Cocky Senator (Cocker Brothers of Atlanta Book 5)(8)

By: Faleena Hopkins

“What a coincidence.”

As the flight attendant approaches I smile at her and give her a wink.

She literally sneers at me.

Handing him the drink she bends in such a way that her cleavage deepens, available for his admiration.

He glances to it. With a bored look he reaches for my leg and starts stroking it over my dress. “Can you set that down for me on my wife’s tray table?” Unable to say no, she reaches over and sets his glass beside mine. He dismisses her with a blasé, “That’ll be all.”

Mortified, she straightens like a shot, turns and collides with a passenger carrying a huge carry-on bag. “You can’t fit that in the overheads!” she barks.

“Oh, sorry!”

“We’ll have to check it for you. You can pick it up when you deboard the plane.” Grunting under the heavy load, she tugs the old suitcase back toward the door.

Justin’s smirks to me, “Doesn’t she know I’m married?”

Laughing under my breath, I reply, “Seems she’s not the type to care.”

His thumb is still absently stroking my thigh. He doesn’t move to release me and I’m not sure what to do with this.

Hypnotized by the warm sensation of his stroke, my eyelashes drop to watch. His hands are very beautiful in a thick, masculine way. Strong fingers. Short nail beds. There’s a scar along two of his knuckles. He pulls his hand away, retrieving his glass and bringing it to his parted lips.

“Where’d you get that scar?”

Stretching his knuckles out he stares at it, twisting his wrist to catch it better in the light. “My brother Jason and I got into a bar fight in New Orleans almost three years back. Or was it two?” He stares into the memory with a smile. “We were saving his future wife. Not that we knew it at the time.”

“Sounds lovely.”

“We kicked ass. It was entertaining.”

I laugh and his fake-seriousness transforms into a smile.

The intercom crackles and the pilot comes over the speakers. “Ladies and gentlemen, we’re about to begin our ascent, our destination Atlanta, GA where the weather is a warm seventy-seven degrees.”

On an inhale I glance to the window in time to see our baggage handlers driving their cart away as the plane pulls back from the terminal. My drink gets a solid gulp as I watch our slow and steady journey down the runway.

A whole chapter of my life is over.

How do I brace myself for this?

My dad says he needs me.

How could I say no to that?

No matter how much he drives me crazy.

No matter how little we get along.

He is the only family I have left.

“And you can’t say no to family,” I mutter.

“Hmm?” Justin asks.

“What?” I glance over. “Oh, nothing. Didn’t mean to say that aloud.”

Boston miniaturizes as the plane reaches higher. Somewhere on those tiny roads U.P.S. trucks are hauling boxes of personal items I couldn’t part with to my father’s home until I find my own place. Which must be very soon. No way am I staying with him long.

“You want another one?”

Distracted I turn my head. “Hmm?”

He motions to my empty glass. “Your whiskey went south.”

Eyes falling to it, I sigh, “Like this trip.”

He pauses. “Is this a bad visit to Atlanta? Someone sick?”

Smiling it off like a pro, I shake my head. “It’s wonderful. I’m very happy to be going.”

One blonde eyebrow cocks. “Uh huh…sure you are. Who are you visiting?”

“Do we have to do this?”

Those gorgeous, pale green eyes darken. “Do what?”

“Chit chat. I’m really not interested in it.”

Staring at me a beat, Justin chuckles, “I’ll just stay quiet over here then.”

“Thank you.” I return to staring out the window, even when all I can see are blinding-white clouds now. What gives them the right to look so optimistic?

The overhead speaker crackles as a male flight attendant tells us, “Ladies and gentlemen, out of courtesy to your fellow travelers, please lower your window shades at this time.”

Darkness. Just what I need.

Pulling it down, I face forward and close my eyes. I wish I could scream at the pilot, Turn the plane around. I want to go back home! Take me back to Boston! I don’t even know my dad!

“Another for Jaimie.”

I glance over to see the male flight attendant nodding as he disappears.

“I’m not an alcoholic.”

From the corners of his eyes Justin looks over. “Didn’t say you were.”

“I must seem it.”

“Anyone would think so.”

I tilt my head. “But?”

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