Chapter 13. Alone On A Jet Plane
Just as he promised, a limousine drove up the dirt road next to the canal, driven by a woman in her mid-twenty’s wearing a tuxedo and a chauffeur’s hat opened the rear door for her with a professional smile.
“Thank you, but I want to sit in front. I need some girl time.” Kaylee smiled. “You don’t mind?”
“Not at all ma’am. It’s not regular, but the insurance does not prohibit it.”
The ride was talkative with both women lamenting about men being overgrown boys and their wishing to show off.
Lettie, the driver, smiled softly after a long-winded complaint that they flew low over the wine country and hit a flock of birds. Kaylee shook her head and wept over one bird whose life ended smooshed all over the windscreen of the big jet.
“Well, it would have been a pretty view up until then.” Lettie smiled as she drove. “He didn’t do it on purpose. I would love to have a guy to show me the wine country from above. Plus, he put it down safely. Does he ever say he loves you?”
“Naw…” She answered, looking out the window. “It’s a long story. But I’m going home and smoke until I’m stoned out of my mind and wake up by the weekend. It’s been a crazy month.”
“Once in awhile,” Lettie softly laughed. “Crazy is what you need. It has been crazy in this limo from time to time. Occasionally, the crazier nights have been the most rewarding.”
“I have been paid to drive naked and pick up girls.”
“Oh my god! Did you do it?”
“No.” Lettie laughed loudly. “He tipped me anyway, we did pick up some girls at a club and they partied in the back.”
“And they partied hard, I found clothing for days after that.”
“Um, ew.” Kaylee laughed. “I’ll sit up front from now on.”
Lettie laughed louder as she wheeled the limo towards the Stockton Airport.
“You have not asked, but my suggestion Mrs. Tom, is to take a few breaths while you are back home without him. He’s slightly old world, but a great guy.” She smiled.
“You know him?”
“Yes, he has hired our company more than once.” Lettie said with a wide smile. “He is a regular customer. Pays in advance, I think he has a thousand hours paid for this year.”
“Does he ask for you?”
Lettie shook her head. “No, but there are only five drivers. Me, my sister and two cousins and a psych-major that goes to UCSF.”
“An all woman limo business?” Kaylee’s curiosity piqued for the moment.
“Yeah. We were all going to school in Sacramento and started driving friends around as designated drivers. We studied in the car while everyone else drank. One thing led to another, now we own a limo service.”
“How well do you do?”
“Pretty good. I own two Molinaxil Harley’s and an Indian now.”
“Motorcycles. I have one custom fitted to me, built by a custom shop in Ohio. Molinaxil Metal. He makes custom bikes and cars. His sheet metal work is something out of the movies. THEN! Oh my god, then! The guy who does the work? He used to be a dancer, he looks as hot as the machines he builds.” Lettie laughed like a kid at Christmas. “And oh, he is jaw-drop gorgeous.”
“A dancer?” Kaylee asked while looking out the window. She was a thousand-miles away.
Lettie pressed on, she promised herself to improve the mood of the young woman next to her.
“Yup, like Chippendale’s? Same kind of thing. A rocking body and eyes that you would dream of doing naughty things with.” Lettie smiled at that. “Like Mr. Harte. He’s handsome enough for a church girl think of things. Naughty things. Over and over.” She gave a lusty laughed.
“He’s an ass.” Kaylee said in a wistful voice.
“The plane was in the water in one piece. Lettie frowned. “What happened?”
“He was flying low and ran into a flock of birds.”
“Bird strikes are common around here. We are in a migratory path of so many types. I even hit one with a limo last year.” She shuddered with the memory of it. “It nearly came all the way through the windshield, blew in a hole like it was an artillery shell. Tom saved you both by setting the jet down in the deep water channel.”
“Maybe. But I’m still mad at him.” She shook her head. “He keeps making me mad at him.”
“You can upset about almost dying, that’s your right. I would be, too! Ah, here we are.”
Pulling up in front of the airport. It’s architecture from the mid-seventies was obvious, but it was well maintained and spacious. One professionally dressed security in plain clothes held a sign with her name on it.
Lettie opened the door for her and handed her a business card with a penned in phone number.
“If you need me for anything again, call. That is my private number on the back.” Lettie smiled. “Kaylee, you have a lot going now. Don’t let this change you mind about Tom. He is a treasure, he is a keeper.”
Kaylee hugged Lettie. It had only been a half-hour’s worth of talking but she felt as if she was old friends with the limo company owner.
Walking up to the man with the sign, she smiled.
“Excellent. Come with me, please.”
Passing through TSA Checkpoints, she had no luggage to speak of. Robert, as his name badge stated in gold lettering, was polite but non-talkative.
“Your flight is waiting for you, this way.” Robert said with a slight smile, but showed no other emotion. All business.
The next officer uniform was a dark-skinned woman who had even more of a ramrod straight spine.
“You are Kaylee Harte?” It was almost a statement and not a question. “I’m Captain Adanna Ogechi. I will be your pilot on the plane. We will be setting down in Harbor Bay Airport within an hour of departure.” Captain Ogechi motioned with her hand. “This way.”
All business like Robert and made no comment as they walked to the small business jet that was claustrophobic compared to Tom’s flying yacht. But then, she remembered, it was his home.
*Since after the second day, Tom has hardly written on his notepad.* She realized, *Since I’ve been with him.*
He was always in her business. His “rescue” of her being blackmailed into a compromising position and possibly sex with the professor who the police arrested later.
*I had it handled,* she fumed. *I would not have wrapped my legs around the art instructor, I would have gotten the upper hand on that situation, somehow.*
Still, she had no idea what she was going to do to extract herself from that mess. Between an epic-awful morning on that Friday, getting fired from the restaurant and pub where she slaved as a waitress and tended bar. The day just kept going from bad to worse until she met Tom.
Kaylee laughed at herself. Then life just took a left turn into a surreal universe as she reflected on the last week. The adventures in how his body and hers could merge.
*His hugs are like having a heart hold mine*
How they fit together and things she had never tried in a plane before. Hands on the controls, sleeping on top, diving off the wing.
Sleep on a boat was wonderful beyond words, even if the boat had wings. She did not even need to smoke any weed to get into a zen mood!
She had an eighth of a kilo of Killer Kai weed at the Wizard that she had not even touched. It was all that good.
Her thoughts drifted back to Glenn, who went to Mt. Mazama University.
*Not as far from home but it’s still an eighteen-hour drive from Ocean Bay, too much of a long-distance relationship. It is so far apart, even with current technology, and not date other people.* She remembered the conversation. *To expect either of us to not go out with other people is a setup for failure.*
A Poli-Sci major, he was honest in they both would make contacts.
*”It is unreasonable to assume we could be faithful to a promise, being so far apart.”* She remembered him saying. *If Glenn only knew how unreasonable I could take it.*
They were “steady” when they were home together, but not when at the remote colleges.
A sigh. *I hope that the papers and annulment will be final before I go home, because Glenn sent that email that he had something important to talk about.*
*Glenn might propose this year. He has been acting strange, like he has something to say and has a shy-bone stuck in his head.* She gave a big sigh, holding her face in her hands in the solitude in the back of the tiny jet. *This is so messed up! This should excite me, but it would only complicate our schoolastic careers. UGH! It will be more complicated if I am still married to Tom when I go home.*
This made her laugh again as the small jet shrieked down the runway then pulled in to a steep climb.
*Tom is a good man.* She was growing fond of him in many ways. *But he has achieved success while I am at the beginning of my art career. I’ll have a gallery in a couple of years.*
Still, his kisses. He was attentive and made her toes curl just to think about it. Her heart skipped and jumped in pleasant ways from his smiles to when he looked in her eyes.
*I wonder what children would be like with him.* She smiled for a moment. *He writes children stories and… OH!*
She surreptitiously had looked them up in her phone, even though the signs at the airport said to turn off all phones.
Leonard the Leafy Sea Dragon had many adventures, most of the stories had an ecological slant to them, some dealt with right and wrong. Leonard’s friend Wendel “Weeds” The Weedy Sea Dragon was a constant companion and sometime hero as Leonard would get into predicaments that needed help.
Tom addressed things that kids would be worried about, bully issues were dealt with in one arc in the series of the little novellas. Scary things that shake the bushes in the night in another arc. Tom was a talented writer and made a living off of his books.
*He did say he was “comfortable”.* She smiled herself at the memory.
Then, she saw a reference online with her smart phone and clicked on the link.
She looked forward to the cockpit of the jet, the pilots had not looked back. No one to check on. She was the only one on board of the chartered flight.
She read the title about the tragedy of Tom’s life. His pregnant wife failed to beat a train at a crossing and died in the accident, there were no other children in the family. After that, he began to write prolifically.
Other searches turned up tabloid comments about that Tom was gay and had his wife murdered.
Another read that she killed herself on purpose since she was gay and was going to leave him, then found she was pregnant.
Many speculations that he no longer dated women. Paparazzi had a difficult time keeping up with him and his flying boat that they had come to call the “Flying Wicked Wizard of Solitude” out of spite.
Images of his plane leaving when they would try to chase him after the accident in speedboats. Super long-range lenses used to image the Pacific Wizard as it floated in lakes or the ocean were all in the trash websites.
Then another picture, taken from shore of two people on top of the Pacific Wizard, one was obviously him and another of a raven haired woman who was impossible to recognize. They were between the engines and, with no obvious clothing.
But Kaylee recognized the mystery woman! It was her! Kaylee knew it by the large sunglasses she wore. It was their first day after getting married by accident in Las Vegas.
The image was grainy and blurred from such a long distance and the rocking motion of the plane.
Another website claimed the unknown woman was a victim “Kidnapped by Alien Author” as the trash tabloid alluded that Tom was now a non-human from space. Possibly a vampire.
She laughed at that. *Well, he does have sharp teeth that he uses in nice ways when he presses his teeth against my neck and hums the song “Star Spangled Banner”.*
She rarely held out past the first stanza before laughing and then the spasms that went through her and she loved that. It still made her toes curl to think of it.
Still the picture of them on top of the plane was obvious they were together, the image taken more than a mile away. Shot from shore and they were not on the top of the plane for any length of time, so she felt that her identity was safe for the moment. No one bothered to chase them with any speedboats. They were old news and boring.
*Except for the bird strike. This is sure to make the papers.* Again she face-palmed.
*I need to call Tom and tell him to keep my face and name out of the news. Damn him! Mom ‘n’ Dad will be sure to find out. Gramma G is a big reader of all those tabloids.*
She flipped through the listings of the conspiracy web-sites.
*Ever since Grampa Grant died, Gramma’s talked about aliens, time travel and immortal beings. She is sure that Grampa was with the aliens instead of the airliner that he was in that went down over the ocean.*
A memory, it did not seem that long ago, but it was over a decade. Not a single distress call from the airliner, it just went off the radar and wreckage was found floating in the water.
There were no survivors. Not even bodies in water that was more than ten-thousand feet deep.
Without a body to say good-bye to was the hardest thing for Gramma to bear as she descended into a fantasy that Grampa was still alive, somewhere.
“Missus Harte, we are landing now.” The Captain called back. “Seat belt on, please put away your phone.” This caused Kaylee to blush like a kid caught with a cookie. She had not asked if she could use it and on commercial airlines, the rules prohibited the use of laptops and phones.
The descent from luxury private jet to the mundane real world had begun and Kaylee was not entirely prepared for what was to come.
*I’m not prepared for anything.* She reminded herself with a heavy sigh.