The Darkest Star (Origin 1) - Page 102

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“As bad as this? You know what’s on the menu?”

A smile tugged at my lips. “What?”

“Me ’n’ u,” he replied.

I rolled my eyes.

“Did you just come out of the oven?” he asked.

“Oh God.”

“Because you’re hot.”

“Please stop.”

“Well, here I am. What are you other two wishes?” he replied.

I shook my head.

“I’m lost.”

“Yeah, you are,” I muttered.

He flicked my calf. “Can you give me directions to your heart?”

I shot him a withering look.

“You remind me of peaches. Sweet—”

“Don’t even finish that sentence.” I held up my hand. “I think it’s time that you leave.”

“I can’t.”

“What do you mean you can’t?”

“Because you’ve swept me off my feet.”

Letting out a reluctant laugh, I nudged his leg with my foot. I knew what he was doing. Distracting me from thinking things that were likely going to haunt my sleep tonight. “You seriously need to leave before I staple your mouth shut.”

“Okay. I’ll stop, but I’m staying until your mom gets home. Deal with it.”

I started to protest, but then I thought about Heidi and Emery. Anxiety buzzed under my skin. “You think that guy is going to come here?”

“I don’t want to take the chance.” His eyes met mine. “I shouldn’t have taken the chance in the first place. I’m not doing it again.”

“If my mom catches you here—”

“I’ll be gone the moment she walks into this house,” he assured me. “She won’t even know I’m here.”

“I have the Taser,” I reminded him, nodding at the nightstand.

“I know, but I’m really hoping to prevent you from having to use it.”

Letting Luc stay here wasn’t particularly wise, but neither was ignoring a credible threat, and truth was, I . . . I really didn’t want him to leave. Especially since that guy had gotten in here twice.

The fear I’d been trying to suppress all evening tore through me once more. My next breath went nowhere. Keep it together. I was safe. For now. And I could deal with this. After all, I’d dealt with the invasion. I’d survived that.

Luc’s hand curved over mine, causing me to jerk. My eyes flew to his. “You know,” he said, his gaze searching mine, “it’s okay to be afraid.”

A knot formed in the back of my throat. “Is it, really?”

“What do you mean?”

“I don’t know.” I lifted a shoulder. “Being afraid clouds your thinking. It gets in the way. It makes you weak.”

“Sometimes. And sometimes it clears your thoughts and makes you stronger and quicker.” His fingers slipped under mine and then he was holding my hand.

Flutters picked up in my chest, like a nest of butterflies stirring. I tried to stamp down the feeling, but it was there. I averted my gaze.

“Okay,” I said finally.

Luc let go of me, then sat up and extended his hand. The TV remote flew from the desk to his palm. I really wished I had that talent.

I stayed quiet as Luc got himself situated, which somehow ended up with us shoulder to shoulder at the head of the bed. He turned on the TV. “I wonder if there are any Arnold Schwarzenegger movies on.”

Slowly, I turned my head to him.

“What?” he asked.

“That’s random.”

“He’s just so quotable,” he reasoned, flipping through the channels.

I really couldn’t respond to that and I really couldn’t believe I was sitting here, next to Luc in bed while he searched for old Arnold Schwarzenegger movies.

Life was strange.

And I had a feeling it was about to get stranger.24

When I woke several hours later, I was staring at the TV. Confusion swept through me. There was some kind of infomercial playing, but I couldn’t figure out what it was since the volume was low.

The soft light from the TV cast flickering shadows throughout the bedroom. It was still nighttime, and I. . . .

Oh my God.

For the second time in only a handful of hours, I wasn’t alone in a bed. I was lying on my back, and there was a warm, heavy arm tossed over my waist, and a leg—an actual boy leg—tangled between mine. My eyes went wide as they shifted from the TV to the ceiling, and my heart skyrocketed into uncharted territories.

Luc was right next to me, so close that I could feel his breath against my temple.

I remained very still, close to holding my breath.

How did this happen? I remembered Luc listing all the memorable Arnold Schwarzenegger lines, and there had been a lot, before he ended up settling on some crime show about murders. Totally a weird combination to fall asleep to, but I had, and here we were, together. At least we were on top the comforter, but I didn’t think that made much of a difference.

At least Mom hadn’t checked in on us, because I would’ve known if that happened. Her screams of rage would’ve woken me and—

Luc’s entire body shifted.

It wasn’t much, maybe just half an inch, but it was everything. His thigh shifted against mine, between mine, and his arm moved. Somehow, I didn’t even know how, his hand was flat against my stomach. My bare stomach. His fingers moved in a small, unconscious way, dragging over the skin near my navel. I bit down on my lip as I squeezed my eyes shut.


Tags: Jennifer L. Armentrout Origin Romance
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