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The Scotch Queen (Scotch #2)
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I wasn’t sure what changed my mind about giving London to Bones, but something did.
Now London is officially mine. She’s sassy, feisty, and she still tells me off when I have her under my thumb.
I love it.
Now I have a deal with the Barsetti brothers, Josephine is still pining for me, and revenge is heavy on my mind. I’m not sure what to do with London now that I’m not gonna kill her.
But I’m certainly not going to fall in love with her.
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Crewe had his own jet.
I was surprised even though I shouldn’t be.
Crewe and his crew packed everything under the plane, but they filed inside and took their seats. The men sat in the back of the plane, guns concealed under their jackets even though we were at an international airport.
Ariel was the only member of the group who sat in the front with Crewe—besides me.
She sat in a leather armchair next to the window and opened up her tablet. She pulled out her stencil and got to work, obviously knowing all the Wi-Fi information already. Crewe sat on the other side of the aisle and directed me to the chair beside the window.
I sat down and locked my safety belt.
The flight attendant came around and handed out the drinks just when the engines roared to life. The jet wasn’t as big as a commercial airliner, but it was definitely bigger than those small planes that dusted crops. It was on the medium side—and clearly very expensive.
Crewe ordered scotch, Ariel ordered wine, and I ordered a water. I couldn’t keep up with them in the alcohol department. After a few glasses of wine, my skin flushed and my inhibitions were lowered.
Crewe peered at me from his seat, watching me without making it obvious. “Doing okay?”
The plane slowly began to move and head for the runway. We were on a different strip from the commercial airliners since that schedule was heavily regulated. The stress weighed heavily on my stomach like a brick. “I’m fine.”
Crewe kept watching me like he didn’t believe me. “What is it?”
I didn’t want to admit this out loud because it made me weak, but Crewe was always adamant until he got what he wanted. “I’m a little nervous about flying…”
Instead of making fun of me, he tried to console me. “The pilot is excellent, as well as the rest of the crew. This jet is only a few years old. Everything is in perfect condition. Have a glass of wine and relax.”
“Okay.” I opened the shade and looked out the window, feeling my stomach do somersaults. We hadn’t even taken off yet, and I felt woozy.
The plane lined up on the runway then took off. The powerful jets sent us high into the sky at a drastic angle. Higher and higher we climbed until we broke the cloud bank and reached an immense altitude.
Crewe read emails on his phone like nothing was happening. Ariel did the same.
I forced myself to remain calm and lean back against the seat. I hated showing weakness to anyone, even people I considered close friends. It was one of my stipulations.
We finally leveled out, and the plane cruised at a fixed speed. The constant hum of the air outside the plane filled the cabin, as well as the sound of the motors on either side of the plane.
If it stayed like this until we reached Italy, I could keep my cool. After everything I’d been through, it was a little ridiculous that I was afraid of flying. If we crashed right now, I wouldn’t be a prisoner anymore.
That was the bright side of it.
With a sudden jolt, the plane dipped drastically. We dropped dozens of feet downward, my stomach suddenly feeling weightless.
“Oh god.” I gripped the armrests and stifled the scream that naturally wanted to come out of my mouth. Adrenaline spiked in my blood, and I felt both sick and terrified at the exact same time.
Crewe looked at me, unaffected by the sudden jerk of the plane.
I tried to cover up my terror by looking out the window, not wanting him to know just how uncomfortable I was. He wouldn’t give me any pity, especially for something he would deem stupid.
To my surprise, he grabbed my hand on the armrest and held it. “Turbulence is only caused by the mixing of hot and cold air. So when the plane shakes, that doesn’t mean we’re about to crash. It’s normal, Lovely.” He placed his phone in his pocket and directed his stare on me. “Alright?”
He grabbed my chin and tilted my face toward him. He just shaved that morning, so his face was smooth and hairless. It showed off his rugged mouth better than usual. “Eyes on me.”
I did as he asked, mainly because I didn’t know what else to do.
“I love Scotland. It’s always been my home. But there are a few places in the world that feel like home too. Italy is one of them. I love the Tuscan heat, the ripe tomatoes, the wine even though I hardly drink any, and the ancient beauty of it all. You know the Colosseum is two thousand years old?”
Crewe was a man of few words, so sharing this story with me was out of character. “Are you trying to distract me?”
“Yeah,” he answered. “Is it working?”