CHAPTER 26

Mia

A private jet? What were we doing here at a private airport, heading toward a private jet? I couldn't help myself as I stared at James, my eyes large in confusion.

"James?" I asked, clutching my backpack in front of me tightly. "What are we doing here?" I flicked my eyes back to the sleek plane before us, all set to take in passengers. I noted a steward in his mid-forties, dressed immaculately in a gray uniform, walking briskly toward us.

"To see your brother," James replied, turning off the car engine.

"Huh?" I couldn't help myself. I was more than a little lost and confused. "Hold up. Why are we in an airport to see my brother?" I knew I sounded stupid.

He chuckled. "Or don't you want to see your brother at all?"

I scowled. "Of course I do," I snapped. "But it would help if you could at least explain why we're at an airport?"

"Ah, Mia." He stroked my cheek with the back of his fingers. "Your reactions always please me."

I didn't like the sound of that and wondered if he was teasing me again.

"James?" I used that half-begging, half-nagging sweet tone I only ever used with Andy when I wanted things to go my way. It always worked on him, and I wondered if it would work on the almighty Mr. James Maxwell as well. It didn't hurt to try.

He cocked his head to one side. "Your brother is in Las Vegas," he explained.

So that particular tone does work on him, I thought, very pleased indeed. I must remember to use it with him next time I wanted things to go my way.

"Las Vegas?" I was of course very surprised at his answer. Andy had told me he was staying in Los Angeles, not Las Vegas.

James eyed me with interest. He had that know-it-all look on his face. Then it hit me. Las Vegas had lots of casinos, right? Gambling!

I felt a lump in my throat. It must have been in Las Vegas where Andy had lost that two million.

I was about to say something when James clicked the door open. The steward I saw earlier had arrived, waiting expectantly for us, smiling brightly at James.

"Mr. Maxwell, sir," he said, flashing white teeth at the great man. "Everything is ready for you."

James nodded. Then he glanced at me. I understood immediately and got out of the car. The steward came around to me and offered to take my bag. I glanced at James, asking him with my eyes what I should do since I didn't know how to behave in this type of situation.

He nodded for me to give my bag to the steward, which I did. James came around to me and, with his warm hand resting lightly on the small of my back, he led me toward the jet.

I glanced behind me and noted the steward was getting James's traveling luggage as well. It was then I noted another male had appeared, hopping into the car and driving it away. The steward, who was now behind us, heading toward the plane as well, grinned at me. I blushed and returned my attention to the flying vehicle that would take me to see my brother.

Honest to God, it had only been three days ago when I'd been on my very first plane trip, and now I had the luxury of traveling in style on a private jet? What had the world come to? My uncle and aunt would be flabbergasted indeed at the very idea that I could afford a plane ticket at all, let alone get to fly in a private jet, hanging out with a billionaire, too. I just couldn't believe this was happening.

As we ascended the stairs that would lead us into the plane, I wondered if James owned this particular jet or had he merely hired it for us to use. I really wanted to ask him but was ushered by a beautiful redheaded stewardess toward the seating area. I nodded and thanked her as she showed me the way. James looked like he knew where he was going, so I assumed he'd been on this particular jet before.

"Mr. Maxwell, sir," the woman said. "Would you like anything to drink before we take off?"

"The usual," he said, waving her away.

She nodded, her smile bright on her face. Then she turned to me. "And you, miss?"

"Huh?" I blurted out, staring at her, dumbfounded. She had beautiful green eyes. It suited the red hair that was bound into a lovely, clean bun.

James gently grabbed my wrist, retrieving my attention from the lovely stewardess. He made me sit next to him.

To the stewardess, I said, "Just some juice will be fine."

"Of course," she said brightly and then headed away. I couldn't help but watch her lovely long legs and her hips swaying side to side seductively. I wondered if she'd modeled in her younger years, because the way she walked indicated she had. I had no experience in the modelling industry, but I'd seen models doing their walks on TV, and that was exactly how they looked. Although, I had to admit the stewardess didn't look that old, perhaps around her early thirties.

Once the stewardess was out of sight, I looked around the interior of the plane curiously. It was very spacious, with twelve very comfortable, large seats scattered around here and there with tables, both round and rectangle, in between. There were also two large sofas in one corner. The seats looked and felt expensive, made of leather and with soft cushions for comfort.

I couldn't believe I was in a private jet. I wondered who else would be joining us on this short journey from Los Angeles to Las Vegas.

I relaxed back in my seat and noted James pulling out his cell phone. The stewardess appeared, placing a large silver tray of snacks in front of us. There were fresh fruits as well as an assortment of sandwiches, cheeses and crackers, savories, and sweets. My eyes nearly popped out of their sockets as I stared at the mouthwatering treats.

"My name is Blair," the pretty stewardess said as she now poured me a cup of orange juice. "Please tell me if you need anything else."

I mutely nodded. Once she was done addressing me, I thanked her profusely. The woman then turned her attention to James, who was busy texting on his phone. She poured him a glass of Champaign, her action gentle and elegant. Once she was done, she politely nodded, told us to enjoy our drinks and snacks, and then went away.

I picked up one of the sandwiches and started eating. Gosh, it was delicious, and I felt so blessed. It was heaven. Once I'd finished with that, I took a small savory pie and started eating that, too. I was still chewing enthusiastically and wondered what James was up to with his texting when I turned and saw him watching me. He had that expression on his face that told me he was amused. The look both irritated and enthralled me at the same time.

"What?" I asked, a small savory pie in one hand and my glass of orange juice in the other.

He chuckled. "I always like watching you eat," he said. His eyes twinkled, and I blushed in response.

I took a sip of the orange juice and then said, "Business?" I indicated his phone.

He nodded and didn't explain any further. He returned his attention to his phone and started emailing. I returned to my unexpected, delicious treats.

It was some fifteen minutes later when the steward came and informed us we'd be taking off in ten minutes. At that point, I glanced around, wondering if there were other people who'd be joining us at all.

"Looking for something?" James asked, putting on his seat belt.

The table had been cleared by Blair and was now empty and clean. I still wanted more food and wondered if we'd be served again before we landed.

"Um..." I began. "Where's everyone else?"

James chuckled. "We're it."

"Huh?" I turned to him.

He rested his large hand at the back of my neck and pulled me close. He kissed me lightly on the lips for a brief second. When he drew back, he said, "I fly solo, but now I have you. Don't you like it just the two of us?"

I blushed, not so sure what he was getting at.

"I mean, I know it's a private jet and everything, but aren't there usually other guests, too?"

He shook his head. "It's my personal jet."

"Oh." I nodded and moved to relax in my seat.

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Tags: Alexia Praks Dark Billionaires Billionaire Romance
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