Set Ablaze (Uniform Encounters) by Morticia Knight
This wasn’t at all your ordinary hot hunky firemen plot; oh, don’t get me wrong, Eric, the fire chief of Mesa, Arizona, is hunky enough, but truth be told, he isn’t exactly an hero. A closeted man until the age of 42 years old, he did come out only cause his marriage counselor told him he had to be open honest with his wife if he wanted to safe the relationship, and instead his wife filed for divorce. Well, discovering your husband is gay, and has always been, even before they married, isn’t an easy news to digest. Doesn’t matter Eric was always faithful in body, he wasn’t in feelings, and in a way, I understand his wife. To a point, cause how she behaves after that is a little too much, even for my sympathetic understanding. If that wasn’t enough, Eric got involved with his own son’s friend, a twink that now is basically molesting him, threatening to reveal their affair. And to add a cherry on the top, Eric begins an office affair with the new recruit the very first day he is in the office. Well, let talk about problematic heroes… in a way, Eric is a so wrecked hero that I wanted to pat him on the shoulder and comfort him, that something good had to happen sooner or later, cause worse than that was really difficult to achieve.
Maybe that was also what Tom, the new recruit, saw, other than the hot hunky exterior, that was in any case a good sight. It’s obvious that Tom has a problematic relationship with his own father, so I don’t exclude he is projecting a little on Eric, seeing him like a protective fatherly figure; sure, Eric is attractive enough, that is also a factor to take into account, but the immediate attraction, and the deep connection they have is well beyond the good looks of Eric. At the same time, I don’t exclude that Eric is searching in Tom his lost family, the feeling of being welcomed back at home, someone with whom he can relax and enjoy the second youth he is experimenting right now, cause he did pretty much screwed the first one he had.