Chapter One

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I toe-heeled my black ballet flats off and gingerly stepped onto the cold airport floor. Tiptoeing, I avoided the spills, the spots, and the grime dotting the linoleum.

Balancing on the balls of my feet, trying not to focus on the germs and the smell of God-knows-what body odor lingering in the air, I bent to pick up my shoes, then took a few quick steps toward the security line.

Of all the things I hated about flying, the TSA line was far from the worst. I shivered as I unwrapped the black pashmina from my shoulders. Normally it would be a pleasure to precisely fold such a luxurious piece of fabric, but I stuffed it into a ball and into the container. My long hair crackled and levitated with static electricity, and I twisted it into a messy bun at my nape.

"I'll be there around seven a.m.," the man next to me brayed into his phone. My bin was nearing the conveyor belt, and I tiptoed along, sliding the cubby next to my hip onto the steel rollers.

"Ma'am, your laptop. Get it outta there."

What about a please? Did the security guard have to address me so brusquely? It had been years since I'd flown. Was this how people acted in airports now?

"Goodness," I whispered under my breath. I looked at the guy on the phone, then to the conveyor belt helplessly. I needed another plastic tub, but the stack was several feet away. The phone guy—a doughy, road-warrior type in a white oxford and khaki pants— didn't notice me at all and was of no help. Get off the stupid phone. A tall man behind him paid attention to my plight, wrestled a bin from the stack, and offered it in my direction.

"Thank you." I reached around the guy on the phone and took the bin.

I heaved a sigh. I didn't want to travel across the pond. Didn't want to leave my Palm Beach estate. But when Karl Lagerfeld summons you to London Fashion Week for a lifetime achievement award, you say yes. Even if you're deathly afraid of flying.

I opened my custom black Birkin bag and reached for my MacBook Air. The laptop went into the empty bin, and I set the bag in a second bin. So many bins.

"You know what I'm going to do to you when I get there?" The doughy guy next to me chuckled lasciviously, and I heard the giggle of a woman through the phone. Why couldn't people stop yakking in public? God, I hated technology. I tried to use it as little as possible and usually succeeded. That was the benefit of having assistants. And being rich, I supposed.

I inhaled in disapproval.

"I'm going to eat your pussy."

Gah! I almost clapped my hands over my ears. Could I unhear that please? A man referring to a woman's ... Oh, God. I pressed a hand to my chest and my fingers squeezed the pearls around my neck.

How vulgar. In the TSA line at the Miami International Airport, no less. The man laughed into the phone. "Yeah, baby. Wait for daddy."

Retch. The oral sex-lover didn't notice my offense, but the tall man behind him did. We locked eyes. His were blue, azure and beautiful. I grimaced in horror, and the blue-eyed man grinned and then chuckled. Somehow, the terrible guy between us didn't notice the mocking or the disgust.

"End y'all's calls. And move along, ma'am," the TSA agent said, weary. She'd probably heard worse.

Shaking my head, I walked into the X-ray machine.

"Feet on the floor. Spread your legs. Hold your hands over your head."

Vulgar, indeed.

I'd collected my belongings and was trying to gather myself at a bench when the tall, blue-eyed man appeared next to me.

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