Seduction's Kiss (The Allure Chronicles)(35)

By: Alyssa Rose Ivy

“Exactly. We need to reopen it.”

“And you want my help?”

“Yes. You don’t have to contribute any money. Like I said, I have the capital.”

“Then what do you need me for?”

“Your presence. You know how much everyone in town loves you. They’ll sign everything if you’re in on it.”

“I see. You want my influence.”

“Maybe.” He shoved his hand in his back pocket.

I looked at the kid. He wasn’t technically a kid at twenty-two, but he seemed so young. I was only a few years older, but I’d been through enough to make those years seem a hell of a lot longer. “What’s in it for me?”

“Free booze, access to the hottest spot in town, and of course the money.”

“There’s no money in Coleville. We both know that.”

“There’s some, and we’ll bring in more. We need to make Coleville the hottest tourist destination this side of Denver.”

“The only way to make Coleville that way would be to develop a ski resort. I doubt your capital is going to get you that far.”

“This is only the start.”

“I need to think about it.” I didn’t. I wanted nothing to do with his little bar, but I also wanted to get on with my day.

“All right. That’s fair. Call me when you’re ready.”

“Sure thing.”

He tipped his hat. “See you, around. Looking forward to doing business with you.”

“I never said I was going to.”

“No. But I’ll make that maybe a yes.” He hurried off back to his truck.

He wasn’t a bad kid, just over eager, I reminded myself as I walked back behind the cabin. I waited until I heard his truck pull out towards the road before transforming. I always felt better with my wings out.

I took off into the sky, my long black wings taking me higher than the tree line. Luckily high altitude sickness doesn’t bother Pterons. We once shifted into crows, but evolution had different plans. We’ve been spotted a few times, and people seem to think we look like fallen angels. We aren’t angels—fallen or not.

There was nothing that could compare to the feel of flight; the wind rushing around my wings, the sensation of weightlessness, and the knowledge that all of my troubles and worries were miles below me. I’d been flying since I was a kid, but I knew I’d never get tired of it. My wings were part of me. They represented my strength. In a perfect world I’d never have to hide them, but this world wasn’t perfect. Not by a long shot.

I landed down by a small stream high in the mountains. I left my wings out. There was no around for miles to see.

I started walking with no destination in mind. I usually didn’t have one. Maybe getting involved in Clyde’s plan wasn’t a bad one. I needed something to do, and a reason to keep me from going back to New Orleans. I wasn’t ready to face my real life yet.

I noticed a pop of color on the other side of the stream. I walked around the long way.

I bent down and touched the stem of the pretty purple flower. “A daisy. A wild daisy.” Just saying the name of the flower brought me back to the kiss again, back to my Daisy. At least that’s what I thought of her as. I didn’t know where she was. She could have been married by now for all I knew, but I’d still always think of her that way.

I’d never told my friends about the kiss. They made fun of me enough. I didn’t need to add fuel to the fire, but I got the sense that my friend Jared knew that the girl meant something to me. It would be easy to find her if I’d bothered to ask for her last name, but finding her again had been the least of my worries that night. I needed her to promise to stay quiet and keep our secrets.

I released the flower. There was no reason to pick it just so it could die. I turned and headed back the way I came still thinking about Daisy, and one long ago kiss.

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