A particularly Vivid Dream by Kkalmm
A Twilight Fanfiction Story.
Disclaimer: All things Twilight are the property of Stephanie Meyer. Everything else is mine. Nothing may be copied without the express permission of the owner. No copyright infringement is intended.
Rating: NC-17 for sex and language. If you don't like, don't read. You have been warned!
Thank you to CharliDenae who Beta'd this one for me. :o)
The room was nearly empty, much to my relief. Two businessmen nursed coffees with the blank-eyed stares of weary travellers, their nondescript hand luggage parked at their feet, like well behaved dogs sitting at their master's heel. I doubted I looked much better as I dragged my own small case across the lounge. It made a squeaking sound as one wheel had given up, and partially melted on the axel, after all the miles I had dragged it over the last two weeks. One more flight, then home, and then I could bin the damn thing.
I put my heavy rucksack carefully onto the floor and sank gratefully into a comfy padded chair, sighing deeply. I kicked off my heels, stretching my feet out and massaging my toes. That was the trouble with travelling light, what you gained by missing out on baggage reclaim, you paid for in other ways. I hadn't packed a comfortable change of shoes, an oversight I wouldn't be making again. Some airports, Amsterdam sprang painfully to mind, had directions to the departure gates with helpful estimates of walking time to reach them. Why did my gate have to be forty-five minutes from the lounge? And that included using the moving walk-ways. No wonder my case had died, my feet certainly had after that one.
I pulled my laptop out my rucksack and opened it on the little round table next to my chair. I hit the power button to start it booting before I wandered, in stockinged feet, over to get a much needed hot drink. I was glad that my company still flew us business class if we were to be in the air more than eight hours. For me it wasn't because of the bigger seats, but because of the quiet lounges, free Wi-Fi, hot drinks and priority boarding. I padded quietly back to my table clutching a hot chocolate. If I was to have any hope of sleeping on the plane, big seats or not, I thought I'd best avoid caffeine.
The stupid machine was still whirring away to itself when I sat down again. I needed to give the damn thing back to the I.T. department so they could do their stuff, again. Why they didn't just give in and buy us all Macs, I don't know. The amount of time I wasted waiting for this monstrosity was unbelievable, but once it was up and going, it was normally alright. It automatically connected to the internet via Bluetooth because they had, at least, given us decent phones. Not Apples, unsurprisingly, but Nokia N8's, which I was actually quietly impressed with. I closed that connection and searched for the Wi-Fi I knew would be in the lounge. Bluetooth was fine when there were no other options, but free Wi-Fi, and free hot chocolate, couldn't be beaten.
I curled my feet underneath me in the big chair and smiled when I saw there were only five new emails. None were urgent and could all be safely ignored until I dragged myself into the office later – Today? Tomorrow? The day after that? I hadn't a clue anymore. I pulled out my ticket to check the times and saw we were due to take off about seven thirty this evening and arrive about midday tomorrow. With any luck I'd be curled up in my favourite chair, back in my own home, by about three o'clock tomorrow afternoon, and not back in the office until the next day. All given times, I took with a large pinch of salt. They were just numbers and didn't mean anything until you were actually in the air. I glanced up at the departures screen and saw that my flight seemed to be on time at the moment, but in three hours that could all change. I answered the emails anyway, at least that would be one less job waiting for me at the office.
My computer started ringing. The annoying musical tones of an incoming Skype call were intrusively loud in the quiet lounge. I hadn't got around to changing that particular setting, and I was regretting it as the disgusted stares of the two tired businessmen bore into me from the opposite side of the room. All thoughts of that quickly left my mind when I saw who the call was from. I hurriedly rejected the call and opened an IM window.
ESMEPLATT: Mary Alice Platt, what on earth are you doing on Skype this time of night?
I typed, bashing the keys in my annoyance, as I switched instantly from tired businesswoman into mum-mode.
MADPIXIE: Don't throw a fit, Mum. Dig out your webcam, we've got some news!
The message came back instantly with a big, yellow smiley beaming at me from the screen.
ESMEPLATT: But it's nearly midnight there! Why are you still up?
I sent back, feeling frustrated at my friend Renée for not putting them all to bed. My daughter was ten and she was staying at her friend Bella's house while I'd had to travel with work. She'd had a week at Rosalie's too, and Alice thought it was a grand adventure. The three of them were virtually inseparable and one hell of a handful when they put their minds to it.
MADPIXIE: We've got to SHOW YOU! Mum, put the webcam on and ring us back. PLEASE XXXXXXXXXXXXXX
I had to laugh. My little pixie was always so exuberant, even in text. I could almost see her bouncing up and down with excitement. She was the one good thing to come out of my disastrous marriage.
ESMEPLATT: Ok, but this better be good. Give me a moment.
I replied, and then bent to hoist my weighty rucksack onto the chair next to me. I pulled out a mess of cables; the little Velcro wraps that were meant to keep them tidy had burst apart, but somehow managed to hold the whole tangle securely. Why they never succeeded in doing that when I wrapped them around the individual cables, I'll never know. I grabbed the webcam and pulled carefully, teasing the lead out of the bundle. I also extracted my headset and mic. I knew just how loud Alice could get when she was excited, and I didn't want any more poison stares from the stuffed suits across the room.
I plugged it all in, turned the volume down a notch or two, put my headset on and called them back.
"MUM!" squealed Alice. I winced and turned the volume down a bit more. "Look! LOOK!" she said excitedly, and the screen filled with a white blur as a sheet of paper was thrust in front of her webcam.
"Slow down, Pixie!" I laughed. "Sort out your focus, I can't see a thing."
I heard voices and laughter as the image on the screen wheeled and blurred as the camera was picked up, aimed at a sheet of paper, and carefully focused. The words formed on the screen, blurred again, and then came back into focus.
"ALICE!" I shrieked, eliciting poison stares from the stuffed suits again, but I didn't care. "You got into the audition! Oh, my GOD. Well done!"
As I watched, two more letters joined the first. Three crisp, white letterheads with the Royal Ballet logo, filled my screen.
"All of you! Bella! Rose! That's amazing!" I was almost bouncing in my seat with excitement, no wonder Renée had given up trying to get them to bed. They'd all been invited to audition for the Royal Ballet Junior Associates. They'd all get a chance to dance in London at the Royal Ballet. The chances of getting any further than that were very small. They only took the best of the best, but as their ballet teacher had said, it was a fantastic experience just to get to dance at the audition.
A rowdy group of men entered the lounge and made a bee-line for the table immediately behind me. I was slightly annoyed, considering the room was virtually empty, but when I looked around, I realised I'd inadvertently sat next to the biggest table. I heard Bella's laugh echoing around their room and decided that in the circumstances I didn't care, I just turned the volume up and ignored the group as they sat down.
The webcam swam and the girls came back into focus.
"It's a good thing clumsiness doesn't show in the photos, isn't it!" Bella said, and the girls all collapsed into laughter again. She'd shot up recently and her long legs were the perfect image of a ballerina's, but she had no co-ordination at all. Bella had only kept up with the ballet lessons as Alice and Rose had. She didn't begrudge them their grace and enjoyed herself despite her clumsiness. She'd been a jester in the last small show they'd done. The role had been perfect for her – dancing around pretending to distract the other dancers and falling over a lot.
When they were all invited to apply for the associates program, she wasn't going to, as she knew she'd never be ballerina material. However, the first part of the application just involved photos, so we took pictures of them all anyway, and Renée had secretly sent Bella's application off. If she didn't make the cut, she wouldn't have known and been upset, but she had made the cut and she was glowing, they all were. I saw in their smiles, that Alice and Rosalie were just as excited about Bella getting an audition, as she was. Just like the three musketeers – all for one and one for all.
"Mum, Renée and Phil took us out for pizza to celebrate and Charlie managed to get off early and joined us for pudding and bought us all humungous ice creams," Alice said excitedly, barely taking a breath. That explained the bouncing then – sugar hyped, over excited ten year olds!
"Renée met us at school with the letters. She went to your house to check for Alice's, then met my mum to bring mine. Now the WHOLE school knows, what with Alice shrieking so much," said Rosalie sarcastically, nudging Alice who blushed deeply. "And we've got to go to London in two weeks time. Can you come?" she asked, shooting Alice a sideways glance. I'd been working too much recently.
"You just try and stop me! All meetings are now cancelled, my clients will have to reschedule, and if they have a problem with that, I'll just tell them that MY daughter and her friends are dancing at the Royal Ballet," I replied quickly. A grin spread across my face as I watched all of them jump up and down on the nearest bed.
"Sit down, you nut cases! You're making it go all blurred," I said as the screen went wild. Skype couldn't cope with their exuberance. They collapsed panting in a heap on top of each other, all trying to squeeze into the shot I was seeing. "Now, I need to think up a treat for you girls. Any ideas?" It was rash of me, and could be expensive, as both Alice and Rose loved to shop. I held my breath, and winced dramatically for effect, as the girls looked at each other to exchange ideas.
"Actually, Esme, we were jealous of the girly, lazy afternoon you had with Alice before you went away. Can we do that?" Bella asked tentatively.
My jaw dropped open and they all laughed at my expression.
"Here I was expecting to take out a second mortgage, and you just want an afternoon eating pizza and watching films?" I asked incredulously.
"Not just any films," Rosalie added quickly. "Can we watch the Twilight series, just like you did with Alice?"
I stared at Alice and gave her a cross look. "I thought that was our secret?" I said in a mock grumpy tone.
"I had to tell them! I couldn't keep THAT a secret. Please, we've all read the books now," pleaded Alice, bouncing up and down and making the image go blurred again.
"Oh, okay. If it's alright with your parents," I conceded. Bella and Alice started leaping around the bed again, I knew Renée would be fine, she was so laid back it was unbelievable.
Rosalie's parents were a different matter entirely. I watched as she squirmed uncomfortably and shot me a concerned look. I knew she'd lie and say she'd asked, and this time I'd pretend to believe her. Much as I appreciated their help, Rosalie's parents were excessively controlling. If she didn't have a few avenues of safe rebellion open to her, I worried that she'd do something dramatic. After all, how bad could it be to let her watch a twelve film when she was ten? She was far more grown up than Alice and Bella in some ways.
I mouthed, "I won't tell," to her, and she grinned.
"Can we watch all of them back-to-back? With candles and blankets, and homemade pizza, and strawberries dipped in chocolate and fizzy pretend wine?" Rosalie asked. Alice had obviously spilled everything. The others continued bouncing around. Just how much sugar had they eaten!
That had been a very lazy afternoon and I had secretly loved every minute. We'd packed our bags in the morning, my small case and laptop bag stood in the hall next to Alice's overnight bag, school bag, book bag, swimmers bag and ballet bag. It had looked like she was moving out for a month! Then we'd prepared our feast, drawn the curtains against the rain and snuggled down together for an epic, six hour, film watching session. Total decadence! The actors were very pleasing on the eye, too. I might be nearly old enough to be their mother, but I definitely enjoyed the view.
"Of course! Let's go the whole hog. You can sleep over, and we'll go out for a builder's breakfast in the morning." I actually had to mute the volume when they shrieked. How could pre-teen girls reach such a painful pitch? I put the volume up again slowly, but thankfully, their frenzy had died down.
"Now, you girls need to go to bed," I said firmly. "I'm guessing that it is actually midnight there now?"
"Not yet!" they cried as they all crashed down again and pulled their hair out of the buns they had had in for ballet. I'd lost count of the number of different places round the house I'd found heaps of hair pins and bun nets. They were the bane of my life. Every couple of weeks we had to search them all out and restock their ballet bags. With their hair curling wildly around their faces, a result of the tight buns they'd worn all afternoon, I could suddenly see the teenagers they would soon be. They looked so unexpectedly grown-up, and that image shocked me. I sat back knocking my phone and empty cup onto the floor with a crash.
"Damn!" I muttered, and the girls all sniggered as I disappeared under the table to pick them up. I heard a shocked gasp and lots more giggling, bordering on hysterical. I was so glad they were at Renée's and not mine tonight. She had the patience of a saint, but at least I was at the other end of Skype and I could turn the volume down a bit. I sat up again, catching my head on the table and knocking my own neat chignon out.
"Ow! Shit!" I swore softly, as the pins pulled and dug into my head. The girls were still laughing hysterically as I took my hair down. "It wasn't that funny. See, girls. I'm putting my hair pins away. How come you can't do the same?" I said sarcastically. They ignored me, they were still giggling madly.
"It certainly is bed time," I heard Renée's voice float in from the background, and then I saw a tray of steaming mugs placed in front of the girls. "But first, hot chocolates all round. Now sit still, I do not want a visit to the hospital this evening." The girls stood up all at once and grabbed the steaming mugs carefully.
"So, Esme. Who's your favourite?" Rosalie asked as she sat down again, she had a sly expression on her face.
"Pardon?" I asked confused, as I watched them all curl up comfortably, obviously not planning on sleeping any time soon.
"Who's your favourite actor out of Twilight? We've seen all the hype even if some of us haven't seen the films yet. Edward Masen? Jacob Black? Who?" she pressed. Alice and Bella giggled.
"My favourite actor from Twilight? I think that's one you'll have to answer first, Rosalie!" I laughed.
"Oh, that's easy. Emmett McCarty who plays Kellan. He's gorgeous!" Rosalie cooed, the teenager suddenly showing in her face again.
"Emmett, huh?" I said as the table behind me erupted in laughter and cheers. Rose suddenly looked bashful and shy, a look I don't think I'd ever seen on her face before. "What about you, Bella?" I asked to distract the incredulous stares Rosalie was getting from Bella and Alice.
Bella hid her face behind Alice's shoulder and I heard a muffled, "I'm not telling!"
"No contest!" Alice crowed. "We know she loves Edward Masen. He's the one that plays Robert."
"Edward," I repeated as Bella glanced at me shyly and then hid her face again. The guys behind me were getting annoying, more raucous cheering echoed around the quiet room. I was about to turn and have a word, when I saw one of the stuffed suits shooting a poison glare at them and the laughter died down.
"Alice?" I asked teasingly. She went bright red, a trick usually reserved for Bella. This time both Rosalie and Bella started cajoling her when she squirmed uncomfortably. I guess it wasn't really a conversation you wanted to have with your mother.
"Jacob," she muttered, and Bella and Rosalie whooped delightedly.
"Yeah, he's cute. Emmett, Edward and Jacob. Eh?" More laughter, and the sound of slapped high five's, rose from behind me, and more glares were shot across the room. Was there a football match on or something? I couldn't see a screen, but it sounded like someone's team kept scoring. I watched one of the stuffed suits huff exaggeratedly, pack his bag, and leave. Next time, I'd have to do the glaring.
Rosalie sat up and grinned out of the screen. "Your turn now, Esme. Spill the beans. Who do you fancy?" she asked cheekily.
"You've got me there," I laughed. "They're all cute and far too young, or married. I can't choose." I fudged.
"You've got to, we did!" Alice piped up indignantly.
"What would you do if you met them?" asked Bella at almost the same time.
"I can't choose! My little pixie, they're closer to you in age than me. I don't see them that way," I lied though my teeth. "And if I did happen to meet them, I'd smile, probably say hi, and walk off to give them a bit of space. They've got enough screaming girls running after them and pretending to faint, that I bet they're sick to the back teeth of it all." The group behind me murmured approvingly. Maybe the grumpy stuffed suit had got the message across, and the raucous laughter and cheering at each goal, was over. That was a relief.
"Okay, Esme," said Rosalie with a determined look about her. "How about we say they're all the right age and all single like you. Who would you choose then?" she asked.
I laughed. "All my age and single like me? In my dreams!" I exclaimed, surprised at my admission. I realised that it had been far too long since I'd spent time with a man. I'd put that part of my life on hold for Alice, and I was also extra cautious after the complete and utter bastard my ex-husband turned out to be. To be able to meet one of the Twilight actors would be a dream indeed!
"Yeah, in your dreams. They'd be wearing… What?" she pressed.
I couldn't believe I was having this conversation with my ten year old daughter and her friends. How could I answer that one and keep it PG rated? I could hardly say wearing nothing, could I?
"They'd be barefoot, in smart trousers and a partly unbuttoned, white shirt. Clean shaven, of course, as I'm not one for designer stubble," I replied, remarkably honestly. The girls giggled and nudged shoulders before looking to Rosalie to continue the interrogation.
"So, who would it be? Edward?" she asked.
"He's good looking with amazing eyes, but he's too serious and brooding for me. So no, not Edward," I replied. The guy's team behind me must have let in a goal, but at least the groan wasn't as annoying as the laughter.
"Jacob?" Bella queried.
I smiled and tried to think how to answer honestly. I couldn't get his age out of my head. The difference between him and Alice was less than half the difference between him and me. I was twice his age. "Tempting, he's amazingly fit! But no, not Jacob either." Alice grinned widely and the girls all giggled. There was another muffled groan from the group behind me – the game had turned then, and not in their favour.
"Ok, Mum. How about Emmett?" Alice asked, winking at Rosalie.
"Emmett? He's huge! Seriously built, and looks great in his Calvin Klein's, but I think I'd feel too intimidated, despite the fact he's cute," I said, and Rosalie grinned triumphantly. The group behind me narrowly missed another goal. Exciting game.
"Two left, Esme. Who's it going to be? Carlisle or Jasper?" Rosalie asked teasingly.
I thought about it, it was tough decision. "Carlisle or Jasper? Do I have to choose?" I asked mildly. The girls laughed, but Alice insisted.
"Hmm, Carlisle? He actually makes a lab coat look good, doesn't he? Or, Jasper? There's something about a good southern gentleman, isn't there?" I said, smiling, as the girls cracked up again. "I definitely can't choose both?" I asked jokingly.
"NO!" they all chorused together.
I thought about the two of them, both Carlisle and Jasper really were good looking. Both looked stunning when they smiled, not that Jasper had smiled much in his role as Jackson, but I'd seen pictures of him that were drop dead gorgeous, especially with that lop-sided, one-dimpled smile. I pretended to contemplate my answer for a bit longer. It was silent, even the damn game behind me was in a lull.
"In that case, it's going to have to be… Jasper, because of his smile," I said and the girls erupted laughing. There were whoops and hollers behind me too, and the sound of someone coughing and choking. In exasperation, I turned and could have died right on the spot.
I looked straight into the red rimmed, watering, hazel-green eyes of none other than, Jasper Whitlock; actor, heart-throb, musician and this close up, absolutely fucking gorgeous. I gasped in shock as he continued to cough and splutter, pushing away the drink that had been in his hand. I looked around the table at his rowdy mates. They were all there; Edward, Emmett, Jacob and Carlisle. All laughing like it was the biggest joke in the world. I twisted back to look at my screen, the three girls had been joined by Renée and they were all in hysterics.
"You knew!" I spat at them, whipped the webcam off of the top of the screen and slammed the laptop shut. I quickly threw my stuff back in my rucksack, grabbed my shoes and case, and ran from the room. I wanted a hole to open in the ground and swallow me up. They'd stitched me up so badly I was shaking. They'd made me say all that, knowing they were all sitting right behind me! The cheers and groans made sense now, there was no football game. I was the game – me and my big mouth. So much for being the grown-up and giving them much needed space. I'd been mentally drooling over them as they sat feet away from me, and they'd overheard every word. I cringed.
I roughly wiped the tears from my face as I strode through the airport, defying anyone to comment on my tears or lack of shoes. I was in luck; airports were lonely places, full of people in their own little worlds and their gazes slid over me without lingering. I sagged quietly into one of the hard plastic seats in the busy satellite and buried my head in my hands. Looking up at the nearest departures screen, I saw that my flight was still on time. I couldn't even wait in the quiet, now that I'd been driven from the comfy lounge.
I hung my head, running my fingers through my dishevelled hair, before pulling it back into a rough ponytail. I wondered if the girls were still up, I needed to give them a piece of my mind, and if not them, then Renée. She was my friend and I loved her, but for this stunt, I'd quite happily gut her. I pulled my laptop out and perched it on my knees as it wheezed its way through the boot screens. I waited patiently for it to connect to the internet – it seemed SEA-TAC had free Wi-Fi throughout. I immediately checked for Alice, but thankfully, she wasn't online anymore, then I checked for Renée and was pleased to find her available.
I opened an instant message window and typed, still angry at the embarrassment she'd witnessed earlier.
ESMEPLATT: Renée Dwyer, I could kill you right now.
RENEEDWYER: Oh, Esme! It was so funny. I nearly wet myself I was trying so hard not to laugh. Did you really not notice?
She replied and had had the gall to attach a laughing smiley. I grit my teeth and nearly growled.
ESMEPLATT: No, Renée. I didn't notice. How was I meant to know?
RENEEDWYER: You could see them in the background. Edward even took a bow. You really didn't see that?
ESMEPLATT: I wasn't looking at ME! I had the girls full screen.
RENEEDWYER: Well, you're in luck then. You can fully re-live your torture on your return. Rosalie had the presence of mind to record your conversation. They'd only wanted to catch your expression when you found out they'd got auditions, and instead they've got all the Twilight boys winking and blowing kisses at them. I hate to say this, but you might be on YouTube by the time you get home.
ESMEPLATT: NO! You can't let them do that to me! Renée, please. Help me out here!
RENEEDWYER: Ha-ha! I told them you'd freak out. Don't worry, your humiliation is currently safe and will not be making its way onto the public domain under my watch.
ESMEPLATT: Arghh! It's a good thing you're thousands of miles away right now.
RENEEDWYER: You have GOT to see it. I defy you not to laugh. Do you want me to email it now?
ESMEPLATT: No! I'm not having that on my work computer, not when this is going straight to IT to be fixed as soon as I'm back in the office. Send it to my phone, I can watch it later… when I've calmed down.
RENEEDWYER: It's on its way. Oh, and I've sent a photo of the girls. They've all crashed out on the double bed in the spare room, and they look SO cute!
ESMEPLATT: Thanks, but you can't bribe forgiveness out of me that easily.
RENEEDWYER: Why on earth do I need your forgiveness?
ESMEPLATT: Because you didn't warn me. You just stood out of shot and tried not to wet yourself, if I remember right!
RENEEDWYER: Yeah, yeah! Good night. It's hellishly late now and those girls are going to be a handful tomorrow.
ESMEPLATT: Self inflicted, Sweetheart! Good night. Give my love to Phil, and give Alice an extra big hug in the morning. Tell her that if that video ends up anywhere public, she'll be grounded for the next MONTH!
RENEEDWYER: Will do! Is that photo there yet? Goodnight. xxx
I sent back one final kiss as my computer began beeping pitifully. The battery was flat. I shut it down and stuffed it unceremoniously back into the rucksack, and then I rummaged though the pockets trying to find which corner my phone had slid into. Eventually I gave up and tipped the whole lot out onto the floor, putting it back a bit at a time. Just great! My phone wasn't there and that meant it had to be in the lounge. I groaned.
I couldn't face going back, so I'd have to ring it and ask whoever found it, to hand it in at the airline's desk, or bring it to the gate. Then I realised, that if the phone rang, then the people most likely to find it and answer, would be the very ones I was currently hiding from. Not good, but survivable if I could get the airport staff to speak to them instead. I wouldn't have to see them, and I could carry on my life as if I hadn't just made a prize fool of myself. I sighed and made my way to the information desk.
"How may I help you?" a cheery woman asked, and I explained my predicament. She willingly rang my phone and I waited as she chatted brightly to whoever had found it. When she hung up, she came back over to me.
"A nice young man by the name of, Jasper, found it and said he would drop it off at your gate. It's not up on the departures board yet, but you'll be boarding from gate S 10 if you want to wait there," she told me brightly. I thanked her and wound my way slowly through the crowd.
Just my luck. What were the chances of there being two Jaspers in the business lounge at the same time, and within easy reach of my phone? Hopefully, I wouldn't have to face him when he returned it. After that little fiasco, I'd probably be as tongue-tied as a teenager and equally as jittery. As I trudged towards the departure gate, my stomach suddenly dropped. I remembered what was on the screen of my phone, what I'd been reading in the taxi over here. I groaned and prayed to whatever god might be listening, for him not to notice and read it. Fanfiction, my one small indulgence, and it was currently on a very racy Jasper fic. All he had to do was unlock the phone and it would be right there. Bugger!
Time seemed to drag. With my phone missing and my computer flat, I had to resort to the bookshops. I took my time choosing a paperback and then slumped, uncomfortably, in a plastic chair where I could watch gate S 10 in the distance. It was quiet at the moment and I didn't want to stand out if my phone was brought back early. I read, nursing a hot chocolate I'd had to pay for, and kept half an eye on the gate. Finally, I got caught up in the story and disappeared completely into the fantasy world.
"The flight for London Heathrow is now boarding at gate S 10." The tinny announcement dragged me from my book and I gathered my belongings quickly. I wanted to get on board and get out of here as quickly as possible. Sending a silent thank-you to my boss, I cut in ahead of the waiting crowds and handed over my business class ticket. My phone hadn't been handed in yet, but they'd been assured it would be, and that they would bring it to me when it was.
I was ushered upstairs and shown my seat. There was only one other traveller so far, and he was on the opposite side. I stowed my bags, tucked my book into the seat pocket and sank down, kicking off my shoes. The complementary glass of wine was a welcome distraction, and I sat back, picked up my book and tried to ignore the sounds around me. Only one other traveller joined us on the top deck. It was obviously a quiet flight.
"Ms Platt?" asked an air hostess.
"Yes," I replied, and then smiled when I saw she had my phone in her hand. "Thank goodness for that, I was beginning to worry," I said gratefully as I took it from her, but choked when I unlocked the screen to see a new note prominently displayed.
"Are you alright, Ms Platt?" the air hostess asked, slightly alarmed. "Let me get you a drink," she said as she bustled off. I took the time to read the note privately, it was only one sentence, but it made my heart sink.
Interesting reading material – most appropriate don't you think? JW
Shit! Bugger! Bollocks! Crap! FUCK! He'd read it. I flicked back to the story and then realised why he'd said it was appropriate; Jasper and his leading lady, Maria, were going at it on a private jet! One of the Mile High contest entries. I'd never be able to see him in anything again without cringing, and if he ever saw me again, I think I would just curl up and die.
I had my head in my hands when the air hostess returned.
"Here you go. Are you feeling better? Can I get you anything?" she asked concerned. I shook my head and smiled weakly as I took the glass. I sipped the water carefully as my hands were shaking. "You don't look sure," she said as she crouched by my seat.
"I'll be fine," I assured her. "I've just had a bit of a shock."
"I'm not meant to, but would you like another glass of wine?" she asked conspiratorially under her breath. That was just what I needed, so I smiled back and she disappeared off. The second glass certainly calmed me down, but it made me feel slightly tipsy. I hadn't eaten lunch and had only had two hot chocolates since breakfast, and they didn't act as much of a buffer for the alcohol.
I looked at the phone in my hand and decided to download the rest of the story so I could finish reading it later. I still felt bad, but the alcohol had eased my embarrassment to some extent. After all, I had my phone back now, the plane would shortly be taxiing up the runway and I would be heading back to England. The chances of ever seeing him again, on anything other than the big screen, were zero.
I checked my messages and smiled at the image of the girls – in a rough heap in the spare bed, hair splayed out, they suddenly looked very young again. I downloaded the story, put my phone into flight mode and then settled down to read. By the time the meal was served I was feeling more than a little hot under the collar. Having been, momentarily, so close to the real thing, it made the images that formed in my mind even more vivid.
The memory of his hazel-green eyes reached right inside me and wrenched the pit of my stomach in a way I hadn't felt in years. My shoulder had nearly been touching his. I'd felt his breath on my cheek, seen every strand of his sandy blond hair as it had hung around his face and brushed against the dark cotton of his shirt. He'd been close enough for me to reach my hand out and run the tips of my fingers over his face and lips, and to touch the slight stubble on his chin. I gasped at the audacity of my thoughts. What had come over me? I was nearly forty, not fourteen! Yes, admittedly I had been close enough to do those things, but instead I'd run away.
Not long after the meal, the cabin lights were dimmed, and I settled back to watch a film. It was a lame comedy that failed to capture my interest and I soon fell asleep. My dreams were filled with hazel-green eyes and all too much hot, naked flesh. I awoke with a groan, disorientated, and looked around the darkened cabin with relief. If it hadn't been almost empty, I would have embarrassed myself badly for the second time in hours. I pulled the rough ponytail out my hair, it was uncomfortable to sleep in, and had nearly fallen out anyway, and then padded quietly to the nearest loo.
I sleepily grabbed the door, only to find it locked. I turned to go to the others at the opposite end of the cabin, but heard the bolt shoot back and decided to wait as the door opened. I mumbled a quick apology, barely taking in the man who walked out.
"My pleasure, ma'am," an all too familiar voice drawled.
My head shot up and met those eyes. My mind reeled, my stomach lurched, and I lost the ability to speak. My earlier embarrassment was multiplied no end by the dreams I'd so recently woken from.
"Fuck! Sorry!" I garbled and then stepped quickly round him into the toilet, slamming the door a bit too hard and shooting the bolt. Way to go, Esme!
I groaned – a mixture of desperate desire and mortified horror. What had I just said? I splashed cold water over my face, and then remembered why I'd come to the loo in the first place. When I finished, I washed my face a second time, trying to calm the turmoil inside me. So much for not seeing him again. I ran my fingers through my hair and tried to tame the wild curls a bit. It was a wasted effort, I'd put my hair up damp and it had dried crazy, I was stuck with it until I could wash it again. I listened carefully at the door, hoping he'd be long gone, before pulling the bolt back quietly and stepping out into the darkened cabin.
"Are you alright? I heard you groan," he said softly, and I stopped with my back to the door. Oh, this could not be happening. Would this torture never end?
"Fine," I mumbled staring at his feet. His bare feet! I couldn't stand it a moment longer and went to push past him back to the scant refuge of my seat.
"Wait," he said suddenly, grabbing my arm and stopping my escape.
My breath caught in my throat as the heat of his skin blazed through my thin shirt. I gasped and froze on the spot. He let go of my arm quickly, as if embarrassed by his actions. My breath was ragged as I waited for him to speak again. I was incapable of forming a coherent thought, let alone actual words.
But he didn't speak, instead he moved silently around me until he was facing me. The searing touch of his fingers on my chin startled me, as he very slowly lifted my face up over his body. Bare feet, smart trousers and a white, partially unbuttoned, shirt. I bit my lip to suppress the moan that was building. Had he changed? He moved and the fabric of his shirt lifted slightly away from his body revealing the tattoo just above the waist of his trousers.
Oh, God. I was lost, absolutely beyond hope.
He continued lifting my face up over his chest, and past his broad shoulders, onto his small, lop-sided smile. I realised I was holding my breath when it all shot out of me at the sight of his smooth and freshly shaven jaw. Who the hell shaved before getting on an overnight flight! Oh, the places I wanted him to rub those smooth cheeks! I pulled my face away from him before I met his gaze, afraid he'd see that thought in my eyes. He waited a moment, and then gently turned my face back to his. Beautiful hazel-green eyes captured mine. I couldn't have moved even if I'd wanted too, trapped like a rabbit in headlights.
"Beautiful," he breathed as he stared right back into my pale blue eyes. His pupils were blown in the subdued light. I bit my lip again in an intense effort not to say or do anything else I'd regret, but he was so close. I could smell shaving foam and soap, a hint of mint toothpaste and tang of something alcoholic, plus something that could only have been purely Jasper. I drew in a deep breath though my nose, trying to absorb the scent of him. He leant slowly towards me, his eyes partially closing as he bent down. I tried to break from his gaze, but his hand slid up my face, cupping my cheek, unintentionally stilling my movement.
"Please don't run," he whispered, so close I could feel his breath on my lips. I was shaking under his hand. He waited again, as if giving me the chance to flee. When his lips brushed mine, my body caught fire, the intensity of that moment brought me right to the edge and I moaned against his mouth. His other hand laced into my hair as he kissed me softly again, stealing my breath and leaving me trembling. I hadn't even touched him yet, too afraid that this couldn't be real, that it was all just a particularly vivid dream.
Both of his hands cradled my face, and his own short breaths trailed over my skin as he ran his nose down my cheek, and then up against my nose. My body shuddered at his touch. I stood rigid in his hands, unable to believe it was actually happening. Maybe it wasn't, maybe it was just a dream?
He kissed me again, nipping my bottom lip between his own. I opened my mouth slightly and he deepened the kiss, brushing his tongue against my lips, teasing the tip of it into my mouth, coaxing my tongue into curling around his. It had to be a dream, there was no other explanation. He'd been in jeans and a dark shirt earlier, not dressed as he was now, straight from my imagination, and clean shaven. If it was a dream, then I was damn well going to enjoy it.
My body seemed to melt, the shock that had frozen it was obliterated by the heat of the passion that rose in me. I clutched my hands to his sides, sliding them under the thin cloth of his shirt and pulled his body into mine. I stood on my toes, pushing back into his kiss, as his breath caught at my touch. The previously slow-motion world sped up intensely, and in moments I was crushed into his arms. I ran my hands up his back and pressed my nails into his shoulders.
He broke the kiss and looked at me with a desperate hunger that made my knees go weak. Fumbling with the door behind me, he lifted me effortlessly and we staggered inside the small compartment. Definitely a dream, I decided. He locked the door behind us as he eased me to my feet in the confined space. I barely suppressed the groan of pleasure as he trailed kisses down my neck, easing my head back so he could continue the burning trail along my collar bone. He stopped, breathing heavily, over the hollow at the base of my throat. His hot breath sent shivers down my spine.
His body tensed and he lifted concerned eyes to my own. "Sorry, I –"
I shook my head and moved to place my fingers on his lips, this was my dream, and no attacks of conscience would be allowed. I lifted my fingers from his lips, and his eyes turned questioning. I let the full force of my desire take over me and saw his eyes widen and his smile grow. I ran the back of my hand over his cheeks, enjoying the sensation. Even against the grain, my flesh slid smoothly without scratching. I swear I nearly purred. Maybe I did, as he chuckled and buried his face in my neck in response. As I wound my fingers deep into his hair, he kissed and nipped his way up my neck until his breath on my ear caused my body to erupt in goose-bumps. I squirmed away from him.
"Sensitive, eh?" he growled, and tried to nip my ear. I nearly shrieked as I fought to get away, but stifled the sound by biting his shoulder. He groaned and held me still for a moment, breathless, then pulled me tight against his obvious arousal. I shimmied gently against him, causing him to smirk irresistibly. Rising up on my toes, I pulled him down towards me and melted into a passionate kiss.
Hot hands frantically tugged the hem of my shirt out the waistband of my skirt, before slowly gliding up my back, causing us both to moan passionately. I pushed away and grabbed at the remaining buttons on his shirt, desperate to remove the suddenly intrusive cloth. As the buttons came undone, I trailed my fingers over the newly exposed flesh, feeling the muscles ripple and flinch under my touch. He leant back against the door sighing and groaning softly as I kissed my way across his chest and ran my nails lightly down his sides.
My fingers reached the well defined V of muscle that led lower, ghosting over the very slightly raised texture of his tattoo. He gasped and grabbed my hands, sliding them around to his back, before releasing them and moving to undo the buttons of my shirt. All of a sudden, I was intensely glad I'd put on a pretty new bra this morning; simple, white, to go under my work shirt, with embroidered leaves leading to a deep plunge. His fingers trailed tantalisingly along the edge of the exposed fabric, and then he slipped my shirt and bra strap off one shoulder.
A shiver of anticipation ran down my back as his warm hand slid inside my bra, stroking over my taught nipple and lifting my breast clear of the fabric. Abruptly I felt self-conscious as my boobs had suffered over time, pregnancy and breastfeeding. While they were far from sagging, I was aware that the weight of them was now soft and not firm to the touch.
"Mmm, real," he murmured into my hair as he traced his thumb across my sensitive peak.
His erection twitched against my stomach and I suddenly had to feel it under my hand. He caught my hand at his waistband again, so I let it drop lower and palmed his hot arousal through his trousers and cupped his tight balls.
"Not yet," he pleaded. "It's too much, I –" I silenced him with a kiss. If this was my dream, then I was going to make damn sure he lasted. The mother in me was gone, overtaken by the long neglected woman I had once been. Tonight, I needed to be well and truly fucked to within an inch of my life.
I ran my hand over him again and he moaned against my mouth. This time he didn't stop me when I unhooked the clasp on his trousers and slowly lowered the zip. His breath stopped in his chest, and his muscles went rigid, as I slid my hand under the soft cotton of his boxers and eased his hot velvet length from its uncomfortable confines. His head cracked against the door as he struggled to suppress a deep moan of pleasure. He had to grab the walls for support when my fingers traced from the very root of his erection, over his balls and up to his oozing tip.
"Oh, God," he breathed. I ducked down and licked his tip clean, before tracing back down and nuzzling his balls. His knuckles turned white as he gripped the walls. "Fuck!" he muttered, and then kept up a low hiss of expletives as I closed my lips over him and sucked him into the back of my mouth, gently stroking what I couldn't contain. I twirled my tongue around his tip and hummed with pleasure, working up and down his rock hard arousal, until his hands left the walls and tangled in my hair.
He was gasping and moaning softly, trying desperately to be quiet as he began thrusting into my mouth, matching my movements as I sucked him and twirled my tongue around his head and slit. "I'm… Uunnngh!" he gasped just before he surged under my hands. I pulled him as far as I could into my mouth and, with a low guttural moan, he thrust one last time, pushing deeply into me as his release pulsed into my mouth and down my throat.
I held him inside me until the pulses stopped and his frantic gasps settled into calmer, deeper breaths. He pulled me up and crushed me into his bare chest, the feel of his flesh against mine scorched into me.
"Thank you," he murmured and pulled me into a deep kiss, obviously not ashamed to taste himself on my lips and in my mouth. The passion of the moment built quickly again, and he ran his hand up my thigh, under my skirt, stopping as he reached the lace top of my hold-ups.
"Good God, woman. Are you trying to kill me?" he growled as he roughly pulled my skirt up over my hips and quickly lifted me onto the narrow sink. Pressing my back against the large mirror, he eased my thighs apart and stood between them, tracing his thumbs over the edge of lace where it met my sensitive skin. My muscles trembled at his touch and I pulled him closer into another deep kiss to distract him. It worked, his arms wrapped around me tightly as our bodies moulded around each other. My hands grabbed his hips, and then I ran them up to his broad shoulders. I dug my nails in deeply and began to drag them down his back. He shuddered and I stopped myself quickly, balling my hands into fists.
He broke the kiss and breathed heavily into my ear, causing me to shiver against him.
"You can. If you want to," he said cryptically. I frowned in confusion and he kissed my neck. "You can mark me, if you like," he growled, then pulled me back into a wildly passionate kiss. I unclenched my fists and self-consciously lay my hands back on his shoulders. He distracted me by running a hand down to my thigh and teasing his thumb along the lace at the edge of my knickers. They were already soaked; they had been from the first moment he'd kissed me.
He moved the lace aside with his thumb and stroked a finger over my hot, wet folds. Without conscious thought, I dug my nails back into his shoulders and he moaned against my mouth. When he pushed his finger inside me, he had to stifle my cry with a kiss. He pulled it out again then added a second. I arched against him and dragged my nails the length of his back and over his firm buttocks. I had to stifle his moan with a kiss that time, but then lost all control as he drove into me again, twisting and curling his fingers until I was whimpering and moaning against him.
"My turn now," he said huskily, as he ripped the lace of my knickers and pulled them away from my body. He slid down over me, awkward in the cramped space, and then gently rubbed his smooth cheeks over my sensitive thighs. His tongue dipped under the lace of my hold-ups, before trailing across my thigh and running up the length of my wet lips. I moaned loudly then had to bite my lip hard to suppress the sounds building in my chest. This time I was the one holding onto the walls, the door, anything I could reach, to prevent myself from collapsing on top of him as he drove me wild.
Each nip, lick and suck, drove me closer as he continued to plunge his long fingers into me. The intensity of it had my head spinning and my breath coming in short gasps and quiet mews. I was on the edge, but I couldn't let go, couldn't surrender myself totally to the sensations building in my body. No one else had ever made me feel this good. His other hand spread out across the small of my back and pulled me tight against his mouth as he sucked me hard. I rocked against him and closed my eyes as he finally pushed me over the edge. I let go with great shudders that rocked through my whole body.
He held me like that until my orgasm subsided and my breath settled into a steadier rhythm, and then he stood up between my shaking legs. I ran my fingers into his hair, down the nape of his neck and then traced a fingertip along his jaw. His hazel-green eyes sparkled mischievously. I pulled him close to me and into a gentle kiss – my taste combined with his. His hot erection pulsed against my thigh.
"Please," he breathed and crushed me tight against his body. I moaned softly – this was just getting better and better.
"Protection?" I asked equally softly. Dream or not, I wasn't a fool.
"Oh, fuck!" he groaned with a panicked look on his face. He frantically grabbed at his trousers and rummaged for his wallet. It was battered leather, moulded over time to the shape of its contents, including a giveaway circle on one side. He pulled it out triumphantly and dropped his wallet unceremoniously onto the floor. The well worn package had obviously been there for some time, and he surreptitiously checked it for damage. With a sigh of relief, he ripped open the foil and discarded it, and then quickly unrolled the condom over his glorious length.
"Sure?" he asked tentatively. Waiting poised at my entrance.
"Shut up and fuck me!" I growled softly, dug my nails into his flesh and pulled him firmly into me. I tried so hard not to groan aloud, but feelings overwhelmed me and silent tears ran down my cheeks. I couldn't remember the last time I'd been made to feel this good, if I'd ever been made to feel this good. Gentleness had soon turned into pain and humiliation with my husband, and the occasional self-conscious fumblings I'd had since, had left me unsatisfied.
I was in heaven. I was dreaming. I was dying and being reborn – there could be no other explanation.
He kissed my tears away and gently moved inside me. I whimpered against his shoulder and slid my hands around his buttocks. When he next pulled out, I slammed him back into me, giving in to the demands of the starving animal that had been awakened inside me. His muscles bunched and strained under my grasp as he pounded into me. Burying my face in his neck, I muffled my sounds and inhaled his scent.
He plunged in deeply and stopped there, pressed against my throbbing centre of pleasure. "I need –" he gasped out. "I need to see you. Turn around!" he said frantically.
He pulled out, lifted me off the sink and turned me so I faced the mirror. He looked over my shoulder and met my shocked eyes in the glass. Sliding his nose down my neck, he kissed my exposed shoulder. His hand slid down the inside of my thigh to my knee and he lifted it high before driving himself back into me. Shutting my eyes, I pressed my head back into his shoulder, giving in to the pleasure and gasping at the intensity of it.
"Open your eyes," he breathed into my ear. With immense effort I obeyed him and saw him behind me. His hooded eyes, dark with desire, bore into mine and touched my core. The image in the mirror was totally erotic, so far beyond wanton that my body reacted to the obvious hunger we exuded. The reflection in front of me seared itself into my brain. I shut my eyes but it remained, taunting me.
Passion. Desire. Hot, sweaty flesh. Damp, blonde curls. Pure animal lust in hazel-green eyes.
I grabbed his hand, the one not supporting me, and held it tightly over my mouth as I cried out into it. Hoping his hand would muffle the sounds he drew out of me. I heard him groan against my ear and he pulled me tighter as I lost control of my voice.
"Rub yourself," he moaned against me. "Look at me and rub yourself."
I met his eyes again as I released the fingers that were clenched so tightly onto his hand. Sliding them down my body until I could feel him entering me. I let them trail there for a few moments as he thrust, his breath caught and he gasped.
"Oh, God! You, not me," he pleaded. I could feel his legs beginning to shake as I moved my touch away from him.
I moaned into his palm and struggled to keep my eyes on his as the combined movement became my undoing. My legs gave way and my weight collapsed into his arms. His guttural cry of pleasure as I milked him, was stifled against my shoulder. His hot, wet mouth pressed against my flesh as he thrust wildly a few more times. When he came, shuddering and straining against me, he bit down, hard, in his effort not to cry out. My scream of pleasure and pain was smothered by his hand.
He collapsed back onto the closed toilet, pulling me with him so that he remained buried deep inside. I held his knees tightly, trying to remain upright as I shook from my release and the best damn fucking I'd ever had in my life. His head rested between my shoulders and I could feel his body shuddering beneath mine.
I was incapable of speech. I was incapable of moving. I just sat there, impaled on him, with my head hanging. Spent. Replete.
After the longest time, I struggled to my feet, avoiding the reflection in the mirror. His soft hand rubbed against my thigh and he rested his head on my back. "Thank you," he murmured against my skin.
I ran warm water into the small sink and washed my face and sweaty body quickly with a paper towel. He had to move when I washed the juices from my legs, and my flesh felt suddenly cold at his absence. Maybe, if I didn't look and find him gone, it would all remain a dream.
I buttoned my shirt, straightened my skirt, and ran my fingers through my dishevelled hair. I looked a mess, like I'd just been totally fucked. His soft chuckle behind me, startled me, and he whispered into my hair, "Beautiful." Who was he kidding?
I bent to retrieve the crumpled lace of my knickers and found the red fabric torn and shredded. I balled it up to put into the bin, but his warm hand stilled mine, took the crumpled fabric and thrust it into his pocket.
"Just so I know it was real," he explained quietly.
"Oh, but it's not," I laughed softly, catching his eyes in the mirror. "There's no way this could be anything but a particularly amazing and vivid dream. Thank you, Jasper. That was breathtaking."
I turned and kissed him once more. "I will be dreaming of you again," I said, suddenly almost in tears, and then slipped out of the toilet and into the dark cabin. Sinking back into my seat, I pulled the flimsy blanket over me and fastened the buckle around my waist. Sleep quickly overtook me. I didn't hear the door, or anyone pass by, how could I if there was no one there?
The clatter of crockery woke me, to find the cabin bright and sun streaming in through the small windows. I sighed contentedly and eased the seat back upright. The air hostess gave me a wide smile and came over with the menu.
"Sleep well?" she asked with the barest hint of a smirk. I looked again, but all that remained was the professional mask. I chose breakfast from the menu and settled back to read a bit more of my book. Breakfast service was finished abruptly when the captain announced that, due to a strong tail wind, we would be landing early and were now beginning our decent into London Heathrow.
I gathered my belongings and packed my bags, ready for a quick get-away. If I timed it right, there would be little, if any, queue at passport control and after that, I was free. With no bags to reclaim, I could be out of the airport and on my way home, before half the people on the plane had found which carrousel to wait at, morosely, for their cases to arrive.
My plan worked and I joined the short queue at passport control ahead of the rest of the plane. I kept my head bowed as I heard laughter from the group that had just entered the hall. I couldn't resist a quick peek and saw that they all stood there, the Twilight guys, surrounded by minders, as passports were sorted out and the longest, non-EU, queue joined.
Jasper caught my eye and I quickly looked away. I was sure he was only looking because I'd embarrassed myself yesterday in the lounge, but the memory of my dream was fresh in my mind, and I had to fight the urge to look back over my shoulder again.
I breathed a sigh of relief, moved forward, and was gone.
My driver met me at arrivals and led me to the waiting car, where I threw my bag into the back seat and shot just one final glance over my shoulder. I could hear frenzied screaming in the distance – they'd made it to arrivals then. I sat down and shut the door, cutting off the sound.
When I put my phone back into normal mode, it beeped its way through all my incoming messages. Three from Renée; one sort of apologising, one asking when I was due home, and one with a link to a Jasper fan club – bitch!. Plus two emails from work and one from a number I didn't recognise.
"It WAS real."
I put that one down to a crank, or a misplaced digit, and deleted it before going back to answer Renée's messages and the work emails. I stared out the window as the familiar landmarks slipped by, then pulled my book from my bag.
When we drew up at my house two hours later, I stepped through the front door wearily, dropped my case and rucksack, kicked my shoes into the corner, and trudged upstairs. I flicked the shower on and undressed as the bathroom filled with steam. What had happened to my knickers? The hot water eased my aching body, but my shoulder was stiff from carrying my heavy bag. I rinsed the thick suds away and ran my fingers over the sore muscle.
There was something there.
I had to sit down I was shaking so badly. I staggered out of the shower and sank onto the closed toilet seat. With my towel, I reached out and rubbed a circle on the mirror, clearing the steam. I waited so long, unable to make myself move, that it had steamed up again and I had to wipe it a second time, before I turned my back and looked at my shoulder in the mirror.
Two perfect, raised semicircles centred a slight bruise.