Page 3 of Lift

“Come on. It’s only a few days.” He says it with a teasing smile as he ignores her not-so-subtle hints.

“Fine, take the guest room. It’s a mess, so you’ll have to clean it.” She places her hands on her hips as if ready to have it out with him. They might be mad at each other, but still there is this underlying love. I can see it in the way they look at one another. “Just two nights.”

Maybe I could sleep in the car for those two nights. There’s something about Lance that always rubbed me the wrong way.

“We’ll see how long the floors take,” Lance says before he turns his head to wink at me.

He better not try and take the sofa. Cara does have a second bedroom, but it’s so small it freaks me out. I’d only been in foster care for six months, but it ruined me with tight spaces.

“And leave her alone,” Cara snaps at Lance.

“Mom and Dad know she’s here?” he throws back at her. Oh fuck, he’s going to get me kicked out of here.

“Don’t play that game with me, Lance. I know where your bodies are buried. Hasn’t that fancy college you’re about to graduate from taught you anything? Never go into a battle you know you’re going to lose.” She gives him a hard look and he doesn’t say anything else to her. She must have some good shit on him.

Cara takes her coffee and goes back to her room, leaving me alone with her brother.

“So, you have plans today?” he asks.

“I’ve got work, which means I need to get a move on.”

I grab my bag and go to the bathroom. I’m still debating if I should sleep in the car tonight. I yawn, knowing I’m going to have to think about it later. I already see my work app coming to life with people needing rides all around me. There isn’t any time to get ready.

I change quickly before going to the living room and dropping my bag in the corner. Lance watches me the whole time and it makes my skin crawl. I’ve learned to trust my instincts because from what I’ve been through, I know there are predators everywhere.

“I’m out,” I tell him, and Lance looks me over like I’m crazy.

I’m in jeans and a loose-fitting sweatshirt. I even put my hair up into a hat, trying to look more like a boy. It’s easier that way with some of the crazies I’ve given rides.

“Like that?” He raises an eyebrow at me in judgment.

How he manages to check me out while also looking at me like I’m a slob, I have no idea, but he manages to pull it off. I wonder if he learned that at his fancy college.

“Trust me, where I’m going no one cares what I’m wearing,” I tell him as I open the front door.

“You heard from your mother?” His question jolts me. I thought I’d grown used to it by now, but still the mention of my mother always does that to me.

“No,” I tell him before shutting the door behind me. “She doesn’t care about me anymore,” I mutter to myself as I head out into the cold.

Chapter Two

Harris

I take off my headphones and place them on the desk beside me as I enter in my notes. I’m the one who has the final say in the theater and I want to make sure everything is perfect. My company is known for being meticulous, but that’s mostly because I am.

“Of course you have changes,” Simon says beside me. I hear the exhaustion in his voice, but I know there is light at the end of the tunnel.

“Just a few,” I say as I keep typing.

Hill Entertainment is my baby. Actually, it’s more like my demanding lover with all the time it takes up. The company I built from the ground up does a lot of things, but it has one main focus: create the best theaters in the world.

We can build a theater from the ground up that can be used for plays or concerts. We can also restore historic buildings that are used for shows and movies. I love what I do and it’s a lot of fun, but there is always work to be done. This theater is almost complete and I can’t wait to see it all come together.

“You’re still typing.” Simon leans over my shoulder, and I move so he can’t see my screen.

“I’ll send it to you when I’m finished.”

“Fine, but I expect you to bring donuts in the morning. I’m going to be here all night.” He sighs dramatically as he falls back in his chair.

I close my laptop and drop it in my messenger bag as I shake my head. “No, you’re not, and don’t you dare tell Dean that I’m the reason you’re working late.” Simon is a workaholic but tries to pin it on me. “I’m going to text him that I sent you home but you wouldn’t leave.”

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