Inferno of Love:Firefighters of Long Valley Book 2(6)By: Erin Wright
Moose lifted an eyebrow of surprise at his best friend’s surliness. “I was there making a deposit, and saw that her office was empty. I figured why not chat with her while I had the chance, right?”
“Whatever,” Levi mumbled, clicking his ballpoint pen as he stared down at the scarred tabletop. “What is she donating?”
“Ummm…bank deposits for kids,” Moose said, a little more cautiously. “If a parent or grandparent puts $50 into a child’s account, the bank will match it. She thought it’d be a good way to encourage children to save for college or whatever.”
“She’s already swung by here and filled out the paperwork for it,” Jaxson put in, oblivious to the sudden tension between Levi and Moose. “She’s on the done list. Luke, have you talked to Betty down at the diner yet?”
As the conversation shifted to less tension-fraught topics, Moose sighed to himself and tried to ignore Levi’s pissed-off demeanor. If he reacted like this simply because Moose had talked to Georgia, what would he do if Moose kissed Georgia?
Not, of course, that Moose would do that. He was going to marry Tennessee. Everything was practically settled except for the ring and a date. Her father wanted it, his father wanted it, Tennessee wanted it, and Moose wanted it.
Okay, so all of that was true except for the last part. “Want” was a strong word, honestly. Moose had…resigned himself to it. Marrying Tennessee was what he was supposed to do, and Moose always did what he was supposed to do.
As…uninspiring as Moose’s love life was, though, at least it wasn’t a disaster zone like Levi’s. Levi and Georgia had dated for three years, starting in high school and going through to the end of their first year in college, and their break-up hadn’t exactly been stellar, unfortunately. Since then, from all outward appearances, Georgia had moved on and was fine with her life.
Levi, meanwhile, was stuck deeper than a 4x4 buried up to its axle in mud.
Oh, he’d tell you that he’d moved on if you asked him, but Moose knew that was a lie, even if Levi didn’t. He hadn’t meant to step on Levi’s toes by chatting with Georgia about the fundraiser but in retrospect, it should’ve been obvious that this was how it would go down.
It was almost six years since Levi and Georgia had broken things off. Would it be another six years before Levi was fully over her? For Levi’s sake, Moose could only hope that wasn’t true.
She got out of her sedan and hurried across the blacktop to the high school gymnasium. Tripp should be here any minute now…she scanned the crowds headed into the basketball gym, hoping to catch sight of her assistant manager among the crush.
There he was. Leaning up against one of the columns outside of the row of doors leading into the gym, he already looked bored out of his skull. Attending social events to represent the credit union to the community wasn’t exactly Tripp’s strong suit. She’d tried to tell him that this was going to hurt his career long-term – the credit union president liked to see his employees out schmoozing with the locals – but…
Well, Tripp was Tripp. Trying to get him to change his mind on something was akin to trying to push a granite boulder up the side of the Tetons. He wasn’t going to budge, and you’d do nothing but wear yourself out trying. It really was a damn good thing he was such a good-lookin’ guy, and a lot of fun to be around. It helped when it came to forgiving him for his faults.
“Having fun?” she asked him with a straight face as he fell into step beside her.
“Loads.” The sarcasm was so thick, she had visions of scraping it off with a butter knife.
“Well, thanks for agreeing to come with me anyway,” she said as he opened one of the sets of glass doors for her. “How is Porky handling the strain of being left alone for the night?”
“She didn’t even have the decency to look disgruntled,” Tripp said with a disgruntled sigh. Georgia bit back her grin. “I fed her her evening can of dog food, and then she was off to sleep again. It’s like she only cares about me because I am her source of food.”
Georgia had to bite down on her lower lip even harder. Porky wasn’t exactly the most energetic dog on the face of the planet, and she rather figured that this was exactly how Porky viewed Tripp and every other human out there.
Before she could flip him shit about keeping his dog on a diet, the crowds were upon them and she had to get to work. There were community members aplenty to chat with and kids to hand lollipops to.
She glad-handed long-time customers of the credit union as she and Tripp wandered together around the silent auction area, checking out the donated items and the prices they were going for. Between discussions of planned weddings and birth announcements and the occasional complaint about a bank policy, Georgia scanned for items that hadn’t had a bid registered for them yet.
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