"And now the future awaits?"
"You already have something in mind?"
"Huh?" Between lack of sleep and two cognacs, Trish was feeling light-headed and a little spacey. She covered her mouth with her hand in a futile attempt to conceal a yawn. "Excuse me. It's been a long day."
"No problem. Why don't you put your seat back and close your eyes."
"Great idea," Trish murmured. She slipped off her shoes and pushed the seat back as far as it would go. A couple of hours of solid sleep and she'd be okay.
Closing her eyes, she leaned back, breathed deeply and tried to relax. It was cool on the plane, too cool for a sleeveless summer dress. She should have asked the attendant for a blanket, but they'd already turned the cabin lights off and with the movie just starting…
As her mind began to drift, she felt something light but warm envelope her from her chin to her toes. Gentle fingers tucked the covering securely around her body, and she moved down lower in her seat.
Flight attendants never had the time to baby the passengers in tourist class, so she figured Sir Galahad in the next seat must be her Good Samaritan. He looked like the type who enjoyed fussing over a woman, and she was enjoying it too much to tell him to stop.
The same gentle fingers lifted her head slightly and slipped a small pillow between her cheek and the seat back, and she gave a soft sigh of pure pleasure. Yeah, man! This was the kind of TLC every girl dreamed of. Though she'd had a couple of semi-serious relationships since high school, not one of the guys had been what she'd call caring. They'd all expected her to spend her time fussing over them rather than the other way around.
However, European men had a reputation of knowing exactly how to make a woman feel like a woman, and Trish wondered if she'd get the chance to find that out for herself. With summer just around the corner, the weather in Paris would be gorgeous, perfect for the kind of romantic adventures she had in mind. Maybe she'd meet someone-hopefully, an attentive and sexy, dark-eyed, dark-haired Adonis like her neighbor.
They'd stroll by the Seine, hand-in-hand, stopping every once in a while to kiss. Or they'd sit for hours at a sidewalk café, holding hands and staring into one another's eyes. Maybe they'd talk and maybe not. If it rained, they would go to a museum and pretend to be interested in the paintings or the other exhibits on display. If no one else happened to be around, he'd draw her into the shadows or a dark corner and hold her so close she'd hear the beat of his heart. And just maybe, if he happened to be really daring, his hand would slip beneath her skirt. He'd pull her panties aside, and she'd feel his fingers skim over her clit and venture up inside…and, oh, my God, yes! She felt a sudden rush of wetness between her legs.
Of course, this was just the appetizer. The long nights would be best of all! She experienced a tiny shiver of anticipation. So what if she wasn't very good at sex. It wasn't her fault all her experiences to date had revolved around the guy's satisfaction rather than her own. But she could learn. Everyone knew Frenchmen were great lovers, and with Paris being the city of love, all she had to do was find the right man and have him give her a few hands-on lessons.
She could see herself and her dream lover now, climbing up flight after flight of stairs until they reached his garret room on the top floor-a small, dark room with a single bed and…
With a soft groan, she moved even lower in the seat. He would remove whatever she was wearing…very slowly, piece-by-piece, until she was naked as the day she was born. Then he would pick her up in his arms and place her on his bed. After disposing of his own clothes, he would join her.
She felt his hands gliding over her skin, moving up her ribcage and gently squeezing her breasts until the nipples pebbled, demanding closer attention. She could feel his heat and smell his essence, and she felt an even bigger rush of wetness between her legs as his hand moved down, while his tongue eased her lips apart and entered her mouth.
His tongue was hard and inquisitive, tangling in an exciting, slippery tango with hers and then exploring her mouth with an attention to detail she'd never experienced before. It was like being swallowed alive, and as the oral assault continued, his fingers moved deeper inside her, slowly at first, and then faster and faster until…she felt as if she was sliding down and down, and couldn't stop…until suddenly the world shattered like a fragile glass ball.
She'd never experienced such a feeling before in her whole life. It was far better than anything she'd read about in a book, and so far outside her wildest imaginings she wanted to shout with joy and scream and…
A hand was slipped firmly over her mouth. "Shush," the man sitting next to her murmured-at least it sounded like him. "You were dreaming."
Dreaming? No way!
She opened her eyes a crack, lifted her head a little…and found herself nose to nose with her neighbor.
In quick succession she realized the armrest no longer separated them, she was practically lying on top of the man, and he had both his arms around her. Fortunately, they were partially covered with a blanket. Also, theirs were the only two seats in this section, the cabin lights were out to allow the passengers to sleep, and from the muffled snoring noises coming from in front and behind, it sounded as if most of them were fast asleep, thank God!
Trish knew she should probably be shoving the guy off and acting all outraged and self-righteous. And under any other circumstances, she most definitely would. But the man both intrigued her and turned her on, so why do something silly like that when she was, in fact, perfectly safe. What could possibly happen that she didn't want to happen in a plane filled with three hundred plus other passengers? She was also warm, relaxed and having one helluva good time.
Anyway, she'd wanted an adventure, and since one had literally fallen into her lap, she wasn't about to spoil things, especially as she was still trying to figure out if that sensational feeling she'd enjoyed had been part of an amazingly sexy dream, or if Sir Galahad had made it happen.
"Sorry if I woke you," she whispered.
He hitched the blanket up a few inches, and Trish realized the skirt of her dress was almost around her waist. She thought about pulling it down, but instead tucked her head against his chest and snuggled back into his warmth.
"You were shivering, so I thought I should do the gentlemanly thing and try my best to keep you warm."
"Really? That was nice of you."
"My pleasure entirely."
He began to stroke her bare thigh, his touch confident and intimate enough to fill her mind with images of the two of them dancing to soft music, or making love in a wide, soft bed. A delicious feeling of anticipation skipped over her skin, and she wondered what, if anything, he intended to do when the plane landed.
She wondered briefly if he was just flirting-amusing himself to while away the time during an otherwise boring flight. If he were, he'd grab his stuff and disappear fast the moment they touched down. Except something told her the chemistry between them was far too strong for something like that. He wanted her as desperately as she wanted him. And if the way his hand was moving up her neck, positioning her mouth to receive his kiss, was any indication, whatever was happening between them would soon progress to its natural conclusion.
"Je te veux, cherie," he whispered against her lips, confirming what she already knew. "I wish we were somewhere else. Someplace very private." Taking her hand, he pressed it against his aroused cock. "You can feel what you've done to me, hmm?"
After making certain the blanket covered what she was doing, she slid down the zipper of his pants and felt his muscles tense as she slipped her hand inside. She'd never thought about doing anything this bold before, not even in private. She'd always left it to the man to take the lead. But for some reason what she was doing now felt right…a mutual sharing of feelings she'd never been comfortable with before today. Maybe it was because he was a stranger and this was a moment out of time. Once they reached Paris, the moment would be over and they'd both go their separate ways. In the meantime… She caressed his shaft gently, loving the way it bucked against her hand and wishing she could do more. Unfortunately, wishing was all it could ever be. "How long until we land?"
"I think we're on time, so another hour, hour-and-a-half at the very most. The flight attendants will be serving breakfast shortly."
"If you mean after we land, I'm afraid duty calls. I have a meeting to attend-one I cannot get out of. But-"
Trish removed her hand and zipped up his pants. She'd known from the instant the guy started coming on to her that this was an in-flight flirtation and nothing more. Even so, she'd hoped… For what exactly she wasn't sure, and the duty calls excuse made her feel a little disappointed and let down. A lot disappointed, if she was honest, but it served her right for falling for a handsome face and a sexy smile on the basis of absolutely nothing at all. At least he hadn't tried to make a date he had no intention of keeping. "That's okay. I understand. We've only just met, so I don't expect you to rearrange your life to please me. Now, if you'll excuse me a minute…" She attempted to get out of her seat with the intention of going to the washroom, but he held her down.
"No, chérie, you don't understand. I was in Toronto to negotiate the purchase of a business my company is interested in acquiring. Now, I have to report back to my board of directors so they can make their final decision."
Trish knew an excuse when she heard one, so it wasn't necessary to keep repeating it over and over, but she managed a weak smile anyway. "Hey, that's fine-business before pleasure and all that other good stuff. No problem. I really do understand."
Again, Trish tried to leave her seat, but again he held her down. "Will you please shut up and listen to me?"
Trish bared her teeth. "Sure. Like I have a choice?"
"I'm sorry." He smiled and rubbed the pad of his thumb over her bottom lip, sending her desire rocketing back up into the danger zone. "I want you. No question. And I know you want me. But I have to drop by my office first. My driver will be waiting when we deplane, so, provided you're agreeable, naturally, I can drop you off and leave you to get unpacked. Then, in about an hour, two at the most, I'll come back and take you somewhere for lunch."
"You don't have to do that."
"I want to. And I'm not in the habit of saying things I don't mean."
She nipped his thumb with her teeth and then she grinned and pushed his hand away. "Just lunch?"
"A nice relaxing lunch, a bottle of wine and…" His hand settled over her mound. It felt hot and heavy and unbelievably erotic.
"And then what?"
"I thought we might go to my apartment."
"To look at your etchings?" she teased.
"Sorry, no etchings. But I do have some very nice watercolors."
"Anything else I might like to see?"
"A king-sized bed with black silk sheets."
She chuckled. "Really? Sounds totally decadent. And what else do you have there?"
"My good friend and partner, Carlos."
"Carlos?" Meaning life partner or business partner? Trish felt a sudden rush of something that wasn't quite excitement and wasn't quite fear. "And what does Carlos do?"
"He likes to watch. And, sometimes, he also likes to join in."
Trish frowned and pulled back a little, trying to decide if he was serious or not. "Are you suggesting what I think you are?"
"We both like to watch and be watched. And we also like to share. If you don't want to, I can ask Carlos to leave us alone for a while. Or we can forget about it altogether. The choice is entirely yours."
Trish chewed on her thumb and tried to think. At least he was up front about what he was into, rather than springing this other guy on her at the crucial moment and putting her in the awkward position of feeling she had to do something she might prefer not to. "What about you? Are you in to this watching thing, too?"
"Have you never watched?"
Trish had seen late night movies and porn videos with her friends and a few of them had been somewhat of a turn-on. But the thought of watching two people make love up close and personal was a little scary and, she suspected, a whole lot more arousing than watching it on film where the moves were always formula and the women's groaning sounded so phony. "No."
"Would you like to?"
She averted her gaze. "I'm not sure." To her surprise, just talking about it was turning her on, and making her more than a little curious as to what it would be like. "I've never done anything like that. I've never engaged in group sex, or orgies, or whatever they're called."
"There would only be the three of us."
Which was one whole person more than what Trish was used to. "And what if I say yes, but then decide it's not for me and I want to leave?"
"Then you would be free to do so. What we do we find pleasurable. But if it makes you uncomfortable…"
The cabin lights came on and the attendants started down the aisles with the breakfast trays. Trish straightened her clothing and folded up the blanket. When she received her tray, she drank the juice and the coffee and ate most of the bread roll, all the while thinking what to do. She badly wanted to say yes, but what if she chickened out at the last moment? She'd never been one to strut her stuff in any way. And, despite her uncharacteristically bold behavior of a moment ago, even taking her clothes off in front of a guy wasn't something she'd ever felt overly comfortable doing. But what if she got past all that and then froze? He'd take her for a complete idiot.
At least he wasn't pressing her for an answer. What little conversation he made while they had breakfast was mostly about the food they were eating and the weather he hoped they'd have when they reached Paris.
The attendants came back through the cabin, collecting the trays and putting the trash into large plastic bags, but still Trish wavered. She didn't want to say no, but she didn't quite have the courage to say yes. In the meantime, the ball was in her court, and she didn't have a clue what to do with it.
Completely preoccupied, she wasn't aware the plane had started its descent into Charles de Gaulle Airport until she heard the sound of the wheels dropping and locking into place, and realized she had her neighbor's fingers in a death grip. The wheels of the plane touched the ground and as the pilot applied the brakes she quickly released his hand.
"I hope I didn't hurt you," she said, feeling a little embarrassed. "As you've probably guessed, I'm not too crazy about the landing either."
He smiled and recaptured her hand. "You get this horrible image of the plane diving straight down and, no matter what the pilot does, he can't level off?"