The Mile High Club

By: Jasinda Wilder

The Detroit Metro airport was bustling. I held on to Shane's arm and let him drag me through the crowds, trying to ignore the doubts assailing my mind. It was one thing to talk about quitting my job, leaving my fiancé, and going to Africa with a near-stranger. It was another thing altogether to actually do it.

All I had was my purse and a backpack carry-on. Shane said we'd be better off buying luggage for me later than trying to go back to John's house. I didn't argue. The last thing I wanted was a confrontation with my ex-fiancé. I'd talked to my parents, and they were suitably horrified at the news that I'd quit my job and was flying across the world with a man I'd just met...into a war zone.

If I was being honest, I was a little horrified too. All my life I'd been responsible and careful. I went to community college after high school and lived with my parents, and then eventually moved in with John after we'd been dating for two years. I got my RN from a university I could commute to from home. I never joined a sorority or lived alone, never went on drinking binges or had one-night stands. I never did anything unpredictable.

And then I met Shane. He had a way of unlocking my inhibitions, a way of making me want to try new things and live on the edge. Of course, I'd only known him for forty-eight hours. Two days, or rather, a day and a night and the following day.

I wasn't about to change my mind, but I was a little shaky.

Shane seemed to sense this. "It's okay to be nervous," he said, smiling down at me.

Standing six foot four and built like Adonis, with chiseled features and arresting gray-green eyes, Shane Sorrenson attracted the attention of every woman, and not a few men, in the airport. Being the girl on his arm, I found myself the subject of more lewd and searching gazes than I was used to. I tried to ignore the looks and keep my feet moving as Shane led me through the concourse and to the security line.

He took one glance at the winding, backed-up line and shook his head. "I don't have time for this."

Tugging on my hand, he led me to the front of the line where he leaned in and whispered something in a TSA guard's ear. The guard glanced in surprise at Shane, then nodded and waved us through, to the vocal aggravation of the rest of the line.

That was my first hint Shane might be more than I suspected. What kind of man could, at a word, get waved past security? Shane shot me a cocky grin and dragged me across the airport to the international departures wing. Instead of finding a gate, however, Shane led us to an unmarked, locked door. He withdrew a keycard from his wallet, scanned it, and led me through a narrow, bright-white hallway.

"Where are we going?" I asked.

Shane just winked. "You'll see."

Further questioning resulted in an irritated roll of his eyes, so I fell silent and tried to keep up with his wide-legged gait. The hallway twisted and turned until I couldn't have found my way back if I tried, but Shane seemed to know exactly where he was going.

At length, Shane led us to a door marked with a red "exit" sign, shoved the crash-bar open and pulled me outside into the cool night air. The airport rose behind us in a looming, endless bulk. We were in a part of the airport I hadn't even known existed, row after row of blocky hangars with wide-open doors, whining jet engines, flashing lights, baggage cars whizzing past in all directions, taxiing aircraft...it was chaos. Shane led me on foot across the tarmac to a hangar door and into an echoing space filled with a small, sleek, matte-black private passenger jet. It was the kind of aircraft rock stars and actors and ultra-wealthy businessmen rode in, not lower-middle class ER nurses from Troy, Michigan.

A man in a rumpled business suit noticed our entrance and jogged to meet us. "The jet is fueled, stocked, and ready to go, Mr. Sorrenson. The flight plan has been logged and we're just waiting for you and your...guest...to board."

Mr. Sorrenson? I knew Shane was the CEO and co-founder of a company, but this man's deference surprised me. Shane seemed as irritated by it as I was surprised. He glanced at me out of the corner of his eyes, as if wondering if I'd noticed.

"I've told you, Bradley. Call me Shane. Mr. Sorrenson is my father."

"Certainly, sir—I mean, Shane," Bradley said. "Do you have any luggage, sir?"

Shane growled. "Quit calling me sir, goddamnit. And no, no luggage. Just the two bags."

I stifled a giggle.

"What's so damn funny?" He asked me.

"Nothing. Just you." I squeezed his arm.

"What about me?"

"Why don't you want him to call you Mr. Sorrenson? Or sir? He's just being respectful."

Shane snorted. "It's complicated. But he's not being respectful, he's being a suck up. I hate it."

He stomped up the steep, narrow steps into the interior of the jet, cutting off any other questions I might have directed at him. I followed him up and into the jet. Within less than a minute, Shane was sitting in a deep, tan leather lounge chair with his cell phone to his ear. He gestured with a thumb at the chair next to his and turned away. He was all business, and he had been ever since he got the phone call early yesterday morning. As soon as he got the call, he'd gone from being a sweet and attentive lover to a laser-focused businessman with little time or patience for anything but getting to the airport and onto our flight.

He'd gotten me a passport within hours, with a few phone calls, had arranged for my things to be picked up from John's house, boxed up and put into storage, and had whisked us away from his condo in a limousine.

Warning bells were going off in my head, especially now that I was sitting in the back of a private jet. The seats were upholstered in expensive-looking leather, and the back of each headrest was embroidered with an elaborate 'S' monogram.

'S' for Sorrenson?

I sat in the chair Shane had indicated, staring wide-eyed at the extravagance around me. There was a fully stocked bar along one wall and an enormous flat-screen TV on another. Through one open door I could see a bathroom nicer than the one in my parent's house, and through another a bedroom nearly as large as the one in my apartment.

After five minutes of barking orders into his phone, Shane hung up and turned to me.

"Ever flown private before?" he asked.

I shook my head. "I've never flown before, period."

"You've never been on an airplane? Like, not even to Florida?"

"Shane, I've never left Michigan. I went to Ontario once, with John, but that's it."

He lifted an eyebrow, a gesture which I had already learned could express more than a thousand words. "Well," he said, "you're in for a treat then."

I tried to formulate my question carefully. "Shane...this jet...it's yours? Your company's I mean?"

He shrugged. "It's my family's. My dad has...a lot of money. It's just easier to fly private, I've found."

"Who is your dad?"

Shane pinched the bridge of his nose, as if resigning to part with information he'd rather keep to himself. "Henry James Sorrenson."

Now that was a name I knew. His father was one of the wealthiest men in the country, a business mogul worth several billion dollars. His name wasn't in the news often, but John, being a banker, routinely read magazines and newspapers like The Wallstreet Journal and Forbes.

"So, you're—"

He cut me off, his words clipped and tense. "Just Shane. My father's business, my father's wealth has nothing to do with me."

"Shane, I—"

"Did you really not know who I was? Or were you just playing dumb?"

His ire was palpable. The sweet, caring, sensual man I'd met in the rain, riding a Harley, was gone.

"Why would I play dumb? How was I supposed to know who you were, or who your father is?"

"You'd be surprised. My family, my brothers...we tend to attract attention. Women know who we are, and they'll often do anything to get close to us, hoping—"

It was my turn to interrupt. "If you think I'm just some gold digger, then why'd you bring me here?"

"I didn't say I thought you were—"

"That's what you're implying," I said, irritated now. "And I don't appreciate it. I get that you may be wary about people knowing who you are, but that doesn't mean every woman who throws herself at you is after your money."

I stood up, regretting my impetuosity. "Call me a cab or something. I'm going home...or to my parents' house...just let me off the jet, please."

I went to the door of the jet, which was closed now.

Shane stood up and followed me. "We're already taxiing, Leo. If you really don't want to go, I'll still take you home. But...listen, I really didn't mean to say you were just after my family's money. Sit down, please."

His large, strong hands pressed my shoulders, a gentle, insistent pressure. I wanted to stay irritated, let it feed my fear so I could give in and go back to home.

Back to boring, predictable familiarity...

He must have felt my resistance softening, because he turned me around and pressed me against the door, one finger tipping my chin up to look at him. His eyes burned into me, and that was all it took. One glance, one rake of his eyes down my face to the rest of my body.

Normally, sex was the very last thing on my mind when I was on my period, but something about Shane, something about the time we'd spent in his bed had unleashed a hunger in me. Even now, when my moods should be unpredictable at best, all I could think about was how good he'd made me feel, and how I wanted it again. His hands had touched me like he owned me, like he knew every secret of my body. He knew how to draw pleasure from me as if we'd been lovers for decades instead of days.

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