The Captain and Me

by Charlie for now

Copyright© 2019 by Charlie for now

Romantic Sex Story: It was a really, really bad day. She found herself looking for work. On the other hand, it was a really, really good day. He was looking for help. A match made in heaven ?? Probably. Close, anyway !!

Caution: This Romantic Sex Story contains strong sexual content, including Ma/Fa   Fa/Fa   Romantic   Workplace   Polygamy/Polyamory   .

She was sitting in the Signature terminal, obviously not in a good mood. I had seen her before, once, I think, about a year ago. I remembered her smile and her eyes. Green eyes. A beautiful shade of green, framed by her red hair. Freckles sprinkled across her nose and cheeks. She was a very cute lady.

“Captain Reynolds, ma’am, will you be needing a car or anything?” the manager asked her from the reception counter.

“Not yet, Bill. I need to make some calls first. You don’t mind me doing it from here, do you?”

“Not at all, ma’am. You are welcome here as long as you wish to stay.”

“Thanks. Hopefully I can find a plane today and make some plans,” she told him, shaking her head lightly and looking down.

“Great. Let me know if I can assist in any way. Even though you are unattached, please feel at home here. Oh, hello, Mr. Craft. May I ask how long you’ll be with us this trip?”

“Three days, Bill. Maybe four, but I’d like her hangared if possible.”

“Certainly, sir.”

I whispered to Bill, “What’s the deal there?” as I was nonchalantly pointing toward Captain Reynolds with my thumb.

“Lost her plane, her job, and with them, her smile, this morning. CGI sold their plane to Monfort Chemical and they took the co-pilot with them. They left her here. She’s basically a homeless urchin at this point.”

“Thanks, Bill. You know her?”

“I guess. A little. Been through here maybe fifty times. Three, four years with CGI. Air Force before that. We talked about it once. She flew C-17s and commuters mostly. She’s not as young as she looks. I’ve seen her driver’s license.”

I raised my eyebrows in question. He shook his head. “That information, sir, you’ll need to get from her. You’ll get neither her age nor her listed weight from me. I know better.” He chuckled, getting her attention. The short over-the-shoulder look at us, for me was like a sunrise. She was really cute, and she let a smile, just a small one, grace her cute little face.

Not normally the type to venture forth with an outgoing approach toward a woman, I did so. I just hoped she didn’t sense my fear. I’m not good at this. Never have been.

“Captain Reynolds, is it?” I stuck my hand out to shake hers.

“Yes. And you might be?”

“Charles Craft, Craft Microdevices, Inc., out of the St. Louis area. It’s nice to meet you. May I ask what brings you to Houston on this wonderful day?” It was raining, cloudy, the wind was coming up, and she called me on it.

“Mr. Craft, this is one of the worst days of my life, the weather outside is far from nominal, and I just realized my company phone has been deactivated. What makes this day so wonderful for you?”

“Please, Miss Reynolds, and I do hope it’s Miss.” She nodded. “Please just call me Charlie. Just Charlie, for now. I don’t do this often, but I’m going to be honest with you, Miss Reynolds...”

“Julie will be fine if we are going to be on a first name basis, Charlie.”

“OK, Julie. I’m not good at this, but here goes. I remember seeing you, but it wasn’t here. I’m thinking San Diego at the Signature facility there. In any case, you were smiling.”

“Oh, yeah. We flew in there quite a bit. CGI has a big plant in Escondido. That was back when I had a future, a plane, a job, a life, and yes, I was probably smiling. I’m normally an upbeat, smiling kind of girl. At this point, however, it’s not just the weather that is short of nominal. Julie Reynolds has seen better days.”

“On with my point. You were smiling. And pretty enough, excuse me for being fresh, for me to remember the smile and know the look you have this afternoon is a bit out of place. Question, if you don’t mind?” She nodded. “Ever flown a Challenger 650?”

She shook her head slightly, then smiled. “Charlie ... Mr. Craft, over the last sixteen years, I have a list of planes I’ve been checked out on about as long as your arm. Citation Ten and Ten Plus, C-17, C-130, C-28, and a few lesser known Air Force VIP Planes, like the turboprop C-12. I did a temporary duty stint in an E-11A, basically a converted Bombardier Global Express, but they look a little different inside.” My eyebrow went up. “I’d tell you, but then I’d have to kill you.” She giggled. “Sorry, that was rude.”

“No, that was funny. This is now a job interview. Any reason in your background not to get a security clearance? Bank robberies, dead husbands in your closet, anything nefarious?”

“I’ve never been caught. Let’s go with that.” She giggled again. “My stint in the E-11A was a bit ... Higher security than the other jobs? No, no problems.”

“How about this. I put you up in my hotel for the next three days, as I have a bit of work to do. You make the most of it. Drop me off at the Center, take the car and run around, shop, whatever you want to do, then...”

“In your hotel room, Mr. Craft?”

“No, Miss Reynolds, my hotel. Adjoining rooms, if possible, with locks on the doors and all those neat modern things like hinges and such.” I looked at her straight faced.

“Oh. Sorry. I...”

“Never mind about that. This is a job interview. The fact that you are pretty and all has nothing to do with it. I’m not that lucky anyway. Look. I’m taking delivery of a 650 in a couple of months. If you’re interested, I would like you to try it out. Ninety a year, plus room and board, all expenses paid, after you prove to me you can fly a Beech Premier 1A. Julie, I want you to do more than just fly, though, so you need to think about it.”

“Wow, my test flight in a similar plane to a T1A Jayhawk. I’m a lucky girl. I have about 200 hours in one of those.” She smiled again. A nice big smile. “More than just fly? Room and board, Mr. Craft?”

“Temporarily, at my place, the guest wing. I’d like for you to think about being an assistant, if you think it’s something you might enjoy. There is only myself and a few others in the company that I fly places, and I’d say twice a month is a lot. I use it for personal matters more, but now that I need a co-pilot, it’s going to be a bit different. Think about it while I get my things and turn the plane over to Bill’s folks.”

“Charlie, I’d need to get to Denver at some point and get my affairs taken care of. You really need an assistant?”

“Yeah, Barbara, my last one quit suddenly, and I haven’t replaced her yet.”

“She quit? Suddenly?”

“Yeah. Something about only putting up with me until she was sixty-six or some stupid excuse like that. She only gave me a year’s notice and I only have three or four months left. I procrastinate sometimes.”

Julie laughed. Bill looked over and smiled. “OK, Mr. Craft. I love your offer. I need a signing bonus, though so I can go shopping while we’re here.” I frowned at her. “A small advance?”

I took out my wallet and handed her a company Amex Centurion card and three hundred dollars. “There. You won’t starve, and you can get stuff. One of these days, you’ll have to explain to me why a successful pilot has money problems.”

“I’ll tell you now. I paid cash for my car two months ago, not knowing I was being canned. I saved my change for three years. It’s an Audi. The SQ7. Looking back, a bad decision, but ... You pays your money, you takes your chances. All the rest is in long term investments, so I can live on more than dog food when I retire.”

“What exactly transpired today? I hope you don’t mind me asking.”

“They had the plane sold, didn’t tell me, kept my second and left me here with twelve hundred in cash, my normal paychecks coming for two months, according to them, and the words, ‘Your services are no longer needed’. I think there was a ‘have a nice day’, but I was too stunned to recall.”

“Julie, I hate to ask, but why...”

“Do you appreciate honesty in its raw state?” I nodded and smiled. “I wouldn’t fuck the CEO’s son. He is God’s gift, you know, and Daddy is still enabling his social problems.”

“Oh, I’m sorry you were put in that position. We’ll have your car delivered back home. Denver, right?” She nodded. “Anything else tying you to that area?” She shook her head, smile straightening and going flat. I’d hit a bad chord. “OK. Come, you can follow me if you like. The car should be here. We’ll put your bags in it. I need some stuff from the plane and we can boogie. If you’ll help me out here for a few days, you’ll have some time to decide if you want the job. Then, if you do, we can fly to Denver on the way home, and either ship your car to my place, or you can drive it. Up to you, but I’d just as soon you ship it. We can pack and ship your stuff, or if you are a tiny house person we can just load the plane and the back of your car.” She smiled and nodded.

“Furnished apartment and my roommate can have just about everything else. I don’t want anything from there. Just my personal stuff. Too many bad memories.” She turned away from me for a minute. Turning back, she forced a smile. “Kitchen privileges come with the room and board?”

“Only if you make enough for two. I certainly will when I cook.”

“Your personal executive chef as well? There seems to be no end of my available job titles.”

“Not at all. I love to cook. I’ll probably do it more often, but if you enjoy sharing a meal with good company, I’ll try to provide some. I know I do. Like to share a meal with good company, that is. It’s been quite a while since I have, but I’m looking forward to it, should you accept the position. You any good with computers and Microsoft Office and all that?”

“Hell, Charlie, secretary, too?”

“No, not a secretary. PA. Personal assistant. You’ll need to know how to answer an email when one of my secretaries needs something, though. I have an office manager for most of that stuff, but if you’re with me and I’m elbow deep in chips and diodes, I’d hope you could tell them I’m busy and maybe take a message. That kind of thing. Then fly me home. You’re still a pilot primarily, as far as payroll, if you take the job.”

“It’s looking better. You need help with this stuff?” We were at the plane with the rental car loading the luggage and a large metal box with locks and seals on it. “What might this be?”

“I’d tell you, but then...”

“Gotcha. Turnabout is fair play.”

“It’s a fancy radio. It’s what we do. More on that later ... If you take the job.” We shared a smile. “Clearance with Uncle Sam and all that. I will tell you this, since even if you were a spy, the information wouldn’t do anyone any good. This is a clone, an exact copy of one that is being put into orbit tomorrow while we’re in Houston. I am here to make sure everything goes OK.”

“Understood. I worked with some space folks when I was in the E-11s. Are you keeping the Beechjet when you get the Challenger?”

“I haven’t decided yet. It’s not sold. We’ll see. If I kept it and needed you to run somewhere alone, you could do that. It’s a dream to fly. Even alone. My need for you is to Captain the Challenger, though, then secondarily all the other activities. Let’s go. The hotel awaits.” I had her drive and called the hotel on the way there to see if I could get a couple of adjoining king rooms. Lucky me. I found a cute girl, a pilot, and the rooms I needed, all in the same day. The cute girl thing still had me spooked.

What if she was like Brandi? Brandice Jocelyn Smith. Tore my heart out a few years ago and didn’t leave much of anything to grow back. The standard by which all women will be measured for some time to come, I’m sure. Met me at a fundraiser, telling me how handsome I was and how nice I danced and this and that, and after I was balls deep in her, six months later, I found out from a not so good friend of hers she was trying to get pregnant and have my child. Cha-Ching was the term used. She had another boyfriend on the side. She just wanted money from me so I could keep the baby and she’d be on her way. Rumor was she wanted a cool million. I had movers come get her stuff, put it in a big wooden box and sent to her parents’ house, then I moved across town, so I wouldn’t have to see her so much. She tried to contact me, but every time she did, she got a note from ‘Brown, Williams, and Laracet, Attorneys at Law’, basically telling her that if she intended to contact me, she should have a lawyer contact them. If not, the police would be happy to ask her nicely to stop bothering me.

I like this house more. It was just being finished by a couple who upgraded everything as far as they could go and half way through the pool installation, he got sick. Terrible story, but I bought it from them and they used the money to move back with his parents until ... She sent me a card thanking me for my generosity and the ride home. He made it for about thirteen months. She was pregnant with his child when he died, so something very good came of all of it.

“Jesus, Mr. Craft, you have had quite a time, haven’t you?”

“Did I just say all that out loud? I shouldn’t have. Forget I told you about Brandi. I don’t want sympathy and I don’t care anymore.”

“But you are still afraid of intimacy, aren’t you?”

“I have no idea and won’t until it rears its ugly head and asks me to come out and play.”

“Tell me how you really feel. Joking. Please don’t. I think I’ve heard enough already. I’ll drop the subject.”

“Thank you. We’re here. I’ll go get a cart and get the luggage inside. You want to check us in?” She looked at me strangely, then remembered. She had a black card.

“Yes, I can handle that, Mr. Craft. You want me to send a bell boy out?”

“No. In this joint it’s the assistant shift manager. I’m fine. I’m young and capable.”

“I’m sure you are, Mr. Craft. I’m sure you are.” She smiled at me, turned and went inside. Her smile ... There was something about her smile.

I had the cart loaded with all our gear and met her at the desk. Rooms 404 and 406, identical mirror images so it didn’t matter which we got. I put her in the first one we came to, threw her bags on the bed and went next door with my gear and the radio container. I opened the door to her room. The one on my side anyway. I heard a knock, then the one on her side opened slightly.

“Knock, Knock. Anyone home? You decent?”

“Yeah, Julie, come on in.” I set my bag on the table and opened it. “Room service or do I lug this big cube around with us?” I asked her, including her in the dinner decision.

“Room service and chill to a movie or something?” she replied. I nodded. “Charlie, did you need a pilot right away? I’m asking for a reason. I think there is more raw honesty coming. I’ve shared some. You’ve shared some, but you need to realize that we are both a bit ... A bit broken, I think would be accurate. Order dinner and a couple beers and we’ll talk. I don’t care what you order, just get two of them.”

I got dinner ordered, as well as a six pack on ice, and some dessert. “Julie, if you want to continue, please do. If not, I won’t pry. Your competence is not in question. Anything you share stays between you and me, period. I hope my little unintentional verbal excursion is treated the same way.”

She nodded. “My roommate is a beautiful woman. I thought I loved her. Maybe I didn’t. Maybe I don’t. Maybe I was infatuated with her. She sexed me. She didn’t make love to me. She fucked me. I was being fucked and sexed by the most beautiful woman I’d ever laid eyes on. Of course, I was infatuated. However, I don’t think she’s actually capable of love. She told me a story similar to yours. A man told her he loved her then when he got caught cheating on her and she called him on it, he got drunk and beat her senseless a couple of times. She told me she’d never allow that to happen again. Ever. After a while, about a year into our relationship, I understood. If she was late, I worried. If I was late, she went shopping. If she was in a bad mood, I’d try to help her in some way. If I was in a bad mood, she’d go shopping. Belinda is an absolutely beautiful and amazingly attractive ... Statue. Five feet, eight inches of cold hard gorgeous stone. The best sex I’ve ever had. What I haven’t had is love. Back to my question. Did you need a pilot now, or was it because I was lost?”

“Both. I’ll admit, I approached you. That was scary. I’m used to rejection, in every form. If you had approached me in some manner, I would have rebuffed you, as well. I fear no man, and yet fear every woman. Truth or dare. Silly game. I always pick truth. I was in the service, too, Julie. I have done things, seen things, been places, the kind of thing they make movies about, but I can’t say a word. The war movies are exaggerated, hyped up, and romanticized. There is nothing romantic about shooting a man in the face as he thinks he’s sneaking up on you. Far from it.

“I need a pilot now, because I need to know, in two months, if we can work together, and if you can fly. I guess it’s obvious you can fly, actually. I think that’s a given. Now, can I be a co-pilot, and let you captain, or do I lead from behind? Does it even matter? My intention is this. You be my pilot. I’ll be your checklist reader, and both of us can stay current enough to do what we need to do. Does that sound OK?”

“It’s fine. You’ve offered me a raise, for all intents and purposes. As well as a less stressful environment to work in. At least I hope being your PA is less stressful than, say, navigating Reagan National or SFO.” She laughed.

“It might be. Ask Barbara. Oh, here.” I handed her my phone. “Barbara Keene, in contacts. Call her and introduce yourself as her replacement. She’ll be tickled pink.” She looked at me, a bit shocked, but made the call.

They talked for twenty minutes, only hanging up when the food arrived, and promising to talk again, soon.

“Yes. The answer is yes. I’ll take the job. I would like a one-year guaranteed contract, barring my desertion, maybe an indecency or morality clause, that type of thing. This is a big step for me, and even though I’m leaving what I see as a bad situation, I certainly don’t want to jump out of the pan into the fire.”

“Accepted and guaranteed. I’ll have ninety grand put into whatever account you desire, in two chunks. One for the rest of this year and one escrowed for next year’s portion. For tax purposes. Eat. It’s still nice and hot.” I’d ordered a braised chicken and asparagus thing with a side of clam chowder. The New England, potato soup kind. And my, was it good. They brought us some cherry strudel that was great, too, but a person could get too much of that stuff. It was rich! Julie, took the leftovers from dessert and put them on a plate in the fridge. Covering them with a piece of plastic wrap used to deliver dinner, I had a funny feeling this girl was knowledgeable in the art of survival. We probably went through survival training about the same time, some to think of it. I did the math. Twenty-two, plus fourteen years with the Air Force, plus four years with CGI, that’s forty. I’m forty. SHIT! She looked twenty-five!

My phone dinged. A text from Barbara. ‘Hand your phone to Julie.’ I handed my phone to Julie. I knew better than to cross my PA.

It dinged again. And again, and again, and again. “Wow. They have everything lined up for me tomorrow. I’m supposed to ask for your personal iPad since you’ll probably have your laptop with you at work.” I nodded. “I’m going to Face Time with Human Resources in the morning before I go spend all your money. Oh, and they want to know about any schedule changes.”

“Finish here, then Denver, then home. Probably two days in Denver. We need to pack your stuff then find a car hauling service to take your SUV home. What is going to happen with your girl ... Roommate?”

“Nothing. I lost my job. I’m moving. She’ll go shopping.” Julie looked down for a bit and when she came back up, her eyes were wet. “Sorry. As you know, it’s not easy. I’ll be right back.” She went into her room and closed the door.

I put everything on the cart and put it out in the hallway. Then went in the bathroom for a bit. I normally travelled with pajama pants, just in case, and this trip was no exception. She mentioned chilling with a movie, so I took care of business, brushed my teeth and put on the pajamas. Sponge Bob Squarepants. Oh well, we’ll see if she’s in a better mood when she comes back. My choice of attire should get at least a smile from most humans.

It had been fifteen minutes. The door cracked. “We still on for a movie?”

“Yes,” I answered. The door closed.

After another five or ten minutes, she came back in, wearing Hello Kitty pajamas. A shirt and short set. She was stunningly gorgeous in the little pink and black outfit. She was barefooted, and her legs were beautiful. God, I hoped I wasn’t drooling.

“Do you need anything while I’m out shopping tomorrow?”

“No, but you do. You’ll need dresses and heels for dinner out the next couple nights. We have these get-togethers after the rehearsal and launch sessions. Oh, they are two different places, I’m sure, but most of the same people show up, and you know ... Maybe green tomorrow night for the cocktail party, and blue the next for dinner and dancing. You’ll rock green and your hair with a blue cocktail ... Oh, God, Julie. I’m sorry. I was thinking out loud again. You buy what you want and that’s fine. I’m in no position to presuppose you’ll wear anything. You do what you think is right. It’s just a bunch of CEOs and Air Force colonels and a couple of generals. No big deal. I have no right...”

“Stop. Barbara is your friend. Trust me. Barbara is your friend. We’ll be fine, and I won’t embarrass you. I promise. Find a movie. It’s early. Two movies, and at intermission, the strudel. It was too rich to eat all at once, but I ain’t throwin’ that shit away. It’s too damned good.”

“I know, huh!” They were having a Bruce Willis night on a movie channel, so she brought two of her pillows over, made a nest up against the headboard and we watched Death Wish, then had some strudel. The next one was RED. It was almost as funny as it was a shoot ‘em up.

“Thank you, Charlie. Mr. Craft. I guess now that I work for you, I need to be careful with that, huh?”

“No, Julie. You don’t. Just Charlie. That’ll be fine. Barbara calls me Charlie.” She nodded. Just as she turned to go to her room, I got up the courage again to ask, “Julie, I’m sorry, but I have to ask. Why did you leave the Air Force after fourteen years?”

“Same reason CGI fired me, Charlie. I wouldn’t fuck my squadron’s executive officer, our XO. I liked his wife, but I wouldn’t have done her either, or done that to her. I don’t have a real good opinion of men, Mr. Craft. I haven’t had for quite some time. Barbara tells me you’re different. We’ll see. We’ll talk tomorrow. Goodnight, boss.” With that, she left. Evidently her and my current PA have had ‘the talk’. That can be good, and that can be bad. We’ll just have to wait and see.

Morning routine done, we had a choice. Carry the cube down to breakfast or go get a luggage cart. She picked up one end of it. “Light action, boss. We can take it down, feed it, or ourselves, as appropriate, and get you off to the salt mine.” I loved her light-hearted attitude.

It looked funny sitting next to us by the table, but we were fed and talked some more. “Julie, how old are you? I was doing some simple math with what I picked up yesterday from...”

“Bill’s a nice guy. One of the better managers on our stops. I’m 35. Just turned in May. I graduated high school and college both very early, was in the Air Force just over twelve years, and was with CGI just over three years. You are forty, just turned in May, as well, and loved by everyone in your company. Our birthdays are two days apart. Mine’s on the twenty-second, two days after yours. You are retired from the same Air Force although you only served fourteen years. I’m not asking, and I’m sure you’re not telling. You got the company from your grandparents who raised you and were loved by their employees just as much.”

“What’s your degree in?”

“Mechanical Engineering.”

“If you want to dabble, feel free to use company resources to dabble. I’m having HR rush your clearance paperwork through the Air Force project office. I’m pretty sure with your background they won’t mind.”

“Wow. I never thought of that. Actually, using my education. I always thought I was just a pilot with a pilot’s degree. Neat.”

“Just remember, you’re a pilot and my PA first. Then dabble.” We shared another smile. That could be habit forming. She is a really pretty girl.

She dropped me off at the Center, helping me into the lobby with the container, then as she set it down she told me, “See you later. Give me one of your cards. I need to get a phone. Text Barbara when to pick you up and she can let me know, I guess. Email? I don’t know.”

“Relax, Julie. Six. Pick me up right here at six. The party is at eight. Near the hotel. Relax, hon.”

“OK,” then she did it. She didn’t mean to, I’m sure, and I don’t even know if she noticed but she squeezed my wrist and kissed my cheek, then turned and walked out.

We got into the arena and went through the rehearsal. First time through was great. Ding on my phone. ‘She apologized to me for kissing you. Let it go. Please.’ Barbara is not slow, but she should have known I wouldn’t let it go. From the sidelines, I’ll nurture it, water it, soothe it, talk nice to it, and every other thing I can to make it grow. I want another one of those kisses. Of course, I sent back, ‘okay’. I kept reminding myself, though, that I approached Julie. I doubted seriously if she lost her job at that airport knowing I was inbound and waiting to ruin my life. She wasn’t there to hurt me. At least I didn’t think so.

Six o’clock came and she was waiting for me, standing in the lobby, hands together in front of her, looking straight into my eyes, but instead of her pantsuit, she was in a cute white ruffled blouse, blue mid-thigh pleated skirt, and four-inch pumps. ‘Charles Craft,’ I told myself, ‘you have won the lottery.’

“Good evening, Julie. Did you get all your HR things done today?”

“Yes, sir. And more. We must have had some shared friends in the community, boss. Seems my name is already in the database in the Pentagon program office, so a quick look into the last three years and a coincidental resignation from the service by a certain major just after he was court-martialed for alienation of affection and adultery, of a different woman this time, and I should be good to go on an interim clearance in a few days. Whew. That was all good news. I have an email address at Craft now and as long as I have Wi-Fi, I can communicate. Barbara is working with IT to get me my own phone and such now. I’ll get it when we get to work next week.”

As we approached the car, with her beeping the car unlocked, she opened both of the doors on the passenger’s side. The back for my briefcase and computer satchel, and the front one for me. She went around to the driver’s side and got in, belting up. Once I was in and had my seat belt on, she said, “I’m sorry for this morning. I’m not sorry for this morning. I hope that makes sense. Do you need anything on the way to the hotel, Charlie?”

“If I said, ‘another kiss’, would you get offended and quit? I just spent ninety thousand dollars on you.”

“No, I wouldn’t. Let’s go.” Off we went to the hotel, another kiss hanging somewhere, in the air.

She parked in the short-term parking in the very front of the hotel and on the way by the desk told the clerk she had to get me to a soiree for work in less than an hour and a half, so she’d be down to move the car in just a bit. Off we went to the elevator. The kiss wasn’t hanging in the air long. She took my wrist, this time in both hands, and kissed my cheek again. “Thank you for finding me, Charlie. Thank you for all this. I just hope it works out.”

She let us both into her room, then took me through the adjoining doors to mine and asked if I needed anything. I was still a bit stunned, but I told her I didn’t and that I’d just take a shower and be ready in a bit. A quick shave, shower, etcetera, then dressed and working on my tie, she called out.

“Boss, you good?”

“Yeah, hon, come on in. Are we OK?”

“Yes. Fine. I’m happy. I hope you are. You have a new PA and a co-pilot, we’re going out for a launch party, and...”

“Jesus, Julie.” I turned to look at her. Stunning. Absolutely stunning. She was in a shiny green mid-thigh cocktail dress with matching four-inch satin pumps and off black stockings. She was wearing a small diamond pendant necklace and little diamond stud earrings. Her little clutch matched the outfit, trimmed in gold. “You are a beautiful, gorgeous wonder. A co-pilot?”

“Semantics. We’re flying together. When we’re not, I’ll do my best to keep track of you and what you need. OK?” I nodded. “I spent a lot of time thinking today. I’ve always wanted to fly. I’ve flown. I’ve been doing it since I was fifteen. I’m doing new things now. It felt good to be something besides a pilot today. But I need to ask. Is there a higher position for pilots in this organization?” I shook my head. “Good. I can’t be accused of trying to get ahead by kissing the boss and taking him out to a party. You look pretty good, too ... For a boy.” She giggled. A cute, beautiful, crinkly eyes, dimpled cheeks giggle of a young woman.

“You’re beautiful. Let’s go. I want people to know you’re with me. I hope I’m not reading too much into this. You’re not going to meet someone else and leave me high and dry, are you?”

She shook her head. “I told you. I spent a lot of time thinking today. I also spoke to about six different women in various levels of your hierarchy. I don’t think it would behoove me to leave now. Maybe for a long time. Maybe never. Let’s go.” She took my hand, and we went through her room to the hallway, out to the elevator. Once there, she pulled me down by my ear and kissed my cheek again. With her thumb, she wiped the lipstick in, or off, or whatever they do with it, and thanked me again.

The party was held at a hotel a few miles down the road where the CEOs of a couple other companies, notably the launch vehicle’s contractor, were staying. Walking in with my new PA on my arm got some attention. Mostly that of people who knew me and had for several years, all knowing I hadn’t been seen with female company for that entire time. Barbara was old enough to be my mother, even if I had older siblings. They knew that wasn’t anything. They didn’t know about this. But then, neither did I.

We mingled with Julie answering questions about her position and background, using all the class of a woman of standing. Her responses were truthful but lacking one thing. She never referred to any timeline. When she would look up at me and smile while talking about me hiring her to help pilot my new, and much larger aircraft, she was able to get just technical enough to sidetrack and end the conversation without saying, ‘He found me in the pits yesterday and felt sorry for me so he bought me a dress and some shoes and here I am!’ Yes, she was a jewel. An emerald. Good Lord, she looked good in green.

We stayed a couple hours, walking from one group to the other, most of the time holding hands while we were moving, and met and talked to everyone, then went back to the hotel. We entered her room again, then into mine. She helped me with my jacket and tie, hanging them up, then went to her room, closing the door, but not all the way. Almost, but it had an inch of opening and certainly didn’t latch.

Ten minutes later she was back. I was just into my pajama pants, still with my t-shirt, hoping she’d come back. She entered in her Hello Kitty pajamas and sat on the bed. “That was fun. You know a lot of people. It wasn’t what I’m used to, but then, we often just had a snack and sat in the corner waiting for them to leave or waited in the plane reading whodunits.”

“Who done its?”

“I read a lot. Mystery and action novels, mostly.”

“Oh, OK. Yes, I do know a lot of people, and Julie, every one of the people I knew there, tonight, thought you were the belle of the ball. No question. You are magnificently gorgeous. Thank you for going tonight. Will you do me the honor of accompanying me to the one tomorrow, as well? Dinner and dancing this time? Pick me up at five?”

“I wouldn’t miss it. Blue tomorrow, though, with some sexy black sandals. What time are you going in tomorrow?”

“Ten. Wanna watch a movie?”

“RomCom tonight?”

“You sure?”

“I’m sure.”

I sat back on the headboard, pillows behind me. She looked at me, sat next to me and leaned into my side. Just like a kid at the movies, I put my hand around her shoulder and enjoyed the movie. At one funny part, she laughed and slapped my thigh gently. Thirty-six hours. My life was changing.

Morning came bringing a new day of surprise and hope, but this time she took me to work in her new ‘uniform’. Cute blouse, short, but proper, skirt, hose, and her black four-inch pumps. Very proper and very cute. Sitting for breakfast I asked her about her clothes.

“I’ve always wanted to dress like this. I heard ... I was told ... There were mentions ... Shit, boss, the girls said you enjoy femininity, high heels, stockings, legs, and it seemed like a good idea. Please tell me...”

“Stop. It was a wonderful idea. You are amazing. You are also ... Damn.”

“Just say it.”

“You are getting to me. I didn’t think it would happen. Especially with you, and certainly not this soon.”

“Why not?”

“Brandi making me into an ogre. Belinda and you. Your preferences. I don’t know.”

“I can’t believe you remembered her name. You were listening.”

“Of course, I was listening. You were talking.” I chuckled as she slapped my arm.

“Clown. That’s not what I meant. You were paying attention to what I told you. Like you cared.” I nodded. “Charlie, I’m not a lesbian. I’m attracted to beauty. Belinda is a marvelously attractive woman. Runway material in her day. She’s a goddess. I’m also attracted to goodness. You are a handsome man, Charlie, and every one of the women that works with you, that I’ve spoken to, has nothing but the utmost respect and admiration for you. That rubs off, you know. Come on. Finish your juice and let me get you to work. Picking you up at five and another party tonight, right?” I nodded. “Dinner and dancing?” I nodded again. “It’s been a while. This’ll be fun. Blue tonight, cowboy.” We chatted a bit more about the new plane, then we arrived, she walked me into the lobby, saw my contacts standing there talking and tiptoed up to kiss my cheek. “See you later.” Off she went. Damn, I hope I don’t get an apology this morning.

All the tests went fine, and the platform worked as designed. Happy campers all around, so that meant we got paid. I love it when a plan comes together.

Five o’clock, my PA picked me up. Same cute outfit, but it was just fine. That one would work all the time. On the way back to the hotel, I let her know all we needed to do tomorrow was to pick up the clone and take it with us then head for Denver. It was considered safe in the luggage hold of the aircraft as long as the box was locked and sealed, the luggage hatch was locked and sealed, and the plane was in an access-controlled hangar. I had one lined up in Denver.

We did the same entry again. Her room to my room. She helped me with my jacket and shirt, then had me sit and got my shoes. She took my cheeks in her hands, kissed my forehead and left to take care of her own readiness. The door wasn’t even hardly closed this time. I sat for a few minutes thinking. A little over two days. That was it. Fifty-four hours since I walked into the Houston terminal and saw her sitting there, fretting. Yes, my life was definitely changing.

The shower got my mind off of that thought and on to another. We’d be working together, closely, for a long time. One day, one year, ten years, forty years. Who knows? Nothing is guaranteed, but this was true. Either this was going to be very hard on me, or very easy. It depended on her. This soon, it depended on her. The decision was made while I rinsed the shampoo out of my hair. It depended on her. I was ready when she was. How was this even possible after the way I’ve felt for so long?

I finished up, dried, prepped, and put on my suit and a blue tie. She said blue. We’ll see. I was looking in the mirror, straightening it when she walked in behind me. I saw her in the mirror. I need to be very careful how I react to this. This one was almost as pretty as the green one. The only real difference was that the other one was green. Both were absolutely amazing. I turned. She saw my eyes and smiled. I nodded. She walked to me in the black high heeled sandals, so feminine, so pretty, and took my cheeks again. This time, she didn’t kiss my forehead. This time, she let my lips taste hers. Just a kiss. The first one. It’s always the first one a guy remembers, and I will remember that kiss forever.

“You are gorgeous, Julie. The kiss. Tell me the kiss...”

“It was the first of many, Charlie. It was a kiss. A you and me kiss, if you’ll have me.”

“Oh, God, yes.” I took her in my arms and kissed her again, this time a little more me, a little closer, a little more open. I licked her lips, enticing a moan from her.

“Stop. You’ll have me ... Just stop. I’ll be back in a minute.” I had to chuckle. She came back in, a smirk on her face and keeping her distance. “Back, animal. Come on. Let’s show up a few minutes early and swipe a couple canapés before the good ones are gone. Hurry. Before I say something stupid.”

We left, knowing full well what she meant.

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