eBook Details



Series: The Men of Firehouse 69 , Book 1.0
By: Lori Toland | Other books by Lori Toland
Published By: Lori Toland
Published: Dec 03, 2012
ISBN # 9780988708846
Word Count: 16,500
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Eligible Price: $0.99

Available in: Adobe Acrobat, Epub, HTML, Mobipocket (.mobi)

Categories: Romance>Contemporary Romance>Short Stories Romance>Erotic Romance


Payback (The Men of Firehouse 69) by Lori Toland - Romance>Contemporary eBook

Melanie is having a bad day. She nearly set her kitchen on fire and who comes running to her rescue? Firefighter Andre Wellings, her brother's best friend and her long time crush. Now she has to take a fire safety course with him but something's up and she plans to get to the bottom of this.

When Andre gets the call Mel is danger, he's scared to death of losing the woman he's always admired in secret. Now that she's safe, he breathes a sigh of relief until his teammates begin to tease her. Playing pranks on her when they were kids used to be fun but hurting her now isn't an option.

Caught in a web of lies, Andre shows up to her house with plans to set her straight but Melanie has a different idea. Too many years of having her pigtails pulled by Andre has made her hungry for revenge and now it's time for payback.

Warning: This book contains M/F sexual practices hot enough to make a fireman sweat (or blush) and possibly inappropriate use of champagne. Read at your own risk.
Reader Rating:   3.0 starstarstar (1 Ratings)
Sensuality Rating:   liplipliplip
Andre was ready to bust out of the truck and break down her door.

Ryan, the driver, pulled up in front of the two-story apartment complex, which appeared to be fire and disaster free though that provided him little relief. “Easy there, tiger,” Ryan said. “I’m sure she’s fine.”

Andre grimaced as he nodded and hopped out the truck, following procedure but all the while scanning the building for any signs of fire damage.

When they left the station, it took him a few seconds to remember why the address seemed familiar. He hadn’t been there except for once and when the realization hit him, that was the moment when crippling fear set in.

The apartment belonged to Melanie, his friend’s younger sister. Why wasn’t she outside at the curb at a safe distance? Couldn’t she hear their sirens or was she badly hurt?

He hoisted the medical kit on his shoulder and walked toward the apartment building with Ryan trailing behind. His heart thudded so hard that it made him nauseated and all the while every terrible scenario ran through his head.

Relief flooded him when he saw Melanie in the hallway. She seemed fine as she talked animatedly to his teammates who had arrived ahead of them. “My roommate just panicked when she saw the pan of alcohol on fire,” she said. “You didn’t have to come out.”

Andre stopped behind Bud and Dylan, and looked her up and down, checking for injuries. Once he was satisfied she didn’t appear to be hurt, he took in her clothing. What the hell was she wearing? And in the near freezing temperatures no less? Wasn’t she cold dressed in that thin fabric?

A black satin robe covered her night gown, although it gaped at her neck and showed off her ample cleavage. She probably didn’t realized she pressed her breasts together as she crossed her arms to keep warm and her slender arms didn’t do much to cover them up.

With her attention on Bud, he let his gaze roam over every inch of her curvaceous figure. It had been a long time since he had seen those gorgeous legs and he tried hard not to stare at all her bare, pale skin.

“Miss, when you call 911, we have to come investigate to make sure you’re okay.”

“I’m so sorry.” She wrung her hands and then covered her face.

Andre scowled. He wanted to punch his co-workers for ogling her, not that he blamed them. Mel had always been a looker, but she was his best friend’s baby sister and he shouldn’t be eyeing her, either. “Mel?”

Bright green eyes peeked out at him as she looked up from between her fingers. A flush spread across her pale cheeks as she pulled her hands away from her face. “Hi Andre,” she said as her voice trembled. “Oh God, what are you doing here?”

She visibly cringed as she greeted him, which made him feel like a real asshole for some reason. Maybe his glower intimidated her. He tried to smile nicely as he said, “I work at your local station, remember?”

She sighed as her shoulder slumped. “Could my day get any worse?”
“Are you okay? You’re not hurt, are you?”

Her pale cheeks turned bright pink. “I’m fine. We’re both fine. My roommate panicked and called 911 when she heard me scream and saw a fire on the stove.”

He frowned. Mel was a damn good cook, most of her knowledge coming from her mom who ran a bakery in town. “What was in the pan?”

“I made these bite-sized rum cakes for a Christmas party, but a little alcohol splashed out and hit the burner. That’s never happened before so it scared me and I screamed but I put it out quickly.”

He took her by the shoulder, and angled her so he could evaluate her injuries. He tried to keep his assessment purely professional, but when he saw no injuries, he couldn’t help but stare at her full breasts a moment longer than necessary. “Are you sure you’re okay?”

She pulled away, looking anywhere but him. “I’m fine. So is my roommate, until I kill her later.”

Her embarrassment was obvious, from her pink cheeks to her hand holding her robe closed. Had it suddenly just occurred to her she stood in front of three grown men who now had fires of their own to put out?

“Don’t be too rough on Ronnie. She did the right thing. As long as you’re both safe, that’s all that really matters,” he said, trying to comfort her, although he didn’t dare touch her again. Not while she was dressed like that.

“Well, actually,” Bud said. “Since you misused the emergency services in such a manner, we’ll need you to undergo a special training session on fire safety.”

Andre whirled on his co-worker, about to ask him what he was doing, but Bud winked and nodded at him, silently encouraging him to play along. Did Bud really think Melanie was going to fall for a line like that?

But he and Brian used to do just that, because Mel had been such an easy target. She would believe anything, especially if it came from a trustworthy source like a fireman. He and her brother Brian had played many pranks on her in high school. She’d stomped off yelling about how Brian needed to watch his back.

He enjoyed her spitfire anger then, especially when he didn’t have to bear the weight of her fury; her brother felt the true pain later. Her fiery green eyes would flame at him before the door to her room slammed shut. That had been ten years ago; she had changed a lot since then.

“Oh, well, we really didn’t misuse the services. Ronnie just panicked,” Mel said, covering her mouth with her hand.

“In the eyes of the law, Miss, you committed a crime,” Bud said gravely, although a small smile broke through his serious attitude.
Andre stopped his mouth from dropping open. He had no idea she was still so gullible but then Bud played the part so well that Andre almost believed him too. The need to protect her welled inside him.

“The course doesn’t take very long, just an hour or so,” Bud continued on. “There’s a test too. One of us could do that anytime for you. All you have to do is—”

His co-worker couldn’t have been more obvious in pursing Mel if he begged at her feet. It was time to shut this down, because Mel was better than all the guys here, including himself.

Andre cut Bud off. “I’ll do the course for her.”

Bud gaped at him momentarily but when Andre glared at him, he chuckled. “Well there you go, Miss. Andre will get you all squared away with a fine new certificate.”

Her cheeks flamed as she nodded, and then she glanced at him. “At least it’s with you, Andre. It’ll be like old times,” Mel said.

“Thank you for taking time out of your busy day.”

Did she really mean that? For him, old times meant sitting in a chair at his best friend’s house watching her skip around the pool in a bikini and feeling dirty about lusting after her as he tried to will down his erection before anyone saw it. “S-sure,” he stammered.

She looked at him like he was her savior and guilt stabbed him in the gut. He should tell her that his teammates were just being assholes; in fact when he got back to the station, he was going to choke them for doing this to her.

She shivered and twisted her hands nervously. “So when should we do this course?”

Bud spoke up. “Andre finishes his shift in a few hours. He can come over then.”

Andre glared at Bud, who chuckled and took the cue well, backing off. Bud was correct; Andre didn’t have any plans for when he got off shift but he might have. He almost scowled but when he glanced at Mel, he tried to appear friendly. “Yeah, I can.”

She smiled. “Sounds great. Should we say… just after six?”

He nodded and when he looked over to glare at Bud, he saw the two men had walked back to the truck already, leaving him hanging in the wind by himself. He hefted the bag on his shoulder and waved. “I’ll be here.”

Andre followed them out and stowed the equipment. He managed to keep his anger in check and stay silent until the truck was back at the station. When his teammates hopped out, he shoved Bud against the truck. “What do you think you were doing back there?”

Bud held up his hands in defense. “I swear, I didn’t think she’d fall for it. I thought she knew I was playing with her. I wasn’t trying to pick her up. I thought since she obviously knew you, she would play along and laugh it off. ”

His ire dissolved quickly once he knew Bud had meant Mel no harm. Andre let Bud go, but still glared at him and Dylan. “She’s a nice girl, but she’s gullible and now you’ve got me involved in this bullshit.”

“She seemed to know you.” Dylan raised an eyebrow. “Why are you so worried she’ll be angry at you?”

Andre grimaced. “She’s my friend’s sister.”

Bud grinned. “And you like her.”

“Well, I don’t hate her,” Andre clarified.

“No.” Dylan shook his head. “You like like her.”

They both saw right through him. He was so screwed and it would be a long time before he lived this down. None of these guys would understand how he just didn’t want to hurt her. “Anyone with eyes would think she’s beautiful,” he admitted.

Bud whistled. “You’ve got it bad. How long have you had the hots for her?”

“I don’t like her like that,” he said. “She’s my friend’s little sister and he would kill me if I looked at her.”

“But I’m sure that didn’t stop you from looking, you dirty old man.” Dylan smirked before walking away. “You keep telling yourself that and you just might believe you don’t want to jump her bones.”

Andre snarled, the comments hitting a little too close to home for comfort. Lucky for Dylan, he was already too far away for Andre to start anything and once Bud got a look at his expression, he suddenly had somewhere else to be.

He looked at the clock. It was just under three hours until the end of his shift. This was a great mess his teammates had thrown him into but he knew what he had to do. He would tell her the truth about how there was no course and with any luck she wouldn’t be too mad. He could take her for sushi, maybe they could be friends and hopefully this attraction to her would die.



By: Lori Toland