USA Today Bestselling Author
Code name: Jasper “Wasp” Theron first met Swan at
Target: Swan Lee
Mission: Prove once and for all that swans mate for life.
As an Air Force fighter pilot, I’m the best in the business. No fear. No hesitation. Attacking when you least expect it. That’s why I can’t sit by when the woman I crave, the woman who challenges me, wants to go undercover against a serial killer. No chance.
It’s the only option, the only plan that’ll work. Infiltrate the enemy and take them down once and for all. I’m an RAF fighter pilot and M16 agent, sitting still is not who I am. But WASP has other plans. Plans to protect me, keep me safe. When I do what I want, it’s WASP who feels the sting.
Jasper ‘Wasp’ Theron first met Swan at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, she beat him in an exercise and his team is still ribbing him. Now Wasp was just a Lieutenant at the time and as such he found he was paying for all the drinks in his room dubbed hospitality suite. Dinners with the squadron were also required and the bill was split equally among everyone regardless of what they ate, there were also nights of credit card roulette where Wasp had lost the night before, this TDY was very expensive for him. After a joint debrief his commander Lt. Col. ‘Barko’ McAdams invites Swan to join them for their squadron dinner. He clearly wants to get to know Swan better. Swan wants nothing to do with him and instead sticks close to Wasp. This doesn’t go over well.
This is a favorite scene.
“Ready to head out?” I heard my commander ask. Before I could answer, Swan did.
“I appreciate the invitation. Won’t I be intruding on your boys’ night?”
“We’ve had several of those in a row, right Lt.?”
“Fifteen at my count, sir.”
Lt. Col. McAdams, call sign Barko, squeezed my shoulder. “Wasp here picked up the tab for last night’s dinner,” he said to Swan.
“Ouch. Credit card roulette?”
“I’m thinking we go that route again tonight.”
I wanted to cringe, but refrained from any visible reaction. What were the odds my card would be picked two nights in a row?
“Swan and I will ride with you tonight,” the colonel said when we exited the building where three SUVs sat at the ready.
“Copy that,” I muttered, opening the rear passenger door for them.
“I’ll sit up front if no one minds,” said Swan, walking around the back of the vehicle before the colonel or I had a chance to respond. Again, not that I would’ve, even though, truth be told, I’d rather have Attila the Hun in the car, beside me.
In the rearview mirror, I could see Barko fuming—alone—in the backseat. Clearly, not his plan.
At dinner, Swan orchestrated the same stunt, taking the seat to my right after Barko pulled out a chair for her next to him on the opposite side of the table. If I wouldn’t have looked like a complete asshole, I would’ve moved. As it was, I was stuck.
I would’ve thought it was my imagination when Swan seemed to work me into every conversation Barko started with her, but based on how pissed he looked, I knew she was doing it intentionally. What I didn’t know was why. Particularly since the more she did it, the angrier he got. So angry, in fact, that when it came time for credit card roulette, I watched him shuffle through the cards until he found mine. I just prayed I wasn’t nearing my limit, given how much I’d had to put on it in the last couple of weeks.
“What’s wrong, Lt.?” a fairly drunk Barko asked, probably because I looked as if I might be sick to my stomach. Before I could respond, Swan reached over and grabbed two of the credit cards—one of which was mine.
After handing it to me, she pushed back her chair and left the table. Barko stormed off behind her.
What the hell had just happened? I sat in my seat, stunned, until I heard my commander’s raised voice and Swan’s in response.
I found them in the hallway near the restrooms, where it looked like Barko had her pinned against the wall.
“What the fuck?” he yelled when I wrenched him away from her. By then, two other pilots had run over and got between Barko and me.
“Go!” I shouted at Swan. “Get one of the other guys to give you a ride back.”
“Wasp, I can—”
“I have a better idea, Theron” said Major Bjorn, our squadron’s operations director. “You give her a ride back. Once I have things under control, you and I will have a chat.”
“Yes, sir.” I started to walk away and realized no one had come to take my credit card to pay for dinner. “Um, the tab, sir…”
“It’s covered, Lt.” He motioned with his head to Barko. “He’ll be footing tonight’s bill.”
“Yes, sir,” I repeated. When I walked out, Swan followed. As we passed them, every person who’d been with us at dinner tonight looked mortified. Rightly so. Two full ranks and a lot of years separated Barko and me, and I’d just crossed a line there’d be no coming back from.
Would there be hell to pay? Damn straight, there would be, and “hell” didn’t begin to describe it. However, the look on Swan’s face when I found them in the hallway told me she wasn’t just avoiding my CO; she was afraid of him. The events of the last few hours suddenly made sense. Swan had intentionally made me the buffer between her and a man whose attention she didn’t want. A man who was pursuing her relentlessly. Not to mention, a married man.
“You shouldn’t have done that,” she said once we were in the SUV. “Do you have any idea the kind of trouble you’re in?”
I took a deep breath and turned in her direction. “I was in trouble whether or not I pulled Barko off you in that hallway.”
“This could ruin your career, Wasp.”
“If I had to do it over, I wouldn’t change a thing. While this may ruin my career, as you said, after seeing the look on your face”—I shook my head—“I wouldn’t have been able to live with myself, wouldn’t have even been able look at myself in the mirror, if I hadn’t intervened.”
“Thank you, and I’m sorry.”
“You have nothing to be sorry for. I should’ve realized what was happening and done a better job of neutralizing the situation.”
Heather Slade. Code Name: Wasp (Kindle Locations 137-178). K19 Shadow Operations Book Two. Kindle Edition.
Swan and Wasp meet up only one more time before they’re tapped for a special mission years later. One that almost gets derailed. All this before they join with K19.
I loved getting all the background on these two, their relationship is flirty and fun but not completely smooth sailing. We also get a glimpse of Wasp’s family.
When we return to the present case things take some unexpected twists. I couldn’t stop reading until the end.
5 Contented Purrs for Heather!
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My books are filled with things that bring me joy: music, wine, skiing, families, artists, and cowboys. Not always in that order.
I’m an Amazon best-selling author, and a PAN member of Romance Writers of America. I speak, teach, blog, am an executive sommelier, and all-around entrepreneur.
I grew up an east coast girl, and then spent half my life on the west coast. Now my husband, our two boys, and I happily call Colorado home.