'Oh no, was I? I'm sorry, I must have been dreaming. I hope I didn't disturb you.'

'Not at all,' he replied, flashing a killer smile. There was a hint of the South in his accent, and his voice had a honeyed softness to it that perfectly complimented his chiseled good looks. Wow, Sara thought, he must have to beat women off with a stick

'I was just trying to decide what to order for lunch,' he continued, 'or is it dinner? Maybe tomorrow's breakfast for all I know, I get confused with all these changing time zones.'

Sara smiled, feeling the overwhelming sadness of her dream start to fade away.

'You look like you need a drink,' the handsome stranger said, signalling to the stewardess as he spoke. She looked up pointedly at the fasten seat belt sign, but just at that moment it switched off

'Perfect timing,' he said with a grin, 'a glass of champagne for the lovely lady, and I'll have a red wine. And the steak, please.' He turned back to Sara. 'Steak seems a fairly safe bet, whatever meal this turns out to be. Although if it is breakfast, the wine might be a problem. Just don't tell my therapist.'

He scooped the champagne flute off the proffered tray and handed it to Sara, before clinking his glass against hers.

'Lovely to meet you, Miss…'

'Sara. Sara Lansbury.'

'Chris Gray,' he said, offering his hand. Sara couldn't help smiling as she shook it.

'Yes, I know. I've thought about changing it ever since those darn books came out. But it's Christopher, for starters, and I'm only a millionaire. Not hit my first billion quite yet.'

Sara couldn't be sure if he was joking or not, and she didn't like to ask.

'I am excellent in the sack though,' he added, with a wink. Sara almost choked on her champagne.'So, Sara, are you a member of the mile high club?” This guy wasn't pulling any punches. Unsure how to respond, Sara merely stared, which he apparently took as a cue to continue talking.

“There's no greater thrill, you know…sneaking into the bathroom, the fear of being caught. You could even do it in one of these compartments I bet…one of the little perks of travelling First. There's quite a scene, you know. Lots of regular business travellers who like to mix things up. Certainly makes long haul more interesting, if you know what I mean.” He leaned towards her, and Sara caught a whiff of the alcohol on his breath. “Why don't you and I, uh, get to know each other a little better?” He lowered his voice to a whisper. “I'll meet you in the right hand bathroom in ten. I'll go first, make it less obvious.”

“I have a boyfriend.” Sara said curtly. Even if that was only true in her dreams.

“This Jack guy? You certainly sounded pretty mad at him just now.”

Sara blushed again. She couldn't believe she'd been talking in her sleep, it was just so embarrassing.

“Don't worry sweetheart, he'll never find out. What happens up here, stays up here, you know?” He winked at her as he slid out of his seat, and Sara suppressed a shudder. She waved down an approaching stewardess.

“Excuse me?”

“Yes madam?”

“Um, how do you lock these dividers? I was thinking of taking a nap.”

“Just push the button to raise the partition, then when it's fully closed, slide it forward to lock. Would you like anything else, a blanket perhaps?”

“That would be lovely. Thank you.”

Securely enclosed in her compartment, safe from even the most handsome of creeps, Sara snuggled down under the soft blanket. Still four hours to their destination. She sighed with frustration. As comfortable as First Class was, she just wanted to be in Paris already. Just wanted to see Jack, and make sure he was okay. Between the desperation in his voice and the chilling images of her dream, she was increasingly anxious to be with him. Her intuition told her he really needed somebody, and she was happy to be there.

Despite her best efforts, and a glass of wine, sleep refused to come. A young flight attendant came round with a tray of coffee, and Sara gratefully accepted a cup, along with a copy of the paper. She flicked through idly as she sipped her drink, barely taking in any of the words. As her eyes scanned the pictures, she stopped. There was Jack, staring out at her from the fourth page. It was no surprise to see him in the papers, but the headline was like a punch in the gut. “STAR'S DRUG SHAME — Compass singer's dealing past exposed.” No, Sara thought immediately, surely not. There had to be some sort of mistake. She knew Jack, he wasn't capable of something like this. Desperate to disprove the headline, she devoured the rest of the article.

“ Shocking photos have revealed the dark past of Compass star Jack Carter. The photographs, provided by an anonymous source, were taken at notorious druggie hangout Delano's, which shut down following a police raid in 2009. Some of the images were too shocking to publish, but in the picture above Carter can clearly be seen handing drug paraphernalia to a young girl, who experts say appears to be underage. In others, Carter himself also appears intoxicated, although not as intensely as his younger companions. The anonymous source reported that Carter was a regular visitor to Delano's, and had a group of regular 'customers' who he provided with substances including heroin and methamphetamine. While a police spokesman declined to comment on the quality of the evidence against Carter, he did reveal that ' authorities take such accusations extremely seriously, especially when they involve someone who is a role model to many vulnerable young people.' Carter's team have refused to speak to the press, leading some to speculate that they are unable to refute these allegations.”

Sara flung the paper back onto the table. She felt sick. The girl in the picture looked younger than Sara's own teenage sister, but she was dressed more like a hooker in hot pants and a tube top. There was a vacant smile on her face as she accepted the pipe from Jack. In another, he was passing her a small plastic bag filled with suspicious white powder. Sara remembered the Delano's raid. The owners had created a drug den, where junkies lingered and dealers paid off the management. It was only when a sixteen year old girl had almost died of an overdose that the authorities had been able to move in. A lot of people had gone to jail, she remembered. Did Jack belong with them? She couldn't believe it. He was too kind. He cared to much. Yet the camera never lies…Why hadn't he told her what was going on? Had he hoped somehow that she wouldn't find out? Part of Sara wished she could turn the plane around. Though she was sure the accusations were false, she felt like Jack had lied to her. Dragged her all the way to France on false pretences. She didn't know what she was going to say to him. She felt tears sting her eyes, and wiped them away on her sleeve. Pull yourself together, she told herself silently. If this was how she was feeling, she could only imagine how Jack felt.

The rain hadn't stopped. Jack listened to it's constant patter on the window, willing it to soothe him to sleep. All he wanted now was to slide into unconsciousness, and forget about everything for a little while. At times like this, he could almost understand…but no, drugs were never the answer, even when alcohol failed to numb the pain. Both only made things worse in the long run, and the sensible part of him knew that. He just hoped that part could hang on long enough to get through this. He'd turned the television on in the hope it would distract him from him own thoughts, but nothing seemed to work. He saw Laura everywhere, and the powerful guilt mingled with his desperate sense of loss. Maybe Jared was right. Maybe he should just come clean, let the world know what their hero was really like. Just a jerk who lets everyone down. Especially the person who needed him the most. Jack's Dad had been a real piece of work, drunk from morning till night, with zero interest in providing for his wife and kids. Late at night, Jack would hear his mother crying after he'd slapped her around again. Tears sprang to Jack's eyes as he remembered his poor mother, whose only crime was to marry the wrong man, covering her bruises with long sleeves and turtle necks. Trying to keep them fed and clothed with what little money she earned at her supermarket job. Bill Carter had finally made himself scarce when Jack was eighteen, and they hadn't heard from him since. But the cancer that would kill her was already growing inside his mother, who didn't trust doctors, and died in his arms only days after he dragged her to the hospital. Then it was just Jack and Laura. His beautiful little sister was all he had left in the world. And I let her down, Jack thought to himself, letting the tears flow freely down his cheeks. He flung the remote at the TV, only his poor aim saving the screen from cracking. He couldn't stay cooped up in that goddamn hotel room any longer. He opened his door just a crack, scanning the hallway for Jared, reporters, or just nosey hotel staff. The corridor was empty. Without stopping to grab a jacket, Jack slipped out of the room and made a dash for the back stairs.

Sara's first view of Paris was not quite how she had imagined it. The buildings were blurry shapes through the grubby windows of the airport taxi. It was starting to grow dark, and the rain pelted mercilessly against the window. The taxi (or was it the driver?) smelled strongly of cigarette smoke. They crawled along through the traffic,

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