“Don’t be so tough on Zoe. The girl cares about you—”
“She lied to me! Are you serious right now?”
“Zoe lied to you, because what could she tell you, Peaches? There was nothing she could do without you thinking she was crazy. You were never supposed to find out the truth.”
“Well, I did, didn’t I?” Anger rose swiftly. “And don’t call me that.”
“The fact that she’s an Origin and knows the truth about who you are doesn’t change that she’s your friend.”
In the back of my mind, I knew Luc had a point. Hell, he was probably right, but I wasn’t ready to face that. “It’s the fact that everyone I know and care about has been lying to me. That’s just not something you easily forgive.”
“But you could try understanding.”
Pressing my lips together, I shook my head. “Whatever.”
“Whatever? Fine. Let’s move this conversation to something else that’s important.”
“Oh great,” I snapped. “Can’t wait to hear this.”
He ignored me as he stepped up on the platform. “What in the hell were you thinking? There is a psychotic Origin on the loose and what do you do? You spend all day driving around, practically wearing a neon ‘come break my other arm’ sign.”
“Then you go home, leave your freaking house in a mess, scaring the shit out of Sylvia, causing her to think something happened to you.”
My eyes widened. “How do you know that?”
“Because I was there, watching over you to make sure you didn’t end up dead.”
“Oh my God, that’s not okay! I told you that I didn’t want you doing it. You could’ve had Grayson or Daemon—”
“Pretty sure after the stunt you pulled this morning, that was enough punishment for Daemon,” he shot back, eyes afire. “And then you go to a party. A party, knowing there’s an Origin who apparently wants to use you in some cliché revenge plot? Are you out of your mind?”
I was about five seconds from being out of my mind. “Why am I even here with you? I told you I didn’t want to see you again.”
His lips twisted into a smirk. “Do you want me to take you home then, to Sylvia?”
“Then congrats, you’re stuck with me.”
Turning to him, I closed my hands into fists. “That doesn’t mean I have to stand here and listen to you.”
“Damn straight you do. What you did tonight, by going to that party, was absolutely, fundamentally—”
“Want to use another adverb?”
“Yeah.” His jaw locked down. “How about irresponsibly, recklessly, and carelessly immature?”
I sucked in a stuttered breath. “You’re acting like I just found out today that my parents are getting divorced and I’m overreacting.”
“I don’t think you’re overreacting. I cannot even fathom what you must be thinking or feeling, but that doesn’t mean you made smart choices today.” Luc’s lips formed a thin, hard line. “I didn’t spend half of my godforsaken life trying to keep you alive for you to just throw it all away!”
I sucked in air, and something, something exploded inside of me, like a buckshot, and I got right up in his face, putting my hands on his chest. He caught my wrists. “I don’t belong to you, Luc! My life doesn’t belong to you! No matter what you did for me.”
Luc drew back as if I’d slapped him. “I never said you did.”
My entire body was trembling. “I want to make something very clear. My name is Evelyn. You can call me Evie. That is who I am, no . . . no matter who I used to be.”
“I know,” he said solemnly, his gaze never leaving mine. “Nadia doesn’t exist. Not anymore.”
I wasn’t exactly sure what happened next. Maybe he pulled my hands back to him, or maybe that was all me, but suddenly my palms were flat against his chest. He was wearing a shirt, but the heat of his body seemed to burn through the cloth, searing my palms.
Neither of us moved.
We both seemed frozen, and then Luc did move. He lifted a hand, placing it over mine—over the hand that rested above his heart.
My gaze darted to his and I found it difficult to breathe. The fluttering was back in my ruined chest, overshadowing the wrecked feeling that threatened to pull me under and never let me resurface. The fluttering rapidly became something else, a burning and tingling that spread much, much lower.
My fingers curled into his shirt. What was I doing?
Luc was, well, he was Luc. He wasn’t even really human. As I stared up at him, I had to admit to myself that I’d stopped caring about the whole not-being-human thing after the first time I’d seen him shirtless.
I was that shallow.
I fully accepted that.
But what was I thinking?
I was thinking about stretching up on the tips of my toes and kissing him. That was what I was thinking about. And I didn’t want to think anymore—think about who I really was or all the lies that now made up my life.