Author: april468 PM
The Rangers track an arsonist who endangered Matt's life.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Chapters: 5 - Words: 10,875 - Reviews: 9 - Favs: 1 - Follows: 7 - Updated: 12-27-12 - Published: 02-25-12 - id: 7870733
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Title: Auburn Fire
Plot: The Rangers track an arsonist. Jaime Logan must deal with an issue from his past.
Setting: Post Jesse Hawkes. Matt is 30. Cody is 23. Both are Rangers.
Characters: Original Ranger Team, Jaime Logan, Jen Bass, Jodi Potter, Shep
OC Character: Reagan Sheppard
Disclaimer: I am making no profit. I just write for fun. HMR/Jesse Hawkes are property of CBS and A Shane Co/Sibling Rivalries. Feedback is appreciated but not required.
Ranger, Jaime Logan, held one hand lazily on the steering wheel as he drove his blue Chevy through the mountain roads leading towards the station. It was hard to believe that he had been a ranger now for nearly three years. He had hardly believed it when the replacement the team had hired to take Jim Cutler's spot just up and quit. What was ever more baffling to him was he had a position on the team with his childhood best friend, Cody Hawkes. When they were kids, all they had dreamed about was becoming rangers together and the dream had become a reality. A reality, Jaime Logan never thought would be offered to him. Several years earlier, Jaime's father, Mike Logan had been arrested for aiding a greedy contractor in the removal of the tribe's ancient burial grounds: an act that neither Jaime nor his mother had forgiven him for. Needless to say Jaime was thankful that the rangers didn't hold the same grudge.
The rookie of the team, Jaime had taken on the code name of Running Fox. He had specifically chosen that name in tribute to his grandfather, the long time tribal elder that still protected ancient Indian burial grounds of the Tahoe region.
Leaning into the turn, Jaime spotted a familiar looking Ford Bronco parked on the side of the road, hood up. Steam bellowed from the engine as he pulled his own vehicle to a halt in hopes of offering assistance. The vehicle in question belonged to Tahoe resident and college student, Jen Bass.
"What seems to be the problem, pretty lady?"
Jen looked up from underneath the hood and tossed him a wayward glance. "I think it's the radiator again. Do you mind giving me a lift?"
"Not at all," Jaime tipped his trademark feathered cowboy hat and helped her close the hood. Like most of Tahoe Jaime genuinely liked Jen. Though she had grown up as Cody's friend, he held a special place in heart for the auburn haired co-ed. During Cody's time in San Francisco, the two had found a common bond; they both missed Cody and through that they had sparked a friendship of their own. One that Jaime hoped would one day blossom into something more.
Jen smiled at him as she sank into the passenger's side of his vehicle and pulled the shoulder belt into place. "You're a regular knight in shining armor, you know that?"
Jaime felt his cheeks pinken. "Just doin' my job ma'am."
"Jaime Logan! Don't you dare call me ma'am!" Jen swatted at him, grazing his arm. A sophomore at Reno state, Jen traveled back and forth 2 days a week. The other three days she stayed in Tahoe caring for her ailing grandfather, Aaron. Though Aaron officially lived in the Mountain Pines retirement center, Jen often took him to their family cabin where the two sought solace from the world, taking in all of beauty that the mountain had to offer.
Jaime looked her sideways, keeping his main focus on the road. "What would you prefer me to call you? Miss Bass...Jennifer, perhaps?"
Jen grinned wickedly at him, flipping him the bird, "You know what to call me. Half-breed."
Half Breed! Jaime felt his jaw cinch playfully as his mind conjured the perfect retort. "Okaaaay, Kid," he sneered purposefully emphasizing the word Kid. Though it was a nickname coined by Cody Hawkes Jen Bass hating being referred to as a kid.
Orphaned at a young age, Jen had spent her entire teenage years helping Aaron tend to the cabin and their menagerie of critters. At fifteen, she had taken a job with the local large animal vet and was now a certified veterinary assistant working on a degree in animal science. Her lifelong dream was to open an equestrian center which used horses as therapy animals to special needs children.
Jen looked at him with a smirk of her own. "Next time I see Heather, I am telling her you have crabs." Heather Blackburn was Jaime's current love interest. An LVN on the reservation, Heather was the great niece of one of the tribal elders and third cousin to Frank Avila. Jokingly, the two had been betrothed at birth by their parents. Jaime supposed he would get serious one day.
Despite the fact he had a white father; Jaime always felt the need to stay true to his Native American heritage. He had always pictured himself marrying a girl from the tribe and setting up house on the reservation.
But then there was Jen. For some reason she always got to him. She had a way of crawling under his skin and staying there. She was a forbidden desire.
Jaime felt a flush rise to his cheeks. If there was one thing he could say about Jen is that she was blunt, unafraid to speak her mind. He supposed that was why he felt an attraction towards the pretty red head.
Seeing she had the upper hand, Jen flashed him a victory smile. "So how's Toad? I haven't seen him around lately."
"He's good," Jaime shrugged. "The two of us are going over to the Rusty Nail after our shift tonight. You want to join us?"
Jen's eyes dropped to the floor. Hanging out in a bar was still the one place where she still felt like a kid. Not yet old enough to drink, she hated having to settle for just a pop. Not that she thought a lot of alcohol it was the point of the whole thing. Sitting there having to be carded by the waitress and specifically told to get her hand stamped. It was embarrassing.
"C'mon..." Jaime goaded clutching her knee. He and Cody weren't big drinkers per say an occasional beer here and there was about it. "We'll all drink soda water, take in some pool...a game of darts. It will be fun. I'll even let you beat me."
"Well, if you put that way I will need a ride though." Jen smiled sarcastically at him before glancing out the back window at her broken down vehicle. In just the past year she had racked up more miles on her beloved Bronco II than she cared to think about. Traveling back and forth to Reno twice a week had taken its toll on the American built s.u.v.
"Do you think Cody will notice if I wear my hair up?" Despite Jaime's attraction to her it was no secret that her heart longed for Cody. Since the age of 12, she had been hopelessly head over heels for the young Hawkes. Cody however, had never considered her nothing more than a good friend.
"He always notices you," Jaime replied trying to keep his voice indifferent. The last thing he wanted was to hurt Jen's feelings. Knowing Cody Hawkes like the back of his hand Jaime knew that Cody had yet to find the one who captured his heart. At the age of 23, Cody Hawkes was a wealth of knowledge and practical sense, yet lacked worldly experience in the romance department. His passion for the mountain and helping others seemed to outweigh the need for a significant other.
"Right," Jen retuned sourly turning her attention the passing scenery.
Fifteen miles outside of Tahoe, the ranger vehicle came to halt in newly christened subdivision known as Tahoe Pines. Most of the home sites were still nothing but marked off lots with for sale signs boasting of a premiere community set on prime land with a gorgeous view of the Lake.
"It's a little far from the lake, to be trying to sell for the view." Matt frowned as he and Robin stepped out of the vehicle and headed across the street to the model home that was promised to have buyers lining up by the thousands to snatch up the empty lots.
"You know how the snowbirds are. There's a sucker born every minute." Robin stood with her hands placed firmly on her hips gazing at 5000 square feet of rock and stone siding. Some poor sap was probably ready to the buy the line that house was actually made from the rock of Mount McKenzie. In truth, the homes were nothing more than high priced fabrication.
"Who is responsible for this?"
"Troy Construction," Matt answered as he tested the mammoth sized front door. "A few years back they were real big in San Francisco. Some of Dad's more well to do clients lived in their custom made homes. It's pretty comfortable living if you have a half million to spend."
"Do you ever miss being a bounty hunter?" Robin asked as Matt continued to tinker with the door. More than 6 years had passed since he and his family had taken to the streets of Frisco chasing random criminals and whatnot. But three years had more than enough time spent away from his native roots. Like Jesse and Cody, Matt had longed to return to the life they had left behind. Matt was 30 now and Cody 23.
"What do you think?" A big grin spread as his cheeks as the lock clicked, allowing them access to the home.
"Wow," Robin's crystal eyes grew wide as they stepped inside the main room. The decor was almost breathtaking. Rich colors of paint covered the accented walls giving way to the lush built in cherry cabinets and wall-unit. High priced leather furniture decorated the authentic hard wood flooring while real granite counter tops and handmade cabinets called to her in the kitchen. Stainless steel appliances sat shining brightly waiting for someone to use them.
"I could definitely be comfortable here." she smiled picking up a flier that gave information about the porcelain Jacuzzi tub located inside of the master bath. "Remind me of why we're here again?"
"Passer by reported someone being inside after hours," Matt replied noting that everything seemed to be in place. "Let's check the upstairs.
Robin willingly followed as they started up the spiral cherry colored staircase leading to the five empty bedrooms.
Inside the kitchen an intruder watched Matt and Robin through the slats of the pantry door. Damn, if he wasn't lucky today! Silently he pushed the door opened stepping back into the kitchen. Gazing around, he spotted a bucket filled with cleaning supplies perched on the counter top. A bottle of ammonia seemed to be singing out to him. This ought to do it he though unscrewing the cap. Calculating cold dark eyes lit up as he put the bottle into the microwave and set the timer for 2 minutes.
Bye Bye Rangers! An inward chuckle turned into hysterical laughter as the unknown assailant bounded out the back door.
The slam of the door alerted the two rangers instantly. "What was that?" Robin glanced at Matt.
"I don't know," Matt replied uneasily as he sensed a change in their environment. Hand moving slowly towards his service weapon, he started back for the stairs.
The floor beneath their feet rippled as the house was rocked with an explosion.
A scream ripped from the back of Robin's throat as the rumble forced her to the ground with Matt throwing himself protectively on top of her. Glass fell and shattered around them. Shards of it landed on Matt's back and Robin's arms. Heavy ceiling tiles began to rain down around them and Matt shouted in agony as one clipped him in the back of the head. Pain exploded inside of him as he willed himself not to lose consciousness. Color turned to gray...turned to black and white as he slowly surrendered and gave in the oncoming darkness.
Debris continued to fall around Robin in slow motion. A large piece of the ceiling landed next to her, and she whimpered as she felt Matt's body forced out of the way, rolling to the side. More pieces of ceiling fell. The last thing Robin heard was faint sounds of a baby's cry.
"Where the hell is that coming from?"
The loud crack of the beam overhead sealed her fate as another pile of debris rained down on the female ranger. Struggling, Robin couldn't move her body fast enough as gravity sealed her to the ground allowing the mammoth beam to fall on top of her.
Her head rang, and she struggled for air as she felt the last of her breath forced from her body, her world fading to black, as flames from the floor below threatening to swallow them both.