Conflict Of Interest

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Chapter 6

“Gage” I say getting his attention.

“Yeah?” he answers.

“We’re at an airport” I say looking around the area, suitcases and people from all different walks of life are here, trying to get to the places they need to go. I turn around to see him pulling my aqua suitcase out of the car. My face contorts in confusion. I never packed a suit case. Then, it hits me...Ope. I told her about the date and she got a call from an unknown number and asked to borrow my suit case, that sly bitch.

“Yeah it appears that way” he says with a grunt lifting both of our suitcases on the...what is it called, bag carrier thing.

“What are we doing at the airport number one and two how did you get Ope’s number?” I ask putting my hands on my hips.

“Well, one we are going somewhere, I’ll tell you on the plane. You have a couple days off of work since I had Ophelia call in sick for you, I don’t have to go in this weekend. Two my best friend and roommate is married to your best friend and roommates sister. It wasn’t that hard to get her number and to get her to pack your suitcase. We snuck it downstairs and into the car while you were getting ready” he says with a shrug and my mouth is left hanging open.

“Dare honey, I know I’m hot but you have to close your mouth you’ll catch flies” he playfully boasts. My mouth closes on its own accord and I blankly follow him through airport security.

What the actual fuck?

***

Getting through customs took forever. We’re flying in first class, I’ve always preferred first-class to coach because there is more space, free booze, and no annoying snot nosed kid either crying, throwing a tantrum and or kicking my seat. Plus for some reason the seats are super comfortable. I watch as Gage reaches up to put our suitcases in the holding thing. I watch as his shirt slowly rises up and I get a brief view of his abs, man that v-line though. Remind me why the most eligible bachelor is taking me on a date again?

I lean down and grab the small bag of peanuts that I got from the flight attendant. I open the bag and the peanuts go flying everywhere. Shameful and embarrassed I look up to see a red faced Gage trying to hold back his laughter. When he can’t hold it any longer his deep laugh fills the plane and I can’t help but smile. “Gage?” I ask as he sits down and maneuvers around to get comfortable.

“Yes?” he says as if he knows what I’m going to ask.

“Where are we going?” I ask peering at him hopeful he will give me an answer.

He sighs and looks at me for a moment. I hold his eye contact strong and unbreakable. “How much do you remember of the night we spent together on the Yacht for the wedding?” he asks and I think about it.

“Not much” I admit honestly, bits and pieces come back every now and then. Like when I was getting coffee and he wrapped his hand around my hip I remember him doing that when we were in bed and I was well...riding him. “I mean bits and pieces come back every now and then but other than that not much” I say my eyebrows knitting in frustration as I play with my fingers trying to remember.

“Well, we had a conversation about traveling. And I asked you if you could go anywhere in the world..where would it be?” something he said must’ve triggered something because a memory came flying at me full speed.

Looking at him I start to wonder why he’s talking to me, there are plenty of gorgeous girls at this party, why me? I am snapped out of my revere when Gage asks me a question. I take a sip of my martini, damn! that is the shit!

“If you could go anywhere in the world...where would it be?” he asks finishing the question by taking a drink. I think about it for a moment and smile when I have my answer.

“I’d go to Paris, France” I say and his face scrunches as he cringes.

“Why? out of anywhere in the world you pick Paris, France?” he actually looks curious so I shoot him a smile and knock on the bar. The bartender sends me another drink and I take a sip still feeling the familiar burn as the alcohol travels down my throat but only feeling slightly buzzed.

“Well” I say pausing for effect “it’s where my dad proposed to my mom”. “Legend has it I was conceived in Paris. My mom and dad were broke. Dad had just lost his job and they had a 5 year old at home, my brother Tyler. My dad scraped every bit of his life savings and bought four things 2 plane tickets to Paris and back, a hotel room for 2 nights, a house for us to live in, and an engagement ring for my mom.”

“They spent the whole day sight seeing and then when it was around the time for the sun to set. My dad took my mom to the top of the Eiffel Tower - well as high as they’d let you go. When he could see the sun set he told my mom to look, he then got down on one knee pulled out the ring box opened it and waited for her to look at him. When she did my mom screamed ‘yes’ and tackled him before he even got the question out. She actually almost knocked them off of it.”

“When I was little instead of having them read the princess books I had I just wanted to hear that story. They were like my own version of a fairytale. So, I vowed one day that I would go to where he proposed at sunset and see it for myself. Although I would like my proposal to be different than that it would still be hard to top it” I explain gushing as if it were the first time I was hearing it. It will always be my favorite story, at least until my engagement but maybe, even then.

“That’s amazing” he says “your dad set that bar pretty high, must be one hell of a woman” he speaks truthfully.

“Yeah there’s no one in the world like my mom” I say sincerely.

“Dare” I hear Gage’s voice and I look up at him.

“Sorry, I must’ve spaced” I say shaking my head.

“You’re okay. So, I am taking you to Paris for 3 days” he says and my mouth flies open as excitement runs through my body. I look at him and before I could stop myself, being the idiot I am I place my hands on his cheeks and slammed his mouth on mine. When I pulled away he looked dazed and confused. My stomach bubbled with regret and I covered my now red face as the heat rushes to my cheeks.

“I’m sorry” I mumble, after not hearing a response I peered through my hands to see him still sitting there in shock with his mouth open. “Gage?” I ask waving and snapping my hand in his face while leaning on my other arm. When he comes back to reality he looks at me a look of deep thought covering his features. “Gage I-I’m-” he cuts me off as he grabs my face just like I did a few moments ago and melts his lips against mine. We stay there for a minute unmoving but suddenly it’s like a fire that ignites in us both passion pouring out of every pore. Kissing each other as if it’s the oxygen we need to breathe. We pull apart needing air resting our foreheads against each others. I close my eyes and breathe through my nose trying to calm my beating heart.

“First dates don’t usually start with a make out session, but I like where your heads at” he jokes and I let out a breathless laugh and lean back into my seat.

“Well, we’re not really known for doing things the conventional way” I reason.

“Yeah, thats true” he says with a chuckle. He takes my hand and laces our fingers together, it’s so weird my hand perfectly fits in his, it’s like that cheesy ‘like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle’ line. “Weird” he says as he looks at our hands quizzically, like he’s trying to figure out a cure for cancer.

“I know” I mumble as his thumb lightly traces over my knuckles as a slightly tingly feeling reaches my stomach.

For the rest of the flight we just sit there in a comfortable silence holding hands. I don’t know how to explain it but Gage Thomas is an anomaly. I worry about what getting involved with Gage means for my job. I really hope that Mr. Thomas doesn’t fire me if he finds out. If we keep this thing going he is bound to find out eventually. While we haven’t put labels on anything the direction this is going is clear but I am scared of what will happen when Gage’s dad knows about us.

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