Stay (Page 49)

Owen started laughing. I hoped he was enjoying this. That would make one of us.

“Just stop moving,” I said through gritted teeth.

“I wasn’t moving, but okay.”

“We’re getting close.” Thankfully. I wasn’t sure how much more I could take.

“I won’t make the dirty comment I want to.”

“Man, she’s like the female version of you.” Owen laughed again.

“Do you think they’re really at Cade’s?” I asked to change the subject.

“Let’s hope so. We’ve come this far already.” Vera shifted again. Great.

“They’re in California. There’s nothing else that note could have meant. I just mean how deep in hiding.” Would they be at his house or somewhere much more secretive?

“There’s only one way we’re going to find out.”

“I’ve never been to the Daly estate, have you?” Owen asked.

“When would I have ever done that?”

“I don’t know. Just asking.”

“The Laurent’s hate the Daly’s,” I explained for the benefit of Vera.

“Or they did. Levi obviously is friendly with Cade,” Owen added.

“Or he knew the Daly’s estate would be the last place anyone would look for him.” I wasn’t sure friend was the term Levi would use. “Or maybe a little of both.” Even I had to admit that Cade was growing on me. At least when he kept his distance, and he usually did considering he had his own kingdom to take care of.

We landed inside the gate of the Daly’s sprawling estate on the outskirts of LA. Within seconds five guards surrounded us. “State your business or prepare for immediate removal,” one particularly large guard addressed us.

“Chill out. We’re here on royal business.”

“Dressed like that?” Another one asked.

“How are we supposed to be dressed to fly?”

“Don’t mess with me.” The guard straightened up. “State your business.”

“We’re here to see Cade. It’s urgent.”

“The king is not currently seeing guests.” His use of the word king pissed me off. Levi had forgiven Allie for giving away part of his kingdom, but it still annoyed me, especially at times like this.

“He’ll see us. I’m Jared Florence, head of security and this is Owen Kaye, The king’s chief advisor, and we demand to be seen.”

“I will see what I can do.” He didn’t make a motion to move.

“No.” Vera walked right up to him. “You will bring us to Cade now.”

“And who are you?” He asked.

I didn’t like his tone. He had no right to talk to her that way.

“My name isn’t your concern, but I assure you I’m a concern. Take us to Cade.”

He laughed. “Where’d you find this piece of work?”

I felt my blood boiling. “I’m only going to ask one more time. Take us to Cade.”

“Guys, guys. There’s no need to fight.” Cade strolled down his front porch. “We’re all on the same team here.” He was wearing nothing but a pair of linen pants.

The men backed up. “They’re okay?”

“Yes, they’re more than okay.” He took Vera’s hand and kissed it. “They are a pleasant treat.” He took her hand in his. “Let’s head inside and visit.” He winked at me. I resisted the urge to punch him. That probably wouldn’t go over well with the guards, and I was too exhausted from flying Vera for four hours across the Pacific to take on that many Pterons.

He opened the door to let us in. “Let me give you guys a tour.”

I opened my mouth to argue, but thought better of it once Cade shot me a dirty look. Maybe he did know what he was doing.

Cade led us into the expansive foyer. The ceiling was painted to look like the night sky, and the floor was made of dark marble. The Daly’s had spared no expense. “This is the main living space, and the bedrooms are upstairs. Vera if you’d like to see those, just let me know.” Cade smirked at me to let me know he was doing it to piss me off. Vera rolled her eyes.

I seriously liked that girl.

“Downstairs is where I have my offices. Maybe we should head downstairs since you said you were here on business.”

“Sounds like a great idea,” Owen replied, and we headed down the spiral staircase to the lower level of the house.

Cade whispered over my shoulder. “Is all clear?”

“Clear enough.”

“Gotcha.”

Cade walked down a long hallway and stopped in front of a door. “This is our safe room. We only use it in extreme emergencies.”

He typed in a code and a loud beep signaled the door unlocking. I didn’t wait for the door to open, I pushed past Cade. The only thing I could think about was the possibility of finding Levi.

“Can we help you?” Levi grinned as I busted into the room.

“You son of a bitch.” I wasn’t sure if I wanted to hug him or punch him when I saw him sitting there on the couch with Allie.

Before I could think long, Allie hugged me. “You found us.” The contact surprised me at first, but I was so glad to see her alive and well that I didn’t give her a hard time about it.

“We did.” I stepped back. The relief dissipated enough that I could focus on the larger questions that still hung in the air. “What the hell happened?”

Levi’s smile disappeared. “I sensed shifters approaching and had to think fast. I see you found our note. I left it in the one place I knew would survive. I knew you’d come looking for us eventually.”

“Why here?” Owen asked. “Why Cade?”

“I knew he was the last Pteron anyone would expect me to go to for help.” Levi seemed to finally notice Vera. “I figure she is trustworthy because she’s with you, but who is this girl?”

Vera put a hand on her hip. “That doesn’t matter as much as you continuing the story. How’d you know your friends would be the ones to find the clue? What if someone else found it?”

Levi looked at Vera questioningly. He wasn’t used to people talking to him that way.

I understood her impatience. “She’s the reason we even found you, so excuse her rudeness.”

“Rudeness?” Vera scowled at me.

Levi shook his head but continued. “The only people who knew where to find us were Jared and the pilot. I knew that eventually Jared would come looking if we didn’t come back or if the shifters thought they’d taken us out. I stuck around long enough to watch them torch the cottage.”