Hello, Internet! Welcome back Antonia Aquilante for this edition of Flash Fiction Friday. Today, she brings us a heartwarming tale of a long flight home may not be so bad with the right company.
Business and Pleasure
by Antonia Aquilante
Daniel strode through the airport at just short of a run. His last meeting had gone over, and though he’d been hoping to change out of his suit for the flight home, he hadn’t had time to do anything more than grab his suitcase and jump in a cab. Traffic hadn’t been as bad as if could have been, but if the line at security was too long, he still might miss his flight.
He refused to miss his flight.
Skidding to a halt at the end of the security line, he craned his neck to try for a look at the front. Didn’t look too bad. He mentally crossed his fingers and juggled bag and briefcase to dig out his boarding pass and license. This business trip, which was supposed to have been quick and easy, had turned into anything but easy. His clients had been difficult, and everything that could have been delayed had been. He needed a vacation, but he’d take making his flight home at this point.
The security line seemed to crawl, but Daniel knew it wasn’t as slow as it seemed. Still, once he got through and was reunited with his bags and shoes, he took off for the gate with the same ground-eating stride and hoped there wasn’t a sprint in his future.
As far as he walked, the gate felt as if it was on the other side of the world. Of course. But when he got there, the gate agent was just saying they would start boarding momentarily. Daniel let out a long breath and loosened his tie. He scanned at the crowd at the gate area, letting his gaze play over all the people—business travelers and families and bored college students—before it zeroed in on one gorgeous man.
He was slender and long-legged in skinny jeans and a gray cardigan over a black shirt, a boldly patterned scarf wrapped around his neck. Dark hair fell over his forehead, and he brushed it out his eyes with a graceful hand. His other held his phone to his ear, his expression animated as he spoke. Seeing him took all the air from Daniel’s lungs. Years ago, he wouldn’t have been Daniel’s usual type, but what did that mean, really? He was beautiful. And Daniel’s day suddenly seemed brighter.
He wound his way through the crowd toward the man on his phone and the empty seat beside him. When he got close, Daniel caught a bit of his conversation.
“So, it was me, him, the mime—yeah, mime—stop getting hung up on the mime! And then the peanut butter came out…” He looked up then and tilted his head to one side as he watched Daniel move closer. “Sarah, I have to go. I’ll call you later.”
By then, Daniel was standing right in front of him, and he had a horrible feeling his mouth was hanging open. Mime? Peanut butter?
“Hello, handsome.” He gave Daniel a flirty smile.
Daniel had to smile back. “Hello.” Daniel sat in the seat next to him and settled his bags at his feet. After a moment, he asked, “A mime?”
“Don’t you get hung up on the mime now too.”
Daniel laughed. “And the peanut butter?”
“What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.” He said the words almost primly, and Daniel laughed even harder, which only made the man beside him grin, wide and delighted.
“You’re a menace. I don’t know if I should let you out on your own ever again.”
“Then you’ll have to ditch the work trip and come with me next time, Danny.” Nick leaned over for a brief, light kiss. “I missed you. My connecting flight was actually early, which I don’t think has ever happened in the history of flying, and then you were late. I was afraid you weren’t going to get here in time. They’re about to start boarding.”
“Most boring meeting on earth ran long. But I was not going to miss this flight.”
“Oh? And why is that?” Nick lifted a brow in a flirty little gesture that had become so familiar to Daniel over their three years together.
Nevertheless, he rolled his eyes at Nick’s fishing. “Because you’re going to be on it. And I can’t wait to get home with you.”
Daniel wanted to kiss him again, but that probably wasn’t the best idea at a crowded airport gate after a few days apart. Time enough when they got home, and they could cuddle up on the flight. Nick was a cuddler; Daniel had grown to depend on it over the years. They’d only been apart a few days, and he already missed it.
The gate agent called their row, and he and Nick gathered their things and got in line. As they waited, Daniel leaned over to whisper in Nick’s ear. “One thing, though.”
“We aren’t going anywhere near Vegas on our honeymoon.”
Nick beamed at him, just as he always did when Daniel mentioned their upcoming wedding. “Of course not. I was thinking Greece.”
Antonia Aquilante has been making up stories for as long as she can remember, and at the age of twelve, decided she would be a writer when she grew up. After many years and a few career detours, she has returned to that original plan. Her stories have changed over the years, but one thing has remained consistent – they all end in happily ever after.
She has a fondness for travel (and a long list of places she wants to visit and revisit), taking photos, family history, fabulous shoes, baking treats which she shares with friends and family, and of course reading. She usually has at least two books started at once and never goes anywhere without her Kindle. Though she is a convert to ebooks, she still loves paper books the best, and there are a couple thousand of them residing in her home with her.
Born and raised in New Jersey, she is living there again after years in Washington, DC, and North Carolina for school and work. She enjoys being back in the Garden State but admits to being tempted every so often to run away from home and live in Italy.
She is a member of the Romance Writers of America, the New Jersey Romance Writers, and the Rainbow Romance Writers.