Jack: Don’t go thru security too early at the airport, best coffee is on terminal side…
Becca dumped her pack on the floor and took the nearest seat. She needed to breathe before hitting the eye-wateringly long check-in queue. She stared at it, heart sinking. It was going to take a while to work her way to the top of that line.
That’s when she saw something else eye-watering.
Bare, bronzed arms, legs, torso and thighs encased in a more-covered male version of the leatherette number she’d worn when giving out shots of that energy drink. And wasn’t he holding those very same pistols as he worked his way along that interminable queue?
OMG Levi was here. In Athens airport. Wearing a Gladiator-man outfit and giving away who knew what liquid to random strangers?
Except he wasn’t firing at anyone now. He was walking with utter purpose in her direction, his soda pistols loaded and locked on her.
The sonic boom was Becca’s heart and all her blood went from her brain.
“You want to be up all night?” He halted a foot away from her, his voice husky.
She stood. “Levi—”
“There’s a secret ingredient you know. Libido booster. It’ll make you want it.”
“I don’t think it’s the soda making me want it.” She gave the mini-kilt another look—and his fine, fine, fine legs.
But it wasn’t just the legs making her dizzy either—he’d tracked her down?
“Yeah well,” he shrugged. “I took onboard what you said about the male superheroes always getting the full body suits while the women were sexually objectified.”
“So you decided to let yourself be objectified.” She swallowed. “That’s so generous of you.”
“I try.” He took a hit of the energy soda.
She reached out and lowered his weapon. “You don’t need it. You’re already up all night.”
“I’ve been sleepless for weeks and I feel like crap, so I’ll take what I can get.”
Becca’s heart cracked. So did her voice. “I’m sorry about what I did. It was rude.”
“It’s okay. I’m used to it.” He half smiled. “But I’d like to think you didn’t mean to be rude. I like to tell myself that you’re scared because of what happens when we get close. That intensity. Would I be right in thinking you’re scared?”
For a moment she was tempted to deny it. But then she saw the intensity in his eyes, and the vulnerability in his quick swallow as he waited for her answer.
Vulnerable, like her.
He was here for her. She loved him all the more for that. And yes, it overwhelmed her—scared her.
But this time, she knew it was right, because the other option—walking away—was the far more scary.
“You know,” he said softly, stepping closer. “Most things are better when they’re put with something—like burgers and fries. They’re still themselves, but all the better for being together. They complement each other—so the meal as a whole is better than the bits it’s made of. Even tofu.”
She shook her head. “Tofu needs more than one other ingredient to make it interesting.”
“Well, so what if it does? Maybe it needs lots of friends and family. That doesn’t make it any less perfect. That doesn’t make it wrong.” He shook his head. “Don’t confuse being independent with being alone.”
Becca flinched. He’d got her with that. And he knew it. His intensity burned brighter than ever as he cupped her face in his, lifting it so she couldn’t escape his beautiful eyes. “I don’t want to stop you doing all you want to do. I want to be with you.” He rested his forehead on hers. “Always with you.”