I board the private jet and settle into one of the luxurious seats while I wait for Alex to arrive. I pull out my laptop and phone and set them on the table in front of me, hoping to catch up on a few emails while I wait. The flight attendant hustles over and introduces herself.
“Hi, I’m Katy. I’ll be taking care of you on this flight. Can I get you something to drink before we take off?”
I glance at her long enough to note her red hair, and age her at twenty-something. “Black coffee, please,” I say. She hurries away and I turn back to my MacBook.
My partner and I started Black Stone Investigations four years ago after I left the FBI. I was recruited by the FBI straight out of university after completing degrees in psychology and law. I trained with them and worked as a criminal profiler for years. I wanted more control over the work I do and the people I work with, so my best friend and now partner and I started Black Stone Investigations.
My partner, Alex Stone, is a computer genius and one of the best hackers on the planet. He graduated top of his class from MIT and then spent a few years with a special forces black-ops unit. We have been friends most of our lives. Starting a business together seemed like a no-brainer since our combined skills are sought out by governments and companies around the world. We provide some of the best intel out there—hell, it wouldn’t be a stretch to say we are among the best in the world. This trip to San Francisco was to give a lecture on the anti-terrorist software that we have created.
Katy returns with my coffee just as Alex bounds up the stairs and into the cabin. She turns to look at him and smiles. “Good morning, sir. Can I get you something to drink before takeoff?”
He gives her a slow head-to-toe inspection, followed by one of his killer smiles and says, “Hello, beautiful. I’ll take a black coffee, please.”
She blushes and says, “I’ll be back in a moment with your coffee.”
He watches her as she exits the cabin, closing the curtain behind her. As he drops into the seat across from me, the smile turns into a scowl.
I chuckle at him and ask, “Where did you end up last night and what the hell happened to your suit? Did you get into a fight with a barista this morning?”
“Fuck off, it’s not funny. And if you must know, I spent the night in the company of a very lovely green-eyed, dark-haired beauty.” He waggles his eyebrows and grins. “This”—he waves his hand in front of his soiled suit—“is the work of . . . What did she call it? A fucking cinnamon dolce latte, I think. And no, it wasn’t a barista, it was a tiny blonde coffee-wielding cyclone by the name of Jordan Sinclair. She tried to take me out by smashing her hot coffee into my chest.” He reaches into his pocket and tosses her card down on the table between us as he states, “She will definitely be getting the dry-cleaning bill for this mess.”
Leaning over, I pick up the card and flip it over. I read, Jordan Sinclair, Curator, Arresting Art Gallery, followed by her contact information. I suck in some air as my heart skips a beat. No, it can’t be, I think, as I flip the card back and forth while my mind conjures up the memory of a gorgeous tiny blonde from my past.
I tap the card on the table and ask, “What did she look like?”
“What?” His eyes snap up from his suit to look at me. “Who the hell cares what she looked like, look at what she did to my suit!” he shouts as he removes the offending coffee-stained jacket like it’s contaminated.
I grin up at him. “Yeah, she did a pretty good number on it. Whatever, you have a dozen more just like it. What I want to know is what she looked like.”
“Hey!” He looks offended. “I happen to like this suit and, fuck, I don’t know. Give me a break, I just had all my chest hair burned off by hot coffee.” He slaps his chest. “I wasn’t really in the mood to check her out.”
My grin turns into a full-blown laugh. “First of all, it’s not a great loss since you didn’t have any chest hair to begin with. And second of all, bullshit—you’re the biggest player I know. She could have burned the hair off your dick and you still would have checked her out. What did she look like?”
He sits down and stares at me across the table. “Why are you so interested in what she looked like?”
I lean back and run my hand through my hair. “I knew someone with that name a long time ago, a very beautiful someone. I’m wondering if it could possibly be the same person.”
Katy returns with his coffee and advises us that we will be taking off in ten minutes. Alex sighs. “Well, her coffee hit me right about mid-chest and since I’m six foot three, I would put her at about five foot five, maybe one hundred and ten pounds.” He looks at the ceiling while he thinks and then continues. “Pale skin, long honey-blond hair, big dark brown eyes with tiny golden flecks in them, some might describe them as little starbursts.” He chuckles. “But I’m going to say it was a brief glimpse of her demon side that came out, compelling her to rip me a new one for stealing her coffee away.”
I smirk as I try to visualize that because, honestly, he is six foot three, two-hundred-and-thirty pounds of solid muscle. To say he’s intimidating would be more than fair; he’s made more than one grown man piss his pants. It sounds like this Jordan Sinclair is quite the little spitfire.
I lean forward in my seat and rest my elbows on my knees, flipping her business card back and forth. “Go on,” I say.
“Hmm,” he says, thinking. “She was fit, lean, like maybe she’s a runner, small frame, perky little breasts, legs for miles, well dressed and wearing a killer pair of heels. Got a picture forming?”
Still grinning, I say, “Good thing your chest hair was burning off and you didn’t get a good look.”
“Fuck off,” he replies, and I laugh out loud. “So, is she your girl or what?” Alex asks me.
Katy steps into the cabin to tell us to buckle up for takeoff. I lean back in my seat, placing my right foot on my left knee, still flipping that card and say, “I’m not sure, but I’m definitely going to find out.”