With apologies to Tyger and Daphne, authors of Touched by an Angel. I read their story several years ago. The thought of writing my version has percolated in my head ever since. Here it is finally. I hope you enjoy it.
I was watching the world go by, 41,000 feet below me, when I heard and felt a loud mechanical thump followed by teeth-shaking vibrations coursing through the plane. I've been flying for over forty years and never felt or heard anything like it before. A horrible metal on metal shriek was coming from the engine right outside my window. My first thought was, 'If those turbine blades come off that thing, they'll rip through the aluminum side of this jet and turn me into hamburger.'
I glanced around the plane. People were looking around, concern reflected in their faces. They hadn't a chance yet to reach panic, but if this kept up... The girl sitting next to me had grabbed my arm and her fingers were sinking into the flesh. I hardly noticed. I looked back out the window, morbidly fascinated by the thought of those turbine blades. The vibrations and sound were already starting to diminish and continued diminishing moment by moment. I let out a big sigh, aware now that I had been holding my breath since the thump.
"Are we going to crash?" the girl next to me asked.
'Put on a brave face, man, ' I said to myself. I smiled, "No, we're going to be fine. After all, I'm flying with an Angel."
She laughed at the strained witticism. Her name was Angel.
Looking out the window again, I sure as hell hope she does bring good luck.
I had been working in Baltimore for three weeks and was headed to our home office in Seattle for a big meeting about the project. I just wanted to go home, not to a waste-of-time meeting in Seattle. However, I had been summoned, so I went. Soon I'll get to sleep in my own bed, I kept thinking. I was flying first class. Not that I usually rated first class, but travel was covered in the contract.
Angel, whose hand was still squeezing mine desperately, had been visiting her grandparents and was now flying home. We'd struck up a conversation. After all, there's not a lot to do for six hours on a jet. This was her first time traveling alone. She was fifteen and frankly a real looker. If she hadn't said fifteen I would have taken her for nineteen easily. I can see how some guys get in trouble and later swear they thought the girl was legal.
I saw the emergency procedures card in the pocket on the seat in front of me. All those times previously, I had ignored it. Now, when I might need it, I was too scared to pull it out and look. I justified it by saying to myself, 'I don't want to scare Angel.' Nothing to worry about.
The whine and vibration had died away, leaving a thundering silence on this side of the jet. That's the problem with these new designs; only two engines. What happens if the other engine conks out? I could feel that we were losing altitude, which made sense with only one engine.
"Ladies and Gentlemen, this is the Captain speaking. As you may have noticed we have begun a descent. We will be diverting to Fargo, North Dakota. There is nothing to worry about. We will be landing in about fifteen minutes. Please follow the instructions of the cabin crew. Thank you."
Fifteen minutes. It usually takes a half-hour to descend and land. That must mean we were heading down fast. I hoped that also wasn't something to worry about. I had enough on my plate as it was. Just then, the aircraft began a banking turn. Judging by the position of the sun, we wound up heading due north. We were definitely heading down faster than usual. I could feel my ears popping from the rapid descent.
"What does that mean?" Angel asked me.
When things happen on flights, like if the plane is bouncing around from turbulence, I always check the stewardesses. If they look unconcerned then I figure there is nothing to worry about. I looked at one of the stews as she came through the cabin. She looked a little pale as she forced a smile. Not good.
I wondered if I should tell Angel what I really thought. If she was a little younger I would have come up with a story. But I figured she was old enough not to be lied to. "I think it means we are having a serious problem."
Her face went pale and clouded up. "Are we going to crash?"
"I don't think so. We lost power in one engine. But these jets are designed to fly on one engine. The pilots have to practice it. As long as the other engine keeps working we'll be okay," I said with more confidence than I felt.
Angel settled into her seat still holding onto my arm, "And I've never been kissed."
I laughed, that's what I would have been thinking when I was fifteen. "Heck, I'll kiss you if that's what you're worried about," intending to make her laugh.
She turned back towards me, surprise on her face which changed into resolve. "Okay." Now I was the one surprised. "I mean it," she said.
Well hell, I might as well. I leaned over to give her a chaste kiss. When our lips met she kissed me for real. My body responded and our lips parted. Actually, it was a hell of a kiss. She put everything into it and I matched her passion. We parted and Angel settled back again. "Wow."
"Yeah, wow," I said.
"That was better than I thought it would be," she said dreamily.
"Thank you. The advantage of years is experience and practice," I said smiling. "Don't worry. You'll have years of experience yourself."
Angel nodded, then looked across the aisle towards the engine on the other side. I'm sure she was thinking what I was, 'Just keep working.'
We had dropped most of the altitude already. I looked out at the flat prairie, snow covered and dotted with an occasional farm building. There was absolutely nothing to distinguish it from any other flat land. I just hoped there was an airport ahead. The engine on the other side was groaning and surging as the pilot fought the one-engined beast. There was something in the sound of that engine that made my hair stand on end. When I was in the Air Force, the one thing the pilots worried about, was trying a one-engine landing because of the way the aircraft handled. 'Don't get behind the power curve, ' I willed the pilot.
There was a bump, which made both of us jump, then I heard the landing gear going down. "It's just the wheels," I reassured Angel. She tightened her grip on my arm. Then the flaps extended and again I heard the single engine roaring to make up for the lost power on the other side. The craft slewed from all of the power on one side and drag on the other. The pilot wrestled it back on beam. A city was below us now. I hoped it was Fargo.
We continued heading straight in, no circling or lining up. The ground was rushing below and getting very close. Please, please let there be a runway out there. Then, a fence flew by and the first lights. Yes. The ground rushed up to meet us. The end of the runway appeared as the plane slammed onto the concrete, a bounce, and it settled again, as the flaps all extended and the engine powered into reverse thrust. We slowed, not as fast as usual, until we were slow enough that the pilot could use the brakes. Engaged, the brakes quickly brought us to taxi speed and we rolled off the runaway and onto a taxiway. That's when I saw the fire engines, lights flashing, lined up on the taxiway. They quickly surrounded the jet. There was a whining sound as the flaps all started pulling back. That was when the entire plane burst into applause. The anxiety, which had hung in the air like a fog, vanished, replaced by exuberant gaiety. The crew came on with the stay in your seats, welcome speech which none of us paid the least attention too. We were down safely.
The release of tension created a mild euphoria. I looked at Angel who was broadly smiling. "We made it," she said. I nodded. "Thanks for the kiss."
"You are more than welcome," I said. "I really enjoyed it. You're going to have a fine career as a kisser."
We had stopped on the taxiway and I heard the other engine dying away. We sat on the taxiway for five minutes or so as they hooked up a tow bar and towed us to the terminal. The fire engines turned off their lights and motored away. Nobody seemed to be grumbling about the delay, just happy to be down safely I suppose. I sure was.
Angel was still holding onto my arm, but was much more relaxed now. Once we were at the terminal, the stewardess came on thanking us for traveling and telling us that an agent would meet us in the terminal for instructions.
We were some of the first people off, being in the first class section. Angel came up beside me in the jetway and grabbed my hand. She smiled and said, "Do you mind if I hang with you? I don't know what to do."
She must have been still a little shaken by the experience. I held her hand as we emerged into the terminal. An agent was herding the passengers to one side and asking that we remain until all of the passengers were off the plane. I led Angel off to one side and looked around the terminal. Some terminal. I saw six gates in total. I had been in bigger hot dog stands. There was a sign announcing, Hector International Airport. International? I'm sure people from all over the world were lining up to get to Fargo in the dead of winter.
The rest of the passengers filed out and milled about the gate area. Then the agent picked up her mike and said, "Welcome to Fargo. I'm sure you'll enjoy your unscheduled stop here. We sure like the town," to a few laughs. "Sorry for the diversion. As you probably figured out there was a problem with the engine, and rather than take any chances, the pilot diverted here. Unfortunately, your airline does not have service to this airport, so we at Northern States Airlines will do everything we can to make your stay here enjoyable," to a few more laughs.
"Now the bad news..." to a few groans. "The earliest your airline can get a replacement aircraft here is tomorrow morning."
Immediately, several people started asking questions. The main one being, how about other flights? The agent continued over the interruptions, "You can get flights from Fargo to Chicago and possibly connect to Seattle. But, your ticket is not valid for that travel. In other words, you'll have to buy another ticket." There was some mumbling from the rabble. The agent blithely went on, "We have coupons for hotel rooms in the area as well as meal coupons. We will pass out the coupons to anyone wishing to stay overnight in a hotel."
Lots of people were grumbling and complaining. I made a quick appraisal and knew we were going to be stuck here in Fargo. Lord be praised, I now had a better than even chance of missing the meeting. I might even be able to convince my boss to let me fly straight home. Might as well get to the hotel first and get a better room. As people continued pestering the agent with their whining complaints, I took the opportunity to be first up to get the coupons. I asked the other agent about hotels. She offered several. One was a Days Inn Suites. I figured that was the best option as I prefer a suite and I was going to bill the client.
I saw the pilot heading by. I caught his eye, took a couple steps with him and said in a low voice, "The other engine as well, huh?" He looked startled, looked around and said nothing. But I could read the hesitation. He just smiled before heading off for his debrief.
Angel came up beside me, "What does that mean?"
"It means he was having trouble with the other engine as well. That's why he headed down so fast and why he shut the engine down on the taxiway and probably why we were met by fire trucks."
"So we could have crashed?" she asked.
"Only if it quit. But it was pretty serious," I said.
She looked solemn for a moment then said, "Thanks for kissing me. I would of hated to die before I got kissed for real."
We were in the baggage area. I stopped by the baggage carousel and told her, "Really, it was my pleasure."
I looked around. There were still not a lot of people from our flight. I guessed they were arguing with the agent, or heading off to find out they really couldn't get out to Seattle. If there was a prayer of connecting, the agent would have been selling those connecting tickets instead of handing out hotel coupons. What was the agent going to do about their whining complaints? It always amazes me that people don't accept the obvious.
I grabbed my bag and Angel grabbed hers. I took it from her and nearly fell over to that side. Jesus, what did she have in there? An entire department store? "You moved to Baltimore and took everything you owned?"
She looked puzzled before she caught on to my teasing. "It's not that much. God, Mom made me leave so much behind; I didn't have any clothes."
"Uh huh," I said leading the way to the taxis. We boarded one and I told him, "Days Inn please." It turned out to be just off of the airport and across the street from the Fargo Dome. I glanced at the marquee. USHRA Motor Sports Spectacular it proudly announced. Jeez, doesn't that sound classy. Indoor NASCAR for all of the 'necks. They can't last through the winter without a car crash.
I thought the Central Valley of California was flat, but it's nothing compared to Fargo. At least in the valley you can see the mountains. Here, it looked like you could see all of the way to the North Pole, where the wind must have originated.
As we got out of the taxi, I asked Angel, "Have your coupon?" She shook her head. "Didn't you get one?" I asked.
"No. I didn't want to stay alone. I mean, after the flight and all..." she said, a solemn look again clouding her face. Then she brightened and declared, "I got the meal coupon," proudly holding it up.
Well, hell. That's a situation. I could rent her a room, which apparently she doesn't want or I can let her stay in my suite. "Angel, you know that people wouldn't understand if we shared a room."
She looked around. There wasn't a soul in view. "Who's going to know? I'm not going to tell anyone. Please, I'm still kind of nervous."
"All right. Hopefully their suites have two separate rooms," I said and headed in.
The clerk took the coupon gladly, but I had to cough up some money for the upgrade to a suite. The client was paying so I gladly upgraded the room. I asked about restaurants since dinner was starting to sound good. The clerk recommended several close by choices: Eagle's Nest Barbeque and Grill, Rees Sports Bar, Buffalo Wild Wings, all of which had me seeing scenes of rednecks, beer, hooting and hollering. I didn't need that after that plane ride. "Isn't there a steak house?" The clerk finally offered Outback Steak House, but it wasn't within walking distance. I thanked him and said I could take a taxi. At least I knew I would be getting a steak and a quiet atmosphere.
Angel followed me to the room which turned out to be a nice large room with a sitting area and one large bed, but not two rooms. I set the suitcases down on the couch and looked around. Maybe I could get a rollaway bed from the front desk. Angel looked at the one bed in the room but said nothing.
She walked over to a door and said, "Excuse me," closing the door behind. I picked up my suitcase and put it on a suitcase rest, opened it and grabbed a change of shirt, the one I was wearing having gotten a bit old. I used the time to call my boss and explain what had occurred. She was pissed, but when I told her how close we were to digging a hole, she calmed down. She fumed for a minute but then said she would reschedule the meeting one day later. Disappointed, I told her, "Great," and hung up.
When Angel appeared I excused myself to change my shirt and use the facilities. The bath was the best thing about the room. It had a large Jacuzzi and was plenty roomy for two. That Jacuzzi looked inviting.
When I appeared, Angel was rummaging in her case. "God, I didn't think I was going to have to wear any of this. It's all wrinkled."
"You look fine," I said.
"No. I have to change," she chided me. She had grabbed some clothes and headed back into the bath. I shook my head, once again unable to understand women.
I grabbed the phone, called Outback and made a reservation. Then I ordered a cab. Angel appeared as I set down the phone. "Wow," I said. She was wearing tight white pants that hugged her legs and ass and a tight black, low cut, knit top that hugged her torso and molded around her tits. There was a generous amount of skin on display.
"You like it?" she asked.
"Yes. But you could get in trouble wearing an outfit like that," I told her.
She smiled. "Maybe," she said mysteriously.
I wasn't quite sure what to make of that comment. "Grab your coat; the taxi ought to be here at any moment." Angel bounced across the room and put on her coat. I held the door open for her. As we headed down the hall, she put her hand in mine, smiling gaily up at me when I looked at her. She was on a big adventure and acted it. When I smiled in return she pushed her shoulder into my side, still smiling. I put my arm around her shoulder pulling her into me. Her hand went around my waist, then slid lower until her hand was on my ass.
As we entered the lobby, I reached back and pulled her hand off my ass. I was nervous about anybody seeing me in a lover's clinch with this, admittedly attractive, fifteen-year-old fox.
The Outback Steakhouse was not too busy when we arrived and the little chippy at the front door took us straight to a booth. I had quite the view, following the two girls, both in tight pants, their little asses rolling so provocatively. I had some very ungentlemanly thoughts about having both of those butts up in the air as I pounded one, then the other, in a double play. The vision of those two girls bent over as I fucked them caused a swelling in my middle extremity.
I shook my head to clear it as the girl seated us and handed over the menus. I looked at the wine menu and spotted a Greg Norman Estates Cabernet-Merlot which I recalled getting good reviews in Wine Spectator. I was still a little frazzled from the flight and ordered a bottle. What the hell, the client's paying. I was beginning to really like this client.
The steaks at Outback are good, not great. They put too much salt in the seasonings to make them taste better than they are. Angel talked me into one of the Blooming Onions, which turned out to be fun to share with her. I caught her looking at my wine. "You like wine?"
"I don't know," she said.
"Try it," I told her.
She looked around, then took a swig. "Not bad," she said.
I sure didn't need an entire bottle myself. I poured some wine into her glass. If somebody complained, I'd worry then. So, Angel joined me in killing the bottle of wine. Her eyes were bright by the time dinner was over. I watched carefully. I didn't need a drunk teen on my hands. She was feeling fine, but not drunk. I paid and asked the hostess to call us a cab.
On the way back to the hotel, Angel wrapped herself around my arm and snuggled into my side. I wish I could say it didn't have any affect on me but that wouldn't be true. It was quite nice to have a cute young woman acting like she thought I was cute... nice for the ego of a middle-aged man going a touch gray at the temples, that is.
She was first to use the facilities when we made it back to the room. I took off my coat and considered the problem of sleeping arrangements. I looked at the chairs. None of them looked very comfortable for sleeping. The heater was working hard now that night had come. The cold seemed to pour off the window so sleeping on the floor would be hard and cold. Sharing the bed with Angel was out of the question. No way would I be able to keep my hands off of her if she snuggled in like she had in the cab. I'd be dead meat in no time.
The door to the bath opened and Angel called to me. Before I could solve this Gordian Knot, I went into the bath at her summons. Angel was standing by the big Jacuzzi in the corner.
"Take a Jacuzzi with me," she said.
"I'd love to but I didn't bring a suit," I said.
"You were wearing a suit earlier," she said smiling.
"Smarty, a swim suit," I said.
Her eyes got a little brighter. "Everybody knows you don't wear swimsuits in a Jacuzzi."
Whoa. Little Angel just asked me to get naked with her in a Jacuzzi. If I thought the sleeping arrangements were possible causes of trouble, this was definitely a cause. On the other hand, I liked the idea of seeing her sans clothing, really liked the idea. She was a looker.
"Pretty please," she begged. "Pretty, pretty, pretty please."
I fought the battle gamely, but succumbed to that last pretty. "Okay, if you really want to," I told her.
She flew at me, wrapping her arms around my neck, "Thank you, thank you, thank you." She grabbed a towel and flying out of the room said, "You start the water while I get ready."
I hoped that meant, well, get ready as in naked ready. I started the hot water, tested it, and added cold water until it was a nice warm temperature. I wasn't sure what to do now. Was she really going to have us in the Jacuzzi nude? I hesitated, wondering. My mind was full of erotic images of little Angel naked, in the tub on display for me.
Angel swept back into the room, wrapped in a towel. "You're still dressed."
"Excuse me." I grabbed a towel and headed out. I stripped and wrapped the towel around my waist, my mind going a mile a minute with the questions. Questions like is she really going to strip? Is she really going to kiss me? Is she really going to let me touch her? At the same time, I was batting those aside and arguing with myself, 'She's too young.' I couldn't really fuck her, could I?
I took a deep breath and went back into the bath. Angel was sitting on the side of the tub, her long hair tied up on her head, lazily swirling it with her foot, still wrapped in her towel. I wondered if I was being set up.
"Last one in is a rotten egg," she said, tearing away the towel and plopping into the Jacuzzi.
She was naked as a newborn. Answered that question. I dropped my towel over the rack and joined her in the Jacuzzi. Her eyes were locked onto my cock as I climbed in. "I guess I lost." I stood in the Jacuzzi and let her stare. She finally noticed that I was just standing.
She blushed slightly and looked up. "It's the first real one I've seen."
"Angel, you've got to have seen a penis before," I said. I settled into the hot water. The Jacuzzi was big enough for two, but still a little tight. There was plenty of skin on skin when we both were in the water and our legs were tangled in the narrow end, not that I was complaining. It heightened the erotic tension for me.
"Well yeah, I mean, we played doctor when I was young," she said. I had to smile, when she was young. Not like now when she is an old lady at fifteen. She continued, "But it's different. You know, seeing a man's... penis." One of her feet was gently rubbing the top of mine.
"So, what do you think, now that you've seen a real one?" I asked.