Badd Motherf*cker:Badd Brothers(5)

By: Jasinda Wilder

Rolando came up beside me, careful to stand a respectful distance away, but close enough to grab me should I pass out or start heaving. Either was possible. “Where would you go?”

I shrugged, which sent me off balance, and I put a hand on the bar to steady myself. “I don’t know, ’Lando. Anywhere but here. Maybe I’ll just…get on one of those planes and go where it goes.”

Rolando patted my shoulder. “Your old man wouldn’t know what to do with himself if you left, Dru. But I get your point.”

“I’ve been here my whole life. I went to college here, got my first real job here, met Michael here. How can I start over in the same place I’ve always been?” I was starting to see double, but I felt the truth of my own words deep in my bones.

I had my purse on my shoulder, which contained all my ID and bank cards, as well as my cell phone and charger. I had no clothes, though, except the wedding dress I was still wearing.

But fuck it, right?

I couldn’t stay here any more—I had to leave.

I stared out the window as a plane taxied onto the runway and took off.

What if…?

I straightened.

Another plane was visible in the distance, lights on, propellers spinning, waiting for the cue to leave. I didn’t really even see it, just what it represented: freedom, a fresh start. I saw twin propellers spinning, wing lights blinking, saw it pivoting from the line of waiting small aircraft onto the runway.

I turned to Rolando and Mickelson. “I’m leaving.”

They both frowned. “You’re—what?”

I grabbed my purse off the back of the chair and slung it over my shoulder. “I can’t stay here anymore. I need to get away.”

“So where are you going?” Mickelson, who resembled a slightly smaller version of Fat Bastard from Austin Powers, stood up and hobbled after me. “You can’t just leave, Dru. What about your dad?”

I lifted my phone out of my purse and waggled it at him. “I’ll call him when I get wherever I end up. I’m not leaving forever, I just—I can’t be here anymore.”

I pushed out the door and jogged in my three-inch heels across the parking lot—this was truly nothing but a postage-stamp airfield: no security, no fences, no one to stop me as I hauled ass through the grass to the runway

Rolando was hot on my heels. “You’re drunk, Dru. You can’t do this now, not like this.”

“I have to. It’s crazy, but it’s what I have to do. It’s happening. Tell Dad I love him and that I’ll call him as soon as I can, okay?”

I slipped my heels off and held them in my hand, then took off running across the field toward the runway. The plane was taxiing toward the runway now, props whirling into a blur. I was wasted, but somehow I stayed upright until I reached the runway, held up my arms, and waved at the plane to stop.

The pilot flung open his door, props slowing. “What gives, lady? You can’t just jump in front of a plane like that. You wanna get killed?”

I climbed up the side and opened the door, and hopped into the co-pilot seat. “I’m going with you!” I shouted.

He stared at me. “The hell you are.”

I opened my wallet and pulled out all the cash I had—over a thousand dollars I’d been planning on spending on my honeymoon in Hawaii. “Here,” I said, handing it to him. “Twelve hundred dollars to shut up and take me wherever it is you’re going.”

“I’m taking a load of supplies to—”

“I don’t care, I don’t want to know!” I said, interrupting him. “It doesn’t matter. As long as it’s far from here.”

He stared at me for a long moment, then took the cash, stuffed it into the breast pocket of his short-sleeve button-down shirt; I thought I heard him mumble something like “Alaska here we come, then,” under his breath, but I wasn’t quite sure, because the last few shots had suddenly caught up to me, and we were taking off and I was dizzy and fighting nausea.

When I finally beat the urge to puke, I turned to the pilot. We were in the air now and climbing steeply, going up through the rain clouds into the night sky above them.

“Did you say Alaska?” I had to shout the question, because it was so loud in the cabin I couldn’t hear myself speaking.

He handed me a pair of headphones with a microphone attached to it, and when I put it on, he glanced at me. “Thought you said you didn’t want to know where we were going.”

“It sounded like you said ‘Alaska,’ though.”

He nodded. “Ketchikan, Alaska, sweetheart.”

I went faint. “I thought—I was thinking somewhere more like…Portland, or San Francisco.”

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