This is an excerpt from "Flying High: Sexy Stories From the Mile High Club," by Bill Kte'pi, edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel. It has been reprinted with permission from Cleis Press. This excerpt is sponsored by LELO.
SWF seeks adventure. 34, attractive, strong, professional, healthy, happy. Seeking that missing piece and a man to take control. Tell me what you have to offer.
Every time the car hit one of those speed bumps on Airline Highway, you think about turning around. This is thrilling, yes - but stupid, too. Stupid to spend this kind of money over a man you’ve never met.
Nancy - be on the flight from Baltimore to Portland: I’ve pasted the itinerary at the bottom of this email. Buy a ticket for seat 34B. I’ll reserve 34C. I’m buying two tickets; I’ll leave C empty until it’s time.
Waiting in line for your ticket, waiting to board, you look at the men around you, even though you know he isn’t one of them. He’ll board the second flight, when you switch planes in Baltimore. You don’t know where he’s from. He doesn’t know where you’re from.
As you go through security, you half hope you’re stopped for something, that the emery board in your purse disqualifies you from air travel, that overzealous air marshals decide you’re a threat to national security - and you get sent home to your matching plates and new stereo and warm safe bed.
You fidget on the plane to Baltimore, unable to concentrate on the paperback you brought in your purse. You glance down at your lap to see if anyone can tell you’re not wearing panties. Baltimore is a forty-seven-minute layover that seems to stretch on for hours.
You board the second plane.
34B - it sounds like a bra size. You don’t even know his name. You gave yours - your real name, though he may assume otherwise - but he never offered his and you didn’t want to ask and have him say no. You didn’t want to establish his right to tell you no that quickly.
This is stupid. But it’s safe, isn’t it?
He pointed that out when you hinted at your uncertainty a month ago: It’s an airplane. What is it you think I can do without you letting me do it?
34C is empty, as he said it would be. You steel yourself, don’t look at the men on the plane. You don’t want to seem eager or desperate or stupid. Maybe he’s up front in first class, or maybe he’s watching you right now. Maybe he’s changing his mind. It’s 3:00 a.m. Eastern Time, and scattered passengers are asleep or reading. Most of them were here when you boarded. You didn’t think to check where the plane was coming from. Maybe from where he lives. Florida? Alabama?
You wait for the captain to turn the seat belt light off, and a piece of you hopes for turbulence, hopes the light will stay on and on and on until you disembark in Portland. You’ll promise to reschedule but of course you won’t, and - the seat belt light clicks off. He’s free to move about the plane.
You do what he told you to do.
You unbuckle your seat belt and drape the flimsy airline blanket over your lap. There’s no one in 34A, and you wonder if he bought that ticket, too. You push your armrests up. There are only the three seats on this side of the aisle: across the aisle an old man has fallen asleep reading the in-flight magazine. The flight attendant turns his light off as she passes.
You sit and wait.
You’re wearing what he asked you to wear: the red blouse you’d told him you liked, the one that’s comfortable and sexy at the same time; an underwire bra with no shoulder straps; a black skirt, short (but not too short), cut wide and loose. No stockings. No panties.
What should you be doing? Looking casual? Reading your book? Looking around? Ten minutes pass … fifteen … thirty. You wonder if you should give up, and what exactly "giving up" would entail. You wonder what you’ll do when he - Someone is sitting down next to you.
You look at him, doing your best not to look nervous. He’s tall, but not impressively tall, just taller than you, tall enough for that moment of awkwardness when he maneuvers his head beneath the luggage compartment to sit. Nice hands (no ring, but you don’t know if it would matter). Dark blue eyes, and black wire-rimmed glasses. Light brown hair rumpled in a professorial way. Tasteful suit. No tie.
You smile, and he nods to you with an expression you can’t read. You start to say something but he holds a finger to his lips and nods behind him: a businessman is sleeping in 35B. Maybe that’s for the best: you have no idea what to say.
Nothing happens, for the longest time. You keep looking at him even though you don’t know if you should. You don’t want to seem impatient or … or you don’t know what. Stupid. You don’t want to seem stupid. You don’t want to seem like a girl - but you want to be treated like one. Maybe.
His fingers brush your leg through the blanket. It would seem innocent if you didn’t know it wasn’t, like he’d just forgotten what close quarters airplanes have. You move your leg a little closer and his hand slides over it, under the blanket. He has a warm hand, with long fingers that squeeze your leg firmly, which you know is the signal.
Under the blanket you pull your skirt up, eyes studiously down; no one glancing this way could tell what you were doing. You pull his hand between your thighs. You want him to feel that you’re not wearing panties. That you shaved for him. That you did what he said.
He leans toward you, as if just getting comfortable. He pushes your thighs farther apart, and his middle fingers stroke you open, stroke you wet. You push forward, feeling the rough upholstered seat through your thin skirt. Your hand beneath the blanket caresses his for a moment.
But you pull your hand away because you don’t think a caress is what he wants. You push against his hand until his finger slips into you, and when you hear the whimper in your throat as your head presses back against the seat you can’t believe the sound came from you. You’re not the kind of woman who makes such a noise.