This story is dedicated to Midnight Cougar, or Deb as I know her. She's been a hell of a friend and honestly, the first person I really connected with in this wonderful community. She's been a great beta as well. I couldn't think of a better way to repay her than to write her very own Englishward, otherwise known as Skyward.
The Traveler by Midnightlove87
For Midnight Cougar
With my iPhone glued to my ear, I listened as my boss rattled off a list of instructions to me.
If I was being honest, I was feeling a bit overwhelmed right now. This was huge for me, the big time for sure, and I didn't want to mess up one detail. Opportunity had landed in my lap and I was a lucky girl, but the luxury of overconfidence was not an option. I hadn't necessarily worked my way up in the business like so many others had, so I had a lot to prove. And not only that, but there was a lot riding on this book.
Oh the stress…
The buzzing of her voice was almost enough to put me to sleep, so when I spotted the coffee bar across the room, I knew what needed to be done. It was, after all, almost nine at night. No wonder I was tired. I'd worked like a dog this past week.
I grabbed a hot coffee from the first class lounge and took a seat as she continued to preach on and on about continuity. I certainly knew the importance of it, but she was just double checking.
"I know, we're working on it more, and I do have some additional ideas," I told her, trying to pacify her worries.
There were a lot of people concerned with the initial direction of the book and I was slowly trying to introduce a new take on it. And so far, Maria loved it.
I could tell her head was bobbing in agreement, even though she wasn't in front of me. Her wild hair would begin to bounce along with her head, and then her eyes would go wide with the thought of a new idea. She was so predictable. She did the same thing to the previous editor until he didn't have any more new ideas… Hence why I was now the editor, and the last one was long gone.
My plane was called and I got up, grabbing my belongings to get ready to board.
The nervous feeling I had every time I was preparing to fly had long since passed. I guess that since I had been flying so frequently, and making it safely to each destination, I was finally beginning to feel more at ease with the idea.
Not that being trapped in a tin can for hours on end really put me at ease in any way. But you know what I mean.
I kept right on listening to her as I walked down the tiny aisle to my seat in first class. I was thankful to be here, but in my opinion, it was still cramped. As long as the publishing execs were footing the bill, I was more than happy to have my luxuriously comfortable seat. They knew that they had a hit on their hands, so they weren't afraid to spend a little extra to make sure that it was going to be out of this world.
Just then I bumped into something or someone, I heard a splash, and my leg began to throb in searing pain.
"Holy shit, Maria, I'll have to call you back," I muttered into the receiver, as I reached for anything that would help me dry up the burning coffee from my leg. The leg that was quite possibly on fire, at least that's what it felt like.
I hated these trips, but they were necessary, being an editor and all. Visits to the author were important, to make sure the right chemistry and feeling was being put into each of the scenes. But thankfully, with this one, I trusted the writer thoroughly, so it was easy to escape back home now and then.
Sure, we could've worked together over the phone or even online, but being together in the same room had proven to produce a much higher quality of work. So because of that, the powers that be thought it was worthwhile to the publishers, to fly an editor out to work with the reclusive author.
"Here, can you use these?" I heard someone say in a deep British accent that made my toes suddenly want to curl, as I saw a hand jut out in front of my eyes, full of napkins.
Small miracles do happen.
"Yeah, thanks," I said softly, realizing how loud I must've been.
I looked up, offering an apologetic smile to the beautiful stranger holding the napkins.
I stood there, momentarily frozen, struck by his initial beauty. As odd as that was to say about a man, it was true about this one. He put the word handsome to shame. His eyes were really what caught me. They were like a bright sea green that made me forget all about my leg, and the mess I had made.
"Let me know if you need anything else."
Once he spoke, it was his voice that I couldn't stop concentrating on. It was deep, but not rough at all. Almost sweet. And that accent… Wow… So fucking sexy!
I quickly began patting at the now cooling coffee, with the napkins the stranger had offered. In my dazed state, I had forgotten that I was still standing in the middle of an aisle on a busy airplane.
The beautiful man smiled at me, softly.
"Thank you," I whispered, still a little stunned.
"You're welcome, see you around," he told me.
I nodded, huffed and sat down. My leg was still stinging and so was my pride, if I was being honest.
I was always finding one way or another to make a damn idiot out of myself. I was just grateful that my picture didn't reach the front page of a rag mag every time, like some of the authors I work with.
The captain came over the speaker and asked that we shut off our mobile devices before we took off. While I was putting my phone into airplane mode I was wondering where my beautiful stranger had gone.
After looking around the first class area, I couldn't seem to find him.
My head was on a swivel, even peeking behind the curtain to business class.
It was so weird; he was gone just like that, so instead of dwelling on it any longer, I gave up.
To pass the time, I opted for loosely braiding my messy brown hair into something that resembled tamed, and slipped in my ear buds for some relaxation. The sweet music made my body seem to forget all the stresses of the day, and I was able to really sink into my extra soft seat.
The plane touched down at LAX on time for once, so I grabbed my carry on, and I hurried off.
When I was out in the terminal full of bustling people, I bumped into someone while trying to pull my phone out, in an attempt to call Maria back.
Jesus, what was with my luck today?!
I looked up at the poor guy who had just gotten massively hip checked, only to see a familiar set of soft green eyes staring back at me. This time I took a moment to notice the tired looking crinkles around those green orbs, and the tender smile on his perfect lips, too.
My eyes sort of glazed over at the sight of him. He was gorgeous, sexy, even.
"Hey coffee spiller, watch where you're going," he said with a chuckle.
I smiled up at him and shook my head. My heart sped up a little at the sound of his voice.
What were the chances that I'd run into him again?
As much as I wanted to know this guy's name and number, I didn't really have time. Maria needed a call back, now.
"Sorry, maybe I'll run into you again," I offered with a smirk.
"Oh, I'm sure of it," he said, before disappearing into the throngs of people.
I shrugged it off. He was handsome, yes. Was it crazy I knew nothing about this guy and just let him go? No. Absolutely not. Well, probably, not. I wasn't so sure, now that he was out of sight.
Besides, I had work to do.
What do you all think?
Or more importantly, Deb, what do you think Darling?