Bachelor Swap - Lacey Black
“Last call for Flight 2455 to Boston.”
My palms are clammy, and I almost turn around. I should turn around. Yet my feet carry me toward the gate.
I hold out my cell phone and scan my ticket. “Thank you, sir. Have a pleasant flight,” the attendant says with a beaming smile and too-white teeth.
I mumble something somewhat polite in return, reposition my worn duffel bag over my shoulder, and head down the walkway, which is backed up with passengers waiting to board the plane. Before I can turn and make a mad dash out of the tunnel, the door is closed behind me. The only way out is forward.
Onto the plane.
I don’t have a fear of flying. Don’t get the wrong idea here. I’m fine flying and have done so a dozen times. It’s the destination that has me dragging my feet and sweating profusely in my flannel shirt. A city I’ve never visited and am dreading with everything I am.
It only takes a few minutes before I’m boarding the plane. “Good afternoon, sir. There aren’t many seats left open. Please take whatever you can find,” the flight attendant greets when I step inside.
“I’m in first class,” I inform her, showing my phone with the seat number.
“Oh, then if you’ll follow me,” she replies, turning to the left and walking to the front. “Seat 4B. May I take your bag?” she offers when we reach my seat.
“No, thanks. I’ve got it,” I reply, shoving my bag against a garment bag in the overhead bin and probably wrinkling the suit or dress inside. Oh well.
“Something to drink?” she politely asks, as I drop into my seat.
“Water, please.” I should order scotch.
She nods and heads the few feet to the front of the plane.
“Surely this isn’t your first time flying,” the man beside me states. I glance over, instantly recognizing money. He’s wearing a three-piece suit in crisp black with a blood red tie. His aged face is freshly shaved, and his blue eyes sparkle with mischief.
“No,” I state, buckling my seat belt and relaxing in the plush first-class seat.
“I fly almost weekly nowadays for work.”
“That’s nice,” I mumble, closing my eyes and hoping the suit takes the hint.
“Morris Thompson, Mr. Wilder,” he says.
When I crack open my eyes, I see his hand extended toward me. “Have we met?” I ask, hesitantly placing my hand in his.
Morris chuckles. “A few times, but never in the boardroom. I believe the last time I saw you, you were soaking in the sauna. I almost didn’t recognize you so…casual.”
I glance down at my faded Wranglers and dusty ol’ boots. My flannel is untucked and mostly clean, if not a little wrinkled. The start of a beard spreads across my face, since I have no clue when the last time I shaved was. Hell, I probably even smell a bit like the cattle I fed right before I jumped into my truck to head for the airport.
Realization hits me like a Mack truck. Morris here thinks I’m Matthew.
My twin brother.
As far back as I can remember, we’ve been mistaken for each other. That happens a lot when you’re an identical twin, especially with those who don’t know you well enough to recognize the subtle differences that do exist. Hell, back in junior high, we used to switch places with each other when deemed necessary. You know, like when I had a math test and Matthew was above average in mathematics, or when it was time for the science fair and my brother had to present his project on bridge building. We both have our strengths and weaknesses and learned early on how to play them in our favor.
Until one day, it bit us in the ass…
“What brought you to Montana? Business or pleasure?” he asks, as the attendants go over their pre-flight instructions.
“Both,” I reply, looking over his right shoulder to see us taxiing to our runway.
“Me too,” Morris says before diving into his tale of business takeovers and corporate mergers. I start to zone out after the first ten seconds, and it isn’t until we’re in the air and the flight attendant is delivering more drinks, do I realize I should probably be paying attention.
This will be my life for the next thirty days.
Even though Matthew and I haven’t spoken much in the last few years, I’m headed to Boston to meet up with my brother. The one who vowed to get me out of my latest pickle if I do just one little thing for