Awake In The Sun
Published by: eXtasy Books
Author : A.J. Matthews
Word Count :9287
Publication Date :2017-07-11
Series : #
Heat Level :
- Product Code: 978-1-4874-1104-6
Wake Island, the Pacific Ocean, 1937. Liberated journalist Lynne LaRoche helps her new lover to trap the killer on his tail. When the Navy gets involved in the shape of rugged Lieutenant Greely, the heat level rises!
The man’s cry rose above the droning of the airplane’s engines. Startled, Lynne looked up from her magazine. Across the aisle, the handsome guy she’d eyed up all during the flight sat amid a growing cloud of smoke that appeared to be rising from his lap. With another cry, the man leaped to his feet and brushed a newspaper onto the floor. A burning cigarette rolled away from it. Small flames licked at the paper.
At the head of the aisle the young steward stood frozen to the spot, his eyes wide with shock as he stared at the rising smoke and flames. Shouts of alarm from the other passengers rose in the compartment. Exasperated by the steward’s lack of action, Lynne jumped up, grabbed the carafe of water from his tray and dashed it over the newspaper. Steam rose along with a stink of burned paper, but the fire went out.
The man clutched Lynne’s arm. “Thank you!” he gasped. “Damn, but that was close.”
“You’re welcome.” Lynne returned the carafe to the steward’s tray. “I think the gentleman would like a stiff brandy to help him over the shock,” she told the steward.
The steward flushed and nodded before hurrying away to fetch the order. Lynne turned back to the man, who held out his hand. “We’ve been on this flight all this time and not been introduced. I’m Rob Katsaros.”
“Lynne LaRoche.” I hope I’m not overdoing this act to appear like strangers, she thought. Rob is doing a good job to appear like he’s not familiar with me, but can I pull it off?
“Pleased to meet you, Lynne.” Rob looked down at the soggy mess on the aisle carpet and frowned. “I’m so stupid. I fell asleep with my cigarette still lit.”
“These things happen. Come and sit with me until you’ve recovered.” Lynne took Rob’s arm, noting the firm muscles beneath the sleeve of his jacket, and guided him over to her own window seat on the port side of the airplane. Rob sank into it with a sigh of gratitude. Lynne sat beside him and turned the ventilator to point at his face. The steward returned with two fingers of brandy in a glass and handed it to Rob.
Lynne watched him drink deeply. “Better?”
Rob smacked his lips and smiled. “Much.”
Lynne studied him. Rob appeared older than her by about ten years, with the sleek, well-fed look of a rich man, including shiny, wavy black hair, a refined accent, and clothes that gave the impression of wealth. His white tropical jacket, shirt, and slacks were all high-end ready-to-wear. She sensed more than a hint of stress behind Rob’s fine, dark eyes, the kind of stress a rich man seldom felt. It showed in the faint lines at the corners of his eyes, the sallowness beneath the flawless olive complexion.
A clatter of feet from forward announced the arrival of the pilot. He squinted at the dissipating smoke and then glared around the compartment. He focused his eyes on Rob, and the smut-stains on his jacket. “What’s happening here?”
“There was a fire,” Lynne told him, pointing at the ruined newspaper. “It’s out now.”
“Jesus.” The pilot kicked at the mess and then reached up to adjust the ventilators in the overhead. “We need to clear this smoke. Everyone, turn your vents on.”
The other passengers complied, shock at the near disaster plain on their faces. Under the increased pressure of air, the smoke began to clear faster. The pilot nodded, then looked at Rob. “Are you okay, sir?”