Haze switched his thoughts to Adriana. Every fiber of his being was in love with her and he was tired of hiding it. He and Carys had talked about it on their way to New York, and she made a valid point of saying that he and Adriana were both consenting adults and her parents couldn’t stop them from seeing each other. She encouraged him to go to Adriana’s parents, and if Adriana truly loved him, she would forgive him. Haze was hell-bent on professing his love for Adriana to her parents. He’d planned his speech and was ready. He was ready to apologize for sneaking around behind their backs and was willing to take whatever consequences they dished out. He was willing to do whatever it took to finally be with Adriana in the open.
He walked briskly through LAX. His mission, while he still had the courage, was to head to Banovic Manor. He texted his roommate, Chellon, to pick him up at the airport. Haze could hardly wait to get to the outside a few yards in front of him. With his eyes set firmly on his finish line, he dodged people coming at him from all directions; then just outside of Starbucks, L’Wren DaCosta bumped into him, spilling some of her ice-cold drink down his pant leg. As the liquid penetrated his pants and touched his skin, it slammed him into the present.
“I am so sorry, I wasn’t paying attention,” she apologized.
“It’s okay, neither was I.” He dusted the liquid from his pants.
“I’m so sorry, let me …” She tried to wipe it off.
“Don’t worry about it. It’s okay. Lemme buy you another one.” Haze looked at her for the first time and she looked familiar, but he couldn’t place her.
“No, no, no, it’s fine. I am so clumsy!”
“You’re Kevin’s girlfriend.”
“I knew you looked familiar. Have we met?” L’Wren asked.
“Haze. I work for the Banovics, part time, but I’ve seen you at Bacchanal Jake’s.”
“L’Wren. Nice to meet you,” she introduced herself.
“Yeah, you too. You coming or going?”
“Just coming back from New York City. I presented one of my designs at Fashion Week.”
“No way! I was just coming back from there. I had a gig at that event.”
“Do you want a ride? My roommate should be here any minute now.”
“Kevin’s picking me up.” She beamed; it was obvious to Haze that she was very much in love with Kevin by the way she lit up when she mentioned his name.
L’Wren and Haze walked and talked about the shows. Once outside, the conversation flowed easily. They were so engrossed in conversation that they didn’t notice a black SUV pull up a few feet away. Two men got out and walked towards them.
“L’Wren?” one of the men asked.
“Kevin sent us to pick you up.”
One of the men relieved her of her bags. Haze had an uneasy feeling as he watched the man who spoke lead her away by her elbow.
“Bye, Haze.” She smiled. “Nice to meet you.”
Haze faked a smile, but his gut told him that something was not right. He saw them open the backseat door for her and he started walking towards them. One of the men noticed and quickly got in with L’Wren and they hastily drove off. He memorized the license plate as he dialed Kevin. At the same time Chellon pulled up and Haze spotted Kevin’s vehicle in traffic several cars behind.
Haze dropped his bag and ran towards Kevin’s vehicle.
“Hey, man!” Chellon called as he got out of his vehicle.
Kevin spotted Haze and lowered the window on the passenger side. “What’s going on, Haze?”
“Two guys just grabbed your girl, I think.”
“You shitting me, right?” Kevin looked at him in disbelief.
Chellon caught up to them.
“Kevin, I’m dead serious.” Haze told them everything that happened and gave him the license plate of the vehicle, and Kevin sped off, honking his way through traffic.
“We should call the cops. I’ve got the license plate, they could help.” Haze looked for both vehicles, but they had already disappeared.
“No, man, Kevin’s got this,” Chellon replied. Just then an airport security guard started to hassle them about leaving their vehicle unattended.