Blurb: Chloe Timmons and Jason McIvey are each at a crossroads.
On what may be her last weekend as 'just a girlfriend', Chloe quells her restlessness by hitting the town and runs into her boyfriend's brother, Jason, a fellow pilot in town for an air show. A barroom brawl brings them together and Chloe
Chloe thinks her boyfriend Marc may propose, and she's not sure she's ready for marriage. Jason McIvey has to decide if he's staying in the military or going civilian. When Chloe and Jason spend the night together, it doesn't make either decision easier.
To that day, Jason didn't get his brother's need to push everything too far—like when Jace first met Chloe and Marc set it up so Jace mistook her for a stripper. As usual, Jason had responded exactly as expected, with an overreaction much to Marc's great amusement. Jason had been so angry he'd stalked out of the club so he wouldn't punch his brother in the face.
He'd got halfway up the block before he heard the clatter of heels running to catch up with him.
"Jason! Please, wait. Hold up!"
He had slowed his pace but didn't stop walking. In his current mood, if Marc happened to be with Chloe, Jason would lay him out and enjoy doing so. He wanted to be happy for his brother. Hell, he had been happy for him. Chloe had outlasted every one of Marc's previous hookups. Jason had been proud of him… until five minutes before then.
Chloe had caught up, minus her shoes, which dangled from her fingertips. Jason admired the fact she'd chucked them in favor of speed. She fell into step beside him and walked to the next intersection where he had to wait for a red light.
"He's sorry, you know?"
Jason snorted. "Yeah, he is. Which is why he didn't come with you."
Chloe shook her head. "No, he didn't come with me because I asked him not to."
Jason had inclined his head. "So he just sends you out—alone—to soothe his pissed off brother. What a prize." And he needed to shut up. Chloe would think he'd gone completely insane.
Chloe had a very angry look on her face. "Marc knows better than to try and argue with me when I set my mind on something. He wouldn't try to stop me, no matter how pissed off you are."
Jason had all but snarled. "Really? Why the hell not?"
Chloe shouted back. "Because I'm a soldier, just like you two. I don't need backup."
Jason scoffed. "Whatever." He turned away, ignoring Chloe.
She gave Jason a considering look. "He's right about you."
Jason laughed. "Right about what? That I'm a stupid moron who falls for anything?"
Chloe tilted her head to one side. "There is that. But he also said you're a stand-up guy." She laid her hand on his forearm. "Being pissed off on my behalf—without knowing or meeting me—demonstrated his point nicely. Thank you."
Jason shook her hand away. "It also capped off the evening's entertainment for Marc. He gets a lap dance and has fun watching me make an ass out of myself."
Chloe sighed. "I went along with it. If you're mad at him, you should be mad at me, too."
Of course, she'd gone along with it.
Oddly disappointed, Jason skirted the issue. "Why are you here?"
Chloe smiled. "To apologize. Marc and I get carried away sometimes in the name of so-called fun. Occasionally, someone gets hurt. I'm not proud of that fact."
Jason didn't accept or reject her apology. Instead, he asked a question. "Okay, tell me this. Was the lap dance your idea, or did Marc put you up to it?"
Chloe pondered a moment. "He thought it would be amusing to see the look on your face." She grimaced. "I kinda agreed."
Jason blew out a heavy breath. "Well, that's just great. You two are perfect for each other." The light finally turned green, and Jace stepped toward the curb.
He couldn't wait to get the hell back to base.
Chloe's strong grip stopped him. "Look, it was a shitty thing to do." She let go of his arm. "Let's start over. Come to dinner tomorrow." She shrugged. "I can't cook for crap, but I know the best takeout places in town."
Jason didn't know if it would be a good idea to spend time with Marc right then, but he found himself relenting and accepting her invitation. "I like spicy ethnic foods."
Chloe's laughter rang out. "The kind Marc hates. Good choice. Stop by around seven. You know the address, right?"
Jason nodded and stepped onto the crosswalk.
Chloe lifted her hand in farewell and turned to head back to the club.