Focus (Page 36)

As soon as I laid down, his arms came around me.

“I thought you were sleeping.”

“Your proximity woke me up.”

“You better behave yourself.” I wished I meant it.

“What does behaving myself involve?” he whispered.

“You understood the other night.”

“But that was the couch, this is a bed. You’ve already explained how they’re inherently different.”

“Are you trying to annoy me?”

“No, I’m trying to seduce you, but whatever works.”

“Seduce me? There are far better ways to do that.”

“Are there? I’m listening.” He brushed his lips against my cheek.

“Try being sweet and romantic.”

“Doesn’t locking you in a soundproof room count as romantic?”

“No.”

“Darn, I knew I should have popped open some champagne.”

“Champagne? You actually have that?”

“No, I don’t, but we do. This is our room, sweetheart. Maybe we can open some tomorrow night.”

“Tomorrow night? I’m going to need it if I’m locked in here with you again.”

“You will be if we don’t catch Martin. It’s the safest way.”

“You’ll tell me the truth, right? If you catch him?”

“What are you suggesting?” He slipped a hand under my tank, running his fingers over my stomach. “Are you implying I’d willingly mislead you in order to get you in bed again?”

“That’s exactly what I’m suggesting.”

“Then it’s a good thing you admitted to wanting me too.”

I pushed his hand away, and smoothed down my top. “It’s not happening.”

“Come on, you’re not fooling me.”

“What are you talking about?”

“You know I can see you perfectly, right?”

I guess I was more obvious than I thought.

“Good night, Levi.” I rolled over.

“I’m not ready to say goodnight.” He moved behind me, his arms wrapped around my waist.

“You were ready to fall asleep earlier.”

“You woke me up.”

He was close enough to me that I knew exactly what he meant. “It’s not happening,” I repeated.

“What can I do to change your mind?”

“Nothing. Go to sleep.”

“You’re no fun.”

“I guess not.” I closed my eyes, hating how much my body warred with me to turn around.

“Fine, but we’re at least sleeping comfortably.”

“This isn’t comfortable?”

“It is, but I like this better.” He moved onto his back, positioning me so that I was leaning my head on his chest. He pulled my arm over him. “I like to sleep on my back, and I like your head leaning on me. You comfortable?”

“Yeah,” I admitted. “I’m good.”

“Goodnight, Al.” He used his other hand to run his fingers over the bare skin of my back that was revealed by my tank.

“Good night.”

I had just about fallen asleep when I heard him whisper, “I love you.”

“I love you, too,” I whispered so softly that even with his super hearing he couldn’t hear—at least I didn’t think so.

Chapter Fifteen

Levi wasn’t in bed when I woke up. I touched the empty space next to me, shocked he’d leave me alone. I got up and dug out more clothing from the armoire—settling on a t-shirt and jeans. I definitely wasn’t putting on my ripped flapper dress. I grabbed a pile of clothes in case Hailey and Anne needed them too. I peeked into the bathroom, but Levi wasn’t there either.

I banged on the door, hoping someone would open up. I didn’t hear anything. “Hello? Is anyone out there?”

I didn’t get a response, and I felt my frustration rising. I wasn’t okay with being locked in a room anymore. I banged again. “Hello?”

I was just about to freak out when the door swung open. I expected Levi to be standing on the other side—but it was Bryant.

“Hello, Princess.” It was exactly what Jared called me, but the way Bryant said it sounded different, more demeaning. Maybe it was also because he seemed so much older, especially wearing a dress shirt and slacks. I felt like a kid next to him.

“Hi, Bryant. Where’s Levi?” I regretted my decision to keep Bryant’s behavior from Levi.

“He’s with the king. I’m supposed to take you home.”

“Are Owen and Jared busy?” Levi rarely trusted me with anyone but them.

“Yeah, they’re busy.”

“Okay. Have you seen my friends?”

He nodded. “They already left.”

“Hailey and Anne left?”

“Uh huh, they left hours ago.”

“Oh. Well, I’m sure I can just get myself home then. Or I can wait for Levi.” I took a step back.

“He’s going to be awhile.”

I didn’t particularly want to get a ride from Bryant, but I was definitely ready to get out of there. I wanted to see my friends, and I needed to check on Tiffany. “Have you heard any more about my friend who got hurt?”

“I heard she’s fine. She looked worse than she was.”

“Okay good.”

“You ready?”

“Sure.” I followed him out of the room.

We passed a few people I didn’t recognize as we headed to the elevator. I tried to ignore the wave of disappointment I felt when I didn’t see Levi as we headed out of the lobby and onto the street.

I got into the passenger seat of Bryant’s gray Lexus.

“How did you get roped into taking me?” I fished out a stick of Chap Stick from my purse. I still couldn’t believe it had survived the fire.

“I volunteered.”

“You volunteered to babysit?”

He grinned. “Babysitting implies watching a kid. You’re no kid.”

“Still, I figure there would be other jobs you’d rather be doing. Aren’t you supposed to be looking for Martin?” That’s when it hit me. Why would Levi be okay with me leaving if Martin was still out there. “Wait, did you guys catch him?”

Bryant pulled out onto the road. “He’s taken care of.”

“Wow, that was fast.”

Bryant laughed. “We’re good at our job. You’re in good hands.” He put his hand on the back of my seat.