Adrian (Ironfield Forge #1) by Sosie Frost

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Adrian





Clover Crosby was the sort of flight attendant who could make buckling a seat belt kinky.

She was a wink served with a bag of pretzels, wielded a smile that could combat jet lag, and had a laugh as warm as the coffee she said never to trust on a flight.

But after hauling my dead-ass tired body onto the redeye flight from San Francisco to Ironfield, I’d risk a water-born illness for a little caffeine.

Or a stiff drink.

Because Clover wanted something from me. And she wanted it bad enough that she’d used her dirtiest trick—a lovely spicy-sweet smirk that blended secrets, sensuality, and innocence. Even the twitch of her lips could confuse a man. Never knew if I was the butt of her joke or if I’d taken Cupid’s arrow straight through the heart.

But my best friend’s smile did mean one thing.

Trouble.

Yet somehow, she always trapped me in the middle of her craziest schemes. If I got lucky, this flight would turn out better than our trip of a lifetime to Belize…one of the few vacations in which I was arrested by customs’ agents. Apparently, I had looked like a man who’d smuggle exotic animals out of the rainforest via his pants. Fortunately, the only wild beast I’d tucked away in my Dockers was my own anaconda. Unfortunately, a good portion of my signing bonus that year had landed in the pockets of the commanding officer to facilitate my release.

But that’s just part of the adventure, Clover had said. Who wants to do all the regular touristy things…?

Certainly not Clover. Chaos rode shotgun on her trips around the world. She was five feet and a buck fifteen of wanderlust and mayhem. If she wasn’t racing to Germany to fulfill a craving for a Bavarian pretzel, she was camped out on my couch following a four-day, fifteen flight shift.

Usually, all she needed was my arm around her, a bowl of salt-only popcorn for the movie, and someone to remind her of the correct time-zone. On the rare occasion, I had to use my seat as a floatation device.

This was one of those times.

So, when she slid into the first-class seat next to me, smiling her ball-busting, boy-are-you-going-to-regret-this grin, I braced myself for a crash landing.

“I have a proposition for you,” Clover said.

Her voice was a soothing whisper, a soft twinkle just loud enough to be heard over the drone of the plane’s engines without disturbing her passengers. Too bad the other twenty people aboard were already asleep. I could’ve used the witnesses.

We had First Class to ourselves, and it was a hell of a lot better than the previous flights I’d taken for the chance to see Clover. Standby was a bitch, but it was the best way to catch a flight when our schedules happened to cross.

“I’m still reeling from your last proposition.” I tapped my armrest. “You know…when you suggested that I buy a ticket I didn’t need, for a flight I didn’t want, so I’d travel to a place where I should’ve been yesterday, just so we could meet up while you worked.”

The woman spared me no pity, but she did ease my frustrations with a polite kiss to my cheek. Hers were lips destined to blow a man’s mind…and his more demanding parts. But that was a forbidden fantasy. I grunted and rubbed away the red lipstick.

“Getting you on the plane wasn’t my proposition,” Clover said.

“You’re right. It was an order.”

Her eyes were the color of Earl Grey Tea—the fruity, bergamot concoction that punched me in the face every morning. After my injury, she had insisted that I drink a mug to help start my day. Said it was good for me. And so, I’d crawl out of bed, groggily stagger to the kitchen, and brew an aggravatingly feminine breakfast, just for her.

And damn it, if she wasn’t always right.

“I must be a glutton for punishment…” I said.

“Mostly self-inflicted.”

“If I said I was immune to your charms, would you believe me?”

“Nope.” Clover kicked off her heels and gave her stocking’ed toes a satisfying stretch. Never thought I’d be a guy who liked panty-hose, but I’d never seen a pair of legs that looked so good concealed behind the nearly transparent tights. Perfect dancer’s legs that looked good in heels and would look even better wrapped around a man’s waist. “I’d just try harder.”

“Then I better take one for the team. The men of this world aren’t strong enough to resist the Clover Crosby experience.”