The Affair (The Evolution Of Sin #1)By: Giana Darling
The Evolution of Sin Series
For all the romantics, I’m proud to be in the same boat as you.
Rain pounded against the steaming tarmac and the force of the wind slapped each drop against the oval window beside my head so that the grey of the runway, the rolling clouds and the Vancouver skyline blurred into one. The rain calmed my nerves, and I closed my eyes to better hear the tap and whistle of weather outside the tin machine that had – somewhat precariously – carried me from Paris to Vancouver in just fewer than seven and a half hours. We were deplaning a third of the passengers and then refueling to make the last leg of the journey to my final destination, Los Cabos, Mexico.
I took a deep breath and tried to focus on my happy place while the economy passengers filtered off the plane. The flight was necessary and after twenty-four years of traveling, I should have been used to the bump and grind of air travel.
In theory, I was. Before every flight I waited calmly in the endlessly snaking line to check my bags, greeted the attendant with a genuine smile and agreed that yes, I would have a pleasant flight. It wasn’t until I was on the plane, secured in my seat by the tenuous hold of the belt, that the fear kicked into supercharge. I was intensely grateful to my younger brother Sebastian for loaning me the money for the first class flight. At least now, if the plane went down, I would have a bigger seat to cushion the fall.
“You still look a bit green, cherie.” The middle-aged gentleman beside me leaned forward and offered me his unopened water bottle. “The worst is over, though. I hope someone is picking you up in Mexico, you are in no shape to drive after all of…” He waved politely at the remaining travel sickness bags the flight attendant had passed to me twenty minutes into our flight.
I managed a weak smile for Pierre. He was a fifty-year-old bachelor, quite distinguished really, with steel grey hair and cunning brown eyes. And maybe, under different circumstances, he would have propositioned me. As it was, he had offered to pay someone to switch seats with him when he discovered how sick I was. Failing that, he had settled in with relatively good grace and lectured me on the tricks of international trade law to distract me. Everything considered – I had managed to drool on his Hugo Boss blazer while I dozed between throwing up – I was grateful to him.
“No, but I’ll catch a taxi to the resort.” At the moment, I wasn’t looking forward to my enforced vacation. All I wanted was to step off the plane back in my familiar Paris and slip into the small wrought iron bed in my studio apartment in St-Germain-des-Prés.
Pierre nodded, and shot me a sidelong look. “Are you going to be alright now?”
He was getting off now to visit his daughter and newborn grandson. He didn’t like North America, and I got the feeling he was lingering just to eek out a few more words in his native tongue before switching to English.
I nodded meekly but before I could respond the deeper voice of someone behind us spoke, “If you will allow me, I think you are leaving her in capable hands.”
I opened my eyes when Pierre nudged me indelicately with his elbow and cleared his throat. Immediately, I blinked.
The man who stood before us dominated the entire aisle. His dusky golden skin stretched taut over his strong features, almost brutally constructed of steeply angled cheekbones and a bladed nose. I had only the vague impression that he was tall and lean because his eyes, a deep and electric blue like the night sky during a lightening storm, held me arrested. The way he held himself, the power of his lean build, and the look in those eyes reminded me of a wolf, caged within the confines of civility but eternally savage.
“I’m sure she would be delighted.” Pierre sent me a barely concealed look telling me to pull it together.
I smiled hesitantly at the gorgeous stranger, aware that I was a mess of clammy skin and melted make up. “I’m fine really.”
He nodded curtly, his eyes devoid of any real sympathy. “You will be.”
Pierre hesitated, his eyes scoring my face for reluctance. I smiled at him and took one of his hands between my clammy palms. “Merci beaucoup pour tu m’aides. J’espere que tu passes un bon temps avec ta fille.”