Stay (Page 43)

“I’m in charge, remember?” I was really loving that fact. I turned the small dials until they lined up with the numbers I wanted. A tiny snap was followed by the top opening.

“Their wedding date? Seriously?” Owen asked. “How’d you know?”

“You guys go on and on about how much Levi worships Allie; it was a no brainer.”

“He doesn’t worship her.” Jared scowled.

“Ok, how protective and in love he is.”

“That’s completely different.”

“Does it really matter?” I put a hand on my hip. “I got the thing open.” I pulled out a single sheet of paper. It had one line written on it. Went to visit my wife’s only mistake.

“What does that mean?” From the way the guys described the relationship between the royal couple I was surprised he’d focus on her flaws.

Owen and Jared both laughed.

“What? What am I missing?” They were really beginning to frustrate me.

“We’re going to California.”

“Why?” Someone really needed to clue me in.

Jared looked pleased with himself. He was probably excited to know something I didn’t know this time. “Because Allie gave away part of his kingdom to Cade. That has to be what he means.”

“Gave away part of his kingdom… ok. I’m not going to ask. The bigger question is how are we getting there? That’s pretty far away.”

“I can fly you if you’re up for it, boss.” Jared smirked.

“Don’t call me boss.”

“Got it.” His face darkened. “But we should go.”

“Yes, we should. And you should thank me.”

“For?”

“Opening the lock. I was the one who figured out the code. Who knows what would have happened otherwise? We would still be standing around without a plan.”

“I’d have figured it out eventually,” he challenged.

“Not for hours.”

“She’s probably right.” Owen smiled. “Thanks.”

“No problem. I’m glad one of you appreciates me.”

“Don’t get used to it. Owen’s fickle.”

“Fickle? Do you even know what that word means?” Owen rolled his eyes.

“I have a bigger vocabulary than you.”

“Ok, this isn’t happening. Arguing about who has the bigger dick, I get that. Boys do that. It’s part of your DNA or something. But fighting over who knows more words? Are you guys kidding me?”

They both looked at me with embarrassment.

“Then stop it. Both of you. Let’s go see this Cade person.”

Finally, Jared clued me in, “He’s the heir of one of the highest ranking Pteron families.”

“And I care about that because?”

“You’re something else.” Jared shook his head.

“Yes I am. I’m better. Now get us in the air.”

“Yes, Ma’am. You better hold on tight.” He put his arms around me.

“No, that’s your job.”

“What if I let go?” He teased.

“Then you’re going to be in some serious trouble when you see Casey again.”

“Very good point. I won’t drop you from too far up.” With that he took off.

Chapter Twenty-Four

Toby

Casey was nervous. You could always tell by the way she played with her hair. The more nervous she was, the more she twirled pieces of hair around her fingers. I was surprised Casey still had the energy to move her fingers after all the twirling she’d been doing.

“We don’t have to do this.” I felt like I was always saying stuff like that to Casey, but it’s because we were constantly being forced into uncomfortable situations that had no right or wrong answer. In theory, the twins were right. Leaving and getting to New Orleans was the goal, Casey would be safer and we’d have more answers the sooner we got there.

“We do have to. I just hate leaving my mom.”

“Then why not tell her?” Hailey paced the room. That was probably her equivalent of the Casey hair twirl.

“What if she tried to stop us?” Casey asked. “It could ruin everything.”

“Or it could help.” I decided to play the devil’s advocate. There was always the need. “If she agrees, she could make leaving much easier.”

“He has a point.” Eric stood up from his seat on the couch. “If Taliana is okay with it, she can help smooth things over with Gareth afterward and she could make our exit that much smoother.”

“All right, I’ll tell her.” Casey hopped up. “I’ll feel better that way.”

“Want me to come with you?” I asked knowing full well what her answer would be.

“No, but thanks for offering.”

I smiled. Sometimes Casey was so easy to read. Other times, not so much.

“She looks so much better.” Eric watched as Casey disappeared through the door leaving the rest of us waiting in the sitting room. That room seemed to be the center of everything in Gareth’s house.

“I know. It’s great.” I grinned. At least something was going right.

“And you even got out of watching other men petition to be her mate. It looks like it’s your day.”

“We can call it my day if we make it out of here.”

“We’ll make it out.” Hailey looped a finger through her belt loop. “We’re Pterons.”

“Yes, we are.”

“What about me?” Eric asked. “I can’t exactly just fly there.”

“I can fly you again, but it’s going to be a long flight.” Hailey got a mischievous glint in her eye.

“I’m guessing that means you didn’t enjoy your flight, Eric?”

“Bears are not supposed to fly.” He crossed his arm. “It’s not natural.”

“You can always meet us there.” He’d proven his worth already, so if he wanted to stay involved that was fine with me.

“Or he can stay here,” Taliana’s voice had all three of us turning. “I’ll make sure he’s not in any trouble, and he may be of help, especially if we need to contact other ursus clans.”

“You okay with that?” I asked.

“Sure. Taliana has a good point about my contacts.”

“In other words he’s afraid to fly with me.” Hailey laughed.

“That too, but I’m going to focus on the contacts part.” Eric smiled.