Flight (Page 23)
“I have some cousins in the city, but my parents and brothers are still in Baton Rouge.”
“Oh, okay, at least that’s not so far.”
“Very true. Do you miss your mom?” she asked.
“Yeah, definitely. But this is good practice for starting school in the fall. Even though I’m only going to be about two hours away, I don’t want to be that girl who goes home all the time.”
“Hey, I went to college in the same city I’m from and it was still a hard adjustment. There is nothing wrong with needing to see your mom once in a while.”
“I know; it’s more the principle.”
Natalie paused, like she was choosing her words carefully. “If I can give you any advice about starting college, it’s that you need to do what’s right for you and ignore what anyone else thinks, because in the end you are the only one who has to live your life.”
I thought over her words. “Thanks Natalie, I’ll keep that in mind.”
“And if you ever need someone to talk to, feel free to call. It hasn’t been that long since I was in your shoes.”
“Thanks, that’s really nice of you to offer.”
“You ready to get back to work?”
“Sure. Thanks for lunch, it was fun.”
“We need to do this more often.” She smiled.
After lunch, the afternoon crawled. Waiting for the clock to hit five signaling the end of my workday, I happened to be staring at the elevators when Levi walked back into the lobby, this time alone. Noticing my gaze, he smiled and waved in greeting before heading over. As tempted as I was to disappear into the back office and avoid him, I wasn’t going to run.
“Hello there, beautiful. How was your day?” Levi leaned an elbow against the counter directly in front of me. I glanced across the way to see Alex staring at us from the bar.
“It was work; I had a nice lunch though.”
“Did you have company for this nice lunch or was it solo?
“I had company.” I decided to let him draw his own conclusions and eyed Alex over Levi’s head, giving his stare right back to him. Levi turned around to see what held my attention.
Scowling, Levi drew in a breath. He evidently thought my lunch was with Alex, and I decided not to correct his assumption.
“Do you want to hang out tonight?”
“No, thanks.” I turned to head into the office.
A hand on my shoulder made me jump. I had expected Levi to take the hint and leave, not follow me back. Obviously, I was delusional. This was Levi.
“Am I missing something? What’s up?”
“You’re not actually allowed back here you know.”
Ignoring my statement, he asked again. “Why don’t you want to hang out? I thought you had fun yesterday.”
“Yeah, it was fun. But that doesn’t mean I want to hang out every night.”
“Okay, what happened? Is it him?” Levi asked pointing at Alex.
Levi visibly relaxed. “Then what is it?”
“Why does there have to be a reason? Is it that impossible to believe that I’m not interested?”
“You are interested. Don’t bother to deny it. You weren’t faking it on the beach.”
“Could you lower your voice?” I hissed, wishing that Levi could be more discreet.
“Wait, this isn’t about this morning is it?”
“Oh, I can explain that. I told you I work for my dad, those men I was with are his advisors. I figured you didn’t need to meet them.”
“Oh…” I felt lame for caring so much but I wasn’t really ready to accept such a flimsy excuse. Still, I certainly wasn’t going to let him know that it bothered me.
“But wow, I’m flattered that it got to you.”
“Don’t push it,” I warned.
I crossed my arms, trying to disguise my hurt with anger. “No thanks.”
“Wait, I thought we cleared everything up?”
“It doesn’t really matter. I still don’t feel like going out.”
“Then we can stay in… I can bring over some DVDs, or we could order something.”
“You want to stay in and watch a movie?”
“Sure, why not? Besides, it’s a good excuse to get into your room.” He grinned slyly.
“As tempting as it sounds, I’m going to pass.”
He sighed in frustration. “Okay, then what are you doing tomorrow morning?”
“Could you get out of it?”
“Depends on what for.” Despite myself, I was intrigued.
“It’s another surprise, but this time wear jeans and tennis shoes.”
“Where would we go that I would need those?”
“You’ll see.” Kissing me on the cheek, he left without waiting for my answer. I wondered what I had gotten myself into.
I might have agreed to spend the next day with Levi, but my curiosity wasn’t satisfied. I now knew that he wasn’t quite human, but he still hadn’t mentioned anything about the hotel. Between the lack of information and the way he blew me off, I needed answers. So far, everything about the Pterons seemed amazing, but a part of me feared he was still hiding something.
Getting into the elevator to head up to my room, I pushed the button for the basement, but like Billy had explained it did nothing. I didn’t know much about elevators, but there was definitely a slot for a key card. Maybe you needed a card to gain access. I figured Dad could get me that access if I wanted. I gave him a call when I reached my room.
“Why would you need to get down there?” Dad asked. I could barely hear him over the loud voices in the background. Then I heard a door slam and it got quiet.
“Oh, I’m just trying to learn the lay of the building. You know, get a better grasp of the property.”
“Oh, that’s terrific honey. It’s so nice to hear you interested in what I do.”
I rolled my eyes, glad he couldn’t see. Like this was something he actually did.
“So, can you get me access or what?”
“Sure. I’ll call the head of security and get you cleared for a master card. Just give it a few minutes and go to the desk and make a new card, okay?”
“Thanks Dad. You can get back to whatever it was you were doing.”
“I’m at a function, sweetie. Take care of yourself and I’ll get back to New Orleans as soon as I can.”