Keep Me in Mind
“Please follow me...”
I walked behind this very large and burly guard down the dimly lit hallway, he strode briskly in front of me, turning his head to the side every now and then, checking to see if I was keeping up with him.
My stomach was in knots, mostly because I didn’t know what to expect. Clint had gone off happily with two of the other members of Jackson’s band, he practically jumped up and down when the drummer asked him if he would like to go out to the back and actually play some of their instruments.
I was going to go along with them, but the other band member, the one who played the guitar next to Jackson, told me to wait, that they could only take one person at a time back there.
I was immediately disappointed since I thought Jackson would be back there for sure, but I nodded and smiled, urging Clint to go on ahead. Not that he needed encouraging, he totally left me in the dust, much to my chagrin.
So I stood there, next to this burly guard who wouldn’t talk to me, although he kept looking at me out of the corner of his eye. Probably making sure I didn’t try to steal anything...
Suddenly his walkie talkie thing, that he had attached to his belt, made this rapid beeping noise. He yanked it off his belt in a hurry and brought it to his ear, pressing one of the buttons and listening to it intently. Then without saying anything, he clipped it back to his belt and said,
“Please follow me...”
The hallways were quiet, I wondered where all the people were, where Jackson was...
Finally the guard stopped at a plain paneled door, he took his keyring out of his pocket and slid one of the keys into the door lock. It opened easily, he swung the door out and stepped to the side, indicating that I could enter first.
The room was empty, just a large black suede sofa backed up along the far end of the wall, a really big mirror hanging over what looked like a desk. The desk was bare, nothing on top of it. I did see a flat panel screen tv hanging up near the ceiling, I had no idea why anyone would put it there, but I didn’t question it.
I expected the guard to come inside with me, so when he began to close the door behind him, leaving me in there by myself, it startled me and I started walking back towards him.
“It’s okay Miss...” The guard paused and brought up his hand to stop me, he nodded his head giving me a short, polite smile, “This is Mr. Stone’s dressing room, Mr. Stone will be right in.”
The words dressing room and Mr. Stone made me freeze in my tracks, the door closed swiftly, leaving me more nervous than I already was.
My mind began spinning with anxiety. I stood in the center of the room, both my hands were clasped tightly together, mostly in disbelief.
The only thing I could hear seemed to be the thumping of my heart as I glanced around the room with new eyes, knowing this was Jackson’s dressing room. I always imagined a star would have something quite more luxurious than what I was looking at.
It dawned on me that this was most likely just a generic dressing room, that every star who preformed here used this room.
Slowly I made my way over to the sofa and sat down carefully. At first I crossed my legs, smoothing my dress carefully over one knee, and then decided that was too relaxed and casual, so I uncrossed them, bringing my knees together and angling my legs in the same direction, placing my hands in my lap. This pose was a little easier to hold.
Then I just waited, and wondered, if anyone was ever going to walk through that door, and finally, after what seemed like forever, I heard the doorknob turn...
She was sitting on that sofa, the one I already fantasized her on, looking so demure, so innocent, and so devastatingly gorgeous. My hat was still resting on the top of her head, and I swear it looked better on her than it ever did on me.
She was looking down at her hands when I first walked in, but her head swayed up almost instantly, her eyes big and bright. It took all of my restraint not to just walk right up to her and pull her in my arms, bring my lips down over hers, just to feel her next to me.
Instead I smiled at her, “Miss Ara, I’m so happy you made it backstage. Did you enjoy the concert?”
Her smile was so alive, so alluring, I almost forgot what I was here for.
“It was amazing,” she breathed, her voice light and excited, “You were amazing.”
I just chuckled, letting her words of praise wash over me, “Thank you, it’s the audience that brings that out in me.” I walked over to the sofa but didn’t sit down next to her, I needed to keep this friendly and professional, at least for now.
I pulled the folding chair that was leaning against the far corner of the sofa over so that I was directly across from her. I sat down casually, letting my elbows rest on my knees, leaning forward as if we were old friends.
“Oh!” Her hand suddenly flew to the top of her head, resting on my hat, “Thank you so much for the hat, really, I was speechless, you’re incredible, really.”
I smiled again and nodded, “You’re very welcome. It was my pleasure.” I wanted to reach out and touch her bare knee, her white dress had some kind of fancy trim on the hem, it tortured me, called at me. Trying to avert my eyes, I lifted my head and ran my hand through my hair, she seemed fascinated by my movement, her eyes never leaving my hand.
“I have to ask,” I tried to lean back into my chair, but if felt too far away from her, so I kept right on leaning forward, leaning into her, “Are you from Terra? Do you live here?”
Her eyes brightened and her head tilted to the side, I could see her body relaxing at such a simple question.
“Yes I am. All my life...” She waited, waited to see if I knew anything about her town, I didn’t.
“I love small towns.” I kept the conversation going, it needed to start this way, stay this way, “I grew up in a small town myself.”
“Really?” She was genuinely interested, I could hear it in her voice, “You did?”
I nodded at her, “My parents still live there, I go back and visit them often. I live in Nashville now.”
“Wow.” she breathed softly.
“So what do you do in Terra, Miss Ara? Let me guess, are you a model?” I teased. With her looks, it wouldn’t have surprised me if she said yes.
She gave out a short laugh shaking her head no, her eyes were all lit up again with merriment, “A model?′ She giggled, “Um, no. I’m a teacher, a preschool teacher.”
My heart leaped to my throat at her words, “A teacher?” I know she could hear the disbelief in my voice, I couldn’t hide it, it took me by surprise, I expected her to say something else, anything else, I don’t even know what, but the word teacher, it made absolute sense that this beautiful sweet, gem of a woman, would work with children. It was beyond precious to me.
“Yes...” she looked hesitant at first, at my tone, but she kept going, “I’m studying to become a real elementary teacher, that won’t happen for a few years yet, but I love working with kids.”
I was infatuated with her, at who she was, what she did,“I can see it now,” I didn’t even try to hide the pride in my voice, “I bet you’re the most amazing teacher, those children are lucky, but really, are you sure you’re not a model? Maybe in your free time?” I let it hang there, my last words.
She chucked at me again, “No, I promise, I’m not a model.”
“That’s too bad, because you’d be perfect.” Again, I let it hang.
“Perfect for what?” her head tilted to the side, I could see she was trying to figure it out, and I needed her to be confused, to stay confused, so that she would listen carefully to every word I was going to say next.
I decided it was now or never.
I leaned even closer to her, clasping my hands together and trying to put on the most serious expression I could, “I have a proposition for you Miss Ara, I know it’s going to sound farfetched, but I promise you, it is real.”
She looked almost frightened at my words, so I quickly went on. “There’s a song that I’ve been working on, with my band, it’s almost complete, we’d like to make a video for it, but we need the right girl, one who could bring the story alive, and I think that girl is you, I know that it’s you.”
She didn’t say a word, but her breath hitched and both her hands fell from her lap and gripped the sofa cushions tightly. I kept right on talking, didn’t give her a chance to do anything but listen.
“Normally we hire out., professional actresses, women who have done this before, but I don’t want to go that route with this song, this song is special to me, and I want the video to be unique, with someone real, someone just as special as this song,” I said all this slowly, carefully, watching her eyes.
She was so full of disbelief, frozen. I hadn’t expected this, the frozen part, but it hit me, how real she was, any other woman would have already thrown themselves in my lap screaming yes, she wasn’t.
“I’d like you, I’d like to offer the job to you, is that something you might be interested in?” My voice was firmer now, I was ready to argue with her if she turned me down.
"Me? But..hu...how?” She shook her head at me, her voice soft and full of doubt, “How is that possible? How would all this work?”
“It’s not very complicated.” I tried to explain calmly, rationally, tried not to get too excited, get too ahead of myself, “You’d spend about two weeks with me, up in Nashville, we’d rehearse, and then film it, nothing too difficult.” I kept watching her eyes, waiting for some kind of sign.
It was almost there, in her eyes, I could see it, I pressed further, “You would be paid of course.” I was using everything I had, anything I had, to make her say yes, “Paid very generously, you’d have a contract, and after the video comes out, hey, you might be famous.” I smiled at her, teasing her just a little bit.
She laughed, and that beautiful laugh, it broke the ice, erased the tension from her face and eyes.
“When? When would this happen?” She leaned forward, not a lot, just slightly, but it was enough to send relief flooding through me.
“Probably not for a few weeks yet, a contract would be sent to you first, so you could look it over.” I paused, searching her face for a definite answer. She looked up at me, still doubtful, but clearly excited. “What do say Miss Ara?” I cocked my head to the side and stretched out my hand to her, “Can I welcome you on my team?”
And just like that, her face lit up, she sat up straighter, and flashed me this great big smile. “Oh...” she breathed, “This feels so unreal...but if this is real, Mr. Stone, I’d love to be on your team.” Her hand trembled as she held it out to me.
“Please Miss Ara, call me Jackson.” Her hand was so warm, so soft, “And I assure you, this is very real.”
“Oh my gosh,” her body was bouncing a little bit now, on the sofa, it distracted me, and I couldn’t help it anymore.
Still holding onto her hand I rose up from my chair, she followed suit, rising up next to me, looking up into my face with those round, sparkling eyes. She was so full life, energy, it took my breath away. I pulled on her hand gently, making her take a step towards me, she was already close, so close.
Her boot landed between of my boots, that bare sexy leg was nestled in the center of my own legs, I could feel it as it brushed by my jeans, almost making me groan out loud. She gave out this little oh sound, it sounded the way someone would say excuse me, but it didn’t thwart me from letting go of her hand, or spreading my arms out around her.
I know she mistook it for a congratulatory hug, or a thank you for coming hug, something like that, and I let her, because all I wanted at that moment was to savor the feeling of having this woman pressed against me, of feeling her arm glide up near my shoulder, of feeling the soft skin of her cheek brush against my own. I don’t know if she noticed or not, and at the moment I didn’t fucking care, I just lowered my head into the back of her neck, breathing in her scent, letting my hand touch the silkiness of her hair falling down her back. I savored it all, in that short moment.
I wanted to tighten that hug, let my hand run down her back and over her bottom, run my hands under that silky white dress and over her bare thighs, the urge was overwhelming.
Her body never relaxed in mine, I could feel her hand and arm around my shoulder one moment and then next it seemed to just be patting me stiffly, it sent me hurtling back to reality, further proof that she wasn’t mine.
Our hug was brief, quick, and all it did was leave me wanting more.
This was a dream, definitely a dream. There was no way Jackson Stone would offer me a job in real life, no way.
But that beautiful image of a man didn’t fade away before my eyes. He kept right on sitting across from me, smiling at me, telling me that he wanted me, me, to be in his video.
I was just stunned, completely stunned. I don’t know how I found my voice to answer him, how I formed a single word in our entire conversation. I kept doubting myself...doubting what I was hearing, kept waiting for someone to jump out of the closet or something and yell, just kidding!
But then he started saying things like contract, and Nashville, and his team, I could feel this bizarre bubble of excitement well up inside me, and it was all I could do to contain it.
My mind raced over the possibilities, of how I would tell Clint, or my job, and then he said two week, two weeks wasn’t very long, it would be like a vacation or something. Besides, Clint was going to take that driver job, he would probably be gone anyways.
All those thoughts tumbled and turned around and around in my head as Jackson spoke, it didn’t help matters that his adorable accent was even more pronounced when he talked than when he sang, or that he kept running his hand through his hair, he really did have the most beautiful hair, I had never seen him without a hat on, even in all those pictures on the internet, sexy, messy, just toppled out of bed from a night of sex hair, it distracted me to no end.
Finally he just waited for me to answer, just kept staring at me with those pretty green eyes, they danced playfully over my own, almost teasing me.
There was no way I could say no, not to those eyes. I’m not even sure I said yes, but then he was shaking my hand, standing up, I got the feeling that our conversation was over, I hoped I had said yes.
I was just so in shock, so bewildered, I could hardly hold myself steady, so when he pulled me forward I had to find my balance quickly, thrusting out my foot to keep me from falling right into him.
It didn’t seem to faze him, how close I was to him, he was probably used to it, crazy women who threw themselves at him, I didn’t want him to think I was like that, although I was this close to losing it, I tried to straighten myself up, the only sound out of my mouth was this awkward oh sound, I was going to try to explain myself, excuse my clumsiness, but the impact of his body touching mine, as his arms encircled me, made my mind go blank and my knees weak, he just felt so good, so warm.
All I could do was breathe, just breathe, and hope that he couldn’t feel the crazy beating of my heart.
His body was rock hard, I could feel it, the muscles on his shoulders and arms. My hand itched to slide over his shoulder, to wrap my fingers around the back of his neck. I don’t know how I found the strength to just pat him awkwardly on his shoulder as he hugged me, I wanted to clutch him to me tightly, keep him right next to me, but I was just so out of it.
He let me go quickly, too quickly, and no matter what fantasy my mind could conjure, the reality of it was, that he was married, and so was I.
At first Cheryl was pissed, she wouldn’t even talk to me the first two hours on the bus. I was actually grateful for that because I wanted to be left alone, so I could dwell in my thoughts, play everything that happened tonight over and over. Ara’s face wouldn’t leave my mind, and her smile kept flashing through my brain. I purposely pushed everything negative out, focusing only the fact that Ara had said yes to me, that no matter what, if nothing else, I would see her again, and hopefully soon.
That’s what Cheryl was mad about, that I pulled in a complete stranger to our team without consulting her or anyone else, that I possibly put my career in jeopardy. She was probably on the phone right this minute with Rick, trying to figure out how to get out of this.
Luckily both Dustin and Brett were on my side, I hadn’t talked to them yet, about Ara, about how I felt, but they both seemed to sense that she was important to me, and they were sticking by me at the moment.
I spent the better part of bus ride fine tuning this plan in my mind, filling in any gaps that I overlooked. I don’t know why, but I wanted to bring her into my life and show her everything, share with her, everything.
So little by little, as the hours slowly passed by, the plan formed, grew, and surpassed anything that I had ever imagined, by the time we reached our next venue, I knew exactly how I wanted this to play out.
I wasn’t sure how I was going to tell Clint, or even if he would believe me. I mean just the fact that Jackson had offered me a job was so farfetched that it was practically imaginary.
I let him do all the talking on the drive home after the concert, he was really excited and chattered nonstop about how cool Jackson’s bandmates, Dustin and Brett, were. How they showed him all around the grounds, and even played a few notes with him, letting him use Dustin’s guitar.
I just nodded and smiled, tried not to interrupt by bursting out with my own news.
I still couldn’t shake the doubt, that maybe I imagined all this, that Jackson never really said those words, it was so hard to comprehend, that he wanted me...me.
“So,” Clint finally glanced over at me, “What did you do backstage? Did you ever get to meet Jackson Stone and take a picture? Did he sign your hat?”
Clint’s questions just sent my mind into a whirlwind, I was torn between just blurting out everything that happened, and cussing myself out because I didn’t get him to sign my hat, or even take a picture.
“I did get to meet him. It was so cool Clint, you’re not going to believe it.” I was choosing my words carefully, I wanted to get him excited for me, with me.
“Oh yeah? What happened?” He was smiling, still excited himself, at how his night turned out.
“Well that guard took me over to Jackson, and Jackson, he was so nice to me and friendly, he asked me about myself, and Clint, you’re never going to believe what he asked me.”
And Clint didn’t believe me at first.
“No way, you’re pulling my leg.” He shook his head at me chuckling.
“I’m not, it’s true, he offered me a job...me...a job!” I bounced in my seat trying to convince him that I spoke the truth.
“Doing what? What does he want you to do?” Clint shrugged at me, still thinking I was trying to trick him.
“That’s the crazy part,” I began, “He says he wants me in his video, can you believe that?”
“His wha...?” Clint didn’t take his eyes off the road, but I heard it, in his voice, he realized I wasn’t kidding, “Video?”
“Yes!” I nearly clapped, I could see Clint trying blink back his amazement, I could understand completely why he remained speechless, “I know what you’re thinking Clint, how can this be real, I mean, I realize he could have just been making everything up, but he said he was going to send me a contract, so if it shows up, then we’ll know it’s real.” I think I was trying to convince myself more than Clint.
“Well hey Arabella, if Jackson Stone wants you to work for him, you aren’t turning him down right?” Clint chuckled, “Especially if he’s paying you a million dollars!” Now he laughed.
I just smacked him on the arm, laughing along with him.
But neither of us were laughing one week later when a cherry red Ford Mustang pulled up in our driveway. That girl, Jackson’s assistant, Cheryl something, and a strange man, stepped out carrying a really large bundle of papers, that’s when we knew, that this was no joke.
The man, Rick Clemson, did most of the talking. The girl, Cheryl, she just sat there at my dining room table and watched me with quiet, observing eyes.
It turns out I was wrong, Jackson Stone didn’t want me to be in his video, he didn’t want me for two weeks.
No, that’s not what Jackson Stone wanted.
He wanted me for a year, to be in all of his videos, to spend at least two weeks, every other month, with him, in Nashville, or wherever he might be at the moment.
And the amount he was going to pay me, it was outrageous, a number beyond anything Clint and I could ever earn, even together. Clint was in a state of shock, he asked Rick numerous times if this number was true, and each time Rick would nod and smile at Clint and tell him this was just the beginning.
“Did she sign it?” I looked up from my desk in earnest. I was back home, in my office. We had three days off between sets so I flew back home for a little rest. But there was no rest for me, I spent the better part of the day pacing the wooden floors of the house, wondering if Rick and Cheryl had been able to convince Ara and her husband to sign that contract.
I even told Rick to up the amount of money as high as he needed to go in order to convince them. Rick promised he would.
“Here,” Cheryl tossed the papers onto my desk, “You can see for yourself.”
I stopped listening to her, already scanning through the pile, looking for the one that would contain her signature.
I didn’t realize I was holding my breath until I saw it, her name, written in the most beautiful handwriting, Arabella James. She had signed it.
I stood up briskly, mostly from excitement, and looked over at Cheryl, not being able to contain my smile. Cheryl just watched me for a moment, then she shook her head at me, giving me a worried look,
“Who is she Jackson? What is it about her? I’ve never seen you act like this before.”
I just kept right on smiling at Cheryl, “She’s Ara James, and as of now, she’s exclusively mine.”
“I sure hope you know what you’re doing, because this feels like your playing with fire.” Cheryl placed her hands on her hips. I knew she wasn’t happy with me, but I hoped that maybe once she got to know Ara, all this might change.
“I promise Cheryl, this will in no way jeopardize any of us, not me, you, or Ara. This will be strictly business.”
“It sure doesn’t feel that way.” Cheryl huffed, turning away from me. “Is the song even finished? This girl is supposed to arrive in a week and a half to shoot a video for a song we haven’t even cut yet, a song nobody’s heard. Not to mention she’s scheduled to arrive right when were going to be in the middle of our stop in Dallas. What are you planning to do with her then?”
I could understand why Cheryl was so wound up, so concerned, and I wished I could’ve eased her mind a bit, but that would mean telling her things I wasn’t ready to share yet, so I just sort of shrugged at her, giving her this I don’t know look.
“What is it about men that makes them act this way?” Cheryl threw up her hands in exasperation. “What am I going to do with you?”
She didn’t bother to wait for an answer, she turned on her heels and began walking out of the room.
“Thanks Cheryl!” I called after her, “I owe you one.”
“You owe me way more than just one, Jackson Stone!” She called back without turning around, “And you better pray, no one in the media ever finds out about this!”
Even though Cheryl was right, about everything, I pretty much floated on air the rest of the day. While the song wasn’t finished on paper, it was done in my head, and even though no one knew a thing about a video, not my usual director, or sound mixer, I could already see it, see exactly how I wanted it to play out, and the best thing about it, the thing that would make everyone excited, was that I wasn’t just going to be the singer on the sidelines this time, no, I was most definitely going to be in this video, with Ara.
I had no idea what to pack, I just tossed what I thought the best clothes I had, into my carryall last night, so I was pretty much ready to go.
Clint had left two days ago for his new job, he was so excited, about both our new jobs, he encouraged me to have as much fun as possible and enjoy myself. I think he was actually happy that he wasn’t leaving me alone all the time, leaving me behind, that we were both starting new adventures, so to speak.
I was still really nervous when the service car arrived at my house to take me to the airport, I had no idea what to expect, and I was glad that I would have some time on the flight to Dallas to calm my nerves and just try to think.
The airport was busy as usual, and it took a bit of time before I made it past security and all the check points.
Much to my surprise or dread, when I finally arrived at the gate, I saw Cheryl standing there.
No one had told me she would be there. She spotted me easily and picked up her hand in greeting, waving me over to her.
“Hi.” I sort of half waved to her, glancing around. We were the only two standing by the gate, and I wondered where all the other passengers were.
“Hi Ara. How are you?” Cheryl seemed much more friendly from the last two times I had met her. It threw me off, the friendly tone of her voice.
“I’m good, a little nervous...” I gave her a quick smile, and looked around again, “Am I too early?”
“Nope, you’re right on time, come on, our gate is this way.” Her words just made me even more confused.
“We’re the last ones?” Something wasn’t right here, where were the other passengers, where were the flight attendants?
Cheryl just laughed, “We’re the only ones, come on, Mr. Stone’s plane is waiting for us.”
I nearly froze, and I’m sure my mouth dropped open, “What? His plane?”
Cheryl seemed to get a kick out of my reaction, “You really are cute, he’s right, come on Ara, he’s waiting for us.”
But instead of walking faster, I stopped in my tracks. This was already too much, I was going to get on Jackson Stone’s plane, he was waiting for us. “You mean in Dallas? He’s waiting for us in Dallas, right?”
By now Cheryl was taking a few steps towards me, closing the distance between us faster. She was smiling though, she looped her arm through mine and tugged me to walk along with her. “Yes, you’re getting on Jackson Stone’s personal plane, and no, he’s not waiting for us in Dallas, he’s waiting for you, on the plane.”
I’m sure Cheryl could see the panic on my face, and I know she could hear my gasp. “He’s on the plane?” My words came out panicky and hurried, “But...but...I’m not ready yet.”
Cheryl just laughed some more, “It’s okay, don’t worry, he doesn’t bite. Besides, he usually spends his plane rides working. He had a few days off before Dallas, so he flew home. Now he needs to catch up on his work. He might not even talk to you, so don’t take it personal okay?”
I don’t know if Cheryl just made me panic more, or if it was disappointment that flew through me, but whatever it was, I managed to make it through the tunnel and over to the plane.
The panic washed over me again at the last second, right as I was about to cross over through the doorway, I turned to Cheryl almost desperately, “Do I look okay?”
She seemed surprised at my outburst, and then giggled to herself. “You look fine, you’re very pretty, I like your hair,” she comforted me, then she reached into her purse and pulled out a small compact.
“Here,” she dusted my nose with a tiny bit of powder, “perfect,” she winked at me.
I saw him right away, I didn’t even bother to look around the plane, he was sitting a couple of rows away, in a seat by the window, all by himself.
He was looking down at a binder that was sitting in his lap. I can’t find the words, he looked...normal, and gorgeous of course, but completely normal. He was wearing plain old jeans and a black tee shirt. He wore a baseball cap on his head, much like the one I saw him with back at the concert. He was holding a pen in one hand, and seemed to be deep in thought.
Cheryl’s words about him working and not even talking to me flashed through my brain, so I turned to her and asked her quickly, “Where should we sit?”
But she didn’t answer me, she didn’t have time to answer me, because Jackson had looked up at both of us at that exact moment.
“Cheryl! Ara! I’m happy to see you again.” He was rising from his chair, placing his binder down on the seat next to his.
“Hey Ja...uh...Mr. Stone, I just picked up Ara, would you like us to go on and sit in the back, I can brief her about everything.” Cheryl quickly corrected herself, and I got the feeling that she hardly ever called him Mr. Stone.
“That’s okay Cheryl, I know you have other work to attend to, I’ll take care of Ara. Why don’t you have a seat right here Ara.” He pointed to the seat directly across from his.
The butterflies in my stomach were fluttering at full force as I sat down. There were only four chairs here, two and two, facing each other. I was going to have to sit facing Jackson the entire flight.
“Thank you.” I took a deep breath and sat down carefully, it was no use trying to act like I knew what I was doing, because I didn’t.
The butterflies dived again when Cheryl headed to back by herself, leaving me and Jackson alone. I fixed my eyes on the binder sitting next to Jackson, pretending to be fascinated with it, but I was really just trying to calm down, trying to think of something to say.
Jackson took care of that for me. He sat down across from me with ease, leaning forward in his seat. He had this great big smile on his face and his eyes twinkled at me as if he knew how nervous I was. He reached out and touched my knee with one finger, really brief, quick, and thrilling all the same.
“Thank you for coming,” There was that adorable accent again, his touch and his voice sent my mind into a whirlwind, he kept on smiling, kept on talking. “I hope you’ll have a great time hanging out with us for the next couple of weeks. I’m usually bored to tears on my plane rides back and forth, but I’ve been looking forward to this one, tell me about yourself Ara. I want to know everything.”
I wished I could’ve been the one waiting for her at the airport gate, hell, I wanted to be in the service car that picked her up, but Cheryl was right, it might cause a commotion, or worse, scare her.
She already looked frightened when she stepped onto my plane. I had to force myself to keep staring down into my lap, good thing I had my binder with me or else I would’ve just looked fucking silly.
But even with that frightened look in her eyes, she looked absolutely radiant. Everything I remembered, it was still there, and it still affected me in the exact same way. The moment I set my eyes on her, I wanted her.
I had to force myself to pretend to look up and notice her and Cheryl standing there, I had to control the urge to jump out of my seat and walk up to her, give her a great big hug and thank her for signing those papers, thank her for changing my life.
She was nervous, I could tell, but she was tough. She sat down, took a deep breath, and looked up into my eyes. I couldn’t control it any longer, I just had to touch her, make sure she was really there.
My hand stretched out, reaching for her before I could give it a second thought. I tried, really, I tried to keep my feelings in check, just gently touching her knee with the tip of my finger, letting it slide ever so lightly along her kneecap.
Just that touch alone made me hard, made me ache. It was all I could do not to yank her in my arms. This wasn’t going to be easy.
I knew the plane ride wouldn’t be anywhere near long enough so that I could get to know her better, there would never be enough time, I would learn that soon enough, the hours would pass too quickly, so would the days.
And those two weeks, fuck, they would never be long enough, give us enough time, give me enough time.
Yeah...I would learn that soon enough...