The gentle ping from overheard woke her from her daydream, indicating that they would soon be landing. Turning, she looked lazily out of the window and saw the world in miniature, dotted with clouds. The golden curve of the beach gave way to a glittering sea and she realised with surprise how much she'd missed Miami.
She stopped the plump little air stewardess as she passed and ordered a vodka on ice. There was a brief moment of protest from the woman but Cersei smiled coolly and that was all it took. Her father could buy this airline; she didn't care if they had stopped the drinks service.
She sipped her drink as she watched the world come ever closer through the frost stained window and smiled to think about how excited she was to be coming back. New York had been so much more cool and fresh, full of interesting people and interesting stories. The nights started earlier and ended later. The parties were on roof tops, all sleek cocktails and lantern lights. She had had an apartment overlooking Central Park, and it had been good to wake up to something other than palm trees. Miami was so different, and yet she could already feel herself slipping back in to it like a warm glove.
But then again, wherever Jaime was, she belonged. She could be flying in to any far off city, in any strange little country and if he were there, she would be home. She felt that familiar rush in the pit of her stomach as she thought about him, and a slow, eager smile spread across her face. She crossed her legs as the rush became a tingle, imaging his fingers, his mouth, his tongue. She took a deep breath and bit her lip, still smiling.
There had been others – a handful, nothing more – in New York. They had all been suitably handsome, eager to please, happy to flatter her. She allowed them to occupy her time when the need was too great or the night was too lonely. Jaime did not need to know about them. He wouldn't understand. Cersei had tried to broach the subject once, a year or so ago. There had been a boy in school whose smile had hit her like a hammer one day across the classroom. She remembered the notes he had passed her under the table, and the way he looked at her when she blushed. It had been the first time she had noticed that being with another boy was possible.
Jaime was her other half, but she had realised right from the start that they would never be able to be together – not in the way she wanted. With the others, it was just sex. Jaime would have every other part of her, the parts that mattered. He could not see it that way though, and so the subject had died - for him at least.
The ground kept creeping ever closer until finally, they touched down. When she stepped out of the doorway, the air hit her in a familiar wave – warm and sweet and still. The terminal was busy but travelling first class had its benefits and she was able to bypass the majority of the queues. Despite its drawbacks, flying was still her most favourite way to travel. There was something inherently glamorous about sailing through the air, encased in leather and steel, being waited on hand and foot. She was travelling alone, by choice rather than necessity, and wondered briefly if he would be there to meet her. Her father would send a car, but Jaime had said he might be able to slip away too. It would give them some precious time alone together before getting in to the city. He had been kept pretty busy ever since that ugly business with Aerys – there had been a lot to sort out. Their father had not wanted her to fly over until things were more settled, but she had found herself pacing back and forth in the apartment by Central Park, eager to get back in to the thick of it. She could smell the heady scent of revolution even from there. When Jaime told her what had happened, she had felt jealous. She had wanted to be there, riding that glorious wave, watching it break across the face of that decrepit old man and his stale old empire. Nothing would have pleased her more. Even Elia….
She stopped just short of being pleased about that, but she could not deny that a smile had passed her lips when she heard. When you cut the head off a serpent, it was best to make a clean cut. She would have been happier if all the Targaryen children had been accounted for, but at least Europe was far enough away. If they had any sense, they would never return. Her father's ascension had to be as smooth as possible.
At the arrivals gate she looked for a familiar face, a glimpse of golden hair and a roguish smile in the crowd, but was disappointed. She scanned the boards looking for her name but there was nothing there either. With annoyance, she began to make her way to the doors, already searching in her purse for her cell when a shadow loomed up from nowhere. Stopping, she found herself level to a thick chest, vaguely aware of the sound of breathing somewhere above her. She took a step back, cell phone still in hand, and looked up at his face. The scars were visible under his lank hair, twisting half of his features in to a grotesque mockery of a face. He was four years younger yet he towered over her. Taller even than Jaime now, she realised. He nodded curtly and indicated towards the doors where a sleek black Mercedes was waiting. He moved to take her suitcase but she found herself pulling away.
'I'm fine, thank you' she said briskly, her disappointment fresh. He shrugged and turned away from her, leaving her to open the car door herself. He took the front seat next to the chauffer and they drove in silence back to the city and, she hoped, to Jaime.