Chapter 15 | Brando

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I feel my non-existent ovaries burst at the sight of Daxten soothing the baby up front. It's so appealing when a guy has enough compassion to help a total stranger with their baby. He'd make an amazing dad, and there's something incredibly sexy about that.

      But what is he doing here all the way at the back of the plane? Why isn't he living it up in luxury up at the front?

      I should have replied to his message, but there's no way I want him to know I don't want to move from this seat. I don't want him to see me like this – a coward, not willing to take a risk. I can take risks when my feet are firmly on the ground, but on a plane? I can't do it. I just can't.

      Airplane travel is one of the safest ways to travel. Passenger safety is at an all-time high. My fingers flirt with the seatbelt holding me down. My brain tells me to press the button and go over to Daxten. My body says no.

      I feel the sweat on my forehead as I look down at my lap. My hands are shaking. This is probably the worst I've ever been on an airplane. Usually I can drown out everything around me and sink into a peaceful abyss until landing. This flight is different – there's two men on board who are keeping me on this plane. I can't escape into the vortex of my imagination to pretend I'm elsewhere. I'm very much present on Flight 143.

      'Brando – you okay?'

      I shoot my head up at the sound of his voice. I may have even shrieked a little at the sudden volume. The sweat runs into my eyes so Daxten appears in the aisle like a broken spectre, the lights behind him transforms him into some god-like being approaching me. I rub my eyes to see the concern etched upon his face. I can only imagine what I look like to him right now.

      'Daxten, what did you come down here for?'

      Is that my voice? It comes out a little broken. I didn't realize how heavy the roof of my mouth is, blocking some of the airflow so that my lungs can't inflate all the way. It's dizzying.

      Daxten kneels down next to me. 'To see if you were okay, and it's a good job I did! You look like you're going to pass out.'

      'I'm fine, I just need some water.'

      'I'll get you some...' He offers.

      'It's okay,' I tell him as my hand shoots for his arm. I keep him in place. I don't want him to go anywhere. 'I have some in my bag.'

      I'm about to open my bag but Daxten does it for me. He rummages around for a little bit, commenting 'what the fuck you got in here?' before finally pulling out a half-full bottle of water. He opens the lid and I take it gratefully.

      After downing it, I inhale deeply, feeling the stuffy air fill my lungs to its maximum capacity. That's slightly better.

      'I'm so sorry,' I tell him with a sudden urge to look at everything but him. 'I can be silly sometimes, I know.'

      'Don't apologize,' he tells me. He must have some form of remedy in the melodious notes of his voice. Strength returns to my body and mind, allowing me to lift my heavy eyelids to stare into the pages of his eyes.

      'You didn't reply,' he continues. 'I would very much like to spend some time with you, if that's okay?'

      The more I look at him, the more I realize he's going to be the one to glue this fractured heart back together.

      'Would you like a seat?' I ask. The question comes out firm – a far cry from the shaky sentences I was forming just seconds ago. I'm starting to forget why I stopped responding to his messages on the in-flight messaging system.

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