“Thanks.” She bit her lip and looked down. “I’m not really sure what to say.”
“Can I kiss you?” I leaned in towards her, but she shook her head.
“I love that.” I pulled away from her. She was making me crazy inside, but I was glad that she wasn’t making it easy for me.
“Sure you do.”
“You’ve got a smart mouth, huh?”
“Are you going to tell me your idea before my car gets towed, Zane? I don’t have all day.”
“I’m looking for someone to be my part-time assistant.” I took a deep breath. This was it. “And I like and trust you, and I know from seeing you at Lou’s that you have a strong work ethic.”
“You what?” Her voice was loud and surprised. “You want me to work for you?”
“I know that’s not as exciting as being my sub, but I need a girl Friday, so to speak, and you need money, so I thought perhaps we could make something work.”
“I don’t know.” She frowned. “Between school and the diner, I don’t have much time.”
“Then I guess I’ll have to find someone else.” I jumped up off of the bed and walked towards the door, feeling upset and angry. I was mad that she hadn’t said yes right away, and I was scared. “Do you have any other suggestions for your car?”
“I, wait, what?” She jumped up walked up to me. “I didn’t say no, I just said I don’t know.” My heart stopped beating at her words. She was actually considering it. I was in with a chance.
“Lucky.” I decided to go for the kill. “I don’t have time to mess around.”
“What? You have barely even given me a second to think about this.”
I decided to try another tactic. Maybe I needed to seem like I didn’t care. “Maybe this wasn’t a good idea. Maybe you wouldn’t be such a—”
“I accept the position.” She almost shouted, and I felt like the wind had been sucked out of me. I felt delirious as she spoke, and I wasn’t sure if I was hearing her correctly. “I accept the position, and I would like us to go and get my car now.”
“Okay.” I grinned. “Meet me downstairs in five minutes.”
“Wait, aren’t we going to discuss this further?”
“We can talk later.” I exited the room before she could change her mind. “I’ll meet you downstairs in five minutes.” This was it. She had said yes, no matter what happened after this, it didn’t matter. Lucky had accepted the position. She was just as crazy as me, but I didn’t care.
I dropped Lucky off after breakfast and drove to the beach. I parked and sat in my car for a few minutes before making a call.
“Hello, Johnson residence.” A lady answered the phone.
“Hi, can I speak to Sidney please?”
“One moment.” I heard her place the phone on a table, and I waited with bated breath for him to answer the phone.
“Hello, Sidney Johnson here.”
“Sidney, it’s Zane Beaumont again. Noah’s brother.”
“Aw, Zane. It’s good to hear from you again.” He paused. “I’m sorry about your brother.”
“Thank you.” I took a deep breath, not wanting to think of Noah in this moment. “I’m sorry you didn’t receive an invitation to the funeral.”
“I, uh, understand. Everything was so sudden.” He sighed. “How can I help you, Zane?”
“I’ve gotten myself a new assistant. Someone with experience in the civil rights movement. She’s a historian. She’s going to help me make the documentary, if you’re still interested, of course.”
“Oh,” he sounded surprised. “I thought you were involved with some stuff in Miami.”
“It’s on hold for now.” I continued. “We’ll be coming to Los Angeles in a few days. I was hoping we could come and see you, and continue with the project.”
“Sure, sure.” His voice trailed off. “Whatever you want.”
“If you’re sure.” I pressed on, knowing that if he said no, I was screwed.
“Yes, of course. I know how important this was to Noah. He would be happy to know you were continuing his work.”
“Just one more thing.” I took a deep breath.
“Yes?” He sounded hesitant.
“Could you maybe not mention to my assistant that I just called about doing the project?” I knew I sounded shady, but I didn’t want to go into details.
“Sure.” He chuckled. “I’ll be sure not to say anything to her.”
“Thanks.” I laughed, knowing that he understood where I was coming from. “I’ll call you when we get to town.”
“Speak to you soon, Zane.” And with that he hung up. I jumped out of the car, and started running. I felt exhilarated and excited. For the first time in months, I felt like I had a reason to start living. Before Lucky had come along, I thought that everything was over in my life. My surroundings had turned to black and white, and I walked around unfeeling, with only one goal in my mind. I still had that goal: to get Braydon imprisoned for what he had done to Noah, but now, my world had turned back to color. It wasn’t something I had looked for, and it wasn’t even something I understood. In fact, it scared the shit out of me. I didn’t really know this girl, and she didn’t know me. But we had something. There was a connection there that I couldn’t explain. And she was never far from my mind. Before Lucky, I had been a shadow of myself. I’d never believed in love or soul mates. I’d never even wanted anything more than what I had. But now, now I felt differently. I was willing to see where this path took us. I was willing to take a risk, I wanted to get to know her better. I wanted to kiss her, and feel her. I wanted to be with her. For however long it lasted. I wasn’t going to run away anymore. Before Lucky, my life was focused on bringing Braydon down, but now, my life was also focused on her. And I was going to do everything I could to make sure that I achieved all of my goals.