Two in the morning and she's wide awake, pacing an empty airport baggage claim.
His flight was supposed to be in an hour ago, but Mother Nature was not on their side and let loose with a flurry of snow
only moments before he was supposed to land.
According to the lovely skycap, Florida's first white Christmas is causing
the planes to take extra time arriving. Needless to say, she's less than thrilled.
She presses her hands anxiously
against the glass, palms flat and fingers spread. She's waited so long for the waiting to be over, but the massive silver
plane in front of her has other plans. It moves towards the gate with the kind of speed that only a snail would be proud of,
and she can hardly contain her frustration. Dammit, come ON!
She uses the spare time to curse the security
team that refused her entrance to the terminals so she could meet him at the gate. She wants nothing more than to wrap herself
up in him the moment he steps off the plane, but due to increased precautions, she is forced to wait with the luggage and
the few family members of the other passengers on the red-eye from Cleveland to Tampa Bay.
She lets out a tiny yelp
of excitement as the plane's door is thrown open, and the attendant who was kind enough to show her a place where she could
watch the arrival laughs at her from a distance.
She doesn't care. Suddenly, she is mesmerized by the large, looming
object that will bring her baby home to her. She wants to stroke the wings and raid the cabin for leftover packages of honey-roasted
nuts in case he is sitting somewhere among the shells.
"You know, I've been on that thing, and it really isn't all
With a sharp intake of breath, she whirls around to face the bright blue eyes that the voice belongs
"Oh my God..."
He laughs. "Yeah, that would be me."
Thankfully, she catches him in a hug before the
comment can register, squeezes the life and the loneliness out of him all at once. He closes his eyes tightly as his hands
find her hair and waist, respectively. He inhales, and the scent of Herbal Essences and honeysuckle intoxicates him.
I missed you."
She looks up at him slyly. "Isn't that usually my line?"
He shrugs. "So sue me. I was too tired
to read my script on the plane."
"I think I can forgive you. But just this once."
"I'd be eternally grateful."
two laugh lightly as the familiar banter begins, and his arm tugs her more tightly to him as they move towards the baggage
"You know what sucks most about the return flight?"
She eyes him with more amusement than such a comment
should incite. "What's that?"
"Waiting for the stupid luggage. I mean, hell, I just got home. Do these people really
think that I want to wait half an hour while my one ridiculously large suitcase makes its rounds on the belt?"
smiles. "No, but they know that your ego can afford the loss of rock star treatment by the end of the tour."
He frowns. "Are you suggesting that a tour inflates my ego?"
Her smile widens
to an innocent grin. "Did I suggest? I meant to say it straight out."
"I can see that the missing of me doesn't necessarily
inspire a sappy, loving honeymoon period upon my return."
Her countenance registers surprise. "Why, Nick! You sound
He sighs. "Well, you know...I was excited about coming home. I made plans."
He smirks as her
ears perk up in interest. "These plans...do they involve a bedroom vacation?"
shrugs, but his eyes light up as he catches sight of a large black TravelPro turning the corner. "Hey, that's my suitcase!"
I care because...?"
He pauses to wink at her before lugging the suitcase off the belt. "Because we can't begin our
bedroom vacation until I've got the suitcase."
Laughing, he slings an arm around her shoulders and leads
her towards the exit. "So, where'd you park the car?"
He watches expectantly as her brow furrows, and knows that inwardly,
she is retracing her steps. Before the familiar phrase graces her lips, he begins to scan the parking lot for the familiar
Toyota Camry. Surely enough, a flash of dark green catches his eye, and he begins to steer her towards the far right end of
"I can't remember."
He feigns sternness. "You didn't write it down?"
winces, knowing that she should've, because she wants him now, wants him home, and needs the car to get there. "No..."
sighs in false exasperation. "Sam, don't I always tell you to write it down?"
"But you don't, do you?
You never remember."
The wince has become a grimace. "Sorry?"
He rolls his eyes. "Your loss. The longer it takes
to find the car, the longer it's going to take us to get home."
Finally having acquired her defense for the evening,
she looks up and prepares herself to fight. However, instead of a vast expanse of cars, she finds herself staring at the back
of her Camry, and the words she was ready to hurl at her boyfriend disappear.
"You little shit! You knew where it was
the whole time!"
He laughs loudly, hugging her before she can find courage enough to smack him. "Don't I always?"
huffs, and he knows she's pouting. "I hate you."
He frowns. "Well, that's a pity."
Finally, she looks up into his sparkling blue eyes and smiles warmly. "I love you, too."
"Gosh, I'm glad you said that."
Her eyes narrow in suspicion. "Why?"
"Because if you hadn't, I wouldn't have
gotten to do this..."
She inhales sharply as his lips find hers, soft, sweet and endearing as twilight falls around
them; and she cannot help but think, as his nose brushes her cheek, that they have finally come full circle.