“Nuclear Heat is the fourth and last of the Firework Girls series by J.L. White, and a steamy and heartfelt grand finale for the series.” – SPR
They call us the Firework Girls.
I’m Sam. Let’s get one thing straight. Marriage is fine for some people, but it’s got nothing to do with me. If you knew the truth about my past, believe me, you’d understand.
But hey, I’m not complaining. I’ve got a good job. Great friends. And when I need a little something in the man department, well… I’ve never had any trouble getting that when I want it either.
Then Jack has to come along and screw it all up.
I never saw it coming. I mean, we’ve been friends for six years. <i>Years.</i> But in one moment… one gooseflesh-inducing, world tilting, alarming moment… it all starts to change.
Let me tell you something, the last thing in the world I wanted to do was freaking fall in love. But that Jack snuck right under my radar.
I’m not too happy about it either.
Not one damn bit.
By the time I buckle her in and start heading for her house, some of the fight seems to have gone out of her. She’s leaning back, wedged between the seat and the door, her knees together and her feet angled out in opposite directions. We drive in silence for a while, which suits me fine because I’m catching my breath from the whole thing. What in the hell’s going on with her? I can’t believe I just had to haul Sam out of a bar like that.
Thank god Nick called me. The thought of her going home with those snakes makes my blood boil. She never would’ve been even talking to guys like that if she weren’t so smashed.
I look at her, leaning back in the seat and frowning out the window. Why is she so smashed? My heart softens as I wonder if something horrible’s happened to push her to drink like this.
“Any reason why you’re drunk off your rear on a Monday night?” Or any night?
She lifts one foot and puts her boot on the dash, stretching out her leg. My eyes linger on her, my heart starting to pump. “This is all your fault,” she says.
“How is it my fault?”
She brings up the other leg and rests it on the dash as well. My body responds to the sight of her lounging all over the seat and I face forward, squeezing the wheel. “I’m mad at you, Jack.”
Well, that’s helpful. I already know she’s mad at me. Again. Hell if I know why.
“I’m going to throw up,” she says.
I look over sharply, wondering if I have time to pull over. She’s leaning back, legs still stretched out, staring out the windshield with a somber expression. Of course it can be hard to tell, but she doesn’t look about to throw up, so I take my chances and keep driving.
There’s a minute of silence, then, “Where’s Emily?”
I squeeze the wheel. “Home.”
“Do you love her, Jack?”
“Uh,” I say, caught off guard by her question. I’m saved having to answer though, because she goes on.
“I bet you do. What’s not to love? She’s beautiful and smart and funny and tall. How tall is she?”
“What?! Holy hell. See? You only have three inches on her. I once had sex with a guy who was six five. Remember him. What was his name?”
“Hell if I know.”
“It was odd, too, because his thing was kinda tiny. We made it work though.”
“Hey, how many girls have you made fall in love with you?”
I look at her sharply again. Say what? “I don’t make girls fall in love with me.” If I could, I wouldn’t be in this mess.
“Let’s see there was Trisha,” she says, counting off on her fingers, “and, uh, that blonde one. What the hell was her name?” She puts up another finger. “And Sharice.” Three fingers. “Remember that girl? She had the great big hair.” She holds her hands out from her head to indicate.
When she brings her hand back in front of her, she’s not holding up any fingers anymore. She frowns. “Wait, how many was that?”
“Do you have a point over there?”
“Yeah. You totally shouldn’t make girls fall in love with you. It’s kinda crappy. I mean, what if someone doesn’t want to be in love with you?”
“Well, no one has to fall in love with me. Geez, Sam.”
“Ha!” she says loudly, pointing at me. I stare at her. What the hell? She falls back against the seat and takes to looking out the windshield. “Shows what you know.”