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Christiane France

Paris Heat

For Roy and The Boys.

As the Paris-bound jet began slowly backing out of its slot at Pearson International Airport, Trish Stacey felt a rush of pure adrenaline. Finally, the past few years of doing without a social life while shuffling part-time jobs and counting pennies in order to complete her education were done. She had a degree in economics plus her MBA, a spot on the short list for a job in the business loans division at one of the major Canadian banks, and now she was moving onward and upward. For the next three weeks, thanks to a small but timely win on a lottery ticket, she intended to forget about the late nights, early mornings, and everything else it had taken for her to reach this point, and simply let loose and have fun.

She'd been lucky enough to get a window seat, so whatever exciting adventures lay ahead for her once she arrived in Paris, for the next few hours she could sleep without fear of being stepped on or otherwise having her dreams interrupted. But, after checking to ensure her seatbelt was properly fastened, she felt the usual twinge of apprehension as the jet taxied its way into line for take-off.

A moment later, they were on the runway and, as the plane began to gather speed, she closed her eyes, clamped her fingers tightly around the armrests and prayed no one was watching her make a fool of herself. She wasn't scared of flying, it was just the take-offs and landings that bothered her-along with the million what-ifs that flashed through her mind, such as, what if the plane couldn't level off and kept going straight up into the stratosphere? Would they land on the moon, Mars, or would they be condemned to forever circle around and around in space until they ran out of fuel? And what if, when that happened, they-

"Stop worrying. It won't happen," she muttered, closing her eyes and sucking in a deep breath. Planes were supposed to be the safest way to travel. Everyone said so. They were much safer than cars or trains or busses.

And the good thing about the scary part was it didn't last long. In a matter of seconds, the plane had left the ground behind and, with the help of its powerful jet engines, began soaring smoothly upward into a rose-tinged evening sky.

As soon as the pilot reached his allotted cruising altitude and leveled off, and the engines had settled down to a steady roar, Trish relaxed her death grip on the armrests and let her breath out slowly. Hurrah! Once again, she'd survived the dreaded take-off.

"Your first flight?" a husky voice to her right enquired.

Trish opened her eyes and glanced in the direction of the voice. She was certain the seat next to hers had been empty when the plane started to taxi down the runway. Now it was occupied by a man. A dark-haired, broad-shouldered, incredibly handsome man with velvety dark brown eyes, a million-dollar tan and a smile so sexy it was giving her goose bumps in the most unexpected places. For a split second she thought he was an illusion, but then she found herself wondering if his body matched the smile-smooth tanned skin from head to toe, perhaps. And a washboard stomach, tight butt and a-

His dark eyebrows lifted a fraction. "Yes?"

"Yes what?"

"I asked if this was your first flight. I thought perhaps you were feeling a little nervous."

Trish bared her teeth and forced a smile. "Why would you think it's my first flight?"

The man's smile increased. "I don't know. You seemed a little… I'm not quite sure how to put this. Preoccupied, shall we say?"

"Really? For your information, I've flown hundreds of times."


"More like thousands. I don't keep count."

"You don't?"

"No." The man was definitely handsome, but Trish didn't believe good looks alone could account for the sudden acceleration in her heart rate, the painful ache at the juncture of her thighs, or the feeling she was about to have a king-size orgasm. Which was a real joke because, despite several boyfriends and a two-year affair she'd expected to end in marriage, the only orgasms she'd ever experienced were the ones she'd read about in books.

Her mouth felt dry, and she licked her lips. Maybe it was something about the bold way he was staring at her… Something unnerving, elemental, raw, basic… Something she would never have thought possible if it hadn't been happening to her. In fact, if he asked her to take her clothes off right here, this very minute, she knew she'd do it.

Incapable of breaking eye contact, she allowed him to hold her gaze until, to her complete astonishment, she finally grasped what her body had already realized and responded to-the man's eyes were making love to her in way that was as unnerving as it was unbelievable.

"Would you like something to drink, madam?"

The flight attendant's question couldn't have come at a better moment. It broke the tension and enabled Trish to transfer her gaze away from the man beside her to the uniformed blonde in the aisle. She normally avoided alcohol when flying, but this was one time she needed a stiff drink so she could put work and school out of her mind for once and just relax and enjoy the flight. " Cognac, please."

"And you, sir?"

"I'll have whiskey. A little ice if I may, but no water."

The flight attendant moved on to the next row of seats, and the man said quietly, "I'm sorry if my question offended you."

"No, it's okay. It's not the actual flying that bothers me. It's just the take-offs and landings," Trish admitted with a cautious smile "So…thanks for your concern, but I'm fine." Giving the man another brief smile, she pulled a magazine from her carry-on bag and started to read. The couple of minutes spent ordering their drinks had been just enough time for her to regain her composure and to realize the man was undoubtedly a consummate flirt. Probably a businessman on his way to another round of tedious meetings who made passes at women to relieve the boredom of his otherwise miserable life. Annoying, but hardly a crime.

"You seemed so scared, I thought it was your first time."

She sucked in a deep breath, counted to ten, and closed the magazine. "As I said before, it's not the flying, just the take-off."

"Ah, so you did. I'm sorry."

The words were softly spoken and sounded sincere, but Trish ignored the apology and returned her attention to her magazine. If he thought she was being rude, so be it. Whether he was trying to add her to his list of mile-high conquests, or merely being friendly, she simply wasn't interested.

It had been a little over three months since her break-up with Stuart, but she'd been too busy with school and two part-time jobs to feel lonely, and she'd had neither the time nor the inclination to get involved with anyone else even briefly. That's what this trip was all about. It provided a chance for her to kick up her heels and let loose before she joined the establishment and, hopefully, became a respected member of the financial community.

The flight attendant returned with the drinks and, after fixing her own, Trish watched from the corner of her eye as her neighbor uncapped the miniature bottle of whiskey and poured it into his glass. The immaculate and obviously expensive dark navy suit, white shirt, designer silk tie and perfectly manicured hands screamed money, and she wondered what he did for a living. A company president, or merely a highly-paid executive? Maybe he was a politician. Politicians always wore navy suits, so he could be flying off to some exotic location on a high-level assignment for the government.



2011 - 2018