Authors: LK Collins
Copyright © 2013 LK Collins
Cover Design by Allie Brennan,
Edited by Lisa Christman,
Interior Design by Angela McLaurin,
Photography by George Mayer
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to any actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of various products referenced in this work of fiction, which have been used without permission. The publication/use of these trademarks is not authorized, associated with, or sponsored by the trademark owner.
To my forever friend, Miranda, this book would not be what it is without you. You’re one in a million, babe. Don’t ever forget that.
As I pull my Harley in the underground parking garage of my building, I cut the engine just as my cell phone rings. Still straddling my bike, I pull it out of my back pocket to see it’s my brother calling.
I hit the answer button. “What’s up, bro?”
“Hey, not much. How are you?”
“Dude, I’m fucking beat. We trained all week in a building that was hot as hell, and I carried more hose on my back than I knew was possible.”
“Well, you are the new fire chief, so you gotta show those guys how to get shit done.”
I laugh, “I guess. Anyways, what’s up?”
“I’m sorry, I know this is last minute, but I told Lex that I invited you to the movies with us tonight, so she invited her friend, Cara. I don’t want to look like an ass because I forgot to call you earlier. So, can you meet us there in an hour?”
Fuck, I hate the movies.
I’m not a fan of crowds and this is the last thing I want to do tonight. But for my brother, I’ll do anything. “Is Cara hot?”
“Fine, text me where to meet you guys and I’ll be there. She better be fucking smoking for me to see a movie at the theater.”
“Don’t worry, she is,” he says and hangs up.
I get off my bike and walk to the elevator. I can’t wait to get into the hot shower.
My body is exhausted; every one of my muscles feels tense from work. I wish I could just chill tonight. But who knows? Maybe it won’t be a waste, and I’ll end up banging this chick. It’s been weeks since I’ve gotten laid and I’m tired of the same bar flies that always flock to me because of my tattoos.
The elevator finally arrives and I press the button for the eighteenth floor. Living in the heart of downtown affords me a killer view. I just moved into this place and it’s insane. Entering my spacious loft, the sun is bright and shining in all of the windows. Puss, my needy ass cat, runs up to me and winds in and out of my legs. She’s a vocal, little bitch, but the only one I want.
I set my helmet on the counter, along with my keys, and grab a beer from the fridge. Cracking it open, I walk to the expansive wall of windows that is the back of my loft. I look out onto the city and take a pull of my beer.
Fuck, I’m tired.
Heading into the bathroom, I turn the shower on and strip out of my clothes. As much as I love being a firefighter, the stench from the smoke is brutal. I take my time washing to ensure I’m clean. It’s crazy how the faintest scent will drive you nuts. But who am I to complain? I’m doing my dream job and loving it. I’ve always had a passion for helping others. Plus the pay is awesome — fighting wildfires for twenty hours straight for a few months in the summer pays my bills for a year.
Stepping out of the shower, I wrap a towel around my waist and grab my toothbrush. My phone chimes while I brush my teeth. I walk back into the kitchen and grab it. It’s Vincent, and of course we are meeting at a theater way across town. I dress quickly in jeans and a t-shirt, and grab a hat on my way out the door. I take my truck instead of my bike. The adrenaline rush I get from my bike can be a lot to handle, and I don’t need any of that tonight.
I pull up to the theater right on time and park far away like I always do, taking my time as I walk up to the building. I approach and there are lots of people all around. I look for Alexa and Vincent, but don’t spot them.
I lean up against the hard, brick wall and put my hands in my pockets. Looking down, I kick the loose gravel with my boots. Just two hours, and then I’ll be home. If I weren’t so tired it wouldn’t be so bad. I check my phone noticing that those fuckers are late. I hate it when people aren’t on time; I sure as hell can’t show up late to a fire. Why does everyone else not give a shit about running on time?
When I take my eyes off of the ground, I look up and am immediately connected to a cute blonde. I watch her as she gets out of an Audi A4. Her red flats hit the pavement, and she slings a huge purse over her shoulder. She walks and I swear she is heading right towards me. I get a sense of déjà vu, like I’ve seen her before. My eyes scan down her perfectly built body — man, she’s ridiculous. Her boobs are about to pop out of the top of her dress and those long, tan legs make my dick stir.
My daydream is interrupted by my brother and Alexa as they approach her. Alexa hugs her and they continue towards me. Shit, this is the girl Vincent was telling me about. I fidget with the bill of my hat and then push myself off the wall.
“Come on, you know how cold theaters get, and you’re barely wearing any clothes,” Alexa says.
That’s right, she is barely wearing any clothes, and I want to see her in even less. “I’ll keep her warm,” I say and can’t help the smirk that’s on my face.
She laughs at me.
“I’ll be just fine, thank you very much,” she says in a mocking tone.
What the hell? I try again, giving her my best smile. “Are you sure? I’m happy to do the job.”
She rolls her eyes at me and Vincent interjects. “All right, guys, let’s not start the night off fighting. Cara, this is my brother, Abel. Abel, this is Cara, Alexa’s best friend.”
Suddenly I feel nervous reaching for her hand to kiss the top of it; this has to get her to warm up to me and stop being so cold. “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Cara.” I say and notice a small tattoo on the inside of her wrist. That’s where I know her from — she’s a nurse at University Hospital. I knew I had seen her before. I rode in with a patient once during transport while providing care. How could I forget her — not to mention how gorgeous she is — and those eyes? Yeah, this is definitely her. She has the most alluring aqua-colored eyes I’ve ever seen.
She pulls her hand back and wipes it on my shoulder. Everyone laughs at her gesture, and we head inside the theater. I tag along still in a fog; I could never forget the color of her eyes.