Excerpt from FIRED UP


“You found our private channel.” Her hotshot’s rough, smoky voice flooded the airwaves and the small lookout cabin. Too big for the 14×14 space, his sinful Cajun accent had Hannah imagining long bayou nights.

“Wouldn’t miss it for the world.” Her fingers slipped from the dial.

“That’s good.” His familiar, low rumble reached her clearly despite the fifty-odd miles between them. ”I’d hate to think I was the only one countin’ down the hours.”

Oh. She liked that. Cole Henry, waiting for nightfall and her. Some days, the days when the Big Bear Rogues got called out into the field on fire duty, ten o’clock came and went without hearing his voice. He stood her up those nights, but so far he’d always come back.

He didn’t apologize, though. Her Cajun was too matter-of-fact; he’d told her the fires came first. Based on the size of the smokes she’d spotted from her watch tower earlier today, she was damned lucky he wasn’t out in the field again.

“You had a busy day today.” Please don’t let him be too tired. The watch tower fifty miles east had spotted an impressive smoke yesterday. After that call in, it had been all hands on deck, and she’d known the Big Bear Rogues would be headed out. Maybe the fire hadn’t burned as hot or as long as expected, or maybe her Rogues had managed to hit the sweet spot.

“You spotters keep us busy.” She heard the slow smile filling his voice. Her shyness amused him, but he always gave her these few minutes of conversation.

“Busy’s good.” The breathless catch was back in her own voice. God. Why was she so aroused, just chitchatting with him?

Because she knew what was coming next.

“A 114-acre burn. Eight hours digging line and we barely contained the fire.” His bald words painted an all-too-clear picture of the harsh conditions he’d faced down in the field. “We had the trucks out and the tankers dropping slurry all afternoon. Summer’s only going to get worse. Things are heating up in the park.”

“I should let you go.” She ran her fingers along the mic, rubbing the cool metal with her fingertips. She was too damned hot.

That soft male chuckle filled her tower again, followed by the unmistakable rustle of fabric. “Not a chance in hell, sha. Lie back.”

Not a question or a suggestion.

An order.