Melting Point | Chapter 18 of 23 - Part: 1 of 5

Author: Kate Meader | Submitted by: Maria Garcia | 1081 Views | Add a Review

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chapter one

“SO, AMERICA’S FAVORITE Firefighter?”

Across the table in the farmer-chic restaurant Smith & Jones, Alex Dempsey blinked at her thirty-fourth date in ten months and pondered a suitable response. Perhaps the smartass retort, which she could manage in her sleep. Or the bitch-slap, which would be eminently more satisfying.

“I have good people on my PR payroll,” she finally said with a deferential smile.

Ah, ye olde classic, the minimizer.

So it didn’t feel like her, Alex Dempsey, kick-ass firefighter. That Alex could blitz a fifty-foot ladder propped against a burning building and haul a metric asston hose bundle up multiple flights of stairs. But that Alex’s love life was less breathtaking fireworks and more damp squib. She had officially earned the title of Chicago’s most successful serial first dater.

Something had to give.

Tonight she was unveiling Alex Dempsey 2.0 with a test-drive of a few new tools. A slinky dress that left little to the imagination. Smoky eyes that were more emo panda than sex kitten, along with a pair of inadvisable heels—inadvisable because she was already too tall at five ten. On the plus side, courtesy of an uncharacteristically successful bout with a hair iron, her usual rumpus of chocolate curls now knew who was boss.

She didn’t crave excitement—she got that in her line of work. She just wanted someone who wasn’t a complete dick and could stand up to her occasionally abrasive personality. All the men she had dated in the last year enjoyed the novelty of breaking bread with a female firefighter, but once the honeymoon was over—usually by dessert—doubts scudded like petulant storm clouds across their faces, the forecast always the same.

How can I be the man if you’re being the man?

Tonight’s victim opportunity was a Chicago police detective who she hoped had enough self-confidence to handle hers. In his off-time, he bashed a hockey puck around a rink with her brother Gage, which was what had led to this setup in the first place.

Detective Michael Martinez, are you the one?

“Remind me not to get on your bad side,” date number thirty-four was saying, still stuck on the America’s Favorite Firefighter thing. “Plenty of nights on the sofa in my future, right?”

No nights, if he didn’t quit being such a jackass. But then, wasn’t she a magnet for jackasses?

Five months ago, she had made headlines all over the country when she took the firefighter’s equivalent of a chainsaw to the Lamborghini of one of Chicago’s wealthiest and most influential men. Mega mogul and Trump wannabe Sam Cochrane had drunkenly crashed his car and miraculously not injured himself or others. When he wasn’t extracted quickly enough, he leveled a chauvinistic, racist, and homophobic rant against Alex and her family.

Oh, she had extracted Cochrane from that car all right—through the large opening left by the sawed-off door. There was also the two-foot gash she’d carved (unnecessarily) into the roof.

Pretty.

Also pretty stupid. So not her finest moment, but anyone who messed with her family risked her wrath. Growing up Dempsey meant all other considerations fell by the wayside.

“Good thing someone filmed it,” Michael continued. “Got the women and the gays on your side. Put the mayor in a difficult spot.”

Yeah, yeah. Alex had escaped with her job, a rap on the wrist, and damp toes from her dip in the fifteen-minutes-of-fame pool. Now she saw no reason why that unfortunate incident should have any effect on her professional or love life.

Except that everyone kept bringing it up.

“You know how the news blows stuff out of proportion,” she said, adding the half shrug Alex Dempsey 2.0 would use. That Alex was more dateable. More lovable. Less likely to use the Jaws of Life on the personal property of anyone who pissed her off.

She leaned in, a tip she had read today on HuffPo’s Love & Sex section. Boobs out, smile wide, voice low. Being sexy was exhausting.

His gaze fell to her cleavage. Spectacular stuff, she knew, but rarely did the girls get this much air.

“Do you like the squash blossoms?” Alex asked with a drop to bedroom-husky as she tried to redirect the date.

“The what?” Eyes still at nipple level. Possibly thinks squash blossoms is a euphemism for tits.

Comments

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Alice
Great book, nicely written and thank you BooksVooks for uploading

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