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Rated: E · Chapter · Romance/Love · #2266719
Ashley flies to Ellsworth, ME.

ASHLEY NOLAN ARRIVED at the private airport on time for her direct flight to Ellsworth, Maine. Mollie, her assistant, made all the arrangements for a private flight as Ashley didn’t want to waste time on commercial travel that would stick her in Portland with a 4-hour drive to Witch’s Bend. No, just this once she decided to forego the first-class accommodations. Although she would miss the comfortable seats and fine, slightly chilled white wine, Ashley wanted to get to Maine and end this ordeal as fast as she could. She figured she could meet with O’Cleary this morning, give him her best smile, sign him to a book deal and be back in Boston by the afternoon. At the most one night in Witch’s Bend couldn’t hurt. How bad could it be she wondered?

The taxi driver unloaded her small grey suitcase from the trunk of his Yellow Cab. “Here you go, Miss. That’s $40 for the ride.”

Ashley handed him a fifty. “Keep the change,” she said as she turned to enter the small, white building that housed East Air, a private airline that flew individuals and small groups to locations in Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, and Massachusetts.

She approached what was a poor excuse for an airline's counter. This place needed an interior decorator badly, but sadly the lobby would remain a wreck. The man behind it was tall and skinny with it. Perhaps in his fifties, Ashley thought.

“Good morning. I’m here for the flight to Ellsworth, Maine. Is the plane ready? I’m in sort of a hurry.” The man behind the counter gave her a huge smile showing yellowing teeth.

“I figured you had to be Miss Nolan since you’re the only scheduled flight out this morning. Things are sort of slow right now. Busy season doesn’t start for a few more weeks. March is a bear of a month, but April should be better. Your flight is ready. I’ll take you to the plane.”

He led Ashley through the back door to the tarmac where the dual engine Cessna Citation XE the airline purchased used waited. She wheeled her bag along the rough payment of the runway since no offer of help came from the man escorting her. This may not be Logan International, she thought, but manners were still lacking. What happened to the old fashion gentleman who would never let a lady carry her own bag?

“Here you go. We’ll get your bag stowed away, meanwhile go ahead and board the plane. The co-pilot will seat you. Enjoy your flight.”

Ashley climbed the three stairs and was met at the door by a young man dressed neatly in a white shirt, black tie, and blue blazer. He had a pleasant smile and seemed to take his job seriously although she thought he looked too young to be a co-pilot.

“Miss your company chartered the plane so please choose anyone of the 10 seats available. If you would seat beat yourself, we will be in the air in a few minutes.”

Ashley settled into an aisle seat, stretched the seat belt across her lap and buckled it. Within minutes she felt the aircraft’s brakes release and the slow roll of the plane to the assigned runway. Before long she felt the engines rev up and the brake release. The airport slid away behind her and began to climb.

During the hour and twenty-minute flight Ashley went through her notes. She had brief notes on O’Cleary’s first two novels. Both of time were different and the same all at once. Both were romance novels with magic rolled in. O’Cleary’s first novel was based on a young female witch who had to use her gifts frequently to help people. His second was about a male witch who kept his powers hidden until a sudden emergency put him in a position to help or ignore the plight of the townspeople where he settled. The story line was the same as was used in every romance novel ever written. Boy meets girl, girl and boy like each other, love arrives at the pivotal moment and a romance novel romance novel is born.

“Miss here are the keys to your rental,” the very pretty brunette pushed a keychain towards Ashley, “and a map to the address you asked me for.” Her smile was genuine starting at her eyes and ending in a flash of perfectly aligned white teeth. “The lot is out the door and to your right. The Ford Escape you’re leasing is the third car down. Enjoy your time in Ellsworth and just follow the map. It will take you to Witch’s Bend.”

Ashley found the powder blue 2018 Ford Escape where the brunette agent told her it would be. She pushed the button on the key flob and heard the door locks release. With her luggage in the back and the map on her lap, she quickly entered the address to Finn’s home into her cellphone. Seconds later a display came up with directions to Witches Bend and Finn’s home. He knew she was coming.

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