Home > The Stopover (The Miles High Cl(3)

The Stopover (The Miles High Cl(3)
Author: T L Swan

I stare at him flatly; all right, he’s beginning to piss me off now. “We’ll have two, please.”

“What do you like about rom-coms?” he asks as he keeps his eyes on the screen in front of him.

“Men who don’t talk during movies,” I whisper into my champagne glass.

He smiles broadly to himself.

“What do you like about . . .” I pause because I don’t even know what Lincoln is about. “Political films?” I ask. “The fact that they’re boring as all hell?”

“I just like true stories, regardless of what they are.”

“So do I,” I reply. “That’s why I like romance. Love is true.”

He chuckles into his glass as if amused.

I glance over at him. “What does that mean?”

“Rom-coms are as far from reality as you can get. I bet you’re the type who reads trashy romance novels too.”

I stare at him flatly. I think I hate this man. “I am, actually . . . and if you must know, I’m watching Magic Mike XXL after this so I can watch gorgeous men take their clothes off.” I sip my champagne in annoyance. “And I’ll smile through the whole damn thing, regardless of your snooty judgment.”

He laughs out loud, and it’s deep and strong and does things to my stomach.

I put my headphones back on and pretend to focus on my screen. I can’t, though, because I just totally embarrassed myself, and I can feel myself blushing.

Stop talking.

Two hours later, I sit and stare out the window. My movie is over, but his scent is not. It’s surrounding me, taunting me with things that I shouldn’t be thinking about.

How does he smell so good?

Unsure what to do without seeming awkward, I decide I’ll take a nap, try to sleep through the next few hours, but first I need to go to the bathroom. I stand. “Excuse me.”

He moves his legs a little but not enough for me to fit through, and I have to lean over him to get past. I stumble and fall and put my hand on his thigh; it’s large and hard to my touch. “I’m so sorry,” I stammer, embarrassed.

“That’s fine.” He smirks up at me. “More than fine.”

I stare at him for a moment. Huh?

“There’s a method to my madness.”

I frown. What does that mean? I make my way past him and go to the bathroom, and then I walk around and stretch my legs a little as I ponder that statement. I’m stumped—I’ve got nothing. “What did you mean by that?” I ask as I fall back into my seat.

“Nothing.”

“Did you give me the window seat so I would have to climb over you?”

He tilts his head to the side. “No, I gave you the window seat because you wanted it. Climbing over me was just an added bonus.”

I stare at him as I struggle to respond. Am I imagining this? Older rich guys don’t usually speak to me like this . . . at all. “Are you flirting with me, Jim?” I ask.

He gives me a slow, sexy smile. “I don’t know. Am I?”

“I asked you first, and don’t answer my question with a question.”

He smirks as he turns his attention back to the television screen. “This is probably where you should start flirting back . . . Emily.”

I feel my cheeks flush with embarrassment as I try to hide my stupid smile. “I don’t flirt. I either want a man or I don’t,” I announce.

“Is that so?” he says as if fascinated. “And how long after you meet a man do you make that decision?”

“Instantaneously,” I lie. That’s not true, but I’ll pretend. Faking confidence is my superpower.

“Really?” he whispers as the flight attendant walks past us. “Excuse me, can we have two more champagnes, please?” he asks her.

“Of course, sir.”

His eyes come back to meet mine. “Well, do tell. What was your first impression of me?”

I pretend to look around for Jessica the flight attendant. “You may need something stronger to drink to hear this, Jim. You’re not going to like it.”

He laughs out loud, and I find myself smiling broadly as I watch him.

“What’s funny?” I ask.

“You are.”

“Why am I funny?” I frown.

“This sense of righteousness that you have.”

“Oh, like you don’t have that too . . . Mr. I’ll Have Two Champagnes.”

Our drinks arrive, and he smiles as he passes mine to me. His eyes linger on my face as he takes a sip. “What were you doing in London?”

“Ugh.” I roll my eyes. “I flew over for a friend’s wedding, and to be honest, I wish I hadn’t gone.”

“Why not?”

“My ex was there with his new squeeze, and he was being over-the-top affectionate with her to piss me off.”

“Which worked, obviously,” he adds as he tilts his glass toward me.

“Hmm.” I sip my drink in disgust. “Just a little.”

“What did she look like?”

“Long bleached-blonde hair and huge silicone lips and boobs and eyelashes and fake tan and everything I’m not.”

“Hmm.” He listens intently.

“Like Backseat Barbie on crack.”

He chuckles. “Everyone loves a Backseat Barbie.”

I look over at him in disgust. “This is probably where you should tell me that all men hate Backseat Barbies, Jim. Don’t you know anything about polite plane-conversation etiquette?”

“Obviously not.” He frowns as he considers my statement. “Why would I do that?”

I widen my eyes to accentuate my point. “To be nice.”

“Oh, right.” He frowns as if bracing himself to lie. “Emily . . . all men are repulsed by Backseat Barbies.”

I smile as I tip my glass to him. “Thank you, Jim.”

“Although . . .” He pauses for a moment. “If they give good head . . .”

What the hell?

I snort my champagne up my nose and choke. That’s the last thing I ever expected to hear come out of his mouth. “Jim,” I splutter as it sprays everywhere.

He laughs as he grabs his napkins and hands them over, and I wipe the drink dribbling from my chin.

“Men who look like you are not supposed to talk about head.” I cough.

“Why not?” he asks incredulously. “And what do you mean, men who look like me?”

“All serious and stuff.”

He looks at me deadpan. “Define stuff.”

“You know, older, rich, and bossy.”

His eyes dance with delight. “And what gives you the impression that I’m rich and bossy?”

I exhale in an overexaggerated way. “You look rich.”

“How do I?”

“Your fancy watch. The cut of your shirt.” I glance down at his shoes. “I’ve never seen shoes like that before. Where did you even get those?”

“In a shop, Emily.” He looks at his watch. “And I’ll have you know that this watch was a gift from a girlfriend.”

I roll my eyes. “I bet she’s a vegan yoga nut.”

He smirks.

“I know your type of woman.”

“Really.” He leans closer. “Please go on—this character analysis is fascinating.”

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