Read Reye's Gold Online

Authors: Ruthie Robinson

Tags: #Fiction, #Romance, #African American

Reye's Gold (2 page)

“No problem,” Reye’s attendant said, examining
Reye’s paper work. Finding it in order, she checked in her
suitcase and handed a boarding pass to her. Now she
needed to make a fast and speedy trek to the gate. “I’ll
call ahead to inform the attendants at your gate that the
two of you are running late.” What, the golden one was
going to Austin, too? Reye’s head snapped around to find
h
im watching her. With a small nod of his head, he con
firmed the ticket agent’s comment. She thanked her
agent, grabbed her ticket, and proceeded to the gate.

The golden one had left the counter seconds before
her, moving quickly through the terminal, his height an
unknowing marker as he moved through the crowds, her
personal beacon. She kept him in her sights as she took
off her shoes and threw her backpack in the tub and
walked through the security checkpoint. He’d cleared
first, and she was not far behind. He was fast, but playing
soccer and running track kept Reye in great shape, so
maintaining his pace wasn’t difficult. Unfortunately she’d kept her eye on him and not the other passengers, acci
dentally tripping over something in her path, a large can
ister for carrying art attached to the arm of an elderly
man. Crap, she thought, struggling to remain on her feet.

* * *

 

Stephen had moved steadily toward the gate, keeping
the pretty girl from the ticket counter in his peripheral
vision. He’d noticed her at the counter giving him the
once-over. Having grown accustomed to second glances
and women staring, he rarely paid attention, picking and
choosing among them when he was motivated. This one
was tall with caramel-colored skin and beautiful long,
muscular legs. He was first and foremost a leg man.
Those long legs were showcased in form-fitting knee
length khaki shorts, an equally form fitting t-shirt
wrapped around her well-toned body. It was rare to meet
w
omen who could match him in the height department,
but she was close. She had short curly hair, dreadlocks, he
thought they were called, reminding him of Bob Marley’s hair; only there were more of them, the strands thinner
somehow, spiky even. They framed a really pretty face,
which sported a charming and captivating smile, one that
was slightly mischievous in its delivery, instantly inciting
in him a yearning to taste. He’d heard the commotion
behind him, turning in time to witness her trip over
something in her path.

He decided to go back to help—a very uncommon
impulse, he rarely went out of his way for strangers—but
he walked back quickly and found her bent over an older
gentleman, apologizing profusely and picking up items that had fallen to the floor. She looked up at him, sur
prise marking her face, swiftly replaced by cool. He
watched her as she continued to retrieve the old man’s
items from the floor, her close proximity allowing him
opportunity for a more thorough appraisal. His eyes
roamed over mouth-watering legs that tapered into curvy
hips, and, courtesy of her current bent position, a nice
ass. Hers was just the way he liked them, firm, round,
and visible. The view of her from the front was limited by
the same bending, but she was prettier than he’d thought
at first glance. Full, shapely lips circled even white teeth,
long brown eyelashes fell over sparkly brown eyes,
smooth caramel skin poured over a heart-shaped face.
Beautiful.

Satisfied that she’d picked up everything, she apolo
gized again and shouldered her backpack, preparing to l
eave. “Let me give you a hand,” Stephen said, extending
his hand to her. Desire warred with trust in her eyes. “I
don’t usually accept assistance from men I don’t know.”

“And I don’t usually offer it,” he responded, a slight
smile on his lips. “I’m Stephen, if that helps any.”

He watched the two seconds it took for her to reach
some internal conclusion before accepting his hand.

“Nice to meet you, Stephen, I’m Reye. Thanks for
coming back for me.”

“No problem, but we’d better get going if we’re going
to make this flight,” he said, turning in the direction of
their gate.

“Okay, you lead, and I’ll follow.”

* * *

 

Reye, her hand in his, trailed in his wake, continuing
to observe him as they resumed their journey to the gate.
He was even more attractive up close. He was sexy and
self-confident. His hand enclosed hers in a strong and
sure grip. His long legs ate up the distance to their gate.
He had to have played football, Reye thought, judging by
the way he wove between people as if this were the last
play of the Super Bowl and the game’s outcome rested
squarely on his shoulders. “Excuse me, excuse me,” he
said to no one and everyone, increasing his pace. Reye
held on for dear life as he sprinted the last twenty yards
to the counter.

As quickly as he’d sprinted, he stopped.
Whoa,
Reye
said to herself as she rammed into his back. “Ump,” he
s
aid as she plowed into him and bounced off, landing on
the floor, hard on her butt, her backpack partially
breaking her fall, her legs stretched out in opposite direc
tions. This was clearly not how she wanted her time with
him to end. She lay there for a minute testing her body parts for breakage, more than a little embarrassed. She looked up into the concerned faces of Stephen and the
flight attendant, who were scanning her for any obvious
injury.

“Are you hurt?” they asked in unison. Trying to catch
her breath and feeling like an idiot, she laughed. “I’m
fine,” she said between chuckles. “Did we make the
flight?”

“Yes,” the flight attendant said as she grinned back at
Reye. Reye didn’t look over at Stephen, not wanting to
see his reaction to her fall.

He helped her to her feet and the attendant handed
them their boarding passes. She stepped back to allow
them to proceed to the airplane, Stephen behind Reye.
Entering the first class section, Reye arrived at her seat,
2B. It was an aisle seat, always her preference because
otherwise she felt caged in. An elderly woman sat next to
her reading a book, a good sign; hopefully that meant a
quiet ride home so she could get some sleep. She put her
backpack in the overhead compartment as she, out of the
corner of her eye, watched Stephen take his seat in row
four, making note of the empty window seat next to him. She sat down, fastening her seat belt, half listening as the
flight attendant performed the mandatory what-to-do
in-case-of-an-emergency speech. The plane took off and
Reye settled back in her seat, waiting for her complemen
tary drink and bag of peanuts.

She was bone tired. Her body was anyway, even
though her mind had started racing around seeking the
answer to the obvious question. Should she or shouldn’t
she move to the seat that was open next to Stephen? Her
inner voice resisted, arguing against further invasion.
Give the poor boy a rest
, it said. Taking small, inconspic
uous glances over her shoulder, she tried to gauge his interest, finally deciding to leave him alone. Recounting her morning adventures reinforced her decision to stay
put. Let’s see, she’d been caught ogling him, assisted
through the airport by him, and then ran into his back.
She had her limits.

Stephen smiled to himself as he watched Reye watch
him. He had an unobstructed view of her. She had been
entertaining and sexy, not a bad combination. He was
intrigued by the variety of personalities she’d displayed so
far, bold in her examination of him as they’d waited in
line, sexy when returning his smile, and funny as hell
when she bumped into him and fell on her butt. She sat
there, legs sprawled in different directions, laughing at
herself. He’d had to turn his head to keep from joining in
her laughter. So with this image in his mind, he caught
the flight attendant’s attention and asked her to relay a message to the passenger in seat 2B. Fortunately, she was
the same flight attendant who had witnessed Reye’s fall,
and the smile she gave to him seemed to indicate her
approval of his request.

“My pleasure, sir.”

R
eye was resting her eyes behind her closed eyelids when someone touched her shoulder. She turned to see
the flight attendant from earlier, now standing at her
side. “There is an open seat in row four, next to the gen
tleman who helped you this morning. He asked if you
would like to sit with him?”

“Thanks,” Reye said, smiling into the twinkling eyes
of the flight attendant, a silent understanding forming
between them, making them co-conspirators in their
appreciation of him. Reye looked back to find his eyes on
her, a small smile on his lips. She unbuckled her seat belt
and stood. Her sleepiness disappeared rapidly, replaced
by a surge in energy. Men were such great motivators.

Deciding to leave her backpack in the overhead com
partment since she wasn’t moving far, she walked down
the aisle toward him. He moved over to the empty seat
by the window, leaving the aisle seat open for her. Reye
sat down and settled back. The seats in the first-class sec
tion were larger than in the general class, so there was
some distance between them. After a moment she
turned to him. “Thanks for pulling me along through
the airport and for letting me use your back as a stop,” she said.

“You’re welcome. You did a great job keeping up.” It
was quiet for a second between them. “So you live in
Austin or are you just visiting?” he asked, breaking the
silence.

She turned a little to look into his eyes, subtly
scooting closer to him. She was now in full-blown get-to
know-you mode.


It’s home, I was born and raised there, I’m in my last year of school at the university,” she said, answering his
question, distracted a little by seeing his face up close.
Who knew eyes could be that blue? And these were
graced with long, black, girl-length lashes.

“We have something in common, then. I’m in my last
year of law school at the university.”

“Yeah?” she said. “That’s impressive. What were you
doing in Dallas?”

“It’s home. How about you?”

“I spent the week babysitting my brother’s three chil
dren in Ft. Worth, great aunt that I am.” Just the thought
of her nieces and nephews reminded her that she was
tired. She yawned and moved her hand to cover her
mouth. “Excuse me. I’m really tired. I love my nieces and
nephew, but they wore me out this week.”

“You could sleep on the way back.”

“And miss this wonderful conversation,?” she said playfully, batting her eyelashes at him like some damsel from an old-school movie. He laughed.

“Law school, huh? What kind of law?”

“Nothing flashy, just wills and estates, trust planning.
I’m the fourth-generation Stuart, my last name. Law is the
Stuart family’s business. After I’m done with school and
pass the bar exam, I’ll join my dad in the family firm.”

“I see,” she said. “So do you really
like
the law, or is
this the path of least resistance?” He gave her a contem
plative look.

“I like the law, really. I’ll admit, though, my exposure
to other areas may be limited, but it’s what I grew up
w
ith, what I’m familiar with. I grew up learning how to
argue. I argued with my dad on just about anything,
from sports to politics. We both loved it. Some boys con
nect with their dad over sports, me it was Article III, sec
tion 4 of the Texas Probate Code.”

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