Chapter 2

“Identification and ticket s’il vous plait.” Serena handed her identification and ticket to the agent and fidgeted. She wasn’t really Alex and she was worried the agent could sense it. “Follow the arrows towards the scanning machine. All belts and liquids must be out. Computers and tablets in a separate bin.” Niko was right behind her, yet she began to sweat at the palms and nervous. She didn’t anticipate actually going on a plane and spending over 10 hours with a stranger. And yet, here she was, ready and willing.

“Ready to head to our gate?” Niko asked. He took her hand and lead her to Gate 12A. “We have about 10 minutes before boarding time. Did you want any food or drinks?”

Serena realized that they didn’t have any breakfast yet. Since they woke up, they’ve been talking and hustling around constantly. “I’m actually a little bit hungry. Do we have time for breakfast?” Niko’s face lit up with a large smile.

“I bought us first class. Perks of being related to an ambassador. They’ll give us lunch, so maybe a yogurt will tide your hunger over until then?” Niko led her to the nearest store and bought Ginger Ale, a staple to any long distance plane trip and two Yoplait yogurts.

“Wait, hold up, you’re the son of an ambassador? Why are you renting a room with Alex then? Don’t your parents have enough money to put you up at the very least?”

“Yeah, but Alex has been my best friend since forever. His mom’s a fashion designer for male couture so he models for them. He has a bunch of money, I have a bunch of money so we bought a small apartment. Just enough for the two of us to get out of our parents’ hairs.” Just as Niko sat down at the Gate, the announcer told First Class Passenger to start boarding.

“Now boarding First Class Passengers. Only First Class Passengers.” Niko and Serena began to board and as they finally sat down, the attendant took their first orders.

“Could I get a Jack Daniels on the rocks and could he have a vodka?” Niko answered. He looked over and saw Serena’s eyes go wide. Niko whispered, “You don’t know how to drink vodka?” Serena furiously shook her head. The attendant came over with a smile and handed the two their drinks.

“Have a safe trip, and please don’t hesitate to call me over for any other drinks. Behind you is a pillow, an eye mask and a blanket. We hope you enjoy your ride and thank you for flying Air France.

“OK – just pick up your cup of vodka, close your eyes and take it like a shot. It might burn, but it’ll knock you out for most of the trip hopefully.” Serena did as he said and hiccuped after she swallowed. Niko laughed at her and pulled out the eye mask, blanket and pillow. “I swear you’re only five years younger but you are so inexperienced in so many things.” Niko pulled the eye mask over her eyes, ripped open the blanket and placed it on her, shielding her from the cold air of the plane. “Sleep, and if you need to lean on anything, just lean on my shoulder.” Serena nodded and before she realized that she was even tired, the vodka caused her to drift to sleep, leaning on Niko’s comfortable shoulder.

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