Vicki tapped her foot and checked her watch as she waited impatiently in line. The barista was moving in slow motion. Didn't the idiot realize she had a plane to catch? Apparently not.
Damn this, anyway! Vicki had to make that plane. Not that she was looking forward to the conference in Atlanta. Not only did she have to make a presentation she hadn't even started working on yet, she had to soothe an irate customer. The customer's orders had been completely messed up, and they were threatening to take their business elsewhere.
Vicki normally didn't do grunt work like customer service, but the client was a huge one, and her boss decided it would be a good idea to send in the big guns since Vicki would already be at the conference.
Finally, she made her way to the front of the line, ordered her latte and practically grabbed it out of the hands of the barista when it was done. As she raced out of the coffee house, she dropped her keys in the doorway. Swearing under her breath, she made a swipe for the keys and continued on her way.
Suddenly, a man appeared in her path, but it was too late to move, and she slammed into him, head on, spilling her coffee all over the poor guy's suit.
"Damn you! Why weren't you watching where you were going?" the tall man blasted at her while desperately trying to wipe the coffee off his coat.
"I'm sorry! I didn't see you; I was trying to pick up my keys," she explained.
On second glance, the man was actually quite gorgeous. He had very even features, sandy blonde hair graying at the temples, amazing blue eyes and a cleft chin. Even with the fury on his face, the man was a looker.
"It would help if you kept your head up while you were walking," he snapped.
"I said I was sorry; I can't be any more sorry than that," she replied defensively.
"Well, you can't be as sorry as I am," he retorted. "I just bought this suit, and it cost me a fortune."
The man's looks were obviously compensation for an ill temper. "Look, I'd love to stay and have you flame me some more, but I have a plane to catch," Vicki said, eager to get away from the angry man.
"I hope it's not the same one I'm on," he grumbled as he pushed past her.
Her jaw clenched, a flame of anger burned inside her. While it was clear she was in the wrong, he certainly hadn't made the situation any better. Jerk. Her anger quickly faded to amusement. A little spring in her step, she suddenly felt good about spilling coffee on the man. She always believed the adage: what goes around comes around, and clearly that man had the coffee spill coming. Probably used to people bowing and scraping to his handsome greatness. Idiot.
Vicki made her plane in plenty of time. She settled into her seat and as usual when on a plane, she immediately fell asleep.
Some time later, she awoke, and the plane was in midair. The movie played on the overheard monitor; and when she looked around, most passengers were asleep or watching the show. She needed her book, but she'd forgotten to get it when she'd boarded.
She got up, opened the overhead cargo bin and pulled on her carry on. It was stuck. With a great tug, Vicki yanked the small suitcase out of the bin, but she pulled so hard, she lost her grip on the bag, and it fell directly onto the man seated in front of her.
"Ow!" he exclaimed, shocked. He pushed the bag up and off of him, and Vicky caught it.
She found herself looking straight into the angry blue gaze of the man upon whom she'd spilled her coffee earlier. "Oh, Christ, not you," she said, hugging the bag to her chest.
His eyes practically popped out of their sockets. His symmetrical face flushed red, his sensual mouth drew down into a frown. "You again?! Woman, you are a disaster! Stay away from me."
"I would if I could, but I can't. I'm seated behind you."
Glowering at her, he said, "Then make sure you stay back there."
"I'm sorry. I didn't want to spill my coffee on you or dump my bag on your head, they were both accidents."
"I'm sure," he retorted and turned his attention back to the movie.
Vicki got out her book and set it on her seat. She carefully reached up and put her bag back in the overhead bin while below her the man held up his hands defensively.
"I wouldn't have done it a second time," she assured him.
"And I'm supposed to trust you?"
"No. I guess not."
"Are you done yet? Have anything else you'd like to throw at me?" he snarled.
Red-hot anger flashed through her body. "You don't have to be nasty."
His mouth dropped open, his blue eyes went unfocussed. "Don't have to be nasty? You bruise my head and shoulder, you ruin a seven hundred dollar suit, and you have the audacity to tell me I'm being nasty?"
"It wasn't my fault. Well, the suitcase was, but it was jammed, probably with your stuff."
He was slack-jawed again, but recovered quite quickly. His azure gaze narrowed, his mouth twisted into an ugly sneer. "Oh, so now it's my fault?"
"Is there some problem here?" A stewardess appeared at Vicki's side, looking concerned.
Vicky was embarrassed they'd attracted attention. "No, no problem. Just getting my book," she tossed off casually.
The stewardess looked at the man. "Sir? Is there a problem?"
Mr. Nasty took the opportunity to level an ice-cold glare her way. "Not anymore. Just make sure this woman stays away from me."
The stewardess looked between them, the worry lines deepening on her face. She turned to Vicky. "Ma'am? Is there a problem here?"
"No. Well, there wasn't one until this guy decided there was one."
The man made a surprised strangling noise, his face redder than a Coke can. His blue gaze was wild. "What? I've never heard such a ludicrous--"
The stewardess cut him off. "Sir, could you keep your voice down? You are disturbing the other passengers."
Mr. Coffee Spill's eyes practically rolled back in his head. His face turned purple, but when he spoke, he sounded remarkably calm. "My apologies, I will just continue to watch the movie, all right?"
Vicki purposefully showed no emotion in an effort to make him look like the crazy person. Heh-heh-heh. "I'm just gonna read my book here," she said cheerfully.
The stewardess watched nervously as both people settled back into their seats.
It wasn't long before Vicky fell asleep again. She woke up to her seatmate poking her.
"Could you get up? The plane landed ten minutes ago," the dark-haired older woman asked.
"Oh, sorry," Vicky replied sleepily. She quickly got up and allowed her seatmate to leave. After collecting her things, she left the plane and went off to find baggage claim.
Vicki was distracted, trying to call for the hotel shuttle while watching for her luggage. Right as the hotel clerk asked what airline she'd flown, she saw her bag come off the conveyor belt and onto the carousel.
She rushed for her bag. "I'm on American."
"What?" the clerk asked.
"A-mer-i-can!" she shouted into the receiver. Her bag was almost to her.
"You're breaking up," the clerk said.
Vicki reached for her bag. "I'm on American!" she shouted into the receiver.
Right as she grabbed her bag, some man's arm shot out in front of her and grabbed hold of her bag at the same time. Vicki found herself in a tug of war with the guy.
She yanked hard on her bag, but he wouldn't let go. "Hey!" She glared straight up into the sky-blue gaze of her number one new enemy. Mr. Spilled Coffee.
His eyes narrowed, his mouth became a tight line. "Madam, will you let go of my bag?" he demanded in a cold tone.
This was unreal! The guy was a freakin' plague. "It's my bag!"
"What airline are you flying?" came a demand in her ear from the hotel clerk.
Frustrated beyond belief, Vicki yanked on her bag and shouted, "American! American! You, let go of my bag!"
The guy pulled hard, her arm practically got yanked out of its socket.
"It's my bag, woman!" he hurled at her.
"Ow! No, it's not!" Vicki held on and glowered at him.
The hotel clerk said, "I can tell you're American, no need to shout, lady. Now what airline are you flying?"
Vicki shouted into the phone while trying to pull her suitcase out of the man's hands.
"I am flying American--will you let go of my suitcase?!"
"I don't have your suitcase," said the clerk over the phone.
The man's face was a mask of fury. "It's MY suitcase, now let go, I'm going to be late for my meeting!" he shouted, giving the bag another great tug.
Vicki hung onto the bag like a pitbull. "I know you don't have my suitcase, I'm trying to get it away from this psycho who keeps getting in my way! Now I'm flying American, get your hotel shuttle here, now!"
"Okay, okay, lady, you don't have to be rude," the clerk said and then hung up.
Right as the clerk ended the call, the man finally got Vicki's bag away from her. With a victorious glare her way, he turned and stalked off.
Vicki was right on his heels. "Damn you! That's mine!"
The man swung on her, his blue gaze flashing, the hard planes of his handsome face seeming even more severe. "It is not. It says: Mark Voight, right here on the tag! I am Mark Voight, and I know you aren't, now leave me alone! Haven't you done enough damage to me today? Or maybe not. Perhaps you want to shoot me or run me down with your taxi, I'm sure you could find something more horrible to do to me!"
She narrowed her gaze at the big jerk, her mouth set. "I'm considering knocking you flat. That bag does not say Mark Voight, it says Vicki Terra! See? Right here." Vicki reached out, grabbed the tag and turned it face up. The tag read: Mark Voight. She was stunned. She held it, staring in disbelief. She finally came to her senses and dropped the tag and took a step back. "Oh. Oh. Uh..." A blast of anger and frustration overtook her. "Well, what the hell are you thinking? Buying a bag that looks just like mine, anyway?" she yelled at him.
He took a step back away, his mouth fell open a bit, his gaze blank. His shock turned quickly to rage. His eyes glittered with malice, his lips curled. "Woman, if I wasn't a civilized man, I'd take you right across my knee for all your shenanigans. Someone should keep you caged and away from the public! You are a human disaster area!" With one last glare at her, he turned and strode away.
Vicki was fit to be tied. She hadn't been this angry in months. "Stay out of my way, you jerk!"
The man turned and glowered at her; the fire in his eyes scorched her from twenty-five feet away.