For Stan, the whine of jet engines engaging was always a thrill. Leaning back in his seat, he smiled like a little kid as the plane taxied down the runway at full speed. As he felt the wheels lift off the tarmac, he closed his eyes, picturing the woman he was flying to see.
At altitude, when the plane dropped slightly, hitting a mild patch of turbulence, his stomach lurched like going over that initial drop on a roller coaster. He wasn’t sure if it wasn’t nerves too. The thought of being near Pauley again had him as anxious as his first hit.
Stan had known Pauley more than half her life, having been a soldier in her father’s crew for the last 15 years. Watching her mature into both a deadly assassin and an even more lethal woman, no one was more surprised than he was at his feelings for her.
There was no single event that he could point to when she went from being just Paul’s daughter, untouchable; to being Pauley the woman, seductive. Yet, when she came back from Morocco, their relationship had changed. She wasn’t that little girl any longer. She was more sure of who she was, and what she wanted.
He could only hope she felt the same way about him, and that he wasn’t only imagining their attraction. That way she dropped her eyes and smiled when they talked, the husky tenor of her voice on the phone, a lingering touch on his arm when they were together. He had to know. That’s why he offered to fly to Sao Paulo to help her with whatever drama she and Vivian had gotten themselves into.
He wasn’t riding in like some sort of white knight, he knew she would laugh at that. No, he needed to show her he thought of her as an equal, and that maybe they would make a good team, in more than one way. Their 10 year age difference wasn’t unreasonable, he knew they could be good together.
Across the plane aisle, a wooden box was secured to a table. Inside was a Barrett M82A1M sniper rifle, fitted with a telescopic sight, Stan’s gift to Pauley. The “Light Fifty” would be the perfect weapon for rooftop firing.
The plane was making its descent into a private air strip outside of the Sao Paulo. He caught his breath, thinking of her, wanting to hold her in his arms, but he didn’t want to scare her away. He’d have to go slow, and let her take the lead.
Watching out the window, he saw a lone figure standing by the gate, and he knew it was her. The flight crew spilled out of the plane ahead of him, unloading bags and securing the aircraft. Ducking through the doorway, Stan looked up to see Pauley at the foot of the stairs, and he had to force himself to descend one step at a time until they were standing face to face.
Smiling down at her, Stan didn’t get a chance to say “hello,” and she had her arms wrapped tightly around his neck, kissing him with a heat he never expected. Pulling her in close, he returned her kiss, letting their fire engulf him.
Follow all the adventures of Pauley and Vivian at Dead Money. The previous chapters of their recent Brazilian Job can be found there too. This week, check out Lance’s chapter first, “Parallel Universe” at “My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog.”