Soar (Page 46)

“I’m coming.”

“I’m not taking you. It’s dangerous and a long flight.”

“Flight? You’re flying?” I’m sure my eyes were as big as saucers. I’d been thinking about what it would be like to fly with a Pteron since I found out what they were. I needed to get away from the hotel.

“Get that look off your face.”

“What look?” I feigned innocence.

“That excited look. I hate that. I don’t want to say no to you.”

“Then don’t. I’ll stay out of trouble.”

“I don’t want to risk getting you hurt.”

“Do you want to risk me telling Levi where you’re going?” I knew it was low, but I was desperate. I wanted to go with him even though my brain was telling me it was a really bad idea.

“If I take you.” He put his hands on my arms. “Will you listen to everything I say?”

“Everything you say?”

“I already told you this is dangerous. I can’t have you running off and getting yourself hurt.”

I nodded. “I’ll listen.” What’s wrong with you? My brain screamed. Was I willingly going back to that creepy place? But a bigger side of me wanted to go, wanted to do exactly what I wasn’t supposed to do. Maybe my teenage rebellion years were coming late.

“Come on.” He led me into the shadows in an alley beside the large building and pulled off his shirt.

I bit down the nerves creeping up and let the excitement take over.

“You’re going to freeze, but we don’t have time for you to change. At least you’re in dark colors.” He moved behind me, wrapping his arms around my waist.

“I’ll be fine. I don’t get cold much.” I glanced down at my black t-shirt and jeans. Jared’s hand settled right around the empty belt loops.

“Try not to scream. I’d prefer to keep my hearing.”

We left the ground, and I prepared myself for the fear. It didn’t come. Jared’s arms remained firmly around me, holding me tightly as he flew.

“Incredible.” I wasn’t sure if he could hear the words over the wind, but I was saying them for myself as much as him. I felt alive. I felt free.

I kept my eyes wide open, watching the disappearing city lights, and even enjoying the darkness when we reached the country. My heart beat quickly, and my entire body tingled with the energy from being airborne.

So lost in the flight, I was unprepared when Jared landed in a dark corner of the prison yard. Disappointment flooded me. I never wanted the flight to end. Covered in shadows, I could tell he’d picked the spot because it was just outside the reach of the search lights. “Are you okay?”

“Of course. I’m fantastic.” I tried to whisper, but my words wanted to come out as a scream. I’d never experienced an adrenaline high like that, only it was more than adrenaline. It was unreal.

“Aren’t you cold?”

“Cold? No. Should I be?”

“We were really high up and you’re not wearing a jacket.” He reached out and touched my bare arms. “Weird. I guess you run warmer than most.”

I smiled. “See, you didn’t need to worry about me.”

“I still need to worry. The hard part is still ahead.”

“Maybe I’m really good at sneaking too.” I perfected the art in high school when I climbed out my second floor window to see the boyfriend I knew my parents would forbid me to see.

“I guess there’s only one way to find out.” He tugged on my hand and moved in toward the building.

“We have to get to the north side. A friend’s waiting there.”

“A friend?”

“Yes, a friend.”

“Okay.” I let him lead me around the structure.

We stopped in front of a first floor window. “Are you ready for this?”

I nodded.

He stepped through the window, and I followed. The room was pitch black.

“Oh shit.” Jared’s words echoed across the room.

Someone flipped on the light, and I realized what he’d seen.

“Bryant? How did you get out?” Jared turned to his brother. I couldn’t see his face, but I assumed it reflected the same surprise I felt.

“Did you really think I couldn’t buy off Derick?” Bryant moved toward Jared, stopping right next to him. He slammed the window shut in the same motion.

This wasn’t part of Jared’s plan. I had to think quickly. Two large men stood at either side of the interior door, and I was pretty positive that the window wasn’t going to open.

“What the hell are you into? Why would you try to take down the Laurents?” Jared asked angrily.

Bryant circled Jared and paused on his other side. “I like to side with the victors, and I knew times were changing.”

“Times aren’t changing.”

“Yes, they are.” Bryant laughed. “She’s with you again, huh? You brought her back for more?”

“Shut up. She has nothing to do with this.”

“You brought her, so she does now.” Bryant undressed me with his eyes. I crossed my arms over my chest self-consciously.

“What the hell are you playing at, Bryant?”

“Did you really think I was going to stay locked up like a f**king animal forever?”

Goosebumps covered my body. Whatever was about to happen wouldn’t be good.

“So what? You’re going to try to kill me? Get rid of your own brother?”

“You had your own brother locked up.”

“Because you kidnapped the princess and betrayed the Laurents.” Jared’s voice rose.

“Wake up. The Laurents aren’t perfect. They don’t even deserve the crown.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Jared yelled. “More of your vague bull shit?”

“The sad part of all this is that you finally disobeyed Levi and now you’re going to pay the price. I guess it’s too little too late.” Bryant put a hand on Jared’s shoulder.

“Pay the price?” Jared sounded nervous for the first time.

One of the guards at the door pulled out a gun and aimed it right at me. Jared lunged toward him. Seconds later, Bryant’s hand was on Jared’s back right below his wings. He pressed up on the spot where the wings connected to his back.

“Aggh!” Jared let out a harrowing scream.

“It hurts, doesn’t it?” Bryant laughed. “Thanks for teaching that little bitch Allie to do it to me. But it’s not all that bad. We’ll lock you up with some entertainment. I didn’t get that.” Bryant watched me as he spoke.