“Well . . .” He walked around the couch but stopped at the edge of the raised platform. “I believe you might’ve knocked yourself out by . . . running into a parked car.”
“I did?” A brief image of running panicked into the darkness surfaced. I sighed. “I did.”
“You took a pretty nasty hit to the head.” He leaned against the back of the couch, staying to the shadows of the room. “You weren’t seriously injured, but I . . . I fixed it.”
“With your special magic healing fingers?”
“Something like that.”
I pushed my hair back. I couldn’t believe I’d actually knocked myself out by running into a car. God officially hated me.
“I once knew of a girl who walked out in front of a speeding truck,” he said. “Well, that’s the story I heard.”
Walking out in front of a moving truck sounded a lot better than running into a parked car and knocking myself out. “Is that supposed to make me feel better?”
“Not really.” A moment paused. “We were only a moment behind you. Zoe wanted to give you space. Well, the illusion of space. I shouldn’t have listened to her. If I’d just gone after you, you wouldn’t have seen that.”
I looked over at him, my stomach turning. “The body—”
“The police were called. I think they’re still there. The party was shut down.”
A shudder worked its way through me. “Did you . . . hear who it was?”
When that was all he said, dread set in. I clasped my knees. “Who was it?”
“Some guy who went to your school. I think his name was Andy. At least that’s what Zoe said.”
“God,” I whispered, looking away. Andy was one of the guys who’d been eyeballing the young Luxen at school. What I knew about Andy wasn’t good, but I wouldn’t want him or anyone to die like that. It was terrible.
I folded my arms across my stomach. “This is going to make stuff at school so much worse.”
“Probably,” he agreed. “The Origin must’ve followed you there.”
I frowned. “I don’t think it was him, though. I saw something there. I think—no, I know I saw an Arum.”
“What?” He pushed away from the couch, nearing the platform.
I squeezed my knees. “It was just like Kent and Emery said it would look. I thought it was just shadows at first, but then the shadows moved and thickened. The temperature dropped and . . . there was something there.” I shivered. “That’s why I ran.”
“An Arum can’t kill a human like that. They can assimilate some of the Luxen ability if they feed, but when they kill a human, it doesn’t look like what happened to the guy. It had to be a Luxen or an Origin.” He paused. “Or possibly a hybrid, but let’s stick to the first two as possible suspects. And we already know there’s a ticked-off Origin murdering people.”
“I know what I saw. It wasn’t my imagination. And before I saw the body, I heard my name, but—”
“It was in your head?” he interrupted. “The Arum, when in their true form, speak on a different wavelength. It sounds like it’s in your head, but that’s just how your human ears process the sound. But that doesn’t explain how an Arum would know your name.”
“It doesn’t.” I lifted a shoulder. “Then again, maybe another one of my friends is an Arum for all I know. It could be James.”
He snorted. “Arums don’t interact with humans on that kind of level. They stick to themselves. Usually in dark, damp places.”
“I’ll have to take your word for it.” The moment that came out of my mouth, I tensed. I couldn’t just believe what he said. Not now.
Luc exhaled roughly. “The Arum could’ve sensed the Origin and was tracking him, but instead of finding the Origin, the Arum found you.”
“And I ran.”
“Into a parked car.”
I shot him a look.
“Running was the smart thing to do. That’s what you need to do if you ever come face-to-face with an Arum or a Luxen who is trying to hurt you,” he stated. “You cannot possibly fight them. There is no training a human can do to be able to take one out. Running is why you’re still alive.”
“Well, this convo is making me feel a lot better about everything.”
“It’s just the truth. It’s not meant to make you feel better.”
All righty, then. I glanced at the clock on the nightstand and saw that it wasn’t even midnight yet. “Where is . . . Where is Zoe?”
“She’s here. Not down in the club, since it’s open, but she’s here.” His shoulders seemed to tense. “Do you want me to get her?”
“No,” I replied quickly, standing. “I don’t want to see her.”
Luc folded his arms across his chest. “Don’t be so tough on her.”
“Excuse me?” I turned to him slowly.