Authors: Kristen James
A Spy for Christmas
What’s more dangerous? The Oregon wilderness? Hit men?
Or the heat in Grayson’s arms?
© 2012 Zulu 7 Productions, LLC. and Kristen James
Special thanks to:
Rob Markovich, Vice President of Original
Programming Starz Entertainment,
And Chris (STS Commander) Wilson and his wife, Angie Wilson
From the author of
Cowboy for Christmas
Other Novels by
Embers of Hope
Book 1, Second Gift Series
More Than a
, Book 2, Second Gift Series
More Than Memories
A Cowboy For
The Enemy’s Son
The River People
The Fairy and her
Profile and Full Book List:
Robin Holliday watched the pristine blue Pacific Ocean fade
away under the clouds through the plane window as they flew out of Honolulu.
She was flying home to Portland, Oregon, for a cold and snowy Christmas. To
tell the truth, the foggy weather in the Pacific Northwest seemed better suited
for the holiday. At least this year.
Spending a week in the sun, sand and ocean had taken her
mind off things, which had been clear until takeoff today. Actually, it
been fun to visit with people from all over the world, drink fruity drinks and
eat shrimp to her heart’s content. Her ex, Alex, was allergic to any and all
seafood so she’d given up for favorite fare for the last four years. Not
Her seatmate, a petite teenager with multicolored hair,
leaned toward the window and sighed. “I miss it already. I just spent two weeks
for my honeymoon.”
The girl—Arianna, now
Berkley—kept talking while
Robin took in that statement. It seemed strange that a woman would return from
her honeymoon alone, but she really didn’t want to discuss anything wedding
related. Robin was the one who sighed this time.
“I know, right?” Arianna almost giggled.
“Excuse me.” A man—an extremely sexy man—leaned down toward
the girl with a dashing smile on his strong face. “Your husband told me you
were back here by yourself, so… I said I would trade seats. I can’t let you two
be apart on Christmas.”
For a second, both women stared up at him in silence. A
radiance in his eyes drew Robin in; even more than his rugged, strong features.
Well, okay, she could stare a while at those brown eyes and that mouth…
“Oh, thank you! And Merry Christmas!” Arianna gushed, then
threw her arms right around his neck, but quickly released him to grab her bag
from the overhead. She hurried off with a little finger-wiggle wave and grin.
The man offered Robin a tentative smile and yet still
appeared confident. “I hope you don’t mind.” His voice was deep, but not too
deep, and very soothing.
She shook her head. “Of course not.” She didn’t mind at all,
and wouldn’t mind having a few fantasies about his full lips, either. The
problem would arise if he figured out what she was thinking about. Duh, every
woman watching right now was thinking the same thing!
He sat down and smiled at her, extending a hand. “Grayson.”
“I like your name.” She shook his hand, pleasantly surprised
at his manners. “I’m Robin. That really was nice of you.” He was leaning toward
her so she could see specks of hazel, yellow and red in his dark brown eyes.
“It wasn’t much…but can you imagine not getting a seat with
your new spouse? On Christmas Day no less?” He settled in and added, “I bet you
get a ton of compliments on your hair.”
She glanced over to find him tracing his eyes down her red
locks. For some reason, it made her blush like a school girl. “I bet the same
is true for your eyes.”
Oh. My. Word
. Was she flirting? The heat in her
cheeks grew worse as his smile grew broader. The direct flight from Honolulu to
Portland was at least five hours. How was she going to handle sitting next to
him all that time?
“So, Robin,” he started, leaning even closer as if they were
discussing juicy gossip. “Do you have a boyfriend, fiancé or significant other
somewhere on this plane too?”
The blatant question took her off guard. She willed herself
to breathe and raised a shoulder while giving a playful shake of her head.
His eyebrows rose in what she took for surprised pleasure.
His smile tilted up on one side. “So, you’re the teasing type.”
“Well, I could use some practice,” she admitted. Luckily,
the words came out sounding a little bit daring instead of embarrassing, as she
His eyes narrowed a bit in curiosity, but they also held a knowing
look. “You were on one of those get-your-mojo-back kind of trips.”
She halfway expected him to nod and lean back in his seat,
ready to ignore her, but he didn’t. Grayson titled his head and kept his gaze
on her face, waiting for her answer. “Yeah, I guess you could say that.”
“So Mr. All Wrong was either incredibly stupid, a jerk—
She shook her head sadly. “He wasn’t a bad boyfriend, for
the most part. I’ll give him that, but he wasn’t interested in moving our
relationship forward, either. When he said he was happy with the way things
were, I realized I wasn’t.” That had been the wake up call. After waiting for
him to propose for a year, she learned he “wasn’t into marriage.”
“You wanted more,” Grayson said.
Like passion, excitement, shared dreams.
Suddenly, she wondered why she was sharing all this with a stranger. It was as
if her thoughts wanted to pour out on their own accord. Grayson put her
completely at ease with his smile, charm and thoughtfulness.
She felt so at ease, in fact, that she openly asked, “What
about you? Are you hiding from someone?”
That made him laugh, and she immediately liked the dimple in
his right cheek. “Hiding from someone? Hmm, that’s a telling comment about
“Oh, you’re secretive, aren’t you?” she prodded, trying not
to smile but failing. “Maybe you have a girlfriend who is now stuck sitting
with the newlyweds.”
He laughed too and then rested his elbow on the armrest so
he could lean on it, bringing him even closer. “I’ve been traveling all over for
work, but this is my last trip. Last work trip, that is.” He spoke slowly,
considering his words. Instinctively, Robin knew there had to be quite a bit
more behind that story.
“Downsizing?” she asked.
“Oh, no, I put in my resignation so I can move on to
something else.” After a pause he smiled and added, “And now I can figure out
what that something else is.”
He let his gaze fall over her face, the way water slides
down a naked body in the rain. She really had to fight her smile now. “You must
be a risk taker.”
“Aren’t we all?” Excitement warmed his voice. “Here we are
in a big, metal bin a few miles up in the air. We take risks every day. I just
pick my risks and decide what I want.”
His gaze did that thing again as he said
what I want.
Her body temperature was quickly reaching dangerous levels, from attraction and
his contagious fervor for life.
He should have kissed her right there on the airplane. They
were both thinking about it, and watching each other for the entire flight.
What an intriguing woman—she’d treated herself to a week in paradise for her
birthday, the 15
of December. That took initiative. He guessed it
might also be nice for her to get away from the yearly jokes about her December
birthday and last name of Holliday. Fate had played with her, but it’d brought
them together for a few enticing hours too.
Then, at least for him, the situation changed. When they
touched down, something else grabbed his attention on the plane. Grayson
thought he caught a glimpse of a familiar and not welcome face. A foreign
clandestine agent coming into the US was a serious matter… and it brought him
back to the reality that he couldn’t afford a relationship, even as a private
citizen. So he didn’t get her number. Instead, he left her presence with a
vague, “It was so nice to meet you, Robin.”
“Likewise,” she’d said, almost purring. If nothing else,
he’d made her day by flirting with her, and she didn’t act hurt that he didn’t
ask for her number. Still…
Grayson waited around so he could follow her out and also to
check that it hadn’t been anyone he recognized on the plane. He didn’t make out
anyone from all the red and green clad passengers.
He watched her red hair through the crowd, wishing he could
run after her. The urge led him down the airport concourse, trailing her. Maybe
he could “bump” into her outside and get her number, but was it worth putting
her in danger? He sighed loudly—instead of swearing in the middle of a
crowd—but it still caused an elderly man walking next to him throw him a look.
connected so strongly and instantly to a
woman in his entire life. She was quick witted, funny and held her own against
his charm. Not to mention she had full, shiny, flaming red hair all around that
delicate face. Sweet but smart. Hazel eyes. Rosy lips. What a package…he
couldn’t let her walk out of his life right after meeting her!
But he wasn’t just any man. It wouldn’t be fair to
complicate her life with his shadowy existence. Then again, who knew if it’d
get that far?
As he walked, he went back and forth on the decision, which
wasn’t normal for him at all. On a daily basis, he made critical decisions in a
split second and acted on them without hesitation.
Robin stepped outside and he quickened his pace; his
heartbeat picking up with it. He enjoyed the jittery feeling coursing through
him. When had he ever felt like this over a chance meeting with a woman? He
fought back a smile but it suddenly fell away on its own. A stocky dark haired
man—only 5 foot 5—and a taller, thinner blond man were right behind Robin and
stepped up; one on each side of her.
He pushed through the people in front of him just in time to
see the men hurrying her down the sidewalk, away from people and the shuttle.
They had a lead on him already.
“Hey!” Someone shoved him back.
Grayson barely glanced at the tall man on his way past, but
it slowed him down enough so that the men—and Robin—were a good sixty yards
away. Breaking into a sprint on the wet sidewalk, he watched her throw the heel
of her hand into the taller man’s nose. The stocky guy immediately grabbed her
from behind but she kept fighting, trying to kick him.
Grayson flew fist first into the man restraining Robin,
plowing him right over and onto the ground. Either Grayson’s fist or the hard
cement knocked out the assailant. Luckily, Grayson caught her by the arm so she
wouldn’t fall too, and then quickly swung an undercut into the blonde’s gut,
ending his cursing streak. Once the perp doubled over, he threw a left swing
into his face to take him down.
“We’ve got to move!” He took Robin’s arm and turned her so
they were walking away from the fight.
“My suitcase!” She stuttered, trying to point back at the
“Turn around, don’t draw attention.” Taking his own advice,
he slowed their pace to walk across the street and around the next building.
She pulled on her arm but he didn’t let go. Instead of listening to him, she
was watching behind them, clutching the purse she’d managed to keep despite
fighting two highly trained men.
He could see fear, anger, and confusion in her face, but he
had to get her to safety.
She looked back and forth between him and behind them. “We
have to call the police!”
He reached over and caught her hand as she pulled her cell
phone from her purse. He shoved it in his pocket. “No, we need to get to safety
first, in case there are more.”
“More?” She shook her arm hard. “More who? Or What? Let me
They’d turned a corner and he abruptly stopped, turning them
both so they were face to face. “I’ve put you in danger. I’m sorry for that,
but all there is to do now is keep you safe.” He’d worry about her temper and
explaining things later. She stared at him, mouth open and eyes searching for
After he felt so drawn to her on the plane, where she was
soft spoken and sweet, it surprised him even more that her feisty spirit
tantalized him this way.
“Are you some kind of criminal?” she asked, darting her gaze
“No, I’m the good guy.”
She broke into a hysterical laugh. Keeping a hand on her
arm, he used his cell to report in on the incident. She watched him during the
call, her breathing picking up pace.