Author: Jaime Whitley
Release Date: July 16, 2014
Genre: Contemporary Romance
More Info: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon US
Purchase: Barnes & Noble
Purchase: Amazon UK
Lilly Hughes hates traveling, but her job requires it. Learning her flight gets grounded leaves her stranded with no place to go.
Silas Harper is on his final stretch of R&R and just wants to get to his destination when fate intervenes putting him in the company of Lilly.
Intending never to see each other again they settle for one night of heat and passion. Denying their undeniable connection they part ways as agreed, but will they stay parted forever? Or will a twist of fate bring them back together?
Airports. There’s just something about them that makes my skin crawl. Hundreds of people always rushing through them; bumping into you with no consideration to apologize to anyone around them. No matter how many times I fly, the rudeness seeping out of people never ceases to amaze me. Unfortunately, my job requires me to travel, and as unhappy as I am at my job, it pays the bills.
Who knew that when I went to school and majored in creative writing, I would find myself working at an ad agency when I graduated? No one tells you how hard it is to find a job in that chosen field, they just advise you to pick a different major and use your spare time for your “hobby.” Only, writing isn’t a hobby for me, it’s a passion.
Putting in my ear buds, I sit at my gate and open my notebook. I start to write down everything around me. Writers block is a bitch, but maybe there will be inspiration around me today. It’s easy to people watch, but trying to figure out their story is another thing. A lady across from me is trying to pull apart her twin boys as they fight over some gaming system. She seems to be traveling alone and there is no ring on her finger. Hmm.
Girl gets knocked up. Guy leaves. Girl ends up pregnant with twins. Parents kick her out of house. She has to strip to make a living.
Ugh, crap! All I can seem to come up with lately is crap. Inspiration used to pour out of me, everywhere I looked I could see the perfect story. Maybe I need to fix my life before I try to write a happy one for someone else. Closing my notebook, I rest my head back against the chair, letting out a sigh.
“Do you mind?” A deep voice fills my ears. I open my eyes and see a soldier standing in front of me. It’s not the uniform that stands out to me though, it’s the way his emerald green eyes are fixated on me. His gaze ignites my body as a tingling sensation rushes through me. Bedroom eyes, the only thing that I can say about them. You know, eyes that only take one look to make you want him to take you, throw you on the bed, and have his way with you. The intensity in his stare makes my heart flutter. It ‘s impossible for me to look away, so instead, I let myself get lost in them for a brief moment.
“I’m sorry?” I say pulling out an ear bud.
“I said, do you mind if I sit? This seems to be the only seat left,” he says, looking very tired.
“No. Not at all.” I move my bag to the floor so he can sit down.
The man takes his seat next to me and stretches out his long legs, crossing them. He thanks me before resting his head back against the seat, quickly nodding off. I know it’s rude to stare, but I don’t stop myself from doing it. He looks much more relaxed sleeping and his features soften dramatically. A strand of his thick black hair is swept across his face and a five o’clock shadow covers his chiseled jaw. His eyes are closed, letting his long lashes grace the tops of his cheeks. He takes a deep sighing breath and smiles. I idly wonder what he is dreaming about. A dimple forms in his cheek and it’s the sexiest thing I’ve ever seen. I don’t know much about the military, but his patch says he is in the Army. I wonder what his story is. The attendant comes overhead, announcing it is time to board the plane. Great, just when I think inspiration has found me, too. The man is not moving, obviously in a deep sleep, so I nudge his shoulder gently, immediately feeling the broadness in his shoulders. I bet he is sexy as hell without his clothes on. He startles a little, taking in his surroundings as he wakes.
I give him an apologetic look for waking him and say, “Sorry to wake you, but we are boarding.”
“Thank you, I would be fucked if I missed my flight.”
Following the rows of seats I’m all but happy to see that the plane is a smaller one. It has two seats on the left and one on the right. I reach my aisle and take my assigned seat. Out of the corner of my eye, I spot the same camo uniform I just parted ways with. We lock eyes again and my heart starts to rapidly pound against my chest. Just when I think I’m about to have a panic attack, my body becomes flooded with warmth and my fingers begin to tingle with the need to touch him again. I have no clue where all this is coming from. I’ve never reacted to anyone this way before, especially someone I’ve just met. I suddenly have an inner goddess in me, screaming to be released, and I’m not sure what to do about all this sexual tension building inside me. Well scratch that. My traitorous body knows how it feels about it, and what it wants me to do, but I’m not sure if I can go there.
“Looks like we are sitting next to each other. I’m Silas by the way,” he says holding out his hand.
“Lilly, nice to meet you,” I say, shaking his hand. I let go, unsatisfied that the touch of his hand did not satisfy the tingling sensation in me. Sighing, I think, this is going to be a long flight. Grabbing the flight attendant’s attention, “Could I please get a rum and coke when you have a chance?”
I turn my attention back to Silas who has one eyebrow up. “Don’t like to fly?”
I want to say, no it freaks me out and I hate it, how about we join the mile high club and you can screw away my fears? Again, totally not me, but that damn inner goddess. She needs to slow her role.
“No, not at all. You would think with how much I travel, I would get used to it. What about you?” I ask.
“It doesn’t bother me. It’s the jumping out of the perfectly safe planes that get me sometimes.”
“Sounds interesting.” I pause before adding, “and scary.” Silas laughs, and it makes my stomach flip flop.
Now, I may not know a lot about the military, but I do know that some soldiers are required to do practice jumps from planes. I never thought I would be sitting next to one of those soldiers. Taking advantage of this opportunity, I ask, “Tell me about your job. What does it entail? That is, if you don’t mind me asking.” He assured me it was okay and he begins talking. It’s hard to pay attention. Questions keep popping into my head. Does he like doing what he does, why did he join the Army? I’m hoping to find a story in there somewhere. While talking, the plane suddenly shakes from turbulence, causing me to grab a death grip on the arm rest. Closing my eyes, I say a silent prayer that the rest of the flight is smoother. I feel a warm hand place itself on top of mine, lifting it off the seat and, I swear, I felt a little spark. I open my eyes and see Silas’s lips turn up as he squeezes my hand. An ache between my legs appears, making me shift in my seat.
“You might break the arm rest squeezing it like that. Feel free to use my hand,” he offers.
“So you would rather me break your hand than the chair?” I say a little nervously, not sure if he is just being polite or flirting with me.
“Sweetheart you won’t break my hand, but it’s cute that you would think that. Squeeze away.”
So I do, but not for the reasons he thinks.
The plane is landing, and even though there wasn’t any more turbulence, I held onto his hand. It almost felt like if I let go, I would be missing out on something. What it was I didn’t know, but I wasn’t ready to find out.
“Well, thank you for the hand,” I say, not really sure what else to say to him. I wish we weren’t parting ways.
“No problem, where is your next gate?” he asks as he brings down my luggage for me.
Looking at my ticket, I tell him, “It’s two gates down from this one, over at F.”
“I’m at G; I’ll walk you to your gate.” He starts walking, carrying his luggage with mine.
“Oh, that’s real nice of you, but not necessary, I don’t want you to miss your flight. Besides, I have a two hour layover.”
“Looks like we both do then. Would you like to head to the bar and grab a drink while we wait?”
“Yeah, that would be great.”
Sitting at the bar, we talk more about what Silas does in the Army. I’m learning a lot of interesting stuff sitting here and listening to all his stories. Some are funny, crazy, scary, and some are even heartbreaking. I admire this man a lot for what he does for our country. Not everyone would be willing to make the sacrifices these men make to defend our rights. An hour passes and we are laughing and having a good time, when an announcement comes overhead, telling everyone that, due to the storm that rolled in, all flights are being grounded. You can hear everyone let out their frustrations, and the traffic in the terminals pick up as everyone goes to make other arrangements.
“Well, that would be my luck.” I finish off my drink and reach in my wallet to pay for my drink. Seeing he has his phone to his ear, I get a jealous feeling, thinking he is probably talking to his girlfriend to tell her he will be late. I grit my teeth until I hear part of the conversation.
“Yes, and you only have one available? Okay, that will have to do, thank you.” Finishing his whiskey, he turns his attention back to me. “Sorry about that. I figured I would call the nearest hotel before everyone beat me to it. I tried to book us two rooms so we have somewhere to sleep tonight and don’t have to wait.”
“Oh, that’s great. I didn’t even think they would book up so fast, thank you. Huh, sexy and smart,” I reply with a look of surprise.
“Before you thank me, they only had one room left. It’s a suite, so it does have a couch in it. I can take the couch and you can have the bed. That is, if you want to share a room. If not I can stay here, I have slept on harder surfaces before. But, seeing as you think I’m sexy and all.” He trails off with a grin on his face. It suddenly dawns on me that I didn’t say that last part in my head like I thought. Damn alcohol. Even though I’m totally embarrassed, I don’t want to sleep in an airport tonight.
“You can stay with me, or I would be staying with you, seeing as it’s your room. You know what I mean,” cutting myself off, realizing I’m rambling, my eyes avert to the floor. I tend to do that when I get nervous.
We take a cab to the hotel and get settled in our room before heading down to the bar for some dinner and more drinks. The conversation is flowing so easily, and I find myself really enjoying Silas’s company. Somewhere along the line, I stopped looking at his life as a story to write, and found myself really interested in getting to know him. There is something about him that I can’t quite put my finger on that makes him mysterious to me. It’s weird, because he’s been nothing but an open book since he started talking. After dinner, we head back up to our room. I’m laughing at something Silas said as he opens the door and we stumble through. Upon shutting the door, I put my purse down, stretching my back. Noticing it seems a little warm in the room, I make my way to the thermostat. Turning around, I’m frozen in place as Silas takes off the top part of his uniform, revealing his sculpted arms peeking out from his t-shirt. His arms are decorated with colorful tattoos, and I fight the urge to reach out and trace the beautiful designs on his body. I kick my shoes off and fall back onto the bed, with Silas following. Our laughter stops and I turn to face him, only to see him staring at me intently. His gaze is boring into me, making me blush and turn my head away. I feel a finger touch the bottom of my jaw and my head slowly turns back to face him.
“You have a beautiful smile, don’t hide it from me,” he says, as he licks his lips in anticipation.
My eyes stare at his full lips and then glance back into his eyes. My heart is beating against my chest so rapidly that I think it might explode. It has been so long since I’ve been with a man and I don’t know if I’m reading into this wrong. My mind isn’t exactly in the clearest state, but the throbbing I feel between my legs is starting to ache.
“Lilly,” his voice is a whisper, “I would really like to kiss you.”
If it wasn’t so quiet in the room, I might have actually missed what he said. But I definitely heard him. He wants to kiss me. Without thinking, I lean forward and press his lips against mine. He’s still for only a second before he rolls me onto my back, straddling me and taking control over the kiss. I can taste the whiskey on his tongue and I suck on it, earning me a groan of approval from him. I place my hands on his perfectly sculpted chest and push him away before things can go any further. I can’t believe I’m doing this. This is so not like me. Silas could be nothing but trouble, but my mind is telling me he’s the kind of trouble I want to get into right now. I’m not the kind of girl who goes around having one-night-stands and I need to make that known. Silas lifts up his body from mine from the break of contact.
“Is everything okay? I thought you wanted–”
Before he can continue, I place a finger on his lips stopping him. “I do, believe me I do. This just isn’t something I normally do. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever had a one-night-stand.”
Silas lets out a small laugh, pulling me into his chest. “I’ve never done this in my life either. There’s a first for everything, right?” His finger trails its way down my breasts, causing me to shiver.
“I just haven’t been in a relationship in a long time, and I’m not really sure what you’re expecting out of all this, You know, after it’s all said and done.”
“There are no rules to it; if you want we can part ways and never see each other again after this.”
“You would be okay with that?” Would I be okay with that?
“I’m okay with whatever you’re okay with. This doesn’t have to happen if you don’t want it to. No pressure. Like I said, I will happily take the couch. I’m hoping you don’t make me take the couch though Lilly, because there is something about you that makes me want to know all of you. I want to explore every inch of your body and see what makes you quiver.” His finger continues to explore lightly over my body. My body trembles under his simple touch, as my body becomes flushed. The sensation flowing through me is too much right now; I can’t even form a coherent thought in my head.
With nothing left to be said, I pull him back down on top of me and let myself live a little for this one night.
The next morning, I’m woken to an alarm going off. I reach for my phone to silence it, only it doesn’t turn off and the noise keeps going off. I roll back over and collide into a hard chest. Silas is passed out and I reach over him, silencing his phone. I use this moment to take in all of him. His black hair has a messy look, no thanks to me running my hands through it all night, but it looks sexy as sin on him. I allow my eyes to roam his body since the sheet is absent from it, and my eyes land on his v-cut. I felt such a deep connection with him, one I never felt before with anyone. Our bodies moved in perfect sync together, like we’ve done this everyday for the last five years. The way my body ignited with every single touch of his made it feel like our souls were connecting. I want to lean over and give him a proper wakening after last night, but I refrain, reminding myself that even though I had the best sex of my life last night, we agreed on a one-night-stand.
I slip out of bed and shower quickly so I don’t miss my flight today. By the time I come out, Silas is awake and has ordered breakfast. I thank him and he says he’s going to go take a quick shower, so I decided to wait for him to eat. When he emerges from the bathroom, I shamelessly stare at his naked body before me. I figure, why not? I’ve seen everything he has to offer already, and it’s a damn shame to not look. I pop a piece of toast in my mouth as he puts his boxers on and is smirking at me.
“Like what you see?”
“Mmhmm.” My mouth is suddenly dry, causing me a problem with swallowing the toast. “It’s too bad you have to cover all that up.”
Silas puts his uniform on and comes over to the table where breakfast is. Before he sits, he leans over and places a kiss on my cheek. What the hell was that? Maybe I shouldn’t have been so forward with him. Is he expecting more from me? I mean, sure I can face him this morning because I never have to see him again, but a kiss on the cheek, that feels kind of intimate. I sit frozen in my spot for a moment, and Silas immediately picks up on the change in my body language.
“What was that?”
“What was what?” His eyebrows draw in. It’s clear he’s confused so I explain
“The kiss, on the cheek, I thought it was a onetime thing last night?”
Silas lets out a laugh. “Relax sweetheart. I remember the terms of our one-night-stand. No commitment, no getting to know each other, just sex.”
“So, why the kiss?” I ask, still confused if he knows what last night was.
He shrugs his shoulders, “Why not? I didn’t really think about it, I just did it. Maybe it was just a natural response on my body’s part.”
I don’t press it any further and we eat in silence. It’s not an uncomfortable one though, which makes me realize I’m in a little over my head.
We check out of our hotel room and take a cab to the airport. I’m grateful for his company as he talks with me as if nothing happened. I try not to dwell on the kiss that has been in the back of my mind and enjoy the last few minutes I have with him. I’m a little nervous as we approach the airport. I don’t want to have that awkward goodbye, and it would have been pointless to take two cabs when we are going to the same place. Once we arrive at my gate, he hands me my luggage.
“Thank you for last night.” My face reddens, totally embarrassed that I just thanked him for a one-night-stand. God, what is wrong with me?
“You’re welcome, I guess this is where we part ways. Have a safe flight, Lilly.” He leans in to give me a hug.
“You, too.” My voice breaks as I watch the best sex I’ve ever had walk out of my life.