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Blood Lust

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Chapter 2

Claire Hunt was racing to the airport. She would never get used to this traffic, no matter how long she lived in L.A. She simply had to start giving herself more time to account for it, no matter what time of day or night it was. Dammit, where were all these people going at this God forsaken time of the morning? No good deed really does go unpunished. She traded trips for a friend of hers, and now if she wasn’t very lucky she would clock in late and have her bitch of a supervisor on her back. She ran into the flight attendant lounge just in time to clock in at the nick of time and breathed a sigh of relief. Now, to get her trip sheet on her IPad to see if she could stomach her co-workers for this flight. She had been in such a hurry, she hadn’t checked it yet. Even if they were jerks, it was only for one day, and she could put up with anyone for that amount of time. Luck was again on her side, as she was flying with a good crew that day, and as she looked around, she saw the other girls she would be with to San Francisco, Seattle, and back.

“Hey Claire, are you here for our zero dark thirty to San Fran?”

“Yeah, I traded with Angie so she could figure out her boyfriend dilemma.”

Lynn chided in sarcastically, “Doesn’t she know there is no answer for that lazy, son of a bitch’s problems?”

Claire laughed. “Really? Tell us how you really feel.” They all got up and left the lounge and started walking down the concourse. They had to be at the gate forty-five minutes before departure, and there were several gates to pass to get there. None of the girls wanted to have to hurry, walking in their ‘terminal’ heels. The new Supervisor of Service had recently passed down the new rule that every female flight attendant should always wear heels at least one and one half inch high in the airport terminal. No flats were allowed unless serving on the airplane.

Claire looked down the corridor. “I wish the airport would put in a moving sidewalk ’cause these shoes were definitely not made for walking.”

“You said it girl,” the other two chimed in.

“Hi Vic.” Claire hugged her favorite gate agent. “I swear if you weren’t married darlin’, I’d sweep you up and take you home with me.”

“Yeah, yeah, I’ve heard that one before. You know you’re the only one I let call me Vic…so unsophisticated.”

“Oh you love it, and you know it.” She kissed him on the cheek and Victor nodded.

The captain and first officer arrived and they all boarded together. Everyone went about their duties: the pilots on the flight deck and the girls checking their equipment in the cabin. Claire was in first class, and all of them were catching up as they were being catered. Shortly after the catering truck left door one right, the agent working with Victor came on board, wanting to start boarding the passengers so they would have an on time departure. Claire nodded to the agent and said loud enough for everyone to hear, “Passengers on their way. We have a full load this morning ladies!”

The passengers started to file in. First class first and as Claire was saying her good mornings and how are you’s, she had no time to process what was happening when she heard the deep, familiar voice, then saw the familiar face as he said, “Good morning Miss.”

She got nothing out and was barely able to shake her head. It was the same man who had been showing up on most of her flights for the last month. How could he be on this one too? It had to be a coincidence, but knowing that logically didn’t make her heart stop beating like a hummingbird’s wings. She felt faint and grabbed the galley counter to steady herself so she could keep her balance. This man must fly all the frickin time and…and what? She couldn’t get her head around the fact that this weird guy that gave her the creeps was on this flight as well. She had rationalized that his schedule just happened to be the same as hers when he seemed to be on every one of her flights before, but again? The way he looked at her and the strange way he spoke to her made the hairs on the back of her neck stand on end. He had even made sketches of her on cocktail napkins, really good ones actually, making sure she saw them as she ran up and down the aisle. One of them he had drawn pictured her in a dog collar. Oh God, he gave her the willies. Well, enough of this, it was time to make the announcements about the luggage. Right now, luggage was the least of her worries. She decided to simply ignore him, but of course, he plopped himself right down in first class, as usual. Once again, she wished she was in bed, fast asleep, and had never trip traded in the first place. Well, it was a short trip to San Fran, and she would be rid of him…she hoped for good! She finally got out, “Good Morning, Sir,” and continued with the passengers behind him. Then came the announcement about the bags that no one listened to or cared about. What the hell. She was way over getting bent out of shape over FAA rules about everything, from where you put your bags to how you comb your hair. Some of it made perfect sense, and then some of it just seemed like someone’s job to make rules so they could justify their job. Ok, enough. This was a good trip and she was going to have quite a few days off in a row because of it, so no sketch of her in a dog collar was going to ruin it. She might just bark back at him. She almost giggled at the thought. Let’s get this baby in the air so we can get back home on time. I’m not going to make one red cent until the engines start running and we back out of these chocks. She could feel his eyes on her as he bored a hole in her back. No, she would not let him ruin her day. Well she had to talk to him to see if he wanted anything to drink before take-off. That meant giving him a damn napkin that he could draw on again. Well, shit. Maybe she could talk Lynn into trading first class for coach with her, just on this leg. Damn him!

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