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Just Pretend (Cupid's Kiss Book 6) by Kathryn Kelly (1)

Chapter 2

Ryan Armstrong grinned when the wheels of the airplane glided against the runway. After checking the annunciator panel, he pulled the thrust reversers slowing the airplane. He considered smooth landings his specialty. Not that anyone really noticed. They only noticed when something went wrong.

As he taxied toward the tarmac, he turned his phone off airplane mode and six text messages hit his screen. Four from his fiancé Sariah, one from his sister, and one from Noah.

He checked the one from his sister first. Don’t forget to call mom. Today’s her birthday. Like he could forget that. November 1st was easy to remember. He considered his mother’s birthday to be an early kickoff to the holiday season. Besides, he’d already called her.

The one from Noah was next. It was a group message. I’m calling a meeting for all the pilots today at five. If you’re back in town, come to the conference room.

A meeting at five on a Friday evening was not a good sign. Noah respected his pilots’s family time. Either someone had royally messed up or he needed something important.

He glanced through the messages from Sariah. She had a list of things she wanted him to do this weekend revolving around the black tie event tomorrow night. Pick up his tux. Pick up flowers for her. Hire a limo.

Such was the life of being engaged to one of Dallas’s socialites. Sariah was gorgeous to look at. And Ryan was the envy of the Dallas bachelors and even more married men than he cared to think about.

After securing the plane, he helped his one passenger, a business man he’d just flown back from Ohio off the plane, sent him off in a waiting car, and took off across the tarmac, his long stride eating up the pavement. He pulled off his pilot’s cap and ran a hand through his short hair. After spending most of the day waiting around in Cleveland for the man to finish his meeting, the warmth of the Dallas sun was more than welcome. Too bad winter was on its way. Fortunately, Dallas winters were short with only occasional bursts of cold snowy weather.

He drove the short distance to the Skye Travels office and dashed up the stairs two at the time. It was a mystery how Noah Worthington had managed to secure land so close to the airport. Only part of what made him an aviation legend.

He still had fifteen minutes before the meeting started, but he was one of the last ones to arrive.

He stood in the back, not bothering to make his way to a chair. He needed to stand for awhile. Since sitting was the new smoking, he stood up whenever he had the opportunity. A couple of the other guys did the same.

Minutes later, Noah began speaking. “We have a new plane. It’s a Gulfstream G650.”

There were a few mumbles of appreciation. “It’s our most luxurious plane yet. Unfortunately, only four of us are rated to fly it. Myself, Jameson, Colton, and Ryan. I’ll be sending some of the rest of you for training soon.” Noah paused and scanned the room, his gaze stopping on Ryan. “Although the paint’s barely dry on it, word is already spreading. We just got a request to take a honeymooning couple to Colorado.” He put his hands on his hips. “Tomorrow.”

Fly a brand new plane. Avoid the black tie event. Ryan’s hand shot up.

Noah laughed. “Ryan. How about you?”

“Sure. I’ll go.”

“You won’t be back until Monday.” Noah pressed his palms against the table.

Ryan shrugged. “Got it.”

“Jameson?”

Jameson glanced up from his phone. “I can go.”

“Great. Where’s Lucy?”

“She’s still on that trip to California,” someone said.

“Charlotte, call the temp agency and line up a flight attendant for in the morning. I’ll email you the rest of the information. That’s it guys. Thanks for stopping by.”

Ryan walked with a light step from the conference room to the office he shared with three other guys and whistled while he opened his locker.

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