Cullen hadn’t expected Mia Carter to be so . . . amazing. He’d never seen a woman fight with such passion or with movements so beautiful that he’d found himself watching her instead of finishing off the Colombian.
For the first time in Cullen’s life, he couldn’t find words. He could only stare at the beautiful woman with one thought—Valkyrie.
She was the epitome of what he imagined the winged creatures of Norse mythology would look like. All she needed was armor and a sword to complete his vision.
Now, as he sat in the cockpit of the British WWII Bristol Buckingham C. MK 1 plane, also known as the Bristol Type 163 Buckingham, he couldn’t keep his eyes off her.
Beautiful didn’t begin to describe this incredible woman. Every time her steely black gaze fringed with impossibly thick lashes turned his way, he became entranced. Her eyes were large and slightly tilted up at the corners.
He forgot to breathe as he took in her unblemished, sun-kissed face. With high cheekbones and wide, full lips, he was smitten.
Wisps of inky black hair escaped from her ponytail to fall along the narrow column of her neck. An olive tee skimmed her torso to show mouthwatering curves, and black denim showcased her lithe legs to perfection.
“It was Orrin who approached me,” she said.
That didn’t surprise him. His father had always had a gift for finding talent and using it to his advantage. “When?”
“A few years ago.”
It made Cullen wonder what else his father had been up to. While he and his brothers were off building their lives, Orrin Loughman had been setting up a team of Black Ops members to do some of the dirtiest jobs.
One of the missions, put together by the DOD, had sent Orrin and his team to Russia to steal a bioweapon.
Except something had gone terribly wrong. Someone betrayed Orrin Loughman. In the process, he’d been kidnapped, and his team was executed.
The last person to see his father was the woman sitting next to Cullen.
The years he’d spent as a Marine Force Recon captain had taught him many things. He knew how to fight his way out of various situations using his hands, body, and mind. He knew how to spot lairs and traitors. He also had dozens of rescues to his name.
He was damn good at his job. But he had to be more than good now. His father’s very life depended on it.
“How did you find me?” Mia asked.
“I went to the Air Force Base. When you weren’t there, I went to General Davis’s office. It seems they keep a record of every flight you make.”
Her lips compressed. “That they do.”
“To my benefit. If I hadn’t arrived, you would either be dead or in Camilo’s care. Neither of which sounds appealing.”
“I already thanked you.”
“Yes, ma’am. You sure did.” He linked his fingers over his stomach. There was something about Mia Carter he found compelling, and it had nothing to do with her beauty. She was very much like him, he suddenly realized.
Wary of the world with a look of cynicism she didn’t bother to hide.
“Tell me how a pilot with your skills is able to have a hangar on a base, work for the military as a contractor, and still be able to take jobs with criminals. Because let’s be honest . . . Camilo was a criminal.”
“It won’t matter what I give you as an explanation. You’ve already formed an opinion,” she replied coolly.
In fact, he had formed an opinion. He suspected that she liked danger. She also loved to fly. Combine the two, and she was in heaven.
“You were telling me about how you and my father began working together,” he said, getting them back on topic.
She cut him a look with her black eyes. “What you really want to know is if I betrayed him. As I told Callie—and everyone listening on the phone that day—it wasn’t me.”
“I do remember that call. Though I’ve learned that people say a lot of things that aren’t the truth.”
“You want the truth?” she asked, turning her head to him. “I’ll tell you the truth. I hated taking orders, so I left the Air Force as soon as I could. But I wasn’t ready to give up flying. It’s my life.”
That much he could tell. It was in her blood.