Upstairs, he discovered to his relief that he’d been right about his roommate. The place was completely dark and silent, exactly as Hunter liked it. He turned on the dim light over the kitchen stove, then proceeded to the living room at the other end of the apartment where he only had to open the curtains to let in enough light to see—thanks to Logan Airport, across a narrow strip of harbor on the other side of the train tracks.
As he watched, a plane took off. The noise had seemed ridiculous when Hunter first moved in, but within a few weeks he’d become accustomed to the planes and trains. The building had double-paned windows paid for by the agency that ran the airport, and though they did little to block the noise, they at least dulled it.
And Hunter enjoyed watching the planes, especially at night. The lights that rose into the sky reminded him of possibilities. Right now, he was stuck living in this dump with the son of the building’s owners, who expected life to be handed to him and who spent most of his money partying. Right now, Hunter worked at an office with a tyrant boss, doing menial paperwork that almost put him to sleep. But his life would change someday. Someday he would take his money and buy a ticket on one of those planes. It wouldn’t even matter where he ended up. He could go anywhere.
The possibility was the only thing keeping him sober some days. Things would change. He would make it happen.
He heard a sound behind him and tensed. It was the smallest noise. He barely noticed it over the roar of the plane’s engine, but it was there. His heart pounded. He was in his home, and the only other person who could be there was Jack, unless the guy had brought someone in to spend the night. He was safe.
Reminding himself of that did little to take down the fear.
“Don’t sneak up on me.” His voice came out as a croak, and he cleared his throat. “I mean it, Jack. Remember what happened last time.”
“Not sneaking. Fucking thirsty.”
Hunter let out a long breath and sagged against the frame of the glass door that led onto their tiny balcony. Of course it was only Jack. No one else could have entered the apartment. Even if someone had, it was unlikely they would try anything on Hunter. They might rob the place blind, but they wouldn’t be able to touch him. If they tried, he would fight them off. He’d taken three years of Krav Maga before he’d stopped because one of his classmates had become a little too interested in physical contact.
“You okay?” Jack’s slightly slurred voice sounded closer. He must have come through the kitchen instead of just getting a drink and going back to his room. “Didn’t mean to startle you.”
“No problem. I’m a bit on edge tonight. I’ll be going to bed in a few.” Hunter wasn’t sure he’d be able to sleep, but he had to at least make the attempt.
“Sorry,” Jack said. “Just got up for a drink. See you.” He shuffled back to the kitchen, and water ran a moment later.
Hunter stayed where he was, staring out at the runway lights and the harbor on both sides of the airport, though he could barely see it.