Getting a story started. Hang tight.
“Miss, you’ll have to hold your coat until after all the luggage is stowed.”
“Oh, I’m sorry. I…” Missy glanced up from digging in her purse and the words died on her tongue.
Her jacket was five inches from her face, but her eyes bypassed it to the tan forearm dusted with brown hair holding it aloft. Is it possible to cream just from the sight of a nice arm? It was when connected to the man standing over her.
The white dress shirt was rolled up to the elbow, offering a contrast against his skin. His bicep bunched beneath the fabric and her hand tingled as she imagined holding tight to that muscle, digging her nails into it as he rose above her. The blue vest emblazoned with the airline logo did nothing to hide the broad shoulders. And, Heaven help her, when she looked up into his eyes, the black spectacles he wore couldn’t hide the brown orbs that spoke words in another language to her.
She jumped, aware how hard she’d been staring while he waited for her to take the jacket from him. “Sorry! I’m just…”
“Don’t worry. You can put the jacket back up when everyone’s on board.” He smiled and handed her jacket with a wink.
Blinking, she stared up at him long enough that his eyebrows rose. Her cheeks colored. Way to embarrass yourself, Missy.
The capacity to speak had abandoned her so she offered what she hoped was an inviting smile as she gripped the worn material in her lap. He moved on with a nod and an easy smile, leaving Missy slumped against the seat feeling for the world like an idiot.
Passengers continued to fill the plane under the continuous litany of the first class flight attendant. “This flight is full. In order to expedite your fellow passengers boarding the plane, please place your larger carry on item in the overhead container and your smaller personal item under the seat in front of you, then move out of the aisle so others may pass…”
Her seating companions hadn’t arrived yet and she hoped she at least ended up beside someone who preferred their headphones to idle chats with strangers. She always came off as frosty when she tried to extract herself from conversations with people who sat beside her on the plane. Best to establish the dynamic early.
The flight looked to be toward the end of the boarding process, maybe she’d luck out and sit alone for the four-hour flight. Pulling out her iPad, she waited for the cue to put on her seatbelt.
“19A and B, here we go.”
Glancing up, she made eye contact with a young blonde woman. The woman seemed a bit harried and wore a sour expression that ruined the beauty of her features. An impatient huff signaled her irritation at being kept waiting for her seat.
When Missy stepped out into the aisle, a tall man carrying a red-faced infant and a huge duffle bag came striding up. Lines creased his brow as he tried jostling the crying baby while attempting to put the bag into the little remaining space overhead.
“Cynthia, either take the baby or help me put the luggage up. I can’t do everything.”
Missy glanced at the woman seated by the window who chose to ignore the angry man’s request. She felt her hopes for a peaceful flight disintegrate before her eyes. It was tough to decide what to do as the man continued to struggle.
“For God sakes, Cynthia!”
Missy stepped to the side, trying to avoid being stepped on as the man flung the bag around. “Can I hel…”
Hands circled her waist and pulled her out of the way as another bag toppled to the ground. Missy found herself flush against a hard body, inhaling the most delicious masculine scent. That smell was the smell that would color her night-time fantasies for weeks to come. The contact ended before she could even savor it. The gorgeous flight attendant moved her behind him so he could replace the fallen bag, giving her a brief view of his tight butt as he bent forward.
“Sir, I’m going have to ask you to take your seat. I’ll place the bag in the back where we have more space.”
The man grumbled something that was lost in the continued screams.
The attendant retrieved the duffle and made off down the aisle.
Missy was left standing, feeling shaky from an innocent interaction. He’d saved her from a concussion and all she could think about was hips pressing into her ass. Only with less clothes and more moans.
“You’re going to need to take your seat and fasten your safety belt, now.”
Missy jumped at the flight attendant’s voice behind her. She moved into her seat, allowing the tight lipped attendant to continue on checking seat belts.
The man beside her wasn’t a big guy, but with the baby he seemed to spread out and creep into her space. His splayed his legs out and the right pressed into hers even when she moved over as far as the seat would allow her. What was worse, the baby continued to screech, its little face blood red and smeared with tears and snot. The man rocked with jerky movements, posture stiff as he occasionally glared at the woman beside him and muttered under his breath.
“Ladies and gentleman, the cabin door has been shut. Small electronics may continue to be used as long as they remain in airplane mood.” The unseen flight attendant paused before starting the safety procedures for the plane while they began to taxi.
She bent to retrieve her headphones and got hit with a flailing baby foot. This flight was going to be long, and the prospect of it made her want to groan. She comforted herself by watching the very attractive male attendant go through the flight procedures.
He was two rows in front of her, his movements sure and quick as he demonstrated life vests and then oxygen masks. She found herself mesmerized by the confidence he radiated. It made her wonder if his assurance in his ability extended into everything he did in life. She smiled at the thought.
Missy was putting her headphones in when he stopped at her row on his way back.
“I need to check that your seatbelt is securely fastened.” The way he stared down at her made her insides tremble.
“Sure.” She lifted her jacket to show her compliance, and was startled when he reached out to place his fingers beneath the strap. The backs of his fingers ran along the edge of belt, pressing against her stomach in the process.
“Low and tight,” he murmured with a nod before continuing on.
She sat staring blindly at the headrest in front of her. No one had ever physically checked to see if her seatbelt had been applied as instructed. The way his fingers pressed into her stomach ignited the heat in her belly. Did that usually happen or did it mean something else? She was on the verge of obsessing over it.
“Flight attendants, please be seated for take off.”
The plane picked up speed, and as they climbed into the air the baby’s screams reached an octave that threatened to burst Missy’s eardrums. She gripped the armrest and prayed the kid would fall asleep when they leveled out. Just hang on.
A bing sounded overhead and she watched the first class attendant lift the intercom. “We have reached the altitude where designated electronics are okay for use as long as they are in airplane mode. The captain has left the seatbelt sign on…”
The baby’s screams rose higher drowning out the rest of the message. Missy glanced sideways to see the mother sleeping soundly against the window, her head covered by a sweatshirt hood. The father had large headphones on while lightly bouncing the child on his knee. Another glance around her showed the large majority of the passengers’ focus was on their respective electronics.
Everyone else seemed able to ignore the high pitched wails except her. Did they have in earplugs? This flight was turning into a disaster and they’d just gotten into the air.
She squealed at the deep voice in her ear. Her noise made the baby cry harder, fat tears rolling down its face as it wiggled. Missy placed a hand over her chest in the hopes of keeping her heart from pounding out of her chest. The gorgeous flight attendant placed a hand on her arm and squatted down beside her in the aisle.
“Miss.” She turned in her seat to hear him better. “Can I get you anything?”
This close, Missy could see the laugh lines around his mouth. They added to his appeal on so many levels. His hand still rested on her arm, all his body heat soaking into her skin and waking up her lust.
“A hysterectomy?” She cringed at her terrible joke.
His surprised laughter warmed more than just her heart. She shifted in her seat as the sound filled the space. The way he smiled at her made her so giddy it was embarrassing.
“How about some headphones. Come on to the back with me and I’ll give you what you need.”
He was on his feet and moving along the aisle before she’d even processed what he said. Missy’s mind played in explicit detail the ways he could give her what she needed. She finally pulled herself together enough to unbuckle and follow.
She reached the very back of the plane to find him wearing an apron and holding a couple small cocktail bottles. He placed a hand on her shoulder, led her to an open jump seat, and pressed the bottles into her hand when she sat. She looked up at him totally baffled by the smile on his face.
“Sit back here and drink those. I have to run the cart and then I’ll be back to take care of you, okay?”
Any protests she would have uttered fell on deaf ears. Missy started at his back as he started back down the aisle.