“If women were meant to fly, the skies would be pink.” Those were the first words Anjelica Joergensen heard from renowned wingsuiter, Kyle Sheppard, when they joined an international team in Oslo to break the formation flying Guinness World Record. This wouldn’t be the last blunder Kyle would make around the beautiful Norwegian. The more Anjelica tries to avoid Kyle, the more the universe pushes them together. Despite their awkward start, she finds herself reluctantly attracted to the handsome New Zealander. But beneath his saintly exterior, is Kyle just a daredevil looking for the next big thrill? Falling for another wingsuiter would only be another love doomed. When a childhood sweetheart comes between them, Kyle makes a foolish agreement which jeopardizes the event and endangers his life, forcing Angelica to make a hard choice. Is she the one who’ll clip his wings? Can he be the wind beneath hers?
Who are these that fly along like clouds, like doves to their nests? ~ Isaiah 60:8
Anjelica drank in the beauty of the surrounding mountains that hugged the dark blue waters far below. The climb had been worth it. As usual. She could never get enough of the view across the fjord. Beside her, pockets of snow filled the gaps between flat gray rocks.
She stepped up to the edge, closed her eyes, and inhaled deeply. The butterflies in her stomach were determined to be the first to take flight. Standing at the exit point—whether a precipice, skyscraper, or aircraft’s open door—was one of the scariest moments. She could turn away and fail or step forward into moments of death-defying adventure. Despite her anxiety, this was Anjelica’s favorite place.
She raised her arms and leaned over the rock. Her body dropped through the air before she stretched her limbs like a bird. As the wind wrapped around the shape of her wingsuit, she began to fly.
Visions of the week ahead filled her mind. She exhaled slowly. Her helmet warmed inside at her breath. She had to calm her thoughts—focus on the flight was paramount to success. For the next few minutes, she and the currents would wage war against gravity and error.
Determined to improve on her previous time in the air, Anjelica raised her head. She bent her body at the waist and looked ahead, slowing her rate of descent and forward momentum.
A streak of red whizzed past her. Erick Thuesen. Show off. Anjelica would have shaken her head and raised a fist at him if she didn’t risk going into a deathly spin toward earth. She had to remain focused. Usually his antics made her smile, but Erick wanted them to make her heart soar.
Not going to happen. Been there before.
Irked at his lack of focus on their training, the amused expression never made it to her face today. They didn’t have time for foolery. The world record attempt was little more than a week away. He should try to stay in the air for as long as possible, not see how fast he could make it back to solid ground.
This was their last jump before the team gathered in Stryn, then headed down to Oslo where they’d join not only the larger team from Kjerag, but teams from all over the world.
Although she couldn’t wait to start training with the international wingsuiters, Anjelica didn’t relish the thought of the day’s road-trip that lay ahead, or the testosterone environment she’d be plunged into for the next week. Not everyone in this high-flying community felt this sport was for the fairer sex.
With a wide grin, Kyle Sheppard turned to his seven-strong team and rubbed his hands together. “This is going to be sweet.” Flying the fjords of Norway had been his dream for too long. “I wonder who’ll fly lead in the formation, be the star at the top of the tree?” He handed his passport to the customs officer at Oslo Airport. Not even his exhaustion from the twenty-seven hour journey between New Zealand and Norway could extinguish his excitement. This would be a high to beat all adrenaline highs.
God willing, Friday they’d break their record set in California last year by eleven—one hundred and eleven wingsuiters flying in formation.
As part of Norway’s National Day celebrations, May seventeenth would see a tree-shaped formation high in the Oslo skies, bringing not only a summer Christmas reminder to Scandinavia, but a new Wingsuit World Record validated by The Guinness Book of World Records.
“I know you’re vying for the position, Sheppard, however, I’m hoping it won’t be a star, but an angel at the top of the tree—a blonde, Nordic one.” Luke Maskil’s grin matched Kyle’s as laughter erupted from the rest of the team. Luke waggled his brows. Mischief twinkled in his eyes while the promise of a good time ahead plastered his face.
“Lukie-boy, you do know this country offers more than just leggy blondes?”
Luke smacked Kyle’s cheek with a few friendly taps. “Lighten up, Sheppard. Why always so serious? You have to appreciate the finer qualities a country has to offer. There’s more to this life than just flying the lines.”
Kyle feigned surprise. “Really?” He retrieved his passport, stuffed it inside his jacket’s top pocket, and grabbed the handle of his suitcase.
He’d drawn a line more crucial than those he flew—one he would not cross. It was far less dangerous to fall from a cliff or a plane, than to fall in love.
He turned his head and spoke over his shoulder. “I guess I’m having too much fun flying high to concern myself with things down below.”
Luke patted Kyle’s back. “Keep saying that, Sheppard. Maybe one day you’ll actually believe it. But I’m telling you, as your friend, that you can have fun in the air and on the ground.”
Perhaps Luke was right. But it didn’t matter. Wherever they travelled, Kyle chose to ignore the beauties that gravitated toward him—women attracted only to his exciting career and good looks. Adrenaline groupies. Will I ever find someone who really cares about who I am, what I believe in?
He’d never find his soul mate on this earth.
God would have to send an angel from heaven. Even divine intervention seemed an impossible task, for it wasn’t often that angels and shepherds met.
Kyle smiled. But when they did, miracles happened.
MARION UECKERMANN's passion for writing was sparked in 2001 when she moved to Ireland with her husband and two sons. Since then she has published devotional articles and stories in Winners, The One Year Devotional of Joy and Laughter, Chicken Soup for the Soul: Miraculous Messages from Heaven, and her debut novella, Helsinki Sunrise (White Rose Publishing, a Pelican Book Group imprint, Passport to Romance series). Her second Passport to Romance novella, Oslo Overtures, and her first Indie novella, Orphaned Hearts (Book 1 in her Heart of Africa Romance series), both release mid-2015. Marion loves writing romances set in novel places. She lives in Pretoria East, South Africa in an empty nest with her husband and their crazy black Scottie, Wally.
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