I’ve seen a few people doing an A-Z challenge for their stories recently. I wasn’t going to do it. I’ve got enough other things keeping me busy. And, yet, here I am. I’m going to be doing this in my own way, though. Two posts a week(Tuesday & Thursday) on characters from my Flames series. I have a few other series I could probably pick from. But, as the Flames series is my most prolific(have 5 novels, 1 novella, plus more planned, 1 spin-off started, & another in pre-plotting thoughts), so I figured it would be the best to go with. So, twice a week, I’ll introduce one of the characters, maybe show some “casting” photos, a bit of their background, maybe even a snippet from their story(or a story they’re in, if they’re a more minor character). Today, we have…Adrian Riley.
For my inspiration for Adrian and other things from Flames of Redemption, you can check out my Pinterest board here
Adrian was born on July 6, 1982 to Donovan and Chrissa Riley in Erie, Pa. He has one older brother, Rian. After him came Callum, Darcie, Connor, and Doreen. Thirteen years separated the oldest from the youngest. Adrian had always been a bit of a protector, but this intensified when at fifteen he was unable to save his baby sister from a fire. He tried to hold his family together, but his older brother went off to college, his younger brother got into drugs, and he wasn’t sure how to help the youngest two.
He carried this wound with him, even into his career as a police officer. When he had to arrest his brother, he decided to transfer to a smaller department in the nearby town of Crystal Glen. Most of his new colleagues didn’t know his past or his family of cops. He became a detective shortly after the move and had been there almost two years when he was assigned a case involving possible arson and the death of a firefighter.
While on that case, he ran into Kayla Brooke, a firefighter with Crystal Glen’s fire department. While trying to figure out who was starting these fires, destroying families, they fanned a few flames of their own. He was determined to protect her, but that was one thing that nearly caused him to lose her.
They still thrive on fanning each others’ sparks into something more, eight months into their marriage. Adrian wants everything with her, but he has a tendency to move faster than her.
I still don’t know yet if they’ll have more of a family together than their two dogs, Oscar(border collie mix) and Florian(Golden Retriever mix). But, that’s part of what I like about a connected series. Even though they aren’t the main characters any longer, we still get to follow the rest of their story.
And a little snippet from Flames of Redemption with Adrian and Kayla on that first scene(not the first time they’ve run into each other, though):
Adrian wanted to pound his head against a wall. Or her head. No, he’d rather kiss her against the wall, if there was a wall left to even lean against that wouldn’t crumble under them. He shouldn’t be thinking like that. Damn, that little firefighter was frustrating, though.
He wasn’t even sure why he let her crawl right under his skin, though she seemed to be quite adept at it. She barely even spoke to him. He wasn’t quite sure exactly what he’d done to piss her off so extremely. Had it been at the viewing? He hadn’t really even questioned her, or any of them. He’d only been there to observe. Same with the funeral. That one had really enraged her. Not like he’d actually wanted to be there, to intrude on their moment of pain, of grief. As he’d already told her, he only had a job to do. One just as important as hers. Of course, he hadn’t realized she would try to do his job as well.
Ah, maybe that was the problem. He shouldn’t let it get to him. She wasn’t even a trained investigator. At least James and Marshal Haig, from the State Police barracks, were trained to know what to look for.
He’d already made the mistake of saying that to her face once. He was smarter than people seemed to think, and he could learn from his mistakes. She’d scorched him with her eyes enough today. At least her mood had improved slightly once James had given her the gloves and the coffee he had in his car.
Of course, that improvement didn’t mean much, when it was already so bad. He thought avoiding her would make things better. She made it easy, since she seemed to be doing the same. If they were going to work this case together, they’d actually have to work together. They couldn’t ignore each other the whole time. He’d make a pretty good try at it, though. She’d have to go back to the station sometime anyway.
He wasn’t sure if he heard her, or if it was more of sensing her, but he knew the moment she approached him. Still, he kept his eyes trained on the floor. He figured it was better than looking at her. He wasn’t exactly sure what he would do then. Back to that thought of hitting her head against the wall. Even worse, giving in to this temptation to kiss her. Yes, he definitely thought that would be a worse decision.
On Thursday, look for a little bit on Kayla’s family.