Senior flight attendant Judy Winston is on the wrong flight at the wrong time when hijackers try to take over her airplane while it's still parked at the gate. During the evacuation, she's abruptly thrown down the emergency slide by DEA agent Chase Danton.
Chase has seen enough in his lifetime. He watches the brave flight attendant save the passengers--now he has to save her. The DEA suspects that a ring of airline employees are smuggling drugs on flights and Agent Danton recruits Judy to go undercover at her airline.
Who is the ringleader? It must be someone high up in the airline...
Chase's demanding, no-nonsense attitude grates on Judy. Strong-willed, she won't bend to his demands--or will she?
When the drug smugglers find where Judy's been Hiding In Plain Sight, Chase vows to protect her as they fall into a highly-charged, passionate and dangerous love affair.
There are no customer reviews available at this time. Would you like to write a review?
Whiskey Creek Press
January 01, 2009
Number of Print Pages*
Adobe DRM EPUB
* Number of eBook pages may differ. Click here for more information.
Excerpt from Hiding in Plain Sight by Barbara Goodwin
Flight attendant Judy Winston heard shouts and screams ring through the aircraft cabin. She flinched then peeked around the aft bulkhead. Three men in black ski masks spread throughout the back cabin waving guns.
"On the floor. Now," the men shouted. "And don't make any stupid moves."
Oh God, it's a hijacking. She had to do something, had to help. She had to evacuate as many passengers as possible.
Good thing they were still boarding. With forced calm, Judy steadied her breathing.
An older man in seat 39C, just behind her back, whispered, "Miss, does the pilot know--"
"Shhh," she answered. Reaching over, she pushed the round emergency exit button, locking the slide to the aircraft floor and held her breath as she waited for the emergency door to spring open. God help them all if this didn't work.
The aft left door to the 767 airplane rose into the ceiling with a whine. Judy winced at the loud hissing noise as the yellow slide inflated in two seconds. She hoped the screams from the passengers would block any noise she made, and she ducked behind the bulkhead. It wouldn't help to get shot before she could save anybody.
Thirty years of training kicked in. Judy ignored her racing heart; she had no time to give in to fear.
Looking back up the aisle, she saw the hijackers facing the other way. A small group of passengers had captured their attention by not obeying their orders fast enough. Don't hurt them, she prayed.
Judy grabbed a woman in jeans and a white t-shirt and pushed her toward the open door. She motioned for her to jump into the slide. Not waiting to see if the woman made it safely to the bottom, she started a slow trickle of passengers down the slide. Shouts from the hijackers and cries from the passengers gave Judy a few precious seconds to save one or two more passengers.
"Silence," one of the hijackers screamed. He fired a burst of gunfire into the ceiling and through the windows. The passengers had crouched down next to their seats, making it difficult to see how many were left onboard.
Judy gave a brief prayer of thanks that she'd been in the aft galley setting up for the upcoming flight when this started. She wouldn't have been able to help any of the passengers escape otherwise.
She peeked around the divider once more and saw the men pushing their guns into the other flight attendants' faces while they shoved them down the aisle.
"Move to the center of the airplane," one hijacker yelled.
Judy hoped that a few of her co-workers had been able to open a forward door and get some people out. She knew the pilots had slammed the bulletproof cockpit door closed and escaped through the windows, down the ropes provided for just that situation.
"Goddamnit," a hijacker hollered. "A back door is open. The passengers are escaping." He ran to the back of the airplane.
A strong push shoved Judy out of the airplane. She screamed. She almost missed the slide but gripped a handhold at the last minute and hung on. Her legs flailed in the air as she struggled to climb onto the rubbery material. Above her head she heard scuffling and shouts. She glanced up as a hulking man barreled out of the door, disconnecting and pulling the top of the slide over him in one motion. As the slide fell to the ground he covered himself from the sight of the hijackers.
Judy scrambled to get up and get away. In one smooth motion the man grabbed her and rolled onto his back. Protected from the brunt of his weight, he hauled her under the airplane.
On the ground, the mechanics, cabin cleaners, baggage handlers, caterers and other airport workers scurried to safety. Windows shattered in the terminal. Terrified passengers screamed and wailed as they ran away from the flying glass and bullets.
Judy's every nerve strained to the breaking point--she fought to get away. She would not let a terrorist capture her. Kicking and pushing, she kneed the man in his stomach.
"Stop it," he grunted. "I'm trying to save your ungrateful hide."
"I won't be taken hostage," Judy swore, still struggling.
"Hush up," the man whispered in her ear. "That is, if you want to get out of this alive." He wrapped his powerful arms around her, pinning her arms to her sides. He immobilized her legs by throwing one rock-hard leg over her.
Trapped. Judy's heart raced faster. She sucked in deep breaths, trying to calm down.
The man pulled Judy closer to him. He shoved her underneath his large body, covering her from head to toe.
"Get up!" She shifted. "I...can't...breathe." Judy squirmed and rocked, scraping her cheek and palms on the asphalt.
He moved to the side to take some of the pressure off Judy, but didn't release her. "By now LAX has come to a ground stop. Do you want to be shot by the LAPD or FBI? They don't know who I am. And your uniform doesn't mean anything. Anyone can buy it on eBay. We're both suspects until our backgrounds have been checked."
"Who are you?"
"A man on the wrong flight."
His breath blew into her ear and on her neck, causing tingles to race up her spine. Judy's limbs weakened, shocking her. She tasted grittiness from the tiny pebbles that had entered her mouth, smelled oil and tar on the blacktop, felt the warmth of the asphalt. Judy spit out the pebbles.
A burst of noise startled her back to reality. She saw black and white vehicles surround the airplane.
"Stop smashing my face into the asphalt," Judy said. "You're hurting me."
He released her. "Sorry." The man stroked some hair off her face and hooked a strand behind her ear. He shifted once more, giving her even more breathing space.
Shivers rushed up her spine from the tender touch of his hand. She began to feel safe.
Silence registered. The bullets had stopped flying. The man lowered his head, resting it on her neck. The coarseness from the stubble on his cheek rubbed her face and his spicy scent filled her nostrils, tantalized. Judy's heart raced. She felt him turn to the left, then right. "What are you doing?"
"Shhh." His breath tickled her neck; the little hairs stood straight up. "I'm looking to see if there's a way out without getting a bullet from the cops for our trouble."
"Oh." With the man's head on her neck, his long body stretched out completely covering hers, Judy waited. There was a kind of heavy comfort with him on top of her. Her mind drifted back to when she'd been married. She had loved nestling next to her husband in the mornings, feeling the weight of his legs across hers and his warm breath on her neck. That was before he left her, though.
The man shifted. Then he shifted again. He accidentally ground his pelvis into her buttocks as he pushed his chest and shoulders up to get a better view of the activity around the airplane.
"What's that I feel?" Judy moved a little, and the man groaned. "Are you hit? Injured?" Concerned, she tried to turn over underneath him. Her motherly instinct reared up. She wanted to help, but he wouldn't get off her.
"Here they come." His voice cracked. "Don't move."
"Don't worry, there's a ten ton rock on me. I'm stuck."
"Cute," he said.
Did she hear a smidgen of laughter in his voice? The man shifted again and suddenly Judy knew what she felt. Why...the nerve. He had an erection in the middle of a hijacking.
"Get off me," Judy said. She couldn't believe she'd begun to feel concern for this man's welfare.
"Freeze," an LAPD officer shouted. "You're surrounded." Police wearing blue jackets with white S.W.A.T. letters printed on them moved under the airplane.
"No kidding," Judy murmured.
She watched one officer approach the airplane, arm extended, gun pointed. She heard others coming from different directions. There must have been twenty or more officers. Judy didn't move a muscle.
But the big man did. He rolled off her.
"Place your arms above your head," an officer shouted.
While one officer held his gun on her another checked around for weapons then said, "All clear."
"Place your arms in front of you," the first officer said.
"Sit up. Now stand slowly." The officer slapped handcuffs on Judy's wrists.
Fumbling due to her manacled wrists, Judy pushed herself up from the black asphalt.
"Walk out from under the airplane." The officer who had handcuffed her wrists shoved her toward the left wing.
Judy stumbled, but didn't fall. "Look, I'm doing everything I've been told to do. I'm not the enemy here."
When she stepped out from under the wing she looked around. Where were the passengers? And what happened to her hero? She thought she'd see such a large man standing in a nearby crowd. Maybe he was with the passengers on the other side of the airplane. Judy swiveled around but only saw police vehicles blocking her view.
"State your name," ordered an officer.
"Flight Attendant Judy Winston."
With her manacled hands, Judy reached for her badges.
"Freeze," one officer yelled.
Judy froze. "I'm just getting you my I.D. like you ordered."
Another uniformed officer came over and patted her down, lingering over her small breasts and between her legs.
Judy's back stiffened. Her head snapped up and she narrowed her eyes. She stepped back and clamped her legs closed. She stared the officer down. "You try that again, buster, and I'm reporting you to your supervisor for inappropriate behavior."
The man backed away. "Get your identification."
She pulled out two badges clipped to a leather cord.
Mr. Touchy-Feely officer took the badges and measured them against her face. Apparently satisfied with the match, he nodded his head. "One more minute, Ms. Winston." He handed the badges to a man in a suit who ran off to have them verified.
Judy tapped her foot. She knew they would be checking her badge against the airline's records and the Department of Airport's records. It seemed like an hour, but it probably only took ten minutes.
The suit came back and nodded to the officers. "She's legit."
A young officer removed Judy's restraints. She rubbed her wrists. She walked up to the officer who patted her down and lowered her voice. "If you're so desperate to touch a woman, hire a prostitute. One your own age." She turned and walked away. Time to fill out reports and find out how everyone else was.
The man who'd shoved her out the airplane door had disappeared. Who was he? Judy didn't get a good look at him, but she'd know his masculine, distinctive scent anywhere.
Sensual, manly, erotic.