Soar (Page 42)

Chapter Twenty-Three

Jared

“They’re twenty minutes late.” I checked my watch for the third time. We’d been waiting in the lobby of the Crescent City Hotel for over twenty minutes, and so far Toby and Casey had failed to show.

“It’s fine. An extra few minutes isn’t going to kill us.” Levi shrugged it off. Of course he did. He took everything calmly now that he had Allie. It’s like they were on an extended honeymoon even though their wedding hadn’t happened yet.

“It’s just rude.”

“Rude? Is Jared Florence really complaining about someone being rude?” Allie tore herself away from Levi’s side long enough to get in my face.

“Yes.”

Levi put his hands on her hips, pulling her back to lean against him. “No, it’s because he wants to sleep with her.”

“No.” Allie groaned. “You’re not allowed to go after Toby’s girlfriend.”

“Girlfriend? She’s not his girlfriend.”

“Says who?” Allie challenged with her words and eyes. One of Allie’s best attributes was her tough as nails attitude. From what I knew of Casey so far, she had that trait too.

“Casey. She told me she wasn’t with him.”

“Maybe it’s like me telling people I didn’t really want to be with Levi…”

“We all knew that was crap.” Levi grinned but he wasn’t doing that when she played hard to get for months.

“Either way, leave her alone. She seems cool, and she doesn’t need you messing with her.” Allie got this pouty look I’m pretty sure she reserved for me.

“Why would I mess with her?”

“Using her and throwing her out counts as messing with.”

“Using her? Who said I was going to use her?” I found the insinuation offensive. My reaction alone should have had me running the other way from Casey.

“I just mean she’s not looking for a one-night stand. Let it go. Besides, she’s definitely not your type. You just want her because she picked Toby instead.”

“My type? And she didn’t pick Toby over me.”

Levi’s phone rang. “Hi. Are you guys coming?” He smiled. “Okay, then. We’ll see you in five.”

“What?” I asked.

“They slept late…they’ll be down soon.”

Levi was accepting that as an excuse? “Haven’t they heard of an alarm?”

“I don’t think they were thinking about alarms.” Allie smiled.

“What?”

“Come on, what do you think they’ve been doing?”

“No, thanks.” I really didn’t need to think about it. That girl deserved better. She actually had a sense of humor, and with a body like hers… I couldn’t let my mind go there. I needed to stay in complete control if we were seeing Bryant.

I was about to suggest we leave to join Marv and Nelly for breakfast, when I saw Toby and Casey walking from the elevator, hand in hand. They kept stealing little glances at each other.

Allie laughed. “Yeah, we know what they were doing.”

“Holding hands means they’re having sex?” I was in no mood for Allie’s analysis.

“No, but the looks they’re giving each other does. And look at that glow. That’s a post sex glow.”

“Are you trying to piss me off?” I scowled at her.

Levi, of course, jumped in to defend her. “Back off, Jared.”

They reached us, and I made myself appear unaffected. I should have been unaffected. Instead, I wanted to rip Toby’s head off. If someone could read my mind at that moment, they probably would have had me restrained.

“Hey, Casey!” Allie grinned. “Did you sleep well?”

“Yeah. Very well.” She looked around at the group, but when she reached me, she turned away.

That wasn’t happening. “Oh yeah? Toby’s snoring didn’t keep you up?”

If they slept in separate rooms, she’d correct me and tell me she wouldn’t know. “No. No snoring kept me up.” An intimate look passed between the two of them.

Fuck. Allie was right. I shouldn’t have cared, but I did. I wanted Casey, and I always got the girls I wanted. It’s not like it was over. He may have had her first, but she wouldn’t look back after a night with me. The trick was getting her alone long enough to set that up.

“Where are Nelly and Marv?” Toby asked.

“At breakfast in the dining room.” Levi pointed to the entryway to the room.

“Did you guys eat?”

“No. I figure we can pick something up on the way. They were already ordering when we got here.”

“Sounds fine to me.”

“So, Casey, did you get a chance to see any of the city last night?” My eyes zeroed in on her face, she’d have to look up at me eventually.

“No. We came right here from the airport and it was already late.” She looked up, and for a split second, our eyes met.

“That’s too bad. I’ll have to remedy that tonight. Let’s plan on dinner at eight and go from there.”

“We’ll be back by then?” Nice, she hadn’t completely shot me down.

“We’ll be back tonight.” Toby put his arm around her waist. “Where did you want to do dinner?”

“You weren’t invited.”

“I wasn’t?” His smile said it all. He wasn’t going to play dead and roll over. That just made it better.

“No. Casey’s never been here. I’m giving her the special treatment.”

“I heard your dad owns this place, Allie. It’s gorgeous.” Casey glanced around the lobby. Her eyes stopped on the chandelier with dangling crystals.

“I think so too. It’s got a lot of character.”

I couldn’t resist that opening. “I’ll show you lots of places with character…”

“You are a character, Jared.” Allie nudged my shoulder.

I ignored Allie and focused all my attention on Casey. “I promise, Casey. It’ll be a good time.

She bit her lip, and I knew I was in.

“Eight sound good?”

“Aren’t we supposed to be visiting Bryant?” Toby interrupted before she could even answer.

Allie nodded. “We are. My Land Rover can seat everyone…”

I finally tore my eyes from Casey. “I’d call shot gun, but I’m guessing Levi’s got that honor.”