Stay (Page 53)
She started to cry. Really cry. I wanted to intervene, but I sensed she needed her brother more than me at the moment. He held her for a while before walking over to Georgina. I took his place with Casey.
Georgina hugged him, but she broke the hug quickly. “But how? We thought you were dead.”
“I got some help from an old friend.”
The door swung open again and Cade walked in followed by Jared, Owen, and Vera.
The day was getting crazier and crazier.
Levi had some seriously good timing. He’d reappeared just moments before I’d been crowned queen, and I’d never been happier to have someone upstage me.
I was so overcome with relief that Levi and Allie were alive that it took me a moment to understand what was happening when the door opened again. I ignored Cade and Jared and went right to Vera. She pulled me into her arms, and we just stood there hugging.
Finally we broke apart. “You’re okay.” We both spoke at once and ended up laughing.
“Yeah, I’m fine. You guys have good timing though.” I gestured to the crown lying back on the pillow. As nice of a crown as it was, it didn’t belong to me. It belonged to Levi.
“Tell me about it. It’s been a crazy day all around.”
“What happened? Where did you find him?” I gestured to where Levi stood grinning and talking to his father and Georgina.
“It’s a long story. The short version is that he escaped right as Tiffany’s army of shifters showed up. He was able to reach Cade securely, and Cade hid him.”
“That doesn’t sound so complicated.”
“Like I said, that’s the short version.”
I laughed. “Okay. That’s enough for now.”
“But what’s going on here? What did I miss other than you almost becoming queen?”
I glanced at Jared. He needed to know the truth about his father, but I didn’t want to be the one to tell him.
Robert noticed my gaze and walked over. “I’m going to have this talk with him.”
I nodded and went over to hug Jared. “I’m glad you’re okay. Thanks for everything.”
“Anytime.” He smiled, but then he seemed to notice Robert staring at him for the first time.
“Is everything okay?”
“If it’s all right with you, I’d like us to take a walk.” Robert addressed Jared formally.
“Okay.” Jared nodded.
Vera walked over as soon as the two men left. “What’s going on?”
“He’s about to find out some pretty messed up stuff about his family. His dad’s been working with Tiffany this whole time.”
She sighed. “That’s tough.”
“It is. But his mom seems like a good person. She helped Mom.”
“Our mom?” Vera asked.
“Yeah. Our mom.”
“Where is she? Jared’s mom?”
“I don’t know. Maybe Georgina knows.”
“What do I know?” Georgina walked over. She had better hearing than I thought.
“Where Jared’s mom is?” I glanced around again to make sure Jared wasn’t back. I didn’t want to upset him.
Georgina pressed her lips together. “That’s not a pretty story.”
“Jett always told us she had a break-down and ran away because she couldn’t handle the stress of being married to the head of security anymore.”
“But why would she leave without her children?”
Georgina sighed. “I know. Now I’m rethinking everything.”
“Do you think she’s alive?” Vera asked. She was always the blunt one.
“I don’t know. I don’t know what to believe.”
“I’m going to see if I can find Jared.” Vera excused herself. The departure surprised me slightly, but really Vera was a caring person. If she found him, Jared would be in good hands.
Seeing Vera again was amazing, and knowing that everyone was safe made me feel better than I ever remembered.
“Are you ready to go up?” Toby appeared at my side. Out of the corner of my eye I watched Georgina letting Owen have it. I’m guessing she wasn’t too happy about him telling her that her grandson was dead. I was close to intervening when suddenly Georgina pulled Owen into a hug. Evidently he’d been forgiven.
“Definitely.” I took his hand, and we headed to the elevator.
“Crazy day, huh?” He arched an eyebrow.
I smiled. “Just a little.”
So much had happened in the months since he’d first talked to me at Coffee Heaven. So much had changed. I’d changed. He’d changed, but the important things, like the way he made me feel hadn’t changed. In fact my feelings had only grown stronger. I couldn’t even imagine my life without him, and I hoped he felt the same way. He’d taken all the mate talk so well, but what would happen now that things were calm, or at least calm by our standards?
Toby inserted the key card into our door. I went right into the bedroom. I wanted to change. I knew jeans would be so much more comfortable than the red satin dress Georgina had picked out for me.
Toby followed me in and stilled my hands before I could unzip my dress. “I need to ask you something.”
“Okay.” I looked right at him. I trusted him. I knew he loved me, but there was always going to be a small part of me that feared he’d change his mind.
“I’d planned to make this so much bigger, so much better, but the last few days have taught me you never know what tomorrow is going to bring, so I’m going to live in today.”
“Okay.“I nodded. I usually didn’t mind when he babbled, but I needed him to get to the point. I really hoped it was a good one.
“Spend your life with me, Casey. Be with me from now until forever. I don’t care what you want to call it: wife, mate, soul mate. Anyway you put it, I just want you with me. Always with me.”
Tears started to stream down my face. “But we haven’t known each other that long.” That was what I was supposed to say, right? That was the reasonable response.
“So? We’re Pterons. Things happen faster for us.” He smiled.
“I’ve never heard that before.” I raised an eyebrow.
He laughed. “I haven’t either, but it sounded good.”
“I love you, Toby.”
“And I love you. So tell me, taking the amount of time out of the equation, do you want to spend your life with me?”