupid stuff.” Chris laughed.
“Yeah, we’ve had our share of crazies coming in. When you have some time, I can tell you some stories about them.” Jasper chuckled.
“Well, I’ll have to take you up on that when I have a day off.”
“When is your next day off?”
“Tomorrow is my last twenty-four hours. It’ll finish on Saturday morning. But my first couple of days off, I’m usually asleep.”
“Yeah, so is Bill. His wife hates it, but then she loves that he’s home for five days before he’s back here for the next three. I don’t know how you all do it; I know Bill has sometimes fought a fire for sixteen hours straight and then immediately has to turn around for a smaller fire or rescue.”
“It’s because we love the job.” Chris smiled.
Bill came back into the room. He grabbed a cup of coffee and asked if they needed a refill before he sat down with them. They talked until Jasper said he needed to go, but before he left the table, he pulled his wallet out to get one of his business cards. He saw a pen on the table and wrote down his phone number on the back and handed it to Chris.
Chris walked over to the kitchen area and grabbed a piece of paper and jotted his number down, giving it to Jasper. They smiled and said goodnight to one another, and Bill led Jasper out of the building.
“Isn’t that just dandy, trying to date one of my coworkers?”