“So, I guess it’s kind of a good thing you’re here,” I confess reluctantly.
“Why I that,” Xane asks knowingly.
“I’ve decided to give your job offer a chance,” I tell him.
“Great,” he exclaims seeming to be genuinely pleased.
“I have to get going, Mal,” Bailey informs us less than enthusiastically. “It was nice meeting you, Xane.”
“The pleasure was all mine,” he assures her with a wide grin. Once she’s gone, he turns back to me. “Your care or mine?”
“What,” I ask confused.
“You don’t know where we’re going,” he reminds me. “And I can’t just tell you.”
“Then, what do you recommend, Oh Secret One?” I fold my arms across my chest.
“If you don’t mind me driving, then I’d suggest we take yours, so our techs can give it a free tune up while we give you the tour.”
Reluctantly, I drop my keys into his outstretched hand. “I really don’t want to do this, you know.”
“I do know.” A thoughtful look crosses his face. “I didn’t want to either, but it’s worth it.”
“If you say so,” I mumble as I follow him out to my Jeep Wrangler. He takes his place in the driver’s seat and I sit in the passenger’s seat.
“Nice car,” he comments after driving in silence for a few minutes. “Seems perfect for L.A. weather.”
“It is,” I agree smiling. “I love it.” He smiles back, but falls back into a comfortable silence.
When we arrive at Brentwood Country Estates, it takes everything in me not to freak out with excitement. This is where some of the most Hollywood Elite live. Tom Brady used to live here! He may be a cry baby, but he’s still hot! Xane looks at me as if waiting for a fangirl reaction, but I won’t give it to him.
“Really,” he asks in amused annoyance.
“What,” I ask innocently.
“You’re just going to pretend that you’re not even the slightest bit thrilled to be in the same neighborhood where some of your favorite celebrities have lived?
“Who said any of my favorite celebrities have lived here?”
“You Twitter page is public,” he reminds as we pull up to the most beautiful property with the highest security levels I’ve ever seen. Xane pulls into a huge garage full of various types of nice or run down vehicles. When he’s instructed someone to give my car the full treatment, he lead me to an elevator that makes me feel like I’m in a secret agent movie, because it scans him before letting us in.
Waiting for us when we exit the elevator are a man and woman. “Miss Gregory,” the woman greets. “It’s a pleasure to meet you. My name is Veronica Jones, the head of the L.A. Tex. Department, and this is my partner Victor Hayes.” She is all business, but somehow in the politest way I’ve ever seen. It’s rather pleasant.
“We’re so glad you’ve decided to come for the tour,” Victor greets enthusiastically. He is the laidback to Veronica’s poised as Xane is the cowboy to my Cali Girl.
“What exactly am I touring,” I ask skeptically.
“This is the base for The Los Angeles Angels,” Veronica explains. I raise my eyes in further skepticism. “Like you, we help as many people as we can whenever we can.”
“If you already help people, then why do you need me?”
“As you said yourself, you are the Chosen One. I wouldn’t have used that terminology myself, but it is fitting. You have abilities that we can’t even begin to imagine having. Everyone who works here, and in the departments around the world, has been trained in acting, writing, and psychology to be able to read and understand people better than the average passerby, but you’ve been gifted with these abilities that far surpass anything anyone could ever learn.”
“Actually,” I contradict. “I said I’m not the Chosen One.”
“Wouldn’t it be cool if you were though,” Xane asks. “Then, you’d be like Buffy, Faith, and Harry. You could save and help even more people than you already do.” I consider this for a moment. “Think about it,” he whispers near my ear. “You could be Malachi Gregory: The Chosen.”
“I don’t want to be the Chosen One,” I lie affectively. “I’m not a super hero and I don’t have any special powers.” My three potential coworkers look at me disappointed. I sigh. “I do want to help though.”
“Excellent,” Victor celebrates.
“Of course, this means we’d like you to live here; if that’s okay?” Veronica looks at me expectantly.
“Just like Chosen One,” Xane states with an impish smile.
I roll my eyes. “Of course, if I do live here, then my best friend will have to know.”