Not one bit.
As a matter of fact, it serves her right for treating her body like it’s made of rust-resistant metal.
She was the one who put herself in this predicament, after all.
It may be a celebratory night for her brother, and therefore, herself, by association, but let’s be real here: No one made her empty close to a combined gallon of a wide assortment alcoholic beverages into her body—a fairly petite body at that—and do it in less than four hours.
She was totally out of control and clearly didn’t know when to stop.
I swear, you’d think she was checking off a fucking shopping list.
I came out tonight to establish my undercover connection with Daniel; to form a “friendship” with him so that it’ll be easier for me to keep an eye on him without raising suspicion since, thanks to a certain jerk-face, I don’t have the aid of my wings to help me do that.
But then, somehow, I ended up being the one who had to close her tab because everyone else was equally trashed and too disoriented and uncoordinated to do so much as pick a booger from their nose. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, I had to drive her car—that was chock full of drunk idiots—and drop each said drunk idiot to their respective dorm or apartment so that they could throw up some more before finally passing out.
Unfortunately, most of them did both inside Kia’s car—including the leading lady, herself.
Tonight, I officially hit rock bottom.
Yet another sigh.
I turn right at the end of the short, narrow corridor, trying to squeeze both our bodies through the cramped space, and Kia’s head barely misses the blunt edge of the opposite wall in her awkward, upside-down-but-slightly-slanting-off-to-the-left position.
As much as I abhor having to deal with her severe intoxication and the aftermath of her drunken stupor, the last thing I need is for her to get a concussion in addition to the monster hang-over that I know she’s in for when she wakes up—whenever the hell that’ll be.
I holster her against me more tightly readjusting and securing her over my shoulder again on reflex so she doesn’t slide down my back head-first and bash her skull open on her tiled floor.
Her bedroom door is slightly ajar, and iridescent streaks of moonlight filter through the small opening, partially illuminating the entrance and the wall behind—the same wall her motionless, unresponsive head nearly connected with just a second ago.
I wait two beats before entering, force of habit making my heightened senses focus on every smell and sound around us, making sure there’s no one else in there. I’ve had enough surprises and annoyances to deal with tonight.
I immediately detect the presence of another individual, sensing another pair of lungs expanding and contracting rhythmically, hearing the sound of another heart pumping blood inside a body, and feeling the unmistakable vibrations of a living thing—but all on a much smaller scale than that of a typical human.
Even before my eyes land on it, I already know it’s a bird. A South American, fifteenth generation purple-tailed cockatoo, to be exact. They’re fairly rare in this hemisphere of the Earth. And it’s her pet.
For some reason, that throws me off a little. I never would have pegged her for a bird person from the impression I got from meeting her tonight. Then again, I suppose being completely toasted doesn’t exactly give much room for any other impressions than being drunk off your ass.
Another unexpected surprise, I suppose.
It’s not important.
She’s not important.
Merely an inconvenience—collateral, if you will—that I’ve been forced to deal with because of her relation to Daniel.
But all that ends here and now.
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