Author's Note: Hang in there! You're almost past the cheesy, clichè stuff!


I headed down the hallway and up to the elevator. I pressed the down button several times before the stainless steel doors actually opened.

I hopped inside and pressed the button for the floor level.

Just as the doors were closing, I remembered I'd left my cell phone plugged up beside my bed. I tried to run out, but the doors closed too quickly.

I stomped my foot an aggravation as I rode down the floors. Luckily, I made it to the bottom with out anyone getting on.

I peered cautiously out the doors as they opened and stepped out. People were scattered throughout the humongous lobby and I tried my best to avoid them all.

I walked around with my arms folded across my chest and I tried to enjoy the freedom as much as I could. I'd given myself twenty minutes before I knew I had to be back in the room.

I saw flashing lights above a threshold in the lobby, and like a moth to flame, I drew closer to it.

I finally convinced myself I could have ten more minutes and walked in.

Girls in short dresses with too much makeup were scattered everywhere you saw a man in an expensive suit.

Lottery machines lined the walls and were making enough noise to give anyone a headache.

Waitresses and waiters carried around drinks on trays and handed them out to people.

I stood there like an idiot for the longest time. I had no money; not like I'd feed it to the greedy machines even if I did.

I finally took small steps forward to a large poker table that had maybe twelve people seated around it. All of them were dressed in expensive dresses and suits, no doubt every one of them bidding high.

A hand grabbed my arm roughly and I spun around.

Madeline's eyes were wild and worried, a look I hadn't seen since our pack was attacked two years ago.

"What's wrong?" I asked quickly, growing more worried by the second.

"We have to leave! Now! Something went wrong with the meeting and Dad told me to get you and meet him in the car," she explained dragging me along.

A loud crash echoed through the room, sending everyone dead silent, save a few gasps.

I peeked around a red, neon-flashing sign and saw three men begin to pick up machines and throw them.

A scream was let out as one of the flying objects landing mere inches away from a blonde bimbo in a turquoise dress.

"C'mon!" Madeline whispered pulling me forcefully.

We both sprinted out of the room and to the door.

"Wait!" I yelled, stopping her mid-stride.

"Did you get our luggage?" I asked.

Her eyebrows furrowed.

"No, Caroline! I didn't think to grab our luggage when our lives were on the line!" She yelled.

I had to go back.

"I have to go get my painting!" I said backing up.

"No! You can't!"

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