Inferno of Love:Firefighters of Long Valley Book 2(2)By: Erin Wright
“I’m pretty sure I know that better than anyone else alive,” he said, and there was something in his eyes for just a moment and then it was gone, his grin firmly planted on his face again. “Ever since I was a kid, I’ve wondered what I’ll name my oldest son. John, Deere the Second, or Green are pretty much my only choices.”
“‘Green’?” she repeated, laughing. “You’d name a child ‘Green’?”
“Hell, my father named me Deere. I’m pretty sure all naming conventions are thrown out the window at this point.”
“True enough.” They grinned at each other for a moment, and Georgia felt her stomach begin to do flips. Okay, this was really getting out of control.
Her brain knew, even if her stomach didn’t, that Moose Garrett was off-limits. He was so far off-limits, he might as well have a “No Trespassing” sign stapled to his forehead. In fact, she might just donate one to the cause, to help her stomach remember this information. Someday, when Moose was ready to settle down and pop out boys named Green, he was going to be doing it with Tennessee, Georgia’s cousin.
And nice human beings just didn’t daydream about stealing their cousin’s future fiancé, that was for damn sure.
“Well, I better get a move on,” Moose said, shifting from one foot to the other. He was constantly on the move, even when he was standing still. Georgia figured that must be how he stayed in such good shape, even as their former high school classmates were starting to develop spare tires around the middle. “I just stopped by to do a deposit and thought I’d check in with you on the prize thing while I was here. Would you mind getting the info over to Jaxson? This is his first fundraiser for the fire department, and he’s more nervous than a chicken in a henhouse full of coyotes. I don’t think trying to take care of Sugar after the Muffin Man fire has helped anything, either.”
“Yeah, I can see that. I keep meaning to bring a casserole by and see how Sugar’s doing. I heard she’s mostly got her voice back?”
“Jaxson’s been telling me that it’s come back just in time for her to start harping on him about how she isn’t an invalid, and that he needs to go back to work and leave her the hell alone.”
Georgia let out a snort of laughter at that. She didn’t know the new fire chief all that well – he’d only started in January – but she did know Sugar, and that sounded just like her. She was a pretty independent person, and if Jaxson was prone to hovering…well, Sugar probably wouldn’t take that real well.
“I’m glad that she’s at least feeling good enough to tell him to back off,” Georgia said with a grin. “I’m pretty sure that’s a good sign, and if he’s smart, he’ll listen to her.”
“Smart men listen to the women in their lives,” Moose agreed, “at least if they know what’s good for ‘em.”
He was looking at her a little too intently, and Georgia felt her cheeks flush under his gaze. It was…awkward. And weird. She coughed, then coughed again. Then cleared her throat. Because apparently a whole slew of frogs had taken up residence in it.
“I’m sure Tennessee would be happy to hear that,” she finally said weakly.
“Right. Tennessee.” And then he was walking towards the door. “Thanks for your help,” he tossed over his shoulder as he slipped through and her office door shut with a click behind him and she was left just staring at it.
“Yeah. Anytime,” she whispered into the quiet of her office.
Somehow, she’d messed that up and she didn’t even know how…but she did know she regretted it.
Even if she shouldn’t.
Moose pushed his way to the bar at O’Malley’s and flagged down Steve, the owner and full-time bartender. “Guinness,” he shouted over the twang of country music. Steve jerked his head in response, pulled a dark brown bottle out from underneath the counter, and popped the top even as he was sliding it towards Moose.
A body didn’t own a bar for 25 years without getting some movements down into a smooth ballet, that was for damn sure.
Moose dropped two singles on the bar top and then turned around to lean up against it, sipping his beer while looking around the darkened bar. It was a Friday night, and it showed. Lots of people out on the town, ready to let their hair down and have some fun.
Levi was supposed to be there any minute now so they could hang out together. Moose would nurse his beer along; Levi would buy him a second one over Moose’s protestations; and they’d both ignore the fact that the heir to the richest guy in town was poorer than a church mouse.
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