tagRomanceTaming Fire

Taming Fire

byknitedreams©

Just a small story that came to me. Hope you enjoy it. Please remember to vote and leave comments. Thank you!

--~~--

"How badly do you want this guy?" Jessie Quinn lounged on her best friend's couch, sipping her tea, and quelling the urge to celebrate her friend's frustration. Her small, shapely body was the epitome of comfort, her bright blue eyes gleamed with amusement, and her usually long wavy strawberry blond locks were tucked up in a fashionable black pageboy hat.

Tessa Elroy paced back and forth in front of her. She had a slight limp from a high school softball injury. Her formidable six foot two body wasn't as fit as it use to be, but she still maintained a robust lifestyle. Green eyes flashed towards her friend on the couch as she passed Jessie by in her thoughtful pacing. An agitated right hand desperately combed through her shoulder length, straight, jet-black hair, for two years she had a crush on a fireman.

Duncan Bastian had been Tessa's uncle's replacement when it was time for him to move onto another profession. Her Aunt demanded that her uncle find a living that was less life threatening.

She had been at the firehouse that day looking after her seven-year-old cousin like she always did, keeping an eye the rambunctious kid didn't get into anything she shouldn't. Her Aunt asked Tessa to deliver her uncle's lunch since he forgot to take it with him.

She took it as an opportunity to see the inside of a firehouse, something that she never got to do in elementary school, instead of feeling like an underpaid servant. Dressed in a ratty t-shirt and jeans, shoes that looked like they'd seen better days, and a baseball hat with the cloth worn through to the board of the bill. That was the day Duncan walked into the firehouse, the day she looked like a bum who had an illegitimate kid her senior year of high school, not the smart twenty-five year old who was normally well groomed, single, with no kids.

Duncan ambled into the firehouse and time seemed to stop dead. To Tessa, it seemed that they were the only two people in the world that were unfrozen, as if nature wished to give them that time to take a good look at each other. Unfortunately, Tessa was looking and Duncan was wondering whom he had to meet to get started with his training.

Lucky Tessa had many opportunities to see Duncan and get to know him, many opportunities to remake a first impression and blind him with her beauty. He was often invited to her aunt and uncle's house for some type of party. Since women prettier than she constantly surrounded him, he noticed her love of sports and video gaming instead. Both noticed virtues were best friend qualities, not rip-off-clothes-lust-deep-meaningful-relationship qualities.

In light of the history she had to look back on, Tessa had no problems admitting, "I want him so badly my teeth hurt." She stated it with a quiet determination she never felt for her past goal to join the US Olympic Softball Team.

"It won't be easy for you. You're going to have do something drastic, something outside of your comfort zone." Jessie put down her teacup and picked up a cookie.

Tessa stopped pacing and looked at her friend in confusion. "What exactly do you mean?"

Nibbling on the cookie, Jessie rolled her eyes. "For two years the man's relegated you to best buddy. You're going to have to shock him out of that way of thinking."

Doubt assailed Tessa. What her friend was suggesting sounded a little too extreme for her liking. "Give me an example."

Jessie sighed like a drama queen who was put upon to perform a scene from a classic play. "I'm talking about seduction, dressing in tighter clothes to show off your curves, putting your womanly attributes on display in a tasteful yet tantalizing way. It's not like you don't have the body to tempt a saint to sin."

All the color felt drained out of Tessa's cheeks. "That's definitely out of my comfort zone. Seduction? I don't think I can pull that off."

Jessie jumped up from the couch, rounded the coffee table and placed her hands on her friend's shoulders. "Of course you can! All women were born with the knowledge of seduction. Men have to learn to seduce. With women, it's genetic. The key to unlocking your hidden feminine knowledge is confidence."

"I have confidence," Tessa declared with a courage that she didn't feel. She stood taller, straightening her blue button down shirt.

"Fine, you have confidence, then you won't have a problem with the make over I'm going to give you." With that said, Jessie turned back to the couch. Tessa grabbed her elbow to stop her.

"Make over?" She squeaked. Tessa cleared her throat and tried again. "What's involved in this make over?"

Jessie brushed off the hand with an annoyed motion. "Honestly, Tessa, you act like I'm proposing plastic surgery."

"In a way, you are! There's not much you can do with me. I don't want to wear make-up, my face will break out the next day, and then how attractive would I be then? What about clothes? It's summer; I can't wear sexy revealing clothes because I'm allergic to the sun. Mom almost bought stock in sunscreen because I had to pour the disgusting stuff all over myself when I was playing softball. I swam in sunscreen so often that I started to get sick of the smell. Even unscented sunscreen smells bad. After I busted my knee, I promised never to wear that foul stuff again! Why do you think I'm sweltering in long sleeved shirts? It's for my health and sanity!" Tessa's breathing started to accelerate.

"For the love of...!" Jessie marched into the kitchen and came back with a paper bag. She slapped it on Tessa's chest just above her breasts. "There is no reason for you to have a panic attack over this! I KNOW all that. Will you trust me?" She turned away from her friend and muttered, "She can face down grown men on a baseball diamond, but the thought of seducing one scares her." She punctuated her grumble with a roll of her baby eyes.

Tessa eyed her warily over the rhythmically crinkling bag. Jessie rolled her eyes again. "Let's ask the question again: How badly do you want this guy?" She evenly spaced out the words as if she were talking to a child.

The crinkling noise stopped. Tessa slowly lowered the bag as she stared off into the distance, sifting through the memories that involved her and Duncan. She focused on the easy way he talked with her, how comfortable they felt in each other's company, the jealousy she felt every time he talked about the "flame of the week"...the tingling sensation that flowed through her every time he brushed up against her. It had only grown in intensity with the passing years.

Resolute, she crumpled the bag in her hands and tossed it at the wastebasket in the corner of her living room. "Swish," she mumbled when the bag made it cleanly into the basket. She turned to Jessie with her chin in the air, "You only live once. Let's do it."

Jessie smiled brightly, clapping Tessa on the back. "That's my girl! I have everything all thought out."

"What?!" Tessa was stunned. "That was fast planning."

Her friend picked up another cookie and studied it. "Not really, I had this planned out for a year. I've refined your look, but you're going to have to do the dirty work. I can't catch this guy for you." Then, as an afterthought she added, "And you WILL have to wear sunscreen."

--~~--

Tessa walked into the firehouse, nerves playing around in her stomach, and the nauseating stench of sunscreen assailing her nose. She looked around for Duncan. The sooner she seduced him, the sooner they could have sex in the shower while he helped her wash the sun-repelling concoction off. Her eyes lit on Duncan and all thoughts of sunscreen, even the smell, vanished.

His tall six foot six frame was folded into the chair, shoulders amazingly broad, and a physique like a body builder. The man's height was genetic, but the rest of him came from saving lives, carrying hose, and working out to keep in shape. His hair was red, a wild mane of burgundy fire that a person could spot a mile away complimented with powerful, burning amber eyes. The man looked as if he was made out of fire.

She sent a wish to the stars that this man, his passionate fire that burned beneath the surface, would be hers that night and all the nights following into forever. This had to work; she had to be able to pull it off. If not, then their friendship would have to be at an end. There was no way she would be able to look him in the eyes and feel embarrassed over trying to seduce him. --~~--

Was that Tessa? The question exploded in Duncan's mind the second he spotted the hot raven-haired temptress standing next to the fire truck. The Tessa he knew usually had her body mostly covered, detested uncomfortable women's clothing, and found comfort in shopping for her clothes in the men's section.

The woman currently in front of him changed from ex-sports goddess to a prized statuesque deity. She walked up to him in slow deliberate steps, her limp barely noticeable, a smile playing at her cherry red lips. The make-up only enhanced her natural facial features, and didn't over power. Her hair was slightly messed, given the impression of a hasty brushing after a brief tussle in bed.

The blouse she wore lay bare her shoulders and midriff, a sheen of silky purple with billowing sleeves that hugged her chest in a desperate attempt to stay in place. Her black skirt stopped just above her knees with a slit in the back, tantalizing the watcher into guessing just how long her legs were. The last touch that really blew his mind was the sapphire solitaire necklace he gave her for her birthday last year. It drew attention to the deep valley of her cleavage and the gentle swells of her breasts.

Duncan was starting to have impure thoughts about her luscious alabaster skin. He shook his head to clear the thoughts. This was his best friend. Their relationship wasn't like that and never would be, though there were times he wished otherwise.

She gracefully sat in the seat across the table from him. "Duncan." Her lips caressed his name like a lover; a violent shiver ran through him.

"T...Tessa," he stuttered slightly, "What's the occasion?"

She smirked. "I was talked into it, I rather like it. What do you think?"

"Well you look...I mean you're..." Duncan cleared the clogged words out of his throat. He was acting as if Tessa hit him over the head with a two-by-four. "What I mean to say is that you look lovely and I think you should wear clothes such as that on overcast or rainy days. Aren't you concerned that your exposed skin will break out into a rash on such a sunny day?"

Her features seemed to crash for a second before regrouping into a strained smile with spitting, annoyed green eyes. She's trying to seduce him with her womanly wiles and he's bringing up her sun allergy. "I'm wearing sunscreen, but that's nice of you to worry. Now for the reason I dropped by."

Duncan's brow rose. "What's up, dust bunny?"

Tessa wrinkled her nose. "Must you insist on calling me that?"

He laughed at her disgruntled face. It was a relief to see her clothes and appearance were the only things to change and not her personality. "Yes I do. I'll never get over how adorable you looked on the day we moved you out of your mom's home and into your own apartment. You were covered in two inches of dirt, baseball hat on backwards, and a grease stain on your nose. You looked every inch a dust bunny."

"Anyway, stud, I need your help." She got down to business before she lost her nerve. Duncan looked surprised. Tessa never called him "stud" before.

"All you gotta do is ask, dust bunny. You know that I'm here for you." What a sweet man, just made a woman want to devour him.

"I rearranged my bedroom and I think I might have a potential fire hazard with the set-up. You know how silly stuff like that makes me worry, so I would like you to take a look at it and give me your opinion."

He covered her hands with one of his own. "It's not silly to be worried about such things. I worry about you all the time, and if there's anything I can do to make things safer for you, I will." He squeezed her hands affectionately.

A mixture of tenderness and possessiveness constricted Tessa's heart. This man was meant to be hers. If there was any doubt about what she was doing, it all went out the window the moment he told her that he worried about her. The fact that he was concerned about her meant he felt something more than just friendship towards her. Didn't it?

--~~--

It wasn't hard to get him to leave. The new shift had just entered the firehouse after his tender declaration. He had a few hours to kill before he needed to get ready for a date later that night. If Tessa had anything to say about it, which she did, he wasn't going to be able to make it to that date. He was going to be busy screwing her three ways to Sunday.

They entered her apartment. In typical guy fashion, he went straight for her kitchen to raid it of it's treasures. That was fine, he was going to need his energy. Tessa went ahead to the bedroom to start lighting the candles her and Jessie strategically placed around the room earlier that day. Duncan sauntered into the room a few minutes later with soda in hand. He looked around the room, taking note of everything and frowned.

"You didn't rearrange the room. The only differences I see are the candles and they're placed well enough that they shouldn't cause any problems. Unless you leave them lit while you're gone. Why do you all of a sudden need candles anyway?"

She sighed and went over to him. Taking his free hand, she led him further into the room and closed the bedroom door. "You're so dense sometimes. Can't you tell what's going on?"

A wary look entered his eye, like a predator that found himself being hunted. "If I didn't know any better, I'd say that you were trying to seduce me."

Part of Duncan was in a panic while the other part was rejoicing. The feelings were battling it out inside of him as he watched her place his soda on the dresser by the door. This is what he's wanted for months now, ever since that time in the firehouse when she was standing on her toes trying to reach something that was a few inches higher than her tall frame could handle, rare considering her height. Her shirt had hiked up, and he had caught a glimpse of soft porcelain skin and a hint of what her figure looked like underneath all those protective clothes.

Until that day, he had never seen any part of Tessa's skin other than her face, neck, and hands, but that one peek of flawless skin was enough to make him lust after her. He started daydreaming about what the rest of her looked like. She even found her way into his dreams at night. It was getting so bad that he had abstained from sex for those months. The women that shared his bed were not Tessa, and he couldn't bring his body to perform.

But then there was the panic. She was so smart, so witty, and so nice that he felt as if he didn't deserve her. What would happen if they got into a relationship? Worse yet, what would happen if that relationship didn't work out? He knew he would accidentally hurt her, and he seriously didn't want to do that. The safest bet was to stay friends, but even that was being threatened with the newfound lust.

Duncan wanted to escape, he wanted to retreat into his apartment to think things through. It looked as if Tessa had other ideas. She cocked her head at him, and studied the emotions that were racing through his expressive eyes.

"What's going on in that head of yours?" Her soft, curious voice floated to him.

He set down the soda he was holding onto her dresser. "A lot of things. It's all racing through my mind and I'm having a hard time sorting it all out." They had never lied to each other and he wasn't about to start now.

"A lot of things are going through my mind too, have been for quite sometime, but there's just one thought that I'm holding onto." She stepped closer to him; he took a cautious step back.

"What thought would that be?" Duncan got the feeling that he didn't want to know what that one thought was. Why did he ask in the first place?

"I want you. That's the only thought that I can keep hold of. It's something that's been rattling around in my brain for the two years we've known each other." She took another step closer.

Duncan held his ground. "No, Tessa. We can't do this. Think of the repercussions. You're jeopardizing the precious thing we have between us."

"What precious thing do you see between us?" Her voiced question was barely a whisper, but in the stunning silence of the room, he could hear her clearly.

He took a deep breath to calm his nerves and slowly let it out. The only time he's ever felt jittery, restless, was before he entered a fire to put it out. "Our friendship, dust bunny. You're the only woman I've ever been friends with, and that's special."

She gave a small, sad smile. "Using that endearment isn't helping her case. You're special to me too, Duncan. You're the only man that I've ever truly felt anything for. When I first saw you, I felt as if I was punched in the gut because I could hardly breath. My heart races every time you step into a room. If you had been anything less of the person you are, I wouldn't have given you another thought."

"No, Tessa." He tried to hold firm to his denial, even made a move for the door, but she got in his way.

"We're doing this. I know you want me." She was determined and didn't look like she was going to budge.

He could easily push her aside, except that he really didn't want too. She was right; he did want her. It wasn't like he could hide it. His hard on was plain as day. It strained his pants, trying to get to the haven that was her body.

The way she was dressed, the fact that they were standing not two feet away from her bed, and the ambiance she created to seduce him was a temptation he found hard to resist. He would try one more time to make her see reason.

"Tessa, think. If we do this, things will change between us. We don't know if they'll change for better or worse. It'll most likely be worse because I'm awful with long time relationships. You know all of this. How many times have I come to you with another one of my busted commitments? Do you really want to take that chance?" This had to work. He knew that she was the type of woman to take the safe road. In the two years they'd known each other, he had never seen her take a calculated risk.

She started to undo the buttons of her blouse. Tessa knew what he was trying to do and she knew why. He was just as scared as she was. They were both scared of the unknown, of where their liaison might lead. Yet he didn't suspect that it was a risk she was willing to take, always taking the easy way out after she killed her knee some time ago. She even hid behind her family and even him when things started to get tough. Not this time because HE was a risk worth taking.

Duncan didn't know it, but he embodied her future happiness, something that she had never seen in another human being before. Tessa was always told that if she saw a treasure within her reach, she should go after it with both pistols loaded. By undressing, that's exactly what she was doing.

His breath hitched when she slid out of her skirt. She was wearing a black lace demi-bra with matching underwear. With her alabaster skin, she looked like an angel intent on sinning. He stopped her hands before they went to unhook her bra.

"We haven't even kissed yet." His voice was husky, guttural with his growing desire.

Tessa leaned within inches of his face. "Then kiss me, Duncan."

His heart nearly jumped out of it's fleshy cage. He felt the light puffs of her breath touch his lips. Duncan was afraid of kissing her, afraid that she wouldn't like it. Why did it feel like his future depended on this one kiss, a mere contact of the lips, an act that people participated in every day?

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