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Falling Ashes: the story behind the story
by Shoshanna Evers
There’s a story behind my story Falling Ashes in Smokin’ Hot Firemen. Ten years ago, I was living in Los Angeles and working every weekend at the Orange County Fairgrounds as an EMT. Hundreds of thousands of acres (yes, you read that right) were ablaze with wildfires.
I still remember being at work, struggling to breath because the air was so smoky, and white ash rained down on us non-stop. The falling ashes looked just like snow, except they weren’t cold and they wouldn’t melt.
As the EMT in charge of the First Aid Tent, I was having a very busy day. Normally I saw a few people an hour—usually people with skinned knees from tripping on the hot pavement, or a bee sting, and the occasional serious emergency like a heart attack or seizure where I’d have to hop in my little golf cart with a tiny siren and drive out onto the fairgrounds to find my patient.
That day, the line of people who needed to see me stretched all the way down the fairway. It was overwhelming. I was understaffed, overworked, and exhausted. Then I realized that almost *all* of the patients waiting to see me had the same problem: ash had fallen into their eyes, and it hurt like hell.
Fortunately I found a quick solution and was able to stand in front of the people and show them how to treat themselves. All they had to do was gently grasp their upper eyelashes, pull their eyelid out away from their face, then down toward their cheek. Bam. That works if you get an eyelash in your eye too, by the way! Only a few patients required my assistance after that.
Anyhoo…when I wanted to write a story about sexy firemen, of course my mind immediately went to seeing snow-like falling ashes everywhere.
From “Falling Ashes” by Shoshanna Evers
Susan couldn’t bring herself to turn off the television, even though the reporter standing in front of the forest fire on her screen kept repeating the same things over and over: The firefighters were working around the clock to extinguish the fire. An evacuation route had been set up but no one lived in that part of the woods…
At least five firefighters had been airlifted out by the med-evac team for treatment of burns and smoke inhalation…
She swallowed the bile rising in her throat and refused to cry. But she couldn’t seem to turn off the damn TV. None of the surrounding fire stations were even answering the phone, which wasn’t exactly a shocker since every other wife and girlfriend and—whatever she was to Trent—was probably calling around in a panic, just like she’d been doing.
What if Trent was hurt? He’d started his shift almost twenty-four hours ago; surely they’d relieve him soon so another round of firefighters could go in. But what if he was one of the guys who’d been helicoptered out to the hospital?
Her cabin was miles from the fire, miles past the evacuation line, even, but still she could smell the smoke of thousands of trees burning. Tiny white ashes fluttered down past her windows like a light snow.
Trent, where are you?
Her cell phone remained silent. No calls. No texts. Could she have overestimated how much she meant to him? He’d never even called her his girlfriend. They had no label, but he meant…everything. Everything to her. The thought that he might be hurt, suffering, and she’d never even know—God. Susan choked back a sob.
No crying. It was time for action. She’d go to the fucking hospital and wait there until someone told her what the hell was going on, since no one else seemed willing to give her any information.
Keys in hand, Susan shoved her cell phone into her pocket and ran out the front door, not bothering to turn off the TV or even lock up. No one locked the doors way out here in the boondocks anyway.
The smell of smoke affronted her nostrils, and she looked up in surprise at just how much the ashes falling seemed to resemble snow. They landed in her hair, blew onto her eyelashes, and she blinked back tears from the irritation. Oh, fuck, Trent. Please be okay.
“Those better not be tears for me, baby,” a low, strong voice said.
“Oh my God.” She couldn’t believe it. She hadn’t even heard Trent’s pickup truck pull into her gravel driveway.
He strode toward her on the grass, still wearing his uniform, still covered in soot and ash. When he dropped his long fireman’s jacket onto the grass, his muscles bulged from the past twenty-four miserable hours of fighting the forest fire.
“You sure are a sight for sore eyes, Susie,” he murmured, wrapping her in a bear hug, crushing her body against his. He was soaking wet with sweat and filthy with soot. The smell of the fire clung to his uniform, but none of that mattered.
“You asshole,” she sobbed, forgiving him even as she said it. “You scared me to death. I was on my way to the hospital to check on you.”
“I texted you as soon as I got off. I had to see you.”
“But I never got a text…” Damn phone. “Never mind. It doesn’t matter. All that matters is you’re okay.”
He brushed some ash out of her hair, a crooked smile on his handsome face. His teeth looked blindingly white compared to his sooty face. “I’m not used to seeing you with snow in your hair. It looks good on you.”
“I’m not used to seeing you so…dirty.”
“Does it look good on me?” Trent reached up and pulled down his suspenders, one by one, then tore off his sweaty T-shirt—revealing a tan, muscular torso beaded with sweat.
Susan could only nod mutely. Yes. God, yes.
Read the rest in Smokin’ Hot Firemen, available now!
For more erotic romance by Shoshanna Evers, check out her latest BDSM erotic romance series, The Enslaved Trilogy, from Simon and Schuster Pocket Star.
About Shoshanna Evers:
Critically-acclaimed author Shoshanna Evers has written dozens of sexy stories including Amazon Erotica Bestsellers Overheated, and Enslaved, Book 1 in the Enslaved Trilogy. Her work has been featured in Best Bondage Erotica 2012 and Best Bondage Erotica 2013, the Penguin/Berkley Heat anthology Agony/Ecstasy, and numerous erotic BDSM novellas including Chastity Belt and Punishing the Art Thief from Ellora’s Cave Publishing.
The non-fiction anthology Shoshanna Evers edited and contributed to, How To Write Hot Sex: Tips from Multi-Published Erotic Romance Authors, is a #1 Bestseller in the Authorship, Erotica Writing Reference, and Romance Writing categories.
Her BDSM erotic romance The Enslaved Trilogy released in April 2013 from Simon & Schuster’s Pocket Star imprint, to be followed by the Pulse Trilogy, a post-apocalyptic dystopian erotic romance.
Shoshanna is a New York native who now lives with her family and two big dogs in Los Angeles, California. She welcomes emails from readers and writers, and loves to interact on Twitter and Facebook.
Sexily *Evers* After… www.ShoshannaEvers.com