Lucas. Every time my mind wandered back to him, my heart raced. I needed to admit that I wanted him, and then move on. I couldn’t have him. He was a wolf. He lived in Peru. I had a whole heap of problems—including one douchebag ex-fiancé.
But none of that kept me from wanting him.
God. I was twenty years old. Too old for a stupid crush.
My cheeks heated at that thought. He was probably annoyed he’d have to babysit me these next few days, but I’d done something to make him suspicious or he would’ve left me to Andrés.
Well, I just had to figure out where these mages were, get what I needed from them, and then get back to Texas in time save my brother and stop Luciana from destroying the world. No time for romance. Especially since it was most definitely one-sided.
The knock on my door pulled me from my reverie. One step at a time. I’d get this done. Broth. Then bed. I’d deal with tomorrow, and all of its challenges, in the morning.
I didn’t feel so dizzy or lightheaded when I woke up. The broth had been good. The full night’s sleep…that had been infinitely better.
Well, not totally full. But only a little nightmare. Faint. Distant. I hadn’t woken up sweating. That was a first for me since I’d left the coven’s grounds.
I took all of that as a sign that I was on the right track. I’d fix this. Teresa had texted an hour ago that the boys were already on the road, and I was determined I’d find an answer by the time they arrived.
I could do this. I had no other choice.
After a shower, I felt re-energized. I put on a pair of my khaki hiking pants, a black tank top, and hoodie. As I laced up my running shoes, I felt like a new me. A fresh start. The day was filled with possibilities. I grabbed my little cross-body purse. Mom had sent it to me from Mexico. It was handmade and covered with embroidered flowers. I dumped out the contents, and put almost everything back in—my wallet, passport, Purell, tissues, lipgloss, aspirin, and Band-Aids. Just a little bit of everything. I wasn’t sure what I’d come across and wanted to be prepared.
Now all I needed was a good meal to start the day off right. The menu book said that a complimentary breakfast was served in the lobby, but I could order in, too, for a price. I chewed on my lip for a moment. Avoiding the lobby was my first instinct. Matt could be there. But I didn’t want to spend too much of Mr. Reyes’ money—whoever he was.
The thing was that he already knew that I was here. So the damage was done. Just because I went to the lobby to eat breakfast, didn’t mean that I couldn’t still ignore him.
I braided my semi-dry hair and tied off the end.
Time to face the day.
It was nice to feel confident. I didn’t usually. Luciana had taken that away from me. I knew that now, but it had taken time for me to realize it.
I strolled into the lobby where a buffet was laid out on the marble-topped table. The flower arrangement had been moved to the side of the front desk to be replaced by a selection of hot and cold items. People milled around the table, while others sat in small groups around the lobby. A few sat alone, reading newspapers.
But no Matt. That gray and pink aura was nowhere to be seen.
Good. Now I can enjoy my breakfast in peace. I grabbed a plate and started picking through the offerings.
Cold cuts? For breakfast? No. Staying at St. Ailbe’s had definitely spoiled me. Those omelets… I’d be back there soon enough.
Someone came down the hallway toward the table, and I caught his aura out of the corner of my eye. Matt.
Fantastic. I made it a whole five minutes in the lobby before he showed up. I barely suppressed the groan that was dying to break free. It was too early to deal with him. I did my best to avoid him as I rounded the table again, but I felt his presence like a tangible weight on my shoulders. He approached me and I did my very best to ignore him.
“Did you come to your senses?” He asked as he fell in behind me.
I pressed my lips together as I fought the urge to tell him off. Letting his arrogance grate on me wouldn’t do me any good. “My senses? If you mean leaving with you, then no.”
One point to me.
“What are your plans today?” His tone was haughty—which annoyed me—but I didn’t dare turn around. I’d already given enough by responding to his first question.
“That’s absolutely none of your business,” I said in my most confident voice as I moved around the table.
“Look. If you need help with something, I’m happy to help.”
Oh, so now he was going to play nice? I just bet he was happy to help. He wanted control over my ability to enhance magical powers, and even if he acknowledged that Luciana no longer held sway over me, he wasn’t above making a new deal to get what he wanted. But there was no way I was taking his bait. “I already have a plan.”