Home > The Stopover (The Miles High Cl(7)

The Stopover (The Miles High Cl(7)
Author: T L Swan

He bites me again. “How am I supposed to get on a plane with a huge-ass hickey on my neck?” he scolds. “If you knew how many important meetings I have this week, Emily . . .”

We both laugh, and then his face falls as he watches me. I’m not joking—I don’t want him to leave me. This man is everything I’m not looking for, but he’s somehow ticking every box.

What if I never see him again?

How am I supposed to move on from a night like this, erase it from my memory bank, and pretend it never happened? I close my eyes in disgust with myself. This is why I don’t do one-night stands. I’m not cut out for sex without strings—it’s not who I am. I will never be that person.

I hate that he is.

“Actually, I have a scarf in my bag. Do you want it?” I ask.

“Yes,” he snaps.

I climb out of bed and go to my suitcase and begin to rummage through it. He takes the opportunity and stands behind me and grabs my naked hip bones in his hands and pumps me with his hips. I stand and turn to face him. “I’m not even joking now—stay another night.”

He traces his finger down my face and cups my jaw in his hand as our eyes lock.

“I can’t,” he whispers, his eyes searching mine . . . with something unspoken.

Does he have someone at home? Is that why he hasn’t asked for my number? Uneasiness fills me. I’m not made for this one-night stand crap.

I turn my back on him and dig out the scarf and hand it over. It’s cream and cashmere, and it’s initialed.

E.F.

My mother’s tennis group gave it to me as a gift when I finished college. I did love it . . . but oh well.

He frowns as he looks down at the embroidered letters, and I take it from him and wrap it around his neck to cover the huge purple bruise. I smirk as I look at it. I didn’t even know how to give a hickey. I must have really been in the moment.

“What does the F stand for?” he asks.

“Fuck bunny.” I smile to cover my disappointment. I don’t want him to know that his last comment upset me.

He chuckles and grabs me roughly into his arms and walks me back toward the bed. “What an apt description that is.” He takes my leg and wraps it around his waist, and we share one last lingering kiss.

“Goodbye, my beautiful fuck bunny,” he whispers.

I run my fingers through his hair as I stare at his gorgeous face. “Goodbye, Blue Eyes.”

He picks the scarf up and inhales deeply. “This smells like you.”

“Put it on every time you jerk off.” I smile sweetly. “Imagine it’s me doing all the work.”

His eyes flicker with excitement. “You know, for someone who hasn’t had sex for eighteen months, you’re a fucking sex maniac.”

I giggle. “I’ll go back to my drought now. It’s safe there . . . and I can walk unassisted.”

His face falls, and I feel like he wants to say something but is stopping himself.

“You’re going to miss your plane.” I fake a smile.

We kiss once more, and I hold him tight, and God, he really is incredible.

He stands, and with one last lingering look at me lying naked in the bed, he turns and walks out.

I smile sadly at the door he just left through. “Yes, sure, you can have my number,” I whisper into the silence.

But he didn’t want it. He’s gone.

Twelve months later

I exhale and put my hand over my heart as I stand on the curbside and look up at the glass skyscraper in front of me. My phone rings, and the name Mom lights up the screen. “Hello, Mom.” I smile. I get a vision of my beautiful mother. She has a perfect blonde bob and flawless skin, and she’s always immaculately dressed. If I can look half as good as her at her age, I will be winning at life. I miss her already.

“Oh, darling, I just called to wish you good luck.”

“Thank you.” I tap my toe, unable to stand still. “I’m so nervous I was throwing up this morning.”

“They’re going to love you, dear.”

“Oh God.” I exhale heavily. “I hope so. It took me six damn interviews to get this job, and I had to move across the country for it.” I screw up my face in fear. “Have I done the right thing, Mom?”

“Yes, love, this job is your dream, and besides, you needed to get away from Robbie. The distance from him will do you good.”

I roll my eyes. “Mom, don’t bring Robbie into it.”

“Darling, you’re dating a man who is unemployed and lives in his parents’ garage. I don’t understand what you see in him.”

“He’s just between jobs at the moment.” I sigh.

“Then if he’s got nothing going on here, why wouldn’t he move to New York with you?”

“He doesn’t like New York. It’s too busy for him.”

“Oh, Emily, can you hear the excuses you make for this man? If he loved you, he would be there supporting your dream, since he doesn’t have any of his own.”

I exhale heavily. I’ve been thinking these things myself, but no way in hell would I admit it to anyone.

“Are you calling me to stress me out about Robbie, or are you calling me to wish me luck?” I snap.

“I’m calling you to wish you luck. Good luck, darling. Go and show them what you’re made of.”

I jiggle on the spot nervously as I look at the towering building above me. “Thanks.”

“I’ll call you tonight for a full debrief.”

“Okay.” I smile. “I’m going to go in.”

“Go get ’em, tiger.” She hangs up.

I stare up at the building and at the fancy gold letters over the large double front doors.

MILES MEDIA

I exhale and drop my shoulders. “Right. You can do this.”

This is the opportunity of all opportunities. Miles Media is the biggest conglomerate media empire in the United States and one of the largest in the world, with over two thousand staff based in New York alone. My fascination with journalism started in the eighth grade when I witnessed a car accident on my way home from school one day. Because I was the only witness, I had to give a statement to the police, and then when it turned out that the car was stolen, the local paper came and interviewed me. I felt like a rock star that day, and the shine never dulled. I’ve been to college to study journalism and done internships with the best companies in the United States. But it was Miles Media that I had my heart set on. Their stories are a cut above the rest; no other media company would do. I’ve applied for every position that has come up for three years and only recently got a callback. And even then, I went to six interviews before I was offered the job, and God, just don’t let me screw this up.

I take out my security card and put the lanyard around my neck, and I glance down at my phone.

No missed calls. Robbie didn’t even call me to wish me luck. Ugh, men.

I make my way to reception. The security guard at the front desk accepts my identification, and I am given a code to work the elevator. My heart is beating so fast as I get into the elevator with all the beautiful posh-looking people, and I push the button for the fortieth floor. I glance over at myself in the mirrored doors. I’m wearing a black pencil skirt that hangs to midcalf, sheer black stockings with patent leather high heels, and a cream long-sleeved silk blouse. I wanted to look professional and elegant. I’m not sure if I pulled it off, but here’s hoping. I pull my hand through my thick dark ponytail as the elevator flies higher and higher. I take a side glance at the others in the elevator. The men are all in expensive suits, and the women are ultraprofessional and wearing full faces of makeup.

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