Part 3- Under Turquoise Lights

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My stomach fluttered, not with tame, gentle butterflies, but with something more like attack helicopters, as Vitale led me back down the stairs. I had no idea what he planned to show me, but I knew, despite my nerves, that I was ready. Halfway down the steps, my phone buzzed from where it was wedged in the side of my dress, and I flipped it out to see that Cadence had texted me.

"So Adler has a dog and I'm going to go meet him. Just so you don't think I ditched you completely."

I made a face and formulated a quick text back.

"Don't get into any mysterious vans with no windows."

Her response was quick.

"I'll be back soon! :P Still on the roof?"

I glanced at Vitale who watched me amusedly and felt my skin heat.

"I'll also be back soon."

I shoved my phone back in the side of my dress and looked to Vitale.

"Onward?" he asked, and I nodded in embarrassment.

"Cadence texted," I explained as he offered me his arm once more. "Does Adler have a dog?"

Vitale threw his head back and laughed, making my face turn even redder.

"Is that how he got her to leave with him?" he wondered, and I stepped on his toe.

"Just answer!"

"Yes," he replied, the amused grin still on his lips. "Though he doesn't like many people..."

"Oh, that makes me feel better," I muttered, though I wasn't actually worried about Cadence. She had a feisty German Shepherd she'd trained herself, and I imagined she could handle most dogs with ease.

We walked back onto the first floor, and Vitale led me through the crowd. I realized a second before we reached one of the hidden doors where he was headed, but by the time it dawned on me, he was already nodding to a guard to step aside and pulling me through.

When the door shut behind us, it was absolute silence.

"Whoa," I said, my own voice sounding foreign after the rumble of voices and music from the club had dampened my hearing.

"Follow me?" Vitale asked, and my chest tightened. His gaze was open, asking me to trust him, but his lips still displayed a conniving smirk.

I was in deep.

"Lead on," I told him, and slipped my arm into his.

Vitale's grin flashed for a moment, before he began walking us down the dark, wooded hallway. There were a few other doors on either side, but we passed them. At the end of the passage, there was a dimly lit staircase.

"Good thing I didn't skip leg day," I noted, and Vitale chuckled.

"Especially with those heels," he replied with an appreciative nod. We walked up a story, ignoring the door on the landing there, and then up one more. At the top, there was one door, which Vitale unlocked with a key he manifested from his jacket. I swallowed nervously and peered up at him through my lashes.

"Is this what you wanted to show me?" I asked, but Vitale didn't respond. Instead, he just pushed open the heavy door, and led me into... a bedroom? No, this was far more than just a bedroom. This was a suite. An upscale studio apartment. This was incredible.

A king sized bed sat directly across the suite from us, the tall headboard made from the same wood as the sound-proof hallway, and linens the color of blood. It was made, but near the foot of the bed sat a discarded button down, letting me know the room wasn't entirely unused. To our left was a wall made entirely of windows, allowing an exquisite view of the street below, and even the Eiffel Tower in the distance. To our right was a furnished kitchen, with stainless steel appliances and granite counters. And on the wall across from us, between the bed and the kitchen, was a door leading into what looked to be a huge bathroom with a whirlpool tub. The only light in the room was from the Fierro's sign that sat somewhere below us, casting the room in a deep turquoise.

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