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Ravish Me (Rough Edges 6) by Ashley Zakrzewski Book

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Ravish Me (Rough Edges 6) by Ashley Zakrzewski Read Book Online And Download

Overview: Fire. Forbidden Love. Forced Proximity.


The toll of fighting fires day in and day out leaves Leslie Haddon emotionally drained, exhausted and burnt out. She needs a big change, fast, or she won’t survive another year.


After losing his wife, the only thing going right for Noah Mills is his career as an English professor. He’s given up on failed dates and lonely nights swiping left. None of the women he’s met have the depth and complexity he craves.


A chance encounter with a stranger changes everything. The chemistry is instant and undeniable. The passion only intensifies when Leslie takes her first step into Noah’s classroom.


Flames grow higher and higher, stripping away any ounce of self-control Noah grasped. Two livelihoods are on the line. Will Noah risk his last sliver of hope for a moment of heat? Can Leslie fight the desire burning inside?


Ravish Me (Rough Edges 6) by Ashley Zakrzewski Book Read Online And Download Epub Digital Ebooks Buy Store Website Provide You.
Ravish Me (Rough Edges 6) by Ashley Zakrzewski Book





Ravish Me (Rough Edges 6) by Ashley Zakrzewski Book Read Online Chapter One


LESLIE

A voice comes over the intercom system, alerting us to a fire on Atlanta Avenue, and the alarm blares to get everyone's attention inside the station. The cot squeaks as I sit up and poke Angela next to me. Of course, a call comes in right as I’m about to doze off. Just my luck.


“Get up. Let’s go!” I yell, knowing every second makes a difference.


She wipes her eyes and looks around and finally hears the alarm. “Shit!”


Working overnight shifts suck, but we sneak in a nap every chance we can get. Sometimes, it’s non-stop and other nights we don’t get a single call. We never know what we are going to get, but are always ready to go. It’s part of our extensive training. Not to mention, our father is the chief, and he expects more from us than the other firefighters.


The men try to treat us like we’re equal, but sometimes it’s hard not to notice when they don’t. They barely speak to us, except Damon and Tristan. It’s like we don’t exist until we are on a call and they need our help. Isn’t that funny? So what if we’re females? We can handle our own because our father raised us to be good firefighters. You can’t imagine the crazy things our father has had us do before we started here. He wanted proof that he wouldn’t have to worry about us out in the field. Here we are, years later, and he has never had a complaint.


We run to the locker room, and I pull on my fire retardant pants, snap the suspenders against my shoulder, and shove my feet into the fireproof steel-toed boots. You never know when you’re going to have to go inside and save someone. It’s better to be prepared in gear.


Damon is yelling at everyone, telling them to hurry up. The dispatcher says the fire is spreading quickly and they need a quick dispatch. That’s understandable, but we can’t get on-site without protective gear.


Thick gloves slide over my hands as I rush to gather all my other gear. Heavy boots run across the concrete bay floor as the rumbling of the engine echoes off of the walls. Angela opens the high bay doors and jumps in the truck just as Damon turns the sirens on and pulls out onto the street.


He isn’t normally on this shift, but with a new baby at home, he tries to help his wife out as much as he can during the day. Why he would give up his day shift is beyond me? Hell, if they gave me the opportunity, I’d stick with it for the long haul. Everyone wants to work the day shift. For some weird reason, it’s where the least amount of action happens. I assume because people are at work, in school, or whatever for most of the day.


“How’s that baby doing? Sleeping better at night, yet?” I ask.


He shakes his head and hands his wallet back to me. “That’s the newest shot of her. It’s my first time being there since birth. Emily isn’t legally mine, so I missed all the newborn and toddler stages. Tell me it gets easier?”


Damon doesn’t take his eyes off of the road, so he doesn’t see me shrug my shoulders. “I don’t have kids, so how would I know?”


We pass an accident on the way, but can’t deter from the fire. They will have to find someone else to respond. It looks pretty bad with a car flipped upside down and two smashed vehicles.


My stomach always drops when we get a call, because in the course of my career, I have discovered more dead bodies than I’d like to admit, and it never gets easier. The consequences of a slow response is engraved into my brain, and I never want that on my conscience.


As we approach the scene, the billowing smoke doesn’t look good, but there are people lined in the streets when we come to a stop. The police are already on scene and trying to keep bystanders away.


“Everyone accounted for?” I ask.


“The neighbor says there is a family inside, and the car is still in the driveway,” he says, pointing to the silver Toyota Camry.


Angela and I look at each other, and run toward the front door of the home, where smoke is sliding underneath. We put our masks on before entering. Flames are licking the walls and a haze coats the room.


“Hello? Anyone in here?” I yell, turning around to signal to Angela that I’m going to head to check the bedrooms and she follows me.


“Divide and Conquer, sis.”


The bedroom at the end of the hallway has smoke coming from under the door, and when I turn the knob and push it open, it hits me in the face. I swipe at the waft of smoke trying to see, and that’s when my eyes set on a young girl, maybe seven, lying unconscious on the floor.


When I scoop her up in my arms, there is no response, but there’s a pulse. If she doesn’t get clean air soon, she might not make it. I rush through the home, trying to shield her as best I can from any flames.


“Female. Around seven-years-old. Unconscious and needs oxygen now!” I yell, as the EMTs take her from me and I go back inside.


The fire is spreading quickly, and the entire structure is unsecure. Angela runs out of the second bedroom and waves at me to follow. I enter and there are two bodies, one male and one female, on the floor. I squat to check their pulse and nothing.


I look up at Angela and shake my head. “They are gone, but we need to get them out of here.”


Removing them from the scene before they get burned might save the family some agony when it comes to a funeral and identifying the bodies later.


We use teamwork to get the woman out first, and then the man.


The little girl is awake when we get to the firetruck, but then the EMTs announce there are no pulses, and the little girl bawls.


“Daddy? Mama?” she says, trying to run to them, but the EMT stops her.


I nudge Angela and walk over to the little girl. “You need to go to the hospital, sweetie. Do you have a family member that lives close?”


She shakes her head and wipes her eyes. “Are they going to be okay?”


I can’t bring myself to lie to the little girl, but her parents are gone. My heart breaks thinking that she might have to go into foster care because of this.


Angela, Damon, and Tristan work to get the fire under control without me, while I try to calm the girl down. She’s too young to understand what this means for her. Without parents, she will be going with DHS workers tonight until they can find someone in the family that might take her. And if they don’t, the poor thing will end up in foster care. I try to hold the tears back, but it’s harder when her blue eyes are looking up at me. Her life has just changed drastically and there is nothing I can do about it.


“Why can’t I ride with Mommy and Daddy? I don’t want them to be alone,” she says, trying to push passed me as they shut the back doors of the ambulance.


“That’s not possible, sweetie. You have to ride on your own.”


She looks up at me through her lashes. “Will you ride with me? I’m scared.”


Normally, this isn’t something we do, but the circumstances call for it. She is all alone, and I don’t want her to think no one cares about her. She shouldn’t have to go through this alone.


“I’ll be right back,” I say, and then nod to the EMT waiting to take off.


Damon and the others are fighting the fire, and even though my job is to stay here, he might understand. He is a father, and can feel for this little girl.


“She wants me to ride with her. She’s scared,” I say.


He nods without hesitating.


Damon is someone I admire because this profession runs in his family for generations, too, but sometimes we have to bend the rules a bit. We are human after all.


I kneel in front of the little girl. “I can ride with you, but once we get to the hospital, they will take you to a room to be examined. They won’t let me go back with you, okay?


She shakes her head, and gets into the ambulance. The workers seem impatient, and it starts to bother me because they need to show this little girl some respect. How would they feel if this happened to them? They don’t have to be jerks to her.


They lay her down and secure her on the gurney before taking off because it’s required by the law. She is coughing up a storm, but her voice is starting to sound better, not all scratchy. I let the workers do their job while I try to keep her breathing into the mask, and not fighting them.


I tell her a story my father used to tell me at bedtime about a fearless King and Queen who would do anything to protect their kingdom and their children. It keeps her occupied until we pull into the ER ambulance bay, and they remove her. The nurse asks for her vitals and they whoosh her away to a room for observation and tests.


I don’t want to leave, because ‌she is going to be all alone, and soon Child Services will show up to take her to a group home until they can reach out to anyone in the family that might ‌take her in. However, in my line of work, I know that in most cases, the child ends up in foster care.


My cell phone rings, and it’s Damon.


“Swinging by to pick you up on the way back to the station, okay? Two minutes out.”


I know it’s not part of my job, but sometimes this becomes too much. My heart breaks every time I see a dead body, or a child hurt, and unfortunately, that happens as a firefighter. Maybe that’s why I’m going back to finish the last semester to get my English degree. My dad, the chief, knows that I didn’t plan on staying with the department forever. So, he can’t hold it against me.


Damon pulls up and I hop back inside next to Angela.


“How’s she doing?” she asks, putting her arm around me.


“She’s getting some tests done, I assume. They just rushed her back.”


My sister knows how much things like this eat away at me, and after all these years, I need a change of scenery. Something that doesn’t revolve around gas leaks, car crashes, and a lot of death. I’m sick of seeing these things.


When we get back to the depot, I take off my gear and go back into the sleeping area. I need a freaking drink after this, and before I have to focus on schoolwork hardcore.


Angela isn’t like me. She can turn her brain off after a scene like that, and I wish I was more like her in that aspect. My parents always tell me I have an enormous heart, and sometimes it’s not a great thing with a profession like mine.


Honestly, I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life after high school, and my dad has always been my hero, so until I had a plan, he said I should just get certified and work at the station. Angela and I liked it at first, you know, seeing as there is a stereotype against women in this profession, but as we handled more calls with DOA’s, it slowly started bothering me. The emotional distress from these calls throws me into a depression. Seeing all that death and not knowing if we could have prevented it by being just a little faster responding to the scene, it started eating away at me.


“Shift is over!” Angela yells, and heads to the lockers with me following. “What are your plans for tonight? Anything special before your big day back at college?”


After a day like today, a couple shots wouldn’t be the end of the world. “Wanna go to The Tavern? They are having happy hour tonight from seven to nine?”


My sister has never turned down going to a bar, especially if I’m the one footing the bill. “I’ll meet you there at seven.”


I slip on my jeans and rock-n-roll t-shirt. I can’t go to the bar smelling like smoke. I’ve got about thirty-minutes to spare, so out the door I go to take a quick shower and change.


I never know what to expect when my sister is around. She is the prettier one, and usually has guys hitting on her all night while I’m in the corner just enjoying a beer. Sometimes, I wonder why I still agree to go with her, but then it’s entertainment.


All I want to do is get today out of my head and then curl up and read an enjoyable book. Is that too much to ask for?



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