Seduction's Kiss (The Allure Chronicles)(8)

By: Alyssa Rose Ivy

“Lovely image.” I unzipped my sleeping bag.

He smiled. “Yeah? You like it?”

“Oh my god. No. I was being sarcastic.” I picked up my duffel “Now if you’ll excuse me I’m taking a shower.” The thought of using a shower in that apartment scared me, but I desperately needed to wash away the remnants of the horrible night. I hoped there was a good lock on the bathroom door.

“Want some company?” He called after me.

I spun around. “Are you serious?”

He smiled sheepishly. “You can’t blame a guy for trying.”

“Yes, I can.” I headed toward the bathroom. I needed to get changed and out of that apartment as soon as possible. I had a feeling that Reyna wasn’t getting up for a while, but that didn’t mean I had to wait around.

“Man, you like this hard to get stuff.”

“It’s not playing hard to get, it’s telling you to get lost.” I didn’t bother turning around. I didn’t want to encourage him at all.

Thankfully the lock was a strong one, and the water was hot. I gave myself a few minutes to enjoy the spray before drying off and getting dressed. I brushed out my wet hair and tied it back into a low pony tail. That would have to do.

I braced myself for facing Shaun again when I opened the door to the bathroom, but he was nowhere to be seen. I let out a sigh of relief. I grabbed my purse and camera and stowed the rest of my stuff behind a chair. I glanced at the microwave clock in the kitchen on my way out. Eight thirty. Hopefully I’d find something to do that early on a Saturday morning.

I had no real idea of where I was going, but I assumed my best bet was the streetcar the guys had pointed out the night before. If I got on heading downtown, at least I could explore the city and get something out of the trip.

The neighborhood had a different feel in the morning. There was a quiet calmness that made me nearly forget my insane experience with Shaun. I walked the few blocks to St. Charles and waited on the median. I wasn’t sure how often the cars ran, but at least I’d left Mr. Crazy behind.

Chapter Four

After a few frantic moments of searching, I found the exact change the driver said I needed to ride the streetcar. I slid the cash and change into the machine, and the driver closed the door behind me. Without any warning the car started moving, and the jerking motion nearly had me flying through the air. Luckily I was able to grab hold of a pole, and then I held onto the first few rows of seats before falling into an empty one. The car was mostly empty, and I was glad no one seemed to notice my latest awkward moment.

As the car moved downtown, I opened the travel app on my phone. Reyna might not believe in GPS, but I did. I also believed in any app that could make my life easier. I searched for cafes, and quickly recognized the name of one. Café Du Monde. Evidently they were known for these donut like things called beignets and chicory coffee. Both sounded pretty good at the moment.

The outdoor café, covered by a huge green and white stripped awning, was busy, but I had no trouble finding a place to sit. I’d barely sat down when a waiter walked over. I’d already decided on my order thanks to my app. “One order of beignets and a coffee.”

The server smiled and walked off. I was positive I wasn’t the only one ordering that same thing.

While I waited, I opened the app and tried to keep planning my morning. It looked like most of the shops and galleries in the French Quarter wouldn’t open for a while, but it could still be fun to walk around.

My breakfast arrived, and I bit into the hot and sweet beignet. On the first bite I got powdered sugar all over my black t-shirt. Perfect. Oh well, I’d dust it off. The beignet was delicious, and the chickory coffee gave me the pick me up I needed. Hot chocolate was my comfort drink, but after the night I’d had and the lack of sleep, I needed something stronger.

I glanced at my phone. Nine thirty. Less than twenty-four more hours left. We were planning to leave at eight the next morning so we’d be back in time for a mandatory sorority meeting.

After finishing my breakfast, I paid and wandered around Jackson Square for a while to admire the artwork hanging from the wrought iron fence. I took some pictures of the large Cathedral and listened to a solo violinist performing a jazzy tune before heading over to Royal Street.

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