Bianca bounds through the door next to the bathroom, sealing herself apart from us. From me. I hear her as she thumps against the door, as her back slides down it. Damnit, I can practically taste her tears as they slide down her cheeks.
“Well, I had gotten a Caesar salad for you,” Killian says to Hayden.
She scoffs but doesn’t say anything. Instead, she turns, pulling clothes off the bed, and disappears into the bathroom the door slamming behind her.
Slowly, I turn to Killian.
“What the hell are you doing here?”
He grins at me like we’re best friends. “Same things as you are. To protect the girls.”
I snort at that ridiculous statement. If that was the case, Bianca wouldn’t have just gotten out of the hospital.
“Really? Letting Bianca get bitten, that was protecting her?”
Killian’s eyes harden as he crosses his arms over his chest. We stare at each other, waiting for the other to speak.
The bathroom door creaks open.
“Whatcha doing here, Chase?” She asks, leaning against the door. “You’re a long way away from home, don’t ya think?”
“Could say the same to you,” I reply.
Killian brushes past me and takes a seat at the edge of the bed closest to Hayden. I narrow my eyes at how comfortable he seems. Stepping in, I close the door behind me.
“Nah,” Hayden replies to me. “You know Evanston wasn’t my home.”
I look around the room, taking in our surroundings.
“You still haven’t answered my question,” Hayden states after a full moment of silence.
Wandering around the room, I step to the bed Killian’s not sitting on and finger the itchy material of the bedspread.
“Came back to get my girl. She needs to be with her family, where she’s safe. She doesn’t need to see me. I can stay away from her there, but I want her safe.”
“It’s not your decision is it?” She questions.
I look up to see her hip cocked out, arms crossed, eyebrows raised.
It still amazes me how just months ago Hayden and Bianca seemed to hate each other and now they’re protecting each other. I can’t help but smile at Hayden’s big sister act.
“I didn’t get a choice when my girlfriend left town. Why should she get one now?”
“She’s not your girlfriend, remember? She broke up with you. And even if you still was, like you could make her go anywhere.”
Clearly, she’s not a fan of mine right now.
“Watch me,” I can’t help but grin at her.
“She’s not leaving, Chase,” Hayden responds steely. “So, if that’s what you came here for, you might as well just leave.”
I take two steps back to the dresser behind me and lean against it, crossing my ankles.
“Then, it looks like I should just get comfortable.”
A door slams in the room behind me, echoing in the quiet around me. I tense up, preparing myself for anything that just might happen. The sound of a key sliding into a lock fills the air and I jump up, running my hands down my cheeks to wipe away the tears staining my cheeks.
The door to Killian’s hotel room swings open and in walks… Hayden.
“Well,” she says with crossed arms, and looking all kinds of pissed. “It doesn’t look like he’s going anywhere.”
I close my eyes and grind my teeth.
When I reopen, I find Hayden watching me. She inclines her head and gives me a look as if to say ‘What do you want to do?’
Taking a deep breath, I straighten my spine, pulling my shoulders back.
I took my minute. I ran away and cried, and that’s enough. Now, it’s time to get back to what we came here for.
Without saying anything to Hayden, I turn and pull open the door behind me. I step into the room Hayden and I have been sharing, finding Chase leaning against the dresser on the far side of the room. His arms are crossed over his chest and he looks too smug and comfortable for my liking. Killian sits on the edge of Hayden’s bed, looking like he couldn’t care less about the turmoil that’s going on around him.
Crossing my arms over my chest, I turn my focus onto Chase.
“I don’t know why you think I’d leave with you and I don’t care either. But I’m not leaving. I don’t give a shit what you do. Stay, leave. Doesn’t matter. Just know, I have things to do, and you’re not getting in the way of them.”
“Then, I’m staying right here.”
Slowly, my lips stretch to mirror his.
“No,” I say. “You’re not. You can rent your own room, and you can keep your distance from me. As far as I’m concerned, I want it to be like you’re not even here.”
He quirks an eyebrow.
“Is this because I’m a vampire?” He questions, nodding to Killian. “’Cause you already have one on your trip so I don’t see why I’m a problem?”
I hold back a scoff.
“You’re a problem, it’s because I don’t trust you. Killian – I do, so he can stay.”
For the first time that he’s been here, the tough façade breaks. Chase clenches his jaw, and I can see the anger flash in his eyes.
“Fine,” he bites out, standing up. “I’ll get my own room.”
He walks to the door. No one stops him as he storms from the room, slamming the door behind him.
I meet Hayden’s eyes and she opens her mouth to speak but I hold a hand up to keep her silent. Pulling out my phone, I open a new message then hand the object over to her.
She types out a message and after a moment hands me back my phone.
‘Are we really letting him stay?’ it reads.
I delete the words and replace them.
‘We’re leaving the moment the sun rises. W/o Chase. Get as much sleep as you can. We only have a few hours until sunrise.’
Hayden takes the phone, reads the message, and then shows Killian. He frowns at it but meets my eyes and nods. Then he stands up and crosses to his room, sealing himself inside.
I stare at the door for a moment.
“Might want to get some sleep, B,” Hayden says. I look over at where she stands by the bathroom. “It’s gonna be a long day tomorrow.”
“Suns out, guns out!” Hayden shouts before a pillow lands on top of my head.
I groan and roll out from under my cocoon of pillows and blankets.
“Time?” I ask.
She nods. “Time.”
She’s completely dressed, shoving her clothes into her duffel bag.
Yawning, I heave myself up from the bed and stumble into the bathroom to brush my teeth and freshen up.
When I come out, the door to our hotel room is open and I can see Hayden putting our bags into the back seat of the Impala. I skirt to the other side of the room and change into jean shorts and a tank top. Then I grab my clothes and shove them into the last bag in the room. I take it out just as Hayden stands up.
“I’ll turn in the keys. Want to get Killian?” She asks.
I nod to her, and she tosses me the keys before jogging off.
Shoving the last bag into the backseat, I round the car and open up the trunk. I fluff out the pillow we’ve got stuffed onto the side and then lay out the two blankets we have stashed inside. We grabbed this stuff one of the first nights on the trip. We had to travel during the day and the only way Killian could stay safe was by sleeping in the trunk.
Once the trunk is all set up, I spin back around and go to Killian’s door. I knock on it three times, then jog back to the car.
The door swings open and Killian, wrapped in the thick comforter, runs out and jumps into the trunk. I close the lid, sealing him inside.
Hayden comes around the corner.
“I’ll drive,” she says, taking the keys from me. She slides into the front seat.
I feel eyes on me, and I look around. I find a door open on the second floor of the hotel. Squinting into the shadows, I see Chase looming. I can’t see his face clearly, but I imaging he’s figured out what I’m doing and he’s not happy about it.
Grinning, I give a little wave, then climb in next to Hayden.
“Let’s go,” I tell her.
The end, for now.