FLY by T.A. Foster
Not everyone’s good at one-night stands.
Skye Stephens has the worst day of her professional career, and all she wants to do is shed her power suit and get lost in the sheets with the hot guy she met at the bar. The problem is, this uptight ad exec doesn’t know how to do one-night stands. She has strict rules about dating and when to let a man in her bedroom.
Fighter pilot Ben “Bolt” Hardcastle is used to lovin’ and leavin’. But, after he meets Skye, one night doesn’t seem to be enough.
When these two crash-land into each other, a connection strong enough to make the loner pilot and the sexy businesswoman shed their rules about love and relationships begins to burn deeper than either of them ever expected.
The bouncer lifted the velvet rope and ushered them into Splash. The bar had an aquatic theme. Parts of the floor were cut away and replaced with glass. Bolt noticed goldfish swimming under his feet. Lights flashed under coral and shells.
“You made it.” Eagle slapped him on the back. “This place is crazy, isn’t it?”
“Yeah.” Bolt looked around. “So where is this guy? Have you already grilled him? I don’t even know his name.” He looked past an aquarium that spanned the length of the bar. He thought there might be sharks swimming inside.
“Goes by Hammer. I don’t know his call sign story yet. He was just at the bar.” Eagle squinted. “Oh shit. He’s over there.” He pointed past the sharks to a high-top table.
“Why did you say ‘oh shit’?” Bolt followed his friend’s stare.
Hollywood walked toward them. “What’s going on?”
“Over there.” Eagle nodded.
Hollywood shook his head. “Shit. What are you going to do, man?”
Bolt decided not to answer. He wasn’t prepared for the adrenaline that pumped through his body. It was possible the vein on the side of his neck was noticeably throbbing. He didn’t have a plan other than to walk toward the table. That, and undo everything from two weeks ago.
It was loud in Splash. He couldn’t hear what they were talking about, but the new guy was laying it on thick. It was obvious he was hitting on her, and Bolt hadn’t decided yet whether she liked it. He couldn’t see her eyes.
“So, are you trying to vet our pilot candidates now?” Bolt stood in between Skye and Hammer. He had to smile. She looked stunned.
“Wha—what are you doing here?” Skye stammered.
Hammer hung his head over his beer. It didn’t take introductions for him to know he had just stepped in the middle of something that could easily cost him the job interview.
“I’m here with the guys.” He nodded toward Hollywood, Eagle, and Ranger, who all raised a beer in their direction. “We’re interviewing a new candidate for the squadron. What about you?” He noticed she was wearing a suit, sort of like the one she had on the first night they met. He had to direct his eyes to look at her face and not wander.
She seemed flustered. “I’m here for work. My company did the opening night promotions for the bar. I’m here for moral support.” She smiled, letting the corners of her mouth turn higher.
“And you?” Bolt eyed the new guy.
“Hammer, sir.” He extended a hand.
Bolt shook it. “And you’re rushing the Rebels?”
“Yes, sir. I was just making conversation over here. That’s all, sir.”
Bolt chuckled. The kid was scared shitless. He couldn’t blame him. Skye was beautiful. Seeing her with someone else had made every muscle in his body tense and flex. He was glad he wasn’t going to have to punch the new guy.
“You know, if I were you, I’d be buying Hollywood and Eagle drinks. I think we’re good over here.” He glared at Hammer.
“Yes, sir. Got it, sir.” Hammer grabbed his beer and headed toward the other pilots without even saying good-bye to Skye.
“What was that all about?” She eyed Bolt.
“New guy. It’s my job to give him a hard time.” He smiled at her.
“You’re pretty good at giving a lot of people a hard time.” Her grin turned to straight-lined lips.
He didn’t have an apology prepared. In fact, he never planned on apologizing. He had always thought she was the one who blew the whole thing out of proportion until he saw Faith this afternoon. Seeing Skye again seemed to make the argument fade into the background. What was it Faith had just told him? He was happy Skye was standing next to him—her black suit and frown. Maybe there was a chance he could right all his wrongs.
“Yeah, about that. I’m sorry. I was a jerk.” He waited for her eyes to tell him if all was forgiven. “Can I buy you an apology drink?”
“Drinks are free tonight.” She held up something in a glass that was pink.
“Oh. Ok, how about dinner?” He thought he caught a glimmer of a smile.
“I already ate.”
“Hmm…what about dessert?”
She shook her head. “I don’t know.”
He edged closer so his arm brushed against hers. “Look, I know I was an ass the last time I saw you. But I can’t tell you how much of an ass, if you don’t at least give me a chance. One dessert.”
She chewed on her bottom lip. “One dessert?”
“Yep. Your choice.” He could see her weighing the pros and cons in her head. She was making him sweat it out.
“Hey, there you are!” A slender blonde sashayed next to Skye. “I was looking for you.” She stopped when she saw Bolt. “And who is this?”
He extended his hand over the table. “Ben. Nice to meet you.”
He saw recognition flash in her eyes. “Ben?” Skye must have talked about him. The good and the bad.
“Oh, well hi Ben. I’m Kari, Skye’s friend. We work together.”
“Nice to meet you. Maybe you can help me out. I’m trying to get Skye to go get dessert with me, but I really screwed up so she needs convincing.”
“Ha, she needs convincing about everything.” Kari winked.
“Kari, I can’t believe you just said that.” Skye elbowed her friend in the arm. “What about Dave? I’m supposed to meet him here tonight.” Bolt noticed the exchange between them was full of inside information.
“Just go. Have fun. You’ve done your part here. No one will even notice if you’re gone. I’ll call Dave now and tell him we’ll do it another time.”
Bolt wanted to ask who Dave was, but now wasn’t the time.
“I—I thought you might need me to stick around and help you with the promo swag.”
Kari sighed. “No, get out of here. I can do the rest.” She nudged Skye. “Bye, Ben. It was nice to meet you.”
He took his opportunity and wrapped an arm around Skye to steer her away from the table. “Bye, Kari. You too.” He winked as they rounded the shark tank.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa. Where in the hell do you think you’re going?” Hollywood stood in front of them. “Hi, Skye.”
She waved lightly. “Hi, Hollywood.”
“We’re headed out. The guy’s got my vote.” Bolt slapped Hollywood on the back. “I don’t need to have any other conversations with him. I’m fine with him.”
“But we’re getting ready to take shots.” Hollywood whined.
“Take one for me, man.” Bolt smiled and headed for the exit.
Outside, the line for Splash hadn’t shrunk. The new club had drawn a bigger crowd by the minute. Bolt threaded his fingers through Skye’s.
“And just like that you think you can sweep me off my feet?” Skye turned and studied his face.
He smiled. “Just like that.”
T.A. Foster met, fell in love with, and married her own Marine fighter pilot. Through deployments, trainings, and sometimes living oceans apart, their own love story continues every day.
She grew up catching rays and waves along the North Carolina Outer Banks and now resides in the state with her husband, two children, and two canine kiddos.
T.A. has an undergraduate degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a graduate degree in Educational Psychology from Texas A&M University. When she’s not chasing her two-legged and four-legged children or trying to escape for date night, you can find her reading, writing, or planning her next beach trip.
Author Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7164289.T_A_Foster
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