The Challenge between Ellie Ryan and Vince Corelli had been tough. It was both mentally and physically exhausting, not to mention overloaded with sexual tension. In the end, Ellie exited victorious as the test pilot of the brand new XH8 helicopter, Vince was offered a high paying private sector job, and they finally allow themselves one night of passion before going their separate ways.
Months later, Ellie’s crew has been murdered and the prototype helicopter she was piloting hijacked. All evidence leads to her involvement in a deadly terrorist game. Her only hope of survival is to open herself up and accept help, if it arrives in time.
Vince, a Resolutions operative, is sent to retrieve the XH8 from Colombia and deal with the woman the U.S. military believes to be behind the plot to kill hundreds of thousands of Americans, but will he be able to overcome his trust issues in time to prove Ellie’s innocence?
“Well, flyboy, looks like the best man won The Challenge.” Chief Ellie Ryan raised her bottle of beer. The rest of the men gathered around a table at The Cockpit bar, followed suit.
“Except the best man in this instance is a woman.” Vince Corelli clinked his longneck against hers and noted for the one-millionth time what a damn fine-looking woman sat next to him. How often did he get to meet the real deal…an awesome pilot and a man’s wet dream rolled into one? After six months of working side by side, Vince needed to take his Ellie-inspired, constant hard-on and hit the road.
“Hey man, how’s it feel to be bested by a woman?” Goose, her copilot, teased. “Gotta be rough on the ego.”
“Nah, real men don’t have inflated egos.” Vince wiggled his bottle, signaling the waitress to bring another round.
“Says the man with the two-hundred megawatt ego.” She wrapped her lips around the rim of her bottle. What Vince wouldn’t give to have those lips wrapped around his cock. “I’m still trying to figure out how you even found a helmet large enough to fit your over-sized noggin.”
Samuels slapped his beer onto the table. “Fuck the helmet. I want to know where the major general found a cockpit big enough for his head.”
Another circle of laughter surrounded him. “You do know men with big egos have cocks to match.”
“Wait a second. Didn’t you just tell me and the guys you didn’t have an ego?” Her eyes swam with laughter, her excitement and happiness contagious.
Wilson stood and made a few obscene gestures with his pelvis. “Ryan’s got you there, man.”
The new tray of beers arrived, and Vince rose and held his bottle out. “Seriously. I want to wish Ryan the best in her new position as pilot of the XH8 prototype. You kicked my flying ass out there, and no one deserves the honor more than you, Chief.” He clinked his bottle to hers. “Bottoms up.”
The rest of the crew tapped their bottles together and downed their brews. The group’s trash-
talk grew loud and, for the most part, obnoxious, but damn if he wasn’t going to miss working with them. Even with the constant boner he carried around her, he’d miss her, too. Hell, he’d miss her the most.
She stood, still clutching her bottle. “Thank you, flyboy, for your kind words. They touched me right here.” She tapped her bottle over her heart. “Even if they were total bullshit.”
“You were neck and neck with me throughout The Challenge. Picking a winner had to have been a toss-up, I’m sure. And unfortunately in the end, the committee went with the better-looking competitor…me.”
“Having my ass beat by a beautiful woman sounds pretty kinky to me, Ryan.” He wiggled his brows at Ellie.
“We all know the pilot with the biggest set of balls won The Challenge.” Wilson raised his bottle. “But I think we’re gonna miss you, Corelli.”
“Like a bad STD,” Sammy added.
The men were full of jokes tonight.
“Thanks, Ryan, and everyone else. Your insults tonight have touched me deeply. I’ve never felt so loved. If I can ever do a favor for any of you, don’t fucking call me. I screen my calls.” He took a swig from his bottle. “What the fuck. I’m gonna block all your numbers.”
Teri Riggs was destined to be a writer. As a small girl she didn’t read bedtime stories, she made up her own. Who needed Little Red Riding Hood or The Three Little Pigs when there were so many great tales bouncing around in her head? When she grew up and became a mother to three little girls, she continued the tradition of making up bedtime stories. On the occasions she chose to tell conventional fairytales, Teri usually gave them a bit of tweaking here and there or added a new ending. Her girls loved it.
After her daughters had the nerve to actually grow up and leave home, Teri discovered she had a passion for writing and jumped right in. It came as no surprise she chose to write mysteries and happily-ever-after’s since that’s the genres she loves to read.
Teri lives in Marietta, Georgia with her husband, one of her daughters and two dogs that seem to think they rule the world. And some days Teri thinks maybe they do.
Teri still frequently tells herself stories as she falls asleep. The only difference now is she wakes up the next morning and turns her bedtime stories into books.