Love Under Two Jessops - By Cara Covington

Chapter 1
It was the most up-to-date firehouse that money could buy. It contained a pumper truck, a tanker truck, and, of course, the EMT ambulance. The living quarters included a bunk room, showers, and a small lounge with one big-ass television screen. It had a shiny chrome kitchen, with every implement a gourmet chef could possibly salivate over, and a chrome and glass table big enough to seat eight. The office held four desks, with state-of-the-art computers, and landlines used more to supplement individual cell phones than as the communication option of first choice they would have been in the past.

The conference room featured a long table with plenty of comfy chairs to go around. On the wall in that room hung a trio of maps. One was of the town of Lusty, newly updated to include the new street just added to the official "town plan." The second map depicted Benedict County, with Lusty represented by a red circle, and with other small towns and communities shown as other red circles. The third map included Benedict County, and here Lusty was represented by just a small dot, for the counties surrounding and touching Benedict County had also been included as well.

This firehouse might be inside the town of Lusty, but the men who manned her could be called to fires or other emergencies in any of the neighboring counties, if the need arose.

In rural Texas, everyone helped everyone else. That was one of the reasons Andrew Jessop was pleased as hell to be home.

He turned from his perusal of his new domain - well, his and his brother Grant's new domain - to look out the front window. The vista before him was of Masterson Street and also Main Street, for the firehouse stood on the corner of Main and Masterson. His view was primarily southward down Main Street, to the shops and businesses, some newer than others, that made up a part of his hometown.

About a block north of Lusty Appetites and south of where he stood, a new business was getting ready to open, rejuvenating the former dry cleaning store next to Darryl's Duds. As he watched, a woman came into view, her attention focused above her head. Gord Jessop, the town's mechanic and general jack-of-all-trades and one of Andrew's many cousins, was perched on an extended ladder leaning against the building, installing a sign.

Her brown hair that hung to her shoulders was caught up, as usual, into a saucy ponytail, and he knew from memory that her pretty brown eyes held a world of hurt. She was just a tiny little thing - though he knew her self-image reflected a slightly different reality. Her breasts were better than average size and Andrew ached to find out if they felt as soft and tasted as good as he'd dreamt they did.

Her name was Chloe Rhodes, Lusty's newest resident, and she was the other reason he was so glad to be back home in Lusty.

Chloe didn't understand just how hard or how permanently both he and his brother Grant - never mind that man's protestations to the contrary - had fallen for her. She also didn't yet seem to understand that she was, in fact, their woman.

But she would, and soon - at least she would if he had anything to say about it.

"Sign looks good."

Andrew hadn't even heard his brother approach, so intently had he been focused on their woman. Hell, he hadn't even noticed the sign itself. Now he looked at the pretty pink and gold piece of plastic that proclaimed, in fancy script, The Lusty Glow Day Spa.

"Catchy name," Andrew said.

"Appropriate, too, since I heard she's going to offer 'waxing' for ladies who want that neat and tidy look."

Andrew grinned, and then turned to look at his brother. Miss Chloe wasn't the only one who'd been fighting the inevitable. His brother Grant had been doing a lot of noncommittal-type grunting where their woman was concerned. Now, looking at the man who was not only a sibling but his very best friend, Andrew said, "I sense your defenses are weakening toward her."

Grant shoved his hands in his pockets, and then shrugged. "She doesn't seem the sort who wants or needs hearts and flowers, which is fine by me. I'm no good at that romantic, flowery shit."

Andrew beat back his smile. His brother liked to play the rough, tough he-man, but Andrew suspected where their woman was concerned, he was just a big teddy bear at heart.

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