© Nancy Fraser, 2015
He shrugged, the lift of his shoulders drawing her attention to their width and the way he held himself.
“Charming beautiful women was part of basic training,” he quipped. “Right up there with learning how to fly an airplane.”
His cheeky answer set her senses on alert. “I would think the flight instruction to be far more important than lessons on charm and seduction.”
“When you get right down to it, they’re very similar. It takes finesse to handle the throttle of a plane. You have to know exactly how much pressure to put on the stick, how to maneuver the knobs, and when to let the plane go on its own.”
The smooth tenor of his voice ratcheted her heart rate up yet another notch. “Really?” she said, her breath catching in her throat.
“There’s that one moment…when the plane is hanging there in the sky. You’ve given her all the encouragement she can take, urged her as far as she can go without breaking. Then, at just the right moment, she bursts forth with a second wind, lurches forward, and bounds unfettered across the bright blue sky.”
The sudden urge to fan herself had her clenching her hands into fists and pressing them to her sides. “It must be exciting…the flying, I mean.”
“As I said, not that different from seducing a woman. Both take a light touch at first—a gentle stroke until they’re primed. Followed by a more commanding hold, just before they reach the pinnacle of their endurance.”
A low groan escaped her throat, drawing his outright laugh.
“You make flying sound a lot like copulation, Major. Surely, when you were up in the air defeating our enemies, your attention was on something other than carnal activities.”
He leaned forward until his mouth hovered scant millimeters from her ear. His warm breath fanned over her cheek. “It’s all about a successful ending, Mrs. Pennybaker. Nothing prepares you for the climax of a good dogfight or the climax of a purely sexual encounter. They should both take your breath away.”