The chance

A fan fic by Wega the blue sun. This story is based on the TV series "Wings", which doesn't belong to me. "Wings" and its characters belong to their copyright holders, no copyright infringement is intended and I'm making no money from using the characters in my story. Believe it or not, I write fan fics for fun, not profit.

This story contains adult subject matter and mature topics. AFFN doesn't (yet) have a "Wings" category, so I have to post this here. Read and review!

How did I end up here?, Casey frowned as she took a swig from the chipped mug. The coffee was hot, but not very good. Actually, it was downright lousy. She wasn't a skilled cook, and even something as simple as making a decent cup of joe was beyond her abilities. But there were more important things to worry about than bad coffee, she shrugged and put the cup down on the flimsy table which started to wobble alarmingly. Casey sighed, removed the cup and walked to the single window at the far end of the room. It was still too dark to see much of anything, but a hint of light in the East showed that sunrise wasn't too far off. Always an early riser, she loved this time to contemplate the next 24 hours. A bright new day, filled with promise and potential, she thought as her lips curled into a bitter smile. Not that her life had much of either, lately. A penniless divorcee, stuck in a series of low-paying, dead end jobs, Casey could hardly believe that not so long ago she'd been the socialite wife of a rich man, with nothing more to worry about than which exclusive designer outfit to wear for yet another dazzling event.

Casey sighed again and turned away from the window to survey the room. It was a far cry from the beautifully appointed mansion she and Stuart once shared in San Francisco. Cramped and in dire need of fresh paint, the shabby apartment was precisely the kind of place she never set foot in before her fall from grace. Furnished with thrift shop furniture, its dingy walls decorated with bad artwork in cheap frames, the apartment practically shouted that its occupant made very little money. She traced the outline of a well-scrubbed stain in the carpet with the tip of her shoe until she'd created a bulls eye pattern in the faded pile. Poor Antonio, she thought, cringing under a rush of embarrassment on his behalf. He'd gone to such lengths to make the place presentable, and while the apartment was clean and tidy, the bright streamers and paper lanterns he'd hung up to give the room a little cheer only succeeded in making it more dreary. But the party to celebrate the final payment on his latest used cab was a welcome break from everyone's routine, and thus well attended, irregardless of the humble surroundings.

A talented cook, Antonio decided against the obligatory big sandwich and provided his guests with delicious Italian dishes made from old family recipes. He served mouthwatering appetizers followed by an incredible salad and a breathtaking eggplant parmesan, all washed down with fine wine and finally wrapped up the dinner with fresh figs and zabaglione, the deceptively etheral but potent dessert. And although the food was served on mismatched chipped plates, she enjoyed the fare as much as any she'd had since San Francisco. Getting high quality ingredients like ripe heirloom tomatoes and eggplants in the middle of winter on Nantucket was no easy feat, and imported buffalo mozzarella, wine and Parma ham didn't come cheap for a cabbie whose meager income was gobbled up by rent, gas and a large family back in Italy. The party was more than just a celebration of a paid car note, it was an affirmation of Antonio's hard work, and at first everyone was on their best behavior. But as the evening wore on manners slipped. Unaware of the powerful punch zabaglione packs, Lowell indulged himself a little too much, with predictable results. But someone always gets drunk at a party and acts the fool, Casey thought, recalling Lowell's goofy attempt at juggling the dessert plates. Maybe the sticky mess of broken plates on the floor was the reason why she'd decided to stay for clean-up after everyone left, or maybe it was the prospect of spending yet another lonely night in her tiny room in Joe and Helen's house, listening to the muffled sounds of their lovemaking. Or maybe it was the way Antonio looked at her when their hands met as they pulled ceramic shards out of the carpet. His eyes, filled with desperate desire, spoke clearly where language had failed him so often. She could have ignored his silent plea and walked away, but the party meant so much to him and she wasn't a cruel woman, just an unhappy one, Casey mused when a sound from the bedroom drew her attention.

"There you are", Antonio murmured, his face still creased from sleep. He wrapped his arms tightly around her and Casey felt his erection press against her thigh. "For a moment I thought last night was just a wonderful dream", he whispered in her ear and she wrinkled her nose at his morning breath. "Nope, it was real enough", she said, trying hard to sound cheerful. "Do you want coffee? I hope you don't mind that I used your kitchen, I've been up for a while. Oh, and the coffee isn't good like yours, but it's ready", she rattled on and pulled out of his embrace. "Sure, I'll have some", Antonio said in his richly accented English while he rubbed his sleep-dimmed eyes. Casey's chilly response to his affection puzzled and worried him. This is so awkward. I should have left earlier, she thought as she filled up a clean cup and handed it to him. Antonio drank deeply, pretending to relish the weak brew in the hope of pleasing her. "That's real good", he lied. "Hey, would you like something to eat? I could make us omelettes", he offered eagerly and was thrilled when Casey nodded. "I love omelettes! But don't go to any trouble, she replied as Antonio walked into the kitchenette, his bare feet slapping the cold floor. "It's no trouble at all, I love to cook for you", he said and gave her a heartmeltingly sweet smile as he began pulling stuff out of the small fridge. Casey watched as Antonio deftly broke eggs into a bowl and prepped the frying pan. "I'm really glad how things turned out. Ever since you came to the island I've been hoping that we could get together and here we are!", he paused from the task of whipping the eggs, waiting for Casey to reply, but she stayed silent. "Uh, what I mean is, last night was incredible", he said softly. "Yeah, it was great", she finally said, avoiding his gaze. He was looking over his shoulder, making those sad eyes again and suddenly she couldn't stand it any longer. Next he'd ask her for a date or even worse, tell her again that he loved her, just like he had last night. Why did he have to make things so difficult? Didn't he understand what 'one night stand' meant? The way he was acting last night had been the high point of his life. It was pathetic, this unbridled joy with an undertone of gratitude. So hopeful and devoted, he reminded her of an eager puppy holding a leash in its mouth, begging for yet another romp.

Something's not right. Did I do anything to upset her? She seemed so happy last night, so what is the matter with her today, Antonio wondered while he carried the filled plates over to Casey, who accepted hers with a tight smile. Surely she wasn't embarrassed about having sex with him? He'd met women like that before who couldn't face their sexual partner the next morning. But Casey seemed so in tune with her passionate side. She'd let him know her preferances and raked his back open with her fingernails (sweet pain!), urging him to do it faster, harder and deeper. The memory of her pale body perched upon him, her back arched in pleasure was vivid enough to make his erection ache, but one look at the grim faced woman across the table stabbing her fork into the omelette deflated his exitement just as quickly. Antonio pushed the food around his plate, his appetite all but vanished. By now she'd probably realized that he wasn't good enough for her. After all, an immigrant cabbie wasn't exactly Prince Charming to take home to meet the folks. Women like Casey just didn't go for guys like him. Oh sure, they'd hop into the sack once or twice, but that was the extend of their involvement with a working class man.

The silence was becoming oppressive. "This is my mother's recipe. If you don't like it, I can fix something else for you", Antonio said and a morsel of food became stuck in his throat. Choking, he coughed until his eyes watered. "Here, drink this! Do you need the Heimlich maneuver?", Casey asked and held a filled coffee mug in his streaming face. He waved it aside and daubed his eyes dry. It was then he noticed with horror that he'd spat a globule of egg onto the lapel of Casey's blouse. "Oh, I'm so sorry! Let me get this!" Mortified, Antonio tried to remove the offending speck with his napkin but managed only to grind the stuff deeper into the fabric, thus creating a bigger stain. "Damn! No, don't, you're making it worse!", she said, staring at the greasy spot. Desperate to salvage the situation, Antonio unbuttoned his shirt. "Please, take this while I wash your blouse! Don't worry, it'll be good as new!" "Would you excuse me for a moment?", Casey said stiffly and rose from her seat. Antonio stared after her as she walked off. A moment later he heard the bathroom door being shut and locked. "Oh god, why do these terrible things happen when I'm with Casey?", Antonio buried his head in his hands. He'd wanted to impress her, but instead he revolted her. Once again bad luck was hounding him. He couldn't blame her for being angry. She was used to a better type of man: classy, self assured, not a clumsy loser like himself. He'd been a fool to hope to have a chance with her.

Casey dropped the soiled garment into the sink and ran hot water over it while she scrubbed the stain with the large cake of soap she'd found by the bathtub. A sweet, musky scent rose from the water. She'd smelled this on Antonio's skin yesterday when she'd buried her face in his hairy chest. Casey stopped scrubbing and brought the soap close to her face. The inscription on the cake was barely visible, an unfamiliar Italian name and brand. This was probably one of the few indulgences Antonio allowed himself, a connection to his homeland. She dropped the soapy shirt into the sink and sat down on the toilet. Her heart was pounding and tears were flowing down her cheeks until she tasted salt. What the hell is wrong with me?, she wondered, looking at her trembling hands. All this was Antonio's fault, he'd ruined her favorite custom tailored blouse. It was one of the few items she'd brought from San Francisco, and up until yesterday never worn it anywhere on the island. She looked at the crumpled mess at the bottom of the sink and tears welled up again. Her attempt at handwashing finished off the dry clean only shirt for good. This was the price she had to pay for hanging out with butterfingered, stumblefooted Antonio. Casey rested her aching head on the cool edge of the sink. Sure, he was a nice fellow and really good in bed, but he just didn't fit her ideal type. She'd always preferred a WASPy Ivy league kind of man, and curlyhaired Antonio with his olive complexion and thick accent was as far removed from Harvard as Italy was from Nantucket.

"Are you OK?", a quavering voice followed a gentle knock on the door. "I'm fine, just give me a minute", Casey said, suffering pangs of conscience for harboring such unkind thoughts. He hadn't done it on purpose and she shouldn't have worn the good blouse to the party. Why did she even worry about Antonio's elegibility? She wasn't looking for a boy friend and he hadn't asked her to bear his bambinos. All they had between them were a few good hours and one ruined blouse. But now she couldn't help thinking about last night. Antonio had loved her with such skill and abandon, unlike any man she'd known. Casey thought of his arms pulling her tightly against him, his dark hands cupping her pale breasts while he spoke Italian words as sweetly intoxicating as zabaglione. The memory of their reflection in the mirror almost made her groan, so powerfully erotic was the image of his dark body pressed against hers. "Please don't be angry with me, I'll pay for the blouse!", Antonio pleaded from beyond the door. "No, that's OK. Just let me borrow something to wear", Casey said and wiped her face clean. A quick look in the tiny mirror over the sink showed that her cheeks were still flushed and her eyes red from crying. Instinctively she reached for her makeup bag, but it was in her purse in the other room. Frustrated, she sat down again. After Stuart mocked her pale lashes and invisible eyebrows, she never felt comfortable without full makeup. But last night Antonio had reveled in her glassy complexion and the triangle patch of red hair on her groin, which revealed her as a true redhead. He'd counted her freckles and kissed the tracery of blue veins visible under her skin until she trembled with pleasure.

Casey sighed. She didn't resemble her old glamorous self much anymore, the face in the mirror belonged to the sad, almost middle aged woman with the uncertain future she truly was. And yet Antonio found something good enough in her to love. Casey smiled bitterly. Stuart once loved her, and then he abandoned her. She was tired of the misery and disappointment love brought into her life. But still she yearned to be truly loved, to be cherished and protected from the cruelty of the world. Opening herself to the possibility of love carried a risk, and her wounds were still raw. "I have a shirt for you, may I come in?", Antonio asked, and hearing a muffled reply, opened the door and stepped into the bathroom. Casey was perched on the edge of the bathtub, her arms crossed before her chest, pale skin pebbly in the cold. "Allow me", he said and gallantly draped his warm flannel shirt around her shoulders. "Thanks", she gave him a tiny smile, but made no move to leave. Antonio smiled back, waiting for her to do something, anything. Finally he offered her his hand. "I didn't mean to ruin your blouse. But don't worry, I'll get you a new one!", he began and Casey interrupted him. "Forget the blouse! It's just some old thing I should have ditched a long time ago!" She took his hand, delighting in the warmth of it. What the hell, she thought. If he wants me so badly, I'll give him a few weeks. By then I'll know if he's worth the effort. Puzzled by her change in attitude, Antonio didn't know what to say, and so he stood there for a while, holding hands. Maybe he'd misjudged her, misread her anger. Maybe she'd give him a chance after all. It was definitely worth a try, he decided. "What would you like to do now? You're probably finished with breakfast", he said, nervously. "You know what? I'm still hungry. But no more omelettes, agreed? Why don't you make me some nice, dry toast?", Casey giggled and after a moment, Antonio joined in her laughter.