Author Elizabeth Lane
"On the Wings of Love"
by Elizabeth Lane
Excerpt from "On the Wings of Love"
“I want to see my aeroplane,” he said. “Just a look. Then I’ll know how soon
I can be flying again.”
“There’s a balcony at the end of the hall,” she said. “You can see it from there.”
“Will you help me?” His green-flecked eyes engulfed her.
“On one condition.” Alex took a deep breath. “I noticed your aeroplane has a second seat. When you’re able to fly again, you must promise to take me up with you.”
He scowled. “It’s too risky.”
“Not for you.”
“Your father would have my hide.”
“My father wouldn’t have to know.”
“And what if something were to go wrong?”
“Then neither of would be in a position to care, would we?” Alex shrugged with feigned disinterest. “Promise me or lie there and rot. It’s up to you.” She turned her back on him and took a step toward the door.
Alex spun around to find him laughing.
“Why, you stubborn little chit!” he exclaimed. “You’d really leave me, wouldn’t you? All right. One very short flight. As soon as my aeroplane and I are mended. Now, come here and help me get up.”
Together they made their way through the door and down the thickly carpeted hall. Rafe was silent, concentrating on each step, wincing when a movement hurt him. Once he stumbled, and Alex’s arm went around his waist to steady him. He was, she realized, wearing nothing at all under the thin silk pajamas.
A glass door at the end of the hallway opened onto a small balcony that overlooked the back lawn. “There!” Alex pointed as they reached the railing. “See, there’s your aeroplane at the far end of the lawn!”
Rafe let go of her, braced himself with one arm on the railing and used his free hand to shade his eyes. “If I were only closer!” he muttered.
“Can’t you tell anything from here?”
“Not enough. You were right about the wings. They don’t look badly damaged. And the rear elevators can be fixed. But the engine and the propeller...” He shook his head. “I’d have to see them up close.”
“Why be so concerned? You built it once. You can build it again.”
“Yes. But how much time will it take? How much money?” He turned bitter eyes on Alex. “You’ve no understanding of what’s involved—people like you, with everything at their fingertips. You don’t know what it’s like to go without heat in the winter, to go without cigars and haircuts and decent meals just so you can buy an engine piece by piece and put it together, so you can afford the right kind of wood for the braces, the right kind of wire, the right kind of linen canvas.” His knuckles whitened on the railing of the balcony. “Damn it, how can anyone who’s always had whatever they wanted understand that kind of love?”