I'm not a controlling boyfriend or fiancé or whatever I am. Really, I'm not. Maybe I once was, back when Justine and I were together, just a little. But I've mellowed. Justine's my equal, and I want her to have her own career, make her own decisions about her body, spend her time as she sees fit.
Even if she did leave me at the altar.
But when Bethany calls me from the airport in the Turks and Caicos and says she and Justine can't get a flight out, I snap into take-no-prisoners dominant mode.
"Justine's being stubborn. She didn't want to call you." I can practically hear Bethany rolling her eyes over the phone. "But we need an airlift."
"I'll be there as soon as I possibly can," I growl. "Whatever you do, don't tell her I'm coming. Just keep her there at the airport. Or, if you return to the hotel, text me. I'll come there to get you."
I'm not sure what Justine will do when she sees me. I'm anticipating tears. Hoping she'll wrap her arms around me. Afraid she'll treat me like I just ate a bag of kittens.
I'm in the jet sipping a whiskey, and we're about to land. The flight attendant, a guy whose dark good looks probably get him into every club on South Beach for free, comes over to collect my glass.
"Mr. Menendez, the pilot would like you to know that since we have special clearance to land in Providenciales, we're not able to stay on the tarmac for longer than a half-hour. So when you collect your passengers, we'll need to leave right away. The airport is closing tonight for the storm. We'll be departing from gate four."
"Got it. I won't be long." We'll be on the return flight even if I have to physically pick Justine up and throw her over my shoulder.
Our plane glides to a landing without trouble, but the hurricane's only four to six hours away, according to forecasters. We haven't got much time at all. Miami's only an hour away by plane, but fortunately, it's out of the storm's path.
I stand, not waiting for the plane to stop taxiing on the runway. The attendant wags his finger at me. I remain standing.
Out a window, I see an airport employee wheel up a staircase for the jet. Peering into the windows of the terminal, I try to scan the crowd for Justine, but I'm too far away to make out faces. Flicking on my phone, I check for messages from Bethany. Nothing.
The minute the door opens, I walk briskly down the stairs. An employee points me inside, where I must go through immigration and customs first.
"Just here to pick up two friends," I say, flashing my passport to the authorities. They've got deep bags under their eyes and look bored as they wave me through.
The first thing I notice when I burst into the terminal is the unmistakable smell of anxiety. People are sprawled everywhere, on chairs and on the floor, while others are waving paperwork at beleaguered gate agents.
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Constant Craving: The Complete SeriesRomance
To save her business, she'll trade every last inch of her body... * * * Justine's passion is journalism, and she's trying to beat the odds and save her family's newspaper. With the company on the edge of collapse, she begs a private equity group fo...