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I managed to find the remote parking lot at the airport without getting lost. Thankfully there were signs in all the right places to guide me. Tax dollars at work. The lot was huge, and I had to park some distance from the light rail system which transported people to the terminals. Duffel bag in hand, I rode the escalator up to the platform, then followed the assembled people onto the next train headed to the airport.
Inside the train, I remained standing and looked at the information placards hanging above our heads. I saw the airport terminal map and determined Terminal 1 for United Airlines was at the end of the line. So I stood back and held the handrail against the incessant rocking back and forth of the train. The constant repetitive motion almost put me to sleep.
At my stop, I exited the train with the other United flyers. Most of them seemed to know where they were going and they were moving in a hurry. I crossed over the pedestrian bridge from the train into the terminal and headed for a ticket counter. Surprisingly, the lines for purchasing tickets, which was where Sharon had told me to go, were fairly short. I guess most people purchased tickets online.
At the counter I gave the agent my driver’s license and waited while she located my ticket record and printed my boarding pass. She asked if I was checking any luggage, but I said I wanted to keep my duffel bag if I could. She looked at it with a disdainful eye, but nodded her head in the affirmative.
I took my boarding pass and headed in the direction she had pointed for security. A sentry stopped me at the entrance and asked to see my boarding pass before I even got in line. He took one look at it and said I was in the wrong place. He pointed to another queue twenty feet away. It was marked “Priority Boarding”. I was going to ask him if he was sure, but he pointed more emphatically again, letting me know to get moving—I was holding up his line.
I moved to the new line and up to the actual ticket inspector, who reviewed my license against the boarding pass, stamped it, scribbled some code on it and handed it back to me.
“Have a nice flight, sir,” he said.
I had only flown a couple of times, the last time being before 9/11, so I was unfamiliar with all the protocols for getting through security. I mimicked those ahead of me in the line. I had my shoes and belt off and my duffel ready to go into the scanner when it was my turn. Thankfully, I passed through the body scanner without my pants falling to my ankles. It’s the little things.
I grabbed my shoes, belt, and duffel from the conveyor and found a seat nearby. I saw a TSA agent watching me closely as I put my belt back on, his eyes following my hands. As his eyes lingered on my crotch, I suddenly realized his interest in me might be more sexual than any potential security concern. He smiled at me, but didn’t move from his post.
It felt strange. I often looked at other guys in the same way, but I’d never caught someone looking at me with lust. The guy was hot too. He had olive skin and a short, full beard—always a major turn on. His uniform pants were a tight fit, revealing thick, muscular thighs. I smiled back at him and he nodded ever so slightly, acknowledging our mutual attraction.
Crap! He knew. He knew I was gay, and we’d just exposed ourselves in public. I felt like every person in the security area was staring at me now and any second, I would be escorted to a back room, never to be seen again. I tried to breathe as I finished putting myself back together. I grabbed my bag and forced myself to walk, not run, from security.
I was calmer by the time I reached my gate. No one was chasing me, and I told myself I was being ridiculous. My breathing returned to normal and, in hindsight, I had to admit it felt good to know another guy was interested in me, even if nothing could ever come of it. I smiled to myself, feeling silly for overreacting.
I was early, and hungry, so I grabbed a sandwich and a diet soda from a kiosk near the gate. I didn’t want to stray too far—I would hate to miss my flight after I had made it this far. I ate my dinner and people-watched, ogling the sexy guys and hoping they didn’t catch me looking. I was always afraid some straight guy would attack me for daring to think he was a stud.
I checked my watch and decided to hit the bathroom one last time before boarding. It was close by so I slung my duffel over my shoulder and stepped up to a urinal at the far end of the row. It was busy in there, guys coming and going at a fast clip, doing their business and moving on. The place was clean for a public men’s room. Usually, you find yourself straddling a puddle of pee in front of the urinal. There were no privacy panels between the urinals, unusual in this age of hyper sensitivity. I couldn’t be sure but the guy standing next to me might have been checking out my junk. I was tempted to look but kept my eyes straight ahead.
I arrived back at my gate as they were calling for Group 1 to board. I looked at my boarding pass closely for the first time and saw a box marked “Group 1”. I got in line and handed the pass to the agent scanning them at the gate. The scanner beeped, she nodded and I followed the elderly lady in front of me onto the jet way.
I hoped I wasn’t in a middle seat. I knew it was likely though, since my ticket was purchased last minute and the flight seemed full, judging by the number of people in the gate area. When it was my turn to enter the plane, a flight attendant smiled at me and asked to see my boarding pass.
“Your seat is to the left here, sir. You have a window seat in Row 3.”
That was odd. Everyone in front of me had gone to the right when they got on the plane. I guess the jet way was attached to the middle of the plane, not at the front like I thought. As I made the left turn to walk down the aisle, I realized the flight attendant had steered me towards First Class. The first thing I noticed was there were no middle seats, just two on each side of the aisle. And they were bigger than what I remembered from my two previous flights.
I moved up to Row 3 and saw my seat by the window. I stood in the aisle, paralyzed, feeling like a fish out of water—I’m not the kind of guy who belongs in First Class. Then a handsome and very male flight attendant tapped me on the shoulder.
“Can I help you find your seat, sir?” he said with a smile. “You can stow your carry-on in the bin overhead.” As I pulled my duffel off my shoulder, he smiled at me again and I saw something in his eyes—a spark, a light, a twinkle. I don’t know what it was but it was there. I smiled right back at him, not caring if other passengers noticed. I handed him the bag and he reached up to open the bin above our heads, never taking his eyes off of mine. Sadly, he had to break the spell and look to see what he was doing, lest he hit us both in the head with my bag. Luggage stowed, he pointed to my seat, then pushed the dark blond hair off his forehead.
“Welcome aboard. My name is Seth and I’ll be the First Class cabin purser this evening. Can I get you anything before our flight? Cocktail, juice, water, snack of some kind?”
“No thank you, Seth. Not right now,” I replied, as I slid into my comfortable leather seat.
“Don’t hesitate to stop me at any time during the flight if you need anything.” He smiled again, lingering for a second or two longer than seemed necessary, then started back down the aisle to greet the next passenger.
I struggled for a minute with the seatbelt until I figured out I had the buckle upside down. I was more than a little flustered with the attention from Seth. In our very short interaction, Seth had made me feel special and important. And I don’t think it was solely because it was his job.
And he was sexy! The hint of a beard across his jawline made my dick twitch. And those eyes. What was the light thing happening in there? When he walked back to the front galley, I stole a glance at his ass in his tight uniform pants. My cock immediately started dancing.
I needed to get myself in control. Geez, I go on my first trip out of town in years and I don’t even get out of the airport before I’m perving on every guy who smiles at me. Get a grip, Jack.
The plane pushed back from the gate. Seth was really cute as he worked his way through the pre-flight safety speech. Where was he with the seat belt instructions when I was struggling earlier? If only I had asked him for help. He would reach down to grab the buckle, his hands hovering over my crotch as he carefully fastened it, pulling the belt snugly against my waist. His fingers would “accidentally” graze my hard dick straining against the zipper. His hand would wrap my cock in a tight embrace as he stared deeply into my eyes with that strange light shining deep within...
I dragged myself from my sexual fantasy as the plane’s engines rumbled to full power and we lurched forward down the runway. I liked this part. I felt the nose gear under me leave the runway first, and then a few seconds later, the rear wheels let go of the earth and we were airborne. I reclined and gazed out the window until I could no longer see anything but dim lights far below us.
As the miles slid past, I settled in and observed Seth from the safety of my seat as he moved up and down the rows, taking orders for dinner and refilling drinks. My eyes were glued to his ass every time he turned around. When he smiled at a fellow passenger, my heart did something weird in my chest. Like it wasn’t beating quite right.
Seth caught me leering at him a few times. I’d blush and avert my eyes, then look back over at him. He’d grin and move on with his work. I shocked myself by continuing to openly lust after him, instead of staring out the window in fear of discovery. The whole experience had me thinking maybe I could one day come out of my shell and actually talk to another guy, each of us knowing the other was gay and exploring where it might lead.
The idea of admitting out loud to someone I was gay was beyond frightening. I was still so afraid of violent reactions and dangerous consequences. I was also starting to wonder if maybe I was denying my sexuality to myself, all the while other gay guys were picking up on it and trying to let me know they knew. Guys like Seth.
We were playing a game, Seth and I. It was exciting. He would look over to me every once in a while and smile, even when he was serving someone else. I knew he knew I was watching his every move and I think he was enjoying it as much as I was. It was like we were dancing with each other without touching, moving to music only we heard, full of anticipation and longing and wonder at what might be. It was heady stuff. I had never felt these feelings before. I had never allowed myself to feel anything before.
Maybe it was the relative anonymity of travel. Sure, I had a name, but right now I was seat 3D. And Seth was flirting with 3D. I wasn’t sure what I was doing. I imagined Seth talking quietly with his crew mates later, asking them if they had any interesting passengers in their cabin. Then he would tell them about 3D.
What would he tell them about me? How I looked? My smile? My eyes? What would any guy see in me that would interest him or inspire him to want to know me better? I had no idea.
Seth served me dinner and it was delicious. Surprising really, for airplane food, but it was First Class after all. And it was served by Seth. My sexy Seth. I relished every bite. Except the cheese-covered broccoli—that stuff was just plain nasty.
Near the end of the flight, my bladder called for a time out. I had asked Seth to refill my water glass several times, just to see him move back and forth from the galley. He didn’t seem to mind. I think he knew what I was doing. Now I needed to pay the piper, as it were.
I got out of my seat and moved toward the front lavatory, which, thankfully, was not occupied. I did my business, carefully washing my hands and checking my teeth for stray food bits. I gave myself the all clear and exited, only to walk right into Seth standing there in the galley. I stopped breathing. He smiled bigger than ever.
“Enjoying your flight?” he asked.
I swallowed. “Uh...yeah...yes, I am. Thank you. It’s been great.”
“Excellent. I’m glad. Is there anything else I can do for you?” He asked in a way which might have included something beyond this flight. But perhaps that was wishful thinking.
I wasn’t sure what to say. What little self-confidence I possessed evaporated. Sitting in my seat, watching him and lusting after him, I could do all that without direct interaction. Now we were standing face to face and I was tongue-tied.
“I...well, uh...maybe some more water?” I was so embarrassed. Really? More water? I just finished getting rid of the last gallon he had served me. He smiled, filled yet another glass, and handed it to me, looking straight into my eyes.
“Do you go to Denver often?” he asked.
“Uh, no actually. This is my first time.”
“Business or pleasure?”
“Uh, not sure. Business, sort of, I guess.” Geez, why was simple talking this hard? I took a sip of water.
“Well, Jack, I sure have enjoyed having you on my flight this evening.” He said it, clearly confirming he had been aware of our game of flirtations.
Crap! Wait a minute. He called me Jack. That means he knows my name. I’m not just 3D to him. I’m Jack. Probably knows my last name too. Why did his knowing my name unnerve me? Panic set in, like my secret cover had been blown and I was exposed now to something dangerous.
He sensed my mood swing—it probably showed all over my face. He started to reach for my hand, as if to comfort me, but then stopped himself. That would probably have been inappropriate under the best of circumstances. But I loved the gesture—it made me think maybe he really did care about me. I had to let him know my insecurities were not his fault.
“I’m sorry, Seth. Really I am. It’s not you, it’s me. I don’t know what my problem is. I appreciate all you did for me tonight. You made the flight very special for me, and I will never forget it. But I think I had better go back to my seat now.” I tried to smile at him again, but I could feel the spark between us fade away. It made me sad.
“Jack, before you go, I just want to say...I understand. I do. We all have to start somewhere, and I really had fun tonight. I was dreading this flight. It’s usually so boring, especially First Class. The passengers are so full of themselves. But you watching me made me feel...special...and I am truly happy to have met you. I hope whatever you have going on in Denver works out well for you. You’re a great guy, I can tell. Thank you for the gift of your attention tonight. I just realized standing here...I needed it, more than I knew. I’m grateful to you, Jack.”
I nodded, not knowing what else to say. He reached out his hand to shake mine. We held hands a little too long but it felt perfect. I returned to my seat just as the captain turned on the fasten seatbelt sign and announced our impending descent into Denver. I looked up for Seth, but I could see he was busy now, readying everything for landing. When he came through the cabin the last time checking tray tables and seat backs, he was all business. I might have imagined it, but he seemed a little bit sad too, that nothing more had transpired between us. I took comfort in his kind words to me. I really hoped they were true.
I didn’t get to say goodbye to him. He got called to the cockpit the second we arrived at the gate. I guess the pilots needed him for something. I lingered for a few minutes while all the other First Class passengers deplaned, but then it felt awkward, so I reluctantly made my way to the door. Goodbye, Seth. Thank you for an amazing flight.