Soar (Page 38)

“I was being chased by a bear.”

“Ah. It’s dangerous to be around these guys.”

“I think the bear would have found me anyway.” I don’t know why I was so forthcoming with information, but she seemed like someone I could trust. Maybe it was the comfort of girl talk after hours of being with just boys.

“A good rule of thumb is that even if trouble would find you anyway, it’s still their fault. It’s more satisfying to view things that way.” She smiled, and I could tell she was kidding. I could also tell she had her own crazy story to tell.

Cody had already answered the question, but I wanted to hear it with my own ears. “Are you completely…well…”

“Human?”

“Yeah.”

“Yes. I’m human, and if Toby and Jared are both vying for you, I’m pretty sure you’re human too.”

“They’re not both vying for me. Anyway, they really only date humans?”

She laughed. “They are. It’s cute to see Jared that way. And yeah, it’s a weird Pteron thing.”

“Was it hard to get used to all this?” I spread my arms, but I assumed she knew I wasn’t referring to the bathroom.

“Very. I ran from it quite a few times, but my situation was different.”

“Did you freak when Toby showed you his wings?” Thinking about his wings was less frightening than I’d expected. I was more curious than anything, which was strange. I would have thought I’d be afraid.

“I saw Levi’s first.” She laughed. “Okay, that sounds kind of bad. Let’s be more specific. I saw Levi’s wings first.”

“Did you know Toby wasn’t human when you dated?”

“Not at all. I didn’t find out until I was already with Levi.” She shook her head, displacing some long, brown hair from her shoulder. Allie was gorgeous with big green eyes situated in a face that could definitely be defined as classically beautiful. She probably could have had a career in modeling. I tried not to let that intimidate me any more than her title already did.

“Oh. That must have been crazy to hear.”

“Tell me about it.” She tilted her head slightly.

“I’m sorry I ran off like that. I’m just not sure how to act. I mean you’re a queen and I’m crying all over the place.”

She laughed again. “Yeah, I’m a queen, but I’m also a nineteen-year-old college student. Don’t sweat it.”

“So what now?”

“Now we get out of the bathroom and grill the boys about what’s going on. I hate being left in the dark.”

“All right. Sounds like a plan.”

I followed Allie out of the bathroom and down another hallway. She listened at the door for a second.

“You can come in,” someone called from inside.

“I hate your super hearing.” Allie pouted before taking a seat on Levi’s lap. There were no empty chairs so I just stayed in the doorway.

“You can sit with me.” Jared smirked. I wanted to make a smart ass comment back, but I’d already embarrassed myself once.

“Here, take my seat.” Toby vacated the chair behind a heavy wooden desk.

“That’s okay.”

“I insist.” He took a seat on the desk.

“Thanks.” I sat down in the leather chair.

“What did we miss?” Allie didn’t wait a beat.

“All right, let’s see.” Levi adjusted her on his lap. “Last night, we successfully took out the largest contingent of bears in the city, but some escaped. Combine that with the mumblings of similar uprisings in other regions, and the confirmed attacks in LA, and—”

Allie put a hand on Levi’s leg. “Wait, attacks in LA? That’s Cade’s territory. Does he know?”

“Yes, babe. I’m well aware that you gave LA to Cade. We spoke a few minutes ago.” Levi’s response was laced with some slight annoyance, but he didn’t seem particularly upset. I wondered who Cade was and how Allie could give him a major city.

“What are we going to do?” She turned so she could look at him.

“We’re going to be ready for the attacks. We’re going to take everyone, and we’re going to break the prisoners we’re holding.”

“Prisoners?” I asked. I wasn’t good at staying quiet.

“Yes. We took some last night.”

“And then there’s Bryant,” Jared said quietly.

I looked around questioningly. “Who’s that?”

“My brother.” Jared stood up like he was ready to leave.

“What does he have to do with this?”

Toby turned to me. “Our informant said he’d tell us what we need to know.”

“Your informant?”

“Marv…”

“Oh.” Of course. Jared’s brother, my boss, everyone was connected.

“Toby, I want you down in New Orleans with us. From Jared’s briefing, Marv only responded to you. We may need his cooperation.”

“Fine. I just need to set up some security for Casey.”

“Can I come?” The words flew out of my mouth without thinking. Had I just invited myself on a paranormal reconnaissance mission?

“You want to come?” Toby asked. “You really don’t have to.”

“Have you ever been to New Orleans?” Jared asked from the doorway.

“No.”

“Then she’s coming.” Allie hopped off Levi’s lap. “Besides, that way I can introduce her to Hailey and everyone.”

I had no idea who Hailey and everyone was, but I appreciated her enthusiasm.

“She’d be safer there.” Levi looked at both Toby and Jared for an answer. I guess he was deferring the decision to them. I wondered why Jared had any say in it.

“I say yes. She’ll enjoy the experience.” The twinkle in Jared’s eye made me wonder if he meant the city or spending time with him.

“I’d prefer to keep her close anyway.” Toby smiled at me. “If that’s okay with you.”

“It’s more than okay.” If our kissing earlier hadn’t made that clear, I didn’t know what would.

“Good.”

“I’m guessing you don’t want Casey’s first flight to be that long.” Levi stood up, reminding me of just how intimidating he was. He even looked powerful. “I have the jet waiting, or you could take your own plane.”