Jairus Cordova’s nightmares continued to feed his paranoia despite being back in the states for almost a year. His PTSD was getting worse, not better as his therapist said it would. Of course, he hid it well to keep the job he had. He had been a pilot in the Air Force and he damn well would be a pilot in his civilian life.
He was grateful to his buddy and fellow soldier, Forrest, for managing to bury his records enough that the background check Coralline Airlines required didn’t pick up his unstable psyche, or the injuries that required a large amount of pain medication. If Jairus couldn’t fly, he had nothing to live for. And he couldn’t fly EMT ‘copters…too many terror filled memories and a huge trigger for flashbacks.
What enraged him was the interference of an AVS agent with the FAA. He’d thought he was under the radar, but the stunningly gorgeous man was too perceptive and too wickedly smart for Jairus to hide much longer.
He also didn’t understand his attraction. He’d been straight when he entered the Air Force, then been forced to rely on fellow men to satisfy his sexual appetite, not something he was proud of. Not something he thought would follow him into his civilian life. But there was no denying he felt—something—for the agent…and it scared him to death.
Darian McCarthy loved his job in the FAA AVS LOB. He never aspired to be a pilot himself, but enjoyed the paperwork in certifying those that did. Rarely had he ever had to suspend or revoke a certification, which looked good on his government portfolio.
But disturbing information was coming in on a pilot with Coralline Airlines and Darian couldn’t ignore it. Twice there had been reports of flight deviation, the pilot straying from his registered flight plan with no reasonable explanation.
In his investigation, Darian was puzzled as to the limited amount of information on the man. He hadn’t been the one to certify him, and was even more stumped that his background and certification package did not list who did certify him, though it did note he’d passed the required 1500 hours of flight time and was signed off by his instructor.
The deeper he dug, the more concerned he became until he finally requested a meeting with the pilot. Beyond the hostile exterior, Jairus Cordova seemed—tortured. It was the only word that Darian could come up with. But it was clear his certification needed to be withdrawn.
Darian was floored that his actions had him out of sorts, and he was spending an inordinate amount of time with the handsome man. That he was attracted to Jairus wasn’t the issue, it was the overwhelming belief that Jairus was broken, and dying inside. And Darian found himself wanting to fix him, to offer comfort—to love the man.