Thankfully Chris had been dragged off by that slightly annoying brother of his before we had done something that we would have regretted later. Or would we? My brow furrowed with the intensity of my thoughts as I ran the image of Chris' beautiful lips so close to mine. My breathing became shallow and I had to take in a big gulp of air to calm myself.
This is not who I am. I had not done this before. Yeah, first dates had sometimes been a little frisky, but within twenty minutes of meeting a guy! Jeez! Now that was a new one. I imagined Neil, the younger of my brothers, doing something like this. He was the wild child of the family. Going to weird parties, bringing home girls he didn't even know the names of, and the latest in a string of absurd activities, becoming a bartender in a new goth-meets-class establishment on the wrong side of town. When you are a Harvard graduate you don't become a bartender. Or do you?
Shaking my head clear of the pictures of Neil flooding into my mind, I retrieved a wet tissue from my bag and wiped the perspiration off my face. It is so hot in here, I thought to myself as I took off my Stella McCartney knit sweater to reveal the cable knit tank that my Mom had knitted for me last year for Christmas. Folding the sweater neatly, I placed it on Chris' empty seat while I rummaged through my bag for the keys to my hold-all.
Since Chris had not managed to return from the lounge, and I did wonder what was talking him so long, I decided to ask for help from the guy sitting across the aisle from me. Yeah, the same one that I had been eavesdropping on. He seemed to be engrossed in conversation with his companion and before I disturbed him I tried to recall his name. Was it Hyde? Yeah, I think it was Hyde. But was it his first name?
Carrying my sweater, I got up from my seat and walked over to his seat. I cleared my throat to get his attention and then held out my right hand in his direction. "Hello, I'm Alex Gold." He seemed a little surprised, as did the beautiful girl sitting beside him. In spite of that he shook hands with me and introduced himself as Evan Hyde. So, I was right, I triumphantly thought to myself and smiled in the direction of the girl, who at second glance seemed a little familiar.
"Louisa Catherine Miller", she said as she shook hands with me as well.
"It's nice to meet both of you", I said to them and then turned my attention to Hyde. I wondered why I couldn't think of him as Evan, and shaking my head at that thought, I smiled at him and said, "I really needed a little help, if you wouldn't mind."
"Oh! Not at all. What can I do?"
"Well, my hold-all is up there and I needed to stash something inside it real quick. And I can't really get to it. So...."
"Definitely, just tell me where it is and I'll get it down for you." Hyde had a really beautiful smile and an imposing personality, which I noticed when he got up from his seat.
I moved aside and pointed in the direction of my bag and watched him flex his muscles as he hefted the bag into Chris' seat. I thanked him and as my gaze swept across Louisa, I caught her looking at me oddly. A little unnerved, I unlocked my hold-all and kept my sweater inside. Zipping it back, I felt a tap on my shoulder and heard Chris' voice above my head.
"Giving my place to somebody else so soon huh, Alex?"
I looked up and saw him grinning and couldn't stop a smile from lifting the corners of my mouth. "Chris..."
"Nice explanation there.." he said as he turned to Hyde and shook hands with him, sizing him up. "Christopher Anderson and you are...?"
"Hyde. Evan Hyde. It's nice to meet you."
"Same here." He then held his hand out to Louisa and more introductions followed.
Finally, looking at me with a quizzical expression, Chris asked me, "Did I miss something while I was gone?"
"Oh! Nothing. I just needed my hold-all and Hy...Evan was kind enough to help me." Looking across the aisle, I saw that Hyde had taken his place and that Louisa was again staring at me as if I had something on my face.
I urgently beckoned to Chris to crouch lower and whispered to him, "Do I have something stuck to my face? Or is something else wrong?"
"You look perfect Alex", he said to me with a straight face and then lightly pinched the bridge of my nose. "Now, stop fretting and tell me where you want this bag."
"Oh! Just a second." I made sure that the hold-all was secure and then moved away from it so that Chris could hoist it up. And hoist it up he sure did. His hard muscles and tanned arms were a sight to behold as he put the hold-all in its place and then came to stand right next to me.
Leaning down to my height, he whispered in my ear, "So, you want me to put you in your place too? Coz you know I'd gladly do it." Saying this, he lightly kissed the side of my neck as he moved away and chuckled at my surprised expression.
"Thanks, but I really appreciate the offer", I said equally mischievously and blew a kiss in his direction before I settled in my seat.
Listening to his hearty laughter as he sat beside me, and a couple of other passengers' muffled giggles, I suddenly realized what I had done and turned a deep color of red.
This is not who I am.