Where There's Smoke (Heroes of Port Dale #7) - Romeo Alexander


Slumping against the door, Matt let out a heavy, weary sigh. Everyone knew that fires were a bit like storms, there was a season of high points and low ones. His mother had always said life was either feast or famine, and much to his dismay, they were feasting on fire after fire. She’d also said that when it rained, it poured, but he would have welcomed a little more water and a little less flame.

“You gonna make it?” Cade asked from the driver’s seat.

Matt blearily eyed his fellow firefighter, grunting in response. It had been a very long week, and he was looking forward to having the weekend off. He wasn’t quite sure what he was going to do with the time but damned if he wasn’t going to enjoy himself a little.

Or maybe just sleep the whole time, that sounded good too.

Cade chuckled. “How long you been on for?”

“Thirty-six...no, forty-something, hours,” Matt groaned.

“Damn, you need some sleep.”

“You think?”

“I love when you get sleepy.”

“God, please do not start hitting on me,” Matt whined. “I do not need your boyfriend to suddenly want to hate me.”

“You get so cranky,” Cade continued, ignoring him. “It’s like you become a person again.”

“I am not cranky,” Matt shot back.

“Right, you’re your normal, bright, shining, and perky self right now,” Cade said.

“A ray of sunshine,” Matt lied, huffing.

Cade smirked at him knowingly. “And don’t you worry about my boyfriend. Which is still weird to say out loud.”

Matt laughed, rolling his eyes. “You guys have been together for over two years now. Don’t you think it’s time to get over that?”

Cade shrugged. “Probably. Still weird to say.”

Matt shook his head but decided against pressing the issue. Cade had been dating Elias, another member of their station, for long enough that it should have felt normal. Then again, Matt had to admit that it had taken him time to get used to the idea too, even as he’d supported them. The two men had always been his greatest supporters, the ones who were friendly to him before anyone else in the station was, even knowing that Matt was gay. That had meant the world to Matt, and he’d always adored them for it.

But at the time, they had been straight, both of them. Cade had been quite the playboy for a long time there, while Elias seemed comfortable in his rather sexless if still heterosexual life. Matt wasn’t sure how the hell one panicked moment of fake dating had become a real relationship, but he knew better than to question it.

His mother had also been fond of saying truth was stranger than fiction, and Matt had to admit she had a point. So now his two friends in the station, as well as outside work, were former strictly straight men who were in a relationship with one another. Weird? Definitely, but considering Cade had been sharing an apartment and bed with the other man for the past couple of years, he would have thought the weirdness would have worn off.

“Plus,” Cade added with a wide grin. “Last I checked, I’m the one who should be carefully watching you around him.”

“Oh God,” Matt groaned. “Please do not do this again.”

“You’re the one who wants to do it,” Cade goaded.

Matt thumped his head against the door. “I do not want to sleep with Elias. I do not want to sleep with either of you.”

“This from the guy who clearly has a type,” Cade said.

Which, okay, there was some truth to that. Physically, Elias was right up Matt’s preferred alley. Tall, dark, handsome, and with enough muscle that he could probably chuck Matt around one-handed. And yes, once upon a time, he had, in fact, had no small crush on the man. It had been rather difficult not to at the time, Elias was a good looking man, and he’d been so kind and welcoming to Matt in the beginning.

Matt glared at Cade. “You had a type too, if I remember. Though that type usually had boobs and lacked a dick.”

Cade grunted. “Touché. Maybe Elias and I should blame you.”

“Me?” Matt asked incredulously. “What did I do?”

“Well, you know, some people say that sort of thing is catching,” Cade said with a smirk.

Matt wished he could kick the man, but he really didn’t want Cade to crash the truck in the process. “No one says that.”

“They sure as hell act like it.”

“Welcome to being into guys, Cade. And you’ve been listening to Keith too much.”

Cade scowled at the mention of