I actually might get sick.
“That was fun,” Daemon said, and then the door opened on its own accord. “But I need you to get out of the car.”
Slowly, I lifted my head and numbly unhooked my seat belt. I stood on legs I couldn’t feel as rain pelted me in the face.
“Come on.” His voice was softer, and so was the sudden grip on my arm. He walked me around to the passenger side. “My job was to make sure you got to school safely. Been a while since I played bodyguard. Not doing a great job at it.”
I got in the car. Before I could blink, Daemon was behind the driver’s seat, closing the door and rolling up the window. He shoved his hair, wet from the rain, back from his face.
My breath caught. “I don’t want to go back there.”
“If you don’t go back there, then you’re going to Luc.” He looked over at me. “Those are the two choices.”
I wanted a third choice—actually, I did want to see Luc. “The club.”
“Sounds like a plan.” The car started moving and he looked over at me. “Seat belt. The last thing I need right now is Luc losing his mind if you end up going through a window or something.”
“You stepped out in front of the car,” I reminded him as I buckled up. “That could’ve caused an accident.”
“I made sure it didn’t,” he replied.
Go figure. It hadn’t been my driving skills that had prevented a wreck. I looked out the window, not really seeing anything. Maybe that woman back there wasn’t my mom. Maybe a Luxen had assimilated her and she was pretending to be my mom.
That was my mom. It sounded like her—smelled like her and talked like her. As much as I wanted to believe that wasn’t her, it was. So did that mean what she claimed was true? That I wasn’t Evelyn? That I was this other girl? That everything I’d known and believed . . . since, well, since I could remember, was a lie?
“You doing okay over there?” Daemon asked.
I closed my eyes against the burn. “Did you . . . did you know me before you saw me in the club?”
There was a long pause, so long that I didn’t think Daemon was going to answer. And when he did, I wished he hadn’t. “Yeah, I knew you.”
* * *
I left Daemon in the hallway downstairs and climbed the six damn flights of steps. I went to Luc’s door, closed my hand, and beat my fist off it like I was the police about to serve a warrant.
The door swung open and there was Luc. Hair damp like he’d just gotten out of the shower and still . . . painfully beautiful to look at.
Surprise washed over Luc’s face as he stepped back, letting me inside the apartment. He closed the door behind him.
“Aren’t you supposed to be at school?” He’d changed from last night. Gone was the Henley, and in its place was a black shirt. I was guessing Mom hadn’t been able to get ahold of him. “Did something happen?”
I was never quite worthy of her—of her friendship, her acceptance and loyalty. . . .
Seeing him after what I’d learned this morning was like being smacked in the face and told it was a kiss. If what I had been told was true, he had been. . . . he had been—God, I didn’t even know. But it was wrong. It was beyond wrong.
I’d asked Luc about Nadia last night, if he still loved her, and he’d said—
He’d said, “With every breath I take.”
I didn’t stop to think. I only acted.
My hand shot out and my palm smacked across his cheek with stinging force. His head snapped to the side and then swung back. Luc’s pupils widened as horror gripped me.
I’d hit him.
I’d never hit anyone in my life.
And I didn’t even feel bad about it.
Red blossomed along his cheek. “Was that for last night? Because I didn’t leave before your mom got home?” He paused, eyes flashing. “Or was it because you lay there and pretended to be asleep while you wished I’d stayed?”
My hand cocked back again, but Luc was prepared this time. He caught my wrist and hauled me forward. Air pushed out of my lungs at the chest-to-chest contact.
“Hitting is not nice,” he said, his voice steely. “Pretty sure they taught that in kindergarten, Evie.”
“Evie?” I laughed, and it sounded even more wrong. Worse than brittle. It sounded near hysterical.
His brows knitted and then smoothed out as understanding seeped in. His mouth opened, but he didn’t speak as he dropped my wrist as if my skin burned his.
Words festered and finally boiled over as I stumbled back a step and kept going, until my back hit the door. “Why didn’t you tell me you saw my m-mom yesterday?” My voice cracked on that one, powerful word. “When you were with me last night, why didn’t you tell me you’d talked to her?”