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“Would you just relax?” Marco said when the woman he’d put in a fireman’s carry continued to struggle. “We’re almost…” His legs buckled. She’d gotten a foot free and kicked him in the crotch. Despite the emasculating pain, he regained control of her legs and her feet and managed to make it to the end of the aisle without falling to his knees. “Keep your head down,” he said, an angry snap in his voice as he ducked out the door.
He winced. She might have nearly unmanned him, but less than twenty minutes ago her life had probably flashed before her eyes.
The winds had picked up, noisily whipping the flag over the terminal, rattling the metal staircase he carefully traversed to the tarmac. The plane’s captain looked over from where he sat in the back of the ambulance, having his hand wrapped. He blanched and shot to his feet, shaking off the paramedic.
“What happened to her? Is she going to be okay?” he asked as he jogged toward them.
“The only thing wrong with me is him. He completely overreacted to the situation, ruined the interior of the cabin, and then decided to play He-Man.” She tried to wriggle out of his hold. “Put me down. Now.”
The pilot looked relieved. “Don’t give him a hard time, T. He was just doing his job.”
“He’s right, ma’am. Now, if you promise not to kick me again, I’ll put you down.”
“So, what? If I don’t agree, you’re going to walk around with me over your shoulder for the rest of the freakin’ day?”
“When you put it like that…” He kept his amusement in check as he lowered her feet to the ground. He winced when she stood before him. Her hair and face were bloody. Both he and the pilot reached for her when she swayed.
She swatted their hands away. “I’m fine.”
“Of course you are. You just look like you’re auditioning for a horror flick.”
“That’s exactly what I thought,” Marco said, smiling companionably at the pilot. “By the way, man, that was some flying. Honestly, I don’t know how you held it together. From down here…” Marco trailed off. He didn’t think the woman needed to hear what it looked like from
the ground. “Anyway, great job.”
“I’d like to take cred—”
Arms crossed and head cocked, the woman interrupted the pilot. “He wasn’t the one flying the plane. I was.”
Marco laughed. “Yeah, right.”
“I’d take two steps back if I were you. Maybe four. Her legs are longer than they look.” The other man covered a grin with his bandaged hand.
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