The Darkest Star (Origin 1) - Page 135

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I thought about what Micah had said to me about Luc. That he needed Luc to do something for him. Did he really want Luc to kill him? If so, why fight Luc and not just let him kill him? None of it made sense.

But I didn’t need to be able to read minds to see that this was eating away at Luc. Heart squeezing, I reached over and lightly touched his arm. There was a snap of static, transferring from his skin to mine. His eyes opened again and he looked over at me. “Whatever his motivations were, none of it was your fault, Luc.”

“Yeah,” he murmured.

“I’m serious. You did everything—”

“Did I, though?” He laughed, but the sound was harsh. “What I should’ve done was made sure he never left that facility.”

“Luc—”

“If I had, those girls would be alive. That family—”

“He said he didn’t kill that family, or Andy.”

His brows knitted. “And you believe him?”

“Why would he lie? I mean, he was pretty open about everything else he did.” I couldn’t stop the memories from roaring to the forefront of my mind. I started to pull away.

Luc caught my hand. “I’m so damn sorry this happened to you,” he said. His voice roughened. “When I saw you sitting against that tree—saw what he’d done to you? I wanted to—Well, I ultimately did what I wanted to do. I never, ever want you to experience anything like that again.”

I squeezed my eyes shut once more as I flinched. The fear and pain, I could almost taste them. From the moment I woke up this morning, the terror was a haunting shadow. Even with Luc, who had been there and seen the aftermath, I wasn’t ready to talk about any of that.

“I know you don’t want to talk about that,” he said quietly, squeezing my hand. “But I’m here when you’re ready.”

Drawing in a shaky breath, I opened my eyes again. Luc threaded his fingers through mine. I pushed those memories aside to dwell on later, because I knew I would the moment I was alone. “What did Micah say to you? He whispered something, but I couldn’t hear him.”

His gaze dropped to our joined hands, and a moment passed. “Just more insanity, Peaches. That is all.”

Just more insanity? I didn’t believe it. I’d seen the way Luc had reacted. Micah had said something to him. I pulled my hand free.

Luc sat up. “Peaches . . . ?”

My fingers curled around my knees. “What do we do now?”

His eyes found mine. “I think there’s a Godfather marathon on TV right now. We can watch that.”

“That’s not what I’m talking about.”

“I know.” He leaned toward me. “But there’s nothing we can do other than live with the promise of tomorrow while knowing it may not come. That’s the best you can do. Best we can do.”

I stared at him. “Sometimes you sound . . . wise.”

“What did I tell you? I’m omniscient.”

“And then you ruin it.”

He laughed. “We do whatever we normally do. This stuff that happened? It cannot rule your life, controlling every waking second. If you let that happen, then what’s the point?”

I stared at him. He was right. Again. Dammit.

That now familiar half grin appeared. “It won’t be easy, but I have a lot of practice when it comes to multitasking the stupid, the inane, and the important.”

“Okay,” I said, and then I nodded. A lot of things were up in the air, but it was going to have to be a day-by-day thing.

“I’ve been thinking about everything,” he said after a moment.

I tensed. “That’s a loaded statement.”

“It is.” There was a pause. “Have you?”

I knew what he was talking about. Who I really was. What I may have meant to him. What I still possibly meant to him. Friday night. Him. Me. Half naked.

“I have,” I admitted.

Luc placed his hand on the bed beside me and leaned in. “There’s something I want to make clear between us. Okay?”

“Okay.”

“I know you’re Evie now. I knew that the moment you walked into Foretoken. You looked like Nadia, you sounded like her, but I always knew you weren’t her. Not anymore,” he said quietly, his gaze latching on to mine and staying there. “Nadia was who you were. Evie is who you are now.”

I swallowed hard. “Do you know who the real Evie was? She did exist, Luc. I was given her name. She was Jason’s daughter. She died in a car accident. I’m not—”

“You’re not that Evie. You are you.” He lifted his other hand and caught a piece of my hair that came loose. He tucked it back behind my ear. His fingers lingered there for the briefest moment. “And you know yourself as Evie. That’s all that matters.”

My lower lip trembled as I closed my eyes against the sudden rush of tears. “Is it really that simple?”


Tags: Jennifer L. Armentrout Origin Romance
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