“Excuse me Miss?” A soft voice broke through my tired, vacant state.
My eyelids resisted the movement but eventually managed a flutter. As my senses awoke I could tell Quinn was next to me; his warmth and his smell, unmistakable. My head was against his shoulder so I snuggled in further. He must have come back form the hospital.
“Sorry to waken you, but we have arrived at our destination.” His soft and sweet accent raised my blood pressure enough to jolt myself to alert.
“Destination?” My eyes popped open to gather more information. A woman in a navy tailored suit coat that contrasted nicely with her red hair and sharp blue eyes was leaning over the top of a high back chair. A chair with a television imbedded in it. I’m on an airplane?
Amidst my haze, the woman spoke in a motherly voice. “Are you well enough to disembark Dear, or do you require assistance?”
I turned towards Quinn beside me. “Where are we Quinn?”
He chuckled. “You are in Paris.” He paused as his eyes probed deep into mine. “How is it that you know my name?” His accent rolling swiftly from his lips.
That did it. I shuffled quickly over on my seat away from him. His eyes were so intense, still fixed on me. His manner was so gentle. “What is happening? How did I get here?” I asked.
Quinn rested his hand on my shoulder gently, which made me jump slightly. “You fell asleep before I even took my seat on the aeroplane. Long before we left the docking bay in Montreal in fact. You are now in Paris, France. I-it is Friday the eighteenth.”
Quinn’s words felt like needles on my conscience. He and I are on a plane to Paris together but he doesn’t know me? Here we go again.
The flight attendant spoke through my fog. “Are you not travelling together?” She seemed to be addressing Quinn, who answered without hesitation.
“I am afraid not.”
The attendant straightened. “Then you may disembark, Sir. We will take care of her.”
From the corner of my eye I saw his mischievous, sexy smile creep onto his face. “I would gladly, however the lady is on my jacket.”
In shock I fumbled with my seat belt. It felt like I had too many hands and not enough fingers. In my panic Quinn reached to help me. I turned my shoulder to stop him. When the belt finally gave way I stood quickly. Too quickly. I grabbed the seat and the flight attendant leaning on it to stop myself from falling.
Quinn’s strong hands grabbed me and held me secure. Only I felt anything but secure in his arms now. What is happening Lord? Was he all a dream?
I pushed away his hands. “I’m fine. Thank you.”
His eyes remained on me as he slid his jacket off the armrest between our seats. “You do not seem fine.”
The flight attendant straightened and moved to the last seat in her row. "Thank you for your assistance Sir. We will take care of her from here. We appreciate you for choosing to fly with Canadian Continental Air.”
Standing slowly, Quinn gave me a wink and walked down the aisle. As he turned the corner to leave the plane I saw images of him turning his back and walking out of my hotel room. Only this time I may never see him again.
The red-head didn’t waste any time contemplating Quinn’s exit. “Shall I call for a medic?”
“No thank you.” I shuffled out of the row and bent low to grab my purse and coat. The flight attendant offered me the last carry-on left in the overhead compartment.
For a moment I remembered the decision to purchase the bright red travelling set. I chose it because it was on sale and it would be easy to pick out as it travelled the luggage carousel. Yet, the lasting thought that I couldn’t shake was the ruby red dress that Quinn bought for me.
I reached out my free hand. “That’s mine. Thank you.”
Her smile widened almost past her facial edges. “Thank you for choosing Canadian Continental Air. Please come again.”
‘Not likely’, I thought as I exited the plane. Tears joined my fuzzy thoughts as I swaggered my way through the airport tunnel.
Where did the last two days go? How could this have happened exactly? It’s one thing to dream of some guy randomly. But it’s a completely different story to wake up beside him on a plane.
As I rubbed the pain from my eyes I was startled by Quinn clearing his throat. I peered up through blurry eyes to see him perched against the tunnel wall. He pushed off the wall with his foot.
“I’m sorry if I startled you.” He said.
“No. You didn’t at all. I am just very tired.” I said as I wiped away any traitorous moisture still lurking.
He thrust his hand out towards me. “I think it is only fair that I know your name if you know mine.”
Shuffling my luggage to my left side I offered him my right hand. His touch was warm and inviting. Instantly my heart picked up its pace as images of dancing around encircled in his warm embrace filled my head.
“My name is Cathie.”
“Cathie." He smiled. "I like that name.”
“Cathie Bellamy actually.” I added.
“And where do you hail from Cathie Bellamy.”
He still held my hand within his. I felt my cheeks warm under his attention. “Um, I live ... well, it is really a small place you may never heard ... well I’m – I’m from Canada.”
“Canada is not that small. And yes I have heard of it before.” His smile deepened.
“Oh I’m sorry. That sounded really silly. I am from a small little town just south of Montreal. Perhaps you've heard of ... Montreal before as well.”
He finally released my hand and motioned me to walk up the remainder of the tunnel as he followed. “I will do you one better than that, Cathie Bellamy. I know someone from Montreal. Well, I know someone who moved to Montreal years ago, but we have lost touch.”
I did my best not to look in his direction in case my face betrayed me.
“In fact”, he continued. “His name was Bellamy too. Are there a lot of Bellamy’s in that area?”
I shrugged casually. “Not in my town.” I couldn’t be sure if the bile building in my throat was due from wanting him to ask if I knew Mitch or hoping he wouldn't.
“It might be foolish to assume you would know him anyway; with Montreal being so small and all.” Quinn chuckled as his hand brushed against the small of my back when we came to the entrance into the airport. “May I buy you a coffee, Cathie?”
“He was my husband.” I hid my face in my only available hand, as Quinn barrelled into me.
That was not my most subtle move, I admit. However it was eating at me. I had to air it. I turned to face Quinn. “That person you were referring to ... that moved to Montreal years ago. Was his name Mitch?”
“Yes. Mitchell Bellamy. He’s your husband?”
I couldn’t look him in the eye. “Was.”
“You are divorced?”
Still staring at my feet, I shook my head.
Quinn moved slowly, touching the tip of his finger to my chin and bringing it in line with his. “What are you saying?”
“I’m sorry Quinn. Mitch passed away three years ago after a tragic car accident.” I felt another tear slip over the edge of my eye. I did it. I said the words.
“Then I am the one who is sorry, Cherie.”
I am sure at that moment the airport tipped over like someone was reading the bottom of it. My knees went weak and Quinn scrambled to catch me. Unfortunately, he missed and I landed on my butt. Within a moment he was beside me steeped in concern.
But concern was the last thing I felt. He called me ‘Cherie’. There is no way I could have dreamed that up on my own. His pet name for me was confirmation that whatever I experienced was real – sort of. I started laughing. I wasn’t crazy. Thank you God.
Quinn was not finding our situation as humorous as I was. I took a moment to pray before meeting his eyes head on. “I think I’ll take that coffee if you are still offering.”
“Certainly”, he said as he helped me to my feet. “But only if we can sit somewhere other than the floor.” With one arm firmly around my waist he led me to a table with two cafe chairs. “Stay right here. I will get you one. Black?”
“I don’t care.” Really, I didn’t care. I only needed a moment to gather my facilities. If God gave me the ‘dream’ to warn Quinn, then I had a lot of strange explaining to do. But I could not fully let go of sanity – what if I am dead wrong? What if he doesn’t own a bakery, owe a thug thousands of dollars or – even have a sister?
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