Stay (Page 21)

My mouth fell open. “I was leading us to the back entrance. You think it would have been better to head out the front? We would be worse than stuck—we’d be dead.”

“We’re only better than dead if we find a way out of here.” Jared was one of the must infuriating people I’d ever met, and considering I’d spent years living with a bunch of jerk bears, that was saying a lot. It’s like he lived to annoy me. To be fair, I probably annoyed him a lot too, but he deserved everything that came his way.

“There has to be a way out.” I felt around for the wall and started pushing. “There’s always a way.”

“Generally I’d agree with you except I’ve tried everything.”

“You have to get your strength back.” Pteron strength was nearly unstoppable. He’d normally be able to break us out in seconds.

“You make that seem easy.”

“The magic can’t be that strong. You’re a Pteron. Act like one.” I pushed him hard. I needed to make him angry. My sense was that the magic was only going to hold to a certain point. If I could push it hard enough, maybe the hold would break. And maybe I was delusional. Either way, I didn’t see any other choice.

“Oh yeah? It’s all on me?”

“You are the Pteron. Aren’t the rest of us supposed to bow at your feet or something?”

He laughed dryly. “Yes, that’s exactly what I want. And hell, I’m naked, so if you’re going to bow down, you might as well do something else.”

“That had better be a joke.” Was he trying to make me mad too?

“What do you think?”

“I think you’re an asshole, but you’re the asshole who’s going to get us out of here.”

“You curse too much.”

“And you don’t?”

“I’m a guy.”

It was my turn to laugh dryly. “Having a dick doesn’t give you an excuse to curse.”

“And we’re talking about my dick again. A little fixated?”

“First of all, I wasn’t talking about yours in particular. Second of all, you’re the one who brought up the whole innuendo crap.”

“Innuendo crap? You said you wanted to fall down at my feet.”

“I never said I wanted to. I was being sarcastic, idiot.” I stepped closer to him.

“And you are annoying the hell out of me.”

“Shift.”

“I can’t.”

“Try it.”

“I’ve tried hundreds of times.”

“Try again,” I demanded.

“Why?”

“Because otherwise I’m going to think you’re a wuss.”

“And I should care what you think?” He was so close to me that his arm brushed against me.

“Whether you should isn’t the question. I already know you do.”

“I don’t.” He huffed. “And I can’t shift.”

“Because you’re not trying.”

“Yes I am!” He screamed so loud the walls shook.

“Uh, do that again.”

“Do what?”

“Get angry. You need to get angry.”

“Okay, make me angry.”

“That’s easy. It’s easy to make weak, small dicked men scream.”

He laughed.

“You’re supposed to be screaming and not laughing.”

“But now I know what you’re doing. It’s not going to work.”

“Fine.” I happened to be pretty good at the whole pissing people off thing. “You want me to make you angry?” I took a deep breath. “We’re only stuck here because you fucked up. You couldn’t cut it. You couldn’t make it out. And now you’ve ruined everything. Everything is messed up because of you.”

“It’s not working. I know you don’t mean it.”

“I do mean it. I mean what kind of head of security gets stuck in a cave? Naked?”

“Did you have to mention the naked part again? I’m telling you, you’re fixated.”

I groaned. “Jared. You’re not getting angry.”

“No. I’m not.” He sighed. “New plan.”

“New plan.” I thought about it. “Ok. I can’t get you angry at me. Let’s get you angry at someone else.”

“I’m already pissed at Tiffany.”

“Of course you are. She’s about to kill your best friend and his mate.”

“I can’t believe I fell for that little act of hers.”

“I can’t either, but that’s beside the point.”

“She thinks she can mess with me. She’s got another thing coming.”

“She does. Prove her wrong. Break us out and save everyone. Be the hero.”

“If she even touches Allie…”

“You have a soft spot for her, don’t you?” I decided to follow a hunch.

“Not in any way you’re implying.”

Bingo. Here we went. I could do this.

“Oh? You don’t?”

“Of course not.”

“Are you sure?” I stepped closer and touched his chest with my hand. “Are you sure you don’t secretly fantasize about her. About taking Levi’s place and fucking his queen?”

“Shut up!” He pushed me off him. I stumbled back.

“What? Did I get you on a sensitive subject?”

“I don’t want Allie!” His yell was even louder this time, the entire cave started to shake.

“Yes you do. You want her to yourself.” There was nothing fun about pushing Jared like this, but it was working. We were so close.

“I don’t want her! I never have!”

Stone fell from the roof of the cave in large pieces, allowing tiny slivers of light to stream through. The plan was working, but maybe too well.

“We have to go.” I grabbed his hand.

“You’re a real piece of work.”

“It worked though. I made you mad.”

“Now let’s hope we can get out alive.”

“I’m going to shift into a bear. Stay with me.”

Something brushed against me. “Was that what I think it is?”

“My wing. Yes. We’re in business.”

“I guess I’m good at making men perform.”

“I’m not even going to comment on that, so we can get the hell out of here.”

Chapter Thirteen

Casey

We were greeted on the other side of the lake by two stern looking men. Their faces were fixed into scowls that made me wonder if they even knew how to smile.