Hung Up On Hadley Audiobook
Hung Up On Hadley Audiobook
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- Best Friend's Sister
- Brother's Best Friend
- Unrequited Love
- Man in Uniform
- Family Saga
For over twenty years she secretly loved her brother's best friend, but now the secret is out.
Hadley Hayes has been in love with her brother's best friend for as long as she can remember. Now at thirty-one, she's determined to make Sam see her as more than just the little girl who used to follow him around the family farm. Aware of his fear of commitment, she's ready to show him that happily ever after isn't just meant for the fairy tales.
Sam Bennett, Red Maple Falls fire chief and notorious bachelor, swore he'd never make a pass at any of his best friend's sisters, but when Hadley confesses her feelings, he can no longer deny their chemistry. Trying to hold on to a promise he made when he was only fifteen becomes increasingly hard as their relationship intensifies.
When a tragic turn of events sends Sam spiraling it reminds him that he's not the hero who everyone sees--he's the kid from the wrong side of the tracks who never really belonged.
Determined to prove Sam's worth,Hadley refuses to give up on him, but will her love be enough to pull him from the ashes or will their happily ever after go down in flames?
Intro Into Chapter 1
Intro Into Chapter 1
The stream of light from Sam’s flashlight was no match against the thick black smoke that greeted him at the door. His life was falling apart around him, but right now all that mattered was saving the victim trapped in the fire. He took a calming breath and let every thought disappear until all he could think, feel, and see was the task at hand.
He reached for the lucky charm Hadley had given him, fishing around in his pocket, desperate to find the familiar keepsake. His heart sunk when he pulled his empty hand free. For the first time in fifteen years, he would have to do without it.
Sam could hear screaming outside, and Matt’s voice offering comfort while still maintaining authority. He had fifteen minutes before he ran out of air. He needed to move quickly and efficiently, not only to save himself but the victim as well. Once they put water on the blaze it would become hotter, more uncomfortable, and any victim in the house would be unprotected against the scorching steam.
He stepped farther into the unfamiliar house, the sounds from outside lost to the crackling flames. His eyes swept across the space, making sure he wasn’t putting himself in danger. If he went down, the victim had little to no chance, and that simply wasn’t an option.
There was no way Sam could walk out of this house and look into the eyes of a little boy and tell him he couldn’t save his father. Visions of a mid-morning visit to the firehouse that was filled with smiles and laughs popped into Sam’s head, but he forced them away.
Every life was connected in one way or another in the small town, and that was because Red Maple Falls wasn’t just a town; it was a community of people who were as much family to one another as their own blood. Which was why Sam couldn’t put a face on the victim, because as soon as he did emotion would take control.
Emotion made you react without thinking, made you forget everything you were trained for, and opened you up to mistakes. He couldn’t allow any mistakes. Not when a good man’s life was on the line.
In the twenty years since he became a junior firefighter at sixteen, not a single person had perished in a fire on his watch. He was willing to do whatever it took in order to guarantee everyone’s safety.
Walls of heat surrounded him, and sweat dripped down his face as the bright orange flames came into view. He made a left away from the growing inferno, hoping the victim managed to evade the worst of the fire.
His breaths were heavy and loud, and he was running out of time. His radio sounded in his ear, Chase’s voice coming over the speaker. “Is everything clear so far?”
“Affirmative, but I have other rooms to search.”
“It’s starting to spread to the east side. You need to pull back.”
“I’m not pulling back until the victim is in my care.”
“Chief, I don’t think—”
“Exactly, I’m the chief. I’m not pulling back.”
“Make sure it doesn’t spread to the attic.” If the fire spread to the floor above him, the chance of the ceiling collapsing increased.
“We’re going to relieve pressure from the roof.”
Sam hurried to the next room, knowing damn well that time was ticking, and if anyone was inside, their chances of survival diminished by the second.
He narrowed his attention on the space in front of him, following the curve of a wall. His heartbeat picked up as he turned the corner. He flashed his light to the far side of the room and relief flooded through him as his eyes settled on the victim. The man’s hand covered his mouth with a wet rag and Sam immediately went to him. Sweat dripped down his forehead, leaving a trail through the black soot that coated his skin. Sam pulled an oxygen mask over the man’s face. “I’m going to get you out of here,” he assured him.
The man nodded, but the fear in his eyes was palpable. His gaze shifted to the rising flames that licked at the far-right wall, and Sam watched as the fear turned to panic.
“Look at me,” Sam said, pointing to his eyes. “I need you to stay calm. Can you do that for me?”
The man nodded again.
“Good. Now let’s get you out of here.”
Sam surveyed the space and, within seconds, had them moving toward safety. Flames engulfed the room just as they made their way out. Intense heat surrounded them, the temperature rising with each step, and though Sam was protected, the victim wasn’t.
He focused on the path to safety, envisioning the clear white mountain air. It had been less than five minutes since he’d entered the home, but time didn’t exist in a fire. Everything moved in slow motion.
The lights of the fire truck broke through the smoke, and just as Sam was ready to claim another victory a loud crash behind him nearly knocked him off balance. He spun around, his eyes taking in the partially collapsed ceiling, and the man who was feet away from safety trapped beneath the rubble.
The man reached out to Sam, his face twisted in fear and his eyes wild with terror. Sam acted fast, looking for a path, a single opening to get through the debris.
“I don’t want to die,” the man said, and for a split second the victim became a friendly face. A man Sam knew that had a family that needed him. A man who was only just starting his life.
Sam swallowed down his own rising panic. Panic never helped a situation. It never solved a problem. He needed to think, he needed to move, and he needed to do it now.
He spotted a break within the debris and ran toward it, but before he made it, the weight of the world fell on his shoulders. Unable to fight against the heavy mass, he fell to the ground with a thud.
Pain shot through his body, but he didn’t have time to hurt. He pushed up with his hands, but only half his body moved. He tugged at his leg and twisted back and forth, using every ounce of energy he had to free himself. Liquid fire exploded in his chest as his adrenaline kicked in.
He yanked at his leg and a scream ripped from his throat as hot throbbing pain overpowered him. Heat crept into his veins, and his body shook with exertion.
His fingers dug into the floorboards as he tried to claw his way to freedom, but no matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t break free.
“No!” The man’s voice echoed through the crackling fire and Sam met his gaze. “I’m going to die.”
Sam bit back the tears that threatened. He was helpless against the rising heat, against the clock ticking down on what little oxygen they had left, but he wasn’t ready to accept defeat.
“That’s not an option,” Sam called out to him. “Stay with me. Everything will be okay.”
Flames leapt across the fallen debris, cutting them off completely.
“No!” Sam slammed his fist into the floor beneath him. Anger and uncertainty swirled together, but he fought the unhelpful thoughts. “Everything will be okay,” Sam said again. “Everything will be okay.”
Hadley’s face flashed into his mind. Those beautiful slate blue eyes had the ability to look deep into his soul. Her dirty blonde hair always had a piece of hay in it, and he’d wanted so desperately to tuck it back behind her ears. Her rose colored lips curved upward, and he focused on that, finding peace within her smile.
His personal alarm safety system went off, alerting his men that he was down.
“Get him out of there now!” Matt’s voice drifted into the house, then everything went silent.
Sam held onto the image of Hadley’s face, allowing her smile to help him fight the darkness, but even she couldn’t help him now.
“I love you, and I’m sorry,” he said just as he slipped into the blackness.