Soar (Page 37)

“On it.” She smiled again, and I felt kind of triumphant. It was the feeling I usually only got when I was about to get a girl in bed.

We spent the next half-hour cooking up pancakes. Casey insisted on making the whole box since Toby and Cody had to eat too. I decided not to remind her that there would be even more people showing up.

I convinced her we didn’t need to wait for the others, and after discovering some syrup, we sat down to eat.

I heard conversation outside, so I polished off my plate. Casey was still eating when we heard their voices in the hall. She set down her fork and jumped out of her chair. I washed off our plates and took her hand. “Relax. They don’t bite.”

I was still holding her hand when Levi and Allie walked into the room.

Levi grinned when he saw the small hand I held in my own. “You’re always good at making new friends.”

I laughed, and Casey tugged her hand from mine.

Allie pushed him. “Be polite.” She strode toward Casey. “Hey, I’m Allie.”

“Allie? As in Toby’s Allie?”

She looked at me funny and smiled at Levi. He didn’t enjoy that comment. “Usually, people call me Levi’s Allie, but I was at one point.”

“Oh. Sorry. I guess you’re the queen?” She mumbled a bunch of words in such a cute and dorky way.

“Casey, this is Allie Davis, soon to be Allie Laurent. She is the Queen of The Society, and this is her king, Levi.”

Casey did some sort of half curtsey thing. “Pleasure to meet you.”

Levi held out a hand to her. “Nice to meet you, Casey.”

I answered Levi’s questioning look. “Toby had her brought here for safe keeping.”

“I figured she knew Toby.”

“Yeah. I was chased by a bear…” she started to explain.

“Is Jared taking good care of you?” Levi asked.

“Uh yeah. We made pancakes.”

“Jared isn’t taking care of her.” Toby walked in. “Good to see you Levi. Allie.” He walked right over to Casey, putting an arm around her. I didn’t miss the way she leaned into his side.

“So you’re with Toby?” Allie looked between all of us.

“Yes.” Toby ran his hand over her back. “Casey’s with me.”

“Yet she was making pancakes with Jared.” Levi smiled. He liked to stir up trouble, like me.

“You really like making pancakes, don’t you, Jared?” Allie teased. I did have a habit of making them at weird times.

“I need to use the restroom.” Casey skirted out of the room.

“Leave Casey alone.” Toby looked at both Levi and I when he spoke. He still hadn’t made eye contact with Allie.

“She seems nice.” Allie smiled. She was trying to ease the situation. She probably also felt for the girl. She of all people knew how hard it was to be a human pulled into the Pteron world.

“She is.” Toby snuck a glance at Allie.

“I’m going to see if she’s okay.” Allie patted Levi’s arm before walking out of the room.

Toby leaned in to me. “Stay away from her.”

“Why?”

“Because she doesn’t need you messing with her.”

“Yet she needs you to do it?”

“I’m not messing with her.”

I found a bottle of water in the fridge and opened it. “No, you’re just confusing her.”

“Excuse me?”

“She doesn’t even know if you guys are together.”

“We are.”

Levi laughed. “Popular girl.”

Toby ignored his comment. “I lost Allie, I’m not losing her.”

I paused with the bottle of water midway to my mouth. “Whoa. Are you really going to go there?”

“Just stay away from her, Florence.”

“You’d only say that if you thought she might want me.”

“Just shut up. Levi isn’t here to talk about this.”

“No. I’m not.” Levi gave me a look that would have made anyone shut up. “Where can we talk privately?”

“There’s an office down this way,” Toby led us into the hall. I could hear Allie talking with Casey quietly in the bathroom. Allie was a cool girl. Hopefully she’d put Casey at ease. No matter what happened to her, I doubted her life would ever go back to completely normal.

Chapter Twenty-One

Casey

Mortification took on a new meaning. I had no clue how to greet the king and queen, and now they thought I was messing around with two guys? Admittedly, they weren’t my king and queen, but I still felt like a total screw up.

“Casey? Are you all right?” Allie called from outside the bathroom door. That was the second time that day someone had checked on me like that. I didn’t enjoy it.

“I’m fine.”

“Can I come in?”

My first thought was to send her way, but that would have just made things worse. “Sure. Come in.”

She opened the door slowly, taking a seat on the edge of the tub. “Crazy, huh?”

She spoke so casually, and it immediately put me at ease.

“Yeah. Crazy is a good word for it.”

“Have you known Toby long?” She seemed to be asking in order to make conversation rather than because she wanted to pry. It reminded me that she was his ex-girlfriend. The one who’d left him heartbroken somehow.

“I’ve served him coffee for months, but we only started hanging out this week.”

She smiled lightly. “He’s a nice guy.”

“You dated him.” I didn’t bother phrasing it as a question.

“In high school. It just didn’t work out.”

“Yeah…was it mutual?”

“The breakup? No. He took it kind of rough.” She wasn’t gloating, and I was glad to see it. I liked her, and that would have made any semblance of a friendship impossible.

“About that…”

“Yes?”

“Why do your friends think he dumped you? Did you let him save face or something?”

Her face scrunched up. “What friends said that?”

“Jess and Emmett.”

“You know Jess?” A puzzled look crossed her face. “She knows I’m the one who broke up with him.”

“She said it was the opposite, but it doesn’t matter.”

“I guess not…” She seemed to think on it for a second. “But back to the here and now. How’d you end up at this house?”