The following is a little scene from the book I’m currently penning, A PRIDE OF BROTHERS: AIDEN ( book 2 in the series.) Our hero is Private Investigator Aiden Keane, our heroine Lexi Buckley, Ph.D This scene is in chapter 1 when they are seated next to one another on a place bound for NYC. This is how I picture them in my mind when I am writing them…
“Have you been away long?”
Before she could ask why, the overhead announcements started. Because she knew knowledge was the key to everything, Lexi gave all her attention to the flight attendants as they went through the safety precautions, even though she had them memorized.
Trying to be covert about it, she snaked her hand under the seat when told the cushion could be used as a floatation device during a water landing, just to make sure it was there and at the ready. She pulled the inflight instructions card from the pouch in front of her when it was referred to, and she made special notice of how close to the other exit doors she was when it was suggested.
“You’ve flown before, right?” Aiden asked when the crew finished.
“Many times.” She turned and found the ghost of a grin tripping across his mouth.
“Do you always listen so intently to the safety speech?”
“Of course. Don’t you?”
He shook his head. “The narrative never changes. I could repeat it in my sleep.”
She could too, but it still didn’t prevent her from listening.
One of the flight attendants who’d been walking down the aisle assuring the overhead compartments were closed, stopped at their row.
“Hi,” she said. It didn’t get passed Lexi the smile broadened when she lit on Aiden. “You two are seated next to the emergency exit door and I just want to make sure you know what to do in the event we need to access the door.”
She prattled on with the expectations, then asked, “Are you comfortable assuming that responsibility?”
Lexi said yes immediately.
“Thank you, and enjoy your flight.”
The last part was directed at her seatmate before she turned to the couple across the aisle and started her spiel again.
Aiden’s smile stayed in place when he turned back to her. With an eyebrow raised, he said, “I get the feeling you requested this seat.”
“Should I be worried?”
It took her a moment to see past the humor lacing his words to the steely caution in his eyes.
“No, no. God, no. It’s not that.”
The other eyebrow joined its mate. “Then…?”
Lexi swallowed and felt like she’d been pulled into the principal’s office to explain an adolescent prank.
“Research shows the safest place to be in the event of”—she lowered her voice and shifted closer to him so her words wouldn’t carry—“an emergency, is sitting by this door. I can stay calm in an emergency so I figured I’d rather leave my chances of surviving something up to me than to a total stranger who might crack under pressure.”
He stared at her a few beats and she’d give the last chocolate candy she had in her secret stash at the library to know what he was thinking.
Then, he leaned in closer as she had to him and her gaze dropped to his mouth when he asked, “Do you always like to be in control?”
For the first time in her adult life, Lexi couldn’t speak. All the statistics she had running rampant in her brain about the psychological impacts of OCD and control issues stayed locked inside her. Her mouth fell open but nothing came out. When Aiden’s gaze flicked down to her parted lips, lingered for a moment, then dragged back up in time for her to catch his pupils dilate, she slammed her mouth shut and took a deep breath.
The thought he was flirting with her drifted into her mind but was quickly shooed away. Men didn’t flirt with Alexis Buckley. She wasn’t the sister who garnered male attention, Zoe was. This man was asking because he assumed she had some nefarious reason for wanting the emergency seat. In this day and age, who could blame him? Crazies came in all shapes and forms. And genders.
Lexi took another breath and then called forth her most professional voice, the one she used with recalcitrant students, annoying adults, and anyone who needed a firm hand.
“I’ve found,” she said, happy her voice was controlled and modulated, just the way she liked it, “that’s is easier, and best, to rely on myself when situations arise that call for some kind of action. If that’s what you mean by being in control, then, yes.”
She met his appraising stare with calm and cool eyes and hoped that would be the end of it.
“Good to know,” he said, just as the captain came over the loud speaker.
*** It needs a little work, but the dynamics are coming together.
Enjoy your Holidays, peeps ~ peg