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Ryan and Chloe eyed each other as they paced the hall outside the chief’s office.
Ryan spoke first. “I never expected to see you again.”
She halted and jammed her hands on her hips. “What’s that supposed to mean?” Easy, Chloe. Her sister Shannon’s only advice when Chloe had told her about this guy was, “Ignore his shenanigans. A quarrel is like buttermilk. Once it’s out of the churn, the more you shake it, the more sour it grows.” Shannon might be right, but this guy pushed her buttons and it was hard not to react.
“I just meant when I got the call to come in and see Chief O’Brian, I thought it was to fill out paperwork and firm up a starting date for training.”
She took a deep breath and tried to relax. “I thought that as well.”
He strolled up to her and looked down, looming over her, as if he wanted to express dominance. “I hear an accent. Where are you from?”
Feckers. He’d better not think he has an advantage by being born a man in the USA. Chloe had spent the last year not only working hard with her brother to bring his brownstone back to its former elegance, but she’d also been watching and listening to the electricians and plumbers with Boston accents. When she wasn’t doing anything physical, she watched HGTV and YouTube videos, trying to adopt American expressions.
She decided to fight fire with fire. Facing the haughty man, she said, “Where are you from? You have an accent too.”
He leaned back and laughed. “Nice try, sweetheart. I was born right here in Boston. Now, you never answered my question. Where are you from?”
“I may not have been born here, but I love my adopted country. I worked hard to become a citizen.” That much was true. She’d studied her heart out and passed the citizenship exam without getting one wrong answer. Her apartment managers Sly and Morgaine had dropped by and given her pop quizzes. They enjoyed helping fellow paranormals and had even created a clubhouse in one of the vacant apartments just for them. That was one of Chloe’s main reasons for staying in Boston instead of returning to her lonely existence in rural Ireland.
He shrugged. Then, almost as an afterthought, he said, “I don’t even know your name.”
“And I don’t know yours.” So far she had refrained from pointing out that she wasn’t his sweetheart, but it might be less irksome if he used her real name. She sighed and extended her hand. “I’m Chloe Arish.”
“Ah! I knew it. You’re Irish. Your last name even says so.”
He hadn’t clasped her hand yet, but she kept it extended. “It’s pronounced Ah-rish. Spelled with an A, not an I. And you are?”
“Ryan Fierro.” He finally clasped her hand in a firm, almost punishing, handshake.
She smiled. He’d have to squeeze a lot harder to make a dragon wince.
At last Chief O’Brian’s door opened. “Come in,” he said.
They glanced at each other, hesitating.
“Both of you,” the chief added.
Ryan gestured with a sweep of his hand. “Ladies first.”
Ignore, ignore, ignore, Chloe told herself. She smiled and strode in, taking a seat on one of the hard plastic chairs in front of the chief’s desk. Apparently he didn’t want anyone to get too comfortable, leading to extended visits. That was fine with her.
Ryan followed and took the other seat, adopting a relaxed pose.
When the chief was finally seated in the only comfortable chair, he folded his hands on his desk and leaned forward.
“This was a difficult decision. On one hand, Ryan is well known to us and his test scores were excellent.”
Shite. He has the job.
“On the other hand, Chloe’s scores were equally good, and in the spirit of equality—”
Ryan groaned and rolled his eyes.
The chief stopped mid-speech and glared at him. Chloe’s hope resurfaced. Even if she got the job based on her gender, she’d take it without hesitation.
“If you’ll let me finish…”
“I apologize,” Ryan said quickly. “Please continue.”
Chief O’Brian took a deep breath and said, “I had to go to the commissioner and beg for extra funding. I pointed out that the Back Bay not only houses a wealthy population with high expectations, but our area includes the Boston Marathon’s finish line, historical landmarks, plus lots of dorms and fraternities with careless students who think nothing of drinking and lighting cigarettes or candles. Anyway, I got the funding. We’re taking you both.”
Chloe let out a whoop and grinned. Meanwhile Ryan’s eyes rounded and his mouth hung open.
I guess that was quite unexpected. “Thank you, sir,” she said. “You won’t be sorry.”
“I’d better not be,” the chief stated bluntly.
ONE JOB OPENINGTWO SHIFTERS APPLY…SPARKS FLYDragon shifter Chloe Arish is hell-bent on becoming a Boston firefighter. She uses her Irish charm and fake documents to score an interview, knowing she has to work every bit as hard as a man—harder if she wants their respect.Born into a legendary Boston firefighting family, phoenix shifter Ryan Fierro can’t possibly let someone best him on the training course or the job. He’d never hear the end of it. When a feisty new recruit comes along who’s determined to do just that, Ryan plots to kick her out—until their sizzling chemistry turns explosive…
Series: Boston Dragons #2
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Release Date: September 6th 2016
Formats: paperback, ebook, audio
Buying Links: Amazon* | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository* | iBooks* | Kobo
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