Ray pulled up outside the. Fire. House as the. Cloudy sky. Turned to rain clouds as he took off his helmet he closed his eyes as ever drop reminded him of the kiss he had given Clara the night in his mind he felt. bad but also it heightened the other feeling he felt when Clara was on his mind, or he was with her /

Ray got off his bike as he made his way into the firehouse taking the usual route he usually made to get changed into his work clothes, but as he was representing the fire department he worked a Navy blue polo shirt with the Fire department on the back, and the ECFD crest on his front shirt as he made his way out of the changing room the waft of coffee from the machine hit his nose as he made his way over to the to the jug pouring himself a big mug before turning into the briefing room sitting in his usual spot as the chief stepped indirectly at 8 am

The chief began rattling off the tasks on his clipboard as he began to smirk as he looked to ray as he laid his clipboard down and picked up a large box with. Smoke alarms. Flyers and other things he needed to inspect the building as a. boo erupted in the briefing room Ray chuckled as he faked a bow " Ill be thinking of you while I'm sipping my Latte" building inspections didn't bother ray too much as it allowed him to practice his element. Between appointments, as he moved off the wall towards the table, Ray picked up the box as he made his way to the hangers bypassing the engines and bus heading towards on of the two rapid response vehicles.

Several hours passed as the first three checks went fast. The building passed with little or no errors as he looked down at the clipboard he saw the library was next as he travelled through the snail-like traffic as his radio console buzzed on iff with transmissions bu this time his house had been on four calls already as much as he loved the action he loved the downtime to as he looked up and down the street as his vehicles call sign came over the radio to inform him that a member from another house would assist him at the library due to the size of the building Ray picked up the radio handset as he pulled in at the library as he waved at the firefighter at the steps to the library as he pressed the transmission button " RA3 messaged received on location " ray put down the radio as he picked up his items as he made his way towards the steps where his colleague was waiting: hey. I'm ray " the. Other nodded and called himself paul as they made there way. up the steps into the library

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Clara listened intently to his story, he had never mentioned crime was involved in his history, a sudden burst of worry filled over her, the thought of a seven-year-old child mixed up in the matters that even adults shouldn't play in. "What happened?" she found herself asking, "If you don't mind telling me that is," she didn't want to push him, painful memories were hard to talk about, she knew that from experience. 

"I'm glad I could help you, practice makes perfect, or at least that's what they say," A part of her always thought that her magic came from a deep part of her, ingrained in her very DNA, to deny magic would be like denying a part of herself, so she always found little ways to use her powers as much as she could. The restaurant was fast approaching and she could see the open sign hanging up from the glass door, the little lanterns outside made for a special place. She turned towards him, "I'm glad whatever happened in both of our lives ended up for us being here, I'm just sorry it caused so much pain," she said meaning every word. "Now let's go eat that little bit of everything, and for future note, I eat pretty much everything," 

Ray froze a  little as  he saw  a male figure  flashed before his eyes as  his mind returned  to  the present “ well we moved around a lot of new bases ever few months  till  the day I came across the fire and Samuel found me and  in a short time   as I was leaving camp my stepfather told me I’m not his biological son  then I left and came here with Samuel”  Ray gently squeezed Clara’s hand as  they arrived at the restaurant   as he gently let go he opened the door for Clara before following  in behind her 

Ray smiled as he walked up to the waiter  “table under the namer Herald “ the waiter nodded as he guided them both to a table “  Ray smiled as he opened up a chair for Clara as let her take a seat before he took his own seat as his mind went back to a box in his mind before snapping his mind back “ now the first question” do you know how to use chopsticks” he chuckled a little as he placed his hand on the table hoping  Clara would do the same  “ Recommend any good books to anyone today “ he smiled gently as their food arrived.

Ray mind pondered  a little  before he asked “I may be wrong or im getting it from someone else  but did your dad give you a red  jewellery box” he smiled as he   felt his nose bleed a little he grabbed a  napkin holding it in place “ Sorry since my lesson with Sofi I have forgotten to ground at times “ he blushed as  he cleaned   the blood away “ sorry that was majorly embarrassing “ he  chuckled a little 

Her heart went out to the man beside her, he had lived a hard life, something she had learned that most supernatural had. "Are you still close with Sammul?" she had heard his name once or twice before but she couldn't remember exactly.  They climbed up the steps into the restaurant, she thanked him as he opened the door for her, always the gentleman she realized and then they were inside the restaurant was warm and had the familiarity of most Chinese restaurants,  the lanterns and the red wall hangings, everything in the little Chinese restaurant she wanted to remember, but knew over time it would fade, it was a memory she couldn't imagine ever leaving her though, the smell fo dumplings and sweet and sour pork lingered in the air.

The waiter lead them to there table and when she took her seat, with his offered help her lips curled into another smile, the smiling she just couldn't stop doing. "I do know how to use chopsticks, I've eaten my fair share of Chinese cuisine, my mother didn't know how to cook, so when my father died, and he was no longer around to feed us, mom ordered take out quite a bit," it was simple memory that tinged her mind then, curled up on the couch eating with chopsticks sitting next to her mother whose feet would always have been found on the coffee table as soft music played in the background and soothing conversation flowed between them. She focused her attention to the present and listened to his question. "I did actually this older woman came in today and asked for something a bit raunchy, I suggested a popular novel called Claimed by Elle Kennedy, her eyes just lit up at the suggestion, What about you, what did you do at work today, besides coming to the library for the check-up?" she asked. 

She listened to his question and really thought it over, had her father given her a red jewelry box? she just couldn't seem to recall. "I can't remember why?" but before she could get a question his nose started blended, she handed him her napkins and soon it subsided a bit. "It's completely fine, don't be embarrassed we all overwork ourselves sometimes, you are being careful though right?" she asked worry tripping off each word. 

Ray smiled gently as he listed to Clara “ we keep in touch he went home after a few weeks of getting me enrolled in the fire academy but he does ring me on a regular basis to make sure im doing ok “ he smiled as he looked at the menu “ can I have a  glass of water what would you like to drink Clara “ he smiled gently as he pulled out a meal ticket order “ this was preordered this morning” he watched as the waiter nodded before taking the ticket. 

“Well I hope she will enjoy it “ he smiled as he watched Clara “ well apart from what you know I did rescue a kitten stuck in drywall today the building had just had some construction done and im guessing it wondered in and fell asleep while it was being sealed up he was a pure black kitten he’s safe and well “ he smiled “ sneezed a few times on the way to the vets if I was allowed pets in my apartment I would definitely keep him “ he smiled gently as he relaxed more.

“I don’t mean to pry it just something that kept popping into my head “ he smiled as he cleaned the area carefully “ and I will I just travelled a bit too far and Sofi said i may get the odd nose bleed “ ray gently held out his hand as he smiled gently “ if I wasn’t ok you would be the first to know “ he smiled happily “ “ right now im happy and around the person I want o to be with as I enjoy every minute with them “ he smiled. 

Clara listened and nodded along, she was happy to hear that he had someone, in a world where everyone was alone so often she was joyful he wasn't one of them."Do you ever visit?" a trip to see someone was always welcomed she thought. "I'll have water as well," she answered.

"I'm sure she will," Clara responded, she listened as he spoke of his day and the smile that spread on her lips was filled with a peaceful warmth. "Just like the movies then, rescuing kittens, my, my, you are a real firefighter," she flirted. This though was safer than actually stopping fires she was thankful he escaped the danger, today. "Are you allergic to cats?" she asked.

"No trouble really, and I'm glad you are okay," she hadn't thought to think about the stress it might have on him to be learning to different elements, water had always been her, she hadn't need to learn any other. She grinned at his comment. "Good, because I'm spending time with the person I want to be with right now too," her hand leaned across the table to hold on to his. It was going to be a splendid evening. 

Ray looked a little sadden as he asked “ no I never visit  he lives in the same town as my stepdad and I worry about bumping into him as we  left on bad terms but Samuel does come to Evermore frequently “ he smiled gently as the meals arrived in small dishes “ if you were here this morning you would have wondered what I ordered I could not pronounce any of it “ he  chuckled  as he  watched Clara

“ No, unfortunately, im not the  building owner doesn’t allow pets but I would have definitely kept him if I could “ Ray  took one of the spring rolls of one of the dishes as he blushed at Clara’s comment “ true  but my  real expertise  is rescuing  Librarians from forests “ he winked  as he put the plate down as he smiled  before  hr folded a napkin around his  chopsticks then the elastic band  “ he chuckled “ as you can see I’ve never used chopsticks “

Ray could see the concern on her face as he mentioned about learning psychic “ Sofi is a good teacher she pulls me out “ ray gently squeezed Clara’s hand as he smiled “  I promise you ill be careful and when I am on a rescue I will do whatever it takes to get back to you you have my word “ his mind travelled to the weeks of lessons he had with Clara and how bland his day was till he knew he was going to see Clara again “ Ray chuckled a little as he tried to change the conversation * how do people eat rice with chopsticks “ he smiled “ do you like animals ?” he asked as he dished a little rice on his plate. 

She gave Ray a small smile in understanding, family could be difficult to deal with sometimes and she understood how hard it could be to fix damaged relationships. Clara decided to jump on his conversation change she couldn't help but feel like he probably didn't want to talk about it. "That's okay, I'll eat pretty much anything, I'm not a picky eater. Is Chinese your favourite?"  she asked as the meal was placed in front of them, everything looked absolutely delicious and her mouth watered at the thought of getting to eat, not having realized just how hungry she had gotten.

"That's too bad, kittens are just too cute," she replied. She remembered what it was like living in a building someone else owned, and following all there rules and regulations, she was glad that she owned her own house now. 
It was her turn to blush at his comment, but that didn't stop her from responding. "Good to know, I do have a tendency to get lost in the forest," it had been a while since that happened but Clara thought if she ever needed it she knew who to call. Clara filled up her plate with a few different dishes, the sweet and sour pork had her practically drooling, but as her eyes made there way over to Ray she couldn't help but giggle. "You'll get the hang of it, or you can always use a fork, they do have them here and I won't judge," she gestured to fork beside his plate. 

She listened to his words and took them to heart, he would do whatever it was to get back to her, she didn't doubt it, but hearing those words did help, this was their first date and she understood she probably shouldn't have been so comfortable but she was because Ray had been her friend first, and now she looked forward as there relationship blossomed into something more. Clara brought the chopsticks to her mouth with a small grin on her face. "You'll get it," she replied, then sticking the piece of pork into her mouth, and yes it was as mouthwatering as she had expected. "I love animals, I even volunteer at a dog shelter, and you?" she said. 

Ray smiled as he  picked  up   his chopsticks “ yes I love Chinese  but I often use a fork but tonight I have  thought  if I can walk through a smoke-filled house I can use  chopsticks” he  smiled as he  dished out some special chow mein  onto his plate “ I remember when I was around  4  my father  had he cohorts with him and they ordered a massive Chinese  meal and they put everything into a  massive bowl so noodles in  one bowl rice in another etc “ he chuckled before  finishing what  he was trying to say “  my dad said do you want some sweet and sour sauce  cause I went o get some and I fell headfirst  into this giant bowl of sweet and sour sauce I ended up   orange for weeks but I did  taste sweet “

I can’t complain he  fare when im bit late on rent  but it be nice to have a pet  ill get a picture  from the file for you “ he smiled gently “ but I did manage to name her  Aqua “ he ate some noodles but  it looked like he  was eating spaghetti bolognese  before gently cleaning his mouth with the napkin” and must apologise for bringing the hole if I was in a dangerous  building talk I had a lecture from  my chief today “ he blushed a little  from mentioning it “

To be honest I do what I can  but I feel proud when I rescue  animals it gives them a future “ he smiled a little as he ate a little more “ maybe I could join you when im off “  he smiled gently “it’s why im wearing a dark shirt  so no one will see  the  dirt mark “ he  chuckled as he took a spring roll “” I do love animals I had a german shepherd growing up he was very protective  of me but  im open to all  just not snakes  “ he shuddered a little at the thought 

Could a date go any smoother? Clara had already known that Ray and she got along really well, she knew they were friends, but their chemistry was easy to see, the soft flirting, the gazeful eyes and that sweet smile that always led to her blushing. "You can do anything," she spoke, it was something her father had always said to her from a very young age Clara always struggled with self-confidence and it had been her father who had seen her as a superhero, it cast a warm glow on her heart whenever she thought about it.  She listened to his story and couldn't help the chuckle that slipped out. "Orange? wow, did you still have to go to school the next day?" she could imagine if he did the kids wouldn't be too friendly. 

She took another bite enjoying the taste of the savoury dumplings on her tastebuds, this had to be some of the best Chinese food she had ever eaten. "Well, I'm glad the kitten has a home and a very beautiful name it is," she replied. 
"As long as you're safe," she whispered her hand coming down on his once more to give if a squeeze. 

"They would definitely love that, I know I would too," Clara could already picture him coming down to the shelter they were always in need of more volunteers and something about helping the lonely dogs always put a smile on her face. "Why no snakes, I mean I'm not big on them either but..." she trailed off hoping he would elaborate. 

Ray smiled as he gently squeezed her hand as his mind relieved the day he had met and how she wondered unprepared inti woods as his mind snapped back into the present as  Clara mentioned about the sauce  “ luckily i had no school with my father’s group always on the move I was homeschooled a lot it’s why im not good around a lot of people apart from those im comfortable with “  he blushed a little as he ate some more of his meal “ Your the second person that has said that to me” he smiled gently but in his mind, he knew Clara was right so was deep down the thought of Clara and  Samuel believing in him made him happy  “ my fire department brothers and sisters have my back but for you, ill double make sure im safe “ he smiled as he gently squeezed her hand again. 

“ Oh right the snake “ a  bit of excitement   hit  his  voice as it was  one of the first calls  he had with  the department “ right so we  had an alarm to  attend the residential complex  on Anderson street  according to previous calls animals tend to get into the  air vents and the trucks rule  was  the newbie  does the air vent so  on the way I got dressed into a harness  and helmet      and once I got to the scene I was quickly   inserted into the vent on the top floor I started crawling  in the route I remember  from the map I saw  but further I got down the radio transmissions got weak so I was getting so I got  to  the 5th or  6th floor down and the  markings on the wall ere faint so   it was a 50/50 choice  and the radio stutter   right so I went in the direction    next thing I knew  i had fallen down a 30 ft shaft  so my alarm goes off  it  is to indicate either   help im unconscious im over here  or   i need help im here     so i radioed  through for a rope   now at this  point  my  helmet torch was smashed  so i was in pitch  dark and i  here  bang bang and  this  floated hose line  came down  so  i start  climbing  but the  line starts moving so im calling out to stop and as soon as i felt it wrap   around my   leg i took out my cell  phone and was  met face to face  with   the head of the snake “ Ray shook as he relieved the  sensation of the snake  infront of him “ ive never crawled out of a vent so fast in my life “ he chuckled a little as he smiled  watching Clara . 

Deep down he knew he loved spending time with Clara he hated being away from her “ you know im going to have to get you down to the firehouse and the bar one of these days “ he smiled “ many people wonder who you are “ he smiled as he had a sip of his drink “ what are your plans for tomorrow?  

"I'm sure more people have mentioned it, you're amazing," she spoke, she could remember her father mentioning those same words to her, as long as somebody puts their mind to something they could do it. Her heart warmed at his words, she knew he would try his best to stay safe but with jobs like these, they came with unexpected risks, she sent a silent wish into the world. 

Clara listened to his story and could picture it in her head, dark places had never been for her, but she noticed with each story as she got to know Ray, she learned he was brave not fearless, but one of the bravest people she had ever met. "I'm very impressed, I would have never made it down the tunnel, but I see your fears for snakes is highly reasonable," she gave him a smile.

"And why would everyone be so curious," she teased, "Could you have been talking about me?"
"I'm not too busy, tomorrow we could go meet everyone, it will be fun" she answered his question, tucking a strand of hair behind her ear. 


Ray smiled as he listened to Clara  “ its the first and the last time I offered to go in a  tunnel with a  suspected missing animal “ he smiled as he held Clara’s hand as he watched her “ no you are amazing I just rub into danger when everyone runs away you know every book and what a reader is looking for that’s amazing and a special skill “ he smiled gently as he ate a little more rice dropping a few down his shirt as he chuckled “ will get there eventually “ he laughed as he blushed a little as he heard the question.

Well, my teammates spend so much time on the roof and  “ Ray trailed off a little not wanting to talk about that here “ the chief heard me call your name and it spread like wildfire and you may have met the chief before and a couple at the bar said they have seen that smile so many times who is the lucky girl that has stolen” he blushed a little knowledge in his mind and heart  Clara had the key to his heart the day he kissed her but was uncertain how to tell her he was deeply in love with her

Ray smiled as he thought before smiling “ how about this if you have some time how far is the dog shelter and we take a couple of them to the firehouse me the guys then it would if you like to, later on, that night take you to the bar I work at and get a bite to eat “ he smiled “ just hope you like hot wings “.

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