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Something for the weekend. Chapter 1

A shared fantasy, based in reality.
Sodding budget airlines he thought as he looked up at the flight departure screen, all showed a blue colour except the last flight of the night to Glasgow. Every flight was on time or boarding except his, the display flashing, 'Please contact your airline service desk,' in an angry and taunting red. So much for getting home in time for a late dinner. He scanned the terminal and saw a queue of about twenty agitated people off to his right all trying to ask the same questions of the harassed woman behind the desk, "Why is our flight cancelled? When will we be flown home? Where are we to stay tonight?"

As he joined the back of the queue a colleague of the woman came out from the back office to book hotel rooms for those that were staying whilst another helped her deal with the ever increasing line of would be fliers. Judging by how quickly the queue was moving he guessed that he would be seen within ten minutes so decided against calling his wife to give her the news that he wouldn't be home tonight. Not that they had anything planned for tonight. His son was playing ice hockey at the rink at the end of the road and his wife helped out in the coffee shop so he wouldn't be greatly missed.

The customer at the desk moved away muttering to himself, obviously not pleased with the reasons given for the delay. The customer services rep quickly tucked an errant strand of blonde hair back behind her ear and smiled a weary smile in his direction. Poor thing looked like she could scream

"Hi, I'm sorry for the cancellation of your flight, sir, the plane has developed a technical fault and as it's the Easter weekend we don't have any spare planes we can fly in to get you home tonight. We will give you a £50 voucher towards a room in the airport hotel and can get you on the 10:50 flight tomorrow morning to Glasgow if that's okay?"

He quickly thought about hiring a car and seeing if any other travellers would split the cost but judging by the looks of some of them he wouldn't fancy being stuck with them for the six hour journey back home, and he'd probably be expected to run them to their door. No, a hotel room would be fine. The good news was he had the company credit card with him so at least he wouldn't be directly out of pocket, the bad news was that as he owned the company he would be footing the bill one way or another.

"Yes, that will be fine. Here's my passport and check in details." He flashed an easy smile and was rewarded with one in return. Remembering the surly traveller that she had just served he added, "I'm guessing not every customer has been as accommodating as me so far?"

"If only," she laughed. "Most seem to think that as it's Good Friday I should be able to fix the plane myself so they can get home to their family for Easter. Have you any luggage to check in or is it just cabin baggage you have?"

"Just a cabin bag, I came down yesterday evening for the last day today of the Taxi trade exhibition at the NEC today."

Her fingers tapped rapidly on the keyboard and the printer behind her started up with an audible clunk.

"Okay, great. That's you checked in for the return flight tomorrow and here's confirmation of your booking in the airport hotel and your discount code for your room rebate. The entrance to the hotel is across the concourse and passed the last car rental desk, enter the lift and the reception is on the second floor. I hope you enjoy your stay, sorry again that you didn't get your flight."

He thanked her, turned and made his way passed the by now sizable group of people waiting to be seen at the desk, accidentally bumping into someone as he fumbled for his phone in his jeans pocket.

"I'm sorry, excuse me," he said. The woman quickly looked up from talking on her phone and gave an acknowledgment with her eyes.

Two paces later her fragrance caught in his nostrils, a scent he couldn't quite place but had definitely smelt before. Turning to give another woman a second look wasn't something he did often, even after twenty years of marriage but when he found a place in the crowd to look over his shoulder all he could glimpse of her was her shoulder length brown hair and black cardigan. He couldn't be sure but he thought he saw a flash of a purple dress and then she was gone, swallowed by the crowd.

*

The voice inside her head screamed, Please don't let that queue be for my flight, as she entered the terminal and saw the gaggle of people clustered around the customer services desk of the airline she was flying with. Scanning the departure boards only confirmed her worst fear.

Fuck, Fuck, Fuck...

Her shitty day had just gotten as bad as it could get. Nope, she thought, That'll happen when I have to call home. The realisation that she had to call her husband and let him know that she would be late home at best was enough to have her dig the heels of her palms into her temples and close her eyes. Her boss would love this, after all it was Lorna that insisted on her coming down by plane to meet a troublesome supplier instead of travelling by train as she usually did. Due to it being the Easter weekend all the trains were booked weeks in advance but HR had found a cheap day return flight and Lorna said that it would be preferable to have a face to face meeting rather than her suggestion of a video call.

As she joined the back of the queue she closed her eyes again and rolled her shoulders to try and relieve some of the tension only to sigh exasperatedly when she realised she was wasting her time, she was properly stressed and nothing short of a full on massage would help. Scanning the crowd gave her some satisfaction, there was nothing she enjoyed more than a spot of people watching and as she was going to be here awhile she could indulge herself with making up back stories for the other travellers on her flight. A grumpy looking elderly gent barged his way passed the couple in front of her muttering about a bloody hotel for the night.

Just what I need, an overnight delay she thought. She pulled her phone from the front of her bag and plugged in her earpiece, that way should her husband start to complain loudly then it wouldn't be audible to those around her. He would have to feed, bathe and put the twins to bed tonight without her help and his plans for golfing tomorrow morning would have to be put on hold unless he could get the neighbours to come in and sit with the twins, all of which would really piss him off, especially if he had endured a another bad day at work.

She was right. He'd had a crap day in the factory judging by the tone of his voice when he answered the phone and was now royally pissed off that her flight was cancelled and he was letting her know it when she was jostled by someone squeezing past.

"I'm sorry, excuse me," apologised the man.

She raised her eyes and gave him an acknowledging look as he passed. It was the guy from the front of the queue, although he was slightly older than she had guessed when she first saw him standing laughing with the desk clerk. She imagined someone in their late twenties judging by his attire, skinny black jeans, black vans, white tee and black waistcoat so it was a bit of a surprise to find that he was probably about forty, the same age as her. She noticed the pierced eyebrow as he passed, Nothing like trying to hang on to your youth she thought with a smile. She gave him a backwards glance as he moved away. Nice bum too. A fleeting thought that he might be in the same hotel as her tonight passed as quickly as it entered her head, only to be replaced by the realisation that her husband had asked her a question twice and she still hadn't answered.

"Sorry, sweetie," she tried to pacify him. "I got distracted for a second, what did you say?"

*

He grinned to himself as he took a long pull on the bottle of cold beer he'd ordered to go with his evening meal that night, 'a succulent rack of ribs cooked over an open flame in a traditional southern style sticky BBQ sauce,' was how the menu had described it. The remains on his plate were definitely more boil in the bag than open flame cooked and he correctly guessed the furthest south the sticky sauce made it was Birmingham, West Midlands and not Birmingham, Alabama.

This wasn't how his fantasy of being a seasoned traveller was supposed to pan out. He wanted to be the man in a linen suit alighting the Rome bound express from Venice, his soft brown leather holdall cut from the same hide as his shoes, his Wayfarer sunglasses allowing him to pass anonymously through the crowd, heading to the capital for a weekend break before he carried on down the Amalfi coast to his villa perched high on the side of the hills giving him a stunning view of the glistening waters of the Mediterranean. The reality on this Good Friday evening was a creased shirt pulled from the bottom of his carry on bag and pressed on the trouser press in his room to smarten it up before heading, not to some shaded café off St Mark's square to sip cappuccino but, to an airport restaurant where his highlight was a seat on the balcony overlooking the concourse of the airport allowing him an unrestricted view of all below him.

As the waitress brought another bottle of beer and took his plate away he noticed a woman striding purposely in the direction of the news stand opposite his first floor perch. He was about to let his gaze wander when he realised it was the woman from the queue earlier that he had bumped into. With renewed interest he watched as she turned to her right and entered the shop unit next to the stationers. Victoria's Secret. He always wondered who would shop in the concourse of an airport for clothes and underwear when the penny dropped... People like him that were stranded there overnight and hadn't brought a change of clothes with them obviously! He could see her flitting from rail to rail at the front of the store but as she moved further back she was lost to his view. He wondered what she would be buying, something practical since it was a purchase of necessity or something more racy to cheer her up and perhaps her partner when she got home tomorrow?

After a couple of minutes she reappeared from the shop with a paper bag swinging from her hand and headed in the direction of the restaurant adjacent to the one he was in but on the lower floor. He leaned forward in his seat, as if the movement of his head a mere foot would allow him a better view of her, and saw that she was probably about the same age as him or perhaps a couple of years younger. He remembered from their encounter earlier that she was slightly shorter than him but at the time he failed to take into account the four inch heels currently making an audible clicking sound on the polished airport floor. Her brown hair was parted in the middle and as she passed through a shaft of evening sunlight a streak of auburn caught his eye. He grinned when he saw her purple dress, that was his favourite colour and with its plunging neckline showing a decent amount of cleavage it certainly looked fantastic on her. Just as she passed under the balcony where he was sitting she threw an upward glance in his direction and the start of a smile played on her lips.

*

Well, if i'm going to buy underwear I might as well get something nice she reasoned to herself as she entered the store. When she mentioned to her husband on the phone that as she didn't have a change with her that she would have to buy some his only reaction was to complain about the cost of her stay, the hotel bill, dinner and now underwear although he did relent a little when she told him she would buy something special and wear it for him tomorrow night. The only problem was nothing looked appealing to her. As she made her way to the rear of the store she saw a lovely purple bra and brief set edged in black lace, it would look great under her dress, much better than the beige bra she had grabbed from the drawer in such a hurry this morning. She also bought a pair of black lace hold up stockings to wear with them, something her husband would definitely approve of.

She paid for the items at the checkout and as she headed out of the store she realised just how hungry she was. The gin and tonic she drank from her room mini bar before coming shopping was feeling decidedly lonely in her stomach and as she scanned the available food outlets she noticed the guy from the front of the check in queue sitting on the first floor balcony and looking in her direction. She decided on the restaurant beneath where he was sitting and headed towards it, glancing upward at him just as she passed underneath.

As she took her seat she realised that she was smiling for no apparent reason. She felt as if he had been watching her walk towards the restaurant and indeed, the look on his face as she looked up almost confirmed as much. She liked the feeling that even at forty and with a body that had borne twins three years ago she could still turn a head or two. She ran occasionally and dieted often but even she admitted to herself that her lack of will power as far as chocolate and wine went didn't make things easy. Her dinner when it arrived was a classic case in point, chicken salad with a vinaigrette dressing and a large glass of Pinot.

Watching the world go by after dinner and sipping on a second smaller glass of wine gave her time to think about what to do that evening. As it was only 7:30pm, she would give her husband another thirty minutes to finish bathing the twins and put them to bed before she phoned him, but after that she had no plans. The airport was too far from the city to contemplate catching a taxi or a bus just to go for a couple of drinks and there was no way she was going to sit in her room and watch tv. That only left the hotel bar as an option. She left some money with the bill on the table and headed to her room for a quick shower.

An hour or so later she found herself surveying the hotel bar whilst the barman mixed her Gin and Tonic. The room was a reasonable size with brown leather couches and chrome glass topped tables in between whilst one wall was made up of floor to ceiling smoked glass panels giving a view of the concourse below. The only fly in the ointment was the awful background music that was often played in places like this. She took her drink and chose a seat in the corner that allowed her to see not only the people below but also to see the bar and a good part of the seating area reflected in the window, although with only half a dozen people to look at in the bar she guessed most of her night would be spent reading her book.

She was just sitting down at her table with a second G'n'T when he walked into the bar, the guy from the check-in queue, the one that had made her smile earlier just from the thought of him looking at her. She grinned again and hastily sat down, grabbing her book to make it look like she was reading but secretly watching his reflection on the window. He was looking round the bar in a casual manner although she could have sworn that he paused to look in her direction. When he lifted his drink from the bar he crossed to the other side of the room and settled down in a couch that meant whilst he was out of her direct line of sight, his reflection gave her a perfect view of him over her book.

Oh my god, why am I so excited to see him here? she thought to herself. She wondered if she should go over and talk to him, after all he was in the same predicament as her and might enjoy the company even if it was only for a couple of hours. As she watched his reflection he looked over the top of his paper directly at her and smiled to himself

For heaven's sake just get up and go talk to him, she told herself. And then another, much bolder thought crossed her mind. It shocked her that she could think of such a thing, even if it was her deepest fantasy. She crossed her legs in a bid to get more comfortable in her seat and knocked her room key from the table onto the floor. As she bent down to pick it up she wondered if she even had the guts to act on her impulses. When she sat back up she could see him moving in his seat, his eyes focused on the window in front of her, his mouth slightly agape. The realisation that she had just flashed him a fantastic view of her cleavage and he was now sitting smiling about it was the answer she needed. She rose and went to the bar for another drink.

*

Whilst the barman was pouring his drink he had a quick look round the bar unsurprised that it was mostly empty on this holiday weekend. Certainly no more than ten people were dotted around mostly reading a paper or magazine or on their phones. But one in particular caught his eye, the woman in the purple dress. As he waited for his change he thought about going over and asking if she wanted some company, after all they were in the same boat so to speak and if nothing else it would pass a couple of hours. As he looked at her all his bravado drained away and his nerves took hold, instead he decided to take a seat at the other end of the bar and read yesterdays paper. There was plenty of time to go over and chat, he could go over and offer to buy her a drink once he had finished this one he thought.

As he read from the paper he realised that he could see the woman quite clearly reflected in the windows over the concourse. She seemed to shift in her seat and knock something to the ground, her phone or key perhaps? As she bent down to pick it up he was granted the most magnificent view down the top of the dress, so much so that he could swear she had a bra on to match her dress. Her tits looked fantastic! When she sat up he was horrified to see her looking directly at him in the window, her smile matching his, her eyes looking down at the table then back up to meet his.

And then she was gone, taking her empty glass to the bar where she signed for something, the check he guessed.

Oh hell, there goes my chance of offering to buy her a drink he thought. He mournfully returned to his paper. Maybe he'd see her at breakfast if they were both staying in the hotel tonight he thought to himself. Then he'd be ready with a witty line to make her laugh. Why was he even thinking these things, he wondered. Just then he noticed the bar man standing next to him, slighly uneasily.

He looked up. The guy just grinned at him and then, slowly, his hand came out of his pocket and handed him an envelope. He left.

Confused, he looked down. His hands started to shake slightly but he couldn't really work out why. Opening the envelope his heart started pounding. He'd guessed what was in there before he saw it but he couldn't believe it was really happening. Did this ever actually happen to people? To him? Well... it must do, he had an envelope in his hand which he knew was from her.

He unfolded a note which said, "Room 1018, I'll see you at 9:45." He looked at his watch, 9:35. Boy...what was he going to do now? His hands were shaking, he could feel his heart almost thumping it's way through his chest but he was overcome by a rush of excitement that he had never experienced before in his life. He would never normally consider cheating on his wife but this was one of those moments in life that twenty years from now he would look back on and wonder, "What if".

Damn it. What happens in Birmingham stays in Birmingham, he guessed.

He tipped the barman the price of two drinks, a not insubstantial amount in an airport bar and left to a knowing smile. Did this happen often, he wondered? Certainly not to him.

After a visit to the toilet to buy a pack of condoms he crossed to the elevator and checked his watch.

9:41.

To wait or to take the stairs was the question on his mind, the doors opened by chance and as a couple got out he jumped inside. Press the button, he thought. A shaky finger reached out. Oh god, he was nervous. Seconds later the doors re opened. Room 1018 was directly across the hall, the gold numbers on the door beckoning him.

9:44.

He reached his hand out and gave a quick but firm rap on the door, there was a flash behind the eyeglass and he got the distinct feeling of being watched... appraised even. A soft click and the door opened...

9:45.

"Punctual, I like that," she purred. She stepped back, eyes widening slightly at the stranger on the threshold.

The decision now was his, to cross it or not. She turned and made her way back into the room as he entered, Her dress swishing against her hips, he noticed her shapely calves, runners calves, and her black high heels as he closed the door.

Snick, went the lock. Over the threshold now, he thought, in more ways than one.

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