Welcome to Gully’s Fall, a quaint little town in a farming district in Australia.
Now meet the cop, ambo, firies, inspector and vet, who will all find their perfect matches amidst laughter, friends, loyalty, passion, misbehaving pets and a little mystery!
Meet Simon, the firie
scroll down for excerpt Book 4 of the Gully’s Fall series
When the local fire fighter of a small town falls out of a tree to
land at her feet, Elissa didn’t expect it to be the same sweet man
who’d sat with her while she cried on his hotel balcony.
Simon had never forgotten the woman who had fled into the
rainy city night, now here she was for a wedding. Hurt and
betrayed, she’s looking for a new life. Can he convince her to make
him a part of it?
Sitting at the bar, Simon sipped on a light beer and nibbled on peanuts while watching the woman on the small stage.
For a small bar it was rather warm and welcoming. Not like the pub back home in Gully’s Fall, but okay. It’d do to unwind in while he was staying in the city doing the course for his job.
The evening crowd was filled with after-workers, young ones on dates, pretty much anyone who was old enough to enter and have a few drinks. And some, he suspected, a little younger than the legal age, but that was the barman’s job to sort, not his.
But it was the woman on the stage who held his attention right now. Man, she was enough to make his blood quicken in his veins. That softly rounded body poured into jeans and tantalisingly covered by a pale pink cotton blouse set off her rubenesque figure to perfection. The blouse wasn’t loose, not by any means. Rather than hide her generous breasts and hips, it clung lovingly to them, even dipping in at the waist which gave her a generous hour-glass look. High-heeled sandals completed her outfit.
Appreciatively, Simon’s gaze lingered on her. He did like a woman with curves, and this one had them in abundance.
The fact that she was pretty was icing on the cake. Fair hair tumbled over her shoulders in a wild disarray of curls to sweep across her breasts. The heat of the lights on the stage had pinkened those apple cheeks, and her eyes – well hell, he didn’t know the colour, but he could see that they were outlined darkly. Mascara, eye liner, her own lashes? Who knew? Whatever, it lent them a slightly mysterious appearance. But those lush lips, man, they drew his gaze, just as they probably drew every red-blooded man’s gaze. Soft, plump, and plain kissable.
If that wasn’t enough to catch his attention, the voice of the woman sure as heck did – clear, seductive, filling the room as she swayed that luscious body in time to the song she sung, one foot tapping in time to the drum behind her.
He’d been spell-bound from the moment she’d stepped up onto the stage accompanied by a whole lot of cheers and hooting. She probably sung here often, was employed to keep the drinkers entertained. They sure got their money’s worth.
Sitting sideways on the bar stool, Simon took another sip, feeling himself relax as the song changed from a fast beat to a softer, slower, and infinitely sadder tune. The woman’s voice held everyone spellbound as she sang, the music a perfect blend to her tone which swelled out to touch almost every person in the bar.
More people came in, a crowd forming, and Simon couldn’t blame them. No one in their right mind could possibly walk past the door and not enter to listen.
Song after song passed, alternating between fast, happy, sad, slow, mostly popular songs that had the crowd swaying to the tune or simply bopping along. It wasn’t only the crowd who enjoyed the singing, it was the woman herself. Simon might not be able to tell the colour of her eyes from the distance separating them, but he could see the happiness, the glow of someone who loved what she was doing. Her voice told the story of the song and that lush body did the same, dipping and swaying, strutting, provocative one song, gently moving with another song.
Christ, the woman could sing, that’s all Simon could think, and she could move. Why hadn’t he heard of her? She had to have music out on CDs somewhere.
He glanced at the barman. “What’s her name?”
“Know what you’re thinking, mate.” The barman chuckled. “You won’t find her music in a CD shop.”
“She doesn’t do this professionally.” The barman nodded towards the empty glass. “Refill?”
“No, thanks.” Simon glanced back at the woman, watched as she shoved one hand through her hair to push it back from her face. “I can’t believe she’s not some big star.”
“Definitely wouldn’t be singing here then, would she?”
“Guess not.” But then the entertainment industry wasn’t easy to get into, so maybe- His gaze flashed back to her face as the music died away.
“That’s it, folks!” she called out. “Thanks for a great time!”
There were hollers of disappointment, pleadings to do another song, but with a laugh and shake of her head, the woman disappeared through a door in the side of the stage.
The band started playing again but without her dulcet tones it was definitely missing something for Simon. He glanced around the bar, watching for her appearance.
“No use looking.” The barman appeared as if by magic. “Lis doesn’t come out into the bar after she sings.”
“Where does she go?”
The barman tapped his finger against the side of his nose.
Great, she wouldn’t be appearing. Feeling as though he’d lost something he’d never even known about, Simon stood and stretched. “Well, if that voice of an angel isn’t going to come on again tonight, then I’m going to bed.” He glanced at the barman. “Is she coming back out again?”
“Nope. When she says ‘that’s it’, that’s it.”
Damn. With a mental shrug, Simon walked through the crowd and out onto the street. He couldn’t help glancing around but there was no sign of the woman, or if there was, she was lost in the crowd of people who spilled out to stand in groups talking, walking away, a couple getting a little antsy with each other and shoving.
Definitely time to leave, he wasn’t interested in getting involved in a drunken brawl.
Taking the elevator up to the fourth floor, he walked along the balcony until he came to his room. Everything was deserted, no signs of life. This particular section of the hotel was empty, the rooms being redecorated. His had already been done and he didn’t mind being on his own on this side of the fourth floor, so the hotel had happily rented him the room. Personally he liked the silence after the roar and bustle of the city, the intensity of the course he attended during the day, and the crowd below in the bar.
Simon showered before flopping onto the bed, slipping on his reading glasses while simultaneously picking up his book and the remote control to flick on the TV. If it wasn’t for the weather forecast telling him it was raining outside right now he wouldn’t have known. Back home he’d have heard it clearly on the tin roof.
Now that made him a little homesick. Still, he only had a couple more days to go before he headed for home.
He read some of the book before removing his glasses and setting them on the bedside chest of drawers to watch a popular cop show on TV while munching on an apple. When he finally turned everything off and went to sleep, his dreams were filled with a sparkling smile and a lush body that swayed seductively enough to have him waking less than two hours later with heat in his groin and his pulse thumping a little heavier.
Yep, the woman had definitely affected him. That hadn’t happened in awhile.
Switching on the bedside lamp, he got up, grabbed a bottle of water from the little ‘fridge and crossed to the window, pushing it open the small amount it allowed to let in the rain-washed air, breathing deeply, only to grimace a little as the smell of exhaust fumes carried along with it.
Man, he missed home. There the wind-washed rain would carry the scent of the bush.
Looking out at the lights of cars thickly dotting the highway, he wondered if the mysterious woman drove one of them, had her own driver, or even had a boyfriend or husband who took her home.
Taking a sip of water, he stared out at the lights for a long time.
Slowly he became aware of something else, a soft sound at first, growing steadily before drifting off and restarting.
Someone was crying.
He looked at the door of his room. Whoever was crying was doing it on the balcony, and whoever it was, was crying like their heart would break.
It wasn’t his business, people cried for all kinds of reasons, but what worried him was that no one apart from him was supposed to be up in this section of the hotel…and the fact that the balcony opened into the night air.
Crossing to the door, he placed his ear to it and listened.
Yep, definitely someone sobbing, and that someone sounded female. He listened for other voices, a male voice of a reassuring boyfriend maybe, or a female friend. Sister. Husband. Anything, really, that proclaimed the crier as not being alone.
There was nothing but the lone crying.
Running a hand through his hair, he sighed. Nope, he couldn’t just go back to bed. Not without taking a peek to see if the crier was okay and not in danger of maybe flinging herself off the balcony. God knew what was making her cry.
Opening the door a fraction, he peeked through to see a figure sitting on the balcony floor, her back against the wall, the rail well above her. Her elbows were propped on her drawn-up knees, her forehead resting in her hands, head down as she just cried her eyes out.
Closing the door quietly, Simon took a mouthful of water, set the bottle on the little bench, crossed to the small table in the corner where his discarded jeans lay and pulled them on. Padding barefoot to the fridge, he retrieved another bottle of water, picked up his bottle and moved to the door. Opening it, he stepped out onto the balcony.
The woman – girl, for all he knew – just kept crying like her heart was breaking. Was he coming across a broken heart? Wounded heart? Despair?
He glanced around. Nope, no one lurked nearby, the dimly-lit balcony with the rooms running down one side and the waist high wall with a rail atop it on the other side, was entirely deserted except for himself and the crier.
Moving across to stand beside her, he studied her. No smell of alcohol. Fair hair pulled into a thick, tight bun at the back of her head. In the dimness her blouse was pale, and he could see a pair of shapely feet in strappy gold sandals, neat little toes with the short nails painted some kind of pearly colour.
Coming down onto one knee beside her, but not too close, he asked quietly, “Ma’am, are you all right?”
The woman froze, but the sobs didn’t. They still shook her even as she visibly tried to hold them back.
“Ma’am, it’s all right,” Simon continued soothingly. “I’m here alone, there’s no one else with me. You’re safe, I won’t hurt you.”
She shifted her knees closer to her. Unfortunately, because of her sweetly rounded figure, she couldn’t press her knees flat to her chest. Not to mention she had an impressive bosom that also made it impossible. Slowly she lowered her hands from he forehead and tilted her head back to look up at him.
“Here’s some water.” Simon held it out to her. “Can I call someone for you?”
Her face appeared out of the shadows, relief filling him when her eyes appeared normal, no pin-prick of narcotics, but then he registered her features and could only lift his eyebrows in surprise. Holy cow, it was the singer from the bar.
Her pretty face no longer shone with happiness, her lips no longer formed words that flowed so passionately. Instead those lush pillows trembled, her tip-tilted nose was pink at the tip, and her cheeks were wet with tears.
copyright 2015 Angela Verdenius