Free Fiction Fridays: First Class (Part Five)
Happy Friday my lovelies! This is quickly becoming my favorite day of the week. I get to share stories with you and that makes my heart all warm and fuzzy.
Today's the final installment of Colton and Serena's story. I hope you've enjoyed their encounter. Someday I hope to write more of them, so you never know when they'll make a surprise appearance! If you missed parts one, two, three, or four, you can catch up no problem.
Colton demanded he get the last word, and who am I to deny him anything? Here you go…
Holy shitfuck, Serena could kiss. Her body pressed against his, her hands gripped his jacket as if her life depended on it, and he pulled her tighter, wanting to meld himself into her.
When the plane had landed and he finished with his emails, he’d looked up to find her gone. A moment of panic had seized him. Frantic thoughts whizzed through his mind. What if she didn’t have any baggage? What if she’d already left the airport? He didn’t even know her last name.
He’d all but sprinted through the terminal, dodging families and businessmen hurrying to their gates, but she’d disappeared. None of the heads bobbing in front of him were Serena’s and with each passing minute his anxiety had spiked. Then, at the last baggage carousel, he saw her. The flood of relief that swept through him had been surprising, to say the least.
Once she’d stopped trying to uncover his past and let the conversation unfold naturally, they’d had an enjoyable flight. They had talked like two normal people getting to know one another. Her hand had felt so right in his, and he’d made a promise to himself that by the time they landed, he’d know not only where she was staying in London, but her last name, too. Why she kept it a secret, he didn’t know, but it gave him the same sense of curiosity she probably had about his past. Something denied that must be claimed.
In that respect, they were too alike. In all others? They were night and day. Her job involved thrilling adventure and explosions, his suits and ties. The most dangerous aspect of his job was keeping corporate secrets. What she made per film kept her on the hairy edge of poverty, while he was a billionaire. By all rights, there was no reason they should be together.
Yet here he was, holding her as if she were made of spun glass. Too delicate to ever let go. Colton breathed in her scent and let his lips linger on hers a moment before pulling back to gaze into her eyes. He'd hoped to see lust there, and he wasn’t disappointed. Her lips were swollen from his kiss, and that too made him happy. Eliciting such passion with just a kiss was a sure sign of good things to come.
“Was that a goodbye kiss?” The disappointment in her tone tugged just behind his belly button.
“Do you want it to be?”
She shook her head, her long hair falling over her shoulders. “Not really.”
“I like the sound of that.” He trailed his fingers along the side of her face, tucking a strand of hair behind her ear before stroking her cheek with his thumb.“Perhaps we should find somewhere more private and continue where we left off?”
“Can’t. Work, remember? I have a car meeting me in,” she checked her phone, “twenty minutes.”
Dammit. He’d forgotten she had an early call. While they maneuvered between the crowd to retrieve their luggage, he plotted his next move. The kiss had affected her, he was certain, but a cool barrier had drifted between them. He’d been too aggressive, too demanding, maybe. Hell, he didn’t know. With her, he was always guessing, which didn’t sit right with his need for control.
She stretched to retrieve her bag, a beat up duffle that looked like it had been in a war zone rather than a movie set. Instead of steadying her with a hand wrapped firmly around her waist, where he would most assuredly touch the bare skin beneath her blouse, he plucked his garment bag and matching suitcase from the carousel and strapped her duffle to his roller.
“I can carry my own bag, you know.”
“Humor me.” He adjusted the weight and rolled toward customs. The closer they inched to the windows, the quieter Serena became.
The attendant called her forward and she dragged her duffle off his pile, lugging it to the window. He was called to a window farther down and had to keep himself from stroking her back as he passed. Just a touch to signify he was here, with her, for her if she desired. Whatever had caused the barrier between them, he wanted to break it down. With force if necessary, yet he instinctively knew that wouldn’t do either of them much good. Instead he passed Serena without a word or glance.
When finished, she waited for him at the exit. He’d half expected her to leave, but she stayed. They strode toward the exit in silence, Serena intensely quiet, and Colton trying to think of something clever to say. Words jumbled in his mind. Everything sounded lame, or trite, or so damn desperate, he kept quiet for fear of saying something that further heightened her walls. With each step he sensed her slipping further away and there wasn’t a single thing he could do about it.
At the terminal exit, Serena scanned the line of drivers, her focus intent. Colton followed her gaze, looking for his own driver. At one sign in particular, he grimaced.
“See someone you know?” He hadn't realized she’d been watching him.
He shook his head, glancing over hers for that bastard Jared. “No, just a name I recognize. An old school mate. A complete prat who enjoyed alcohol and teasing far too much.”
“And you were the victim of his pranks?”
“More often than I care to remember.”
“If he was that much of a dick, I doubt he’s half as successful as you.” She flashed him a bright smile, but there was tension in her lips. The longer they were in the airport, the stronger her unease became, until he could almost feel her apprehension as if it were his own.
“I really have no idea. After school, I never saw him again.” Colton fought for a way to lift her mood. He wanted the Serena from their flight, the gutsy lass he’d upgraded to first class, not this moody woman who had to force herself to smile.
He had to act fast, or she’d be gone from his life, possibly forever. He grasped at the only thing he could think of. “You know, I just shared something from my past, surely that’s enough for a date?”
This time the smile was real. Her eyes brightened as she studied him. “You did, and it wasn’t even forced.” She made a show of pondering his invitation. “I suppose that’s worth coffee.”
“If we’re going to continue seeing each other, I should probably know where you’re staying.”
“Telling me about a schoolyard bully hardly qualifies for ‘seeing each other’. You’ve earned coffee, nothing more.”
Playful Serena was trying for a comeback. “And if I share more of myself during coffee? Will you at least tell me your last name?”
Serena stopped suddenly and cocked her head, “There’s no need now, is there?”
He glanced at the sign being held by a young man dressed entirely in black. It read: Smythe.
What were the odds? His greatest schoolyard foe had the same last name as Serena. At least she wasn’t a jerk.
“Funny,” he began, “that’s the fellow’s last name I was just telling you about. Jared Smythe, asshole extraordinaire.”
Serena’s eyes narrowed and her lips pinched into a snarl. “Yes, he is.”
“You know him?”
“He’s my brother.”
Several pieces of information clicked in his mind at the same time. Jared’s parents were huge film stars. He couldn’t remember ever hearing about a sister, but Colton had blocked most of what Jared had said all those years ago from his mind. He did remember how enamored the twit was over his parent’s fame. No wonder Serena didn’t like people knowing her last name. Georgina and Leonard Smythe were legends in Britain. They must hate their daughter’s career.
“I’m sorry for you, then.” Colton said at last. “Truly.”
“You and me both.”
He realized something else and started laughing. Serena frowned, a question clear in her eyes.
“And here I thought I’d done you a favor by giving you the upgrade.” He shook his head, recalling how he thought she’d be dazzled by the amenities of first class.
“Wait. You were the reason I ended up in first class? Not my manager?” A slow realization crept across her face. “I suppose you thought I’d be so grateful for the upgrade I’d shag you in the loo?”
His shoulders rose in a casual shrug. “Can you blame me?”
“You're ridiculous, you know that?” But she was half laughing when she said it.
“As far as I’m concerned, it’s the best damn decision I’ve made in quite awhile. It gave me the chance to get to know you. And now that I know you're the sister of my childhood foe, it only makes me want to know you better.”
“Oh, really? Well, you’re not going to use me to get revenge on my brother. We hate each other and never speak. In fact, I won’t be seeing them while I’m here, so you can just wipe that smirk off your face.” She glanced at her phone and grimaced. “It’s been fun, Colton, but I really am needed on set.” She stuck out her hand and waited for him to take it.
Which he did, and used it as leverage to pull her against him. Her breath caught and her eyes grew wide. “I don’t care who your brother is, or who your parents are, it’s you who intrigues me. I want to know you, Serena Smythe. All of you. The good, the bad, the very, very naked. I want to know what sounds you make when you sleep, when you eat, when you make love. All of it.” Her eyes turned a darker shade of green, a flush rose to her cheeks.
“How come when you say it, it sounds lovely and makes me want to confess all my sins? But when I asked about your life, you shut me down completely?”
“Because I was scared. Still am. You make me vulnerable and I hate that, but want it at the same time. It doesn’t make sense. None of this does. I just met you, I know nothing about you. But I know if you leave right now, for the rest of my life I’ll regret letting you walk away.”
Serena searched his eyes, a battle waging in hers. He understood. The same battle raged within him. If they parted now, no harm, no foul, but if they continued, both of them could get hurt. Knowing where she came from shined a whole new light on her need to understand his past. It was a way to make sense of her own.
“I’m staying at the Ritz,” she said at last. It came out as one long breathy word, as if she didn’t trust herself to divulge the information.
“Of course you are.”
Her grin was infectious and genuine. “If I’m pleased with our conversation over coffee, perhaps I’ll give you an upgrade.”
“Would that include a shag in the loo?” He moved closer, until their lips were almost touching.
“Hey, don’t knock it. Have you seen the bathrooms at the Ritz? First class, baby, all the way.” She scraped a finger along the stubble on his chin, a slow purr coming from deep in her throat.
He growled against her lips, claiming them with his own. His tongue delved into the warmth of her mouth, seeking, exploring, tasting. Her pelvis titled to press against his growing erection and a soft moan vibrated between them. Hers, his, he wasn’t sure, nor did he care.
Too many hours separated him from seeing her again, he’d make damn sure she had something to remember until then. She pulled away and wiped at her lips. “I have to go.”
“It’ll be first class.”
Those two words held all the promise in the world.
Well there you go! A happy ending for our hero and heroine. I love a happy ending, don't you? Next week, we're dipping into fantasy, so be sure to stop by and see what's going on with The Locket.
Until then, be dazzling my darlings. This world is full of opportunities to make your dreams come true! Go forth and conquer. Before you do, want to share what your dreams are? You never know who's reading this post and can help make it happen.