Enjoy this excerpt from INFLAMED, part of the VALENTINE PETS AND KISSES anthology!
Tension stiffened Debra’s back, but she smiled at the men, two of whom she recognized. “What can I get for you?”
“Five medium coffees for the boys down at the house.” Jack Landon leaned against the counter, flexing an impressive bicep. He was obviously on duty even though he wore street clothes; firefighting in a small town like Havre de Grace was a casual sort of thing.
“Didn’t know it took three grown men to buy five coffees,” she teased as she filled the order.
“Wanted to show the new guy the town.” Jack jabbed his finger over his shoulder at the tall young man standing behind him. “Sean Orr. He’s taking Larry’s place.”
“Hey.” Debra flashed him a dimpled smile. She estimated his age as mid-twenties, a good eight years younger than she was. “Welcome to Havre de Grace.” She set four cups in a cup holder made of recycled paper and then placed the fifth cup in the middle. “Will that be all, or would you like anything else?”
Ray Peterson, the third firefighter, pushed past Sean and Jack and rested both elbows on the table. He leaned forward, and Debra retreated from his leer even though her cleavage was concealed behind her turtleneck sweater. Ray chuckled as if he sensed her unease and pressed out his cheek with his tongue. “Do you want to come over this weekend? It’s cold out; great night for keeping warm together.”
“Aren’t you and Andrea still together?”
“She’s out of town this weekend. Perfect, you know, for you.” Ray snorted, the sound derisive.
Jack laughed and elbowed Ray. “Let’s get out of here, man, before the coffees get cold.” He led the way out of the store, but amid the quiet chatter of surrounding conversations, Debra heard Sean ask quietly, “What’s her name?”
Ray’s answer slapped her moments before the door slammed shut on their voices. “She’s the other woman.”
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