"I was born for the storm, and a calm does not suit me."
He was here. He was actually fucking here.
On this plane. My plane. In my cabin.
How dare he?
This was not allowed, and he fucking knew it.
I slapped my rolled up flight paperwork against my palm agitatedly, over and over, like I had a twitch and I couldn’t stop.
“Oh my God,” Leona muttered, peeking out of the curtain. “What’s he doing here?”
Humiliating me was the answer to that, but I didn’t say it aloud.
That bastard. I was grinding my teeth. Audibly.
Leona straightened, her kind gaze going sharp as she studied me closely. “I’ll take the cabin this time. You can stay in the galley. You don’t even need to see him.”
Leona worked the number two flight attendant position in our crew, and she knew me well enough to know about him.
She was the good girl to my bad, the sweet to my sour, the nice to my vicious, the peacemaker to my ballbuster.
She was all the things I’d never be, and I loved her for it. Adored the ground she walked on.
And she knew about me and Dante. About our history. She knew almost everything, though she was one of the only ones besides me that did.
I shook my head sharply, not letting myself even consider it. He knew I was here, of course he did. For whatever twisted reason, he was on this plane, had bought a ticket just to see me.
And I would not give him the satisfaction of knowing how hard it was for me to face him.
Pride had always been my greatest weapon when it came to Dante.
Sometimes my only weapon, so it was honed to killing sharpness.
“I can handle him,” I told her. And it was the truth. It would hurt like hell, but it was a pain I was familiar with.
She bit her lip and nodded. She was the sweetest thing. So sweet, I wished I could be more like her. I couldn’t. I’d tried once or twice, but the results had been laughable.
Leona had been raised by doting parents that loved her, in a world where being kind was a virtue.
I had not. I had been shaped by petty meanness in a world that had tried from the start to throw me away, and where being hard was the only way to survive.
“Is he alone?” I asked.
“I think so. So far.”
The so far wasn’t without reason. The last time he’d sought me out, he hadn’t been alone, the bastard.
In all fairness, I probably shouldn’t have taken it so personal. He was rarely alone.
I slipped into the bathroom with my makeup kit and did a quick touchup.
I’d been wearing a nude lip-gloss for work as I usually did, but I dug out my favorite red lipstick for this little reunion.
It was aptly named: Blood.
No other color was appropriate when dealing with my ex. I put it on because I was planning to draw some.
It occurred to me then that I was relishing and dreading this confrontation in near equal measures.
You see, it wasn’t the first time. It happened every so often. Dante sought me out, confronted me, we each got in our blows and limped away.
I usually spat the last word at his retreating back.
A part of me lived for it.
My shredded heart had been wrapped up in spite for a very long time, wrapped so long and so tight that it was suffocating, and it was almost a relief sometimes to let it vent.
But how much of your life can you devote to spite?
I’d spent a lot of time thinking about this.
The answer, in my case, was sad: Too much.
Great, gory chunks of it. Major, necessary pieces.
And all because of him. Dante the Bastard.
I loosened my tie and undid the top three buttons of my blouse, turning my uniform from professional to more than a touch sexy.
I had outrageous curves. A tiny waist, voluptuous hips, a great ass, mile-high legs, and full breasts.
I had the exact body type that drew him like a kamikaze to suicide, so of course I’d use it against him.
He’d never been able to resist this body, not once in his entire life.
I pushed up my breasts, pinching my nipples until they popped perkily through the layers of my blouse and vest.
Go get him, tiger.
I smiled a bloodthirsty smile at my own reflection and headed back out to the galley.
The curtain was still up, but Leona was out in the cabin. Serving the first pre-board round of champagne, I assumed.
I grabbed my manual and made a quick announcement over the intercom, lowering my voice just so, turning it into a near seductive purr.
I did this for one reason. I knew it would get to him.
I wanted to score a hit before I ever even had to look at him.
He’d had the nerve to come into my territory.
I’d make him pay.
I always traveled with two pairs of shoes. One on my feet and one in my carryon. Work heels and killer heels. Work heels were for work, i.e. all of the grunt work on the airplane and keeping my balance at 35,000 feet. The killer heels were for the glamorous walk through the airport with my crew of gorgeous girls.
Well, okay, it wasn’t glamorous. Nothing about being a flight attendant was. But we made it look glamorous, which was close enough, as far as I was concerned.
I yanked my bag out of its spot in a cubby that ran just behind my jump seat and pulled out my killer heels.
Don’t get me wrong. My work heels are not hideous. I wouldn’t be caught dead in hideous shoes. They were black, patent leather, three-inch wedges with a cute little bow on the toe.