After losing her parents, Presley Griffith will be spending the holidays alone, and wishes new traditions were easier to establish. But instead of being by herself, she ends up in bed with Frazier Boyle and Gunnar Stewart. The cop and the firefighter heat things up and cool them down, and Presley can’t think of a better way to be merry and bright.
Presley Griffith exited the treatment area and made her way toward the staff lounge. Her shift had ended over an hour ago, but when the paramedics brought in an abuse victim fifteen minutes before her scheduled leave time, she had stayed to help out.
She thrived on a good trauma, but she often wondered what drove people to commit violent acts against each other—especially close to the holidays when good cheer and glad tidings were supposed to be abundant.
“Right. Not so much,” she muttered. At least she’d left the patient in the very capable presence of Detective Gunnar Stewart.
She pushed the door to the lounge open, grabbed a large mug of coffee, and plopped down beside Frazier Boyle, a firefighter from Two-House, the station closest to the hospital. He’d pulled medic duty today and had brought the victim in.
His good looks fooled some of the nurses, but he had a keen mind and cared about his work. He also flirted shamelessly and had loads of charm, just a few reasons why Presley enjoyed his company so much.
He glanced up from his report. “Tough one. That kid is barely legal, and her pimp kicked the shit out of her for calling home.”
Presley grimaced. “I hate seeing the stupidity of the human race sometimes. At least I left her in good hands.” She paused. “I didn’t think Gunnar had duty tonight.”
Frazier winced. “He didn’t. I called him. He pulled a similar case last week.”
Presley nodded. “Ah. Gotcha.” She tilted her head from side to side. “Man, it’s been a long day.”
Frazier scooted his chair back and patted his lap. “Come on, gimme your feet.”
Too tired to argue, she slid her clogs off and propped her legs against Frazier’s thighs. It felt so good to stretch out a little.
Frazier grabbed both of her feet in his hands and squeezed. Presley bit back a moan—the man had great hands, and her twelve-plus hours had taken a toll.
Shit. Twelve hours.
She straightened. “Look, I’ve been here since 7:00 a.m., my feet probably—”
His thumbs dug into the balls of her feet.
Her head lolled back. “Oh, my God, that feels sooooo good.”
Frazier grinned. “I have magic in my fingers, Pres. You should experience everything they can do.”
Presley chuckled. “So you keep saying.” She had no doubt he could make her sing with satisfaction… if she’d let him.
Frazier focused on her right sole, kneading and massaging between her toes. Even through her socks, the warm touch of his hands soothed her aching muscles.
Frazier snorted. “And you keep turning me down.”
Presley didn’t answer, lost in the exquisite play of his ministrations. She didn’t exactly turn him down, but she chose not to take the bait. Frazier, with the full, sensual curve to his lips, hit her hot spots. But his best friend, Gunnar, cool, aloof and intensely sexy, also got her blood thrumming and her heart pounding. She truly liked both and didn’t want to choose… not yet. But it didn’t stop their friendly rivalry.
Frazier switched to her other foot and pressed his fingers along her arch. A relaxed languidness settled in her limbs. She could almost die happy.
She groaned. “God, yes. That’s perfect. Right there.” She flexed her toes and shuddered.
“If I didn’t know better, I’d swear there’s hot sex going on in here.”
Presley jerked her feet from Frazier’s grasp and angled around. “Gunnar, how’s my patient?”
Gunnar sat in the empty chair at the table and gave a quick rundown. “She’s scared and hurting.” He picked up Presley’s forgotten mug of coffee and took a large gulp. “And she’s not talking much yet. But she will. I’ve got good vibes about this one.” He glanced toward Frazier. “Thanks for calling me.”
Frazier nodded. “No problem. Not exactly SOP, but I figured you’d be interested. What are best friends for?”
Gunnar drained the mug and got up for more. “She liked you a lot, Pres. Commented how you made her feel safe.”
Presley smiled. “I’m glad I put her at ease. She fought the doctors when they tried to restrain her to get x-rays because she wouldn’t settle down.”
Gunnar eased back down in the seat. “That’s because her pimp set her up for a bondage session. She’s still pretty green.” He added a tub of creamer to the java. “She balked and ran, called home, and barely hung up before the bastard caught up to her.”
Presley sighed. “She could’ve potentially been home for the holidays. Now she’ll be here—safe, but alone.”
Gunnar nodded, a hard edge to his gaze. Presley had no doubt when he got a hold of the pimp the guy would remember Gunnar for a long time. Frazier finished writing his report and closed the file. Presley tried really hard not to get caught staring at either man. She had a case of the holiday blues and didn’t want to drag either guy into it.
Frazier shifted the subject. “Pres, are you headed home?”
She shook her head. “Not this year. With Mom and Dad gone, my brothers are each going with their families in separate directions.” She shrugged. “I think we’re all feeling the need to not be around the big house during the holidays.” She chuckled. “My mom used to go all out. It looked like Christmas threw up around their place from the day after Thanksgiving until January 5th.”
Frazier laid a hand on hers. “You got to spend turkey day with your brothers, didn’t you?”
She nodded. “Yep. I shopped early and took presents for everyone. Can’t disappoint the nieces and nephews.” She shook her head. “They each invited me to tag along, but I didn’t want to take time off, and I thought it would be easier to get through this first holiday by myself.”
Gunnar lifted a brow. “Let me guess. You’re gonna work, right?”
She shot him a bland look. “You know it. I work Christmas Eve, and I’m on call Christmas Day.” She’d miss being with her family, but she’d deal just fine. “What about you guys? Spending time with relatives?”
Frazier grimaced. “Not me. I’m skipping the festivities this year.”
Presley laughed at the sour look on his face.
Gunnar smirked. “His parents got divorced in March, not long after you started here.”
Frazier sighed. “My older brother picked Dad. The younger one is catering to Mom.” He shrugged. “I’m odd man out and refused to choose. No way am I stepping into that mine field.”
Presley wrinkled her nose. “Ugh. Can’t blame you.” She glanced toward Gunnar. “And you?”
He snorted. “No family. No commitments.” He nudged Frazier. “I’ll probably knock on his door when I get hungry, and we’ll grab something together.” He leaned in close to Presley. “Or… you could spend the day with me.” He waggled his eyebrows for effect.
And looked damned fine doing it.
Frazier added his two cents. “Maybe she wants to spend the day with me.” He slid a sideways glance her way. “When Gunnar knocks, we can pretend we don’t hear him.”
Presley laughed. “Stop it. You guys know I’m not gonna get in the way of your bromance by going out with either of you.”
Mainly because she pretty much couldn’t pick one. Both had exactly what she wanted in a man. Warm and sensual Frazier, cool and sexy Gunnar—combined they’d be the perfect blend.
Frazier frowned. “Bromance sounds so, I don’t know, kinky.”
Gunnar slapped him on the shoulder. “Nothing wrong with kinky, bro, as long as everyone’s cool with it.”
Presley’s face flamed. Her tired brain conjured up images of being surrounded by the two guys in the throes of hot, steamy sex. She shook off the sensual byplay and yawned. Time to get moving.
She slipped her feet back inside her clogs and rose. “Okay, I gotta get out of here, or I’ll fall asleep walking home.” She made her way to her locker and grabbed her winter coat and scarf. “If I don’t see you two, have a nice holiday.”
Gunnar startled her by helping her into her jacket. “I’m sorry you can’t be with your family.”
His warm breath against her ear sent a shiver down her spine, but his kindness touched her.
Presley smiled. “Thanks. Maybe next year.” She knotted her scarf around her throat. “I kind of wish new traditions were easier to begin.”
She sighed, then waved before exiting the lounge.