Her pink mouth thinned, and I could hardly see her eyes from the glare of light on the lenses of her glasses. “What do you want, Commander Tyler?” Her tone was clipped, irritated.
What goddamn right did she have to be irritated? Honestly.
“I want to know what the fuck you were thinking when you engineered that little maneuver.”
She stiffened. “I didn’t engineer anything. I’m as shocked by my father’s request as you are. What could I possibly have to gain by spending my precious time managing an unwilling person—”
“—Who’s got issues. Don’t forget about my issues,” I mocked.
She cocked her head and folded her arms. “Ah, I see. I bruised your ego, and you want an apology.” She shrugged. “My dad expects total honesty, and when he asked my opinion, I had no choice but to give it to him honestly. He can tell when I’m lying.”
“And you think I’m unfit to fly.”
She frowned. “It’s got nothing to do with flying. I think you’re unfit to be the face of this program. I think your penchant lately for the dramatic will hurt us. And yes, you’ve got issues.”
I took a step forward, and she backed up against the wall across the hallway. Her eyes widened as she looked at me. She looked intimidated. No, I wouldn’t be grabby or touch her again, but I was fine with intimidating her. I braced my hand on the wall above her head and leaned in close. Mmm. More of that delicious strawberry smell. It was almost overpowering.
“And you’re perfect and willing to fix me, right? Admit it. You have some shrink wet dream in your little head about fixing me.”
She shook her head, the array of dark-blond hair settling around her shoulders fetchingly. My eyes traveled up her long neck to her mouth, her upturned nose, her dark brows hovering over her frames. She wasn’t plain. She was actually kind of cute…when she wasn’t being downright infuriating, or honest, as she was selling it.
She seemed to be finding it hard to breathe. Inhaling deeply, she coughed once, cleared her throat, looked away as her face flushed pink. “Sorry to burst your bubble, but it’s not all about you. You can have all the issues you want. It’s not my job to fix you.”
“Whose job is it, then?” I smirked.
“Yours, Commander.” She licked her lips and raised those thick, dark brows at me, and the smug smile melted right off my face. Oh, when this girl pushed back, she knew where and how to do it, didn’t she?
I swallowed, a tiny pinprick of emotion piercing me to the core. Was it fear? Anger at her challenge? Who was this woman?