Two Tickets to Paradise

byTallMarriedMan©

"Your aunt is a wise woman," the brunette said as the blonde giggled.

"Yes, she is," I smiled. "She always says that everyone complains but nobody ever goes out of their way to be nice. So, with her in mind let me ask you both, can I get you each a coffee and a muffin or something from Starbucks to make up for whatever jerk started your day off badly?"

"Really?" both agents asked in unison as if they'd just heard something so foreign that they couldn't quite understand it.

"Yes, really," I smiled. "What's your pleasure? Latte, cappuccino, iced coffee?"

"A mocha with a chocolate chip muffin, please," the blonde agent smiled. Her green eyes sparkling all of a sudden.

"That sounds good," the brunette said. "You're serious?"

"I am, I'll be right back," I said.

"Wait, why did you come up here in the first place?" the brunette asked as I started to turn to leave.

"Oh, as you can see I'm a bit taller than average, I just wanted to see if you had any open seats with a bit more legroom available on the flight," I smiled.

"So the coffee is a bribe?" the brunette asked.

"No, not at all," I said. "The two are totally separate. I understand if there's nothing with more legroom available. I've just been having a rough time lately and I wanted to try to brighten someone's day."

"What kind of rough time?" the blonde asked as she leaned over the counter. "You're going to Hawaii, after all."

"Yes, alone, because my now ex-girlfriend was cheating on me," I said.

"I'm sorry, that sucks," the blonde said.

"Yes, it does," I grinned. "By the way, I'm Don."

"I'm Lisa," the blonde smiled.

"Vanessa," the brunette said as she looked me over. "Can I have your reservation number, please?"

"Sure," I said as I handed her the information that I had printed out. "Two mochas and two chocolate chip muffins, correct?"

"Yep," Lisa smiled and Vanessa nodded. I walked away, went to Starbucks and got three mochas and three chocolate chip muffins. When I got back to the gate a few more people were sitting in the waiting area but the podium was still free.

"Here you go," I said with a smile as I put down the two mochas and the two Starbucks bags with the chocolate chip muffins inside.

"Thank you," Vanessa said with a smile.

"Yes, thank you, Don," Lisa said as she took a sip of her mocha.

"There are two tickets on your confirmation number," Vanessa said. "I'm guessing Jennifer is your ex-girlfriend?"

"That is correct," I said.

"So that ticket is not going to be used?" Vanessa asked.

"Also correct," I said. "I tried calling to see if I could get it refunded or transferred and was told it wasn't possible."

"Oh, anything is possible, hun," Vanessa said with a smile as she typed on her keyboard. "Didn't your aunt ever tell you that?"

"She might have mentioned something like that," I grinned.

"Alright," Vanessa said as she reached down and grabbed new tickets off the printer and slid them into an envelope. "Here are your new tickets, Don. You'll have plenty of legroom," she said with a smile.

"Thank you, I appreciate it," I smiled.

"Thanks for the treats," Lisa said. "Have a great trip!"

I sat down and had my mocha and muffin as more people started aggregating at the gate. There was now a long line at the podium but both Vanessa and Lisa were still smiling, which made me feel good. I picked up the envelope and looked inside to find that Vanessa upgraded me to first-class on both ends of my trip. Things were truly starting to look up.

I sat at the gate reading a Richard Marcinko book on my Kindle until the announcement was made that the flight was about to begin boarding. I gathered up my things and stood up and stretched my legs. The announcement was made that first class passengers could begin boarding and I looked over at the podium where I saw Lisa smile and give me a wave. I smiled, waved back and then headed onto the plane.

First-class was laid out with two seats on each side of the aisle. I had an aisle seat in the front row of the plane. I sat down and smiled as I stretched my legs as far as they'd go and came nowhere near hitting the bulkhead in front of my seat. While I wasn't yet excited about going to Maui alone, I was at least not feeling completely horrible about it.

The plane started to fill up and I wondered who, if anyone, would be sitting in the seat next to mine. The other seats in first-class were filled by mainly older couples and I watched as passenger after passenger boarded the plane and then disappeared into the coach section. There was a lull for a couple of minutes then a cute blonde with a ponytail boarded the plane. She was about 5'5" tall and wearing a gray DePaul University sweatshirt, skinny jeans, and sunglasses. I looked up at her and she gave me a warm smile as she walked by. I turned my head to see if she looked as good from behind when a suitcase bounced off my head.

"Sorry," the man with the suitcase said. He was followed by a middle-aged woman with three small children in tow.

The flight attendant closed the door of the plane and got ready to make her announcements as she watched something going on in the back of the plane. After a moment, the blonde with the ponytail reappeared and stowed her bag in the overhead bin above my seat before sitting down next to me. The flight attendant was telling us what to do in case of a water landing but I don't remember any of her other announcements, I was too busy thanking whatever force brought the beautiful blonde to the seat next to mine. When the announcements ended I glanced over at her and smiled.

"Hi, I'm Ava," she said forcing a smile. "And I'm somewhat terrified of flying."

"Hello, Ava. I'm Don," I smiled. "And I'm somewhat terrified of gorgeous blondes." I couldn't believe I said the words myself, so cheesy and exactly like something Frank would say. I was immediately regretting saying it when Ava laughed and her face just lit up with a large, genuine smile.

"I'll help you with your fears if you help me with mine," she said with as she took off her sunglasses revealing her deep blue eyes. "Deal?" she asked as she held out her hand.

"Deal," I said as I shook her hand and looked into her deep blue eyes and had the greatest sensation of deja vu that I've ever experienced. "You're a Blue Demon, huh? I graduated from DePaul 3 years ago."

"Yes, I am," she smiled. "I graduate in June."

"Congratulations, so you're playing hooky this week?" I asked as the plane was slowly pushed back from the gate.

"Yeah, my sister's getting married in Maui," Ava said.

"Sounds like fun," I grinned as I watched Ava pull her already tight seat belt even tighter.

"Yeah, for her," Ava groaned. "I'm going to have to keep telling people what happened between me and my now ex-boyfriend, Trevor."

"That doesn't sound like fun, may I ask what happened?" I asked as the plane taxied out onto the runway.

"One of us was fucking other women," Ava scowled.

"So, you're a lesbian?" I said with a sarcastic smile.

"Shut up," Ava laughed as she punched my arm fairly hard. "Oh, I'm sorry!"

"It's ok," I smiled. "I deserved that."

"Yeah, you kinda did," she chuckled. "I don't even know why I'm telling you this stuff."

"I'm a good listener," I said as the plane started down the runway, quickly picking up speed. Ava sat back in her seat, looked straight ahead and reached over with her right hand and grabbed my left hand, squeezing it as the plane's wheels left the Earth and ascended quickly into the morning Chicago sky.

The plane bounced and shook as the wheels were retracted and it gained altitude. Ava squeezed my hand tighter with every little bounce and I loved every second of it. I was never one to believe too much in karma or fate but it seemed like maybe this trip was going to work out much better than I had ever expected.

It wasn't until the plane leveled off and everything was pretty smooth for a few minutes that Ava released my hand. I looked over at her and her amazing blue eyes were open now and she was taking slow, deep breaths.

"Are you ok?" I asked.

"Yes, I hope I didn't break your hand," she smiled.

"It's ok, I've got two," I said. "I'm glad that I could help."

"Thank you," she said sincerely.

"Have we met before?" I asked, searching my memory. "I know I've seen you somewhere before."

"I was thinking the same thing," Ava grinned. "It'll come to me," she said as she studied my face. "Anyway, why are you going to Maui? Business trip?"

"No, nothing like that," I said as I couldn't help but stare into her amazing blue eyes.

"Well, you're a bit dressed up for a vacation," Ava grinned.

"I figured it might help me get a first-class upgrade," I said.

"Seems like it worked," Ava said with a smile. "I got lucky too, they put me up here so they could seat a family with kids together. So why are you going to Maui?"

"I planned the trip to celebrate Valentine's Day with my girlfriend, Jenny," I said. "Well, my now ex-girlfriend Jenny. We met two years ago at a Valentine's Day party, but then I caught her in bed with a guy she worked with."

"That's totally sucks," Ava said as we hit a pocket of rough air and she grabbed my hand. "Jenny and Trevor sound like they'd be a perfect match."

"Pretty much," I sighed. "We know how to pick them, huh?"

"Yeah," Ava grinned. "This Valentine's Day party, it wasn't at Joe's, was it?"

"Oh my God," I said stunned as that fateful Valentine's night replayed in my mind, "You're the girl in the red floral dress."

"And you're the guy that never quite made it over to me after that stupid fight broke out. I waited around out front for a while but never saw you leave," Ava frowned.

"Jenny pulled me out the back door," I said. "I thought you were long gone. If I'd have known—"

"Don't worry about it," Ava smiled. "I wasn't ready for a real relationship back then anyway. So, you're traveling alone?"

"Yes, I am," I said as the turbulence stopped and Ava let go of my hand.

"I hope you don't mind that I keep grabbing your hand," Ava said as she looked into my eyes.

"I don't mind at all," I smiled.

"I was just worried, with your fear of gorgeous blondes and all," Ava grinned and bit down on her lower lip.

"I might have over-exaggerated that fear just a little," I smiled.

"I thought you might have. So where are you staying on the island?" Ava asked.

"The Four Seasons," I replied.

"I am too," she smiled. "It's supposed to be amazing, I can't wait to explore the island."

"Same here," I said. "And, just for the record, you are."

"I am what?" Ava asked.

"Stunningly gorgeous," I smiled.

"You're a smooth talker, I see," Ava said raising an eyebrow.

"Anything but, really. I just feel comfortable with you," I said.

"That's good. You know, I've always wanted to join the mile-high club." Ava said with a wicked grin.

"I, um, what?" I stuttered, feeling my face flush into what I could only assume was a bright crimson color.

"Shit, I'm sorry," Ava smiled, holding back a laugh. "I was just messing with you," she said as the flight attendant appeared at our seats with the drink cart.

"May I get either of you a drink?" she asked.

"I'll have a rum and Coke," Ava smiled.

"Make that two," I said.

"I didn't mean to scare you," Ava said with a sweet smile.

"You didn't scare me," I said as the flight attendant handed us our drinks with an amused smirk on her face.

"Thank you," I said to her before turning back to Ava.

"No? Then what was it?" Ava giggled.

"You just caught me by surprise," I smiled.

"To surprises," Ava said holding up her glass.

"To surprises," I said as we lightly touched our glasses together.

"So, what do you do?" Ava asked.

"I'm self-employed, I design websites, create apps, and do marketing for small businesses," I said.

"That sounds pretty cool, being your own boss has to be awesome," she said as she sipped her drink.

"It has its advantages, but you have to be able to get the work done without a boss hovering over you all the time," I smiled. "What do you want to do when you graduate?"

"I would really like to work in the marketing department for a major sports team, that would be the perfect job," Ava grinned.

"That does sound like fun," I said. "Like they say if you do something you love you never have to work a day in your life."

"I know and I've always liked sports. I have even won a fantasy baseball league or two," she smiled.

"That is impressive," I said as I tried not to stare at the amazingly stunning blonde coed sitting next to me. I thought of how easy it would have been to blow this trip off and I was very happy that I decided to throw caution to the wind and go on an adventure.

The rest of the flight passed so quickly that I couldn't believe it when the announcement came over the speakers that we would be starting our descent into Maui. Ava and I had talked the whole flight away and she started grabbing my hand more as the flight went on, even during just minor bits of turbulence.

"I don't think I've ever enjoyed a flight more than this one," I said to Ava.

"Same here," she smiled. "I know this is going to seem crazy forward but would you like to be my date for my sister's wedding?"

"I'd love to, absolutely," I said immediately.

"Are you sure? You might not be saying that after you meet my family," Ava smiled.

"They're that bad?" I laughed.

"They're going to grill you, ask you every question that you can imagine, including what your intentions are with their sweet little Ava," she giggled.

"How sweet are you?" I asked with a grin.

"I'd show you but I don't want to scare you again," Ava laughed as she leaned closer to me.

"I'll take my chances," I said as I leaned towards her and moved my left hand up behind her neck and pulled her closer to me as our lips met for a soft, sensual kiss. Her lips were soft and warm and her sweet vanilla perfume completely intoxicated me. I kissed her harder as she let out a sexy little moan. I grabbed onto her ponytail and tugged it back playfully as she shot her sweet warm tongue into my mouth. It was a perfect kiss and a perfect moment that was only broken by the pilot telling the crew to prepare for landing.

"Wow," Ava said as she settled back into her seat smiling.

"I should probably lie about my intentions, huh?" I asked with a grin.

"What?" Ava asked as if in a daze.

"To your family, I should probably lie about my intentions," I smiled wider.

"We'll talk about that later," Ava said as she reached out for my hand and held it as the plane gracefully touched down in paradise.

Ava and I deboarded the plane, got our bags and shared a cab to the Four Seasons Hotel. By the time we got to the front desk to check in we had known each other for about 10 hours, but it felt like we'd been dating for a week or two. We just seemed to click, there was never an awkward lull in the conversation and I was truly looking forward to where our relationship could go.

"Aloha! Are you two checking in?" the front desk clerk, a burly but very cheery Hawaiian man, asked.

"Yes," Ava and I said simultaneously.

"Name?" the clerk asked as I looked at Ava and she looked back at me.

"It's dumb to have two rooms, right?" Ava asked me.

"I don't know, I guess," I said, a bit surprised.

"Is it too soon?" Ava asked looking up at me.

"It should be, right?" I asked as the little voice inside my head told me to shut the hell up. "But it does feel like we've known each other a while. It's up to you, we can always get another room if things don't work out."

"You mean if your fear of stunningly gorgeous blondes kicks in?" Ava giggled.

"Exactly, or if you're a serial killer," I countered.

"I think you're safe there, but I might put my cold feet on you in the middle of the night," Ava quipped.

"Well then, two rooms would definitely be prudent," I laughed.

"Oh, really?" Ava looked up at me with her sparkling blue eyes.

"No, I'd be honored to have your cold feet on me in the middle of the night."

"So, are you two together?" the confused clerk asked as if he'd just watched an Abbott and Costello bit.

"Yes," Ava said with a smile, "But, we each currently have separate reservations with our own rooms, can we maybe combine them to get a suite or an upgrade of some sort?"

"May I have your reservation numbers, please?" the clerk asked. Ava and I each handed him our paperwork with our reservation information on them. He typed the numbers into his computer as he asked us, "Have you two been together long?"

"We just met on the plane," Ava said with a grin. The clerk looked up from his computer, looked at Ava and then looked at me.

"You're putting me on," the clerk said with a smile. "Two people traveling alone to Maui just happen to meet on a plane and are together by the time they get to the hotel?"

"Is that not common?" I asked with a smile as the big clerk laughed loudly.

"No, that is not common," the clerk said as another woman, a tall slender brunette in her 50s, walked up and looked at his computer screen.

"Aloha, I'm Alyssa, the manager," the woman smiled warmly. "Is everything alright?"

"Yes," the clerk answered. "These two each have their own room reservations that they'd like to combine them into a suite or upgrade, if possible."

"Sounds reasonable," Alyssa said.

"They just met on the plane," the clerk told her with a big smile.

"Really?" Alyssa looked up with a grin and sized Ava and me up.

"It's a long flight," Ava grinned.

"I guess it is," Alyssa said. "I guess Cupid is working extra hard this Valentine's Day. If they make your story into a movie, make sure Julia Roberts plays me."

"Done," Ava smiled. "We actually almost met two years ago on Valentine's Day."

"I don't mean to pry," Alyssa said as she looked at Ava, "How do you almost meet someone?"

"We were at an anti-Valentine's Day party at a local bar. I noticed him a couple of times and our eyes locked. When he finally decided to walk over and introduce himself a fight broke out and even though I waited out front for a while I never saw him again, until the flight here," Ava recounted our story.

"What happened to you?" Alyssa asked me as the desk clerk listened with fascination.

"I had another girl fall into my arms and pull me out the back door of the place," I said.

"What happened to her?" the clerk asked.

"She ended up cheating on me, that's why I was traveling alone," I said.

"You're not alone anymore," the clerk smiled.

"True," I smiled as I looked at Ava. "For once fate is on my side."

"Wow, this all does sound like a romantic comedy," Alyssa smiled as she punched something into her computer terminal. "Tell you what, with that story I think I will give Cupid a hand to help lighten his load. Put this lovely couple into a Club Ocean-Front suite," she said to the clerk.

"Yes, ma'am," he grinned.

"One bedroom is enough?" Alyssa asked, looking at me. I just opened my mouth, I was trying to say words but they just didn't come out.

"Yes," Ava said as she smacked me on the arm. "That will be amazing, thank you both so much!"

"Not a problem, you two are making my day," Alyssa said with a warm smile. "I hope you have a wonderful adventure here with us."

"I am sure we will," Ava smiled. "I guess I might have to send my ex-boyfriend a postcard and thank him for cheating on me."

"Ouch," the clerk said.

"I guess I'd have to send the same to my ex-girlfriend then," I shrugged.

"Remember, Julia Roberts has to play me in the movie," Alyssa said as she handed us the key cards and information about our suite. "Mr. O'Connor and Ms. Moore, I wish you two the happiest of stays here at the Four Seasons, Maui. If there's anything else I can do for you, please, let me know."

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