The airplane hummed beneath her feet as she mounted it, followed by her two best friends. They had waited nearly an hour before boarding, eating a luncheon in one of the airport restaurants and joking with one another about the business now finished. Brina was grateful that Brass had decided to come along to Miami anyway, even though she didn't need a bodyguard anymore. Horatio, she knew, wasn't exactly pleased with having to share her, but if he wasn't going to make up his mind whether he was going to open up to her about his feelings, then she would continue to cultivate Jim's friendship, too.
Brass sat in the window seat, Brina in between him and Horatio. He wondered if he would ever be able to tell Bree just how he felt. He wanted to keep the friendship and was afraid to take the next step. He didn't want to make things complicated. But then, he thought, looking over at Horatio, maybe they already were.
Horatio smiled over at Brass. Brina was laughing about some little thought and squeezed his hand. She glanced up at the gauze bandage over the slash on his forehead, not wanting to say anything, but knowing she would always feel guilty that Horatio got hit like that. Horatio noted the glance, but decided not to say anything now. They would have plenty of time to get through that in Miami. She wasn't responsible, even though she felt like she was. He hoped he would be able to make her realize that it was his fault and his only. He didn't want her to go through life with that kind of guilt. He had enough guilt for both of them. He loved her so much, but she seemed more interested in Brass. He'd back off if that's what she wanted. He'd be her friend. Right now, that's all she seemed to want. It was fine with him.
He watched from the back of the plane as they walked on and settled. She was a vision in red: slacks, blouse and jacket. The bandages still wrapped her right cheek, but that was the only clue to the damage that had been done. Her red hair was pulled up in a bun on the top of her beautiful head.
He sat back as the plane ascended, sipping a martini as he surveyed the plane. It would be good to leave Vegas and get some sea air. Besides, he had business in Miami which included the trio he watched intently. The problem was when and where to complete his mission.