I tossed the rental car keys on the table at the entrance to my small suite and watched as they skittered across it and fell to the carpeted floor with a soft thump. Only now that I was several miles away from him, did my anger at his high-handed actions hit me. I stomped across the room, picking up one of the pillows and burying my face in it before the angry cry escaped my lips. As soon as I stopped screaming, I tossed the pillow back onto the bed violently. "He did it again!"
How could he have that effect on me? The second he touched me, or looked at me with those dark, brooding eyes, my mind was reduced to mush. This didn't happen in real life. It only happened in those stupid romance novels I loved so much.
I paced the small room, muttering darkly. "Stupid male, thinks he can take whatever he wants and just walk away after he gets it." Of course, that's exactly what he had done, and I hadn't done a thing to stop him. I hadn't even had the chance to ask him anything. He just kissed me, got on that motorcycle of his, and left me standing in the parking lot looking like a fool.
"Amara? You okay, lass?"
I had to smile. Arafin was always concerned about everyone's happiness, that and getting on Tura's nerves. "Yes, Fin. I'm fine."
"You dunna seem fine ta' me. Tell ole Fin what the trouble is." I could almost see him lounging in a chair, his feet propped up on the nearest table.
"Really, Fin, I'm fine. Just a little frustrated. I'll figure it out."
"Alrighty, if ya say so. Take it easy, luv."
I sighed and sat on the edge of the bed, kicking at my suitcase. Why couldn't dear, sweet, gentle, funny Arafin make me melt the way Jett did?
Not for the first time I wondered what was I doing here, anyway. Why in the world did I agree to this?
"Because you needed to do something your father didn't want you to do," I said aloud.
I loved Daddy, but he always treated me like a brainless doll that he could mold into any shape he wanted. But I wasn't. I wanted things out of the future. Love, respect, a purpose for my life. Things Daddy didn't want me to have because they interfered with the plans he'd made for me. At one time, I may have been able to live with that but not anymore. Not since I met Fin, Shirak, Jo and the others.
Well, I'd just have to try again tomorrow to talk to Jett. I was here, and I had a mission to accomplish. If I could somehow manage to keep my mind focused on the purpose for my trip and not on those strong, firm lips, gentle, slightly calloused hands, dark, sultry eyes, body made for sin--oh damn it, I might as well admit it was everything about the man that fascinated me!
Why wait until tomorrow? Why not show him, he couldn't walk away from me like that?
I moved to the mirror, looking at my reflection. My curls were wild as always, and I finger combed them into some semblance of order that probably wouldn't last long. Bending to retrieve the keys, I concentrated on his presence in my mind. He was doing his best to block me, but he couldn't do it completely. I knew where he was, or at least in what direction I needed to go to find him. Thank Bahamut, he wasn't back at that horrible bar.
Almost an hour later, I pulled into the parking lot of a small restaurant and the presence of his motorcycle confirmed what I already knew. He was here. Turning off the engine I sat in the car for a moment, gathering my courage. Taking a deep breath, I got out and marched toward the entrance.
It was a small diner, with booths and a bar-like seating area. I scanned the tables and counter, my eyes settling on him. There he was. Dark cowboy hat, dark coat, dark hair, and too handsome for his own good. He was sitting in one of the back booths, blending with the shadows.
I walked to his table, seating myself across from him. He looked over his menu at me and smirked.
"Just can't stay away from me, can you, Princess?"
The nickname made me bristle, but I took a deep breath. I had to keep my focus on the mission. "So it seems."
"Interesting," he murmured, turning his eyes back to the menu, his face hidden beneath the brim of the hat.
Now what? What exactly should I say to him?
"We need you," I blurted. Might as well get right to the point, rather than beat around the bush.
He laid the menu on the table. His dark eyes skimmed over my hair, my lips and down to my breasts, before returning to meet mine. My breath caught in my throat. There was such intensity in those eyes.
"We," he echoed, then his voice dropped to a gravelly tone that made me want to squirm in my seat, "...or you?"
Now exactly what was that supposed to mean? I was one of the Aikanaro, if all of us needed him, didn't that mean by extension each of us needed him? "I need you to come--"
"Ladies first." He tapped the brim of his hat with a finger and winked.
I blinked at him, not understanding what he meant by that. Then slowly his meaning hit me and heat crept into my cheeks. "That's not what I meant," I snapped. "If you would just let me finish."