page 68

“This must have cost a ridiculous amount of money.” I commented, looking around.

“It may be first class, but it’s nothing special.” Raphael yawned, “And you should know that it’s a very insignificant amount of money.”

“I don’t know how I’ll pay you back.” I muttered, getting a look from him.

“I told you, I’m paying for all of this. And that’s final.”

“I can’t let you do that.” I sighed, leaning back.

“Why not?”

I didn’t have an immediate answer to that.

“I don’t like...owing people things. Having debts.”

“This isn’t a loan, Kate.” He replied, “I’m choosing to spend on you. If you try to pay me back I’ll only spend more.”

“You’re so stubborn.” I muttered, getting a laugh out of him.

“You’re stubborn too.”

“I am not.” I insisted, only furthering his amusement.

“If you’re so fixed on the idea of debts, then so be it. You made me promise not to use my influence to get you that role; you promise me that you’ll let me spend as much as I want on you.”

Jeez, he remembered too much for his own good.

“...fine.” I replied, admitting defeat.

“You’ll like where we’re going.” He said, as if he was making me feel any better, “It’s wonderfully warm this time of year in comparison to Chicago.”

Great. Warm meant sun. Sun meant burn.

“I better not end up with hepatitis.” I replied, making him laugh again.

I glared at him.

“Sorry,” he said quickly, “It’s a...legitimate concern, but I can assure you that we will only visit state-of-the-art facilities. The risk will be next to none.”

“Well if I end up with some kind of horrific liver problems, I’ll know who to blame.” I retorted, “How long’s the flight?”

“About six hours. Give or take.”

I nodded in understanding, tapping my fingers on the armrest. I hadn’t told him, but it was my first time on a plane. I wasn’t really the type to be fazed by something like that, but there was a bit of queasiness in my stomach.

When we were taking off I felt my face drain of colour. At the same time Raphael quietly took my hand, and I gripped it without looking at him.

It ended soon enough, but I didn’t pull my fingers from his, and he didn’t either. His presence was oddly comforting, even as I heard Vera’s sobs in my mind again and thought about what her life must have been like.

Carted off to boarding schools, probably, and given little attention by jetsetter parents? Left to try and make something of herself, even when she had enough money that she didn’t need to?

I briefly thought about what Raphael had told me about the dark side of the wealthy world. I wondered what kind of a person I would have been if I was in Morrison’s place.

Some buried part of me knew that I would likely have been no different. 

The End

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