Caitlyn Ross lives to fly planes. Accepting the job as pilot for Lone Star Wings seems like a dream come true. But when she packs up everything she owns and finds herself working for the brooding Tyler McCade, her defenses go on high alert. The sexual tension sizzles, but does she have what it takes to help him heal? And is she even brave enough to try?
"It's getting late and it's been a long day," Tyler said. "I'll see you in the morning."
He started past her toward the door. Before Caitlyn could think better of it, she grabbed the sleeve of his shirt to stall his departure. "Wait."
He stared at her hand on his arm, then at her, but didn’t pull away. “What do you think you’re doing?” he asked in a dangerously soft voice.
Obviously playing with fire, that's what.
Caitlyn quickly dropped her hand. She didn’t know what had prompted her to touch Tyler, but that brief contact left her fingers scorched and her heart racing. "Ignoring the situation isn't going to make it go away," she said.
"What's that supposed to mean?" His voice went softer, more dangerous. His hot blue eyes lasered in on her. "What situation?"
She swallowed hard. Anger mixed with the strong sexual vibes pulsated between them. “I’ve been here for almost a month,” she said. “Except for that first day when we had dinner together, you’ve been avoiding me like the plague."
He stepped toward her, his big body seemingly growing, expanding with his anger. Irritation. Something. “I taught you what you needed to know to be an ag pilot, didn't I?"
Caitlyn stepped back. "Yes."
Tyler took two steps forward. "I didn't avoid you then, did I?" he said between gritted teeth.
"No. Not exactly." Goodness, the man was tense. And now he was invading her personal space. How could she have thought for a moment that she'd imagined those sparks of awareness shooting between them? They were brighter and more intense than fireworks on the Fourth of July. "But you can't deny you've been avoiding me since then, can you?"
Tyler stood directly in front of Caitlyn and stared into her eyes. He was close enough to smell her fragrance, feel the heat from her body. Her windblown hair tumbled around her face in wild disarray. His fingers itched to run themselves through the silken tangles.
Unable to help himself, he reached out one hand and touched her soft cheek. She closed her eyes and her dark lashes made feathery crescents against her creamy skin. He'd been dying to touch her again. To feel her warmth and vitality.
He rubbed his thumb across her bottom lip. Back and forth. Back and forth, until her eyes flew open. Keeping his gaze locked on hers, he leisurely traced his finger down her jaw line and the curve of her neck. "This is why I've been avoiding you . . ."
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Claire never would have believed she could react this way to a strange man. His spicy aftershave turned her insides to mush. "I have the paperwork filled out," she said, scooting a neatly typed sheet of paper across the desk. "All I need is some ID and your signature."
Dillon reached in his pocket and pulled out his wallet. He handed over his driver's license, then skimmed the paper.
Claire stared at the plastic card in her hand. "This says your name is Dillon Andrews."
He looked up from the paper, leaned forward and motioned for her to do the same. His gaze locked on her. Mesmerized her. She leaned closer.
"Ms. Maxwell," he said, his soft tone just this side of a whisper, "I'm working under an assumed name. The ID is fake. This is an undercover investigation. You need to remember that at all times. Got it?"
He carefully enunciated each word, almost in exaggeration, like he was explaining something to an inept child. Claire felt her hackles rise. His eyes held her frozen. He wasn't looking at her like she was a child . . .
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Suddenly, he twirled her around and Tori looked up at him. He really was a brutally handsome man, his features hard as granite. She fleetingly wondered how a man who looked so fierce, so feral, could scatter such gentle kisses across her sensitive skin. How a man who had uprooted his whole life so he could help his sick mother--how could such a man look at her with such intense yearning? Such hot passion?
Sam's eyes dilated beneath heavy lids. He bent toward her, stopping only millimeters from her mouth. His breath was hot on her lips. Tori's stomach dipped in an alarming manner.
"I'm going to kiss you." His voice was rough with desire. "I've been wanting to kiss you from the first moment I saw you at the bar."
He yanked her into his strong arms and gathered her close. Before Tori could say or do anything, his mouth crushed down on hers in a hungry savage kiss.
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"Oh, honey," he said. "Please don't cry again. You don't know how bad it tears me up inside to see you so unhappy."
"I can't help it." She wiped her cheek with the back of her hand, blinking and sniffling as more tears fell. She raised soul-sad eyes to his. "Don't you think I'm tired of all this? Tired of crying? Tired of being sad?" Her voice broke on a sob. "Why did he have to die? Why? I feel so alone. So very much . . . alone."
Pete pushed back his chair and quickly walked around the desk. He pulled Kelsey from her seat and into his arms. "Shush now. You're not alone. You have a loving family and good friends to support you."
And me. But he didn't say that. They didn't belong together. He wasn't the right man for her. But that logical argument didn't seem to matter to his heart. He was constantly fighting an internal battle against wanting Kelsey with an urgency that nearly brought him to his knees and knowing he couldn't . . . shouldn't start anything with her, especially when she was in such a vulnerable state.
What was he thinking? He couldn't start anything with her ever.
He held her close while she sobbed her heart out. Poor kid. He rested his chin on the top of her head, the scent of strawberries and woman filling his nostrils. He rubbed her back with one hand, while hugging her to his body with the other. She wrapped her arms around his waist and leaned against him, her head tucked in the crook of his shoulder like when they'd danced together last week.
Only, now it was just the two of them. No family, no friends, no interested spectators.
Pete let her have her cry out. After several minutes, her tears finally stopped. She hiccoughed and stood frozen in place, plastered against him. Aw man. Why did her body have to fit him so perfectly? With a will of its own, his libido kicked into full throttle; he couldn't control the flash of heat threatening to consume him. He gritted his teeth trying to rein in his unseemly reaction to the circumstances.
Kelsey slowly unwrapped her arms from around his waist and moved her hands to the front of his jacket. She patted the damp fabric right above his heart. "I got you all wet. I'm sorry." She tilted her head to look at him, her eyelashes spiked with tears.
He felt her stiffen in his embrace, her eyes widening, dilating with awareness. Oh God. How was he supposed to resist that primal signal of desire? Resist her? He was only human after all.
"Pete?" Her voice was breathy, a whisper, bedroom soft.
Never before had his name sounded so good, so sexy on anyone's lips.
Her breath hitched, and before Pete could do something stupid like act on his inappropriate hunger for her, Kelsey took his choice away. She stood on tiptoe, draped her arms around his neck and pressed her mouth to his.
Instant sexual combustion blind-sided him. His mind went blank and instinct took over. She was female to his male. He wanted her in the most elemental way. He'd wanted her for weeks, months, years, and now she was in his arms, kissing him like there was no tomorrow.
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