(Cass Part 6… continues from here)

“What are you thinking about tesoro?”

Luka’s voice was as lazy as the fingers he was combing through my hair as we sat on the couch, a tangle of limbs as a movie played that neither of us was truly watching. He was thinking about his work and I was thinking about… other things.

“My parents.”

“What about them?”

“Just how happy they are.”

“Are we not so happy then?” Luka asked lightly.

“Of course,” I answered quickly, maybe too quickly as I found myself flat on my back with Luka hovering over me, looking deeply into my eyes.

“Then why don’t you look so happy?” he said, almost to himself. “Do you want to go back to one of the clubs?”

His voice held no judgement or recrimination but I shook my head quickly. “No, not at all,” I said vehemently. I wasn’t interested in playing with old play mates or even new ones. I reached up and cupped Luka’s jaw. “I love you, I love us.”

“Then what is it Cassie?” he searched my face as if he could read my mind.

I opened my mouth to tell him about Stormtrooper but what could I say? That I’d spoken to a man on a roof top twice and I’d felt… something for him? Attraction, amusement. And then there was my brother’s painting. Maybe I should start there?

“Dean painted something,” I said quietly and Luka frowned knowing that wasn’t always good then he shook his head.

“I don’t want to know. You know how I feel about prophecy,” he said curtly and a moment later was standing beside me.

I sat up and reached under the coach for my boots, pulling them on then standing up too. I thought about the painting, about the smile on Luka’s face and touched my hand to his chest. “It was nothing bad,” I said softly and he rolled his eyes and smiled.

“What part of ‘I don’t want to know’ don’t you get darling,” he said in a lighter tone. I didn’t understand his aversion to prophecy but I could respect it.

“Sorry.” I grimaced. “I just didn’t want you thinking the worst.”

“Okay.” He wrapped his arms around me and we hugged briefly before he leaned back to look down at me. “Is that what’s got you in this peculiar mood then?”

I sighed and shrugged, wishing it were that simple and knowing that Luke deserved the truth. “I met someone when I went running the other night,” I blurted.

“You met someone,” Luka repeated. “Like…” he pointed up and I nodded and he laughed. Then he laughed some more.

“What’s so funny?” I asked as I pulled out of his arms and stepped away from him.

“I know you tesoro. You always crush on your running friends. Awed by how high they jump, the risks they take,” he said with a grin and collapsed back onto the couch in an elegant sprawl.

“I do not,” I protested automatically then had to back track immediately. “Occasionally. But only if they’re really really good,” I defended myself.

“And is this person really really good then?”

“He kept up with me.”

“Well there you go,” Luka shrugged and reached for his laptop as he looked at me. “I assume you’re going out,” he said with a pointed look at my feet.

I nodded. “Just a short run.”

“Going looking for your crush?” his teasing words trailed me to the door.

“I wont have to, he finds me,” I called back as the door closed behind me.

I didn’t run, the discussion we’d had too much of a distraction. I walked towards the neighbourhood where Id grown up, the buildings not so big or well secured. Soon I was standing on a rooftop looking out at the view of the city I loved yet at times felt trapped by.

“Are you stalking me Princess?”

I didn’t jump at the words. I was my father’s daughter after all, and I’d tracked him here.

“I was going to ask you the same thing,” I answered without turning around.

I didn’t hear a sound but a moment later I could feel the heat of his body at my back. “I was here first so maybe you want to think of a new question.”

“That’s right you were,” I agreed. “I followed you here from outside my building though so… my question remains.”

“Huh,” he muttered sounding amused. “You noticed that.”

“Yeah. So about that stalking?” I challenged, turning towards him.

“Don’t,” he said softly and I stopped.

“Why?” I whispered, asking him, asking myself. Why didn’t he want me looking at him? Why did I do what he told me to.

“I am nothing to you. Seeing my face wont change that.”

I snorted. “That doesn’t make any sense. Why so mysterious?”

He sighed then huffed out a little laugh. “Why do you keep coming back looking for me? Maybe if you saw me, you wouldn’t be so curious eh?”

“Oh I’m that shallow am I?” Why was I bantering with him?

“You surround yourself with beautiful people.” I felt his shrug. “Maybe you are.”

I could have taken offense at his comment but his tone was teasing so I teased back.“You have me at a disadvantage. Maybe if I knew your friends and family I could judge you as easily as you judge me.”

“I have no friends or family that you know,” he said shortly and I frowned.

“That’s really not possible in this city. Which alpha- ”

“I’m just visiting so none,” he interrupted.

“The CCB then? You have to let-”

“No Princess. I’m not here to make nice with any of your special groups.” He cut me off again then sighed heavily. “Look, I have some private business to deal with then I’ll be gone. I don’t want to be registered or affiliated with anyone.”

“That’s not the way it’s done. You must know-”

“I don’t care,” he snapped.  “I really don’t. You know what? I’ll be gone in a day or so. Why don’t you forget we never met.”

“No,” I protested and tried to turn around but his hand gripped the back of my and held me in place.

“Bye Princess.” His voice whispered against my ear and I felt the ghost of a kiss on my cheek. Then his hand was gone, his body heat was gone, he was gone. I saw the flash of a dark coat disappear over the edge of the building as I turned but I didn’t chase after him.

It was for the best. He would be gone, my crush would die. Nothing had happened. So why did I feel so bereft?

 

to be continued…

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