All characters are the property of Stephenie Meyer. All original characters and storylines belong to some IT chick. We're not sure who she is because there are hundreds of names that are all kinda the same, but different....if that makes sense. She's like a snowflake. Well, a flake anyways.

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Chapter 4: I felt like one in a dream

The attendants turned off the interior lights and the few people who were still awake on the transatlantic flight became illuminated by a soft blue-white glow of their personal movie monitors.

Near them, a young couple clearly intended to spend the entire flight kissing and doing God knows what else under the blanket they shared. Based on their breathing, they weren't just holding hands under there.

Two people were in the middle of a marathon whispered argument. It had been going on since lift-off. The gist of the argument was over a girl. Based on the age of the young man arguing with the older woman who must have been his mother, it was a teen-aged thing. They were in love, the world — and their parents — were trying to keep them apart. It was all very romantic, except that it was annoying everyone around them.

A dark haired woman sat across the aisle from Marcus and Rolle. She shifted in her seat, pretending not to hear the whispering going on around them and glanced again at Rolle. For the twentieth time she admired his perfect skin, pale eyes and platinum hair. She had been noticing him since they waited at the gate in the terminal. With a shake of her head, she turned her attention back to the glowing computer screen on her lap. Her own seatmate was asleep. The book the elderly man had been reading lay open on his chest as he snored softly.

Rolle was watching the in-flight movie and appeared intent on the ending. With a pained expression he watched the heroine die, her lover clutching her fingers. His own hand clenched tightly.

The woman beside him slid her eyes away from his now fisted hand and stifled a sigh as she turned back to her screen. She tried to block out the image of his angular jaw, the sharp nose and the long line of his kissable neck. She'd come onto the plane behind him and, staring at his butt, had tripped over the jet way. He knelt at her side, his face a picture of concern and held out his hand to help her up asking if she was okay. Her less-than-eloquent reply sounded like a hiccup.

She shook her head sharply remembering the jolt that shot through her at the touch of his cool hard fingers as he had helped her up; still feeling where they had grasped her arm. She pulled out a set of ear buds and pressed them into her ears as she opened iTunes on her laptop to help provide distraction and block out the mother-son argument. The music also blocked out the soft clicking noise from the keyboard of her Dell.

Tap tap tap tap-tap taptaptap tap. Love that shaggy blonde hair action. Just push my fingers right through it. Wha-?

She frowned at the typos. Delete- delete- delete- delete- delete-

She started typing again. Tap tap-tap tap tap tap tap. Where do you get lips like that anyway? Macy's? Japan? Special order??


Delete delete delete


Tap tap tappity tap tap tap taptaptaptaptap tap tap tap.

Guh, you could carve cheese off his chest.



This went on for ten minutes before she yanked out the ear buds with a growl.

"Is something wrong?" Rolle asked her.

"Whya?" she hiccuped again. She made a pretense of clearing her throat. "What?" she repeated with more grace.

A soft smile touched his face. "Your computer. You were bashing the keys like you were getting back at it for something."

She laughed nervously. "It's nothing. The smarter they make computers for people like me, the more stupid they make us feel. Crazy thing keeps trying to autocorrect what I'm typing."

"What are you typing?"

The woman laughed nervously; shaking her head like it wasn't relevant. "Just getting ready for a presentation I'm giving in Paris."

"What kind of presentation?" he asked and she was surprised he was showing interest.

"I, uhh, I uh work with pain data."

Laughter lit up his eyes, but he only continued to smile politely. "Pain data?"

"I study, my company," she corrected quickly, "studies pharmaceuticals that inhibit pain impulses in the, uh, the brain," she said hoping it sounded smarter than her stammering.

"Am I making you nervous?" he asked quietly with a smirk.

"No," she answered defiantly at his gorgeous face. "Maybe," she corrected with a chuckle.

He laughed softly and held out his hand. "I'm Rolle."

"Rachel," she said returning his smile and shaking his hand. "The jet way klutz."

"Yeah, I caught that," he said.

"No, actually, you didn't or I wouldn't have ended up sprawled on the deck," she teased him back and was rewarded with another smile.

"Sorry about that. I'll be better prepared next time," he teased.

"Yeah, promises, promises," she teased back enjoying watching his lips move far too much. She pictured what those lips could do to her.

"I'm sorry you fell," Rolle leaned closer and teased back.

Marcus suddenly cleared his throat irritably as he stared straight ahead.

Rachel had seen them come aboard together. Even without the contrast to his dark glasses, Marcus looked even more pale than Rolle. His skin over his cheeks was almost translucent and looked papery. He had flowing black hair but it was still impossible to estimate his age. His face was young, but he did not give the impression of youth, even with his tinted glasses.

Rolle glanced at him over his shoulder and sat back.

"What are you doing?" Marcus demanded sotto voce, speaking under his breath so no human ear could hear him.

"Nothing," Rolle answered.

"Do not play with your food," the elder scolded.

"She's not..." He cut himself off and sat back in his seat, his expression stoic and fixed. He nodded curtly once and rose from his seat.

"Excuse me," he said to Rachel and walked toward the front of the 747.

Rachel frowned at Rolle's retreating back until it disappeared behind the curtain that separated coach from first class. She looked at Marcus and back to where Rolle had gone, annoyed at him for interrupting them. She huffed through her nose and put her ear buds back in, returning to her slides.


Constanta, Romania

The patter of water on glass was soothing, almost hypnotic. Rolle stood at a thin slit of a window with his hand on the frame. His index finger tracked the path of raindrops sliding down the glass pane. The touch was as light as a lover's.

A persistent and stubborn rain had moved into the region lingering for three days and nights. The storm front seemed unwilling to risk the crossing through the Carpathians. The Romanians were happy to take advantage of the weather to keep Rolle indoors with them, talking to him at length about their history, telling him about their great victories and conquests before the fires.

Despite their attempts to draw him out, however, Rolle had revealed very little of his circumstances. He had been turned only eight years ago. What was entirely odd about this was that he had no knowledge of anything that had passed during that time. It appeared that his only memory from 1952 was being attacked by another vampire while in Los Angeles, until now, walking out of the Black Sea eight years later almost seven thousand miles away.

"My young friend," Vladimir said warmly leaning forward. "Still so quiet? What do you think of our history?"

Rolle nodded still silent and raised his eyes to look out the window. "You've carried this a long time," he said, neither agreeing nor disagreeing with the politics behind the history.

Stefan looked skeptically at his counterpart.

"Excuse me," Rolle said absently and strode across the cold cement room.

They listened to Rolle walk through the old bunker, and heard the heavy metal door leading outside open then close softly behind him.

Stefan waited to speak until he was certain Rolle was not coming back immediately. "We need to see him do it again," he said in the ancient language of their land.

"Yes, we need to know how he does this," Vladimir concurred, rising from his chair and crossing to the window where Rolle had stood a moment ago. "We need to know he can control it."

Stefan joined Vladimir at the window looking into the gully outside just as Rolle strode into view in the middle of the rainstorm. The boy turned his face up to the rain and stared into the downpour as if he had never seen one before. His preternatural eyes did not blink as the rain fell into them.

"We need to know we can control him," Stefan corrected.

"Perhaps we should find another to provoke him again," Vladimir suggested.

Stefan crossed his arms and raised one hand to chin as he thought. "Yes, but we should also know how effective his attack will be on the mortals the Volturi employ. They will be the first obstacle."

"Let us take him hunting then," Vladimir suggested. "Perhaps we will learn more. Besides, I find his eye color disturbing."

Stefan nodded thoughtfully, glancing at his brother. They had been through many battles together, and with luck the next one would finally right many wrongs.


Rachel awoke with a start from the most erotic dream she had ever had. She squeezed her thighs together as a deep pulsing between her legs began to subside. She rubbed her hand over her eyes silently cursing the make-out couple behind her. They must have put the idea in her head, influencing her dreams with their sounds. She grimaced at the pain in her neck for her head had drooped at an awkward angle.

The flight attendant was making a slow quiet pass up the aisle with a trash bag. As she passed, Rachel glanced at Rolle's still vacant seat. His companion's face was turned to the window as if he could see the black sea below. It was so odd to see someone wearing sunglasses in the dark and she briefly wondered why he simply didn't take them off and get some sleep.

She glanced at her watch and rolled her eyes at her laptop whose battery had gone dead while she dozed. Her annoyance tripled when she couldn't remember if she saved the stupid file or not before she had drifted off. With a dead battery she wouldn't be able to check, either, which meant working on the slides after they landed. She rolled her eyes at her horrible luck and looked at her watch again when she remembered why she wanted to know the time. It had been almost an hour since Rolle left his seat.

Rachel closed the laptop, put away her folding seat tray and stuffed the dead computer back into its bag before getting up to walk out the kinks in her back and legs, and to find the restroom to wipe off her face and neck.

The rest of cabin appeared to be asleep as far as she could tell and she ducked around the dividing curtain. She walked to the back of the plane passing sleeping passengers, or those few who were still watching one of the many onboard movies they could choose from. She noted more than a few passengers who were taking excessive liberties with the free alcohol onboard. One man had five travel bottles of wine on his fold-down tray and was talking animatedly to a seatmate about the war memorials and battle sites he was planning to visit in Europe.

Rachel made it to the back of the plane and crossed over to walk up the other aisle finding more of the same. After properly locating six restrooms and still finding no sign of Rolle, she took the stairs to the other level and began her circuit once again. That level also had the business class travelers, most of whom were taking advantage of their bed-like chairs. Shoes were laid neatly on the floor at their sides.

She was still mulling over where Rolle could have possibly gone after completing another route around this level without any sign of him. She began to assume he might be in one of the lavatories or curled up in one of the secluded business-class chairs. When she took one step up the stairs to head back to her seat she spied him pacing in the back of the plane though she was certain he hadn't been there a moment ago.

She brought a finger to her lips and caught the nail between her teeth as she considered approaching him again, unable to stop the runaway thoughts in her head: an exotic trip, a complete stranger... correction a complete hunk of a stranger, the mile-high club, a ridiculously small in-flight bathroom, the loud engines at the rear of the plane...

Just as she was about to chicken out, he looked at her.

His pacing stopped as he gazed evenly at her. His pale eyes regarded her across the dark passenger cabin as if they were glowing. With an almost imperceptible motion of his head he beckoned her and before she could decide what to do, she found her feet moving off the stair and up the aisle toward him.

When she got closer, she could see his eyes smoldering at her. He took a step back deeper into the shadows and she followed without thinking. When she was within reach, Rolle pressed his lips to hers, his fingertips lightly pressed to her jaw on both sides. Rachel whimpered with the contact, feeling his touch straight to her spine. He guided her with his fingers, his feather-light touch pulling on her jaw bringing her deeper into the dark. She floated after him on numb feet, grasping at the front of his shirt over his stomach. Turning, he pressed her against the side of the plane and as he leaned in toward her, every point on his body shifted in synchronization: his lips on hers, his chest to hers. His fingers slid along her face into her thick brown hair. His thighs came into contact with hers, and her hands slid around his waist and up his back drawing him closer still.

His level of intensity began to grow. His kiss, originally tender and inviting responded to her eagerness. Their slow lips seemed to hold a conversation: an offer, consideration, negotiation, and acceptance. The kiss they shared picked up pace as the proposition was debated.

She decided quickly that the negotiations were the most fun. She foolishly tried to get the upper hand, urging him without words to give her control. He considered her offer a moment, teasing her with his indecision, before wrenching that control from her by suddenly bringing his hand around to her breast and pressing into the tender flesh with a hard fingers. He opened his mouth to hers as he stood to his full height, forcing her head back to accept his kiss and plunging his tongue in to challenge hers. He knew exactly how to demand her compliance. Her whimpered submission was instantaneous and complete.

"Oh god," she gasped when he released her lips allowing her to breathe. He put his hand over her mouth to silence her as his assault on her neck shifted direction.

His lips pressed directly into her ear with a slow, "Shhhh," and he paused, waiting for her to comply.

Anxiety built in her at his stillness and it took her a moment to remember how to nod in agreement. Once she performed properly for him, he began again, this time starting with her ear.

Rolle traced the soft shell with his nose before plying it with his tongue and lips. In kisses and nibbles he tugged on her earlobe as her hands snaked over his chest to curl around his neck, tugging his hair in her fingers as she imagined doing only an hour ago.

He trailed his lips down the smooth column of her neck on one side and dragged his fingers along her skin on the other, pressing open-mouth wet kisses there and laying his tongue flat against the pulse in her throat. He paused there massaging it by pressing and prodding her flesh as if trying to dig through her skin with his cool soft tongue. His other hand pressed back deliberately through her tresses until his fingers curled around the nape of her neck, pulling her throat even closer.

That's when the roaring of the plane's engines disappeared and her world collapsed into the hum of her own body as every cell ignited under his touch. Her hands were suddenly clutching his shirt over his chest. She gulped air to keep herself from crying out under the sudden pressure of his insistent kiss.

He pressed her back with his chest, holding her in place against the side of the plane as his other hand plowed under her blouse, grasping and kneading the warm tender flesh hidden below her bra and his knee pressed mercilessly against her thighs demanding entrance. She ground her center down onto his thigh. The now wet material of her panties could not provide the friction she need.

His mouth returned to ravage hers as their urgency increased. His hand released her neck and skimmed over her shoulder and back, past her hip and onto her backside as he pulled her against him.

She stifled the groan that tore her in half when she felt the cold hard proof of his hunger. His questing fingers happened upon the clasp that held her bra closed and with a quick twist the clasp was conquered giving him unobstructed access to her heated flesh. The soft growl in his throat when he grasped her bare nipple threatened to break her resolve to stay quiet. She worked her hands between them to the top of his slacks, tugging hard on the front of his shirt to free it and burrowed her hands under the cloth scratching his solid abdominals hard enough to get his attention as she dipped her fingers deep under the waistband.

His hips bucked into her with a hiss and he shifted his stance, bending his knees to press his erection directly against her, wrapping both hands under her thighs to separate her legs and lift her.

With a frustrated growl, Rolle moved again and kissed her deeply before griping her wrist, yanking her hands from his pants, and pulling her after him. They had only rounded the corner out of the flight attendants cubby when one of them appeared from the other aisle.

Rolle yanked open the door to the lavatory and pulled Rachel inside with him. His intent was clear.

He turned to her and pulled her sweater over her head before attacking her breasts with his mouth. He moaned softly and she heard a click behind her as he locked the door. His need seemed insatiable and her body burned with impatience. He sucked her hungrily into his mouth, tonguing around and over the stiff aching peak while fondling and pinching the other breast with one hand and pulling her skirt up with the other.

It was like he had been her lover for years. He knew exactly what to do, what she liked, what sounds she wanted to hear. She fumbled with his belt while trying to stroke through the material over the rock of his erection, but her hands went dead when his own questing fingers found her. The strength of her tugging fingers sapped away as her brain shifted focus to what he was doing to her.

His fingers pressed into her through the scant fabric of her panties, wiggling and digging until he found the source of her heat. She knew she was wet, but she had no idea how wet she was until his impatient hand moved to her inner thigh to shift the material. His fingers were drenched with her and they pulled at the side of the material until he growled over her breast and simply destroyed them, pulling the crotch out. Without missing a beat, his cool fingers returned to their mission and pressed into her deep hot folds. The contrast of temperature sent Rachel's mind reeling. She threw her head back as she clenched his head in her hands, fisting his hair between her fingers at the startling contact. Rolle gasped with a hiss, his questing fingers sliding through her, pressing, pinching, slipping and rubbing all at once.

"Jesus," he breathed, plunging deeply into her at last. Rachel's legs began to shake and buckle inadvertently pressing harder onto his pumping fingers. He curled one inside her, then two, pressing the heel of his hand against her over-sensitive clit.

Rachel looked down at the sound of metal jingling between them. His fingers did not pause or slow as his other hand finished the task she had started and he tugged open his pants. Rolle dropped down onto the lid of the toilet, pulling her with him.

Rachel eagerly complied with his hands and unspoken directions which guided her to straddle him. His hands pulled her hips down and he sheathed himself within her fully. She gasped as he filled her in a single unpretentious motion.

Rolle shuddered violently. His breath stuttered when her heat encased him as a distant and constant memory ripped through him. His arms circled her waist as he muffled a strangled sob against top of her chest. He pressed his eyes against the gentle curve of her breast slowly shaking his head.

The strong and dominating lover he was suddenly vanished in a wave of pain as his shoulders shook in her arms. Rachel was mystified what had caused this sudden change in him, but he held her tight and his lips pressed tender kisses to her skin between sobbing gasps.

Rachel knew instantly that whatever this was, it was not guilt. This was heartbreak. She stroked his hair, petting him and curling her fingers gently at the nape of his neck. She laid her cheek against his crooning soft words and kisses into his ear.

First his sobs passed, then a moment later he pressed a telling kiss to her breast. He was still hard within her. Rachel placed her hands on his cheeks and pulled his face up to make him look at her.

His expression was so lost, his eyes at once tired and so desperately sad. He seemed to understand what she read on his face, and gently tightened his arms about her.

Rachel stroked his cheeks with her thumbs, passing them lightly under his eyes, surprised but glad. His expression was so pained and apologetic she expected to see tears on his face, though she was glad there were none. As his eyes closed and he returned her loving touch with his own thumbs on the back of her hips, she rubbed the pads of her thumbs over his brow, then gently over his eyelids. She leaned forward and pressed little kisses on his nose, his cheeks, his temples, over his forehead, and then caressed his lips in a slow touch to her own.

The frantic and almost desperate affair had quieted into something more healing. Rachel squeezed him slowly and softly where he lodged within her, and something in his tormented soul seemed to crack. She squeezed him again, slower and longer this time, gently milking away his pain, and the cracking became a fissure. The third time she tightened herself around him with her hot flesh, his eyes slowly opened to meet hers and his hands awoke under her tenderness.

Rolle's pale eyes stared into hers, raw and vulnerable. She was stunned to find this chasm of need in him strangling his soul. Her sudden realization of the depth of his pain shook her. The shocking knowledge stilled her to immobility. Rolle's naked gaze flickered with confusion. Seeing hurt begin to spark in his expression, Rachel realized he had misunderstood her sudden stillness. Her face softened and she tried to reassure him with her hands, gently rubbing over his shoulders and neck. She met his puzzlement with a tender smile before she rocked slowly against him.

She moved over him, squeezing him, urging him to join her in the moment again and was happy to see the darkness lift from his eyes being replaced by warmth, even gratitude. He swallowed hard as her hips moved over him again.

His hands moved softly over her hips now, not digging or grabbing or pressing. They simply rested against her, meeting her as an equal as they worked together to guide her. He began to move with her, raising his hips to meet hers. She used a different set of muscles to bear down on him within her and a low gasp escaped him.

He cupped her neck with one hand, guiding her lips to his as they slid slowly over one another. The slow burn in her body began to build again. It felt so familiar as she recalled vague memories of her dream earlier. She alternated clenching him and bearing down, pushing and pulling with her inner muscles, and another groan followed by a low oath escaped his lips.

She squeezed him harder, pulling him deeper still and pressed her lips to his ear. "More," she murmured directly into his ear, nipping him.

"Oh, god," he gasped, wrapping his arms under her arms and over her shoulders.

When she pressed down on him again, he used this new leverage to force her even farther over his hard length, rotating his hips and plunging them into greater depths.

"Oh, huh, oh, oh my god, ohmygod, ungh," she gasped. "There, oh god, there!"

Armed with this newfound map, Rolle became relentless. Rachel found she could suck him even deeper still by clenching him at the right time. It took a moment but she finally found a rhythm with him, plunging, clenching, rocking.

Now it was his breathing that came in shocked gasps as she worked him ruthlessly. He buried his face against her breast again, now only to hold out long enough for her. Her lust battered at him mercilessly each time she tightened her walls around him; her body stroking, sucking, and milking him all at once.

"Christ, come..." he ordered her, his voice hoarse with strain.

With his words Rachel climaxed over him like a dam exploding under pressure. Her hot walls convulsed around him and broke his control utterly. He exploded in her, each pulse matching each of her spasms even as he continued to press hard into her. Rachel clenched her eyes shut for just when it felt like the crest had passed, another wave came over her, harder than the first and she dragged him down with her again. She couldn't stop herself this time. He caught her cry in the palm of his hand even as her fingers dug deeply into his hard shoulders.

Gasping, stunned and weak, they collapsed against each other, chest to chest. Neither of them moved, so he remained deeply embedded in her. She wasn't ready to let him slip from her, savoring the melding of their bodies as random shudders passed through them one to the other. She weakly squeezed him within her again and he chuckled under his breath.

"Just checking," she whispered.

"What? That I'm still alive?" he whispered back, sarcastically. "No. Trust me. I'm dead. Twice!" he joked with an oddly ironic tone.

She laughed softly.

"Better than working on your presentation?" he teased, his lips moving against her neck.

"Oh, hell yes," she agreed. "You aren't stopping in Paris for, oh, say, the next five days, are you?"

Rolle sigh softly. "No, Italy."

"Mmm," she hummed softly. "What's in Italy?"

He was thoughtful for a moment before he said, "A promise."

"Hmm." Rachel leaned back to see his face, letting her hips gently move against him again. "Well, promise me that if we ever find ourselves on the same flight again, we'll renew our membership."

He frowned with a smile. "Membership? Is that what they're calling it these days?"

"The Mile High Club," she said.

His frown remained and he shook his head, smiling indulgently but still confused.

She ran her fingers through his hair over his temples and kissed him again. "Never mind."


A/N: As always, my thanks to my previewers: IrishGirlTaken, coolmommy99, Milalencar, and LolaShoes. And always, to George.

Sotto voce (Italian, literally "under voice") means to speak under one's breath. In music, a dramatic lowering of the vocal or instrumental tone — not necessarily pianissimo, but with a hushed quality.

Reviews will get you 500 Mile High membership points, and a teaser for chapter 5... So I've heard...