Stay (Page 35)

I grinned. “All right, what’s the plan?”

“The plan is to get to the island and make sure Allie and Levi are okay.” He gritted his teeth. “And if you say another word about me wanting Allie I’m leaving you on the deserted island.”

“You know I only did that to make you mad.” I crossed my legs. “I realize you aren’t that much of a shmuck, or at least I hope you’re not.”

“How’d you know it would work?” He watched me.

“Because I can tell Levi is important to you. He’s like a brother.”

“Observant. He’s more like a brother than my actual brother is.”

“That sucks.”

He shrugged. “Not really. I mean it sucks that my brother turned into a traitorous idiot, but it was his choice. No one made him do it.”

“Are you sure?” I decided to take the chance of pressing him. “I mean how do you know he made the choice? Or more likely that he didn’t regret the choice once he made it?”

“You’re talking about yourself again.” He pivoted so he could look at me better. “You’re talking about your own choices.”

“No. I’m talking about your brother.”

“Do you regret your decision to leave home? To leave Casey?”

“Did you have to leave that last part in? The extra jab?”

“It’s the only real part. It’s all about Casey. All your guilt, all your regrets.”

“I guess we have that in common.”

“Regrets and guilt over Casey?” He leaned back against the seat. “I guess we do.”

“How many people are we meeting? Just Owen?”

“He’s the only other one meeting us on the island. We have a whole team ready to move in on our signal though if it turns out we need it.”

“Why not go in with an all-out attack? Bring everyone?”

“Because if Tiffany was lying, and they’re safe and enjoying their honeymoon, bringing in an all-out attack probably wouldn’t go over well.”

I laughed. “If that’s the case, none of this will go over well.”

“True, but I’m hoping that’s the case. I’d prefer him being pissed at me rather than him being dead.” He looked off.

“Let’s hope Tiffany was just running her mouth. They may be fine.”

“I wish I could believe that.”

“You’ve got a bad feeling?”

He nodded. “Yes, and Hailey had one too.”

“But it’s not like it was a random feeling. You both knew that things were crazy. The wedding party was attacked.”

“That just makes it more likely that we’re right.”

“It also makes it more likely that you’d have the bad feeling. It’s not the out of the blue gut feelings that always turn out to be right.”

“Do you get those a lot?”

“The gut feelings?” I nodded. “Way too often. I got one before the boss showed up. Murphy kept saying they wanted to help Casey, but I knew they didn’t.”

“She’s fine.”

“You don’t know that.”

“Not any more than you know Levi and Allie are okay.”

“I never said I knew they were ok, I just said they might be.”

“Let’s stop while we’re ahead. There’s no reason to stress each other out more.”

“You’re nothing like I expected you to be.” I suppressed a yawn. He probably wouldn’t have taken having someone yawn in his face particularly well.

“You mean because I’m not a good enough kisser for you?”

I laughed. It was a natural kind of laugh I’d missed having. “No, because you have a brain and heart.”

“And those two things didn’t come across when you first met me?”

“When we first met all I knew was that you were elitist and that you hurt my baby sister.”

“No more bringing that up.”

“Whatever. I’m just saying you’ve surprised me.”

“You’ve surprised me too.”

“Oh?”

“In one of the same ways.” His eyes twinkled with amusement, and I wondered what he was thinking about.

“Which one?”

“The heart part.” He stretched, accentuating the muscular chest hidden beneath his fitted t-shirt.

“Does that mean you don’t think I have a brain?”

“I didn’t doubt that when I first met you. That came across right away.”

“I came across as smart, yet heartless. Interesting.”

“Well, I came across as stupid and heartless. Even better.”

“I thought you were attractive.” I let my eyes scan his body again. “You had the looks going for you.”

“Well, that’s something.” He smiled slightly. “I’m going to go talk to the pilot. Try not to get yourself into too much trouble.”

“I’ll try.”

He walked off, leaving me by myself. I sat there staring out the window wondering how I’d ever gotten myself into the position I was in.

“You should buckle up. We’re getting ready to land.”

I turned away from the window and looked up at him. “Aren’t you going to sit?”

“I don’t have to.”

“Then why do I?”

“Because I’m a Pteron.”

“And I’m a bear.”

“Fine. I’ll sit.” He sat down next to me. “And just to make you happy, I’ll buckle.”

“How would that make me happy?”

He reached over and buckled my seatbelt for me.

“Uh, did you just buckle me in?”

“I told you to do it, and you weren’t moving.”

I could already feel the slow descent, and I knew we’d be down on the ground before we knew it. “Who knew you were such a softy?”

“A softy?”

“That you care so much. I guess you’re trying to show me how wrong I was about you not having a heart.”

“No, I just want to avoid any injuries. I can’t afford to have you slow me down.”

“Yeah, that’s it.” I smiled.

The landing was bumpy, and I was glad Jared had insisted on the seatbelt. Without it I would have undoubtedly been thrown from my seat. Even with it on I held onto my armrest for dear life. We were jostled as the landing gear made contact with the ground. From the looks of it, we weren’t landing on any sort of runway. I hoped they had good insurance for plane repair.