Informed Risk: A Hero for Sophie Jones
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Playing with Fire
Mike Cavanaugh was a firefighter; it was his job to rescue people. Though inviting them home wasn't usually part of the job description. But when he pulled Christine Palmer out of her burning house, something about the gutsy single mom made him want to protect her, to make her life a little better. Only somehow Chris and her family ended up giving Mike's life new meaning, and he was happier than he'd been in years.
But Chris was smart and resourceful. She'd get back on her own two feet—sooner rather than later. And when she no longer needed Mike's support, would she still want his love?
several life-jacketed toddlers and said hello to two boys named Pete and Mark, who were also related to Joneses in some way he didn’t quite catch, he was allowed to spread his towel in the warm sand. Sophie yanked off the big beach shirt she’d worn over her cute blue suit and tossed it to the ground. “Last one in’s a claim jumper!” She raced for the water’s edge and dived in so quickly, he’d lost the game before he even realized he was playing it. He took off and hit the water fast. Damn, he’d
good. But back at the hotel, the message light remained dark. She hardly slept the whole night, her nerves on a razor’s edge, waiting for the phone to ring. It never did. The next morning she rose at six. She took a long walk down city streets that were already clogging up with cars. Around eight, she stopped for breakfast at an outdoor café. She ate croissants and poached eggs, sitting next to a potted palm beneath a Cinzano umbrella. Then she returned to her room—to find she had no messages.
think it,” she said. This time his eyes sparkled with the grin. He was feeling a lot better. “Come on, Chrissie. You can’t make me not think it.” She threw a couch pillow at him. And, in spite of herself, she laughed at him. Or at herself—it was hard to tell which. After all, she’d been thinking the same thing almost since she met him. It just scared her, that was all. But not enough to run for her life. It was the middle of the night, and Mattie Cavanaugh was sitting up on the edge of her
turn in the upstairs shower to wash away the acrid odor of smoke that clung to his hair and skin. While he lathered his hair he thought of his mother, who lived nearby. She would have heard the sirens and might be lying awake, wondering if her firstborn was all right. Mike knew this because his father had told him; his mother had never admitted it. He could give her a call, his father had suggested, making Mike suspect it wasn’t only his mother who worried. But, hell, he was thirty-six years old.
said, blowing her nose. “It’s just like with Steve—I mean Fred. Oh, damn, I’ll never be able to think of him as Fred. It’s just another way of using a person. I met Mike’s needs by being needy.” “And you felt used?” “No. Yes. I mean, I didn’t feel used, but he was angry about the money. Angry—can you imagine? He came right out and said it, too. He resented my money. He didn’t want me to buy things for him anymore. He said he’d like it better if I couldn’t.” “I know men who like having fat