Focus (Page 18)

“Wait, a paranormal place?”

He nodded. “You in?”

“Definitely. I’ll tell Hailey.”

“Good night, Al.” He kissed me gently.

“Night.”

I walked inside knowing he was still watching. When I got back to my room, Hailey was waiting up.

“So do we still hate Levi, or is he back on the good list?” She stopped typing on her computer and turned toward me. She was already in her pajamas.

“We?”

“Yeah. We’re on the same team.”

I smiled. “He’s not in the dog house anymore, but he’s certainly not back in the bedroom.”

“No, he’s on the couch.” She laughed.

“You’re so funny.”

“Come on, how perfect was that? But anyway, I’m glad. You look happy.”

“I am. As angry as he makes me, he also makes me—”

“Hot?”

“That’s one way of putting it.” I slipped off my shoes, putting them back in the closet.

“Okay, he’ll be back in the bedroom soon.”

My phone beeped, signaling a text. Sweet dreams.

I texted back to Levi. Wish you were here.

I can be there.

It was a joke.

Not funny. Next time you do that expect to find me in your bed.

I didn’t like the thrill that ran through me at the prospect. I don’t think Hailey would like that.

I don’t think I care.

Good night.

Night, Love.

“Are you done sexting with Levi?” Hailey smirked.

“Gross.” I dug some pajamas out of my drawer.

“Stop pretending to be a prude, Allie, it’s not fooling anyone.”

“I love you, Hailey. You know that, right?”

“Of course, how could you not?”

I had no idea what was going to happen with Levi, but at least I had a friend along for the ride with me.

Chapter Eight

“Stay close to me tonight, Al.” Levi held me tightly against his side as we walked away from where he parked his car on the dark street.

“This place is safe, right?” My excitement over seeing an actual paranormal bar subsided enough for me to realize I should probably be worried.

“It’s perfectly safe if you stay with me.” He squeezed my shoulder.

“It’s too bad they won’t think I’m a Pteron,” I grumbled. It had been really cool when some Weres thought I was a Pteron. The only way you could tell was to wait for them to shift, and with my height, I’d managed to fool some guys. I liked everyone thinking I was that powerful.

“Sorry, Al. Everyone knows I wouldn’t mate with anyone but a human.”

“What if I have to go to the bathroom?”

“You’ll go with me, of course.” Hailey was a few steps behind us. I sensed she was protecting me too. I could make out Jared and Owen at the door.

The outside of the bar didn’t look like much. Unlike other bars, there were no neon signs, or other indications that the place was a public establishment. That was probably the point. If you didn’t know about it, you shouldn’t be there. The only hint that the place wasn’t abandoned was the two large guys standing outside of it.

“Levi.” The two bouncers said in unison as they bowed their heads slightly.

Levi never loosened his hold on me. I took comfort from being at his side.

There had to have been at least two hundred people in there—although I doubted many were people in the traditional sense. A large group congregated at the bar, while others sat at wooden tables. Levi headed right over to a table off in the corner. It felt distinctly like it was a table he frequented often. I felt all eyes on me as he pulled out my chair.

“I’ll get us a couple rounds of shots.” Jared didn’t bother to sit down.

Levi sat next to me, and threw an arm over my shoulder. “I’d get you your favorite drink, but this isn’t the kind of place for it.”

“Oh,” is all I said. I didn’t like the way everyone was looking at me.

“You alright?” Levi carefully brushed some hair away from my face.

“Of course.”

“You’re not fooling me, but I’ll pretend I believe you.”

I smacked his arm playfully. “Don’t forget you’re still on probation.”

“Probation? That’s a new one. That could make for some interesting role play.” His mischievous expression put me at ease. We might have been in a weird place, but he was still Levi.

“Levi—”

I was interrupted when Jared returned with a tray heaping with shots.

Levi handed one to me, before taking one for himself. Hailey, Owen, and Jared each took a shot glass.

Levi held up his shot and everyone else followed. “To good times and the king.”

I wasn’t completely sure what the toast meant. I’d never head them toast Levi’s dad before, but I took the shot. It burned on the way down. I doubted I’d ever be a shot person.

I’d waved away the second shot when I noticed a guy staring at me, literally licking his lips. He looked like he was in his mid-twenties, with reddish-brown hair. I nudged Levi to get his attention.

Levi growled. Jared, Owen, and Hailey turned around to see what he was looking at.

The man smiled, pushing back his chair and sauntering over.

“Hello, Levi.”

Levi tensed beside me. “What do you want, Martin?”

“I just thought it would be appropriate to introduce myself to your mate.”

“She doesn’t want to meet you.” Levi sat forward, attempting to block me from Martin’s view.

“Oh, come on now, she looks friendly.”

I stiffened, my leg pushing into Levi, wanting the comfort of his touch.

Martin never took his eyes off me. His expression was anything but friendly. It was like he was a predator examining his prey. It brought back some unwanted memories of the cougars.

Levi put a hand on my leg to calm me. “Go away, Martin.”

“Is that anyway to treat your cousin?”

“Cousin?” I’d developed the awful habit of blurting out what was on my mind without thinking.

“Yes, hasn’t Levi told you about me?” He tilted his head to the side in a way I’d only seen animals do.

“No…” I looked at Levi.

His face was blank.

“What a shame. I know a lot about you.” He licked his lips again. “You’re originally from New York, aren’t you? I’m sure it was hard for you to leave.”