A/N: My first story… I hope you enjoy.
For those of you that have already read the O/S: Thank you for encouraging me to continue this story. I have chosen to start over from the beginning and integrate the O/S into the story. Extended scenes from the original O/S will appear throughout the story so you will miss nothing, I promise.
Thank you to elusivetwilight for your guidance and support with getting this off the ground and Kimmydonn for your help in turning this first chapter around. nicnicd, you are truly amazing and I can't thank you enough.
Disclaimer: Anything remotely resembling Twilight belongs to Stephenie Meyer. Any of the stories within, belong to me. Please do not copy or translate without permission.
Land In My Arms
"...the temperature in Salt Lake City this afternoon is thirty-two degrees and the winds are southeast at 15 miles per hour."
With renewed energy I shut the smooth, husky voice of the captain out, and went through a mental checklist of what still needed to be done as I glanced out the small window to my right. The sun was just setting over the Wasatch Front in Utah, brilliant beams of pink and gold bouncing off the snow capped mountains.
It was the last weekend of January, and we were headed to Los Angeles on our way back from Atlanta via Denver and Salt Lake City. The mountain range was blanketed in a pristine cover of white this time of year, and the effect was stunning in the fading light.
Of the many sights I'd seen in my years of travel, the one I was lost in now would always be one of my favorites.
Nestling deeper into the empty row of seats in the back, I pressed my forehead against the window as the plane began its descent, trying to identify the buildings and streets that I remembered from when I'd lived here before.
Eventually duty called. With a sigh, I stood up, effectively ending my break, and left the gorgeous views to the passengers as I started the process of gathering empty cups and pretzel wrappers prior to landing.
Later, when the passengers had deplaned and my work was done, I grabbed my suitcase, slung my small flight bag over my shoulder, and hurried up the jet way. My crew members walked through the airport ahead of me, and knowing I had plenty of time, I slowed to a leisurely pace behind them.
Like a fish swimming upstream, I fought against the heavier weekend crowd in Salt Lake City International. People jostled around each other to get through to their flights on time. The hustle and bustle of the harried travelers reminded me why I applied for my job in the first place.
When I graduated from college, there were no jobs for History majors, unless you wanted to teach. I wasn't ready for teaching; I just wanted to write.
The magazine dream job didn't pan out, and my student loans wouldn't go away. One day, during a run-in at the mailbox slot in my apartment complex, my neighbor Renata suggested I become a flight attendant. She'd worked for the airlines for thirty plus years and said she would be happy to give me a good recommendation.
I didn't exactly see myself as the "glamorous," flight attendant type, but thought, why the heck not? My bills would get paid, it would give me the time to write on the side, and a definite plus was I could do some historical research on my travels. Also, I thought the job really sounded fun. My life up until that point had been tame, very reserved actually, and my imagined fantasies of 'jet-setting around the world' was an intoxicating draw.
At entry level, reserve flight attendants are little more than numbers. My first year, while I still resided in Utah, I lived on call. Whenever I was contacted to fill in for a sick or rerouted co-worker, I dropped whatever I was doing and headed to the airport ASAP. I didn't want to risk the consequences.
Once, I received a thirty minute call to the airport. Freaking out because I wasn't prepared, I threw on my uniform, grabbed my bags, and hopped into my Subaru, speeding up the I-215. Unfortunately, it was the beginning of winter. I hit a patch of ice and spun around, ending up in the median.
Worried that I would miss my flight, I got out and started pulling my suitcase down the freeway. Luckily, someone stopped, pulled me out, and I made my flight with ten minutes to spare.
The upside of being new to the job (or junior as we called it) was getting all of the prime trips when someone called in sick. I had seen more of the United States in my first year alone, than in my entire lifetime: New York City, Honolulu, Chicago, San Francisco and Boston.
Somewhere around my fifth year on the job, my perspective shifted. The rules started changing and we were working longer hours. While I loved the job and what it provided me, I wanted something more—to follow my passion.
I didn't want to be sixty-five and still passing out peanuts.
I found a program in Los Angeles where I could work on my Masters in History under a fairly loose schedule. I had an amazing advisor, Dr. Banner, who saw my potential and opportunity to create something unique for my thesis. After putting myself back in school, I transferred to LA and arranged my work schedule around classes. It wasn't easy, but I made it work.
"Bella! Come on, slow poke."
Sticking my tongue out at Sam, I hurried to catch the rest of the crew. "Whatsa matter, Sam? Afraid I'll get lost?" I batted my eyes at him, hamming it up a little. Sam and I frequently worked together because we had the same seniority and liked to work the same days.
"No," he countered, "but you owe me a First Class rotation and I'm about to collect."
Damn it. Stupid bet.
I'd bet Sam a few weeks back that he couldn't go an entire flight without flirting with a particularly hot passenger, and he'd proved me wrong. Of course, I hadn't thought to cover after the flight, where he grabbed a drink with Mr. Hottie... among other things. So, I owed him a turn in coach.
Apparently it was time to pay up.
Sometimes it was great to work First Class—even though there was more service and running around, which a lot of flight attendants liked to avoid. I didn't mind it; I usually met some very interesting people.
I rolled my eyes, but fell into step beside him as we walked up to our departing gate...only to find that there was a delay. Most of the crew parked their bags off to the side of the gate so they could go in search of food. I opted to remain until someone came back to indulge in one of my favorite activities when a flight was delayed: people watching.
To my left, I saw a family of four moving down the concourse decorated in colorful leis. They must have just returned from Hawaii.
I smiled, my mind floating to thoughts of warm breezes and even warmer nights the weekend before.
After a grueling few weeks of papers and Wednesday seminar classes that lasted the entire day, I scored a last minute a trip to Honolulu during a long holiday break. I called my roommate to let her know I was leaving on a last minute trip, but she had taken off to Austin for the weekend to see her family. Rose, my roommate and coworker, used our apartment only when she was working—she actually lived in a small town outside of Dallas the rest of the time.
Since it was a senior trip, my fellow flight attendants (who worked the route often), were pretty particular about where they wanted to work. I was relegated to working First Class on that particular flight segment.
As I prepared the galley for the trip, the Flight Crew made their way in behind us.
The obligatory black pants, jackets adorned with gold striping, white shirts, and black hats that were required of all pilots appeared in my peripheral, and I barely noted the passing of the three man team. They all looked the same after awhile. Shuffling around behind us, obviously a little late for their arrival, they headed toward the cockpit while we continued to set up the galley.
Once the passengers began boarding, things became congested. Coats were being shoved in my face, drink orders were requested and extra luggage was thrust in our direction. It never failed that, within ten minutes, the overhead bins were full and the passengers got a little excitable.
While I was trying to open a stubborn bottle of wine, the co-pilot stuck his head out of the cockpit and asked for a coffee. I huffed to myself: it was the middle of the boarding process and fetching their drinks wasn't even part of my responsibility. I turned to my right and caught sight of a pair of gorgeous jade green eyes and dark, copper-colored hair, attached to a rather scrumptious man.
Caught off guard while pulling the cork out of the bottle, I winced as the corkscrew came free and struck the bottom of my unhinged jaw. Tears filled my eyes instantly, the sting of embarrassment almost as bad as the sting of the pain shooting its way up my jaw.
"Damn, that'll probably bruise," said First Officer Schmexy. He reached toward me with his hand as if he was going to touch my face, though he didn't.
I wasn't sure whether I was glad, or disappointed he hadn't touched me.
Annoyed at myself and humiliated beyond belief, I turned around to pour the glass of wine. Luckily, someone was also handing me their carry-on baggage to stow. Thankful for the distraction, I put the wine glass down, stowed the suitcase and kept about my duties, ready to get the show on the road.
Jessica, the flight attendant in charge, seemed eager enough to help the pilot with his coffee. Her voice dropped down an octave as she offered to get his drink and bring it forward. It was her duty to take care of the pilots during the flight anyway.
I avoided that door the entire five and a half hours it took to get there. The avoidance didn't stop me from remembering how attractive the First Officer was, though.
After the initial service was completed and the passengers had settled down into the usual patterns of reading, sleeping or watching the in-flight movie, I walked to the center galley of the airplane to look for more white wine. Most of the other flight attendants were in the back, so I leaned against the counter in the center galley for a moment to collect my thoughts.
I'd never been so affected by someone like him before in my life. When I looked into his eyes, I had felt my pulse quicken and my body flush which immediately spread throughout my limbs. When he reached his hand out to touch my face, I thought I was going to combust. Then I imagined his hand cupping my face as he rubbed his thumb along my cheekbone. I closed my eyes.
"Miss?" My eyes snapped back open as a passenger handed me his garbage. "May I have another glass of water?" he said.
"Sure." I took his garbage and threw it out. Grabbing a fresh glass for him, I placed some ice in the cup, poured the water and handed him the glass.
I smiled. Then I turned around and continued to search for the wine. It would be a challenge to keep myself occupied and avoid daydreaming the rest of the flight, but I was determined to try. I didn't really date pilots, anyway.
Well, I'd tried to. Once.
When I got back to the front, most of the passengers were taken care of so I set about getting ready for the next service.
A man in his fifties walked up to use the restroom at the front of the airplane. His shirt was open several buttons and he had a couple of gold chains around his neck.
I giggled, thinking instantly of Mike, the reason I'd sworn off pilots.
Mike was a fairly junior pilot I'd met my first year on the job. He had reminded me of Top Gun Tom Cruise: a little cocky, determined, and cute in an all-American way. I was very interested initially.
With my schedule, dating had always been hard. With Mike, that negative aspect was taken out of the equation. He lived in Vegas, which, in hindsight, should have been a warning sign.
At the time, though, I saw it as glamorous and fun—somewhere I could maybe go when I had a few days time to see the sights, have a nice dinner, and hook up with a friend.
After a few dinners that ended in close-mouthed kisses it fizzled quickly, as things that weren't meant to be usually do, but we ended on a friendly note. At first I didn't mind. I had my job and classes to keep me busy. Eventually, though, the loneliness started to creep in. So, when he called me out of the blue one day after more than a year of not seeing each other and invited me to come see him in Vegas, I jumped at the chance for a little fun.
I didn't think of it more than a chance to see an old friend; the enamor I'd felt for him in the beginning had faded to a dull shine, like silver that hadn't been polished in years.
Deciding that I was in the mood for a good road trip, I drove from LA to his home in Vegas, excited to meet up with an old friend and hit a few casinos. The wind coming through my window was warm, the smell of the desert air reminding me of Phoenix, where I grew up. I listened to Cake and Incubus the entire way, singing at the top of my lungs because no one could hear me.
When I arrived, however, the Mike that greeted me was not the one I remembered. I was squished against his body in a tight hug, and the feeling of something very...hard between us caught my attention.
Metal...as in chains.
Gold chains. Multiple gold chains.
He gave me a quick tour of his house. It was a nice two-story Spanish style home, with an open air living room that was sparsely decorated with multi-colored pieces. It screamed single male.
Besides the mismatched furniture, assorted porn magazines were scattered on every possible flat surface in his house. Definitely the sign of a bachelor. He made no attempt to hide them either.
Okay, I breathed, this is just a friendly visit...
We had a quick beer out back next to his empty swimming pool—one that was "too expensive to keep up".
We spent the time catching up on old friends and things each of us had been doing. He seemed disinterested when I spoke about school.
Out of nowhere, he looked over the top of his sunglasses and said in a low voice, "I could see you driving a red Viper."
I squished my eyes closed. Huh?
"Are your sunglasses Chanel?"
Viper? Chanel? Oh yeah, you've me mistaken for the girl in the Playboy Forum magazine you left under your desk.
My easy weekend trip was suddenly heading down a path I hadn't wanted to take.
I was getting hungry, so I suggested we go out to eat. He sprung on me that he had to leave later that night on a midnight flight to return to work. He'd picked up a trip the last minute for extra time. Inside, I was relieved a little, knowing that I would be able to go home.
He said there was plenty of time to have a bite to eat and wander around a bit. He chose the Mandalay Bay since it was close to the airport. We parked in the garage because it was cheapest and walked to the elevators to head to the main lobby of the casino.
That's when he grabbed me and stuck his tongue in my mouth. It was like someone took a tiny warm pickle and jammed it between my lips.
Worse than that, it had a motor on it. It moved in a three hundred and sixty degree circle. I pulled back, due to the fact that there were families standing there with us and I didn't want to scare any children.
When I pulled away, Mike thought I was playing hard to get.
"ROWR," he growled.
Ugh. This day was getting worse by the minute. I just wanted something to eat and then I would make my break.
He kept saying we would head out to eat but then avoided actually going anywhere, dragging me through casinos until his flight left later that night. By that time I was starving.
I had to drop him off at the airport so I could go back to his house and pick up my truck. As he drove through the airport to the Departure terminal, he started talking about his future and how we should get married because we weren't getting any younger.
He kept talking about nothing and I made an effort to tune him out. My hunger was quickly altering my patience.
I had never been so happy to see the airport. He pulled up to the curb at departures where he wanted to be dropped off. As we changed sides so I could get in the driver's side, another one of our crews walked by toward their pick-up point.
Mike grabbed me and "pickled-tongued" me, motor and all, for the benefit of the crowd. Then he let go, winked at me, cocking his thumb and pointing his index finger at me, and said, "See ya later kid."
Wiping my mouth with my shirt sleeve, I uttered, "Yeah. Buh-bye."
I got in his car as fast as I could and raced out of the airport.
I laughed. Did that really just happen? Maybe I'm not as lonely as I thought.
As I drove out of the airport, something caught my eye.
I thought I saw a Wendy's on the way in here...
When I returned to school, Mike called, texted, and paged me for about ten days. I couldn't face him. How do you tell someone that kissing them is like sucking on a gherkin?
After my epiphany, I found a nice groove between balancing school with flying. I'd drag my books on a layover and hole up in the room to get some work done. I wasn't going out or doing much of anything.
After we landed in Honolulu, some the flight crew made plans to meet up in the open-air bar at the hotel for drinks. I didn't see the handsome pilot again, but figured that was probably for the best.
Me, Sam, Bree and Claire gathered in the hotel bar to get things rolling during happy hour. Our waitress had just set our plates down when Sam looked at my jaw, where the bruise had already started to spread, and said, "Who won?"
I smirked at him. "The corkscrew."
"Isabella. Haven't you been through the basics of wine opening? Things like that only happen once you're three bottles in yourself, love."
"Yeah. Well, I guess I needed help closing my jaw."
Sam made an off-color joke about the best way to close a jaw and I laughed at his silliness, glad he was on the flight with me. He always knew how to make me smile. I took a sip of my drink and turned to look at the television behind the bar, which was displaying ESPN News.
My mind had started to wander back to the good-looking pilot when a flash of movement near the door caught my attention. The First Officer and another guy were walking through the door.
Holy fuck. He was headed right for our table. Panic set in and I suddenly wished I'd thought to cover up the faint bruise ghosting the bottom of my face. I looked down at my half eaten pou-pou platter with the palm-tree shaped pineapple garnish, my stomach fluttering anxiously.
Though I was unable to look up, I could still feel him when he came to stand right next to me.
"Hey, can we join you for a bit? I'm Edward, my friend here is Paul. "
Sam's wide eyes turned to me. He leaned over and spoke into my ear, "Where the hell has he been hiding. Yum."
Edward pulled out the chair next to me and sat down. Paul ended up on the other side of the table next to Bree.
"Hi, I'm Bella." I gave a quick wave and quickly turned to grab my drink. I didn't dare attempt to shake his hand. The energy that I felt sitting next to him was palpable enough.
The band began to play, and funny enough, the song happened to be "Hit Me with Your Best Shot."
"How's the jaw?" I jumped slightly at his close proximity. His breath washed over my ear, all spicy and warm, and I shivered.
"Fine, thanks." Heat rose in my cheeks, and trying to hide my reaction, I reached up to touch the tender spot. "A little sore."
"Sorry about startling you," he smiled at me warmly and then turned to take a drink. I looked at the side of his face for a moment, noting the clean line of his jaw that was beginning to show evidence of a dark scruff. I sighed.
"You don't like this song?" he said as he turned back to me.
Caught. "Oh, no. Love it. I mean, how can you not love this song plus the bands' full repertoire of 80's and 90's one hit wonders?" Girl, shut up! Babble much?
"So you know music then?" he chuckled.
"Yeah. I love a lot of different kinds of music. Everything pretty much except acid jazz."
He looked at me, searching my face. I wish I knew what going on inside that head of his. I briefly glanced up to his eyes but had to immediately look away or I knew I'd be lost. We both turned to watch the band instead.
The hotel band had been playing some pretty decent covers, and several cosmos later, a few of us got up and danced. I noticed that every time I turned around, Edward was leaning against the bar, watching me with this lopsided grin on his face. I attempted to smile back, but it felt awkward.
It was warm that evening, and even though the breeze was gently blowing onshore, those of us dancing were getting overheated.
"Let's go to the beach and cool off!" Bree suggested, fanning herself.
"Well, I know I'm hot," said Sam. Bree and Claire laughed as they headed toward the deck stairs and stepped onto the sand. Claire and Sam ran ahead of everyone, trying to race to the surf. Bree slowly meandered behind them, turning around to look at Paul every so often.
The sun was just disappearing into the ocean, evening light low as it turned the sky into a beautiful pink, orange and purple masterpiece. The slight breeze coming off the water felt good against my sticky-hot skin. I pulled off my flip-flops, loving the way the sand felt against my bare feet.
"Beautiful," Edward remarked from behind me, where he'd fallen back to talk to Paul in low tones that fit the setting.
I had to agree—it was paradise.
"I'm goin' in!" shouted someone; I swore it was Sam.
Following his cue we jogged across the beach, laughing and splashing water as we reached the waves. As I ducked below the water, I felt a strong tug under my feet and was swept out a little by the undertow. Coughing and hacking, I tried to turn back toward the shore. I was a little disoriented and the next wave flipped me over. When I started to panic, large, strong hands grabbed me, pulling me up to the surface. The next thing I knew, I was looking into those beautiful green eyes I had avoided earlier and sputtered for air.
"Are you okay?" he asked.
All I could do was nod, flustered by yet another embarrassing moment in front of Edward. Jeez, is the universe against me?
He walked me back to the beach, supporting me against his side. I snuggled into his hold, hooking my arm around his waist to hold myself steady...at least that's what I told myself.
"I don't know what it is, Bella, but I feel this need to protect you," he said in a low voice. I looked up into his eyes and immediately felt safe.
I felt the strength in his arms, not only physically but viscerally as well. Why do I trust this man though we've only just met?
"Um, swim much Bella?" Sam said, laughing as he collapsed onto the sand a few feet in front of me.
Ignoring him, I turned around and my thoughts skittered away like the waves receding back into the ocean.
Edward was stripping off his t-shirt to wring it out. Mesmerized by the sight in front of me, I greedily committed to memory the nipple ring on the right and the tattoo that ran the length of his left side. It started at his hipbone and ended at his shoulder, where it curled around his skin like an antler. I would have never imagined he had that under his uniform. His chest was perfect, stomach divine. I wanted to run my tongue all over it and flick that ring...
"Bella, are you really alright?" He turned to tuck my wet hair behind my ear.
"I think I need another drink," I laughed.
The group made our way back to the outdoor bar. The bartender threw us some pool towels so we could dry off. Edward, being very generous, bought everyone another drink. The mood of the group had settled some as I imagined everyone was tired from the long day. I'd look over at Edward every so often and I found him looking back at me, every time. I started to notice the attraction that was building between us.
The other crew members started to straggle off until it was only Edward and me. Things were getting fuzzy at that point, so I decided to call it a night.
"I think I need to head up to my room, I'm kind of worn out after that."
"I'll walk you up. I'd prefer if you didn't wander around the hotel alone."
"Thanks. That'd be nice."
When we arrived at my room, I couldn't get my key to work in the door. Edward took it out of my hand and swiped the lock for me before turning the handle. I turned around to thank him, and my nose nearly grazed his chest—he was so close. We stumbled into my room, giggling and laughing.
"Crap!" I laughed, tripping backwards over my own feet.
He grabbed my waist to steady me, fingers warm and sure against my hips. The lack of space between us and the copious amount of alcohol I'd consumed made me pause. He smelled amazing, all ocean wave and manly musk. He was so close I could taste him; I opened my mouth, tracing my tongue along my bottom lip.
To my surprise, his lips crashed into mine, strong and hot as they melded with my own. I lost myself in his kiss, gripping his shirt between my fingers and pulling myself nearer to him. He tasted even better than he smelled and my mind whirled in a chaotic haze of want and need.
Turning us, he lifted me against the inside wall as my door slammed shut. I tasted the warm saltiness of his lips and let the feeling of him wash over me. He was all hard angles and strength where I wasn't. I couldn't deny the overwhelming attraction I felt for him, so I didn't. Panting, groping and stumbling, I wrapped my legs around his waist and we fumbled our way further into the room.
"Damn," I mumbled, breaking away from his lips regretfully. "Suitcase is still on the bed."
"Shh, I got you," he said. He planted his hands on my rear end, bypassing the bed and instead carrying me out through the sliding glass doors, onto the secluded balcony. He pressed my back against the cool glass and I wrapped my legs tighter around him. His mouth connected with mine again as we tore at each other's clothes. I wanted to feel his skin, wanted my mouth on that silver ring that I felt even now pressing between us. Finally, after what seemed like too long, the warm night air fell on our naked skin, and I shivered as a breeze rolled over my nipples.
The ocean crashed in the background, a lush soundtrack to the timbre of skin sliding against skin, of whispered wants. Our mouths separated only to gasp for air and come back together a second later. His hands moved over my thighs and gently squeezed, indicating that I needed to let go. Then he slid me down the front of his body, and held me steady until I was standing.
Edward's voice was rough in my ear, "Turn around."
I turned, pressing my palms to the glass door. My body quivered with undiluted desire, the glass my only anchor from falling into a heap at his feet. He kissed my neck, snaking his hands around my front to graze over my breasts. The reflection in the moon-lit glass showed the slow path he took down my stomach and then back up, before gliding down again and under the hem of my skirt.
"I want to make you feel good" he whispered.
"Yes, please," I moaned. His fingers found their way under my panties, teasing against me, running up and down before sinking into the spot where I ached for him.
After a decadent night spent kissing and touching, one where it was all about me and he asked for nothing in return, he tucked me under the covers. I was just drifting off to sleep when he kissed me on the cheek and whispered, "Goodnight, beautiful."
I almost asked him to stay, wanting the closeness of his body as I slept. But my body and mind were too blissed out to function properly. Instead I shut my eyes and mumbled sleepily, "Night..."
The next morning, the sun was too bright as I rolled over in bed. My head ached and my tongue felt thick. Glancing over at the clock, I noticed there was a bottle of water and two ibuprofen tablets sitting next to the bed. I sat up a little, propping myself against the headboard. A note lay on the nightstand. Reaching over to pick it up, I noted the uniquely elegant script in which it was written.
Hope you're okay. We're out of here early today. I really enjoyed my time with you. - E
I sighed and smiled to myself, allowing my mind to wander back over the night's fantastic ending. It was enjoyable, perfect. I was sated, happy, and not at all let down by the fact that I'd just had hooked up with a pilot I'd probably never see again.
Oh, well. I gathered I wouldn't see him today anyway. We rarely flew out with the same pilots in big cities. Besides, gorgeous men like that didn't just drop into your lap. Still, he was hot and it had been way too long...
I sat up, my head throbbing and wondered when I'd fallen back asleep. My phone chirped again; the sound was what had initially pulled me from sleep.
Where the hell are you?
I grinned. Rose. Didn't you get your message? Hawaii.
I loved Rose more than anything. She was blunt, honest and saw through my bullshit. She loved her career as a flight attendant because it provided her the freedom to do other things.
She'd done so many things in her life and worked hard to get there. Growing up in Austin, she had spent years doing rodeo, recently laying claim to the title of Amateur Champion in reining. She sure as hell did it well and I admired her so much.
I called her to fill her in on my night of debauchery.
She laughed. "You? Bella Swan? Pick up a random guy? That is so not like you. Especially a pilot."
Rose and I chatted for a few more minutes as she was heading back to LA to get to work.
I turned over to grab the bottle of water from the bedside table. I smiled to myself as I thought of Edward going to the effort to take care of me, again.
As I was lost in reliving the fabulous time I'd had with First Officer Schmexy, Sam came back to relieve me of my bag-sitting duties.
"You alright? Someone was looking all dreamy for a moment there..."
"Yeah," I said smiling, "Mind watching my stuff? I'd like to wander around for a bit."
"Sure, doll," said Sam.
Once I'd hit a yogurt shop for something sweet, I traipsed around the airport, lost in my thoughts of the handsome pilot with the beautiful eyes.
While my layover fun with Edward was more than nice, I knew it was only a hook-up and I needed to stay focused and not pine for someone I couldn't have.
I continued to wander through the airport looking at the different shops to waste some time.
I was peering into a book store, trying to decide if I needed yet another new book, when I felt a tap on my shoulder. As I quickly turned around, the frozen strawberry yogurt that I was holding fell from my grasp and onto the shiny black shoes of the man standing in front of me.
"Shit, uh, Hi, Bella," Edward said as he looked down at his newly christened shoes.
"Edward! Hi, what are you—oh, gosh, sorry about your shoes." I groaned, crouching down to clean up my mess. I tried wiping the dripping, sticky pink disaster from his uniform shoes and tried to ignore the feeling of the heat in my face that was slowly making its way down my neck.
"Really, it's no big deal," he laughed, "I can get that later. We're actually laying over here tonight. What are you up—"
I'm about up to your waistband, I thought as I stood up.
Brushing a lock of hair that had escaped my ponytail out of my eyes, I said, "Oh. We're on the last leg of our trip. We're about twenty-third in line for de-icing so they don't want to board yet."
"Yep," I agreed. I wasn't sure about what to say, so I just said nothing else. Seeing him again was jarring, and I liked the butterflies he set off in my stomachway too much. It wouldn't do to get all giggly and girly over a onetime thing.
He seemed nervous, too. His hand rose behind him to ruffle the hair curling around his neck, and a sheepish expression softened his feature and made him look much younger.
"Yeah, so I'll be in LA in a couple of days. Would you like to maybe hang out a bit...grab some dinner, or..."
Let me check my suddenly non-existent schedule.
"Sure." I said, "Why not?"
"Great," he smiled. He looked relieved, some of that swagger coming back over his face.
We stood there for a few minutes talking about a book displayed in the window, when my phone buzzed with a text from Sam. They were ready for our crew to board.
"Time for me to go," I said, bummed that I couldn't talk to him some more. "Um, here's my number." I slid open my phone and showed him the display."Just give me a call when you get into town."
He reached out to steady my already shaking hand so he could see the number. I felt my entire body go warm under his touch. He concentrated, furrowing his brow, while he dialed the numbers on his phone.
Five seconds later my phone beeped. "There. Now you have mine." His hand released mine and fell back to his side. While I saved his contact info, he replaced his phone back inside his jacket pocket.
"Thanks." I hesitated for a moment, taking in his handsome features. "It was really good to see you, Edward."
"You too, Bella." He smiled his ever-so charming grin at me once before turning to make his way out of the terminal.
I watched him walk out of the C concourse with my heart beating out of my chest. My phone chirped with a new text.
You're cute when you blush.
My plan is to post every Wednesday barring any hold ups. Thank you for reading!
Songs on the iPod:
Crash—Dave Mathews Band