Read An Extraordinary Match (The Match Series Book 3) Online

Authors: Barbara Dunlop

Tags: #Fiction, #Romance

An Extraordinary Match (The Match Series Book 3) (3 page)

BOOK: An Extraordinary Match (The Match Series Book 3)
4.71Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

“I’m on vacation,” Jade confirmed.

“Camping? Canoeing? Rock climbing?”

“I haven’t decided yet. I take it you live in Mirror Falls?”

“Born and raised.” She nodded down the big hallway. “It’s my mother’s fiftieth birthday party in there. Half the town’s out on the dance floor.”

“It sounds like they’re having fun.” If the vibration of the bass and the stomping of feet were anything to go by, it was a rollicking party.

“The female dance partners are vastly outnumbered. I’m hiding in here to get a rest. You should come and join us. Believe me, we’d appreciate the reinforcements.”

Jade found herself grinning at the joke. “Too bad I’m not dressed for a party.”

She’d gone with blue jeans and a black and white cotton tank top for the trip. And since Mirror Falls had such a laid-back feel to it, she hadn’t seen a reason to change.

“Are you here with friends? A boyfriend?” Amy’s glance went to Jade’s left hand, obviously checking for a wedding or engagement ring.

“Just me.”

Amy sat up straight. “Bad breakup?”

“What? No. No, not at all. I’m just getting away from work for a few days.”

“Where do you work?”

“New York City.”

“Ahhh.” Amy nodded. Then her gaze obviously caught on something across the room. “Logan.”

Jade followed Amy’s line of sight.

A tall, handsome, surprisingly sexy man walked over to Amy’s table. He was wearing a steel-gray suit with a light gray dress shirt and a black checkerboard tie. His chin was square, his shoulders broad, and his eyes were as blue as the ocean.

“People are asking about you,” he told Amy.

“I needed a break.” She gestured to Jade. “Logan, this is Jade. She’s visiting from New York City. Jade, my brother, Logan. He’s apparently on apprehension duty.”

The man focused on Jade and went still. A moment passed before he blinked and drew a breath. “Hello, Jade.” He gave her a nod, but he didn’t offer to shake hands.

“Hello, Logan,” she responded, wondering if she could possibly have done something to annoy him. Then she realized he was probably only interested in his sister and the party. She was nothing but an interruption in his evening.

“Hi, Logan.” The waitress returned to the tables with the martinis.

Logan raised a brow at Amy. “You ordered a drink? You do know there’s an open bar in there.”

“I told you”—Amy reached out to take the martini—“I needed a break. I’ve danced every dance. The second I sit down, somebody else is asking.”

“You want something, Logan?” the waitress asked.

Logan glanced at Jade again. His look sent a sizzle of awareness along her spine before he looked back at his sister. “Sure. Bring me a…what are you having?”

“Vodka martini, olive and lemon.”

Logan grimaced. “Make mine gin, dry, with three olives.” He sat down in the armchair across from Amy. “You know they’re bringing out the cake in twenty minutes.”

“I know. I won’t miss it.”

He gave a slightly distracted nod.

The waitress brought Jade’s wrap, ensuring she had utensils and condiments on the low table. Jade felt a bit self-conscious eating in front of Amy and Logan, so she finished her first martini instead.

“You came in on the flight this afternoon?” Logan asked.

“I did.” She couldn’t help glancing down at herself. “Is it obvious?”

He shifted in his chair. “Just a guess. The five eighty-two out of JFK connects with the flight in Denver.”

“Logan’s a pilot,” said Amy.

“You fly into Denver?” Jade asked.

Had he been on the flight? She pictured him in a uniform, trying to recall if she’d seen him in the airport. She was sure she hadn’t. But the mental image of him in a pilot’s uniform was incredibly sexy.

“I’m a bush pilot,” said Logan. “I fly hikers, skiers and fishermen into the mountains.”

“Hey, that’s what you can do while you’re here,” said Amy. “Logan will take you flightseeing.”

Jade’s glance met Logan’s, and for some reason he looked quite horrified at the suggestion.

“I think I’ll keep my feet on the ground,” she told Amy.

“Don’t be silly. It’s very safe. Logan’s a very experienced pilot.”

“It’s not that—”

“Are you here to hike?” Logan asked her, his expression dubious. Clearly, she didn’t look like the outdoorsy type.

“I’m here to relax,” she answered, happy to let the idea of flightseeing drop.

Not that she had anything against Logan Edwards. He seemed like a perfectly fine human being. And she was sure he was a perfectly competent pilot. But her body was already humming with sexual awareness while he sat six feet away. She couldn’t imagine how she would feel crammed into a small cockpit next to him. She was sexually deprived lately, and Logan was miles away from the lumberjack image she’d had of Colorado men.

“You should definitely take in the Brookside Spa,” said Amy. “It’s across the skywalk on the second floor. The natural hot springs are to die for. And ask for Andre if you want a massage.”

“You should stop trying to plan her vacation,” said Logan.

“She doesn’t know what she wants to do while she’s here,” Amy countered.

Logan sent Jade a confused look. “Usually people go to Aspen or Denver, or maybe Yellowstone.”

“Mirror Falls was chosen for me,” Jade admitted. “My employer is paying for a trip. I…well…I guess…sort of won it, an employee reward.”

“You don’t seem very enthusiastic.” There was an underlying reproach in Logan’s tone.

“Believe me, it’s nothing against Mirror Falls.” Jade glanced around. “It seems perfectly nice so far.”

“Why, thank you.” His tone was flat.

It annoyed her that he was making her feel defensive. “I have a lot of work to do back at the office. I don’t have time for a vacation.”

“Yet, you came anyway.”

“I had no choice.”

“Put you on a plane with a gun to your head, did they?”

!” Any exclaimed. “What’s the matter with you?”

“Sorry,” said Logan, but he didn’t sound sorry.

The waitress returned, and he took a deep drink of his martini.

“It’s all right,” said Jade. “I’m not unenthusiastic.” She glanced around again. “I’m just, well, a bit blindsided. Twenty-four hours ago, I was in my cubicle with a dozen files waiting for my attention. I was closing a security loophole for Thompson Toys, and now it’s all come to a screeching halt. It’s unnerving, is all.”

“Are you a workaholic?” asked Amy.

“Not in a bad way.”

That got a half smile from Logan.

“Logan, take the woman flying. Show her there’s more to life than a stuffy cubicle in New York City.”

His smile disappeared, but Jade’s libido perked up anyway. She told it to shut up, and then she politely declined Amy’s offer before Logan had to come up with an excuse to say no.


Finishing his morning
coffee at the Dog Trails, Logan told himself he didn’t have the slightest interest in taking Jade Korrigan flightseeing through the Rocky Mountains. For one thing, he had plenty of work on the books. For another, he and Elroy were heading up to the cottage to install the generator just as soon as they had an opportunity. And, finally, the very last thing he needed in his life was an auburn-haired, big-city woman with a passing resemblance to Sasha.

He was the first to admit, Jade was off-the-charts beautiful. That alone was distracting. But there was also an edge about her, an avant-garde, in-your-face, I-don’t-give-a-damn-about-the-world air that intrigued him.

She was sexy, but she’d made it plain as day she wasn’t happy to be in town. That was her business, of course. He happened to think Mirror Falls was the best place on the planet.

Then he glanced out the window and saw her again. She was window-shopping at the Aleta Emporium, checking out the landscapes and wooden carvings on display in the front window. She tried the door, obviously finding it locked, then she peered at the sign where she would discover the place didn’t open until ten.

She was wearing blue jeans again and that funky leather jacket against the cool morning. Her Western-style, purple suede ankle boots had high heels, and he couldn’t help but wonder how long she planned to walk in them.

Not that he was objecting to the style. They lengthened her shapely legs, and the cropped cut of the jacket gave him a nice view of her butt, which was equally shapely. He also didn’t object to the silken cascade of hair that fell to the middle of her back.

He caught a movement in the corner of his eye and took in two men on the opposite side of the street. She’d obviously attracted their attention along with Logan’s. They covertly watched her while pretending to review a menu posted in a restaurant window. They looked to be in their mid-forties, dressed in loafers, slacks and bulky sweaters that Logan knew had been bought from Martha Burr at the Yarn Basket.

They seemed a little old to be checking out Jade Korrigan, but, then, money could be an equalizer. Yarn Basket sweaters were crafted by hand using qiviut muskox wool. They were exclusive and high-end. What the men lacked in youth, they likely made up for with their bank accounts.

He switched his attention back to Jade. Early twenties, he guessed. He was twenty-six himself, a much better match for her—from a purely chronological perspective, of course. Though, he did own a business. Treeline Aviation had been in the black for several years now, and he was quickly paying off Beaver, Cessna and Otter airplanes. Together, they represented several million dollars’ worth of aircraft.

Not that he was competing. Not that he was interested in anything but watching the woman from a distance. He’d made that firm decision yesterday.

She made her way down the street in the general direction of the Dog Trails, passing a clothing store, the tourist information center, and the Bison Club, which wouldn’t be open until five tonight.

The men kept pace, staying a couple of dozen yards behind so she wouldn’t notice them. But they kept peering at her, vaguely predatory expressions on their faces. Their actions sent an unsettling buzz along Logan’s spine.

Giving in to instinct, he tossed some bills on the table and waved his thanks to Mavis as he headed out the door. He rounded the building, crossed the street, and paced toward Jade, where she was checking out Gemma’s Gems.

“Morning, Jade,” he opened, covertly watching for the men’s reactions as he approached her.

She turned, but her smile was tentative and a bit confused. Not surprising. He hadn’t exactly been friendly last night.

“Hi, Logan,” she replied as he came to a halt.

The two men stopped on the other side of the street. They put their heads together, exchanging a few words as they seemed to assess the situation.

He wanted to shout at them to back off. She was too young for them. She was also obviously too good for them. And couldn’t a pretty woman shop in peace?

“You’re up early,” he said instead.

She glanced at her watch. “It’s nearly nine.”

“For some reason, you struck me as a late riser.”

She tipped her head sideways, her green eyes narrowing, lips pursed. “What an odd assumption to make.”

Was it? He hadn’t meant anything by it. “It must be the jacket.”

“You’ve got something against leather?”

“Nothing at all. But the bright color, the shoulder studs, all those zippers. It’s got a rock-star air to it. It says late nights and hard parties.”

She glanced at her sleeve. “Wow. All that from my jacket?”

He glanced to her feet. “The boots feed into it as well.”

“I wonder what you’d say about my underwear.”

His attention shot back to her face, finding those green-gold eyes sparkling with amusement.

“Happy to venture an opinion,” he drawled.

“You look…” She made a show of taking in his flight suit. “Okay, you look like a guy who’s about to fly an airplane.”

“That’s comforting.”

“Which means you probably get up early in the morning.”


“Eat healthy.”

“I try.”

“Keep fit, keep your mind sharp, stay away from recreational drugs.”

“See how easy it is to make appropriate assumptions?”

She started walking again. “I bet you’ve been a wholesome outdoorsman your entire life, light a fire with a flint and dried leaves, tie your own fish flies, got a whole trunkload of merit badges.”

He fell into step, noting out of the corner of his eye that the two men still tracked her progress. “I do know how to fish. And I’ve taken survival training.”

“Me and the band, we like to kick back with a bag of weed, maybe a bottle of tequila, and trash a hotel room just for kicks.”

“Before sleeping late?” he asked, liking her offbeat sense of humor.

“Now you’re catching on. I don’t know why I packed it in early last night. I guess I got lazy.”

“Well, the band isn’t in town.” Logan extended the joke.

“True. That does cramp my style. So, I updated my spam filter, watched an old Bogart classic and went to sleep instead.”

“You update your spam filter while on vacation?”

“Who doesn’t?”


“Well, hotshot, you might be able to light a fire with a flint and dried leaves, but my survival training involved ISO and NERC.”

BOOK: An Extraordinary Match (The Match Series Book 3)
4.71Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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