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Authors: T.M. Franklin

Tags: #Fiction/Paranormal Romance

Unscheduled Departure

BOOK: Unscheduled Departure
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Unscheduled Departure

Also by T.M. Franklin

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Unscheduled Departure

eBook Edition


Copyright © T.M. Franklin, 2015

All Rights Reserved


Published by Calava Press



The right of T.M. Franklin to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted by her under the Copyright Amendment (Moral Rights) Act 2000.


This work is copyrighted. All rights are reserved. Apart from any use as permitted under the Copyright Act of 1968, no part may be reproduced, copied, scanned, stored in a retrieval system, recorded or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the author.


All characters and events in this Book – even those sharing the same name as (or based upon) real people – are entirely fictional. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead is purely coincidental. No person, brand or corporation mentioned in this Book should be taken to have endorsed this Book nor should the events surrounding them be considered in any way factual.


This Book is a work of fiction and should be read as such.


Cover images licensed by





Cover design by T.M. Franklin


Originally part of the
Frequent Flyers
collection, published by Bolero Books.




Also by T.M. Franklin



The Guardians, Book Two in the MORE Trilogy

TWELVE, Book Three in the MORE Trilogy

How to Get Ainsley Bishop to Fall in Love with You


Short Stories


A Piece of Cake



Thanks to Jessica Nelson with Rare Bird Editing for all of her hard work on this story.


Special thanks to all the other authors who contributed to the
Frequent Flyers
collection - Beth Bolden, Bev Elle, Angel Lawson, Kira Gold, and Amanda Weaver. You all are such talented writers and were so great to work with.


Thanks to the T.M. Franklin Book Club for all of their support.


5:12 AM



Finn whipped the door open before I could even knock, eyes frantic and dark hair tousled like he'd been tugging at it again.

"What's wrong?" I asked.

"You're late."

I frowned. "Only five minutes. I texted y—"

"Sorry... sorry, I know." Finn ran both hands through his already crazy hair, yanking it into wild spikes around his head. "I mean
late. I'm going to be late. I can't find my stupid wallet." He whirled through the living room, tossing pillows that looked like they'd been tossed several times already. The living room was a mess of stacked-up boxes and furniture gathered from the other rooms. There'd been a mix-up with the movers, so I'd be meeting them the next day to make sure everything got picked up. Finn couldn't change his flight, and I'd assured him there was no need.

He fumbled through an open box, dropping towels on the floor. "I set it aside. I know I did," he said. "I put it somewhere—"

"Where you wouldn't forget it." I smiled when he looked up at me with frantic eyes. "It's okay. Take a breath. We'll find it."

Finn obediently inhaled, straightening and closing his eyes for a moment. "What am I doing?" he asked quietly.

"We'll find the—"

"No." He rubbed his hands over his face and let out a long, shaky breath. "I mean, what am I doing? I'm moving to the other side of the country, Ro."

I reached out to touch his hand and he gripped it tightly.

"It's what you wanted," I said, my heart pounding heavily. "Your family needs you." I said the words, even though we both knew I didn't really believe them.

He smiled sadly. "But you—"

I slid my hand up his cheek and smoothed the hair over his ear. "I'll be here. Right here. I'm not going anywhere." I forced myself to meet his stormy, grey eyes and fought back my own misgivings about Finn leaving. "We'll be fine. We can do this." I smiled without feeling it.

2,743 miles.

Well, 2,743 miles from Seattle to Washington DC. Another thirty-five or so across the border to his family home in Virginia where he'd be living. Since his father's death, Finn's brother Aiden had run the family business, a real-estate development firm based in Springfield. But Aiden had disappeared with the office manager— a married woman nearly twice his age— and had called only to say he was sorry, he just couldn't take it anymore, and he and Meg were going to spend some time in South America to find some purpose in their lives.

Which meant . . .

Well, I
it meant that it was time to sell the business, pocket the cash and move on. Finn's mother had other ideas, however. She'd called in tears, begging him to come take over —just temporarily, until they could figure out what to do next. I knew there was nothing temporary about it, though. Finn's mom had always wanted him back home, and had never approved of him moving to Seattle to study software engineering at the University of Washington.

Finn was good at the business end of things. He was raised in board meetings and learned at an early age the art of the deal. But he didn't enjoy it. He preferred working with technology, solving problems and writing code, instead of sitting in endless business meetings.

But he also loved his mother and was devoted to his family. And since his sister was still in high school, he didn't see an alternative to giving in to his mother's pleas. He just couldn't say no. It wasn't an easy decision for him, and I refused to make it harder. I was a lot of things, but I tried— really tried— not to be selfish in that regard.

Which meant my boyfriend would soon be 2,743 miles away from me. And I refused to be a needy baby about it.

"It'll be okay," I said, my voice, at least, firm and sure, even if the rest of me wasn’t. "We'll Skype and text. And I'll try to fly out for Spring Break."

"And I'll try and be back for Christmas," he said, although I doubted that would happen. Once he got involved in Beckett Enterprises, there would be no getting out. They'd need him, and he wouldn't be able to say no. It wasn't in Finn's nature.

"It'll be fine," I said, willing myself to believe it.

I lifted up on my tiptoes and wrapped my arms around his neck, and he met me halfway in a soft kiss. I indulged in a moment of sorrow, a softening against Finn as his strong arms held me up, a sinking into the kiss and the feeling of Finn surrounding me, filling me. Suddenly desperate, I gripped his hair, pulling him closer as the kiss deepened, grew hungry and pained— as if we both knew it would be our last.

Last for a while
. I refused to believe anything else.

We broke apart, breath harsh against each other's lips. "We've got to go," Finn said, his voice low and graveled. He cursed, dipping his head until our foreheads touched. "I still have to find my wallet."

"We'll find it," I said as I pulled away to rifle through a stack of papers on the end table.


5:27 a.m.


"Why in the world would you put your wallet in the freezer, Finnegan?"

"Not my name. And we don't have time for ridiculous questions." He snatched the item in question out of my hand and jammed it into his back pocket. His lips twitched as he fought a smile, then he lurched forward to kiss me soundly. "Let's go."

He reached for his coffee cup, hitching his carry on onto his shoulder at the same time. Which proved to be a mistake, as he fumbled the cup, a trail of milky coffee splashing down the sleeve of his white shirt.

I covered my mouth to hide the laugh.

He saw it anyway. He grabbed a wad of paper towels off the kitchen counter and blotted the stain.

"You need to change?" I asked.

"No time. It's fine," he replied, giving the towels one last squeeze before tossing them in the kitchen garbage can. "Two points," he said with a grin, before he grabbed my hand to drag me out the front door.


5:29 AM


"Did you lock the door?"

"I thought you locked it."

"Damn it!"

6:03 AM


We dashed down the airport corridor, narrowly dodging a man pulling a suitcase. Finn glanced back, his sweaty hand slipping on mine as he dragged me around a corner.

I barely kept from tripping over my own feet. "Ticket?"

"Got it!" he shouted.


"Ready!" He fumbled with his free hand in the front pocket of his carryon to pull out the plastic bag.


"Wha—?" He looked back at me as if in slow motion, though his feet kept moving.

"Line!" I yanked my hand from his to point beyond him and he whirled, barely managing to avoid barreling into the back of the security line.

We stopped, breathing heavily.

"Thanks," he said between pants.

"No problem."

Usually, when you're in a hurry to go somewhere, you just . . . go there. Of course, the airport is the exception to that rule. We stood fidgeting as the line crawled forward, Finn checking his watch every two seconds.

"I'm not going to make it," he muttered.

"You'll make it." I straightened his collar, which didn't need straightening, simply to keep my hands moving— as if that could distract me. "You got everything?"

"Yeah. Yeah, I think so." He reached for my hand and pressed it against his lips. "You okay?"

I nodded, swallowing down tears. The security line moved forward at a snail's pace– too fast.

"Call when you land, okay?" I asked. "Doesn't matter what time it is."

"I will." He kissed me. "Don't forget to call your mom tomorrow."

"Crap. Yeah, thanks." I added the reminder to my phone.

Another step forward...and another. Only a family of four and a little old man stood between us and the scanners. The mom at the front of the line was arguing with her son, who didn't want to take off his shoes.

Mom won. Well, the kid took off his shoes anyway. He also screamed bloody murder, so maybe it was a wash.

"I should go," I whispered, blinking rapidly.

Finn pulled me tight against him as he toed off his own shoes. "I'm sorry we don't have more time."

There would never be enough time.

"It's better this way. Quick, like a band-aid, right?" I clung to him for a moment, breathing him in.

"Next!" The security officer obviously didn't have romantic bone in his body.

BOOK: Unscheduled Departure
7.84Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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