Before You Go (YA Romance)

BOOK: Before You Go (YA Romance)
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Before You Go

 

by

 

Ella James

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright
©
2012 by Ella James.

All rights reserved.

 

 

1

Margo Ford wrapped her arms around her waist and glanced down at her ruby hippo watch.
Six-thirty six, San Juan time.
Which made Cindy forty-seven minutes late.

She sighed—just a
teenie
tiny puff of air—and imagined the disapproving face of Mrs. Lavonia
Molliweather
, etiquette instructor at the Kerrigan School for Young Ladies.
Neither a huff nor a sigh apply…for a lady who wants to look her best
. Of course, at this moment she was light years from her best, and any second now, things were going to get worse. If she didn’t find her six-piece Louis Vuitton trunk set soon—very soon, like in the next few seconds—Margo was going to combust.

She rubbed her pounding head, feeling all kinds of sorry for herself. She’d evacuated her best friend’s summer house to hunker down with her newly minted guardian on some drab deserted island, and the woman couldn’t even bother to pick her up on time.

Especially pathetic when you considered the circumstances of her visit.
Margo glanced around the airport lobby, but no one seemed to be paying her any attention. She sighed and tried to shake away the heebie-jeebies.

It wasn’t hard. The worst thing about this whole misadventure, and she
did
mean worst, was that her bags were MIA.
If she couldn’t find them, she’d be trapped on a dreary island in bad clothes, and that was something Margo couldn’t bear.

She whirled toward the ticket counter, ready to make a scene, and there they were: her bags—stacked neatly on a metal cart, a beautiful burgundy buffet of Vuitton. Margo charged through the crowded terminal, Gucci sandals slapping the tile floor, teal
Lanvin
dress bouncing around her thighs, fingers outstretched. If she had her bags, she’d be okay. If Cindy didn’t show, she could sleep here, inside a ladies’ longue. She could run away, go back to Tahoe. She envisioned herself disguised as a foreigner. Maybe Japanese, with short, straight black hair—and a flowing trench by Marc Jacobs.

She could do anything, as long as she had her bags.

So when the cart started rolling…

She froze, her well-glossed lips stretched into a most unladylike grimace, while she tried to recall everything she knew about flying in a public plane. She’d been in them a few times, when her father’s campaign plane had trouble, but this was her first time flying coach. Maybe coach passengers were supposed to do something special when they claimed their luggage?

And now hers was being pushed away by some kind of…handyman?

She couldn’t see his face, just a grubby pair of jeans and a muddy white t-shirt. But she was on him, elbowing her way through the crowd, her long dark brown hair bouncing on her back. He hunched over the cart, his wide shoulders parting the swarm of travelers. Then, just like a ghost—or a criminal—he disappeared.

Seriously.

What the F?

She stood on her tiptoes,
then
scanned from left to—
There!
She’d found him, wheeling her cart into a narrow hall.

Margo trotted after him. She didn’t want to make a scene, but she didn’t have a choice. She cupped her hands around her mouth. “Hey, you, STOP!”

The luggage thief didn’t even pause.

She lengthened her strides as he angled the cart sideways and shoved it through a door marked PRIVATE. She plowed through a second later, jogging down a flight of cement stairs that led to a tarmac.
 

A quick glance across two lines of Leers,
Gulfstreams
, and
Bombariders
, and she had him. He was shoving her bags into a tiny plane, obviously rushing to escape.

“Stop that!”

It crossed her mind, as she flung herself into the dusky, fog-swathed lot, that maybe she shouldn’t chase a luggage thief. She was, after all, at the center of some kidnapping plot, so chasing this guy could be even more dangerous than if he was just a thief.

But her
life
was in those bags. Her hot pink
iPad
, the black string bikini that was yin to her best friend Elizabeth’s white yang, her dog-eared copy of
Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire
. Most of all, her favorite framed picture of her father, the one where he wore the pinstriped
Caraceni
suit she’d chosen for his first-ever Congressional victory. That picture meant everything to her. She had to get it back.

“Stop!”

His hands froze on her largest duffel and Margo lunged forward, determined to rip it from his grasp. Then he turned, and she stopped dead in her tracks.

Holy moly, that thief was
hot
.
Model hot.
Maybe Ralph Lauren...or
hotter
.

 
Dump all her pre-sleep fantasies into a bowl of real-guy mix and toss in a whole bunch of Adonis, then bake it in the dimensions of Michelangelo’s
David
, and you still wouldn’t have this guy. His perfection was in every line of his face, in his beautiful suntanned skin, in his rich and shiny mess of dark brown hair.

There was something about his mouth—an almost shocking baby-doll lusciousness that made him
look
sinful, made her want to press her finger to his lips. But the real wow factor was his eyes: pale blue-gray and smart as hell, topped with thick dark brows that lent him a young Marlon Brando vibe.

As her gaze lapped his long, lean form—lineman’s shoulders straining through thin white cotton, powerful arms and strong-veined hands, narrow hips in slouching denim—she wobbled closer, finger pointing; she struggled to remember why.

He held her gaze, those blue eyes burning. Then he slung her duffel bag into the plane.

“Those are mine,” she practically gasped.
Embarrassing
.
 

“And you are?”
 

“I’m…”
Margo Ford, would you like to kidnap me?
She crossed her arms. “I’m the person whose initials are on those tags.”

“And who is that?”

“Someone who wants her bags back.”

“Well how do I know they’re your bags if you won’t tell me your name?” His mouth tugged up on one side, and he rested a big hand on the cart.

“Why would I tell a stranger my name?”

“Well, I guess you’ve got me there.” He broke into a grin, swaggered forward and clasped her hand. For one wild moment, Margo wondered if he was real.

Her eyes tugged his, their gazes linked like magnets—north and south. She felt a snap of startling contentedness, and when he smiled again, it was like the sun. “I’m Logan Greer, your pilot. It’s nice to meet you, Margo Zhu.”

2

Thunderstruck
.
That would be the word, she thought. Her cells vibrated. The ground shook. Then her skin pulled taut over her bones, and Margo realized: it was thundering. A fine mist drifted down from the low-slung purple clouds, polishing her cheeks and bare shoulders to a gentle sheen. She smiled at Logan—
Logan
—and murmured, “Margo
Ford
.”

He straightened—six-foot-two, she guessed—and looked over his shoulder as he slung the last two bags into the plane. “I thought your last name was Zhu.”
 
 

His words were slow, Southern. They made it hard for her to think. “My mom is Cindy Zhu. My dad is—” She gritted her molars. “He was Raymond Ford.
The senator.”

Pain pounded through her, old, familiar. Logan’s face mirrored it. “I was sorry to hear about that.”

“Thank you.”

His thick brows pinched, those blue eyes seeing down to her leukocytes. His gaze was so honest she felt unnerved. Then he was smiling, the intensity lost in a flash of Crest-white teeth. “You ready?” His arms folded.

“For what?”

“To go.”
He was doing it again.
That
look
.

“Um, I guess so.” She glanced down the row of planes. “Which is mine?”

He patted the one that held her luggage. “
Miss Louise
.”

She eyed the ragged plane, and then his face. He looked even more handsome when he smiled. Like a sexy bandit, with his dirt-smudged cheek and messy hair. She smiled back. “This is a joke. You’re not really a pilot.” She looked at his muddy boots. “Of course you’re not.”

“I’m not?” He was grinning.

“I don’t think so.”

One dark eyebrow arched.
“Why not?”

“You’re too…”
Gorgeous
was what
came
to mind, but what she said was, “young.”

He crossed his arms—thick arms.
“Been flying for eight years.”

“No way.”
She leaned closer. He was confident for sure, and he seemed capable, but he didn’t look much older than she was. “This isn’t my plane, and you’re not my pilot. I’m supposed to be flying to Isis with my— with Cindy.”

His pretty mouth formed an “o.” “You are?”

“Yes.” Her heart sank. “Is something wrong?”

“She’s okay and all… But she had to go to Switzerland.”

Margo felt shocked, then hurt. Cindy had left her here?
To go to Isis all alone?

BOOK: Before You Go (YA Romance)
13.02Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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