Collin did everything he could to encourage me while keeping me safe, even going so far as dragging me to the fire station a few times a month so that the men could look at my supplies and make sure I was taking all of the proper precautions when I created one of my masterpieces. He never complained when my nose was stuck in a sketchpad or my fingers were permanently dyed black from the powder. Even when I hated what I created, he would roll it up, stick it in the backseat of his car and take it home to hang on the wall in his room because he wanted to be the first one to own a ‘Finnley Morgan Original.’ At the end of our two years together, all four of his walls and his ceiling were completely covered in my designs.
When our relationship died, so did my love of fire and art. The dream of art school was replaced with settling on a career that would pay the bills and keep a roof over my head while my husband pissed our money away. Whenever I played around with the idea of getting back to my hemp paper and gunpowder, Jordan would roll his eyes and tell me it was a waste of time. After I gave up on my dream, the only time I ever thought about my art was when I thought about Collin and wondered if he was happy. I didn’t even realize how much I missed it—or him—until right this very minute.
Collin understood my passion for art more than anyone else in my life before or since. He was my first boyfriend, his lips were the first I’d ever kissed, his hands brought me to my first orgasm and his dick was the first I’d ever had in my hands—and my mouth. These are things a girl just doesn’t forget.
“Shit, I wonder what he’s been up to over the years. That boy has turned into a fine looking man.”
Not that I’d tell Phina, but I know exactly what he’s been up to. Through the power of Facebook on nights when I had a little too much to drink or when Jordan and I were fighting, I might have looked up his profile and kept tabs on him. After college, he moved out of state and became a fireman like he’d always dreamed. When I realized that I was a very married woman fixating on a man I had no hope of ever seeing again, I made a conscious effort to curb my internet stalking. It’s been a while since I last looked at his page and I had no idea he was back in town.
“Well, holy shit! If it isn’t Phina Giordano!”
Both of us make the mistake of turning around when we hear the shout from the next table over. Heading our way with a beer in his hand and a smile on his handsome face is D.J. Taylor, best friend to Collin and the guy who had the unfortunate task of handing me Collin’s break-up note senior year and dealing with me crying on his shoulder between sixth and seventh period.
“Damn, and Finnley Morgan too? It’s our lucky night, Collin!”
Collin turns around when he hears my name and looks in our direction. Our eyes meet and, for a moment, I wonder if he’ll even recognize me. I mean, seventeen years is a long time. I haven’t changed a ton, but I know I don’t look exactly like I did back then. I’m taller and I have curves and boobs that hadn’t quite filled out the last time he had his hands on them. Due to his Facebook pictures that I may or may not have poured over a few dozen times, I would recognize him anywhere. Those pictures did not do him justice, though. Phina was absolutely right. He’s definitely turned into a fine looking man. He was cute as a teenager, but he is fucking hot as an adult. He’s well over six-feet now and the worn jeans sitting low on his hips fit him like they were made for his thighs and ass. He’s wearing a long-sleeved navy-blue t-shirt that stretches across his chest, showing off some very well-defined muscles. My eyes trace over the words Franklin FD written in yellow across his chest, confirming that he must still be a fireman. The fact that the city listed on his shirt is one town over means he must have moved back home since the last time I drunkenly stalked him. I can’t explain the sudden burst of happiness any more than I can contain the smile that hits my face at the thought of Collin being so close.
I watch a dimple form on his cheek when he smiles back at me and, for some crazy reason, butterflies start rapidly beating in my stomach. I hold my breath as he picks up his bottle of beer and walks towards me.
His eyes never leave mine even as Phina says hello to him and he responds in kind. He doesn’t stop moving until he’s right in front of me and I have to crane my neck to look up at him. He’s standing so close I can feel the heat from his body and, if I move just an inch, my breasts will be pressed up against that gorgeous chest hidden beneath cotton. He smells faintly of cologne and soap and it’s such a delicious scent that it turns my brain into complete mush.
I hear Phina and D.J. chatting behind us about what they’ve been up to over the years. I know it’s rude that I haven’t said a word to D.J. in greeting, but I just can’t bring myself to look away from Collin. His blue eyes stare into mine and his smile grows wider as he looks down at me.
He whispers his nickname for me from back in the day and hearing it fall from his lips is like a straight shot of lust right between my legs.
I brace myself for the guilt to take over as I continue to smile back at him. I wait for my brain to remind me that I’m still technically married and that whatever this is I’m feeling is wrong. I wait for the remorse to come, but it never does. It’s been so long since a man looked at me like this and maybe I’m just so starved to feel something… anything other than numb that I don’t even care.
“Fuck, you look amazing,” he mutters.
Every inch of my body warms at his words and I ignore the little voice in the back of my head that is finally waking up, telling me this is a bad idea.
A really bad idea.
Chapter 4—Sparks Will Fly
“WE ARE TOO old for this fucking bar. Everyone in this place is still in college,” I complain, tipping back my bottle of beer and finishing it off.
My best friend ignores me, staring at something over my shoulder. I wave my hand in front of his face. “Hey, asshole. Are you listening to me?”
“Holy fuck, it’s Seraphina Giordano. Damn, her tits look amazing,” D.J. says with a sigh as he gets up from his stool. “I’m going over there. She let me get to second base in high school, maybe she’ll throw me a bone tonight.”
I glance up at the stars when he yells her name and send up a silent prayer that the poor guy doesn’t get punched in the face. Seventeen years since we’ve been out of high school and D.J. still has the mentality of a teenager when it comes to women. He’s been a loyal friend through the years though and when I told him after graduation that I was following my life-long dream of becoming a fireman, he shrugged his shoulders and said “Alright. Sounds like a plan. When do we leave?”
We went into the fire academy together and always made sure we were assigned to the same firehouses, even when it meant transferring out of state after the one we worked for shut down seven years ago due to budget cuts. When D.J. decided he wanted to advance his career a few years ago by becoming a paramedic, I helped him study and made sure the new addition to his profession was utilized wherever we worked. Since both of our families still live in the same houses we grew up in, when a Captain’s spot opened up the next city over from them, I came home and D.J. followed right behind me.
When D.J. suggested we go up to Slammers for a drink, it took a lot of cajoling from him to get me to agree. Slammers was our favorite bar when we were younger. We spent every weekend here hanging out with old friends and I spent most of that time staring at the front door waiting for her to walk in. After too many years spent thinking about the one that got away, D.J. finally put his foot down and told me I was being an idiot. What kind of guy still holds a torch for a girl he dated in high school? Someone he hasn’t seen or talked to in over seventeen years? I put her out of my mind once and for all when I left town.
The next shout from D.J. has me choking on a sip of beer from the new bottle the waitress just set down in front of me.
“Damn, and Finnley Morgan too? It’s our lucky night, Collin!”
Hearing her name makes me feel lightheaded and I wonder for a minute if someone slipped something into my beer. I turn around slowly, thinking that it’s possible D.J. made a mistake. What are the odds that she’s here tonight, my first weekend back in town?
My eyes zero in on her immediately. It’s hard not to when she’s still the hottest girl in the room even after all this time. I look down and find the sexiest pair of fuck-me shoes I’ve ever seen and I let my gaze slide up her long, toned legs, past hips and a rack she didn’t have at seventeen and finally rest on a face that causes all conscious thought to leave my head. I’d almost forgotten just how beautiful she is. Her full lips are covered in red lipstick and I have a sudden flashback of them wrapped around my dick when we were teenagers. I watch as her brown eyes widen when our eyes meet and a little bit of masculine pride flows through me that she recognizes me. I was a gangly, skinny teenager the last time we were in the same room together. I’m not the kind of guy to pat myself on the back, but regular workouts and carrying a hose that weighs 110 pounds up twenty flights of stairs during drills, along with carrying actual human beings up and down multiple flights of stairs during calls means I’m in pretty good shape.
My legs move automatically and I head in her direction. I can’t take my eyes off of her as I get closer and closer. I always wondered what I would say to her if I ever saw her again. ‘I’m sorry for being a dick in high school’ never seemed good enough. I stop right in front of her and her perfume tickles my nose and makes my dick swell in my jeans. It’s the same scent she wore all those years ago: a little sweet, a little spicy and just enough that it doesn’t make your eyes water, but leaves a lingering reminder of her presence in the air long after she’s gone.
I would never admit it to anyone, especially D.J. because he never lets shit go and would have too good a time making fun of me, but I’ve kept tabs on her over the years. Nothing creepy or stalkerish and really, the only reason I know anything about her life since high school is because of my mom. In a small town, it’s pretty easy to learn things about the people living in it and my mom is the queen of small town gossip. I knew Finnley stayed close to home for college and graduated with a Bachelors in business, working as a marketing manager since she got her degree. I knew she married that fucker Jordan Castillo, who swooped in like a buzzard right after we broke up, and I knew they still lived in the area. I was always surprised she never went to art school like we used to talk about.
I know it’s wrong to be having impure thoughts about a married woman, but I can’t bring myself to give a fuck. She was my girl first. We have a history and, even though it was another lifetime ago, there are some things you just don’t forget or get over. Finnley Morgan-Castillo is the one thing I’ve never forgot.
Or gotten over.
I whisper the nickname I called her when we were together and I watch her smile widen and light up her face.
“Fuck, you look amazing,” I tell her honestly as I make another blatant perusal of her body. Her hand comes up and she tugs lightly on her earlobe and I can’t help but smile. She used to do that when she was nervous. Something about the fact that I still make her nervous makes me bold enough to lean down and brush my lips against her cheek.
I slide my hand not holding the bottle of beer around her hip and let it rest on her lower back, keeping my cheek pressed against hers as I speak softly in her ear. “It’s really good to see you, Lee.”
I hear her exhale a shaky breath when I move away and let my hand fall from her back before I do something stupid, like grab her ass and kiss her square on the mouth just to see if her lips still taste like the bubblegum lip-gloss she used to wear. For all I know, that dick bag husband of hers is waiting around the corner to interrupt this little reunion and pour a cold bucket of water all over the erection I sprung the moment I heard her name.
“So, what brings you ladies to this fancy establishment tonight?” D.J. asks them with a laugh.
Finnley turns away from me and I move in next to her at the high top table, resting my elbows on top of it and watching her sip her beer out of the corner of my eye. When she licks her lips after she pulls the bottle away, I have to shift my legs to keep my hard-on under wraps.
“Oh, nothing much. Just needed to get out of the house and do some celebrating,” Phina replies, sharing a pointed look with Finnley.
Some type of weird, silent, chick communication thing goes on between them and, if I weren’t staring so intently at Finnley’s profile, I would have missed the almost imperceptible shake of her head. Before I can contemplate what that could possibly mean, D.J. takes Phina’s explanation as an invitation to celebrate with them.
“Well, shit! I think that calls for some shots. Who wants tequila?!”
Phina cheers and Finnley and I both share a groan. She looks at me and we both laugh.
“Are you thinking what I’m thinking?” she asks with a tilt of her head.
I’m pretty sure she’s not thinking about how great it would feel to have her body pressed up against mine again, so I move my train of thought away from that dangerous territory and think back to the party D.J. threw the summer before senior year.
“If you’re thinking about the time we polished off a bottle of tequila two days before school started and we were still puking during first period Spanish, then yes,” I tell her with a grin.
I watch as she grimaces and shakes her head to try and clear the memory from her mind. “Tequila es no bueno.”
We reminisce about the party and the food poisoning story the four of us told the nurse to explain why we were all sick as dogs on the first day of school. A few minutes later, shots are placed in front of us along with a plate of sugarcoated lemons.