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Jill Shalvis

Superb And Sexy

The third book in the Sky High Air series, 2008

Chapter 1

The man pulled up in a rumbling, bad boy Camaro like he owned his world, and Maddie had good reason to know he did.

Brody West owned his world all right, and completely rocked hers.

What the hell was he doing here?

It’d been a long time since she’d seen him. Six weeks, two and a half days, and waaaaay too many minutes. Not that she was counting.

But to be honest, that she hadn’t seen him was all her own doing. She’d left town to recover.

To think.

To make a Plan with a capital P.

Hence staying in the mountains where no one could bother her-including Brody.

Especially Brody.

With him, no contact was good contact since they clashed at every turn, bickered when they weren’t clashing, and in general, brought out the worst in each other. She hadn’t even thought about him while she’d been gone, sitting here on the porch of the log-style cabin that she’d rented for its rustic, isolated beauty, emphasis on isolated.

Okay, so she’d thought about him. She just hadn’t wanted to think about him. Probably, she was just overreacting. Honestly, maybe it wasn’t even him in the car.

And yet, she knew better. Her body knew better. The simple act of hearing the engine rev had made the hair on the nape of her neck rise in sudden, unexpected awareness.

Yeah, it was him because she felt…

God, she felt so much, but thunderstruck led the pack, though an undeniable excitement came in close second.

He was here, forty-five miles off the beaten path from his home in the Burbank Hills to the Angeles Crest Forest.

But why? Why wasn’t he holed up in his office, or on one of his planes he loved more than anything, working himself into an early grave as he liked to do?

She knew that he, along with his partners Shayne and Noah, wanted her back at work, seemed desperate for her to be back. Shayne had told her yesterday on the phone that Sky High had gone through four temp concierges in the time she’d been gone on leave, all of whom Brody had chased off with his sunny nature.

Translation: he’d been brooding and edgy and terrifying.

Yeah. Sounded like him.

But the brooding and edgy thing had never bothered her much. Maybe because she’d always been drawn to the bad boys. The reason for that was simple. Bad boys wanted the same things she did-no strings attached.

She didn’t do strings.

Outside, Brody turned off the Camaro, and silence filled the air.

A heavy, weighted, questioning silence.

And suddenly, Maddie’s chest felt too tight. Damn it. She let out a long, calming breath, which of course, didn’t work. It never worked. Neither did just sitting at the window staring down at him, but God, she was tired, and still recovering. Yeah, that’s what this asinine weakness in her knees was-recovery. Because it sure as hell wasn’t for him.

No way.

They didn’t even like each other…

And yet she leaned over so she could see out the window again, past the tall twin pines trying to block her view of the nearly six feet, four inches of rough and tumble, sexy as hell male as he unfolded his long legs from the muscle car.

Her pulse took another unfortunate leap. The last time she’d seen him, he’d been in his pilot’s uniform, and even though it was ridiculous and juvenile and wrong, it had turned her on. The thought of seeing him out of it? Even more so.

Yeah, she had a problem. She’d been shamelessly, secretly crushing on him all damn year. But that was her own humiliating secret, and one she’d take to the grave. And here was another-that fateful last day at work six weeks ago now, when she’d been just a little ticked off that she couldn’t get him to notice her as a woman, she’d dressed solely to gain his attention-miniskirt, snug cami, teetering heels, the whole she-bang. She’d been gratified when it’d worked, when he’d executed a comical double take at her and then spilled coffee down the front of his shirt.

Mission accomplished. He’d most definitely noticed her as a woman.

The excitement level had been so high she couldn’t stand it. And then she’d smart-mouthed a psychopath and gotten herself shot, and her life had been put on pause.

Fast-forward to now.

Shutting the driver’s door of the Camaro, he stared at the cabin. He wore a T-shirt, cargoes, and scuffed boots, all in black, emphasizing that world-class bod she’d spent many, many days drooling over while pretending to work.

Unlike her, the man was genetically incapable of pretending anything. Nope, he rarely bothered to hide his thoughts, especially as they pertained to her, thoughts that had at one time or another run the gamut from baffled to that one time she’d done the unthinkable and pressed him back against a wall and kissed him.

And for that one blissful moment, he hadn’t been vexed or grumpy. He’d been stunned and aroused and all sleepy-eyed and sexy with it.

Not now, though.

Now he stood there, tall and sure, a frown on his face, his dark hair falling carelessly across his brow, and at just past his collar, longer than one would expect a pilot’s hair to be. She knew that it wasn’t that way because he cared about being in style, but because he simply forgot to get it cut. Sometimes she thought he’d forget his own head if it wasn’t attached.

The only things he never forgot were his damn planes or his business. Sky High Air was an exclusive, luxurious, sophisticated airline service. Pretty damned hilarious considering that the three guys who ran it had been troubled youths, to say it kindly. They’d started Sky High last year by the seat of their pants and their collective wits. They’d put their heads and bank accounts together, managing, barely, to eke enough money to get it going, then keep it going.

But a miracle had occurred. The LA rich and spoiled had discovered them, loved them and the services they provided, and all the buckets and buckets of antacids they’d consumed over the cost of the start-up were finally paying off.

Below, Brody stopped on the walk and looked up.

She held her breath. Hard to believe they made geeks in such outrageously magnificent male packages, but there it stood, looking for her.

His eyes were hidden behind mirrored aviator sunglasses, but she knew them to be a mesmerizing pewter gray that could turn to ice or flame given his mood, and they were filled with secrets she’d never managed to plumb.

They drove her crazy, those secrets. She’d always wanted to know their depths, wanted to know what made

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