Chapter Thirty-five

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May wasn't sure how to respond.

Or rather, she didn't know where to start. Her heart fluttered hopefully.

She's still in love with me?

How do you know?

What happened?

Does she want to see me?

Her mind tossed questions around like dice in a cup, but before she could choose one, the waitress returned looking marginally less bright than before. Jeremy's tense expression melted into one of gratitude.

"The boss would like to speak to you in his office," she said in a quiet, clipped tone. "I can escort you when you're ready."

Jeremy set down his empty glass and got to his feet. "Now's good."

He fished around the pocket of his jeans and pulled out a wad of neatly folded bills. Flipping a couple from the stack, he pressed the payment into the waitress' palm.

"I'll grab your change and then we can—"

"It's fine," Jeremy cut her off. He held his arms stiffly as his eyes flicked anxiously around the room. "Keep it. Thanks for your help."

The waitress' eyes grew round as she glanced down at the sum in her hand. Then, as if Jeremy might change his mind, she folded the bills with a practiced flip of her fingers and slid the money into the waistband of her skirt. "My pleasure, sir. This way, please."

May made a point of striding alongside Jeremy as they followed the waitress through a swinging door behind the bar. She shot him a look to say she wasn't finished with him, and he glanced away. She had never seen him this uncomfortable before.

The door lead to a hallway: on one end was a staircase that, based on the noise drifting down from it, lead to the upstairs kitchen, and on the other was an office. The waitress gestured for the pair to enter the latter, before disappearing back into the speakeasy.

A large desk, busy with paperwork and a single banker's lamp, sat in the middle of the room. Filing cabinets and overflowing shelves lined the walls, and in the center of one stood the thick metal door to a walk-in safe. Two men waited in the office — the host, who sat behind the desk, and a stoic man with a gun in his lap, seated next to the safe. May tensed, concentrating on the reassuring weight of the star cannon strapped to her arm beneath the sleeve of Dimitri's leather jacket. Jeremy's gaze fell on the man by the safe and gave him a three-fingered salute. The man gave him a minuscule jut of his chin in response. At the desk, the host leaned into the yellow glow of his lamp — the only source of light in the room.

"You're lucky," he said, sliding a nondescript flip phone toward Jeremy.

"So I've been told," Jeremy replied, snatching it from the desk and thumbing it open.

The host nodded and then turned his attention to May. "Can I get you anything?"

"No, but thank you," she replied, being polite to make up for Jeremy's terseness. She watched him punch in a number from memory and press the phone to his ear. His wild red hair shifted over the earpiece, grazing his fingers. Intense eyes bored into nothing as he waited for someone to pick up the line.

"Hey," he said at last, a breath of relief beneath his words. "It's me. Yeah, I'm fine. I'm with May."

There was a pause, and May had to remind herself to breathe. Who had he called?

"She's fine. There was a bit of scene at Gallery... I was there visiting mom when it went down... Yeah, good timing."

He looked at May and somehow seemed to study her without really seeing her. The person on the other line spoke. She almost wanted to sidle up close and lean in to hear what was being said. She stood her ground instead; it was Jeremy, after all.

"I'm not sure," he spoke again. "We saw them for a second when we got out of the prison but the cops cut us off. No clue where they are now. Can you get a message to them?"

Lety, May thought. Dom and Welkin. Does this mean they're okay?

She had so many questions.

Jeremy rattled off a string of numbers May assumed to be coordinates, then paused again to listen. He looked to the host. "Yeah, he's here. Sure, hang on."

He was grinning as he held the phone out to him. "Grant would like a word."

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