Things were pretty quiet in the Red Carpet Club. In fact, the whole Los Angeles International Airport was winding down for the night.
I was one of perhaps 10 nomads staking out various corners of the huge room. Leno lambasted Congress on the big screen. Empty couches and full ashtrays all seemed unimpressed by the offer.
Briefcase warriors at the bar nursed the spoils of last call. The glassy eyed men were full of the usual brave talk, well told stories and beer. Each secretly wondering what he was doing in the airport at 11:40 on a Tuesday night.
I sat on the arm of the couch, near the window, ostensibly watching baggage handlers stuff their silver, red and blue turkey with our luggage. But I was really staring at the window’s reflection of someone in the room with us the most beautiful woman I’d seen in months.
As anyone who has ever seen her will tell you, it’s impossible not to stare at Tess. Confident posture. Smooth, olive skin gypsy or maybe Greek ancestry. Plush, soft red lips. Chiseled nose. Long, seductive neck and shiny black hair.
Gina, the club’s hostess, concierge and aging Scandinavian den mother, announced our flight’s impending departure. We all shuffled out.
As I passed her desk Gina handed me my ticked in a new, neatly pressed First Class folder.
“All set, Alex,” she smiled. “I fixed your Friday problems and I changed your seat for this flight. Thought you might like some company,” she said, nodding at the disappearing Tess.
“Thanks. Can’t wait to get out of the smog and this heat,” I said, trying to look disinterested in my good fortune.
“Nice and cool in New York,” Gina said. “Rain delays back there all day.”
“Ah, rain. I miss the rain.” It was true. I did.
Gina’s eyes sparkled. “And lightning summer lightning. Have a good flight. And don’t be such a stranger!”
“Night, Gina. Thanks.”
The club regrouped in the musty, vibrating jetway, waiting for our plane to digest the crowd ahead of us. One of the salesmen from the bar took his best shot at Tess. A swing and a miss. She had the perfect comeback. Polite. Distant. Sexy as hell. No score.
I leaned against the handrail trying to size this all up. I wanted to tell her she had an incredible body. That I’d already imagined taking her in the shower, and on my kitchen table and right here in line. Did she like witty, seductive men, or gorillas that force her hands over her head and fuck her without a word? I decided to wait.
Finally we were through the jumbo’s door, boys to the right, Tess and I to the left. Our seats were almost within arm’s reach, cross aisle. Now I understand why men bring Gina gifts.
Tess smiled a cautious hello and went back to reading Spy magazine. Had she caught me staring at her earlier in the Red Carpet Club?
Once airborne, the cabin lights dimmed, and an overhead reading lamp bathed her striking features in a surreal, white blue glow. It reminded me of a darkened theater stage lit by a single, hot white spot. Dangerous nipples played hide and seek in the shadows of her vest.
And . . . I’ve almost forgotten the best part. There was one other light source delicate diamond studs piercing her earlobes. They fired blinding laser beams whenever she moved her head.
Long, sleek, swimmer’s legs, irresistible ankles and bare feet took up all of the space under her tray table, no matter how she squirmed. She crossed and uncrossed her legs restlessly. I tried not to watch.
Tess had kicked off her heels earlier and was absentmindedly pushing one a few inches up and down the carpeted aisle with her foot. I remember wondering if she was a model turns out she had been a few years earlier.
What is it about the faint smell of burning aviation fuel and the muted roar of big jets that makes men so horny? Was this phenomenon affecting Tess the same way?
Cheese, crackers, grapes, champagne and some cross aisle talk. Tess pulled out her portable computer and coaxed it to life. Her adorable nose scrunched. I empathized as she silently mouthed the word “shit” for the third time obviously frustrated but taking it all in stride.
“New computer?” I wondered.
“Yeah, and I love it, but this program’s driving me nuts! You know anything about Nisus?”
I do. And perhaps because of that, Tess invited me to join her. She pushed up the center seat arm, turning 2A and 2B into a virtual flying couch. She scooted onto the wide, leather window seat to make room, then motioned me over. Tess tucked her feet under her gorgeous ass and thighs, looking very much at home in the air. Cover girl perfect. Within easy reach.
Careful, Alex, I thought to myself. This is where you usually blow it. Take your time! I could hear k.d. lang’s “Pullin’ Back the Reins” echoing in my head.
Tess smelled wonderful. English bath soap and an unforgettable perfume I still can’t place, and the sexy musk of day’s end. She caught my stupid grin again and touched my hand.
“Thanks for your help. I owe you a drink,” she said as she reached up to push the call button. Her right breast grazed my shoulder and damn near touched the tip of my nose. Was this a calculated move or just cramped quarters?
“I’m also having trouble typing lists,” she said as if oblivious to what she had just done to my heart rate. “How do you put bullets in front of things like these?”
Tess slid her Macintosh PowerBook onto my tray table. Was it my imagination, or had she just typed a clever, purposeful go ahead signal. The first line read “Things she likes:” The remainder of the cool white screen contained an intriguing, almost random collection of things that turn her on:
Bonnie Raitt the sea otters near Monterey fast cab rides in New York kneading sourdough shopping for trashy lingerie a strong, slow hand Sunday morning oil rubs baklava and hot tea with lemon standing naked in the rain mule rides on Molokai Bloody Marys.
What an intriguing woman! And what a great icebreaker. I showed her the typing trick she had asked about by starting a list of my own:
Otis Redding, Sippi Wallace, and Bonnie Raitt (live) watching eagles soar David Letterman’s brat face Husky puppies Harleys the Rocky Mountains the “Blade Runner” soundtrack.
I felt my heart beat in my fingertips, my mouth went dry.
Mark Twain Sunday afternoon shampoos for two huge stone fireplaces Bloody Marys staring at your beautiful face . . .
It was a gamble, but I slid the Mac back to Tess. She smiled and wet her lips as she read the screen silently finishing just as our flight attendant appeared from behind curtain number one.
Tess looked up and said softly, “Hi, Sheila. We need two double Bloody Marys, two pillows and one big blanket.”
While Sheila fussed in the galley, Tess grabbed her overnight bag and headed forward.
“Right back,” she whispered as she squeezed past.
And she kept her promise. In no time at all, somehow, in the phone booth sized restroom, Tess had managed to change out of her spandex skirt and Banana Republic shirt and best, and into a big floppy sweatshirt that stopped midway between ass and knees. Matching, no frills, pink cotton sweatsocks completed the quick change ensemble. She looked good enough to eat.
“Cold feet?” I teased.
“Not for long,” she mused as she crawled over me to her seat. Tess snuggled in much closer than before. Feet on seat. Knees under chin. She leaned up against me, millimeters from my ear, and playfully whispered, “I’m not wearing anything under my shirt. Better hang on to this in case you get lucky.”
She placed a small blue foil wrapper in my shirt pocket, gave it a loving pat, pushed up her too long sleeves and planted an incredible first kiss on my lips just as Sheila arrived with the drinks and the bedding. There was also a glass dish brimming with strawberries with some chocolate mints on the side.
“You two look like happy campers. I’m going back to Siberia for a nap,” Sheila advised, nodding in the direction of the tail. “Ring if you need anything. Otherwise, I’ll see ya in about two hours when we start down.”
God, I love first class, I though to myself as Sheila disappeared. Tess and I put on headphones and switched to channel six for a little mood. You know the mix: Harry Connick Jr., Tom Waits, Sade, Michael Franks, Whitney, Dr. John. We took turns finger feeding each other strawberries, sipping drinks all the time staring eye to eye and marveling at the instant electricity.
“Lights out,” she said when we were full from the juicy red berries, pointing to the reading lamp, then turning toward the window. “Oh, I love it up here moon and stars above, clouds below. Look, what is that . . . Northern Lights?”
I tucked in behind, under our blanket and stared out the window, too. I wrapped my arms around her slender rib cage, pulling her close. She purred and squirmed and nestled.
Oh, yes, yes . . . ”
As the Bloody Marys started to buzz, she placed my right hand up under her shirt and directed it to the sweet spot between her legs. I reached for her cotton covered breast with my left hand. What delightful jujube nipples!
“Right here,” she said, placing my fingertips exactly on target.
Huey Lewis reminded us that sometimes bad is good as I went to work. I pressed and rubbed and teased slowly at first, expecting the whole time to wake up from a dream. Flushed cheeks touching. Nose buried in her fragrant hair. Sweat on my brow. Faster now. God, she was slippery and excited. Tess whimpered softly as her body tensed and relaxed. We moved together as if slow dancing while Ray Charles sang “Darlin’ I’m a Fool for You.” Then we dry humped to Koko Taylor’s “I Cried Like a Baby.”
I wanted to rub back and forth on her that way all night. The only thing that kept me from coming was the frantic need to keep this moment and mood from ending.
I tried desperately to etch every new sensation into my brain. How could I possibly memorize the way the crease of her ass felt as it channeled the relentless bulge in my jeans? What words and images could I conjure to capture her wild pony restlessness, that complete lack of inhibition?
She unbuttoned my shirt and slid long red nails inside. The touch of a butterfly landing a playful pinch. Lipstick rings on my lucky, warm, wet nipples. Then over on her side again.
“More,” she’d say, pulling my hands back into the darkness. “Come on. Gimme another one,” she teased. Each time Tess climaxed she buried her head deep in the pillow out of deference to the less fortunate passengers six rows back. Nevertheless, an occasional, muffled victory could be heard over the engine roar. First one. Then another. And another.
The final time, she slammed her fist on her seat back, looked over her shoulder at me, bit her bottom lip and laughed like the devil herself. Such wonderful noises!
Mercifully, it was my turn. Tess sat up, faced me, unzipped my impatient fly, pulled down the old Calvins then opened and held the still rolled condom to her nose and mine.
“Don’t ya love the smell of latex?” she said. “It always makes me want to fuck.” Tess beamed like a skydiver standing in the windy doorway.
And fuck we did. She installed the beige Trojan skillfully and straddled me looking for the world like a heroin addict frantically preparing for a fix. Lips pursed. Gooseflesh all around.
Her warm ass resting in both of my hands, I pulled us tightly together. Tess threw her head onto the seatback in front of us, then raised her pelvis slightly, almost completely uncoupling, then docking again.
In . . . then out.
I held her incredible waist with all my might as we got the rhythm right. In and out. Up and down soooo slippery. Closer and closer. Her juices soaked both of us and touched the cabin with the undeniable scent of genuine pleasure.
She leaned forward, pulled her shirt up and over my head. “Your choice,” she teased.
I took turns, visiting one, then the other and back again, becoming dizzy from the excitement and danger of it all. The fresh air smelled sweet when I moved from her swollen nipples to her soft lips.
Then, as if on cue, the plane found light turbulence and shuddered along with us. Little sky earthquakes. The classic erotic rumbling train ride at 30,000 feet. We wrapped ourselves up in each other and savored each new, slightly stronger jolt. Soon the sky shoved and tugged fiercely at us, pushing our sweaty bodies together, then free falling with us in little zero G adventures, a fucking roller coaster in the sky!
The luggage racks creaked and moaned and threatened to open. “Go ahead,” they seemed to call. “Let her have it!” Ears popping. Pulse racing. We slipped into the clouds endless clouds racing past at 600 knots.
“Fuck her,” the plane seemed to shout as it heaved violently. “Fill her up now!”
“Bingo!” Tess laughed.
“Yes,” we gloated in unison.
The seat belt sign was on, giving us the perfect excuse to curl up and enjoy the ebb and the increasingly smoother ride.
“That was nice,” Tess offered as she rearranged our blanket and kissed my red hot cheek and chest. “First class.”
We put our headphones back on just in time to hear Janis Joplin sing “Summertime” in her raspy voice and watched the summer lightning jump from cloud to cloud.