A/N: I am so grateful to purpleC305 for pre-reading and Midnight Cougar for beta-ing. You are both sweeter than any of Bella’s selections at Starbucks. Thank you. xx
DISCLAIMER: Stephenie Meyer owns Twilight. I’m just here having fun.
“No flying machine will ever fly from New York to Paris.” –Orville Wright
“I can’t believe you’re giving him a key to your place. You know he’s going to make a copy, probably several copies. We’ll need to have your locks changed when we get back.”
Edward isn’t happy I asked Mike to take care of Tucker while we’re gone to Paris; he’s blowing the entire situation out of proportion. I think he’s just upset that both he and Mike now have keys to my place. However, for this trip it’s necessary.
“I can’t believe we are still having this discussion. What else am I supposed to do?”
Edward stares at my bed. “I bet while you’re gone he sleeps in your bed or worse.”
“Edward, you don’t know Mike.”
“And you do? Trust me, when we get back we’ll make sure to clean all your bedding. No, we’ll just burn it and buy you all new bedding and maybe a new mattress.”
“You’re being ridiculous, and I love my mattress,” I argue.
“Are you taking all your underwear with you?” Edward walks over and opens my underwear drawer.
“No, why would I?”
He looks back at me as though I’ve lost my mind. “You’re going to trust him alone in your apartment with your underwear?” Edward sighs. “Never mind, I’ll take the rest of your underwear. Maybe I can cram it in my bag to keep him from going through it all or even worse, using it to jack off.”
“Edward! Put my panties back right now. “
He’s holding the entire contents of my underwear drawer.
“I’m not leaving your underwear alone here with him.”
“Put. My. Panties. Back.” I watch him drop a pile in the drawer. “Bras, too.”
He adds my bras back to the drawer and sits heavily with a sigh on the edge of my bed.
I sit next to him and drape my arm across his back, letting my fingers play with the hair at the back of his head.
“Edward, what’s really going on here? Why are you so upset? It can’t really be Mike.”
Edward stares at his boots. “I should have told you a month ago.”
“Edward, what is it?”
He sighs. “I have a fear of flying.”
I try to understand what he just said. “So, what part exactly?”
“See, I knew you wouldn’t understand.”
“Edward, give me a chance here. I work at an airport and you’ve been to the airport. Is it the waiting at the gate?”
“The boarding the plane?”
“The take off?”
“The overpriced alcohol?” I offer, to try to lighten the mood.
He doesn’t laugh.
“Okay, the landing?”
“So, somewhere between takeoff and landing. I’m really at a loss since I haven’t ever flown before, so I’m not sure what else it could be.” I start wondering.
Edward lets out a heavy sigh and says something I can barely hear.
“What was that?” I ask.
“You’re worried about the airplane crashing.”
He nods. “When I was in elementary school, we took a family vacation to Florida and flew. We had several connecting flights, and during one of them, we had some really bad turbulence. I thought we were going to die. I know it probably isn’t reasonable, but I can’t help it.”
I rub his back. “Hey, we all have fears, and being so young I’m sure that made a huge impact on you. What was Emmett’s reaction, because he flies all the time?”
Edward snorts. “He thought it was fun, a game. Emmett was busy laughing at me and joking while Mom kept passing me airsick bags to fill.”
“Have you talked to your doctor or someone; surely they can prescribe something to help you?”
“Yes. I have a prescription; however, it leaves me passed out for the entire flight.”
“Edward, it’s fine. I’ll be there with you and you know I have plenty planned to keep me busy during the flight.” I point toward my full backpack.
I wrap my arms around him and squeeze tightly.
He pulls me to his lap so I’m straddling him, then wraps his arms around my waist.
I kiss him on the lips. “We will be fine. We are going to Paris, and we’ll have the trip of a lifetime. Together.” I smile.
He pulls me close and hugs me tight. “Thank you, Bella, for being so understanding.”
Once I’m finally packed and Edward’s anxiety levels have lowered a bit, he carries my suitcases in next to his by the door, and we decide on an early night of pizza and beer for dinner.
Edward and I wake before the crack of dawn and prepare to go catch our early morning flight from Seattle to New York. When we arrive in New York, we will take another flight directly to Paris.
I could barely sleep last night, as I’m filled with excitement. However, Edward looks like I’m marching him toward his execution.
We stop at the ticket counter, pick up our boarding passes, check our bags, then proceed to the security checkpoint.
“Hey, Bella, Edward.”
“Are you ready for your big trip to Paris?”
“We are.” I can barely contain my glee.
“Don’t eat too many macarons.” He chuckles. “Have a good flight.”
“Thanks, Seth. I’ll see you when we get back.”
“Hey, Bella. Hi, Edward.”
“Is the day finally here?”
“It is. I can’t wait to get there.”
“Well, be safe and watch out for those pickpockets. I hear they’re bad there.”
We continue through the security check lines and just so happen to end up near Jacob.
“Well, if it isn’t my lucky day.” Jacob grins. “Come on.” He waves us to the bins. “Let’s see what you’ve got and if you’ve learned anything under my tutelage.”
“Your tutelage?” I scoff. “If anything, it’s always been me guiding you.”
“Hey, Edward. Decided to return to the scene of the crime?” Jacob teases.
“Uh—” Edward is at a loss for words.
“You know, when you stole Bella’s heart right here in the middle of the security checkpoint.”
Edward’s eyes flash in my direction, and he gives me a crooked grin. “Oh, did I?”
I’m sure my face flushes bright red as I load my items into a couple of bins and move them to the conveyor belt. Edward does the same, then we wait our turn to go through the scanner.
I move inside the scanner and place my feet on the spots for them, then raise my hands overhead. The whirring only takes a few moments.
“Step out please and wait.”
“Bella, my dear.” It’s my boss Sam standing with the wand. “Do you have any piercings?” he asks, as he moves the wand over my body.
“Yes, my ears and navel.” I pull up my shirt to reveal my midriff and give Sam the visual I know he needs to clear the alarm.
“Very good.” He nods and steps to the side. “Have a wonderful trip, Bella. We will look forward to hearing about it when you return.”
“Thanks, Sam.” I give him a hug. “I’ll miss everyone, but I will be back before you know it.”
“Don’t hurry on our account.” He winks. “You’re covered here. Enjoy your vacation.”
I release Sam from my hug and gather my bags as I watch Edward enter the scanner.
I go to pull my backpack from the conveyor belt, but find Jacob attached to it.
He grins. “Ma’am, is this your bag?”
“Yes, Jacob. You know it is.”
“Well, we need to look inside.”
I release my backpack and watch as Jacob opens the side zippers.
“I’m sure this is just an oversight on your part.” He digs around in the compartment. “Or maybe you’re just trying to test me.” He smiles and produces my can of pepper spray.
“Oh, Jacob. I totally forgot that was in there,” I explain. My dad, Charlie, had given the can to me back when I started taking classes at U-Dub, and fortunately, I’ve never needed to use it.
He nods and adds the can to a bin behind him. “All in a day’s work, Miss Swan. Enjoy your flight and have fun.”
“All set?” Edward asks from behind me. I notice he’s through the scanner and has his bags.
“Oui, oui!” I tell him, practicing my best French accent.
Jacob rolls his eyes and laughs. “See ya, Edward. Take care of our girl.”
“Will do.” Edward agrees and guides me from the security area as we head to our gate.
Before we get there, I see the money exchange kiosk.
“Edward, I want to exchange some dollars for euros before we leave.” I drift in that direction.
“No problem. It’s a good idea to have some for when we land. Who knows? You might not be able to leave Charles de Gaulle without a macaron in hand.” He laughs.
I exchange my money and happily pocket my euros.
“You’re right. I’m determined to eat my weight in macarons and crepes. I hear they have them on the street like food carts.” I pause. “Maybe I can get both before I leave the airport!” I tell him excitedly.
He leans down and gives me a peck on the lips. “I’m going to grab a bottle of water. Do you want one?”
“Sure.” I follow Edward into the shop full of snacks and magazines. “Maybe I need some other items, too.” I eye the latest magazines for all the juicy gossip on my favorite stars.
We finally leave with a couple of waters, a bag of animal crackers, and a Snickers for me, while Edward grabs some beef jerky and pistachios. He’s so healthy.
I also manage to nab plenty of reading material to keep me going for hours, which is good because we have approximately fourteen hours of flight ahead of us. We will travel almost six hours between Seattle and New York, then change planes to fly from New York to Paris for about eight hours.
As we walk toward our gate, we decide to duck into our respective restrooms and take care of business before our flight departs.
Once finished, we locate seats near our gate and find it won’t be long until boarding.
“I think I’m going to go ahead and take my pills now. Two should get me to New York, then I’ll take another two once we change planes.”
I hold his hand, giving him a gentle squeeze, as I watch him down them both with a swig of water.
“No problem, Edward.” I smile. “I’ll wake you up after landing; if you aren’t already awake.”
Edward gives me a grimace. “Let’s hope I’m not. However, I should just be groggy at the end of the flight.”
I pat his leg and go back to holding his hand with mine while we wait.
I’m so excited I can’t stop bouncing my knee while waiting for our flight. Our plane is here, so we are just waiting to start boarding.
“Flight number fifteen nineteen service from Seattle to New York – JFK is now boarding first class passengers only, please.”
I’m sure I let out a squeak at the announcement, as Edward and I start to gather up our bags, knowing our rows will be called shortly.
“Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. We will now continue boarding rows sixteen through thirty at this time.”
We make our way to the stand where a boarding attendant scans and collects our passes.
“Have a wonderful flight,” she tells us, as we make our way down the jetway.
I can’t help myself and let out a squeal of delight with Edward chuckling behind me.
Soon we reach the door of the airplane and wait our turn to walk on board.
“Welcome.” The flight attendant offers us a friendly smile, and we make our way to find our seats.
Once we have our carry-ons secured overhead, Edward and I buckle our seat belts.
“I can’t believe we’re here,” I whisper, as other passengers continue to board.
Edward smiles a relaxed lazy smile that lets me knows his pills are starting to take effect.
“Sweetheart, we’re just getting started.” He gently touches my necklace that began this trip and our relationship rolling. “I’d travel the world with you.”
I lean over and kiss him on the lips while his finger makes a path down from my necklace to the exposed area of my chest. His light touch causes goosebumps on my arms and chest, but it’s his hand on my thigh, moving toward other areas, that’s setting off waves of electricity throughout my body.
“Edward,” I whisper-yell. “You have to keep your hands to yourself. I’m not getting thrown off the first leg of our vacation because you’re frisky.”
He smiles. “So, you’re frisky, too. I was thinking it might be the pills, and I didn’t remember that being a side effect.”
“No, I’m not…”
He raises an eyebrow.
“Well, maybe I am,” I concede, only to find his face is now victorious.
“However, that’s beside the point.”
“Oh, come on, Bella.” He gets a little pout on his face and barely keeps his voice to a whisper. “Don’t you want to join the Mile High Club with me?”
I’m not a fan of public bathroom sex, so I can’t even imagine what airplane bathroom sex would be like; especially, when I’ve heard the bathrooms are tiny, and Edward is not a small guy.
“As much as that sounds like an incredible offer and a once in a lifetime experience, I think I’m going to take a rain check on that one, Edward.”
His smile deflates a bit. “So, that’s not a no, right?”
“If someday, we are able to fly in a private plane, just us. Sure, I’ll be game for whatever you have in mind.”
With my conditions in mind, Edward is back to smiling, but it makes me wonder about his history.
“Edward, have you already joined the Mile High Club?”
He immediately frowns while he thinks. “Uh…”
I wait for his response, but it never comes as his blinks get slower and slower. He leans his head back on the seat, letting his eyes finally close.
“Welcome aboard, this is your captain of flight fifteen nineteen with service to JFK. It looks like we will be right on time when we pull into the terminal in about five and a half hours. We have clear skies ahead of us. Sit back and enjoy your flight.”
The flight attendants move about the cabin, informing us of safety procedures, and demonstrate various items in the event of a variety of landings. I glance at Edward to find his face relaxed with his eyes closed.
I watch out our window and hold his hand for both of our benefits, as the plane pushes away from the terminal and taxies toward the runway.
We are cleared for take-off, and I hear the engines begin to roar as I’m forced back in my seat and I feel the plane tilt upward. There’s a screeching sound of what I guess are the wheels being folded up under the plane while we continue to make our ascent.
I swallow a couple of times to relieve the pressure on my ears, while I hear a baby crying a few seats in front of us.
It doesn’t take much longer for us to level out and float up above the city.
I marvel at the amazing perspective, as everything gets smaller and smaller and I struggle to locate items I know are there but no longer look familiar.
I check on Edward, and he appears to be comfortably sleeping.
I let my own eyes close as my mind wanders back to the thoughts of Edward’s dating history or maybe I should call it previous hookups.
It’s not something we’ve discussed yet, as we should, especially since we aren’t using condoms. He said he’s clean, but you never know. Edward doesn’t seem like a one-night stand kind of guy, but all sex is risky.
Risk of disease.
Risk of pregnancy.
Maybe I should go on some type of birth control?
We’ve been together three months.
I’ve never been in a relationship this long to have the need, as all the guys I’ve been with used condoms.
As I look over at Edward’s profile; it’s not hard to imagine the draw to him physically. I’m sure, though, that once most women find out he’s an artist, that may be the point where they decide they aren’t in it for the long haul; especially, when they are motivated by money.
Maybe that’s the rub between Edward and Emmett, because Emmett does have the money. Maybe Edward is jealous of Emmett and his lifestyle, which attracts a particular type of woman.
No, surely not. Rosalie doesn’t seem like Edward’s kind of gal. I don’t see him falling for the model or actress type, but they may fall for him. There is always the possibility something or someone else caused this rift between the brothers, and not just their family issues.
I grab one of my magazines and get lost in the salacious headlines and articles, as we continue to cruise across the country.
“Edward.” I shake his arm gently. “Edward, wake up.”
His eyes finally pop open.
“We’ve landed in New York and we are taxiing to the gate.”
He cracks a bit of a smile. “We’re almost halfway there.” His voice is heavy with sleep.
I give him a quick kiss on the lips. “We need to get ready to change planes.”
His movements are slow and sluggish. I can only imagine how he feels, but if this is how he needs to fly, then I’m more than happy to help him out.
“We would like to welcome everyone to New York, where the local time is 3:57 p.m. For those of you making connections, please check the screens in the terminal for updated information. The captain will turn off the fasten seatbelts sign once it is safe to move about the cabin. Be careful when opening the overhead bins, as some items might have shifted in flight. We know you have a choice when choosing to fly, which is why we thank you for choosing American Airlines.”
It isn’t long before we hear the ding and the fasten seatbelt light goes off. We have time to make our connection, so we aren’t in any hurry like some folks.
Edward is starting to come out of his fog, and soon it’s our turn to grab our carry-on bags and make our way back down the aisle and off the plane.
Once we’re in the terminal, we locate the departures screen to find that our next flight is in the same terminal and only a few gates away.
“Maybe we should grab a bite to eat before our next flight?” I suggest.
Edward nods, and we look over our options. “I could go for some coffee and something to eat.” He spots a Starbucks close by.
We are both relieved to see the familiar green logo, so I happily agree.
Edward grabs a smoked turkey protein box that looks way too healthy, while I’m trying to decide between pastries.
I wonder, should I get the iced lemon pound cake or one of those adorable butterfly cookies?
Edward would probably say I need a sandwich with protein.
Clearly, he doesn’t understand my sweet tooth.
I suddenly feel Edward’s lips at my ear. “Just get both.”
I look back to find him with a knowing smile. “Okay, Mister Smartypants.”
We order and pay for our food and drinks, then make our way to find a place to sit near our gate.
The more food Edward eats and coffee he drinks, the more he comes alive and seems like his normal self. His medication is clearly wearing off, and I’m a bit sad he has to go through all this just to make this trip with me.
“Hey.” He nudges my knee with his.
I look up into his beautiful green eyes and smile. “Hey, yourself.”
“Did you do okay with the flight?”
I nod. “It was fine. However, those airplane bathrooms are disgusting.”
“I got up to go during the flight and the smell was just horrible in there. Let alone I could barely sit on the toilet without hitting my head on the door.” I laugh with him. “And you wanted me to have sex in there, Edward?” I shake my head. “That’s almost a mission impossible kind of stunt. I’m not sure I have those kinds of skills.”
Edward pauses eating and his face seems confused. “Have sex in there?”
“Yeah, before you fell asleep you asked if I wanted to join the Mile High Club.”
“Yeah, well, I guess you don’t remember.”
“No. No, I don’t. That is definitely something I would want to remember.”
“Well, no worries because after my trip in there, I understand you only want to use an airplane bathroom in cases of dire emergencies.”
Edward’s hand finds my knee. “You know sometimes it feels like—”
“Nope. Airplane sex on a commercial plane is not a dire emergency, Edward. However, I did agree with you that if we ever flew private, then we could join the club. I hear those planes sometimes have bedrooms. So, I’m sure the bathroom would be much bigger and smell a million times better.”
Edward gets this huge grin on his face. “Maybe I need to change our flights on the way back? Surely, I could get a private flight from Paris to London.” He seems resolved now. “Okay, consider it done. Or something I will do once we are in Paris and settled at the hotel.”
“Edward, you never said when I asked before, are you already a member?” I try fishing a little into his background of experience.
“Um, no. Flying has always been an issue for me, so attempting something like that would be nearly impossible.”
“And how do you think you might be able to pull off this stunt on a flight from Paris to London?”
“Well, I have some ideas, but they all revolve around not taking my medication. However, let’s talk about this later, if I can secure us a private plane for that flight.”
“Okay, but remember, I’m all right if this part of your plan never comes about. Just getting there safely and back home with you is the most important thing.”
Edward leans in and kisses me on the lips. “I know, but if I can figure out a way to give you this I will.”
We finish our food and drinks, then take another restroom break before getting ready for our next flight to Paris.
My excitement is building again, knowing the next time we get off the plane we will be in Paris, the City of Love, where I hope romance will blossom for the two of us.