M E G A N
The lift was a tight squeeze, to say the least. I could feel Caleb pressing against my back in an effort to stop himself being squashed into the wall. I pushed back against him, wanting to be as far away as possible from the receptionist.
Sunlight burst through the walls.
I winced, turning my head. The last Registered HQ I'd been in was the one back home, and it hadn't even had an elevator, never mind one that was partially outside.
Back home. Something squeezed in my chest. I couldn't think of it like that anymore. This was my home now.
The landscape around us grew smaller; buildings shrank until they were nothing more than squares on a grey flooring. The height didn't scare me--there was something oddly comforting about it. I was so much higher, so much more free than the specs strolling around on the world underneath my feet.
Caleb breathed heavily through his nose.
"You aren't scared of heights, are you?" I teased, turning my head to smirk at him.
Instead of replying, he just shakily grabbed my hand and held it tight.
The lift shot back into the building, the world disappearing into darkness. The elevator slowed to a smooth halt, and the doors behind us opened.
"Follow me," the receptionist said briskly, trotting out of the lift.
I raised an eyebrow at Caleb when I saw his eyes flicker lower than her hips.
His head shot back up and he glanced at me, dazed. "Hm?"
The office was plush--and that was putting it nicely. The floor was covered in a rich, warm coloured beige carpet. A desk crowned the room, and behind it sat a large, tall-backed chair. I looked around at the walls. Pure glass. You could see for miles in any direction.
It was beautiful.
"Oh, God," Caleb whimpered. "I'm gonna puke."
I hastily let go of his hand, stepping away from him. He grinned at me feebly.
"Kidding," he laughed, but his face remained a shiny, white colour. He reached for my hand again but I shook my head.
"I'm not taking any chances."
"Mr Dwight will be here momentarily," the receptionist said from where she perched on the wooden desk. Long, manicured fingernails trailed over the smooth surface.
"Thank you," I said, in a tone which clearly stated she was finished here.
The woman glowered at me, before delicately returning to the elevator. "Bye, honey," she called, wiggling her fingers at Caleb.
"Get me a sick bucket," I groaned, the elevator doors sliding shut. I heard her say something just before they clamped together but I couldn't make out what it was.
Probably a swear word.
"Right, so, where's big brother?"
The muscles in Caleb's jaw tightened and he grumbled, "How am I supposed to know?"
It was easy to see that he was uncomfortable. He shifted awkwardly, looking small in the large office. For once in his life, he looked out of place.
I tapped him with the toe of my shoe. "Hey," I whispered softly. "Look at me."
His head tilted towards me but his eyes focused on my shoes. That was probably the best I would get.
"I don't understand what the big deal is about him, Caleb," I sighed. "Maybe if you actually told me why you've never mentioned him before I could--"
Humourlessly, he spat out a laugh. "We've known each other a little less than a month, Megan, hardly enough time to spill lifestories."
That jarred me. "Oh, but long enough to have told me you loved me?"
His head whipped round, and he stood up straighter.
"Yes," he spat through gritted teeth. "Because love comes easier than the truth."
I had nothing to say to that.
Nothing at all.