This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
With eyes fixated intently on the captivating sight before her; she studied the graceful stance of the subject, as though attempting to burn it into memory.
Her gaze roamed along those supple slopes and delicate curves, which were lightly accentuated by the subtle rays of the morning sun.
Elliott sucked in a breath waiting for just the right moment, as she reflexively licks her lips before biting down on the lower one in anticipation.
Focusing her attention on the droplets of moisture that effortlessly drizzled down, long silky limbs, angled in the perfect partition, permitting a full view of the maturing beauty before her.
Waiting with bated breath, as the next droplet thirstily follows the path of the one before, her gaze still followed as she watches the fluid flow downward, ever so slowly, as they gently gather in small pools before sensually disappearing within velvety folds, in breathtaking splendor.
Elliot leaned back, letting out the breath she had been holding, inspecting the image displayed on the camera, satisfied, she reaches out to caress the single blossoming red rose that she had been focusing on the last two minutes. With that out of the way, she could now photograph the entire garden for the magazine layout for which she had been hired.
After hours of photographing, Elliot tiredly packed up her equipment and heads to the rental car, placing the items securely in the trunk next to her suitcase. Jumping in and starting the car she puts the top down on the convertible and notices the time. Her fingers quickly move over the keys of her plone, sending a text to her boss to let her know she would have the photos uploaded before leaving for vacation. She has just under four hours before her flight departs, sliding her favorite pair of Ray-Ban Wayfarer out of her raven colored hair, she slips them over her ocean blues and headed to the airport.
Finally, through the long line at security. Elliot mentally gives herself a pat on the back for being smart enough to check in her luggage at the curbside, before returning the rental. Grabbing her valuable carry-ons she slipped her feet back into her shoes and made her way to the coffee shop. With a vanilla iced latte in hand, she makes her way through the overcrowded lounge finding the first available seat near the gate, plops down and pulls out her laptop situating it on her lap as she reaches to remove the memory card from her camera.
While the photos load, she connects her earbuds to her phone. Too lazy to scroll through the extensive music list that is on it, she sets the music to shuffle. Humming softly to the music while sipping on her drink, she checks the display board making sure the flight is on time. The music abruptly stops as the phone in her coat pocket vibrates. A groan escapes her lips louder than she intended when the name Karen flashes on the screen, she quickly hits, ignore, roughly shoving the phone back in her pocket as the music continues where it paused.
Feeling as though she’s being watched, Elliot looks around finding the most unusual, yet alluring pair of gray eyes she had ever seen. Taking in the sight of the gorgeous blonde-haired woman seated across her. Elliot watches her, the woman mouthed something she could not hear, and a smile graces the beauty’s face, enhancing the beautiful curves of her moist lips even further. The smile soon turns into a smirk; causing Elliot’s eyes quickly to rise until there lock onto those captivating eyes once more. Realizing the woman was speaking to her, Elliot pulls out her earbuds. “I’m sorry, were you speaking to me?” she asked.
“Hi, Sorry to interrupt, I heard the frustration towards your phone and thought maybe you were having reception trouble like I am,” she chuckled, holding up her phone.
‘I wish that was the case,’ Elliot thought before replying, “On the contrary, I wish that was the case.” Elliot laughs, feeling like an idiot for forgetting where she was and allowing someone to hear her frustration.
“Must be just me, maybe it’s time to choose a different phone carrier.” The blonde laughs, Elliot found this to be the most sensual sound she had ever heard in her life. “Trish Harrington.” The woman leaned forward and introduced herself, extending her arm across the aisle to Elliot.
“Elliot Styles,” she replied, taking the woman’s hand nervously. “Um, you’re more than welcome to borrow mine if you like.”
“Really? Thanks,” Trish says as she reaches over to take the phone Elliot retrieved from her pocket. “Do you mind?” Trish points to a less crowded area, Elliot shakes her head letting her know she does not mind and smiles while allowing her eyes to roam over the woman’s curvy body as she walks away.
Trish Harrington, the name sounded familiar to Elliot, but her thoughts were interrupted when an announcement was heard through the overhead speaker. ‘Attention. Passengers of United Flight 839 bound for Sydney, we will be boarding shortly.’ Realizing she had not emailed her boss, Elliot silently cursed herself as she packed her laptop away, It would have to be done while in flight. ‘First class passengers may begin boarding at gate 71A, please have your tickets ready for the attendants.’ Elliot stood shouldering her bag and tossing her empty To-Go cup in the trash bin.
“Thank you,” Trish says handing her phone back.
“No problem,” She says winking at the blonde before she walked to the line and stood in the back to wait her turn, all the while hoping Trish was heading to the same destination as her.
Today was a day of firsts for Elliot, never was she ever so bold as to wink at a beautiful stranger, but it’s not as if she would see her again anyway, she thought as she realizes the sudden disappearance of the woman. Another first was she had never flown first class on a commercial flight before, but decided since she’d be spending Christmas and New Year alone on this well-deserved vacation, why not treat herself to the best.
This was also the first time in years that she was simply captivated by another woman, by a beautiful stranger no less.
Making her way to her seat, Elliot tucked her items away in the storage bin, but kept them easily accessible so once they reached cruising altitude she could finish her work before hunkering down for the fifteen-hour flight. Taking a seat, she looked to the seat beside her to find those mesmerizing gray eyes watching her once again.
“Oh hey there Trish,” she greeted.
“Hi” her silvery voice reached Elliot’s ears once again. “Is your final stop in Sydney?”
“Fiji, actually,” The raven-haired woman answered excitedly.
“Sydney ,unfortunately” was her dejected reply, “Family gathering.” She rolled her eyes and chuckled.
Trish smiled and started to speak again when the flight announcement interrupted. ‘Welcome on board United Flight 839 to Sydney, Australia. Our aircraft is under the command of Captain.’ Elliot quickly tuned out the annoying voice as she gripped the arm of the chair and closes her eyes, as the aircraft started moving.
Usually, if she had assignments across the states she would drive whenever possible, flying was not really an issue for her, it was the taking off and landing that made her extremely anxious for some reason. After god knows how long, she felt the plane level off, indicating they had reached cruising altitude, a fact confirmed by an overhead announcement.
She looked over to Trish who appeared to be staring aimlessly out the window deep in thought, remembering the need to email her boss Elliot got up to retrieve the laptop, placing it on the large fold out table before her and waited for it to boot-up. A few minutes later, she reviewed the photos, choosing which ones she would email.
“Those are beautiful, did you take those?” Trish asked leaning close to Elliot.
Elliot nodded, “Yeah, took them this morning,” she said, feeling Trish lean closer to her.
“Hope you don’t mind,” She said smiling sweetly. “I love gardens, flowers, in fact, I adore beauty in all forms, especially ones captured through such beautiful eyes,” she reached over giving Elliot’s arm a gentle squeeze causing her to turn meeting those gray eyes once more.
“N-no problem.” Elliot stammered, feeling her cheeks warm at the comment; she turned her head away in an attempt to hide the blush she knew was evident on her face. ‘Did this gorgeous stranger just say I had beautiful eyes,’ she thought.
Elliot continued scrolling through the photos, stopping at the photo of the single rose bud. Trish noticing Elliot did not attach that one in her email asked. “Why aren’t you sending that one? She questioned, “I think it’s stunning.”
“It is,” Elliot, grinned. “This one I took for myself, I usually take a single picture for my personal collection whenever I’m on assignments.”
“Do you only take pictures of landscapes and flowers?” Trish inquired. “Or do you photograph people as well?”
“For the past year, Yes,” she answered finalizing her email and sending it to her boss.
“People,” Elliott paused, thinking back to the night she was hired to photograph a wedding event. It was not until a few days later as she was developing the film that she had come across the photo. In the background of the crowded room, Karen, her now, ex-girlfriend was in a very compromising position with the wealthy businessman who had hired her to photograph the party.
“Well, greed can change a person,” she said bitterly. “People often forget that the camera captures things even a skillful photographer is too blind to see with just their eyes.”
Trish nodded. It wasn’t too hard for her to see the pain behind those blue eyes. “Ever think you’d go back to it?”
“Maybe,” she shrugged, “How ’bout yourself?” Elliot asked, wanting to take the attention off herself. “What do you do?”
“I’m with H & H Designs,” she answered as she waved over the steward. “I need a drink, you?” She asked as she ordered, “Chardonnay, please.”
“Um, I’ll have a Heineken please,” Elliot answered before finally making the connection, her eyes widened. “Harrington & Harrington, You’re... ”
“Yes,” Trish sighed, finishing her sentence. “Patricia Harrington,” Elliot noticed how she uneasily shifted in her seat. Not wanting to have the conversation turn awkward, she simply changed the subject.
“How long is your stay in Sydney?” Elliot asked taking the wine glass from the returning steward and handed it to the blonde. She turned her attention to the stunning woman seated beside her and allowed her to carry the tone of the conversation from there. She learned Trish would be in Sydney for two weeks and would be spending Christmas and New Year with her overbearing parents, as she put it, the more they talked the more Elliot wanted to know about her outside of the hustle of the business world.
She found that Trish loved tropical islands and had never been on a proper vacation without her folks before; she wished she were going to Fiji instead of spending time with her parents. Elliot replied half joking. “Well, if you manage to get bored I’m in Fiji until the second.”
“Careful,” Trish replied, “I may take you up on that,” she giggled. Elliot grinned, secretly hoping that would actually happen. After hours of conversation, they each decided they would get some sleep to alleviate some of the jet lag they were sure to have with the time difference. A shudder ripped through the plane jolting Elliot from her sleep. Her eyes shot open in fear, she grasps the arms of the chair in a death grip, which would be noticeable to anyone passing by, by the whitening of her knuckles. She blinked her eyes a few times suddenly recollecting where she was. She felt a soft hand settle on her own giving it a comforting squeeze.
“It’s just a little turbulence, we should be landing soon,” she heard the silky smooth voice beside her whisper.
Elliot looked to her left to see a calmly seated Trish smile before she removed her hand making her instantly miss the comforting touch, as she went back to read what appeared to be a romance novel. Her reading glass perched low on the bridge of her delicate nose as she leaned back comfortably in her seat with her knees bent up, helping to support the book.
Elliot studied the woman, she couldn’t be much older than Elliot at the age of twenty-two, she thought, as she took on the contours of the blonde’s perfectly oval shaped face. Her smooth, unblemished skin, how the color of her full pouty pink lips changed to a darker shade as she bit down on it in concentration. The way her hair draped over her left shoulder giving Elliot a full view of the long curve of her neck. ‘God, she’s beautiful,’ she thought to herself.
The plane finally set down in Sydney, both women gathering their personal items made their way towards the exit. Each in their own thought as they walked side by side after disembarking the cylindrical tube they had been confined to for the last fifteen-hour or so.
Happy to be safe once again on land, Elliot followed the crowd of passengers absent-mindedly to the luggage carousel and stood there for ten minutes before remembering her luggage would be transported for her to her connecting flight.
“Shit,” she muttered as she cursed herself, turning abruptly to leave, running straight into a distracted woman nearly knocking her over in her hasty retreat. Quickly she reached out for the stumbling woman’s waist and pulled her toward her a little harder than intended. Her breath hitched as she felt the heat rise in her face, not so much in embarrassment, but in reaction to how close their bodies were pressed up against each other and their faces mere inches apart, those gray eyes captivating her once more.
Hearing a giggle, Elliot quickly snapped to her senses. “S-sorry, “Elliot stammered. Not knowing what else to say she slowly released Tish from her grip instantly missing the contact once more.
“Well, if I have to be knocked off my feet by anyone I’d rather it be you,” Patricia teased. “Although it was my fault I was busy searching for my cell phone so I could get your number,” She shifted. “Um, if you don’t mind that is, I just wanted to...”
“I’d like that,” Elliot grinned and saved her from further rambling. They quickly exchanged phones and put their numbers in the others. “It was very nice meeting you Trish, Hope to see you around,” Elliot waved, before making her way to her gate as thoughts of the gray-eyed blonde clouded her mind.
Patricia hoping she would see the raven-haired beauty again.
Five hours later Elliot checked into the private beach bungalow.
Dropping her bag at the foot of the bed and stripping off her clothes she climbed into bed too tired to shower, She was almost asleep when a beeped indicating an incoming text filled the quiet room. Groaning, the groggy woman rolled over and retrieved the phone out of her jacket that was sprawled out on the floor where it was dropped. Elliot read the name of the contact, a huge smile formed on her face realizing who it was.
“How was your flight?”
“Not as exciting as the First leg of the trip, how is Sydney?” Elliot quickly typed.
“It’s not Fiji that’s for sure and my parents have been relentless. They’re having a party tomorrow, too bad you’re not here I could use, better company.”
“I feel your pain. As I said before if, you need to get away…”
Elliot felt bad for Trish, She understood how wealthy families could be, distancing herself from her own family years ago for reasons, she rather not remember.
“ Very tempting... Well, I just wanted to say, Sweet dreams, Styles.” Patricia answered
“Mmmm, You as well T.”
Elliot held her phone to her chest and continued to smile. “What a great start to this vacation,” she sighed happily before placing her phone on the nightstand. Elliot closed her eyes, and drifted off to sleep with the smile still on her face.
Giuliana Cassetta: My face is full of tears, I never cried like now with a book or even a movie. I loved every single chapter. I truly don't know what to say, I'm out of words and my eyes hurt from crying. Such an bittersweet story, it's so wonderful. One of my favorites for sure. Keep it up!
263Adder: Okay so I adore this story. I only knocked one star off plot for historical inaccuracies because I'm a bit of a stickler for that. The ending broke my heart though, considering you already changed history couldn't you (SPOILER) change it a bit more and have them together!!!! I want an alternative...
zoheusher20: What more can I say? The writing style and little details drew me into the book and for the entirety of the story I was Juliet. I felt her turmoil and emotions and every trouble or triumph as they arrived. This story was very different and had quite a few little but unexpected twists that made it...
emmaneal74: I loved this booked. Would definitely buy it when published and read it again. The story flowed in such a way I just couldn't put it down. I was never confused about the characters or their roles in the story which can happen sometimes with so many lead. I'd recommend this to anyone wanting to r...
ernbelle: When I first started this story I was a little unsettled by all of the information that appears in the prologue, and wasn't sure if I would continue. However, I am very glad I did. The plot was very well thought out and really interesting. There were not any page breaks or markers to acknowledge ...
maewilde25: I am so in love with this story!!! captivated me till the very end, there wasn't a dull moment. Didn't particularly enjoy the lay out and some bits of info was missing along with how a 21 year old man amassed so much wealth that needed to be explained other than that and a few spelling errors, th...
brettylee: The narrative is slick yet punchy. Life, Family and Friends I believe is the core message so it’s easy to relate to. It’s surprisingly action packed. The author does a good job at keeping you guessing. Just when you think all is right, whack, the unexpected happens. The dialogue is energetic and ...
rihannabkj2: Great story,I can hardly stop reading this novel. it shows that compassion and love can still exist after so many years between two persons. I most say well done to the Author who wrote this book. Others should read this book inorder to know that there can still be LOVE among two persons no matt...
christylynnr5: This was beyond amazing! I loved this book. The characters seemed so real. It was amazing how the author let Zak and Kaylees personalities slowly change. This story was very sad and eye opening. It could teach some people a very worthy lesson. It was a great combination of romance, mystery, and a...
Samantha Speed: There were several punctuation, grammar, and missing word problems but it did not detract from the story. This story was very well done, enjoyable, and had an interesting enough plot. It took a while to finish. This story is not complete. I love it, but I want to see another book or have more cha...
maewilde25: I liked this, though it dragged on for over 200pages and heaven knows I did not expect the plot twist in the middle. David being Cristiãn. I was wondering when he would show up and didn't know he was there all along. it looks like there should be a sequel, please let there be a sequel. I know the...