Fire Captain Thom MacDougall thought his life was perfect, until Lisa Moretti’s kitchen caught fire. Thom and Fire Captain CC O’Brian have been happily married for three years. They started as friends-with-benefits, and when CC finally admitted he was bisexual, he committed for good, and the two captains married. Everything was ideal.
CC just can’t get the sexy Italian out of his thoughts.
Recently divorced and enjoying her new townhouse and sexual freedom, Lisa is devastated when a fire wrecks her kitchen. The firemen cheer her up, and Lisa has a fling with two of the younger guys on the fire crew, eventually falling for one of them—Foster Cody.
Captain Chuck O’Brian buckled his fire-retardant jacket as he jumped from the fire engine. An old lady, kneeling by a younger woman, stood and then ran toward a silver Lexus as if devils chewed at her ass. Her shirt was on backward, collar covering her chin, and she didn’t bother to turn around as she yelled, “I’ll call you later to schedule my next appointment.”
The woman on the front lawn petted a very old, very scruffy dog. She was crying tiny bursts of tears, followed by reassuring murmurs to the dark-brown mutt. Of all the ridiculous things. Her house was possibly burning down, even though there wasn’t yet any outside smoke, and all the lady did was shed cute little tears.
Cute little tears from a cute little woman. It should be illegal to be that adorable when your house was burning. He ran up to her and got down to business. “Where is the fire?”
She filled him in, none too succinctly. Her description intermingled with hiccups, tears, and agitated giggles, but they heard enough, and he and his team sprung into action.
The fire was almost out by the time they entered the kitchen, but the smoke damage was serious. It would take lots of painting to make the little townhouse livable again. He sent his crew to check the attic and wiring, and went to talk to the homeowner. There was a slingshot-looking bra lying in the middle of the family room, right next to a massage table. He chuckled as he went back outside, thinking of the old lady’s breasts getting the day off from that torture device.
He squatted next to the woman. Italian descent—must be—with the strong compact body of an athlete, small pert breasts shown to advantage in a stretchy-type shirt, brown hair, almost black, dark simmering eyes, and a lovely caramel-cream complexion. If not classically beautiful, she was pretty damn close.
“Lisa. My name is Lisa.” She looked up with tear-filled eyes and gave him a weak smile.
“Lisa, the fire is out. You don’t have to worry anymore.”
She nodded and looked down at the almost hairless dachshund. Just how old was that dog anyway?
He didn’t resist the unprofessional urge to comfort the lady. He reached out and patted her shoulder, which felt buff under that incredibly thin shirt. A swelling started in his boxers. Of all the ridiculous… He removed his hand. “Someone had the fire almost out before we arrived. Was that you?”
She nodded. “I tried; I suppose I must have.”
“And you saved your dog.”
She nodded again and scratched the dog’s head.
The mutt rolled over in the grass and showed his bare stomach, but Chuck couldn’t bring himself to scratch the flaky pink skin. He filled Lisa in on what they found in the house, gave her instructions on what, and what not, to do, and told her to leave the power off until an electrician had inspected the wiring. The rest of his eight-man crew filed out of the condo. Each one of them stopped to comfort her. Apparently, Chuck was not the only one pulled in by her clean energy, her fit body. Not exactly young, but not yet middle-aged.
Captain Thom MacDougall squatted his tall, lean frame next to the ugly dog and stroked its belly. Thom loved animals. He was always saving strays and finding homes for them. Of course the man wouldn’t bat an eye at touching the flaky skin of the poor beast. “What’s his name?”
“Hershey,” Lisa said with pure adoration in her gaze.
Chuck had a quick and totally unreasonable jolt of jealousy. If only he had scratched the mutt, she would be looking at him with those soulful eyes.
Where the hell had that thought come from? He shook his head and stood, preparing to leave. Still, he couldn’t fight the instinct to get the other guys away from Lisa, but Thom had the matter in hand already; he slapped Chuck on the shoulder and said, “Come on CC, let’s move out.”
Chuck offered Lisa a hand up. “Here’s my card; call if you have any questions or further problems. Follow the instructions we gave you earlier, and before you know it, your house will be better than before.”
“Thanks.” She beamed at him, and his whole frame prickled with adrenaline.
Damn, she was lovely—scary lovely, so lovely she made you forget what you’d planned to say. And he couldn’t have her, so why the self-torture?
* * * *
Captain Thom tried not to watch CC mope around the fire station’s large day room. Moping just did not fit the big, well-muscled captain. In the six years they’d worked together, he’d only seen the man down a handful of times. So what had gotten into him today? Actually, he’d been surly for several days, snapping at the under marshals, flinging papers around his desk, shaking his head when the battalion chief said something particularly stupid.
“Any thought about what we should fix for supper tonight?” It was Saturday, and they would be off duty in about thirty minutes.
“Whatever, I don’t care.”
“Great, we’ll make homemade haggis and mutton stew.”
“Yeah, sounds good…”
Okay, something was definitely out of kilter. He and CC had hit it off immediately when they learned one had Scottish ancestors and the other Irish. The thought of eating upland food had been an ongoing joke. So what gave?
Alejandro walked in, smelling like aftershave, black hair freshly washed, and wearing his girl-killin’ clothes—a white fitted shirt half unbuttoned, designer jeans, and dock shoes. “Hey, me an’ Foster are taking flowers over to Lisa, the kitchen-fire lady from last week.” He looked at his watch. “In about twenty-five minutes, when we get off duty. She seemed so sad on Thursday, thought she might need some cheerin’ up.” He gave a cocky I-know-how-to-put-a-smile-on-any-woman’s-face grin. And with his dancing black eyes, perpetual evening stubble, and that swarthy complexion, he probably was very good at making women smile.
“That is so beyond the pale, Alejandro, and you know it.” CC’s voice snapped with the force of an unmuffled Harley.
Alejandro jumped. Actually, Thom jumped too. Uncharacteristic behavior for CC, to be sure. A small inkling into what bothered the big Irishman tickled the back of his brain, and the thought made Thom’s blood run cold.
“Oh, come on, Chuck. You know there is nothing wrong with taking flowers to a pretty lady,” Alejandro said.
“You will not take advantage of anyone we protected, is that understood?” This time the bellow was more like a growling fog horn.
“Understood, Captain.” Alejandro’s plump lower lip jutted out farther than usual.
“Actually, I think I’ll go with you to make sure everything is on the up-and-up.”
With that, the blood in Thom’s veins turned glacial. What the hell? “Why don’t we make it a foursome?” he said, and his voice sounded almost normal. No way was he letting those three out of his sight. Something was about to go down, and he would do all in his power to prevent disaster.
Having just had her world view expanded by Foster’s unquestioning affection, Lisa thinks she can handle the two hot-as-hell captains if Foster is by her side. A foursome is on the table, and the night promises to be scorching.
This book was added to our catalog on Saturday 20 January, 2018.