Bound to You:The Complete Novel

By: Vanessa Booke

The fasten seatbelt sign lights up as I spot the stewardesses coming down the rows checking each seat. I push up my tray, down what’s left of the spilled glass, and grab ahold of my purse. I need to calm my nerves and my stomach. My imagination starts to drift, and I can feel the cold sliver of anxiety creep into my chest. I need to get off. This is the last way I want to die. God, if it weren’t for Miles, I wouldn’t even be on this stupid plane flying in this disastrous weather. I’ve never hated him as much as I do right now! I fight my every desire to run down the aisle like a raving mad woman. We hit another air pocket and my body goes flying up, along with my purse. My bag flips over, sliding into first class, along with my wallet and motion sickness pills inside. Shit. I should just leave it there until the storm settles. I’ll be fine. I’m fine. I’m fine. I’m fine. The plane jostles us again. Oh, god, I’m not fine. I start to hyperventilate in my seat. I need a bag. I pull out the brown paper bag wedged between the seat pockets in front of me.

Everything I’ve seen on TV tells me that this will help, but as soon as I slip the brown bag over my nose and mouth, I feel worse. I need my pills. I need to take some more. I click off my seatbelt and scramble down the row, running into seats as the airplane sways. A shrill voice of a flight attendant stops me as I make it to the curtain dividing first class from economy. I know I don’t have much time to run and grab my purse.

“Ma’am! Please, get back to your seat immediately.”

I turn slightly, my body shaking from anxiety and dread. I don’t wait for her to stop me from entering first class. The first thing I notice is the stark contrast between the seat spacing. In economy, you’re cramped with little-to-no legroom. For the past two hours, I’ve been fighting with the gentleman next to me over the armrest. I can’t help but frown at the disparity between first class and economy. Each row has enough space to recline back and fall asleep. The lights are dimmed throughout the section, and the general atmosphere seems a lot more relaxed. In fact, many of the passengers seem to be sleeping—all but one, a beautiful blonde stranger staring at the bright screen of his tablet. The luminous light gives his face an almost angelic appearance with the exception of his brows, which seem shrouded in deep thought. The plane sways to the side, tossing me against the chair of a nearby female passenger. She stirs and looks up at me with a mixture of annoyance and sleep.

“Sorry,” I whisper.

The beautiful stranger a few rows ahead seems undisturbed by my presence. The leather seat chairs to his right and left are completely empty, and it takes me a moment to realize that he probably purchased all of them. I can only imagine how much it is to buy one first class seat, not to mention six. I know Carol spent entirely too much money on my ticket and I’m not even up here.

I scan the floor for my belongings and notice my purse clinging for life only a few feet away from the stranger’s seat. Before I have a chance to move, I notice the prissy flight attendant staring me down from the opening of the curtain divider. Geez, lady.

“Ma’am, please return to your seat. Coach passengers are not allowed up here.” Despite her calmness, I sense a thread of disdain in her voice. Perhaps this isn’t the first time a passenger made their way up here. She probably thinks I’m trying to switch my seat. As much as I would love not to be stuck in a seat with barely any legroom, I’m more worried about puking everywhere. I need my purse. A wave of nausea flows over me. I can feel beads of sweat breaking out on my neck and forehead.

“I’m just getting my purse...” I manage to squeak.

“Ma’am, the fasten seatbelt sign is still on,” she says, pointing to the drawing of two hands buckling a seatbelt. “We cannot have anyone walking around at this time.”

I shrug off her awkward stare and scramble over to my purse. The blond stranger doesn’t notice me at first as I kneel to search beneath his seat. It isn’t until I pull the strap of my purse that he senses my presence. I yank hard to release my purse, but my wallet goes flying, along with my pills. Fuck. A sigh of frustration escapes me as I grab for them. A flash of light cascades over me as a warm hand encloses around my wrist, stopping me midway.

“Excuse me, miss, what are you doing down there?” I’m immediately taken aback by the closeness of his face. Two blue eyes stare at me impassively. They somehow perfectly match his nose and striking cheekbones. If it weren’t for the slight smirk on his lips, you’d think he was angry. But it’s worse. He’s laughing at me. He must find this all so very amusing. A streak of anger rushes to my cheeks, setting them on fire.

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