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“I. Don’t. Do. Christmas.”
Angie resisted the impulse to argue. Their relationship had been on his terms for years, and for a very good reason. But this time Dr. Matthias Alejandro Martinez was just being stubborn.
And she still had four months to strategize. To convince him how important it was to spend Christmas at the ranch with her and their son. Until now, she’d never argued, never asked for anything, believed she had no choice but to go along with him because that’s what you did when you were in love with a heart-stoppingly gorgeous man who didn’t exist in the real world.
“Are we good here?”
Oh, not by a long shot, pal. “You know I have to be gone, like, ten minutes ago.”
He reached out with the sureness of an old lover and ran a fingertip along her jawbone, cupped her chin. “Will you kiss me goodbye?”
He always asked, never took. And, dammit, she couldn’t look into those serious blue eyes and deny the man anything. He’d been making her crazy for years, so why would it change now? She lifted to her tiptoes, and slid her fingers into the thick, unruly hair brushing the back of his white collar. “I hate you,” she said and dragged his mouth down to hers.
“I know.” Hands on her butt, he lifted her off her feet, and just when she was afraid the top of her head was going to blow off, the vibration of his cell made her groan.
“You programmed that, didn’t you?”
He set her down with a sexy chuckle and slipped on heavy, black-rimmed glasses to check the display. “I have to take this.”
“No worries. I need to be gone anyway.”
Before she could turn away, he caught her hand, ran his teeth across the knuckles, then put the phone on speaker. “Martinez, stand by.”
Angie closed the door softly behind her and made it halfway to the stairwell before she stopped. She could go back, make him understand how important Christmas was for her, why she was making plans in September. She gave her head a shake. No. And no point standing here looking like an idiot, either. Every inch of this place was on video monitor…except for the offices, washrooms and private suites. ETCETERA acknowledged few boundaries, but certain privacies were respected.
By the time she traversed a complex network of tunnels and reached the secure warehouse where her ride was stashed, she’d managed—as always—to put things in perspective. She loved a man who couldn’t follow the regular rules of relationships. A man who lived outside societal norms, underground—literally—and she was one of the few people who even knew he was alive.
She pressed her hand against the black surface of the biometric palm reader and waited until the door of the man trap opened. Once inside, she stared into the retina scanner until it beeped, then waited beside her reflection on the wall of one-way glass.
She wasn’t one to primp in front of a mirror, but she did run her fingers through her short hair to straighten what she called a man-cut—but Matt called sexy when he had his mouth on her sensitive neck.
Suddenly overwarm, she undid the top button of her flight suit, pushed up the sleeves, and sighed with relief when the lock finally snicked open.
She nodded to the guard on duty. “I’ll have the machine out of here in five.”
“Thanks, but I’ve got it.” She strode to the small but powerful black helicopter—nicknamed the Bug—and pushed buttons on the portable landing mat where it was perched. She was grateful to be back functioning in a way that made sense. Every action had a purpose and a consequence. Order mattered. Machines and flight she understood, but people confused the hell out of her.
The door lifted and the craft slid out into the bright light of day, where she went through the well-ordered steps, beginning with a walk-around, then climbing in to deal with switches, buttons, gauges and readings. Like a familiar dance, she sailed through the steps, and once the rotor RPMs were in the green, lifted off and navigated the crowded urban airspace.
Not until reaching a comfortable cruising altitude did she allow herself to tune back in to her personal life. To Matthias and the Christmas Dilemma.
One disadvantage of loving a man with a brilliant mind was the sound reasoning for his decisions. But Angie never backed away from a challenge. Ever. And losing gracefully was something she’d never been very good at.Fortunately, the flight was long, and by the time her corner of NE Texas came into sight, she had a plan.
|Out on April 30, 2016|
Kathryn Jane writes the popular Intrepid Women Series—novels filled with mystery, suspense, adventure, psychic abilities, and romance. Think MacGyver, I Love Lucy, Criminal Minds, the Mentalist, and James Bond.
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Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/Kathryn-Jane/e/B00A58PHKA/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1