Page 13 of Tight

“Well, you know my opinion on the subject.”

A collective groan resonated through the cabin. Yes, we all knew Megan’s opinion on the subject. The thirty-one-year-old virgin never missed a moment to voice her stance.

“Well, Megan, you sit there with your headphones and have a moment of silence to mourn the passing of Riley’s celibacy,” Chelsea said tartly. “I want details. I’m ten weeks away from being a one-penis woman.”

“You’ve been a one-penis woman since tenth grade,” Beth piped in from the back.

“Can we please stop calling Chelsea a “one-penis woman”? I’m getting sideshow visions.” I closed the curtain beside me and wished this plane would freaking get going so we could have some airflow.

The door to the cockpit slid open and the co-pilot leaned back. Great. With my luck, we’re having engine trouble. “I hate to bother you ladies, but there’s a gentleman outside the plane.”

We all shut up long enough to hear the bang of something against the door. Chelsea was the first to get her window curtain aside, my seat putting me on the wrong side of the plane. But I knew, as soon as her head snapped to me, who was outside. I closed my eyes for a brief moment. “Don’t tell me...”

They didn’t have to tell me. Mitzi worked the latch, the door swung up with a burst of sunlight, and I swear I could smell him, the scent of masculinity and possession as he strode up the stairs and pointed at me, his gorgeous mouth curving into a grin. “You. Outside. Unless you want me to kiss you senseless in front of all these ladies.”

My glare’s effect was weakened by the whoops of five women, a smattering of applause accompanying the cheers. I glanced at Chelsea, her dad’s bill ticking higher with every minute we sat on the jetway. She tilted her head toward Brett, her eyes brimming with excitement, and moved her feet from the aisle. Rolling my eyes, I pushed off the armrests, my gaze drawing, without intent, to the delicious backside of Brett as he jogged down the plane’s steps.

I plodded behind him, my tennis shoes heavy and slow. What is he doing here? And why—his shoes hit the ground and he turned, extending a hand out to me and tugging when I slid my palm into his. I made it down the last few steps, falling into his chest, his arms sliding up and wrapping around me. I looked up into his face. “Why are you—”

He silenced my question with his mouth, a firm kiss that he punctuated with action, his hands sliding down my arms and settling on my ass, squeezing the cheeks as if verifying his claim. “You left,” he accused, pulling his mouth from mine and looking down, his words hard to focus on as he continued to grip my ass like he had every right.

“It was a fun weekend. No need to spoil it with false promises.” I barely got out the words before he let go and dug in his pocket, my butt already missing the contact. I glanced up at the open door, curious faces darting away, Chelsea’s big smile the only one to stay put. She watched without shame, my glare doing nothing to dissuade her. I’m shocked she didn’t open some popcorn and prop up her feet.

“Here.” He pressed something into my hand, and I looked down, a piece of hotel stationary folded in two, his number scribbled on the outside. “Call or text me when you get home safely, if you want. Or throw it away. It’s in your court. But I couldn’t let you leave without it.”

I could feel the weight of the girls’ stares, the tick of the clock as expensive minutes passed, the heat of the sun as it prickled the sunburnt tops of my shoulders. “I told you, this doesn’t have to be anything.”

“Or,” he shrugged, stepping forward, his mouth pressing softly against my cheek, my lips crying for the missed contact, the taste of his tongue, the onelastchance that might have just flown by, “it could be the start of everything.”

Then he stepped, one slow step back, then two, his hand reaching out, a casual wave given as his mouth broke open into a smile that would make Rob Lowe envious. “See ya, Riley.”

I waved a slow hand, his number in between my fingers, fluttering in the wind, my hand dropping, closing tighter around the paper as I turned before he could and jogged up the steps of the plane. The door shut behind me, and I faced five seats of silent, curious eyes.

“Shut it,” I blurted, dropping back into my seat and fastening the belt, my fingers shoving his number into my tote bag’s inside pocket. “It was nothing.”

“That, right there?” Tiny Beth stood, the pilot barking a protest, and pointed outside, all eyes craning to the windows. I didn’t even want to know the view, didn’t want to know what made a few squeals come from that general vicinity. “That was textbook romance. I’d give up an ovary for that right there.”

Chelsea reached out and yanked at Beth’s shirt, pulling her to her seat, the pilot finally turning back, the engines increasing in speed as

Every.

Eye.

Remained.

Locked.

On.

Me.

“Stop it,” I warned, reclining the seat and stuffing the neck support back into place. “I had a one-night stand. End of story.”

“Then you won’t need his number.”

I pried open one eye to see Beth reaching across the aisle, digging for my purse, Chelsea’s booted heel catching her wrist and causing a shriek of pain.

“Before Riley shares all the juicy secrets about her night of passion, let me give you ladies the rundown on Mr. Brett Jacobs.” Jena’s voice crowed from behind me.

“I’m not sharing any juicy secrets,” I interjected. I pulled the purse out of reach, sandwiching it between my calves, and closed my eyes, feigning disinterest.

Jena didn’t pause, the trajectory of her voice indicating a rise in position, the blonde no doubt holding court and relishing every moment of it. “Brett Jacobs is listed on Betschart Yachts’ website as being a sales manager, his job description consists of ... well, he’s a salesman,” she finished plainly. “But of big-ticket items. Their cheapest yacht starts at ten million, which…” At her pause, there was a flutter of papers. Good God, the woman probably had a PowerPoint presentation at the ready. “Which, if I estimate just a percentage of commission, we’re talking six figures per boat.” There was an impressed hum of approval from the group, and I willed her to shut up. The plane moved forward, and some of my hair got caught in the fresh grip of her hand on my headrest. I winced, reaching a hand back and carefully pulled my ponytail free, the action discovering a wealth of knots and bumps along the top of my head. Great ... messy hair. Way to make a lasting impression.

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