Spark & Blaze (A Guns & Hoses Novel)

Free Spark & Blaze (A Guns & Hoses Novel) by Brenda Cothern

Book: Spark & Blaze (A Guns & Hoses Novel) by Brenda Cothern Read Free Book Online
Authors: Brenda Cothern
sat in front of Flame.
    “Cool.” Flame stood. “I’ll grab you a mug.”
    Flame took off toward the bar and Evan’s eyes followed him for a moment before he turned back and looked at Brostowski.
    “Take a seat, rookie,” Brostowski grinned and kicked out a chair to reinforce his invitation.
    Evan took the seat and placed his cue case on his lap. It was a hard case so there was no strap to hang it off his chair. Normally, he would lay his case on the table, but the collection of drinks didn’t leave him much room to do so.
    “Thanks,” Evan replied to Brostowski.
    “This is Tig and Simon,” Brostowski introduced the other men at the table. “Guys, this is Evan Carmichael. He’s our new rookie at the station.”
    Evan nodded hello to the other two men and was glad when Flame returned with an empty mug. He was even more grateful when Flame didn’t hesitate to fill the mug and push it his way. Evan wasn’t sure why he felt so off kilter. He never had a problem meeting new people, but for some reason his nerves were going haywire with apprehension while he sat at the table.
    “I see that you play,” Flame nodded to the case that rested across his thighs.
    “Yeah, I shoot some,” Evan replied after he lowered his mug of beer from his lips.
    “You any good?” Flame asked without any challenge in his tone.
    “Good is relative.” Evan grinned and took another sip of his beer.
    “I guess you’re right. I used to think I was good.”
    “Then Austin moved here.” Tig chuckled. “Now you suck.”
    “Yeah, I suck.” Flame’s gaze shifted away from Evan to Tig.
    The moment dragged on until Evan felt he needed to say something to break the silence.
    “So you play, Flame?” Evan asked even though Flame had already indicated that he shot pool.
    “Yeah.” Flame turned back to look at Evan. “But if my cousin can kick my ass with a bar cue, I’m sure I’m not in your league since you brought your own.”
    “You never know.” Evan smiled. “Let’s play.”
    “All right.” Flame stood and looked at Tig and Simon. “Keep an eye on me. If I need rescuing, I’ll flap like a chicken.” Flame flapped his arms to give his friends the visual if he needed to be saved from losing his ass on the table.
    They all laughed and Evan was still chuckling when he walked toward the empty pool table. His amusement died in his throat when he saw who was playing on the other table. How he had not noticed Malone shooting pool on the only other table in the bar was beyond him. The fact that he noticed now, while the man was bent over and facing in his direction to take a shot, made him wonder even more why he was noticing the man now.
    Still, just seeing Malone whose eyes briefly flashed up and met his before he took his shot, made Evan regret coming out tonight. Brostowski said Malone always declined invitations to hang out and no one would be offended if he did the same. Apparently, Malone didn’t always decline the invites.
    “Flip for the break?” Flame’s voice broke into Evan’s thoughts about Malone’s presence.
    “Sure,” Evan agreed. “We playing for anything?”
    “Fuck no! I only play for bragging rights with anyone who brings their own stick to shoot.” Flame laughed. “Call it.”
    Flame flicked the quarter over the green felt and Evan only glanced at the spinning silver that reflected light for a moment.
    “Heads.”
    The coin dropped and they both looked at the quarter after it rolled and came to rest on the green felt.
    “Tails.” Flame picked up the quarter. “You rack, buddy.”
    “Won’t help you win,” Evan shot back.
    “Probably not, but I’ll take any advantage I can get.”
    Evan snorted and pushed the tray of coins into the table. The loud clunk of the balls dropping into the channel sounded before they rolled down to the reservoir at the end of the table. Evan squatted down, pulled the plastic rack out of the slot, and proceeded to rack the balls.
    “Good luck,” Evan said

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