pass through the intersection. Calum jumped in his work ute, and followed the sirens. He caught up with them on the roundabout and followed them until it parked out the back of Bobâs old chemist shop.
âShit â the wiring!â Apprehension filled him and every muscle in his body tensed. Calum knew the fire chief wouldnât let him get near the place right now, but he had to get in and see what was going on. Gravel flying, he left them to do what they do best and drove around to the front of the building.
âDonât be locked, donât be locked,â he muttered to himself, nearing the papered windows and door.
He slammed on the brake outside the shop, jack-knifed out and mounted the couple of steps. He grabbed the shopâs front doorknob, twisting it, relieved that it flew open. He stumbled inside, and flung the door closed behind him, the glass rattling in the frame. His eyes searched as he strode through to the back of the empty shop. He sniffed the air for the familiar pungent smell of burning electrics, but there was nothing. He scouted around in the shopâs kitchen and storage room. Still nothing.
âFuck!â he yelled, voice echoing through the shop. He went to the stairs; a draft filtered down and he caught that telltale smell that he guessed was coming from the upstairs kitchen.
Calum took the stairs two at a time, then hurried along the carpet to the kitchen door and came to an abrupt stop. The tension in his body eased and he relaxed. He folded his arms and leant against the doorjamb, smiling, as he watched Jenniferâs arse disappear through the window. Not wanting to risk her precarious state, he waited until she was safely out.
He moved to the window and looked out. âGâday, Bruce, you lucky bastard, youâve finally got a live one?â
A strangled cry came out of Jennifer, and in a flash, her hand whisked around to cover her lovely arse.
The ladder bounced and Bruce clutched at her thighs. âKeep still,â he told Jennifer, âpretend youâre unconscious.â
* * *
âCalum McGregor?â Jennifer yelled.
Bruce stopped moving down the ladder, looked up and called out, âGâday, Cal. You might wanna look at the socket above the bench over there.â She felt him wiggle his head sideways, probably pointing in the direction Calum should look. Jennifer was thinking, heâs an electrician; heâs hardly going to miss a blackened hole in the wall.
âYeah,â Calum answered, then called out to Jennifer. âJen, donât use any plugs.â
Firemen below yelled, âMorninâ, Cal!â
âGâday. Be back later,â Calum told them.
Jennifer tried to twist around, and asked, âIs he gone?â
âErâ¦yepâ¦relax!â Bruce said, sounding a little confused.
âPretend Iâm unconscious? Seriously?â she squeezed out through a constricted diaphragm.
But that wasnât her only problem. Mindful of the fluffy, pink stiletto slip-ons, she scrunched up her toes, clinging to them, fearing that if they were flung loose theyâd hit Bruce on the head. Not a good idea, at this point, at least not until they hit solid ground.
And what was everyone laughing at? Sheâd like to see one of them try this and think it funny.
As he resumed their descent, Bruceâs firm grip tightened around her thighs.
The Veronica shift crept up. Jenniferâs desperate attempts to yank her top down past her bum proved futile. Her immediate thoughts were, how much of an eyeful did Calum get? Sheâd never be able to look him in the face again. And Christ, which undies was she wearing? And thank God, her mother couldnât see her now.
Jenniferâs world rocked. Her head bobbed, and blood rushed to her face as she clutched at Bruceâs protective jacket with its bright yellow reflector strips. She squealed