Fly with me (Wild Aces #1)

 

Out May 3, 2016

Contemporary Romance

Penguin/Berkley

 

From the author of the Capital Confessions Novels comes the first in the steamy Wild Aces Romance series.

U.S. Air Force fighter pilot Noah Miller—call sign Burn—loves nothing more than flying hard and fast. When he meets a gorgeous and sassy woman while partying in Las Vegas, he immediately locks on to her.

Jordan Callahan owns a thriving clothing boutique, but her love life is far less successful. Her luck changes when six feet, two inches of sexy swagger asks her to dance and turns her world upside down. 

One scorching weekend becomes an undeniable chemistry that they can’t leave in Vegas. But the long distance relationship and their different lives threaten to ground their romance. And when the dangers of Noah’s job become all too real, Jordan learns being with a fighter pilot means risking it all for a shot at love…

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author blurbs

 

"Sexy, funny, and heart wrenching--this book has it all!"

- Laura Kaye, New York Times bestselling author

"A sexy fighter pilot hero? Yes, please. For anyone who's ever had a Top Gun fantasy, Fly with Me is for you."

 - Roni Loren, New York Times bestselling author

 

editorial reviews

 

**Barnes & Noble Bookseller Pick: May**

"[A] sentimental book about two people in love, the military family they are part of, and the danger and difficulty of military life. The multidimensional characters speak from the heart in this emotional page-turner."

- Publishers Weekly

"Fly With Me is a sizzling example of contemporary romance at its finest."

- Heroes & Heartbreakers

"[T]his is the beginning of another great series by Chanel Cleeton."

Fresh Fiction

"Fly with Me is truly an exceptional blend of sensual fun and gripping emotion."

Wit and Sin

"Noah and Jordan have amazing chemistry that just about burns the pages."

Harlequin Junkie

"These characters left a mark on me and it's one that won't go away anytime soon."

- Kimberlyfaye Reads

"What a stunningly wonderful mix of humor, love, lust, heartbreak, and dreamy romance."

- Herding Cats & Burning Soup

"Chanel Cleeton has a vibrant sense of style, engaging, charming and scorching hot with a huge helping of light-hearted chuckles and even a heart-wrenching moment or two. With wonderful characters who play off each other so well, this is a must read for romance lovers and men-in-uniform lovers, as well!"

- Tome Tender

"Chanel Cleeton has written a beautiful love story in Fly with Me."

Booklovers for Life

"Sometimes a book comes along that captures your heart in more ways than one. Fly with Me is a book so special and unique that even weeks after I read it, I still think about it often and I've already reread it, twice."

Literati Literature Lovers

"I love this book so much and I think it's a must read and should be at the top of everyone's TBR list."

- The Sassy Bookster

 

FLY WITH ME CHAPTER ONE

 

 

Jordan

There was a time in a woman’s life when she had to accept that wearing a headband made of pink—glittery—illuminated penises was too much. I couldn’t put my finger on the number—and I definitely couldn’t do it after my fourth tequila shot—but I figured that at thirty and still single, bachelorettes had ceased to be a fun rite of passage, and had instead become a wake-up call that if Prince Charming wasn’t coming soon, I’d have to start exploring my options in the amphibian variety.

Of course, it didn’t help that this was my sister’s bachelorette—my cute-as-a-button, too-young-for-wrinkle-cream sister’s bachelorette. Or that she was marrying my high school ex-boyfriend. I didn’t care; I mean we hadn’t been together in over a decade, but the fact that my future brother-in-law had once seen me topless added to the surreal feeling of the whole thing.

I took shot number five like a champ.

“I’m getting married!” Meg screamed for what might have been the fifteenth time that night. Somewhere between dinner at Lavo and partying at Tao, this seemed to have hit her with a vengeance. On anyone else, it would have been annoying; on Meg, it was somehow still adorable.

At twenty-five, she was the baby of the family. A good five inches shorter than me, we shared the same blond hair and brown eyes. We both had curves, but on her, they were bite-size. I was a king-size—tits and ass that could put your eye out—not to mention the pink phalluses bobbing awkwardly on my head.

It had been Meg’s idea to dress up, and I hadn’t been able to disappoint her. So here I was, thirty years old, terminally single, wearing penises on my head, a hot pink barely there tube dress that made me look like an overmammaried Malibu Barbie, and fuck-me Choos that topped me out at six feet. If I ever got married, I was so not doing a bachelorette. Or bridesmaids in hideous dresses. Or arguing with my fiancé over whether we’d serve filet mignon or prime rib. I loved meat as much as the next girl, but the drama surrounding this wedding had my head spinning, and I was just the maid of honor. If I were the bride? I totally got why people eloped.

My parents could do the big wedding with Meg. At least they’d get the budget option with me—if I ever got married at all.

Shot number six came faster than a virgin on prom night.

I wasn’t really even tipsy. I could definitely hold my liquor, but this was Vegas, and everything about tonight screamed excess, and as depressing as it was to be the eldest, even worse, I felt like the mother hen to the group of three Southern girls ready to make the Strip their bitch. It was time to up my game.

I rose from our table and headed over to where Stacey and Amber, my sister’s friends from college, were dancing, determined to kick this feeling inside of me’s ass.

When I’d look back on this evening, and it would play in my mind on repeat for months to come, this would be the moment. Freeze it. Remember it. How often could you say that you could pinpoint the exact moment when your life changed?

I could.

If I had anyone to blame for the wild ride that came next, it was Flo Rida. Because as soon as “Right Round” came over the club speakers, my tequila-fueled body decided it needed to move. It was the kind of song you couldn’t resist the urge to dance to; it made normal girls want to grab a pole and let loose. Okay, maybe just me. But it felt like kismet, like the song played for me, to breathe life into my sad, old self. So I danced, pink penises gyrating and flickering, hips swaying, hair swishing, until my world turned upside down.

 

 

Noah

“Dibs.”

I took a swig of Jack, slamming the glass down on the bar.

“You can’t call dibs, asshole. There are four of them.”

Easy shrugged with the same nonchalance that had earned him his call sign and made him lethal behind the stick of an F-16. He lulled you into thinking he was just fucking around. He never was.

“Are you saying I can’t handle four chicks?”

“I’m calling bullshit on that one.”

The guy got more pussy than anyone in the squadron, but a foursome was ambitious even for him.

“Fifty bucks,” he offered, knowing my pathological inability to back down from a challenge.

“Fuck you, fifty bucks. You can’t bang four chicks.”

Easy’s eyes narrowed in a look I knew all too well.

“Watch me.”

We all gave him a hard time for being a princess because his face was a panty dropper, but he could throw down like nobody’s business. Lately, though, this shit had been getting darker and darker. We’d broken off from the rest of the group, Joker had gone back to the hotel to call his wife, and now Easy was drinking like he wanted to die.

The Strip had seemed like a good idea four hours ago, but I was tired and now I just wanted to collapse in the suite we’d booked at the Venetian. I’d flown four sorties leading up to today, each one more demanding than the last. Today’s double turn had topped me out at six flights this week, and my body definitely felt it. I was tired, my schedule screwed six ways to Sunday, and right now I was far less concerned with getting laid than I was with getting more than five hours of sleep.

Our commander, Joker, was on my ass for the squadron to perform well at Red Flag—our international mock war held at Nellis Air Force Base in Vegas. As the squadron’s weapons officer, it was my job to make sure we were tactically the shit. Babysitting F-16 pilots with a hard-on for trouble? Not in my job description. It was really sad when I was the voice of reason.

Sending a bunch of fighter pilots to Vegas for work was basically like putting a diabetic kid in a candy store. We got as much training done as we got tits and ass. And considering we pulled fourteen-hour workdays? That said something.

“It’s a bachelorette party,” I ground out, the subject already hitting way too close to home.

The flash of pain in Easy’s eyes was a punch to the nuts. Shit. It was worse than I’d thought.

“Screwing around isn’t going to change things,” I added, trying to keep any judgment or sympathy out of my tone.

If it were anyone else, I would have minded my own business; but it wasn’t anyone else, it was Easy. He’d been my roommate at the Academy, gotten me through pilot training when I’d struggled, flown out to Vegas when I’d somehow graduated from weapons school.

Easy threw back the rest of his drink. “Be my wingman for ten minutes. I won’t go after the bride. Then you can leave.”

I’d been ready to leave an hour ago.

“You owe me for the twins in San Antonio,” he reminded me.

Shit, I did.

“Ten minutes.”

He nodded.

I turned my attention to the group of girls dancing; they looked young and already well on their way to drunk. I was definitely calling in my marker at a later time.

At thirty-three, I was getting too old for this shit. Most of the squadron was either married or divorced, Easy and I among the few single holdouts left.

It wasn’t that I was opposed to marriage. I’d thought about how it would feel to land after a deployment to a girl who’d throw her arms around me and kiss me like she never wanted to let go, instead of landing to my bros carrying a case of beer. Hell, I saw the way guys climbed out of their jets, their kids running toward them on stubby legs, looking like it was Christmas, their birthday, and a trip to Disney World all rolled into one.

Even a fucker like me teared up.

I wasn’t Easy; I wasn’t trying to screw my way through life. I wanted a family, a wife. But I’d learned the hard way that not many girls were willing to stick around waiting for a guy who was gone more than he was around, who missed holidays and birthdays, who came home for dinner some nights at 11 p.m., and other nights not at all. It was hard to agree to moving every couple years, to deployments that stretched on and on, to remote assignments, and Sorry, honey, this one’s a year, and you can’t come.

I got it. It was a shit life. The kind of life that sliced you clean, that took and took, stretching you out ’til there was nothing left but fumes. But then there were moments. That moment when I sat in the cockpit, when I was in the air, up in the clouds, feeling like a god. When the afterburner roared. The times when we were called to do more, when the trips to the desert meant something, when we supported the mission on the ground. The times when we marked a lost brother with a piano burn and a song. I couldn’t blame Easy for needing to let off steam, the edge was there in all of us, our faithful companion every time we went up in the air and took our lives in our hands.

We flew because we fucking loved it. So I guessed I already had a wife, and she was an expensive, unforgiving bitch—

Fortysomething million dollars of alloy, fuel, and lube that could fuck you over at any given time and felt so good when you were inside her that she always kept you coming back for more.

 

 

Jordan

As the soberest one in the group, I noticed them first. To be fair, they were pretty hard to miss.

A loud and more than slightly obnoxious bachelorette, we’d run into our share of guys tonight—preppy polos and leather shoes with tassels—some single, some married, all looking like they’d served a stint in suburban prison and were now out in the yard for good behavior. They had that wide-eyed overeager look, as though they couldn’t believe their luck—Look at the shiny lights on the sign. Did you see the ass on that girl?—and Vegas was their chance to make memories that would keep them company when they were coaching Little League or out buying tampons for their wives.

These two were something else entirely.

They walked toward us, and I stopped dancing to enjoy the show. They didn’t look like anyone had let them out for good behavior, or like Vegas was their grown-up amusement park. They looked like this was their world, and they carried themselves like fucking kings.

One was tall and lean, his face—well, fuck, there was no other word for it—he was beautiful. Tan skin, full mouth, blue eyes. Dark blond hair that begged for a woman to run her fingers through. Great hair. Perfect hair.

I admired him for two point five seconds, and then he ceased to exist.

The other one was not beautiful. He didn’t have pretty hair, or long lashes, or any shit like that. I wasn’t even sure his features really registered all that much before he was just there, standing in front of me, and everything else in the club disappeared.

Dark hair. Dark eyes. Tan skin. Sexy mouth.

He was tall—in my heels we were nearly even, which was saying something considering I was a few inches off of six feet and wearing a wicked pair of Choos. He was broad-shouldered and definitely built. He wasn’t dressed up—I doubted this guy even owned a polo—but he rocked his jeans and T-shirt. An expensive-looking, enormous watch that appeared capable of coordinating missions to the moon flashed on his wrist.

His gaze ran over me, his mouth curving as his survey ended at the top of my head. I reached up to see if my hair was out of place and got a handful of something else instead.

My cheeks flamed. The penis headband. Shit.

I dropped my hand as though I’d been scalded.

Act cool. Pretend you didn’t just grip the base of one of the giant pink phalluses currently bobbing on top of your head.

His lips curved even more as he gave me the full punch of his amusement—gorgeous white teeth and a laugh I wanted to cloak myself in.

He kept coming until his body was a breath away from mine. He was big enough that he blocked out the club around us, the scent of his cologne sending a little shock between my legs. I didn’t know what it was about that masculine scent, but some primal part of me that probably harkened back to days when men roamed around bare-chested carrying animal pelts on their shoulders liked it a hell of a lot. His head bent, his dark hair nearly brushing against my blond strands. I got a glimpse of his tanned neck, barely resisting the urge to bury my face there and inhale more of his delicious scent.

I wasn’t much of a romantic—not with my track record, at least. I didn’t believe in love at first sight, but lust at first sight? That was a thing definitely happening all over my body tonight.

“Please tell me you aren’t the bride,” he whispered in my ear, his lips teasing the sensitive skin there.

I shivered, basking in that voice. It was gravelly, and growly, and I was pretty sure I was drenched.

“I’m not the bride.”

Our gazes met, his eyes darkening as soon as the words left my lips in a move that had me sucking in a deep breath, my lungs desperate for air. I didn’t know if it was the loud music, or the late night, or the tequila coursing its way through my body, or the stilt-like heels, or the fact that my ovaries exploded as he engaged all of my senses, but either way I was feeling more than a little light-headed and fighting the temptation to reach out and grab on to one of his impressive biceps to hold steady.

He smiled and I might have had a mini-orgasm.

“Thank fuck.”

Thank fuck, indeed.

He reached out, tucking a strand of hair that had escaped behind my ear. His hand grazed my cheek as he released me and I swayed toward him.

I wanted to lick him, and bite him, and do all kinds of naughty things to that gorgeous body. Multiple times.

“What’s your name?” he asked, interrupting my fantasies.

“Jordan.” I held out my hand to shake and then froze, my hand halfway there. Smooth. You’re in a nightclub, not a freaking business meeting. To say it had been a while since I’d dated was a massive understatement. Plus, I’d have been lying if I didn’t admit I had blindingly horrible moments of awkward even on my good days. I pretty much lived in extremes. I either totally rocked it or epically failed, with very little in between.

His mouth quirked up as he held out his hand. “I’m Noah.”

Well, now I knew the name I’d be calling out in my dreams.

Our palms connected, his hand warm against mine. I waited for him to let go, already mourning the loss of his touch. But he didn’t. He just stood there, holding my hand in the middle of the club, staring at me like I was not alone in these feelings.

“It’s nice to meet you,” I squeaked. Really nice to meet you.

The song changed and the club grew frenzied around us, and then he was pulling me toward him and I was dancing, Noah behind me, his big hands on my hips, fingers laced with mine, his body moving against me.

Yes, please.

For such a tall guy, he had good rhythm. Really good rhythm. I loved dancing, but I was more of a dance-alone or with-friends kind of girl. Most guys were pretty terrible dancers, and I hated having to try to match my movements to theirs, unable to let the beat of the song take over. Noah wasn’t like that at all. He molded his body to mine, letting me set the pace.

And by the way he rolled his hips against my ass, he definitely had some moves.

Holy hell.

His hand drifted up my side, gathering my hair, fisting the ends. Arousal pulsed between my legs, the beat steady, strong, a slow ache. He pulled me back toward him, his hard cock pressing against my ass. A tremor ripped through my body as his fingers grazed my nape, tracing the skin there, my nipples tightening beneath the thin fabric of my dress. My body felt overheated, the music and alcohol flooding my senses. Around us, people danced, bodies rubbing against each other, mouths tangling, hands roaming. It was that point in the evening when inhibitions lowered, and it was Vegas—it was a night for letting go.

Head bent, his arms wrapped around my torso, the curve of my breasts brushing against his muscular forearm. Another tremor throbbed between my legs. His lips grazed my neck, brushing over the sensitive curve where it met my shoulder. I bit back a moan.

More.

I leaned into him, reaching out, our fingers threading together, our hands joined. His body behind me called to mind other images—of me naked, on my hands and knees, while he drove into me.

He was easily the hottest guy I’d ever seen, and tonight was quickly ranking up there with one of the more memorable evenings of my dating life.

His hold on me tightened and another mini-spasm wrecked my body.

I turned in Noah’s arms, my breasts grazing his chest. His hands moved lower, grabbing my ass, hauling me toward him, his gaze on my mouth.

I’d never been happier of my single status than I was now.

 

 

Noah

Dibs had flown out the window. I didn’t know which girl Easy wanted, didn’t care. This one was mine.

I feasted on her mouth. She tasted like tequila and mint, her lips soft and plump. Her tongue wreaked havoc on my sanity.

I’d kissed my fair share of girls; drunken kisses in dark club corners weren’t anything new. But this—this was mind-blowing.

The second I touched her, she lit up. Her hands pulled on my neck, her fingers threading through my hair, tugging on the ends, yanking me toward her as though she couldn’t get close enough. My hands cupped her ass, squeezing her through the thin fabric, loving how she squirmed against me, rubbing herself over my jeans and my hard cock.

She was sex in heels, the kind of body that was all curves, made for a centerfold. The beauty mark just above her upper lip took hot to an all-new level.

I released her mouth, kissing my way down her neck, my teeth scraping her flesh, my dick jerking with the moan that escaped her lips. I nipped her, running my tongue over her skin, the taste of her swirling in my mouth. Jordan gripped the back of my head harder, her body begging for more.

No question about it, not only was she sexy as hell, but she liked to play. I’d just hit the motherfucking jackpot.

I shifted so I was behind her again, my hands on either side of her hips, our bodies swaying in time to the music. The girl was gorgeous—long blond hair, big tits, curvy ass, long, shapely legs shown off by the sexiest pink dress. Absolutely gorgeous. And the second our gazes had locked across the club, her brown eyes had looked at me like I was her favorite meal and she wanted me for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Done.

My hands moved higher, pulling her tighter against me. Her neck arched, her head tipping into mine, and one of the pink penises hit me in the face again.

I grinned. Fuck, she was cute.

“Babe, gotta remove the headband. Don’t need pink dicks in my face.”

Jordan turned to face me, locking her arms around my neck. Her cheeks turned a soft shade of pink and she nodded.

I’d always had a weakness for blondes, and this girl had incredible hair. It fell down the center of her back in a mass of loose waves and curls. I set the headband on the table, my gaze on hers the entire time.

At some point we’d stopped dancing, and now we stood in the club with our bodies plastered together, her arms around my neck.

I stroked her hip, pulling her even closer. We danced for a long time, moving from song to song, our bodies matching each other’s rhythm like we’d been dancing together for years. I’d been exhausted, and with one kiss she breathed new life into me.

I leaned down, my lips inches away from her ear, struggling to be heard over the loud music.

“Do you want to get out of here?” I asked, her answer suddenly feeling like everything.

I hadn’t come out looking to get laid, had honestly been about to call it a night, but the second I saw her, my plans for the evening became whatever put me in her orbit. I didn’t know where this was headed, but right now I was happy to follow her anywhere.

She nodded, and a knot tightened in my chest as she linked hands with me and I led her off the dance floor.