A Painted Sky
By Jenna Roads
Isabella Reed is a fast-track twenty one year old from a small Florida town. She flees to the Land of Enchantment, Albuquerque, NM, where the beautiful painted skies go on forever and hold hope for a fresh start.
She meets Logan Hayes, a sexy guide who has been hired to show her all the sights of her new city. He shows her much more than that. Something Paranormal happens to Isabella that she is unaware of when touring the Petroglyphs and her life takes a downward spiral into a supernatural captivity that no one will believe except for Logan. He vows to protect her with his life after seeing for himself.
I opened my laptop and went to Facebook. I went through my usual like, like, and updated my status. Up, up, and away in my beautiful balloon through the ‘Land of Enchantment’ today! I turned the computer off and gathered my things, placing them on the table by the door.
I sat back down to finish my coffee and heard Logan at the door. I went to open it and he said, “Good morning, Isabella. Are you ready?”
“Morning. Yes, all set,” I replied.
I locked up and we pulled out of the drive and past the security gates and we were on our way.
Logan said, “We are leaving from our business parking lot.”
“Cool, how did you arrange that?” I asked.
“Well, I have connections with the pilot,” he replied.
“How’s that?” I asked.
“He’s my uncle. His name is Joe Hayes and he is my father’s brother. You’ll like him; he’s pretty cool,” Logan said.
“That’s neat. You have your own balloon pilot,” I said.
“It does have it perks for sure, but on the downside, I have had to play balloon chaser on several occasions,” Logan said.
We arrived at Logan’s office and sure enough, there was the balloon being filled with air.
We got out and Logan inquired, “Do you want to go watch it filling?”
“Yes,” I answered.
We walked over to the balloon.
I watched in childlike amazement as our balloon was made ready for us. Logan’s uncle came up to me and said, “I don’t believe we’ve met, because I certainly would have remembered it.”
Logan said, “Uncle Joe, this is Isabella Reed.”
“Glad to meet you,” Uncle Joe said.
“You, too,” I replied.
Joe said, “We will be off in just a few minutes.”
“Great,” I replied.
The balloon was on the ground and the basket was on its’ side on the ground. A fan was blowing into the balloons’ envelope and the material opened up and was flooded with color all of a sudden. It started to almost straighten up and it was beautiful with turquoise, purple and green. Each color looked like a cloud around the balloon with turquoise on top then purple and last was green. It had a nice basket with leather trim.
Joe got in and fired up the burner that seemed to breathe life into it. It had that same heavy breathing sound I heard on the first morning in the land of enchantment. They told me to get in the balloon as well. Logan straightened and untied the ropes while he kept us there and then jumped into the balloon. There were two more guys who were taking our pictures and then they jumped in their trucks.
Logan looked at me and said, “They are balloon chasers for us. They follow us around in case we need their assistance and help us with the landing later on.”
I nodded my head as we started our adventure ascending higher and higher until we were drifting on a peaceful breeze. It was very close quarters in the balloon basket and Logan was touching my arms and legs. I caught a breeze and I smelled Hugo Boss cologne. The day just got better. I couldn’t believe it. My first balloon ride ever and I was up in the clouds with the most handsome guy I had ever seen who was touching my whole body on one side, making gentle pulsations flow through me like electricity. What has this guy done to me? I looked up at him and he had a smile that would melt even the coldest heart. He looked down at me with a look that seemed to
say I was the most beautiful girl in the whole world. How did he make me feel that way?
Logan pointed to a river as we approached. “That is the Rio Grande Valley.”
We went across it in the cool, crisp morning air. We were at the top of the trees. Logan reached out, picked a couple leaves and handed them to me. I couldn’t believe we could touch the treetops. We were floating through the skyweightless like the clouds and it was so wonderful.
Logan’s uncle told me about some of the history of the area. He was also a jokester and was very funny. We dropped down to lightly splash the basket in the river and then went back up again. I sputtered with squeals of joy and Logan laughed. We continued to float across the sky and headed toward the clouds. Logan turned me around with his strong arm around my shoulder to show me the Sandia Mountains. I could really get used to that arm around me. Oh, there I go again, I scolded myself. The mountains were breathtakingly beautiful. It was so serene and tranquil. The rising sun with other balloons around it painted the sky with a silhouette that was major eye candy.
We continued on our magical journey with a view like no other. We crossed over peoples’ homes with them looking up awestruck, waving to us. This is a real friendly place to start with, but in
that moment, I felt like a movie star. Logan reached in his pocket and pulled out these cards and threw them down to the kids. They looked like credit cards.
Logan explained, “These are balloon cards that tell all about this balloon and about the pilot with a picture of the balloon on the front. They are collected by young and old, sort-of like baseball cards. Have one, Isabella.”
Wow, this ride has been full of excitement and surprises. This was an unforgettable memory.
After more time with Joe telling me about this mysterious and wondrous place while drifting through time, we started going down toward land. Our balloon chasers were waiting for us on the ground and after a bump, we landed. It was a piece of cake. We climbed out and my feet touched the ground, but I was already dreaming about my next balloon ride. I knew I would do this again without a doubt.
“What did you think, Isabella?” Logan asked.
“I think I am totally in love,” I replied.
Everyone turned and looked at me and I said, “With this ballooning activity.”
My face instantly flushed at how my original words sounded.
Joe said, “I’m glad you clarified that because I am happily married.” He flashed me a wink.
“It was incredible beyond words. I am really mesmerized by this place,” I said.
Joe said, “You would be surprised at how many people come here to vacation and never leave.”
“I can certainly see why,” I enthused.
YA/ New Adult Paranormal Romance Author
I am a Registered Nurse who is now devoting my time to writing fiction, reading, making scrapbooks, taking pictures, traveling and enjoying family and friends. I am a mother of two. When I'm not writing, I'm dreaming up characters for my next book. I love cotton nighties and comfortable shoes. My dream is to one day have an island of my very own where I can hold up there and write until my hearts content.
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