The bustle of the travelers inside of Los Angeles International Airport was especially brisk this particular morning. Several flights made their approach in such a manner that one would have thought they were in concert with each other, their synchronicity presenting the imagery of the most graceful ballet. The passengers of the flights groaned as they took a collective look at the potential bottleneck at the baggage claim area, a few of them not looking forward to having to jockey for position to get to their luggage before moving out into the city.
Outside in the reception area of the concourse, an anxious crowd awaited to greet their loved ones. As the weary travelers emerged from the higher security areas, some were swarmed, their embraces lending to the idea that it had been some considerable time since they’d seen one another. Others engaged in more intimate public displays of affection, so much so that some of the children’s eyes had to be shielded from the spectacle.
Not far away from where these reunions took place, a man sat silently in a corner, perusing the LA Times. To the untrained eye, it looked like the information in the paper had his complete attention. Even to someone trying to pay closer attention to him, it seemed he was completely oblivious to his surroundings. However, to the skilled professional, it was a rouse to shield his ability to people-watch and take note of the sea of faces as they hurried about toward their destinations.
Could he have been waiting for someone near and dear to him, too? The pensive expression awash over his face gave no indication, as he was content to remain as unassuming as possible. He continued to glance between the pages of the newspaper and the throngs of people consistently flowing from the concourse areas, waiting for someone—or possibly no one at all—but there was no real way to decipher the accurate assumption.
His eyes widened as a striking brunette with blond highlights, dressed in her flight attendant’s uniform, emerged from the escalator, her red-bottomed heels and small suitcase dragging in her hands. Her strides were long and graceful, her gait reminiscent of a dancer or model’s rhythm. It was almost arrogant, but a regal type of arrogance, one that caused stares in her direction, whether she meant them to occur or not.
He found it odd that a flight attendant would be adorned in such stylish, extravagant footwear; the salary would not have supported such a purchase without hardship. He didn’t rule out the possibility of a benefactor who might have indulged her shoe fetish, either, but he was almost certain that the third option in his mind made her the person of interest he’d been pursuing.
Just by admiring her figure, the assumption would turn to the fact that she was very conscious of her appearance—perhaps a fitness model in her spare time—and a closer attention to detail would showcase a specific “tautness” to her figure. He was especially enchanted by the richness of her skin tone, its mocha-latte bronzed radiance evoking the possibility that she was returning from the Polynesian paradise mere hours away from the “city of angels.”
If her legs and ample assets didn’t capture the imagination, the swell of her breasts—pert and no larger than a C cup, perhaps—would more than make up for the fantasies that could be conjured while in a brief moment of isolation. If he were honest with himself, it would almost be criminal to not indulge in such a guilty pleasure. As far as he was concerned, she had a body built for pleasure, but that was not what he was there to observe.
His objective now in sight, he left the newspaper on the chair, beginning his pursuit. Perhaps she didn’t spot him as she made her way to the parking garage. However, he didn’t close the distance between them, ensuring that she was not alerted to his presence, at least not yet. He couldn’t stop ogling at the sway in her tight, round hips as she quickly made her way to her car. It was nearly hypnotic, casting a spell he was unsure he could escape from.
After placing her suitcase in the trunk and slipping into the driver’s seat, she loosened her hair, tossing the rubber hand that tied her luxurious mane into the pony tail she needed to perform her duties out the window. It was her transition protocol; her way to move from the professional woman flying the friendly skies to the wanton slut, ready to fulfill her Sir’s desires, foreign or familiar.
Her cell phone diverted her attention from the meticulous application of the makeup on her face, her lips widening into a smile over the person trying to get in touch with her. She tried to synchronize between finishing her makeup to make sure she was absolutely stunning for him with answering her phone at the last possible moment to hear his voice. She was aroused at the mere thought, squeezing her thighs together to quell the heat she knew was rising to the surface.
To her dismay, she was unable to answer before the call dropped. She was a bit nervous once the voicemail alert sounded off, but those fears were soothed once she heard the smooth, baritone sound of his voice. Daddy loves you, can’t wait to see you, sexy. My aide already has the room ready for your arrival, and I’ll be there within the hour. Make sure you prepare my property in the manner that I know you’re capable of.
The missed call—the last one that she would receive—was from her newlywed husband, Senator Terrell Warren. Instead of returning the phone call, she placed her phone on the passenger seat. Within minutes, she was on the I-405, oblivious to the black Chevy Colorado pickup shadowing her.
During the brief drive to the hotel in downtown LA, she had time to muse and fondly reminisce over their whirlwind romance. As she thought about it, she couldn’t help but smile and marvel at how far they’d come and how fast the journey had taken so far. Her head was still swirling from the sheer force of nature that was the love of her life.
She met her husband a little over a year ago, at about thirty-five thousand feet. She was on a private charter, scheduled to take the senator to a charity to which he was to be the keynote speaker. She realized who she would be flying with, but she only knew from what she’d read about. He was a war hero, the son of a former assistant Defense Secretary, and had developed quite a following himself, slowly stepping from his father’s shadow. Some circles publicly pondered if he would seek the Oval Office himself in time if, as many had surmised, he and his running mate, Secretary of State Jerry Yeager, win the election.
From the moment he boarded, she was in awe of him. He seemed to be enthralled by her, too, but she was so mesmerized that she didn’t realize the feelings were mutual. She didn’t think he would be interested; after all, he was forty-two and she was a couple of months shy of the “big 3-0.”
However, there was something she couldn’t explain, something that compelled her in ways that confused her. It turned her on, igniting every erogenous zone she was aware of, and even spots she wasn’t. Every time he requested something of her during the flight, she couldn’t move fast enough to fulfill it. That smile, the way he responded when he thanked her for complying with his whims, she could have floated higher than the clouds they were already soaring through.
Despite that, there was an instant connection, though he did not make his intentions overt during the flight. He kept himself busy jotting down notes for his speech as she kept herself busy reading between completing tasks to pass the time. She was curious about the stares she got from his senior aide, who introduced herself to her as Lea. The way she stared at her—she couldn’t figure out whether it was lust or jealousy that kept her eyes affixed on her every move.
While he continued about his business, his wife-to-be tortured herself, trying to figure out whether she should play hard to get or if she should exercise her feministic rights to take what she wanted. She couldn’t take her eyes off him, stealing glances wherever she could, not realizing that he was stealing his own glimpses while scribbling on his stationery.
By the time the flight touched down, regret washed over her, an opportunity to find out more about the handsome senator slipping from her fingers as the jet taxied toward the waiting limousine. She tried to muster the courage to discreetly leave her number for him to call her, but she didn’t want to come off as desperate or too forward, even when most women would have not given it a second thought.
Once the jet stopped and it was time for everyone to de-plane, she resigned herself to believe that she wouldn’t do anything more than daydream of what would have happened if she were more aggressive. If anything, she could have flirted more, made her interest in him more tangible to him. She still wasn’t convinced he was interested in her, so she put it out of her mind, getting her bags to prepare to head to her hotel room before her flight the next morning.
That all changed when Lea left a handwritten note for her. She was floored; she’d assumed he was writing down notes he needed to remember for his next engagement. If she could have, she would have fainted on the spot from the knowledge that he had taken the time to pen this note. She thanked Lea for the note and told her she would read it the moment she was able to sit down and give it her full attention. Hell, who was she kidding? She ripped the envelope open to read the note right there on the plane, as her curiosity got the best of her.
I would normally speak my interest, but your beauty has me stunned, Kianna. I would be honored if you would join me for dinner this weekend. If you want, I can have my limo pick you up and bring you to dine with me at the Soho House. If you would like to, let my aide know where you’re staying and we can set things up from there. It would make my weekend if you say yes.
From there, their romance swirled like a tornado, racing toward a proposal and elopement only six months later. The press had a field day, calling her his “trophy wife” in order to secure the vice-presidential nomination, but she didn’t pay things any mind. Their life was what dreams were made of; their sex life was robust, their feelings for one another growing stronger every day. Their darker side blossomed in ways that she couldn’t have possibly dreamed of. The way he took control of every aspect of her life, willingly surrendering her very being to him.
What most weren’t aware of—even those who were in the senator’s inner circle—was the depth of their relationship. Her body belonged to him, and she willingly gave herself to whatever his desires were. What she wore, the way she kept her body, the type of curves that contoured her frame—it was all by his design and instruction. She was under his control, mind, body and heart. She was bound to him, in a way that she could never explain to anyone who wasn’t already “in the know.”
Most in the media couldn’t understand the nature of their relationship, even in the aftermath of the popularity of Fifty Shades of Grey. Truth be told, it was exactly the way he’d wanted it to be; at times, he would throw subtleties out for the media pundits to try to figure out. It was, if for nothing else, for the shock factor and to make fun of them in the aftermath. Her submission to his will, her compliance to his commands—in her mind, it was the natural order of things. She was his property, and she enjoyed every minute of it.
The only snag in their courtship was the revelation of the nature of the relationship between Lea and him. She wasn’t completely off-put; being in the industry she worked in, she had been propositioned by couples over the years. Some she indulged in, others she politely declined, but this would be the first time she would be in a relationship—and a lifestyle—like the one she found herself drawn to, unable to escape from. Even if she did, she knew she would instantly regret her decision.
All things considered, she couldn’t have been happier. She was allowed to keep her job as a flight attendant, with the directive that she accepted private charters only, at the command of her husband, who didn’t want his new bride involved with commercial flights that impair her ability to be wherever he wanted her to be, at his whim. She reveled in his all-encompassing protection of her.
She finally shook from her thoughts as she exited from the 405 and took the I-10, headed toward the Pacific Coast Highway. There was no one for miles around her, except for the pickup truck and the stranger who had been following her since she left the airport. She final made it to the exit to get to the PCH, taking a brief moment to continue primping and applying her makeup. She wanted to look perfect for her husband.
In the rear view mirror, she noticed someone get out of the truck behind her, making his way toward her car. Her curiosity over what would make him approach her car caused her to pause for a moment to regard him. He was dressed in a dark cargo jacket, which she thought was odd for the brutal California heat. His features had her guessing that he was of Italian descent, or at least somewhere in the Mediterranean. His face was hard and rugged, and she could make out a faint, jagged scar below his right eye, large enough to possibly resemble a knife wound.
His accent was thick, a barely coherent English, as he pointed toward something near the back of her car. “Something is hanging.”
“Excuse me? I don’t understand.” The confusion was evident on her face, and she was ready to drive off, but he seemed insistent on the matter.
“Please, something is hanging from your car. It was scraping, making sparks.” His eyes were wide, his nonverbal indication that he was worried for her safety.
She didn’t want to be rude toward the stranger; he seemed a little embarrassed about his inability to command the English language to help her understand. She stepped out of the car, walking with the man to investigate the matter, when he grabbed her arm from behind and brought her down hard. He dragged her behind his truck, its size serving to temporarily shield them from the oncoming traffic.
She lay on the concrete, her legs flailing about in an attempt to fend off her attacker. The more she struggled, the more it seemed he was able to get a stronger hold on her. All types of thoughts ran through her mind, but one egregious act sprang to her mind as her skirt rose above her hips. Oh my God, he’s going to rape me! Is he going to kill me?? I don’t want to die, not like this!
She yelled out as loudly as she could, punching at him as he dropped his forearm across her chest to pin her down. Her repeated attempts to yell for help were drowned out by the roaring engines on the highway. Her struggle with him only infuriated him, as he had intended to subdue her in a different matter; the route she took and the destination his handler had given him were completely different from what he’d planned for.
As she continued to fight, Kianna realized he was not there to sexually assault her, but the prospect of what he was actually there to do caused her to panic. Her only thoughts led to regret; if only she’d called her husband back, maybe she wouldn’t have been in this situation. She might have been able to at least get him to call the local cops to assist.
She continued to resist any attempts for him to get further leverage on her; one of her other directives was to take a series of self-defense classes, one of which was the Krav-Maga, a hand-to-hand self-defense system most popularly employed by the Israeli Defense Forces. Her fight-or-flight instincts took over as that training kicked in. She got a few good punches in, striking blood with an elbow across his jaw, despite his leverage over her.
Her attacker managed to free one hand to get one final blow that rendered her unconscious. As she lay motionless against the scorching-hot concrete, he couldn’t resist enjoying the struggle before he’d claimed his prize. She’d fought like a lioness, exactly as he’d hoped she would. He’d have a lot of fun telling and re-telling the story to his comrades, embellishing the story with each re-telling.
He took a few deep breaths before he collected her body and placed her in the rear seats of the truck, retrieving her phone and other baggage from her car. His handler would not want any real trace of her disappearance, so he had to take care of the last remnants for the authorities to sort through…if there was anything left from the wreckage.
He retrieved a black device from the bed of the truck, tripped a switch, and rushed to the front seat of the rental car to place the device. He jumped in the truck and sped away, putting as much distance between his vehicle and the stranded car, counting the seconds until the device detonated, engulfing the car in a ball of flames that would cause major confusion for the hours to come.