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Last resort, p.32
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       Last Resort, p.32

           Jill Sanders

  Cassey hurried to the elevator and was surprised to see Luke standing in front of the doors, two cups of coffee in his hands.

  “Luke,” she called out as the doors opened. Rushing, she made it inside just before the doors closed.

  “Hey.” He smiled down at her after blinking a few times.

  “Are you okay?” she asked, helping him with the coffee.

  “Yeah. I’m glad you’re here.”

  “How’s your father?”

  “He’s awake.” He looked over as the elevator started beeping, then leaned over and pushed the button for the fifth floor. “It was a mild stroke. Looks like he’ll have to stay here for a few days.”

  “Luke, I’m so sorry.” She took his free hand in hers and watched him nod in response.

  “You didn’t have to come down here.”

  He looked so sad that she wrapped her free arm around his waist. “I wanted to be here with you.”

  When they walked into his father’s room, she saw his mother for the first time. She didn’t know why she hadn’t thought that the woman would be there, but the thought just hadn’t crossed her mind. She was beautiful. Her dark hair was shoulder length and styled in a fashionable bob. She wore silk white pants with a matching top and a teal scarf wrapped around her neck. Large diamond earrings dangled from her ears and the huge rings on her fingers were probably worth enough money to feed a small country.

  “Cassey, this is my mother, Sophia Callaway. Mother, this is Cassey Grayton, my girlfriend.” He handed his mother the coffee.

  Cassey noticed that Mrs. Callaway’s hand paused as she reached for the cup Luke offered.

  “Oh,” the woman said, looking down at her husband, who appeared to be sleeping. “Nice to meet you,” she said in a more stressed voice. “I’m sorry; they won’t allow you to stay in this room.”

  “It’s okay. I was just helping Luke with the coffee,” Cassey said, handing Luke his cup, then turning to go. She knew when she wasn’t welcome.

  “Cass.” Luke took her hand. “Stay. Mother, don’t be rude. Cassey drove all the way down here to be with me. To see how father was.”

  Mrs. Callaway looked between her and her husband. “Well, I’m sure it won’t hurt if you stay for a few minutes.”

  “Would you like something to drink?” Luke held out his cup.

  “No, thank you. I just wanted to make sure everything was okay.” She felt awkward and wished Luke had let her leave. Maybe she’d go sit outside or take a walk on the beach until he left for the night.

  “Why don’t you two go ahead and call it a night,” his mother said all of a sudden. “I’ll sit here with Jeffery until they kick me out.”

  “Are you sure?” Luke looked a little relieved.

  “Yes.” She set her coffee down, sat next to her husband, and picked up his hand. “Go, I’ll be fine.”

  When they walked out of the hospital, it was raining pretty hard. It had sprinkled all the way from Surf Breeze, but this was a downpour. They stood in the doorway of the hospital, waiting for it to lighten up.

  “Why don’t we leave my car here overnight and take yours to the hotel?” he suggested. He pulled his coat up over his collar. “Let’s make a run for it. I don’t think it’s going to let up soon.”

  They dashed for her car, holding hands. She unlocked it a few feet away and jumped in behind the wheel. Luke jumped in next to her and shook the rain from his hair.

  She reached over to start the car, but he stopped her and pulled her across the console towards him. The hug was desperate and moved something deep inside her.

  “Sorry,” he said a few minutes later when he pulled away. “But I needed that.”

  She smiled at him. “Are you okay?”

  He nodded. “Yeah. I could use some food though.”

  “Okay, where to?” She started the car and waited.

  “The hotel. I keep a room there. We can order room service.”

  “Okay.” She drove out of the parking lot. The rain had yet to lighten up and now it was even lightning as well. She drove slowly across town towards the large hotel. When they pulled into the parking garage, he pointed her towards his private parking spot.

  They walked towards the elevators in silence. She didn’t know what to say to him. It was good news that his father would recover, but hearing that it would be a long road to recovery had caused many questions to pop into her head. Did that mean he would be staying to run the hotel? Did this change their relationship?

  They rode the elevator to the top floor and when she walked out, she was shocked to see only two doors on this level.

  “The other unit belongs to my parents.” He nodded towards the double doors at the end of the hallway.

  “You said you kept a room,” she said a few minutes later, looking around the large apartment. “I didn’t know you had an apartment here.”

  He shrugged. “When you’ve lived in the same place your whole life, you tend to not think of it as anything but home.” He walked over to the glass refrigerators and pulled out a bottle of beer. “Would you like something? There’s wine, beer.” He bent down and opened the bottom drawer. “Coke?” He took one out for her.

  “Yes, thanks.” She popped it open and took a sip. He’d yet to take a drink of his beer, but instead was just watching her.

  “I’m really glad you came. I needed you so much. I just need you,” he said, just before he took the can from her and set his beer and the Coke down on the bar. Then he was kissing her with so much feeling, she had no choice but to hold onto him and let him take what he needed from her.

  Later, as they lay in his large bed, he talked to her and told her what had happened at the hospital, how his father had mistaken him for his brother.

  “I’m sure it was just the drugs talking.”

  “Yeah, I know you’re right, but it doesn’t take away the fact that his eyes lit up.” He shook his head as he continued to run his fingers through her hair. “It still hurt.”

  “He doesn’t know what a great son he still has.” She sat up a little. “Neither of them does. I can see it in their eyes.” She looked down at him, lying on the bed with the sheets covering his hips. His arm rested behind his head as he looked at her. She shook her head. “I didn’t get a chance to meet Calvin, and I’m sure he was a great man.” She sat up a little more and made sure to look into his eyes. “But they have one of the best sons staring them right in the face and they can’t see beyond their noses.”

  His smile was slow to form, but when it did, it was the sweetest thing she’d seen all day.

  “What do you say to some room delivery?”

  She smiled back. “Can this place make a decent pizza and banana splits?”

  He laughed. “Some of the best on the gulf.”

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