Hard Tackle (A Stepbrother Warriors Novel) (17 page)

BOOK: Hard Tackle (A Stepbrother Warriors Novel)
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A preview of Book Two…

 

Paris, France. Two and a half months later.

 

"Ms. Stratton? We're boarding now," the first
class lounge attendant murmurs sweetly above me. Like all the Air France
employees, she speaks perfect English.

"Hmph, thanks," I manage to say around the cotton
ball feeling in my mouth. I push my sunglasses back up on the bridge of my
nose. I'm nursing a wicked hangover and just want to get on the airplane with a
sleep mask over my eyes.

I grab my carry-on bag and walk out of the lounge toward the
gate, wondering when they started making airports so fucking
bright.
It's
like a lab in here, all glaring white surfaces made specifically to reflect the
sun back into my face. I rub my temples with my free hand as I walk up to the
short line of first class passengers already gathering with their tickets in
hand. I rummage through my bag for mine as raised voices from the airline
counter float over.

"I specifically went online early to reserve the
emergency exit aisle seat.
Specifically
, do you understand that word?"
a middle-aged American man spits out at the young woman behind the counter.

"Yes, sir," she replies, her voice quavering a
bit. "I was just asking if you would be willing to switch to the window
because there is an injured American veteran on the flight, and I thought it
might help his leg if he could stretch—"

"I just don't understand for the life of me how that
became my fucking problem, OK? Maybe you should—"

"Excuse me?" I loudly interrupt him as I walk up
behind him to the counter. He turns around to see who would dare do such a
thing, and I get a glimpse of his flushed, angry cheeks, and spittle caught in
the corners of his mouth. "Are there any first class seats left?" I
ask the attendant with a sweet smile.

"Ah, yes—"

"We're in the middle of something!" the man
sputters at me. I ignore him.

"Great. This injured veteran you mentioned, I'd like to
buy him an upgrade please," I say, whipping my Black card out of my wallet
and handing it across the counter.

"Really?" the attendant asks, looking delighted
and relieved.

"Really," I say, then turn to the man. "To
thank
him for his
service
." The man turns away in a huff, but at
least he doesn't make any more of a scene. "There's not any way to pay for
a downgrade for his seat, is there?" I ask with a wry smile.

She laughs. "I wish you could, believe me. Alexa
Stratton, what a pretty name," she adds with a grin. "Thank you for
doing that. I was just warned about giving away too many free upgrades, and I
thought maybe another American would help the man. I felt sorry for him…he's
got a big cast on and everything. And…" she starts to blush.

"What?" I ask, raising my eyebrows. She nods
toward the waiting area. I let my eyes skim over the crowd, looking for what
could have caused this reaction in her.

My gaze lands on a tall, broadly-shouldered man with his leg
stuck out in cast at an awkward angle. Even with a full beard, his dark eyes
and high cheekbones are apparent from thirty feet away.

"So this extra first class seat," I murmur,
turning back to the counter with a grin, "any possibility you could make
it next to mine?"

 

BOOK TWO COMING SOON

 

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BOOK: Hard Tackle (A Stepbrother Warriors Novel)
8.27Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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