One Fiery Night
By: Em Petrova | Other books by Em Petrova
Published By: Ellora's Cave Publishing Inc.
Published: Jun 29, 2012
ISBN # 9781419939877
Available in: Epub, HTML, Adobe Acrobat, Mobipocket (.prc)
Firefighter Luke Puckett doesn’t want to get involved with anyone; not after his brother perished fighting a fire, leaving behind a wife and four kids. Then Luke pulls a woman and her child out of a burning house, and is stunned to find she’s his college ex. Though he fights to stay away, Luke’s desire for her lush curves is impossible to battle.
Josie Springer escapes the enormous house fire with nothing but the clothes on her back and her daughter. As she begins to recuperate from her losses, she finds she’s gained something bigger since Luke walked back into her life. She’s always held a candle for this lover who dumped her with little explanation.
While their relationship sears between the sheets, Josie and Luke still harbor personal doubts it will work—until a near tragedy forces them take another look.
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An Excerpt From: ONE FIERY NIGHT
Copyright © EM PETROVA, 2012
All Rights Reserved, Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc.
Josie rocked her daughter out of years of habit. Minutes passed and the sounds of the hospital blurred into the background. She stared at the pale wall, exhausted but unable to sleep in this hard chair with Maggie in her arms.
Suddenly the door opened again. She swung her gaze upward, expecting the kindly social worker, but a man walked in. Tall with bulky muscles and very short, wheat-colored hair. His face and forearms were a light golden tan. She could only imagine that tan ran all the way into his low-slung jeans.
She met his gaze and did a double take. Her breath caught in her throat.
“Luke?” Her voice was a harsh croak.
His features rippled, running through a display of unknown emotions, and then settled. He ran his very long fingers—she knew those fingers intimately—through his hair, sending it into spikes. A muscle jerked in his jaw.
“Yeah, it’s me. Are you okay, Josie?”
She shifted, dying to stand and be at his level, to wrap her arms around the man who had once consumed her college years. Right now, she ached to feel a strong set of arms around her. Being alone with the weight of the night’s events was working under her skin like a thousand needles, the sharp memories and loss drawing blood and tears. She couldn’t even lean on her asshole ex because he was off on spring break with her.
Tears blurred Josie’s vision.
Luke made a noise in his chest that instantly raised the fine hair on her body. That quiet sigh was almost a moan, and all too familiar after hearing him make it in bed so many times.
He crossed the room, his big boots thumping softly. Kneeling before her, he met her gaze fully. God, had he ever been this beautiful or rugged? Age had chiseled his features into those of a god. His wide-spaced ice-blue eyes pierced her. Even if her daughter’s weight wasn’t pinning her to the chair, she couldn’t have gained her feet. Her knees were suddenly jelly.
He nudged her chin up with his big thumb. The touch ignited her, sending shocks to her fingertips and toes, and low into her pussy.
“I knew when I saw you in that burning house that it was you,” he said gruffly.
“Wh-what? You saved me?” Her senses reeled. She tried to recall the figure of the firefighter who had rescued them, and could bring to mind only a broad man decked out in gear.
A smile tipped up the corner of his mouth—that smile she’d fallen for in advanced math. She’d asked the professor a question and glanced over to find Luke Puckett giving her that same smile.
“Luke, thank you. How can I ever thank you enough?” she burst, barely holding her tears in check. She remembered how he hated to see her cry. Even when he broke up with her, he’d tried to soothe her tears.
He stroked her hair off her face, the touch zapping her anew. The mixture of tenderness and the well-known pressure of his fingers went straight to her pussy, robbing her of thought.
What’s wrong with me? I can’t react to him now, after my house just burned to the ground and we narrowly escaped. Hell, she couldn’t react to him at all. He’d made it plain before they graduated that they needed to go their separate ways—that she’d never live that long-cherished dream of becoming his wife. Shortly after, she’d met Tony and they’d been married within a year.
Big mistake. But one that had granted her a beautiful daughter.
Luke’s gaze caressed her. She could nearly feel it moving over her face. He zeroed in on her lips. “You’re all right? They treated you for smoke inhalation?”
“Yes.” Her voice sounded entirely too breathless.
He prodded the sensitive skin beneath her jaw. “You sure, Josie?”
The sound of her name falling from his lips made her shudder. Concern crossed his handsome features. “You’re cold. I’ll get you a blanket.”
“No, no, I’m fine. Please stay and talk to me. I didn’t know you were a firefighter.”
Rather than take up the chair the social worker had abandoned, he remained on his knees before Josie. Suddenly he stiffened and drew back. He grabbed up her left hand where it supported Maggie under her bony legs.
A sigh of relief whooshed from him.
“What are you doing?”
“Checking to see if an angry husband is about to storm into this room and bust my jaw for touching his wife.”
She lifted Maggie a bit. Her blonde head lolled against Josie’s chest. “Ex-husband. And I don’t think anyone would have a chance at breaking your jaw, Luke. You’ve…put on some muscle.”
Saying this was like stating that her house had had a “little fire”. Gross understatement. In college, he’d always been fit. Football had kept him roped with muscle and training on the track had contributed to his overall appearance. Now he was broader than she’d ever imagined he could be.
A grin carved brackets around his mouth and he rubbed a palm over his chest. The swells of his pecs beneath his slim t-shirt drew her gaze. Her pussy clenched and moisture soaked her panties.
Stop. What the hell am I thinking?
“Muscle added by hauling hoses.”
“And people out of burning buildings?”
“That too.” The expression in his eyes softened. He reached for her again, this time threading his fingers into her hair. “You sure you’re all right? They checked you thoroughly? And this little one?” His gaze skimmed Maggie and Josie’s heart skipped a beat, seeing his concern. Tears filled her eyes again.
“We’re all right. Tired and…maybe a little scared.”
That noise in his chest issued again, this time making her nipples bunch. She could almost feel his lips and tongue moving over her breasts, that sound rumbling from his solid chest.
Solider chest now.
He wrapped his arms around both her and Maggie and pulled them against his wall of flesh. His scent engulfed her immediately—musk and male and a new cologne that was perfectly fitting. She dropped her head to his shoulder and released the tears she’d bottled up for hours.
He rubbed her spine and whispered soft words into her ear, probably to keep from waking Maggie. Josie allowed him to comfort her, too weary and despondent to worry about the fact that he’d dumped her years ago. Ignoring the fact that he’d told her she wasn’t what he wanted.
When she gained control of her emotions, she lifted her head and gave an awful sniff. He chuckled and reached for the box of tissue that had been placed on the floor at her feet. He handed her two and while she wiped her nose, he used a third to dry her streaming eyes.
“Why are you being so sweet to me?”
“I’m a firefighter. It’s my job to rescue damsels in distress.” He glanced down at Maggie. “And their children.”
“You do this for every woman you rescue from a blaze?” Her voice was rough with emotion.
“No. But I do it for women I love.”