Airport Pickup

You didn’t meet me at the airport. Our flight was delayed, but only by an hour. 

I sat at the airport bar, drink in hand, and surveyed the crowded place. It was late in the evening, and the airport was full of business executives chatting on cell phones and families trying to coral hyper kids. I was done waiting for you. 

He sidled up next to me at the bar, ordering a drink as his carry-on dropped to the floor. The backpack was grey, old and torn, showing signs of age and extensive use. It matched the torn and baggy jeans he wore. The bartender served him up his draft beer, and he took a swig before looking around as I had done. 

Some child screamed at the top of his lungs as he ran back and forth down the open floor plan, and the man beside me winced. A dark curl fell in front of his eyes, and he lifted a hand that was calloused and rough to push it out of the way and tucked it under his cap. He moved with confidence. He was a man who knew what hard work was, what getting your hands dirty meant. I eyed him up and down, the puffy vest trying to hide his t-shirt that fit a little too snug. 

I tipped my glass back and asked the barkeeper for a second. If that screaming hyperactive kid was on my flight, I would drink until I could pass out. 

He eyed me as I picked up the fresh glass and smiled. It was lopsided, and his face was scruffy, not a beard, but a little more than 5 o’clock shadow. His jawline was squared beneath the scruff, and he was handsome. I liked the look he gave me. He was into me, I could see it, I appreciate the compliment. He wanted to flirt? I could flirt, liquid courage running through my veins.

I shot him the sexiest smile I could manage, tilting my head down to look out at him through my eyelashes. 

He grabbed that beer with a firm hand, turned and leaned against the bar, his jeans sagging low. He reached his other hand and hiked them up, tugging on the leather belt. I imagined the feel of that leather belt on my wrists, and felt a bead of sweat form on my neck.

“Kids,” he growled, his low voice sunk into my chest. I leaned forward to hear what else he had to say, my heart beating faster still.

“They should just be given a beer to put them to sleep for flights. Works for me.” He chuckled and took another swig, and I imagined that voice whispering in my ear, his hand grabbing my waist and tugging me into his broad chest. 

“I’d rather find a bed somewhere and skip the flight.” I said out loud. My eyes widened, and I quickly lifted my glass to my lips. He raised his eyebrow and looked at me outright. 

“If that’s an invitation, I’m in.” He smiled and held out his hand. I glanced at his hand, and at him, and at my boarding pass, the paper a reminder of what I was supposed to do, where I was supposed to be.  My heart beat furiously, and I took his hand, feeling the roughness against my skin. Thoughts of those rough hands running down my body made me smile and I set my glass down.

Our boarding passes were left under our emptied glasses, growing damp as the agents called for us, over and over.  

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