Hot Shots Men of Fire #2 - Hot as Sin - Bella Andre Page 0,1


But instead of connecting, they’d fought. And April had stormed out of the café. Leaving Dianna to helplessly wonder how she could possibly save her sister this time.

The rental car’s windows were covered with condensation, so Dianna hit the defrost button, but it didn’t work. Reaching into her large leather tote for a package of Kleenex, she wiped a clear circle on the windshield and slowly pulled into the street, inching forward as marble-sized hail battered her car. Every few seconds, she hit the brakes and wiped the moisture off of the windshield.

Prudence told her to turn back, but all she wanted was to be back home in San Francisco, wrapped up in a soft blanket on her couch with a novel. As it was, she was cutting it close to get to the airport in time for her flight.

The two-lane road that led from Vail to the airport was narrow and winding, and she seriously considered pulling over, turning around, and finding a nearby hotel to wait out the storm. Instead, she took a deep breath and forcefully shook off the sick sense of foreboding she’d carried with her ever since April had moved to Colorado, turning the radio on to a pop station.

I’m pulling out windows and taking down the doors

I’m looking under the floorboards

In the hopes of finding something more

Listen to me now ’cause I’m calling out

Don’t hold me down ’cause I’m breaking out

Holding on I’m standing here



Outstretched for more

Her throat grew tight as she realized that this was one of the songs April had played over and over in her bedroom. How sensitive her little sister obviously was beneath her thick armor if she liked a heartbreaking song like this … and how hard she must be trying to hide her true feelings from everyone. Especially her big sister, who loved her more than anyone or anything.

But it had already been an emotional enough day without some song making her cry, so she shifted her gaze to the stereo for a split second to turn it off. Lifting her eyes back to the road, she was startled by bright headlight beams from an oncoming car. Temporarily blinded, she swerved away from the light.

Too late, she realized that the only thing between her and the headlights was a wall of rock.

Dianna screamed as the oncoming car clipped the front bumper of her rental, instinctively bracing for further impact as she spun around and around in circles. The airbags exploded in a burst of white powder and thick, sticky material. Despite her seat belt, she flew into the tight bags of air, the breath knocked out of her lungs as she hit them hard.

Oh God, she was suffocating!

Ripping, grabbing, pulling, she tried to shove the airbag away from her mouth and nose, but she couldn’t escape. Sharp pains ran through her, top to bottom. And yet, she didn’t pass out, couldn’t seem to find that numb place where everything would be all right.

Finally, after what seemed like hours, someone found her: a firefighter-paramedic, with jet-black hair and beautiful blue eyes.

“Everything’s going to be all right,” he said. “I’m going to take care of you.”

Looking up at him, his features and coloring were close enough to Sam MacKenzie’s that his words twisted up in her head, in her heart, and she was thrown back to another car crash, one that had taken everything from her.

She’d been desperately craving Chinese food, so she’d driven into town for takeout. But after throwing up all morning, she’d been so starved that she couldn’t make it out of the parking lot without dipping into the mu-shu pork.

She’d mixed the plum sauce into the cabbage and meat with her fingers and pretty much inhaled it, barely having any time to appreciate the sweet-salty combination before heartburn got her, right under her ribs.

Her obstetrician said it was normal, that the morning sickness would ease as soon as next week, when she hit her second trimester, but that the heartburn would probably get worse, along with possible constipation from the iron pills and being kept awake all night by a kicking baby.

The doctor had grinned and said, “Quite a lot to look forward to, isn’t there?” and Dianna hadn’t wanted to admit that she was still trying to get her head around being pregnant.

And the amazing fact that she was going to be Mrs. Sam MacKenzie in a week.

The Chinese restaurant was in a trailer right off Highway 50, and knowing the road was busy year-round