Flight (Page 21)

“My body’s designed for it, yours isn’t.”

“Oh, I guess that makes sense.”

After taking a moment to regain my balance and warm up, I reveled in the feeling of the sand beneath my toes. We were close enough to the water to hear the waves lapping at the shore. “I can’t believe you brought me to a beach.”

“You like it?”

“I love it. But where are we?”

“Grand Isle.”

“I’ve never heard of it, but it’s nice to know there’s a beach so close.” We walked over to join the others.

Hailey added kindling to a roaring bonfire before turning to smile at me. “I’m so glad you weren’t scared away.”

“Me too.” The fire was the only source of light, and I craned my neck to watch the stars.

“Be honest, you love it.” Levi slipped an arm around my waist. “You’re the one who asked me to take you flying again.”

“Nice, it’s pretty cool right?” Hailey’s face lit up and I realized how worried she must have been. Letting me in on their secret had been a big risk for all of them, and she had every reason to assume I’d freak out.

“Very. It’s, uh, definitely different, but I like different.”

***

After sitting around the fire for at least an hour, Levi leaned in to whisper to me, “Want to take a walk?”

“Sounds good,” I got up, giving a small wave to the others.

We walked off into the darkness, my hand firmly in Levi’s larger one. It’s funny how quickly I got comfortable with it. Tugging on his hand to get him to follow, I headed down closer to the water.

I breathed in a breath of ocean air. “There is nothing like the beach at night.”

“You like it at night, too? I was worried you wouldn’t like it without the sun.”

“I like the beach during the day, but I love it at night. There is just something about listening to the waves in the darkness and the soft glow of the stars reflecting off the water.”

“Yeah. It’s nice.” Levi’s voice came from right behind me, close to my ear. I leaned back into him, and he wrapped his arms around me. We stood that way for a while before he turned me towards him.

In the glimmering of the moonlight Levi studied me, his eyes staring into mine like he was trying to read me. “You’re so beautiful. So unbelievably beautiful…” he trailed off as his lips met mine.

The kiss started off gentle but neither of us could keep it that way for long. It might have been our second kiss, but it was our first real one. I realized quickly that the first time at the bar we had both been holding back. Levi deepened the kiss, his arms tightening around me before lowering me down onto the sand.

We were just close enough to the surf that the sand was damp beneath the bare skin of my shoulders and legs, but it didn’t matter—all thoughts were on Levi. With ragged breaths, he kept his weight braced while leaning down over me. He traced his fingers over my stomach, pushing up the bottom of my tank top. I couldn’t get enough of his touch.

Closing my eyes, I melted into him, oblivious to any thoughts of what I was doing. Running my fingers down his muscular back, I paused on the two tiny lines. I moved my exploration further down his back and he groaned.

He shifted me slightly, pulling away briefly to remove my tank. He came back, trailing kisses from my ear to my neck, his fingers on the straps of my bra.

I didn’t hear the approaching footsteps.

“Are you guys ever coming back? Oh wow, leaving now,” Hailey stammered.

Crossing my arms across my chest, I sat up snapping out of my daze.

“Wait, no Hailey. It’s not what you think.” Pulling my tank over my head, I got up to follow her as she hurried away.

I turned to glance back at Levi, sitting completely unapologetically on the sand. “If it wasn’t what she thought, then what was it?”

“Almost a mistake,” I mumbled before hurrying after Hailey.

“It didn’t seem like you were worried about that a minute ago!” he shouted after me.

“I’m really sorry you had to see that.” Catching up to Hailey, I decided to assess the damage. I didn’t want her to think I was just some groupie girl, willing to hook up with Levi now that I knew what he was.

“You don’t have to explain. I actually think it’s kind of cute.”

“Cute?”

“Yeah… I don’t know, I think you guys work together…” Hailey trailed off as we joined Jared and Owen by the fire. After giving us a few feet of space Levi caught up as well. It was funny; Jess had also described us as “working.”

“Nice of you two to join us,” Owen jested.

“It would have been nicer had we not, but what can you do.” Levi shrugged, the frustrated expression on his face contradicting his nonchalant tone.

I groaned, eliciting laughter from everyone else.

“Relax, no one cares that you are finally done playing hard to get.” Jared had to open his mouth again.

“Oh, I wasn’t playing at anything.” He was seriously getting on my nerves. “What’s your problem?”

“My problem?” he asked with mock innocence.

“Yeah. Why can’t you go five minutes without saying something obnoxious to me?”

Owen snorted.

I glanced at Levi to make sure he wasn’t going to try to get involved. Thankfully, he just stood crossing his arms with an amused expression.

“Like you’re any better. You can’t even look me in the eye tonight.”

“Yes, I can.” I walked over to him, stopping only inches away, and stared him down. “See. I can look you in the eye.”

“Levi, can you tell your girl to heel?” Jared said dryly before turning away and disappearing down the beach.

“Arggh! What the hell is his problem?” I yelled to no one in particular.

“Isn’t it obvious?” Owen answered.

I turned to look at him. “What’s obvious?”

“You took his wing man away.”

“Oh, please!” Hailey laughed. “Jared is just being his annoying self.”

I looked over at Levi to get his take, but he just shrugged. “I’ll talk to him if you want, but you seem perfectly capable of handling it yourself.”

“Yes, I am. And anyway, I should really be getting back.”

“Already?” Levi asked watching me.

“Yeah, it’s getting late. I have something called work tomorrow. Ever heard of it?” I snapped, still angry with Jared.

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