Seattle Story #2
Nearly a year after being rejected for another man, Seattle paramedic Peter Morse is still pining, so when the one that got away asks him for a favor, he agrees. His mission: track down Sean Reid, the runaway brother of a mutual friend. Peter isn’t thrilled about it—until he finds Sean injured by the side of the road.
Everything about Sean stirs Peter’s protective instincts—saving people is what he lives for—but he never anticipated falling for someone so hell-bent on running away. On top of his physical wounds, Sean struggles with grief and guilt, and the mess his estranged father left when he died threatens to overwhelm him.
Saving Sean means Peter must let go of his pride and turn to friends and family. Asking for help is a bitter pill for Peter to swallow, but if he can’t, how can he expect Sean to accept his help—and his love—in turn?
“I WOULDN’T ask, Peter, but you’re the only person who can help. Or help quickly, at least.”
Former paramedic Peter Morse muted his Bluetooth as he drove. Once his friend Theo Anderson couldn’t hear him, he cursed, banging the heel of his palm against the steering wheel. He’d say no, he decided. He was a thirty-five-year-old man who knew how to be assertive. He could say no to Theo. He would say no.
All Peter wanted to do was get home. He’d been on the road for months in his new role as an emergency response instructor, training firefighters and emergency medical technicians across northern California, Oregon, and Washington. He was so close to Seattle now that he could almost smell it.
That morning he’d woken up smiling, in a motel room just like all the others he’d slept in since starting this new job. Only instead of feeling disoriented—wondering which city he’d woken up in—he’d thrown back the covers, eager to plow though the final class standing between him and home.
Home, with his hot tub and big grill in the backyard.
Home, with his entertainment center, sports channels, and super-comfy beat-up leather couch.
Home, with Theo to watch as he worked up a sweat at the gym.
This quick favor Theo requested involved driving in the opposite direction of home.
Peter would say no. He absolutely would. Definitely.
“It’s just that Maggie’s beside herself with worry, Peter. Her brother won’t answer her calls—it’s like he’s dropped off the face of the Earth—and now that her kids are sick, she’s stuck at home.”
None of that was Peter’s problem. Maggie was Theo’s personal assistant, not his. Peter yanked the rearview mirror toward him, pulled off his Mariners cap, and shoved his fingers through his wavy black hair in annoyance. He’d been told that he had kind-looking eyes and a reassuring expression by more patients than he could remember. Reassuring wouldn’t cut it now. Kind wouldn’t either. Not against Theo. Checking that the road ahead was clear, he took a moment to practice. He watched himself squint in the mirror.
“No.” Excellent. That sounded like he meant business.
Theo’s voice crackled in Peter’s ear, asking if he was still on the line. Throwing a last quick glance at the mirror, silently cursing at the way Theo’s worried tone made him wince, Peter drew in a long breath before preparing to speak.
Theo spoke first.
“Morgan says that he’ll go find Maggie’s brother if you can’t do it. He’s volunteering at the homeless shelter tonight, but he’ll leave first thing tomorrow. I’d come too, but I’m right in the middle of more layoffs….”
Theo’s voice trailed away as Peter huffed out a huge sigh. Of course Morgan would do it. Theo’s hot younger boyfriend, who spoke six languages fluently, who volunteered, and who made Theo’s smile finally look genuine, was Mr. Fucking Perfect.
Theo filled Peter’s grudging silence. “Maggie says that her brother Sean is an act first, think later kind of guy. He hasn’t signed the papers relating to their late father’s will yet, and that’s holding up money. He won’t talk to her. I’m not even sure they get along.”
Great. A family feud.
“You’re working along the Oregon coast this week?” Theo didn’t forget a fucking thing.
“Yeah,” Peter sighed, sounding suspiciously like a man who was about to agree to something. He toggled his Bluetooth so Theo could hear him again. Channeling all of his assertiveness training, he said, “Yes, I’ll be done by five.” He left the “and I’ll be driving straight home” unspoken. Fucking coward.
This was ridiculous. He had no interest in Maggie, her dipshit brother, or driving the wrong direction down Route 101.
He was going to say no. He absolutely was. No doubt about it.
Theo’s voice was a warm rumble in his ear, making Peter squirm. “She needs her share of the proceeds of the sale of her father’s place to cover her own mortgage. Things have been hard for her and Mike.”
Peter scrubbed at his hair again, shrugging as tension made his broad shoulders tighten. He wished he was at home already, enjoying his hot tub with a cold beer in hand, wearing only a smile. Instead, he was just starting the day dressed in his Emergency Medical Technician instructor’s uniform. His GPS broke the silence, telling him that the station house he was looking for was at the end of the street.
“Look, I gotta go. I’ll call you later.” That was almost a no.
“Let me know when you can talk. I don’t know….” Theo’s breathing sounded so close, Peter could even hear him wet his lips before he spoke again. “I think she’s desperate.”