The man reached for the driver’s door handle.
“Hey, handsome,” Rubi said.
He opened the door and paused again.
Rubi sighed dramatically. “Nothing. I just wanted one more good look. Thank you. My dreams will be sweet tonight.”
He gave her a killer smile, a two-finger salute, and slid into his truck. Rubi sighed as he drove away, and the two waved to each other out their windows as he disappeared.
Lexi collected her hair into a ponytail, coiled it into a bun and slid on her hat, thinking how quickly two people could make a connection through a smile and a few words. Or a look. And grew all tingly again at the memory of that hot, deep gaze in Biker Boy’s eyes when they’d connected with Lexi’s.
“You know he’s going to think about me when he does his girl tonight,” Rubi said, her voice dreamy, watching Golden Boy’s truck disappear onto the 405. “It’ll be the best sex he’s had in months. And he’ll remember me.”
Lexi closed her eyes and dropped her forehead into her hand. Then pushed her door open and stood.
“Biker Boy is flying your airline,” Rubi said, using the same temporary name Lexi had applied to the man in her mind. She and Rubi did that a lot. Rubi glanced back at Lexi, took in her hat, and smirked. “But he’ll never know you were the hottie he wanted to devour if you’re wearing that.”
“But it will keep other guys from trying to tell me their life story or asking for my phone number.”
Rubi tossed her hands in the air. “That guy looked at you like he’d do you in the nearest bathroom. Go find him. The extent of your conversation can consist of ‘yes.’ You certainly won’t be worrying about any other guys talking to you.”
Lexi set her carry-on down and shut the Ferrari’s door, shaking her head. “Screwing in an airport bathroom. That would be paparazzi heaven, wouldn’t it?”
“No paparazzi here, Lex. No reporters on your trip who know what you do or who your clients are. None of your customers will ever know. That is the beauty of a business trip. I’m not talking forever, girl. And you know I’m not serious about the bathroom. I’m just talking about letting go a little.”
God, that sounded good. Lexi would love to let go—a lot. It felt like forever since she’d been able to.
“But since I know you,” Rubi said, her voice filled with resignation, “and I know you won’t be doing anything more enjoyable while waiting for your plane, take a few minutes to play with my app and give me some feedback. I loaded the prototype onto your phone. I’m going to build the final app off that model and want to have it spit shined when I meet with those guys next week.”
Those guys were top men at the National Security Agency. That was a very different group of people than Rubi was used to working for or dealing with, but she seemed as confident as always.
“If they lowball me,” she said, “I’ll make a few quick changes and offer it to Apple and Google for a whole different purpose. There’s an instruction screen when you open the app.” She grinned. “But read it fast, it self-destructs in five minutes.”
Lexi laughed. “You kill me, you and your fascinating world. Can’t wait to see what top-secret stuff you’ve hidden on my phone.” Lexi met her friend’s gaze. “Rubi, drive like me—for me.”
“If you’ll go find Biker Boy, I’ll drive like you.”
She grinned, had no intention of doing any such thing, but said, “Deal.”
“An easy hookup with an anonymous hottie, Lex,” Rubi said, revving the engine, poised to pull away from the curb. “It will improve your mood and your designs.”
After clearing security, Lexi wandered along the rows of stores and restaurants in the airport corridors, stopping into Hudson News for a bottle of water and a magazine. But with nothing interesting to look at and no more Biker Boy sightings, she planted her pathetic ass in a quiet corner at her gate.
Instead of pulling out her sketch pad, as she usually did whenever she had a free moment, Lexi stared down at the magazine she’d picked up. And smiled. This wasn’t the first cover one of her designs had graced, but this was the cover and the design that had prompted Martina Galliano to come calling. And Lexi had been thrilled to find it on the newsstand. She hadn’t thought it would see mainstream distribution for another three or four days.
Two men came into the area’s open seating area chatting, and their deep voices carried to Lexi. Recognizing the use of reporting terminology, Lexi glanced at them from beneath the brim of her cap. She recognized one man as a writer for the Style section of the LA Independent, but not the other, and relaxed when they sat in another row of seats facing away from her.