She had to stop looking at her phone, it was really embarrassing, but no one else was here, it was just her so who really was going to say anything? Clara sighed. Ray and Clara had been dating for a couple of months now and her heart still worried every time he went on a shift and every time she thought about it she realized it had only gotten worse since the first date.  

Clara had woken that morning, to a beautiful text message, they always talked in the morning, which was fine by her after all she was a morning person, she assumed though that Ray messaged because he worked usually in the evening either in the firehouse or the bar.  But since then she hadn't heard from him and that usually wasn't a problem, The blonde Initia wasn't a clingy girlfriend, he was his own person and he didn't need her hassling him where he was constantly, but since about lunchtime, Clara had an off feeling. She couldn't explain it, a deep core feeling told her something was wrong, or something bad was going to happen, but she didn't want to bother him, especially not with something as trivial as a bad feeling, so she hadn't called but she had checked her phone a couple of billion times; during work, while eating dinner, which was something she never did, but desperate feelings called for it apparently. 

Her bed was warm and it called to her, but she couldn't sleep, the clock on her wall told her it was getting late but her eyes didn't want to close, so as she sat on her vanity chair, she decided to just go downstairs, turn on the T.V. and try to fall asleep.

But the moment, the T.V. was on and she was wrapped up with a throw blanket, tucked into her favourite nightwear her worst fear popped on the screen. There was fire; and... it was a big one. 

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Ray jolted himself awake as the truck hit the familiar jolt arriving at the station as he looked up to see the lights of the depot as he opened the door sliding out of the truck he removed his turnout gear placing his jacket and trousers as he slipped on his regular boots a yawn escaped his lips as he made his way across the to the mess hall where a half-empty meal he missed remained as he sunk back into his seat picking up his fork and began to dig into his cold curry his attention soon brought to the news of an inferno at a   hotel just outside the city.

A few minutes past  before the familiar grunt of the battalion chief  rang in their eyes as  they turned to  listen to the information  they were about to  receive  he explained he realises  rescue and truck have had busy shifts  but we may get called to this rest up eat and be ready  the room  called out with a copy  as they returned to there business  as he finished his meal  Ray made his way to the  sink placing the  plate  in  while grabbing a cup of black  coffee  before heading out  of the mess to the quiet corner  of the station he often used as he climbed to the stairs to the roof he pulled out his cell and began to dial Clara’s number as he pushed the  door open to the room the  smoke from the inferno was heavy in the air several miles 



Ray rested against the wall of the stairwell as he listened to the number ringing he hated busy shifts it was less chance to Speak to Clara it wasn’t the fact he was possessive but when there was a bad call she always found the positive in things and her voice calmed him he sighed a little as he reached her voicemail he smiled hearing her giggle as the message was left “ Hey” he voice seemed a little tired as he took a swig of coffee” I have had a busy day rescuing cats and rescuing people how was your day “ he smiled as he always enjoyed hearing about her day and any new books she had recommended “ he was thinking about what to say next when the alarms rang in his ears he rose to his feet making his way quickly back down the hallways “ off doing the superman thing again speak soon “  he quickly hung upas he ran down the hallways reaching his spot on the truck quickly changing into his turn out gear and jumping into the truck as it shot off.



As the two tones wailed to the call  the  lieutenant  shouted  “ cancel your plans  we are going to the big one “  a ground came from the squad   as  Ray pulled out his cell  clicking on Clara’s name 



Hey,

I know we have Breakfast planned for tomorrow but i may be late   heading to a big call

Ray 







As the T.V started playing in the background, Clara heard her phone beep, she made a quick dash from the couch throwing off her throw blanket and going to the kitchen where her phone last was. She read the text, then read it again, taking a deep breath. Ray didn't cancel often and they had just talked yesterday, over her day and his, the superficial things, and the important things, they had left on a good note, and she had prayed, (something she found herself doing a lot lately) that everything was going to be alright, but it never seemed to ease the pit in her stomach; only when it was overhearing his voice would calm her. 

She put her fingers to the keyboard and texted out a reply, knowing he wouldn't read it, let alone answer it till after the fire had been put out.
Hey, It's no problem, take all the time you need, I'll keep the pancakes warm. ~Clara.
 
It had become a thing for them to meet up every Sunday at her house for breakfast, she would try all sorts of different recipes though this week she had decided it to be simple last week they had had a traditional Japanese breakfast and though it had been different it had been delicious. The memories of the week prior put a smile on her face, and with her phone still cradled to her chest, she went back to the living room.

The news station playing Clara walked over to sit on the couch once more.  "The fire seems to be spreading and there is an updated report stating that there are at least twelve people stuck in the building," The newscaster began, her dark hair pulled back in a tight bun, as she read off the screen placed behind the camera. "Earlier this evening a downtown Apartment building caught on fire, and several firefighters have begun to arrive on the scene, there has been no news yet to what may have started the fire,"


Ray and the rest of the squad filed out of the truck their eyes were met by a  fully evolved apartment fire their attention was soon brought back to the ground by a firefighter in a white helmet  Ray knew this was bad as it was rare for a district chief to attend a location Ray knelt with his brothers they began to put on their masks as the chief began a briefing.

I want rescue  on the top floor doing a primary search  followed up by truck on the second floor as  you descend  rescue will do a secondary search on  the floor truck was on  understood ?” Ray nodded as the rest replied copy as they rose from their knees as they made their way through the crowds of civilians and emergency workers dashing here there and everywhere




As they  stepped into the building  from the cold  night they were met with intense heat and smoke as they lowered themself below  the smoke before  making their way  through the first floor as he made  his way through ray could hear and feel the flames and their intentions as his mind focused on  keeping the flame  as calm as they could  as  they  made their way through reaching the steps to the first floor  one by one  they made there way up  the heavily creaking stairs, Ray mind turning to Clara hoping she was ok as they moved up  the floor to the third  where they were met by nothing but flames  the heat on the third floor was intolerable than the previous floor as they begin to search  Ray moved off with his teammate “ Fire Department Call out”



Ray stopped as he heard someone shouting help as he looked around he followed the path where the shouting got louder till he was met by a man collapsing in front of him as he tapped her teammate to go with another to check the area man came from as he pulled out a pull rope wrapping around his patient as he began to pull the casualty along the floor as he heard clear coming from the walls as he began to pull the guy down the stairs. As he exited the building  Ray lifted his casualty on to the stretcher as “ found on the fire floor unconscious when we found him “ he watched as the medics nodded as he turned on his heel making his way back to the entrance before being stopped by an officer asking the state in there “ gonna lose the floors next 10 15 minutes start getting crews out leave rescue doing primary “ he was patted on the shoulder before making his way back into the fire as he turned his head he noted tv crews in the way of the rescuers. 

The fire was  more intense now  the heat from the  flames hit him as he made his way up the stairwell as his mind  focused on  easing the flames and heat as  made his way to the floor he was on as he began his secondary search he heard  a creaking he always hated “ fire department call out “ he had heard no responses as  a  water stream came  making the room unbearable as he retreated into the previous room  













.

Was she shaking? Clara couldn't tell for sure, she refused to pull her eyes away from the tv screen. Clara tried telling herself that it was unlikely that he was at this fire, what were the chances? She hoped they were slim. Being a firefighter's girlfriend had it perks sometimes she would stop at the station and bring the crew lunches or snacks, her way of saying thank you, and they'd let her hang around a bit to talk or look around, she had never refused going down the pole either, but being a firefighter's girlfriend was also the most worrisome job she had ever had. He could be hurt at any minute, and she wouldn't know till later, he could saving someone's life, not that she wished he did something else, this was made Ray, who he was, it was one of the reasons she admired him so much. 

But that T.V. screen mocked her, she couldn't look away but if it announced something terrible like a firefighter was injured or dead then she couldn't imagine she'd breathe calmly until Ray was wrapped in her arms, her head buried in his chest, the smell of smoke would probably still linger on him, mixing with the other scents that were uniquely him. She tried to smile at the warm memories that it would bring when he would return home, but her lips wouldn't tilt up. 

When the screen changed to advertising she released a slight breath her heart still racing. She needed a tea, something calming,  if she had thought she was unsettled before she was wrong, she was unsettled now, worried beyond sense. "It's just a fire," she said aloud. "He's survived worse, he'll be okay," but the words bounced off her. Clara returned to the kitchen getting the teapot, there was no way she was sleeping now, and the moment the fire would be put out, Clara would call Ray or maybe go to the station she had to see him. 

Ray made his way back into the building his mind thinking about Clara as he made different route back up the floors as the fire was now engulfing areas that were not alight before as he made his way the electric hissed as it caused more fires to erupt as he escaped the cement stairway “ fire department calls out “ he made his way across the 14th floor as unwelcoming sound fro the floor above hit his ears Ray looked up as he carefully made his way in the room he had just vacated focusing on the flames to make them as safe as possible.

The sound of wood breaking  wood came from above him as  he heard  someone  shout  move clear “ the voice was as clear  as the voice was close to him as  he moved  to the stairway the roof gave way flying debris  in all directions as ray moved carefully into the room  he knew the building structure was unstable he felt his way to the  high heat as he focused on lowering the heat as  he witnessed 2 civilians and 3 firefighters Unconcious  in front of him 

“Mayday mayday firefighters down 14th floor “  he stopped as he took a breath as he assesses the situation as he stepped back out of the room noticing a  fire hose in its compartment.

Punching his left fist into the cupboard he pulled the hose out towards the fire as another loud crack echoed between his ears as the floor gave way taking him and the already injured people with down to the 13th  floor Ray reached for his radio as he called out 13th-floor 13th floor.




Ray looked around  the room   the fire had no heat coming from themand the sounds of the pac alarms were slower not as loud heturnedto look behind him  he saw himself on the floor as he  recalled the situation  like this with Sofi at  the firehouse he wondered if  he could get Clara to hear him psychically he  thought about ever detail on Claras face before he attempted  to call out   “ Clara  its Ray  im …… “   the sound of his  Pac  alarm  brought him  out of his trance he was only gone a few secondseven though it felt longer   he hoped  clara got all the message “ all of a sudden he felt him self being lifted to his feet “ up you get kid “ it was the leiutenant that brought him out of the smoke house “ im  fine leitenant “ he replied as he too the hose  the   two other fire fighters  brought in  as he focused on the  room  taking away as much of the hotspots he could as  he had shoulder  smacked to say move out the leiutenant and the  other firefighter has  injured  team matesas they grabbed the civilians before more debry fell  infront of the door way .




The  other fire fighter radioed for a ladder to the 13th floor  as ray picked up  the hose and continued to  cool down  hot spots  the ladder  too forever  in there minds even though it was less the a minute  the windowwas smashed by the ladders  as  his team mate  too the first casualty with him as soon as he was clear  ray put down the house as  he did  opening his palms  he  began to use his  element and controlling the fire bringing the flames to a safe  as  ray used his mind to eep the flames low he lifted his patient   on to his back as he climbed out to the ladder making his way  downas a emergency broadcast  blared over the radio”Emergency Emergency  all units do not  go above the 13th floor its our staging ground  jets only  if we loose  the 13th  we loose the building “  the  copies hit the  airwaves as he   got the bottom of the ladder passing them to a paramedic    he took his helmet off as he walked to a  engine sitting on the bench as he removed his mask  he noticed a trickle of blood from his nose as  he was tossed a large bottle of water as he unscrewed the  lid pouring alot over himself  before    he began drinking   he could tell it was hot as he dried off quickly and the smoke rose from his body as he undone his jacket he pulled out his  cell phone diaklling  Claras  cell he hoped he could get through but   but doubted   as he knew  alot of people willbe using the cell towers to find loved oned   ,places to stay  etc   he waited  5 minutes before the  disconnected  tone hit  his ears 











 

It had to have been a least over an hour, Clara thought, though it felt like forever, since the fire had started, the news gave as much information it could, the woman had flipped over to newscaster at the scene giving live shots of the action, but seeing it hadn't eased any of her fears, in all honesty, it made it worse. After having sat in the kitchen for a few minutes she had heard the tv come alive with the news once more and had been drawn in, though now she questioned if that had been the wisest of moves. 

She tried sipping some more of her tea, now having gone ice cold from having it sit so long, but she couldn't drink, she could hardly focus on anything, besides her fear for Ray's safety. “ Clara it's Ray  i'm …… " Clara stood up abruptly, she knew it was him, she could feel it practically vibrating in her bones.  She wanted to reply but if he were in a tricky spot she didn't want to distract him, so she did the next best thing Clara grabbed her purse, and her keys laying on the counter, slipped on her jacket, and with the snow falling and her coat barely on she got in her car and drove to the one place she knew she would see him when he came back, or maybe he was already there.

Even with the snow falling it didn't stop her, heck she was still in her PJs but she didn't care, she know knew he was okay but that still wouldn't ease her worries until she was in his arms holding on to him. When she got into town and found the fire station, she pulled over to park on the other side of the road, completely out of the way, whether he was here or still out there she would wait for him, she needed this reassurance. 

Ray slid his phone into his turnout jacket as he took a swig from his bottle as he heard his name being called as his station paramedic approached him “ your  EMT certified arent you Ray “ he nodded in response as he swallowed his mouthful of water the paramedic continued to talk as he guided ray towards the medical area as he placed ray beside a burns victim he patted his shoulder “ we are next to be stood down “ Ray nodded as he began to work on his patient.




2  hours passed as ray moved from patient to patient treating wounds from cuts and bruises to fractures and smoke he stopped for a few minutes after his final patient he heard a  sound his ears grew to hate as he moved closer he found a patient going into cardiac arrest his body went into CPR mode as he began treatment as it wasn’t normal he was taken aback as the stretcher was moved into the ambulance the doors closed as his station’s paramedic told him to “ keep going we are  5 minutes out “ the sirens rang forever as the cab moved around corners before a sudden stop the doors opened and doctors took over running into the er. 



 5 or  6 mins passed he couldn’t really tell as he waited for the news the patient made it his radio came alive as he heard from a district chief mention his station house to Rtb a sigh escaped his lips as he felt a surge of water energy overlap and show flakes began to land on his face “ in his history something like this the patient died the ambulance crew were very solemn when they returned it indicated to him the patient died as he got in the back the doors closed as the joined the traffic as the radio came to live saying the ambulance would arrive 10 minutes later then the truck  20 minutes later they pulled back into the depo  Ray didn’t notice he just looked blankly at the trolley.

 







Clara wasn't sure how long she was in her car, she had just stared out into the darkness, a few lights on either side of the streets, strangers passing by living their lives unaffected by certain events transpiring against them. She couldn't focus here just like hadn't at home, this worry was something she had begun to understand, and it had been so long since she had to worry about someone other than herself of her friends after her parents died she hadn't felt a need to get close to someone again, and even though she didn't care to admit it, she had after-effects after they died. She didn't let people get that close because like them they would probably leave her. 
She shook those thoughts away, they had no place in her mind, she wouldn't let fears stop her, she cared for Ray more then she had ever told him and if something happened to him that would be her biggest regret in the end, that she hadn't told him, because the people you loved deserved to know how you felt about them.

Her eyes had hazed over, not really paying to one thing, in particular, just staring off into the distant direction of a future that she seemed unsure of right now. And then she saw it, the firetruck, it really was hard to miss, the red exterior, the ladder on top, various equipment attached to it, though it looked to have seen better days everything looked to be intact. 
She wanted to get out immediately but she didn't want to disturb them, while they got through their usual routine of coming back from a fire, so she stayed put, feeling the antsiness of her feet beginning to grow as the minutes passed. She could hear the sound of her breathing in and out, the only sound in the car, which she had realized was getting colder.

When a considerable amount of time passed, or at least she hoped it was a considerable amount of time because she could hardly wait another minute, she opened her car door and slipped out into the cool night air. She didn't think to slip on her coat, she just approached the station cautiously, afraid any news might throw her off. She walked in the door and asked the first fireman she saw, whom she recognized from other visits, and he pointed in the direction of the back. She muttered a thank you and continued walking.

Clara reached the door and knocked hesitantly, all her real fears had been answered; he was okay, or at least as okay as anyone could be from having just came from putting out a fire.  Yet still, something felt off.  She didn't let it stop her when there was no reply she opened the door slightly. "Ray?" 

Ray sat motionless as stared back at the double doors as he was brought back into the room by the familiar voice of the girl he loved realising the ambulance had been empty for some time “ hey “ he smiled gently as he saw her face “I thought you may have been sleeping I did try getting through to you but lines were busy “ he saw what Clara was wearing as he pulled out a blanket wrapping it around her as he stepped out of the ambulance before wrapping his arms around Clara hugging her in a happy but relieved way “I apologise of smelling like Barbeque “ he teased a little.




Ray let go gently as the paramedic walked across holding a coffee in front of himself and a hot chocolate in front of Clara” cheers “ he nodded as the medic quickly disappeared saying “ there are spare hoodies and jogging trousers in the turnout room herald don’t let your girl freeze to death “ ray nodded as he slid his hand beside hers entwining his fingers with hers “ true or were you walking in the woods “ he smiled as he guided her towards the turn out room opening the metal door revealed a room full of turnout gear as he pulled her in quickly closing the door gently stroking her cheek “I’ve missed you today “ he relaxed as he always did as he looked into her eyes before gently kissing her lips.



Ray grabbed a fire department fleece and trousers “ if your not to cold I can show you my most favourite place if you like “ he smiled gently as he took her hand leading her through the turnout room towards a flight of stairs to the second floor Ray stopped opposite a room “it’s my bunk room you can change there ill just be in the washroom “ he smiled gently as kissed her one more time before heading into the washroom. Ray returned a few minutes later a lot cleaner but like normal missing spots over his face as he smiled” ready “  Ray lead her up a flight of stairs arriving on the roof as he gently covered her eyes  as  he guided her towards a load of seats  with  a light fire  in a drum he guided her towards the centre of the chairs as he  uncovered her eyes showing a  decent portion of the city with  just the street lights showing its beauty 





It was the three letter word that set her over the edge, she walked up to him, well sprited and enveloped herself in his arms. She listened to his reasoning the sound vibrating through his chest. But she was;t sure she could reply just yet, instead she just held on hoping beyond every hope that he could feel the love that was pouring off of her. It was when he teased her that he smelled like barbque that a smile tipped onto her lips, one that spread into a wide smile. She lifted her head up, her blonde hair covering a part of her face.  "Just the way I like it, though I'm sure I asked for medium rare not well done," she teased back hoping to make him smile like he had done for her, letting their surrondings fade to the background.

When the firema approched his words sent a blush to her cheeks, so maybe she had been in too quick of a rush to get out of the house, and now that she ahd thought about it maybe she was a little cold, but it Ray's arms she hadn't noticed a thing. She thanked the fireman and when he left she turned towards Ray once more. "No I wasn't walking into the woods, not this time anyway," she replied her mind wandering to when they had met in the woods and she had been in nothing but her white nightgown for a walk to see the sunrise. He lead her into another room and he leaned her against the wall, thier eyes conecting, Clara led out an adublile sigh, he was here and he was safe. He kissed her, and she swayed into his arms, threading her fingers into his hair. 

They walked up to his bunk room to change, and she grabbed the fleece and trousers eagerliy becoming more and more aware of the cold that had setteled in Evermore City. "Alright, thank you," Clara replied. 
Once dressed they made there way up the stairs her eyes covered by Ray's hands. "You're buildind a lot of excitment," she mentioned butterflies roaming her stomach at the suprsise. She loved seeing his favourite places, it was always like he was showing her a piece of his soul, something that was only meant for her to see. When he took his hands away her feet moved on their own accord, walking closer to the railing to see the city, the stars shining brightly in the sky. Clara turneds around to Ray to see his expression of the beauty. "I love you," she spoke clearly the words slipping from her mouth coming straight from her heart.

Rays heart skipped faster as he looked into Clara’s eyes as he raised his hand stroking her cheek as he smiled “I love you too and have done for a while I just didn’t know how to tell you  “ he gently picked he up carrying to the double swing seat “  im usually up here when we talk “  he sat down gently holding Clara on his lap before grabbing alone blanket wrapping it around the woman he loved.



Ray gently ran his fingers through Clara’s hair as he smiled gently “ im guessing you saw the news story they tend to make it terrible “ he gently stroked her cheek as he looked into Clara’s perfect eyes “ the minute I stepped out of the truck getting   in doing my job and getting back to you was my priority even when I blacked out those few seconds “ he gently kissed her lips “I have that funny feeling I was in your lounge no idea why.



Ray looked out at the night sky as his nose began to bleed a little as he chuckled “I think we need to make sure that I keep a set of your clothes in my saddle bag or in my car cant have you getting lost in woods “ he smiled as he cuddled her gently “ the smell of the hot soot and smoke began to die away but still filled the night sky and the flashing lights from the emergency sirens filled the distance he turned his head to Clara as an idea formed.

ray gently kissed her cheek then her ear “ if your not working tomorrow how about we pick up the ingredients for breakfast from the store and you come back to mine as  I’ve seen your place and I should do the same in return “ he smiled as he cuddled  Clara gently as he relaxed feeling safe.

 





The words melted through her ears leaving a warm trail to her heart, she had expected that he had felt the same way but a little voice in the back of her head always told her it wasn't true, to actually hear him say it, relieved all her anxiety, the man standing in front of her loved her. Just as much as she loved him. He lifted her up into his arms and carried her over to the blanket she only gasped at the moment of liftoff but once she was nuzzled close to his chest, she listened to his heartbeat, the heart that loved her. 

He put his fingers in her arm and she couldn't help the goosebumps that slid over her skin, he mistook it for her being cold and wrapped her in a blanket, not that she minded, after all, it was quite chilly. She listened to his words, maybe the news had embellished but it had all seemed so real, she didn't dare speak any words afraid her voice would crack and she would cave to the tears that had built up from worrying over him. She nodded, hoping he got the message. No matter what she would always worry for him. When he kissed her quickly speaking the words of what had happened earlier she was stunned, but she knew in her heart she had seen him. 'I know, I saw you," she spoke her voice cracking slightly at the end.

She laughed, yes she had been in her PJs once more, but she didn't mind, he had seen the inside of her heart, a heart that he now held in his hands, she didn't mind if he saw her in his PJs every once in a while. "I don't mind really, it makes for a cute story," her Pjs had been so out of her mind when she had driven into town, her only worry had been to see him, that he was alright. 

Clara's arms tightened around him. "Breakfast sounds lovely, but I'm making it, you're going to go to sleep for a bit," he couldn't fight her on this, he had been in a fire, rescuing people, thinking about everyone but himself, now she was going to take care of him. 

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