Chapter 34. Flight Plans
Kaylee finished dressing while Tom pulled on his clothes in awkward silence.
“Why are you mad at me?” Tom said as they walked across the tarmac to the flight control office.
“If you don’t know, I’m not going to tell you.” Her words chilled the air.
Tom rolled his eyes in that way that drives women crazy and would turn Mother Theresa into a club wielding banshee if she had seen it.
Half-way from the office in the three-hundred meter hike, Kaylee started to laugh and took Tom’s hand.
“I’m sorry. But I kind of thought you would be a little heartbroken.” She smiled. “I was hurt you are just okay with it.”
“Kaylee, no, I’m not okay with it.” Tom said as they walked through the door. “But, if I trapped you here, what good would that do? You’d leave anyway and never return. My way, it stings like a slap, but you might decide that you like life on the Pacific Wizard and the need to renew your passport once-a-decade.”
“Renew my passport? What do you mean?”
“You can’t leave home without it. If we went anywhere, like the U.K. to watch Doctor Manga’s installation for example, you will need that silly-assed bit of paper and plastic.”
“Hm. I don’t know, Tom. You make me feel…”
The clerk walked in and Tom pulled a form from the slot and began to fill in the blanks.
They finished the paperwork in ten-minutes, filed with the person behind the desk and walked out, Kaylee felt a pang of sadness when Tom took her hand as they walked back to the Flying Sea Dragon.
“I’m serious, Kaylee. I don’t want to see you go. But there is an old poster about a butterfly or a bird or something, you let it go and if it returns, et-cetera.”
“Yeah. Who knows. Maybe Glenn needs to tell me he is gay and everything is off, because he is in love with some guy named Joe Young or something.”
“We talked about this, I don’t want to think I’m a consolation prize. You make me smile wide because you are my wife.” Tom smiled at her. “But I laugh because I am your husband.”
“What?” Kaylee blinked. “I don’t understand you, you are talking in riddles.”
“No riddle. I smile because I got such a great treasure, if I can count you as such, and in comparison, you got the joke prize. I got a better deal by far out of this whole situation than you did.”
Tom laughed out loud at this.
For a moment, Kaylee pondered what he had said.
Then she began to laugh.
“Tom, you are the treasure. Never say otherwise.” She kissed his hand and continued to swing it in hers.
“Yeah. Ain’t ever going to happen. I’m just a writer, I am not a treasure. You are the gem in this relationship. I’m a damaged diamond, a shattered sapphire, a pulverized pearl, a…”
“Okay, enough. And you are not.” Kaylee said pulling on his hand as they got close to the big jet. “You have had more sorrow than anyone should be allowed, but you are awesome. You make me draw and paint. You keep me turned on, creatively speaking.”
“I thought…” Tom was winking like a dirty old man in a bar.
“Shh. I am being serious and trying to tell you my heart, you are trying to make a joke.”
“Men are all alike.”
“Well. Yeah. We’re married at the moment, I’m supposed to act like that, it’s in the rule book.”
“You are changing the subject.” She growled at him. “Is this bothering you?”
“Yeah, you could say that.”
“Okay, well, I would like to go back to my old life, but it is not going to happen. You have already spoiled me.”
“That is a good job, spoiling you. Glenn will have to work that much harder.” Tom said as they approached the Sea Dragon.
“You have raised the bar high on that.”
“I hope so.”
“Where are we going now?” Kaylee asked as Tom walked past the steps going up to the door of the jet.
“Over here to the service office on the far side of the hanger. I need to do a couple of things. first is to make sure the payment for the services is complete and two, that the inspection by the FAA officer clears the Dragon for flight. I want to go over it together with him and make sure that nothing falls off the yacht while we are airborne, that would go into the bad column.”
“What if we took a commercial flight?”
“We could, but then we would be at the mercy of the commercial operators and TSA officers that are tasked with complex jobs that now take hours what used to take minutes when our grandparents traveled. Back in the day of Humphry Bogart and Casablanca.”
“I wish it would be like that. I could so make a charcoal of that.”
“How long would it take you?”
“I… I don’t know, why do you ask?”
“Well, I need to find that pain in my neck FAA agent or we have to charter a plane, or we have to buy tickets and wander over to the terminal and be tourists in Vegas. It may take hours to do that last part, just to leave on a commercial airline, so you might go do some drawing?”
“And leave the business to you while I entertain myself? Hardly, Mr. Harte. I am not just along for the ride, I will help you make this happen, even if it is my choice— right or wrong. I control my destiny.”
“One day, Missus Harte, you will be in charge of your own house of beauty, painting and sculpture. You will be an artist in demand.” Tom nodded. “You have the attitude.”
“Right? Just for now, I have to finish another year of college, get my business admin minor out of the way. Melanie will help me, we keep each other balanced with life’s challenges.”
“I would like to get to know Melanie better.” Tom smiled.
“Tom, do you plan to replace me, already?”
“Heh. No.” He back-pedaled quickly. “She just sounds like a good friend to have. And she likes my movie.”
“Oh, you don’t know the half of it. She is a true fan and in love with some of your characters. The airship pirates, some of the princes. Her costume for Halloween last year was the red-headed pirate princess, I can’t remember the character’s name.”
“Yeah! That’s it, Melanie makes a good Princess Aquila.”
“SteamLand is fun to write.”
“Is? It’s not finished?”
“Heck-no. There are lots of adventures for the Sky-Pirate empire to deal with.” Tom smiled with the memory of writing the novel series.
“I thought you liked to write children books now?”
“Yeah, that is fun, but SteamLand.” Tom smiled wide. “I really enjoy writing. So much fun with that. Roman times, airship pirates, steam-powered arrows, demi-gods. A lot of fun.”
“Oh. Ut-oh. Spoiler-alert.” Tom laughed. “Let’s go over here. This way we can talk without being distracted.
Together they went to cancel flight plans and charter an executive jet, instead of taking the yacht.