Martin peeled back the sheet so he could run his fingers over Karen’s naked hip. She stirred in her sleep, mumbling, “I love you, Martin.”
It was then that Martin knew he was dreaming. His eyes fluttered open: odd lighting, something funny and hard about his bed. But the dream had been so, so sweet, and sleep felt so, so good. He smiled and turned over, settling into a deep and dreamless slumber.
“Time to wake up, Mr. Barclay.”
Huh? Bloody hell! Who was this sod Barclay? And who was this strange woman, who was shaking Martin when the chap she wanted awake was named Barclay?
Some canned announcement about commencing a descent into San Francisco.
Bollocks! What was he hallucinating now? Martin opened his eyes wide, prepared for anything up to and including pink elephants.
“That’s better, Mr. Barclay. You were sleeping so soundly I was afraid you’d miss your breakfast.”
“My name’s not…” Martin trailed off, suddenly remembering with crystal clarity. The woman at the counter at JFK, flirting with the man dressed in blue. He’d bribed her to put him on this flight; he’d told her his name was… “I mean, of course my name’s Barclay, but you can call me by my first name, Randolph.”
He looked around. He had in fact been in a bed of sorts. “Carol” at JFK must have put him in First Class. A pretty girl across the aisle, struggling with her rolling carry-on case, smiled at him. Martin smiled back and, oddly, felt it. Vaguely he remembered something about a stop on the way across the country and a delay of some sort, but he’d slept through it all…a great, wonderful sleep. He felt great, and looked around again.
Nothing was undulating. Except for being in First Class, it all looked normal.
“You didn’t have any luggage, not even carry-on, did you…Randolph?”
“That’s right,” he told the flight attendant, smiling at her, too. Then he dove into his pockets. He also didn’t have any money.