The Darkest Star (Origin 1) - Page 100

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I gaped at him. “Wow.”

He slid a look at me. “Anyway, I brought you something. A gift.”

My brows rose as he shifted and reached into his pocket, pulling out an object that was small and black, and kind of reminded me of the pedi thing I used in the shower.

“Wait. Is that a Taser?”

“It’s a stun gun.”

I frowned as I resisted making grabby fingers at it. “Aren’t they the same thing?”

“Actually, no. A Taser can be used from a distance and close contact. A stun gun only works at close contact. Kind of surprised not every human is outfitted with one of these.” He lifted a shoulder. “Cartridges are inside, and its ready to be used. All you have to do is press this against the skin and hit the button,” he explained. “It will take a human down for a bit, but it will incapacitate a Luxen, hybrid, or Origin for a couple of minutes, if not longer if they’re weakened or wounded.” He offered it to me. “Use it wisely.”

“As in not against you?” I took it, surprised by how lightweight it felt.

Luc smirked. “See that button? When you slide it up, the light will turn red. That means it’s ready to go. Then you just push the button.”

Because I had to, I did just that. The little light flipped red and then I pushed down. Electricity crackled between the prongs. “Cool.”

Luc was leaning back, nodding slowly.

Grinning, I placed it on the nightstand. “Thank you.”

One shoulder lifted. “I don’t plan for you ever to have to use it. Until we find the Origin who came after you today, you’re going to be stuck with one of us.”

“But—”

“That’s not up for discussion, Peaches.”

“Don’t call me that,” I snapped. “How can you always be watching me? That’s not even feasible.”

A faint smile curved up his lips, but it didn’t reach his eyes. “I’m not going to let him hurt you again.”

“Why?”

He blinked. “You’re asking me why?”

“Yeah, why do you care? I mean, you barely know me, Luc. Why do you—”

“Not want to see you hurt or dead? Gee, I don’t know. Maybe because I’m a decent Origin?”

“So, you protect all helpless humans you come across?”

“Not all of them,” he said slowly. “Only the special ones.”

“Luc.”

He sighed as his gaze returned to the pictures. “Only you would ask a question like that.”

“Only you would answer the question all evasively,” I shot back

“Because I know how much you love it,” he replied. “I know the sight of me probably disgusts you at this point, but you’re going to have to deal with me being around for a little longer, like it or not.”

“Wait. What? Why would you say that?” I asked, genuinely confused. “That you would disgust me?”

“I don’t?” His gaze inched back to mine. “I just told you that I killed a bunch—”

“I know what you told me,” I cut in, not wanting him to have to say those words again. “And I don’t want to say to that. The only thing I can think of is that it’s not fair that those kids were raised to become something like that. It’s not fair that people who tried to take care of them turned into victims. And it’s sure as hell not fair that you had to be put in a situation where you had to do something like that.”

Surprise widened his eyes. “You really think that? That I had to do that?”

“What else could you have done, Luc? I wasn’t there. I didn’t know these kids, and I . . . don’t know you all that well, but I think I know you would’ve done that only when it was your last option.”

“It was.” His voice was low. Hoarse.

“I’m sorry.” When he opened his mouth to speak again, I rushed on. “I’m sorry for all of you. For those kids and for you—I’m just sorry, and . . .” Anger flowed over me in a powerful wave. “And I hate that my mother—and my father—had a role in this. You have no idea how hard it is for me not to say something to my mom. I have so many things I want to say to her.”

Luc was quiet, oddly so.

Wanting to offer some level of comfort, I reached out. I hesitated with my hand a few inches from him, but then I placed my hand on his upper arm. Luc jerked as if my touch had scalded him, but he didn’t pull away. “I don’t know what you must be feeling or felt when you had to do that.”

He folded his hand over mine. “Someone who obviously has a problem with me broke your arm today, and you’re wanting to make me feel better?”

I lifted a shoulder as I slipped my hand out from under his. “I guess so.”

Luc opened his mouth as if he wanted to say something, but then he looked away.


Tags: Jennifer L. Armentrout Origin Romance
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