PyroBook - 2004
To a firefighter, there's nothing worse than a nuisance arsonist. His multiple fires keep a station up at night, running in circles, and more vulnerable at the next "real" call. And in Seattle, Lt. Paul Wollf of the Station Six's ladder truck hates a pyro more than most. Two decades before, an arsonist's fire killed Wolff's firefighter father, sending his mother into a spiral of depression and triggering a chain of events that left his brother in jail for murder and Wollf alone, seething in anger and isolation.
Already disciplined for punching out a superior officer, Wollf is now taking a young female firefighter under his wing. Despite the stationhouse leers and jokes, Wollf is only doing what comes naturally, helping out an underdog and bucking the system. But soon he and Cindy Rideout find themselves in a fierce political battle inside the department, just as a pyro starts to turn Seattle into his private little hell.
With fires springing up across the city, Wollf begins to see a pattern. The fires being set are coming closer and closer to Station Six. And when a crucial piece of evidence turns up, Wollf suspects the unthinkable: this pyro has turned him into a fiery target.
In Paul Wollf, Earl Emerson has created a hero on the brink. For when the pyro's rampage puts Wollf in the public limelight, Wollf must choose between his burning rage and the chance to step back--for once--and see a shocking truth hidden beyond the heat.
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I wiped my eyes and kissed her. She seemed surprised—no—astonished. She pulled back and looked at me, and for a second I couldn’t decide whether she was going to slap me or call the vice squad. Instead, she kissed me. It wasn’t the sneaky guerrilla kiss I’d planted on her either, but more of a long-term occupation-army kiss, one that knew it was welcome and would stick around for as long as needed, put up barracks, build roads, and buttress the economy.
This morning when I got here at a quarter to seven, I ran into Katie Fryer in the beanery. I knew there were women working in the station, but I didn’t expect a giant. She’s six-three or –four, and I hate to think how much she weighs. After she left this morning, I heard a couple of men on our shift making jokes about her breast. My guess is they’ve been making those same jokes the entire eight years she’s been here. — “Listen,” she whispered. “We’ve got fifteen minutes before the night watch opens that door, so I’m going to fill you in. This is a man’s world, but you can fit in if take into account a few basics. The first thing you have to remember is that you’re not a man. I know it sounds moronic, but we’ve had women here who thought the y had to undress in front of men. Thought they had to curse like men. Always keep your dignity. The second thing—they sent you here to fire you.”
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