Fine. He was letting the leadership role go. As much as it hurt to admit, it had never been his. In a way, that made him feel a fraction better because he hadn’t done anything to lose it. Cross would’ve said so; the guy was pretty straightforward.
Okay, so where did that leave him? On the mission of a lifetime, frankly. Partnered with the human embodiment of challenge, but when had he ever backed down from a challenge?
In a lot of ways, he’d been training for this for years. Decades, even. And as cold as it sounded, his knowledge of Lachlan McAlistair was part of that preparation.
A painful, frustrating part but like walking through fire. He’d survived it, and so had Lach. They could do this. They could be grown-up enough to work together like adults, right?
Beside him, Lach stretched. The lines of his thighs grew hard under his kilt as his long legs extended under the seat in front of him. One hand—the near one that had been tapping—lifted the hem of his sweater to scratch at his belly. The hair there was dark and curling, and a memory of it brushed across Vince’s lips.
His own hand shot into the air.
The flight attendant approached, smiling expectantly. “Yes, Mr. Ito?”
“Whisky, please,” he murmured, then silently mouthed, Double.
She turned for the galley, and he settled back into his seat.
But not before he caught the smug little smile curling Lach’s mouth.