Chapter Two: Flight Plan
I hate flying.
My family once went to Hawaii when I was just starting high school. The whole trip went well…except I was always tired because the flight was several good hours and I was awake for an entire twenty-six hours before we finally got to the hotel and I was able to sleep. I have no idea why I can't handle flying, but it bugs the crap out of me that they make me so antsy.
So when Nate picked me up and we had an early flight to Sweden, I had gotten like zero sleep. Let's make that another really long twenty-five hours before I'll be able to relax enough to close my eyes and sleep. To help, I brought my iPod and a good long book to read. I have a theory that I only get upset when we go over big masses of water. The flight from my home to Headquarters was within the continental United States, and even then I was a less anxious than I was when I boarded that five am flight to Stockholm.
"How are you feeling?" Nate smiled as he turned to me in our coach seats. He was more relaxed than I was.
"Ready to kill Karris. He is a dead man when I get back."
Karris is the guy who hands out assignments. Nate's boss. My boss. He runs the show and hands out rough assignments to young agents; almost like handing candy to a small child and then kidnapping them to ride the kiddie rides at theme parks. I've seen it attempted, too. The guy is now probably maimed in prison for the assumption he was going to be a very terrible person to that little girl. You can kill a man and be considered a role-model in prison, but if you hurt a kid you are better off dead in the prison systems. Anyway, that will be Karris when we get back from this assignment. His butt will be kicked. He should know I hate planes…but that comes with the job.
To make matters worse, Nate began jumping in his seat and rocking mine in the process. We hadn't even left the tarmac and already I wanted to jump out.
"Nate, give it a break. She knows how to use a gun," came a voice from behind us.
That there was Simon in the row behind us. He's like a more refined mentor than Nate. He taught Nate how to be an agent, then Nate taught me. Simon teaches me how to be a better agent though. When Nate fails to help me understand something, Simon laughs at him and pulls me away to teach me in a way I understand. While Nate is like my big brother, Simon is the man who I could depend on like a father. He watches out for me. Like now, as he's accompanying Nate and I on my first assignment. Mostly to watch me screw up, like I imagine I will, but a lot of his presence has to do with making sure I do well enough. Nate apparently has a mediocre track record, having been shot on his last assignment.
"Aww. I was having fun—"
"At my expense, wiener," I glared at him. I called everyone and everything wiener, just to clarify.
"You don't have to be so mean," Nate childishly pouted.
"You do realize I have Rebecca Black on my iPod in case you piss me off."
I don't think I have ever seen someone quiet themselves so fast. I notice a hand slide into view and I give Simon a high-five. The hand slid away and Nate turned away from me.
Thus began our flight to Sweden.
Throughout the flight, there were periods where people slept. There was the masses, then there was Nate. While the entire section was awake and speaking and children crying here and there, Nate slept like a baby. Simon and I thought it would be the funniest thing to scare the pants off my partner by putting Rebecca Black into his ear at a high volume as he slept. Drop it in, wait a moment, see Nate leap in his seat and rip the earpiece from his head, laugh like there was no tomorrow. I think Simon and I repeated this action several times before Nate threatened to break our collarbones. We stopped, but only for a little bit. Once more and then we quit for the rest of the flight. That was when the rest of the passengers in coach were starting to take naps.
"Aren't you the least bit tired?" Nate asked as Simon fell asleep behind us.
I shake my head. "Not really. If I'm doing something then I can stay awake. Flights make me nervous—"
Turbulence struck at that moment. It was rather rough and I was not used to it. I gasp in fright and grip the arms of the seat, my vice-like clutch easing my nerves. The rocking stopped and I relaxed a little, my hands still on the arms of the seat. It was then I realized that there was something under my right hand. I look and Nate's hand was under mine. I pull my hand away, my face feeling flush with embarrassment.
"My bad," I mumble.
He was silent through the rest of the time everyone was sleeping. I shook my head to try and forget that moment in time—for both the turbulence and that grip on his hand—by opening my book. Reading only a few lines, I realize that I had read this book a thousand times before and I knew the plot line and even the smallest of meanings. There was no will to read it. I close it and figured I could just listen to my music. I wanted to bring my laptop, but I figured too much beloved technology would ruin me if anything happened to it. Letting my eyes wander, I saw Nate on his iPad, watching something like a movie on there. The look in his eye was that of confusion. I had no idea if it was from that moment or if it was a rather mysterious television show playing. He also looked tired.
The intercom beeped on and I pulled the earpiece from my head. The pilot was saying that anyone awake should tell the others that we would be landing soon and to make sure we were ready to land in Stockholm. Nate, hearing this, reached to the seat behind mine and slapped Simon's knee with some force. I felt my seat jerk around as Simon was startled awake. Nate told him that we would be landing soon. Then I braced for what Simon would do next, mostly because it would be funny, but also it was what Simon would always do.
"Hey everyone," he spoke loud and in a silly voice, "the great and talented sir who is driving the big flying thing wants you to open your eyes and wake up. We be in Sweden!"
I just bust out laughing.
The lady sitting on the other side of the aisle to Simon looked at him with a heavy-eyed glare. "Was that really necessary, sir?"
"Got you up, didn't it? Not to sound to full of myself, but it got the job done, right?"
The woman blinked a moment and turned away from him. I could barely contain my laughter.
Ten minutes later, I was gripping the arms of the chair and felt a lot better when I felt the jolt of touchdown and the squealing of the brakes. We stopped and I stayed in my seat until much of the plane emptied. Nate sat obediently beside me and Simon lounged in the seat across the aisle from me since the man had gotten off very early.
"So, the hotel?" asked Nate, trying to make conversation.
"I don't care. I want to maybe check out the city later. There's something I want to do."
"Look for hot Swedish men?"
I turn and look at Simon after he spoke. "Yes. I want a Swedish guy because Americans are huge bags of dirt."
"Good thing I'm here. I'll help you decide," Simon patted my face like a doting father.
I playfully swat at his hand and he smiled. We had to make way for an elderly couple, then we grab out carry-ons and head for the door. Simon led the way because he Swedish was only just better than my own. Once off the plan, I felt instantly relaxed.
"Right," Simon added as we head into the main terminal and collected our bags. We only planned to stay for a maximum of three days, but if it went any longer we would be in trouble. We had to act natural…though it would be hard considering everyone's age differences. So we have to look like a bunch of friends on a trip…or Nate and Simon on a trip and I just happen to be on the same flight. And by vacation, I mean for the two of them to act like lovers. Yep. The agency knows no homophobia.
Before I knew it, we were in the hotel. I must have dozed off a little, but I was pretty sure I heard Simon give the best impression of the stereotypical homosexual man while flirting with the cabbie. Simon is straight. Very very straight. He had to leave his female fiancé for work. The fact he has a love life with this job gives me hope that I will find me a perfect Asian man who will accept my very acute skills.
Once in the hotel room, I throw my bags onto the chair I'll be using to sleep on and thumped right onto one of the soft, incredibly comfortable beds.
"Don't mind me," I mumble from the obstacle of my face directly in the mattress. "Go have fun. I'll just take a quick nap."
Simon thumped his bags onto the bed next to me and patted my head. "Nighty-night, sweetie. Sleep well," his voice was genuinely soft and not his normal playful tone.
I was drifting off to sleep when I felt another hand on my head. I didn't know it was Nate until I heard him whisper into my ear.
"Get some sleep, Kels. We'll need you when we get back."
Then he leaned down and kissed my temple before leaving the room. I didn't think to care about it before I fell asleep from sheer exhaustion.
~Don't think that means anything yet! It doesn't. Just a heads up. Oh I'm excited to keep working on this. I have this planned as a trilogy and any romance is later in the series. Well, it starts later in this story, but it gets weirder later on. Maybe part two will get really scary…but until then, don't think romantic. We aren't there yet ;P