First (Page 16)
My friends watched me carefully. They were trying to see if I was going to chicken out. I still could. I could just ask Allie to dance and then take her home. Theoretically, I could just do it another night, but I wasn’t a quitter. Just like I wasn’t giving up on getting her, I wasn’t backing down on my plans. Hailey asked me the silent question, and I nodded.
“All right, are you guys ready to go?” Hailey asked.
Allie turned away from the window. “What, already? I haven’t even had a chance to enjoy the view.”
I leaned over close to her. “You think this is a good view? Oh, just you wait.”
“What are you talking about?”
“You sure about this, Levi? You know there is no turning back, right?” Owen looked at me, trying to avoid catching Allie’s eye.
“Absolutely.” I smiled.
Jared pushed out his chair. “Well, then, let’s get going. It’s supposed to rain later tonight.”
“Why does the rain matter?” Allie’s face appeared to be a mix of nerves and excitement. I really hoped the excitement won over.
“Are you ready to find out just how far the rabbit hole goes, sweetheart?” I reached out a hand to her. She needed to come with me willingly.
“Rabbit hole?” She seemed to hesitate. “Umm, sure?”
She put her hand in my mine. I led her through the crowd, and past the elevators. Jared took the lead, and we walked into the stairwell. She turned to look at me once more before starting up the stairs.
We were about halfway up when she finally questioned our destination. “Okay, why are we going to the roof?”
She was frightened, and I wanted to fix everything for her. The problem was I couldn’t give her any easy answers. “No more questions.” I tried to calm both of us.
I gently pressed the palm of my hand into her back, hoping it had an effect on her. Touching her in anyway set me simultaneously on fire and put me at ease. “No more questions.”
“It’s all right. We’re not taking you up there to kill you.” Hailey laughed. Great. Because that didn’t sound creepy.
Allie let out a deep breath. “Fine.”
We walked up the remaining stairs and into the muggy night. The lights of the city reflected off the water. This was it. No turning back. I used her moment of distraction to pull off my shirt. My friends did the same. Hailey pulled off her sweater so she was just in a tank top.
I moved behind Allie and wrapped my arms around her waist.
She struggled against me so I loosened my hold. I let out a slow deep breath.
“What the hell…” she trailed off as she backed away from me. Her eyes widened.
I tried to keep my voice as soothing as possible. “Now don’t freak out. I promised you I wouldn’t hurt you, and I always keep my promises.”
“Are you guys in a cult or something? Because if you are, I’m really not interested. I won’t tell anyone anything, but if you don’t mind, I’m leaving.” She crossed her arms protectively.
“Chill out!” Jared yelled as his eyes changed to black. He was already transforming. He was the one who needed to stay calm.
I glared at him. “Don’t talk to her like that.”
He nodded, understanding the warning in my command. His eyes slowly returned to normal.
Hailey took a few steps toward Allie. I let her. Maybe a female would put her more at ease. “We’re not a cult. It’s more like a very special society.” That was probably a good way to put it.
“A special society?” Allie’s thoughts were clear on her face. She thought we were high or psychotic.
“Maybe it would be better if we just showed her.” Owen smiled at her, and I appreciated him trying to help even though I knew he didn’t support my decision. “You were sure you wanted this Levi, so there is no turning back.”
He walked over to the edge of the building and raised a hand in a small wave before taking a backwards step and disappearing from sight.
“Oh my god! What the hell? Did he just kill himself?” Allie started shaking and crying. I wanted to reach out for her, but I wanted to let everyone go first.
“Owen’s fine,” Hailey said before jumping off with Jared right behind her.
Allie closed her eyes. I moved behind her again and wrapped her up in my arms. Her warm body fit perfectly against my bare chest.
“You said you wanted an adventure.” I tightened my hold.
I let myself transform, reveling in the familiar feel of my large black wings extending from my back. I felt a wave of strength roll over me as I prepared to jump. I’d never flown with someone in my arms before, and Allie wasn’t just anyone. She was everyone.
I stepped off.
I could tell she still had her eyes closed. Her body was so tense. She needed to see that everything was going to be okay. “Open your eyes,” I whispered.
She let out the tiniest start of a scream before going silent. I continued our decent and then leveled us out just above the water. Part one was over. If she accepted me, wings and all, I may have found my mate. If she didn’t, I wasn’t sure what I was going to do. In the deepest part of my heart and soul, I knew there was no one else for me.