Takeoff (Open Skies #5) - Becca Jameson

Chapter 1

“So, what happened between you and Deacon?” Heather asked.

Raeann glanced at her roommate over her shoulder in the bathroom mirror. She’d been messing with her dark hair for far longer than necessary. It was fine. Blow-dried. Straightened. Brushed to a shine. Lately, her hair had consumed her thoughts, and she needed to stop it.

When Raeann didn’t readily offer any information, Heather continued. “I mean, you two went out several times when you first met. I thought you hit it off, but then you stopped mentioning him.”

Raeann shrugged. “No big deal. I knew it wasn’t going to work out. It seemed ridiculous to pretend otherwise.”

Heather’s brow was furrowed. “Do you want to talk about it?”

“Nope. Like I said, it’s no big deal.” Except it was. Especially today. She hadn’t seen Deacon in a month but today she wouldn’t be able to avoid him. All their friends would be at Bracken and Bex’s baby shower. Including Deacon.

She needed to pull up her big-girl panties and face him anyway. She owed him an apology.

Raeann fiddled with her hair again, tucking it behind her ear over and over.

“Why do you bleach that front section and then try to hide it all the time?” Heather asked.

Raeann turned to face her friend. “I don’t bleach it. I was born this way.” She rarely discussed her hair with anyone. She knew most people assumed she bleached it on purpose, and it was easier to just let them think it was her style preference.

“Oh. That’s so cool.” Heather looked at it closer. “Yeah, I guess I never notice the roots. It’s always white.”

“It’s the bane of my existence,” Raeann admitted.

Heather frowned. “Why? Most people work hard to get their hair like that.”

Raeann shrugged. “I guess it’s like anything else. People who have curls wish their hair was straight. People with straight hair wish they had curls. And on and on.” She didn’t feel like getting into it about her hair right now. Plus, they needed to leave.

Heather sighed as she gave a tug to a lock of her curly hair. “No truer words have ever been spoken. Most of the time, I’d give my right arm for straight hair.”


“I guess. But, I think yours is cool,” Heather stated as she turned to leave the bathroom. “Meet you downstairs?” She headed into her own room across the hall.

“Yep. Five minutes.”

It was a Tuesday night, but when dealing with flight attendants it was hard to get them all in one place. Libby had planned this party, and Raeann knew she’d juggled everyone's schedules for weeks trying to make it work for the majority of them. As it was, the only close friend who couldn’t be there tonight was Destiny. And even she might make it at the tail-end if her flight landed on time.

Raeann grabbed her flats and rushed down the stairs to meet Heather at the door. They had all decided to dress up for this party. Make it something slightly formal instead of the usual jeans event. After all, this would be the first baby in the group. That was cause to celebrate.

Raeann grabbed her gift off the table and followed Heather out the door.

“I’ll drive,” Heather stated.

“Sounds good.” Raeann climbed in the passenger side of Heather’s Toyota and fastened her seatbelt. She was far more nervous about this party than she wanted to admit to herself or Heather. Facing Deacon was going to be tough. Tougher than anyone knew. Including Deacon.

She forced herself not to fidget during the drive and took deep breaths as they parked and walked toward Bex and Bracken’s house. Christa and Kraft had pulled up at the same time and arrived at the door simultaneously.

When they entered, Raeann was spared having to face Deacon by the chaos of everyone greeting each other. She accepted a glass of wine from Libby almost immediately and took a seat next to Bex where the women were all gathered to comment on how huge her belly was.

Raeann kept her focus on Bex for the next two hours while she opened gifts and they all played silly games. It wasn’t until she went to the bathroom that she finally encountered Deacon.

Not by accident. He obviously followed her and was standing in the hallway waiting for her when she came out.

She was startled to find him there, leaning against the wall across from the door, fingers in his pockets, gaze narrowed on her. For a moment they just stared at each other, neither uttering a word. Then Raeann motioned