Flight (Page 6)

“Stop looking away. I love green eyes.”

“Does that line usually work for you?” I ribbed.

“Usually. I’m guessing it’s not going to work tonight.”

“Not a chance.”

“I’ll just have to get more creative.”

“You do that.”

“So, what do you think of New Orleans so far?” Owen asked.

Jess answered. “It’s been fantastic. It’s so awesome to get away and meet new people.” She ran a hand down Jared’s arm, letting him know who she was excited to have met.

“And what about you, Allie?” Levi’s lips curled up into a small smile.

“Well, considering we’ve been here less than twenty-four hours, it’s hard to have much of an impression, but I like it so far.”

“You’ll have to keep me posted as you have more time to form an opinion.”

“I’ll be sure to keep you updated.” I rolled my eyes.

“You girls want to see the rest of the Quarter?” Jared asked.

“Yes!” Jess answered immediately. “We haven’t seen anything but here and the hotel.”

“You interested?” Levi whispered into my ear again. The tone of his voice and the proximity of his lips to my ear made me wonder what he was really asking.

“Sure. Why not?” I took one last drink, straightened my skirt and stood up.

Levi put his arm around me as we headed toward the door. “I guarantee you’re going to love New Orleans.”

Maneuvering away from him, I answered absently. “Is that right?” My attention was diverted to watching Jess and Jared grope each other. I stifled a groan.

If the sight of people drinking out in the open wasn’t enough of a hint that I was far from home, the fact that it was still hot at 11:00 p.m. made it impossible to deny. Walking through the crowded streets, feeling the sticky heat on my neck, I was happy to be in a skirt.

After walking down St. Peter’s Street, we ended up in Jackson Square. Surrounded by wrought iron railings, the square was full of activity. Everywhere I looked musicians performed and artists had their work displayed.

“Care to have your fortune read?” a palm reader called out as we passed.

“No thanks.” I waved her off.

“Are you sure you don’t want a glimpse into your future?”

“I prefer surprises.”

“Same here,” Jess agreed as we continued walking. “This is too cool. It might be even better than Washington Square Park,” she said in awe and looking around. Like most New Yorkers, there was only one city for us.

“Of course this is just where all the tourists hang out. There are much cooler places, hon. Maybe I’ll show you sometime,” Jared crooned.

“Like where, your apartment?” I raised an eyebrow. Jared seemed like a textbook player. I hoped Jess knew what she was dealing with.

“Why, you want to see my place?” he challenged me without removing his arm from around Jess.

If he expected to unnerve me, he had another thing coming. “In your dreams.”

I heard Levi’s deep laugh from behind me as he wrapped his arms around my waist. “Would you change your mind about that if you knew I was his roommate?”

“Why would that change my mind?” I spun out of his embrace and turned my attention to a couple playing guitars. I listened for a few minutes, pulling a dollar from my purse to throw into the hat in front of them. Looking up after leaving the money, I startled as I noticed a black crow staring intently at me from the fence behind the musicians. “Creepy.”

“What’s creepy?” Owen came up beside me.

“That crow.”

“You’re not a big fan of birds, I take it?” he asked with the hint of a smile.

“I like birds fine, but when a black crow sits there staring at me it weirds me out. It looks like it might attack or something.”

“It’s not going to attack, it’s just watching.”

“Okay, well, it’s still creepy.”

Owen laughed. “I heard you say you didn’t want to stay out too late. I thought I’d warn you that if you want a chance of getting your friend home tonight you should probably speak up.”

I followed Owen’s gaze to where Jess and Jared were making out. “Thanks for the heads up.”

“The heads up on what?” For the second time that night Levi interrupted a conversation with Owen.

“I was simply suggesting she pry Jess away from Jared if she wants to get her home tonight.”

“What’s the hurry? The night is young.” Levi shot me a devilish smile.

“We have our first day of work tomorrow,” I explained.

“Your first day of work at your father’s hotel. Can’t you skip out?”

“No! I am not missing my first day of work. I’m not like that.”

“Really? Maybe I can learn more about you tomorrow night? Maybe over dinner?” Levi asked.

“Not a chance.”

“Oh, that’s right; you think you’ve sworn off men.”

Rolling my eyes, I didn’t bother to respond. “Jess, let’s go!”

“Now? Seriously?” Jess whined.

“I’m sure you can meet up with your friend another time.” I didn’t want to ruin Jess’s fun, but things were getting intense between her and Jared, and I didn’t know how much of a role alcohol was playing.

“What’s the rush all of a sudden?” Jared asked, giving me the evil eye.

“Owen decided to point out the late hour to her,” Levi said emotionlessly.

“What the hell, man?” Jared lunged at Owen; his eyes looked like they had turned solid black. I shook my head as I watched Levi put himself between his friends. I must have had more to drink than I thought.

“Let it go, Jared. I’m sure we’ll have plenty of opportunities to see them again. We’ll walk you girls home.” Levi wasn’t asking and I didn’t protest, figuring it couldn’t hurt to let them walk us.

By the time we reached the hotel, Jess’s buzz had started wearing off, and she looked ready to collapse on the spot. I watched her say good bye to Jared while I waved at Levi and Owen. “Goodnight.”

“Nice to meet you.” Owen smiled.

“I’ll be seeing you,” Levi said before turning to walk away.

I barely had enough energy to brush my teeth and wash my makeup off before heading to bed. I knew it was going to be a crazy summer.

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