It had been a disappointing last day. My grandfather had expressed his feelings about me taking over the family business. Basically telling me not to disappoint him or the family. I felt a pang of hurt stab me in the chest after hearing his words and it only split my decision even further down the middle.
I had pretty much sulked for the remainder of the day. I should have been out having the time of my life but my brain couldn’t let me. I hated the idea of letting my family down, I hated it even more so that I was being put in the position of potentially becoming a failure.
I stared out of my balcony window, watching the black car pull up in the courtyard. I hadn’t seen the emerald prince since the incident outside Nono’s office but I secretly wanted to. He seemed to have disappeared into the abyss and never returned.
“Mimmo,” My Nona clutched my face tightly in her soft hands. “Vieni a trovarci presto!” (Come visit soon!) She kissed my pinched cheeks that were now pink and almost swollen.
“I will, Nona.” I embraced her small form, despite how petite she was, she was strong enough to take down a bull.
I picked up my handbag, while the staff placed my luggage into the car. The drive to the airport took less time than I thought. It was midday by the time the black vehicle peeled up to the private jet, something I was never able to adjust to. I stepped into the plush royal red and gold detailed cabin. Everything looked untouched, it was weird, cold and sent shivers up my spine. I hated travelling alone, something about being suspended in the air with no one to talk to was morbidly solemn.
I dropped my body onto the cool seats, the leather bit and nipped at my bare legs.
“Signorina, would you like a glass?” The attendant asked me, holding a tray of champagne flutes.
“Thank you.” I replied but she didn’t respond. Her gaze was fixated on another figure in the cabin. A deadly one that I had previously had the pleasure of bumping into. The attendant bit her lip as the dangerous stranger approached, taking a seat diagonally opposite to me.
What the hell was he doing here?
Time stopped still as he buckled himself into his seat. His black slacks and black shirt complimented him in all the right places. His chest was taut, rippling muscles danced through the tightness of his shirt.
He noticed me looking at him and I cleared my throat, making the attendant jump. She placed the glass down on the table before offering the other passenger a glass. He shook his dark locks in silence, his eye contact remained on me. I suddenly felt self conscious in my white shorts and strapped camisole. The majority of my skin was on display and his burning gaze threatened to scold every inch of my flesh.
I fastened my seatbelt as the pilot introduced the jet to the runway. Before long we were high in the sky and soaring through the clouds.
No words were ever spoken by the man opposite me, his expression never faltered from that of, nothingness. I was now on my third glass of champagne, the sudden need to drink the awkward silence away or drink until I could come up with a conversation starter.
“What is your name?” I asked inquisitively, holding the innocence and intoxicated tone from my voice. He didn’t respond. “Qual è il tuo nome?” I repeated in Italian, hoping he would understand. He moved his gaze from me to the window silently. “Rude.” I scoffed at him, unclipping my belt and stumbling towards the bathroom.
I locked the door loudly and took a deep breath as I stared at my reflection. I would have the weekend to recover from jet lag and a hangover before I headed in to start my new job. My incoming emails had become incessant over the last few days. News of me becoming the next CEO travelled quickly and with that came the bombarding emails of congratulations, enquiries and other pointless conversation.
I threw water across my face, relishing in the chill it brought me. I needed to get out of my funk, I sighed to myself. There were others in far worse positions than I.
I unlocked the bathroom door, the cabin jostled and wobbled as it hit slight turbulence and I fell into the familiar black wall of material. The sparks that danced along my skin as the grip on my hips tightened was enthralling. The delightful sensation between my legs heightened when I inhaled the deep scent of cologne. The rich tone of wood and mandarin followed by cinnamon was intoxicating. My breathing hitched at how close he was to me. His hot breath fanned across my lips, his green gaze dropped to mine as he pressed me against the bathroom door.
The plane jostled again and the stranger's grip dug deeper into my skin. My hands lay flat along the smooth planes of his chest that was covered by his silk black shirt. His emerald orbs flickered between my lips and eyes before a small smirk peeked out.
Was that a smile?
All too quickly, he let go and the heat between our bodies was replaced with brutal coldness. My fingers itched to touch the broad frame that lay behind the delicate woven fabric. The brief moment that I had touched his chest, I noticed that my eyes had not deceived me, he was certainly muscular and well defined.
I swallowed the lump that had formed in my throat and pushed my way into the small room at the back of the plane. Finding one of my suitcases and rifling through it unforgivingly. I searched amongst my clothes until I found some leggings and a cardigan.
Feeling less exposed, I made my way back to my seat. I gazed out of the window as the sky darkened. The fluid abyss below threatened to swallow the plane up like a kraken. The roar of the jet only added to the frightening depths below.
I shifted in my seat, getting comfortable as we reached the halfway mark of the journey. I let my eyes shut for a while as the lull of engines sang me to sleep. Hoping the journey would end soon and the throbbing feel between my legs would subside.
I rocked and swayed as the jet finally prepared to land. A hand squeezed my shoulder gently and when I looked up, the flight attendant was smiling down on me.
“We’re preparing to land, Signorina” I nodded in response and she scarpered away. I felt hot, almost sweaty and confined. I looked down to see I was covered in a soft blanket, tucked securely around me. I wriggled out of the material, confusion etched on my face. The stranger opposite me watched as I struggled with the cloth before resigning his gaze to the window.
I shot him a glare but his focus was elsewhere. Observing the dark clouds that passed us by as we descended into New York.
As we hit the tarmac, I sighed in relief. The silent confinement was draining. My flight companion refused to speak and only stared at me. It was both unnerving and slightly sexy.
The emerald eyed prince clicked his seatbelt open as we pulled into the hangar. The scent of kerosine and fresh air wafted around me as the doors opened. I pressed the button on my belt but the stupid thing wouldn’t open. I clicked the metal again and nothing happened. Beginning to get slightly annoyed, I tugged at the belt, prying it open with weak fingers.
A rough hand suddenly wrapped around mine, tearing my clutches from the restraint. The intoxicating fragrance of his cologne strangled my senses, the cinnamon and mandarine scent was more prominent and was laced with a hint of grapefruit . I recognised that fragrance, it was Paco Rabanne. The guy had good taste and it had me thirsty. My tongue traced the inside of my lips as I inhaled deeply. Those emerald orbs met mine as he smoothly undid my belt, his black strands of hair danced in front of his face. I so badly wanted to push them away, to get a better glimpse at his features; trace them with my eyes.
The loud clang as the steps met the door to the plane broke the tension between us. He held his calloused hand out for me to take and I willingly did so. The tingles that danced between our fingers as we touched were electrifying. I had never felt this sensation before and I longed for more.
He guided me down the steps, still holding my hand. My heart fluttered at the gesture. I wasn’t sure why I was enjoying this so much but I was. When we reached the bottom, he let go and my heartbeats came to a standstill.
He held the door to the car in front of us and I complied, sliding across the leather as the door thudded closed behind me.