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Onlookers waved at them as they walked through the terminal hallways, down the jet bridge and onto a plane. The commercial cut to the flight attendants serving a five course meal in first class, then to the pilot flying over a sparkling blue sea.

Seconds later, the CEO of the company—a man with graying hair and a soft smile, stood outside of LaGuardia International with a white Boeing 737 in the background.

“Fly with the best fleet!” He waved his hand across the sky. “Fly with Elite!”

Then the words, “Bring back the good days of flying” appeared.

The screen went black and the hiring director stood up and clapped as if he hadn’t just watched a commercial from his competitor.

“That was actually pretty good, don’t you think?” he asked. “It was a perfect pitch.”

“Look.” I’d had enough of this shit. “You don’t strike me as the stupid and gullible type, and I know damn well you’re aware that everything Elite does is a twisted rip-off of the old Pan Am.”

He was silent, but he smiled.

“That said, I hope I don’t strike you as the stupid and gullible type either, so you need to tell me the real reason you’re not hiring me on the spot since I know you’re lying about the pay grade, and I’m more qualified than most of the people who are currently flying for you.”

“Okay...” He looked slightly uneasy. “It’s because you’re overqualified.”

“Try again.”

“Did I give you the budgeting reason yet?”

I stood up and took my paperwork. “Thank you for wasting my time.”

“Wait, wait.” He walked over to me. “Look, as much as I want to stick it to Elite and take half of their staff like they did to me ten years ago, the rules are different now.” He opened the door. “Besides, the second I had my assistant call to get your records, they sent over your employment contract.”

“I’m not following.”

“You have a five year non-compete and non-transfer clause. Every new pilot they hire does.” He shrugged. “Not only that, but I received a not-so-nice email from the director herself minutes before you arrived here today. She said that meeting with you would be a waste of my time. Something about an ‘FCE’? Whatever the hell that means. There’s nothing I can do for you, Mr. Weston. I’m sorry.”

“As am I.” I shook his hand. “Thank you.” I walked away before he could say another word, heading out to the parking lot and into my rental car.

Emirates was the final airline on my list of last-resort transfer options, the last place on my upcoming schedule of stopovers I planned to visit. There was now no one else I could call.

Refusing to think about it for the rest of the day, I pulled out my phone and noticed I had four new text messages from women on upcoming layovers. Messages that promised sex that I surprisingly didn’t feel like entertaining.

The only woman I honestly wanted to fuck right now was Gillian and that was a problem.

I’d never thought about a woman for more than a few minutes after sex. Even if I walked them back to their hotel room or saw them the next night due to an extended layover, the thoughts of our sex ended as soon as we were done.

So, I had no idea why my unwanted thief of a roommate was still on my mind days later. Regardless of the fact that she was undeniably stunning with jet black hair, almond shaped eyes, and sultry smile that sealed the deal, my current thoughts of her weren’t adding up.

Then again, maybe it had something to do with her smart ass mouth and backward logic. The way she actually believed she was doing me a favor by sneaking into my apartment.

Unable to shake the thought of her away, I scrolled down my list of contacts and called the Housekeeping Director’s direct line.

“Yes, Mr. Weston?” He answered on the first ring. “Are you calling to tell me that we need to search for ghosts in your apartment?”

I rolled my eyes. “I’m looking for someone.”

“Have you tried Facebook?”

“It’s one of your employees.”

“Oh.” His tone immediately went soft. “Well, you know I’m not allowed to disclose names on my end, so do you already know which one it is?”

Something told me to hold back on her name. “The green-eyed girl.”

“Sir, we employ quite a few green-eyed girls.”

“This one has a smart ass mouth and a tendency to steal things.”

“One of my employees stole something from you?” He gasped. “Give me the dates and times you first realized that things were gone. I can cross check every past schedule and make sure that whoever it is, is punished severely. Can you tell me exactly what was stolen?”

“No...” I realized this wasn’t going to go anywhere. “Thank you for your time.”

“Mr. Weston, what exactly—”

I hung up and started the car. I needed to get a grip on myself. I didn’t chase women, ever. I never had a need to, and I wasn’t going to start now.

Our fucking was simply memorable, and I’d forget about her eventually.

I always did.



Two years ago...

I got fired today.



The second I walked through the revolving glass doors, I spotted my boss standing at the main desk with his arms crossed, biting the stem of his glasses. Some of my coworkers were staring at me in disgust from the glass doors above, and a security guard was holding a box of all my belongings.