Chapter 1 - Airport Madness
I was never fond of airports.
I walk through the building in a haze, like a robot if you will. My brain controls my movements but it hardly takes in the bustling people around me.
An hour before we left for the airport, I had sat on the edge of my parent’s bed, gripping the sheets tightly. They had left a letter for me in their will, that I decided to open this morning. I had muffled my sobs with my hand but my eyes had been blurry with tears as they took in every word. I recognized my mother’s handwriting and the faint lipstick kiss she left at the bottom of the page. The letter encouraged me to be strong should anything ever happen to them.
My parents passed away in a car crash a month ago. From there on my life was turned upside down. I am now moving to a town just outside New York, America with my new guardians who are also like second parents to me; family friends. I’m starting at a new school in a totally different country, miles away from the U.K.; my birthplace. Maybe this will be good for me, God knows how miserable I’ve been after their funeral.
I place the letter in my bag and walk out of the door, vowing that I will try to do as they said in the letter: to be happy. It doesn’t last very long unfortunately. As soon as I enter the building I turn into this grumpy grouch who wants to get on a plane and travel rather than go through the security process. Understanding that it’s important, I still itch to be seated on a plane up high in the clouds.
The alarm beeps loudly when I pass through it, making me blush in embarrassment as the security guard backs me up again. The woman waits patiently as I check to see anything I forgot to place on my tray of belongings, finding that my anklet is still on. Face palming, I take it off whilst apologizing before walking through, happy that the security alarm didn’t go off again.
“Idiot.” Damon rolls his eyes with a grin, standing beside me as we collect our belongings.
My new guardians are Theia and Darius Valentine, who were close friends with my parents. Damon Valentine is their son and someone who is like an older brother to me. We are very close after years of spending summers either in America or the U.K.
“It’s always me, every single time.” I pout, hauling my backpack onto my shoulders.
We start making our way towards our terminal, stopping for a few minutes to look around the shops before continuing. Everything is fine...until I lose Damon in the crowds of people either making their way to catch their flights or shopping in stores.
I look around in panic, trying to catch sight of him since I don’t know which terminal we are supposed to be in. Damon had insisted on taking my boarding pass and passport from me, stating that they will be safer in his travel wallet. I find myself walking through a restaurant and towards another terminal, deciding that if I can’t find Damon in the next five minutes I’m going to seek help from the airport staff.
“Oh, I’m sorry!” I cry out when I bump into a man, turning to face him.
“S’all good, babe.” He slurs, wrapping an arm tightly around my waist.
My eyes widen in shock before my expression changes to one of disgust when his hand squeezes my bum. “What are you doing? Let me go!”
He chuckles when I thrash in his hold, curling his hand around my fist when I move to hit him. Instead, he mumbles something incomprehensible as he tries to drag me towards the bathrooms.
“Dude this is an airport, get a grip!” I grunt, kicking his leg but it only slows him down. “Look, I’m not afraid to hit you. This is your last warning, let me go right now!”
I’m digging my nails into his hand, kicking and pulling myself in the other direction; doing anything I can to make him let go of me. There’s people walking around but because we’re in a corner nobody seems to notice or they simply ignore what’s going on. I yell for help, hoping someone will get him off me since he’s putting all his weight on me.
Frustrated, I free one of my hands from his tight grip and shove him backwards, forcefully. He cries out, stumbling and that gives me a chance to turn and walk away from him. But, I hear rushed footsteps which makes me glance behind, only for my eyes to widen when I see him rushing after me.
Breaking into a run, I take a left and disappear into the large and bustling crowd of rushing people before I reach the bathrooms. I skid to a halt outside the two doors and know I have a choice to make. Either go in the women’s bathroom where I, a woman, belongs or step into the men’s bathroom where a woman definitely does not belong.
This is going to be tough decision to make.
I hear his familiar voice, slightly slurred as he stumbles around the corner, I’m surprised he even made it this far. I burst through the door of the men’s bathroom and quietly close it behind me, turning around and grinning when I see the room clear of any males. Holding the door open slightly, I peek and see the drunk man go straight into the women’s bathroom with a victorious smirk, thinking I will be in there.
Grinning when I hear girlish screams and curses, I’m about to step out when he rushes out the door and turns to the men’s bathroom. Panicking, I rush into the nearest stall and close the door, leaning my forehead against the cold, metal. Turning my head to place my ear against the door, I smile at the man before double-taking. My eyes widen and my mouth opens to scream when he cuts me off by placing his hand over my lips.
It’s as if time slows down and all I can see is him standing with beautiful tan skin and sharp, angular features that seem to be chiseled to perfection by the Lord above. What would have been a slender nose is now slightly crooked, probably broken at some point. He has some slight stubble that only adds to the appeal. His pink lips are pulled into a frown, dark brown eyebrows that match his tousled hair knotted in confusion as he stares down at me, a mix of disbelief and shock in his bright green eyes.
I blink slowly, as if to snap myself out of the trance I’m being held in by him and look down at his hand before looking back up to his mottled green eyes. It feels like my body has been jolted with electricity and the aftermath is a million sparks tingling under the spot where his hand lay on my waist.
I close my fingers around his wrist, gasping quietly as more tingles shoot across my arm, before lowering his hand down and back to his side. His eyes follow my every move, lips pressed as he stands there, looking down at me. There is a long pause, both of us just staring at each other. For the life of me I can’t look away, it’s as if there is some pull to him, some string that I’m holding onto that is attached to him. A string that thrums with electricity and something oh so right. The feeling is indescribable.
A ghost of a smile graces his lips but it’s only fleeting, perhaps I imagined it. He steps back to lean against one wall while I lean against the other, our feet crossing. Frowning at him in confusion, I tilt my head to the side slightly as if he’s a puzzle I’m trying to figure out. The muscles in his arms bulge and strain against his black leather jacket, an equally black shirt underneath it that sticks to his skin and shows the outlines of his abs. I notice a black string around his neck that seems like coiled rope, the pendant hidden underneath the safety of his clothes but the disfigured shape visible enough.
He’s an Adonis who oozes raw masculinity, making me desperate for his hands to be on my skin again. No! Bad Aurora! I reprimand myself, although it’s useless as dirty thoughts continue in my mind. Looking back up at him, I notice his eyes discreetly roaming my figure from head to toe, examining me as well.
″Women’s bathroom is on the right.″ Is the first thing he says to me in his wonderful, husky voice that sends shivers down my spine.
I wince before smiling shakily. ″I’m hiding from a drunk man. I think the women’s bathroom is a bit too obvious, don’t you?″
″Why are you whispering?″ He asks a little too loudly, making me hush him and send a glare his way.
Suddenly, I hear the main door of the men’s bathroom burst open and a pair of heavy footsteps rush into the room. I cross my arms and look at him, unimpressed before pointing a finger to the door as if to say, ″Because of that, idiot!″ He rolls his eyes before stepping forward and placing both hands on my waist and picking me up, placing me on the closed lid of the toilet and bringing a finger to his lips. I narrow my eyes at him before sitting on the lid of the tank, suppressing a shiver from those damned sparks.
Hearing, who I know is the drunk man, open up every stall, my hand unknowingly grasps his wrist in panic as I strain to listen. It’s like a ticking clock of my impending doom as his footsteps draw nearer to this stall. I look down at his thumb which is rubbing soothing, small circles into my skin in an effort to calm me down. Smiling at the gesture, I gaze up at him and take in his shadowed features as he glances back at the door before his eyes meet mine again. Hastily, I look away and hold my breath when the man’s footsteps stop right outside our stall and he chuckles.
“All I want is a blowjob, bitch. Come on out, I know you’re in there.” The drunk man slurs, making me cringe in disgust.
″There’s no girl here.″ The man in the stall with me calls out, making rumbling laughter erupt from the other side.
″I know she’s in there, man. Just let me have her after you’re done, I can wait.″
″I told you she’s not here, go look somewhere else.″ He snarls, almost inhumanely, which makes me reel back in surprise.
″Fine, step out and prove that she’s not in there.″ I think this drunkard is quickly sobering up, why isn’t he leaving me alone?
He looks down at me with an expression that reads, ‘He’s going to find you.’ I bite my lip in panic and look around the stall as if the answer is scribbled onto its walls. Smiling widely when an idea pops into my head, I catch his attention and point at my stomach before clenching my fists, gesturing to the toilet and bringing my hands outwards as if an explosion has happened. He shakes his head vehemently, making me slap his chest and narrow my eyes at him in warning.
He keeps shaking his head with me forcing him with my eyes before I curl my hands into fists and pretend I’m crying. He doesn’t take that very lightly and in return, shoves me making me bite my lip to stifle the bubbling scream and grasp onto his jacket to stop myself from falling.
He sighs before pressing his lips together, tightly. ″I can’t.″
″And why the hell not?″
″Chronic diarrhea.″ He mutters in reply, glaring at me when I slap my hands to my mouth and muffle my laughter.
″Yeah right! I don’t hear anything.″ The drunk man scoffs before almost whining. “She’s nothing special, just -”
I freeze when the man who towers above me starts shaking, his fists clenched. He turns and unlocks the door, swiftly landing a punch to the man before doing a roundhouse kick, the powerful hit sending him flying into a nearby wall. I watch with wide eyes as he fights with the drunkard, who has no chance with his pathetic hits, finally slumping to the ground, unconscious and bleeding.
Stepping out from the stall, I stand there staring at the man who merely straightens his shirt before crossing his arms. He hadn’t even broken a sweat! Green eyes snap to mine and stare right back, the silence consuming the room. Where he is calm, I’m bouncing on my toes with a grin.
″That. Was. Awesome!″ I exclaim, watching as a slow smirk spreads across his lips whilst he shakes his head.
″Glad you liked it, Котёночек. . Now, are you going to tell me what’s happening?″ (Little kitten.)
″Koty - what? And I was trying to find my terminal when I bumped into him. He started feeling me up and dragging me to the bathroom to do God knows what.″ I nudge the unconscious man with my foot.
When I look back up, his eyes have darkened with his fists clenched and a furious expression on his face. He is trembling slightly, making me panic at the sudden change of events. Why is he mad? I think to myself. Either way he looks handsome as hell so I’m not really complaining.
″He. Touched. You?!″ The man growls.
I nod slowly, slightly freaked out with how inhumane his voice now sounds. The man hits the wall with his fist and breathes harshly. I look towards the main door, wondering if I should leave or stay. It’s an internal struggle, one that continues for a few minutes before I finally sigh and walk over to him, stepping over the drunkard. Inside, I’m screaming at myself to stop, that I don’t know him and I shouldn’t be doing this but my feet have a mind of their own as they continue forward. I blame it on that damned pull dragging me towards him, something that’s forcing me to admit that I don’t like seeing him upset.
Grabbing his arm, I turn him around to see his closed eyes and clenched jaw. He lets out a sigh and suddenly, I’m pulled into his embrace. I wrap my arms around his neck, nuzzling my cheek against the rough leather of his jacket, I can feel every inch of him against me. His arms travel down to wind around my waist while he skims the curve of my neck with the tip of his nose and breathes in deeply.
“Я не могу пройти через это снова. Почему ты так со мной поступаешь, богиня Луны?” He murmurs absentmindedly, his voice hoarse. (I cannot go through it again. Why are you doing this to me Moon Goddess.)
I frown, wondering what language he had spoken in before shrugging it off. Pulling away, I notice how he is hesitant to let me go when his fingers tighten on my waist before releasing me. Smoothing out my sweater, I smile up at him.
″A hug a day keeps the doctor away.″ I say before turning and making my way back to the main door.
″Uh...I’m pretty sure it’s an apple a day. No?″
Pivoting, I raise an eyebrow. ″My hug kept you from getting bloody knuckles so whatever I say, goes. Now let’s go, James Bond I have a flight to catch.″
I open the door and walk out, watching as two boys stop short when they see me. Hearing the door open again from behind, I turn to see the man dusting off his jacket before looking up at me and the two boys, his eyes narrowing when I wiggle my eyebrows and grin. His mouth opens and closes like a fish, hands waving wildly as he tries to explain before he glares at me, grabs the back of my elbow and pulls me forward. I chuckle before freeing myself and walking ahead of him.
“We need to find airport security and report this to them.” He mutters, looking around for any sign of them.
I nod immediately, wanting that man to be dealt with. I mean, who gets that drunk at an airport and starts behaving so crudely? I think to myself, disgusted with his behavior. Eventually, we find two guards and I explain what happened, guided to an office immediately by one of them whilst the other leaves to find the man in the bathroom we had left him in.
The security guard checks the footage of places I point out to him before we all turn to the other guard, who brings the unconscious drunkard in and sets him down in a chair. After he regains consciousness, we set things straight and the security apologize to me before hauling the man to one of their holding rooms so that he can be dealt with effectively.
I thank the guards before we leave and I turn towards the man behind me to find him already staring at me in astonishment. He clears his throat when he notices me looking at him, eyes narrowing on someone or something behind me before settling back on me.
“I better get going, need to find my plane before it takes off.” I smile, backing away slightly.
He frowns at the action before stepping forward. “Do you have your boarding pass, maybe I can help?”
“That’s the problem, my friend took it with him.” I sigh, shrugging as I realize I could have asked the two guards for help.
“Where are you travelling to?”
“New York, America. I’m landing at the JFK airport.” I bite my lip in panic, knowing I’ve wasted time already.
“Come, I’ll help you find it.” He smiles slightly when I thank him.
After a while of looking up at signs, gazing at the various stores and accidentally walking into a terminal for Switzerland departures, I find the Valentines. But they have not seen me yet. Theia and Darius are talking to Damon worriedly whilst his girlfriend, Sophia, is chatting to a staff member.
Coming to a slow stop, I turn to face the man behind me who seems to be lost in his thoughts. Waving a hand in front of his eyes, I watch as he snaps out of it and looks down at me with curiosity.
“I need to go now so, thanks for helping me find it.” I smile cheekily whilst backing away.
“Wait,” He pulls me closer by my arm. “Don’t I get a name?”
“Whose?” I ask, dumbly.
He chuckles, making me swoon at the sound. “Yours, who else?”
“Oh!” My cheeks flame instantly. I want to smack myself on the head so hard right now. “Aurora Maxwell. Yours?”
I nod, murmuring that it’s nice to meet him before pulling out of his grasp and backing away. I say goodbye and turn to walk back to where the others are waiting but not before turning around one last time to see him. He’s standing there with a frown etched onto his face as he watches me go, a blonde-haired man walking up behind him and gripping his shoulder. I smile and wave before continuing.
“Guys!” I wave, bounding over to the family who sigh in relief at the sight of me.
“I’m so sorry I lost you.” Damon murmurs, pulling me into a tight hug.
“It’s okay, as long as you all wouldn’t have left me behind.” I joke, earning a few chuckles.
He shakes his head before sitting beside his girlfriend. I had met Damon through my father when he and Darius did business together a couple of years back. I was twelve whilst Damon had just turned thirteen, we clicked immediately with him taking on the role of being an elder sibling because I’m an only child. He’s quite protective over me during what happened in the past but, that’s a story for another time.
With a smile to the others, I cross my legs before looking out at the large window where the plane is being cleaned and checked, getting ready for yet another journey. And with a start, I wonder if I’ll ever meet that handsome man again or if I’ll ever find out what he said in that foreign language. My body is still alight with the aftermath of his touch and I highly doubt I’m going to forget about him.