The Firefighter's Thanksgiving Wish

By: Anna J. Stewart

They both know it’s true

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire!

Working with the new fire chief, Roman Salazar, is a challenge for Frankie Bettencourt. Everyone in Butterfly Harbor agrees she was the one destined for the top job at the station house! So, should she quit? No way! But she will steer clear of Roman from now on...or at least until his kindness, quick smile and can-do attitude win the town—and possibly Frankie—over for good!

“You’re right. I don’t know anything about this town...yet.

“But the respectful thing would have been for you to come to me first before making the offer to Jasper. I probably wouldn’t have said no, but you took the choice away from me and that I don’t appreciate.”

“So, you’re what?” Frankie had to admit she’d jumped the gun, and should have consulted with Roman. “Going to say no and place the blame on me?”

His relaxed face tensed for the first time. “Sassy doesn’t work with me, Frankie.”

Yeah. It didn’t work with her, either.

“You and I need to come to an understanding. You need me to sign off on Jasper’s employment as a probie.”

She gnashed her teeth. “Yes.”

“And I need you here, focused on the job. Not trying to find the best place to make things more difficult for me. I learned one important thing at the diner. I can’t do this job without you. So, here’s what we’re going to do...”

 Dear Reader,

The more time I spend in Butterfly Harbor, the more interesting the characters become. Frankie Bettencourt’s one of the strongest I’ve written. She has it all together, but even still, her insecurities mean she keeps her heart on lockdown. A firefighter following in the footsteps of her father and grandfather, she lives and breathes her work and her love for the community she serves every day. She’s tough, independent, and has known what she’s wanted from an early age. Nothing and no one will ever stand in her way…insert evil writer laugh here.

Enter Roman Salazar. He’s as determined as she is, and while he might have his sights set on a big job beyond Butterfly Harbor, he’s going to do the job he was hired to do. Even if it is the one Frankie’s been aiming for ever since she was a kid. These two are combustible from the second they breathe the same air, but rest assured, there are plenty of laughs, too, courtesy of the seniors’ Cocoon Club.

There’s something for everyone in Butterfly Harbor. Continuing readers, welcome back. To the new folk, I hope you enjoy your time here and return for more stories coming your way.

Anna J


“I’M SORRY, FRANKIE. But you didn’t get the job.”

In the days that would follow, the fact that Fire Chief Bud Granger struck Francesca Bettencourt speechless—a feat long considered impossible—would be the talk of the town. Whispers would turn to murmurs of disbelief, which would add to the legend of Frankie Bettencourt that had been building in Butterfly Harbor for the past three decades. Of course, years down the road, Frankie would argue it was her stellar control of temper that was the real accomplishment of the day. That’s what happened, Frankie supposed as she considered sinking into the familiar worn leather hardback chair across the desk from her boss, when one was blindsided.

Her knees shook. Her fists clenched. Inside, deep inside where her dreams had waited sheltered, nurtured and protected, she cracked. But she didn’t crumble. Instead, Frankie did what she always did in the face of adversity: she stood.

She cleared her throat, knowing her speak-first, think-later mentality had gotten her into more trouble than anything else. Now was not the time to lose her cool.

“Frankie?” Bud shifted in the squeaky office chair behind the old, scarred desk and winced ever so slightly. “You did hear me, right?”

“Mmm-hmm,” Frankie managed to say through numb, pressed lips. She nodded, tucked an imaginary loose bit of hair behind her ear and scrunched her toes in her worn work boots. When the tightness in her throat eased and she felt she could speak without spitting fire, she cleared her throat again and clasped her hands behind her back. “May I inquire as to whom the town council has promoted to the position?”

Bud’s wince became a full-on flinch, his small eyes almost disappearing in the wrinkles of age and experience. The chair creaked under his significant weight as his fingers tapped the file folder on the side of his desk. “Frankie—”

“I’d like to know. Sir.” Frankie loathed the tremble in her voice; she loathed any sign of weakness that slipped past her control. But she loathed the pity she saw on Bud’s round face most of all.

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