The Darkest Star (Origin 1) - Page 16

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“I remember you,” he said, and I was sure that wasn’t a good thing. He fixed his gaze on James. “But I don’t remember you.”

James was apparently struck silent.

“We’re not here to, um, go clubbing or whatever,” I tried again. “I was here last night.” I winced. “You already know that. I lost my phone.”

Clyde turned that huge bald head toward me. “And you came here because . . . ?”

I thought it was pretty obvious, but I went ahead and explained. “I lost my phone when I was with . . . Luc.”

“Luc?” murmured James.

I’d also left out the part about Luc when I’d talked to James.

Clyde didn’t blink. Not once. “So you’re here to see Luc?”

“Not necessarily.” I really didn’t want to see him. “We were in a room last night, and I just need to check out that room for my phone.”

“You were in a room with some dude named Luc?” James repeated. Then he said under his breath with a grin, “You hussy.”

I ignored him.

One pierced brow rose. “Are you here to see Luc or not?”

Every muscle in my body tensed. For some reason, I didn’t want to say that I was, but if that was the only way I was going to be able to get into the club, I would. I gritted out, “Yes.”

Saying nothing, Clyde stepped back as he held the door open. Relief smacked into me. He was letting us in. I exchanged a quick look with James as a horn blew from a car passing by. I stepped forward. James didn’t. I grabbed his arm and pulled him through, squeezing past Clyde. The door swung close behind us, shutting out the sunlight and sealing us inside. I let go of James’s arm.

I ignored the bubbling nervousness as Clyde shuffled around us in the small space. He opened the door to the club. I hesitated for a moment and then followed him. What I saw was nothing like the last time. The lights over the dance floor were on, pressing the shadows back to the bar and the alcoves. Most of the chairs were off the floor, placed upside down on the round tables. Only a few tables remained set. There were two people at the bar, but they stood half in the shadows, and I couldn’t make out who they were.

Gone was the scent of overpowering perfume and bitter liquor. The place smelled like someone had recently scrubbed down every surface with a lemony disinfectant.

There were no signs of the raid. All the bottles behind the bar had been replaced. It was as if it hadn’t happened.

“I can just go look in the room. I remember—”

“Sit.” Clyde gestured at one of the tables that had the chairs down, and kept walking, disappearing past the bar and into a narrow hall to the right, one I hadn’t been down before.

James dropped onto a stool. “That is the biggest dude I’ve ever seen in real life.”

“Right?” Too nervous to sit, I stood behind the stool.

Dragging the bill of his cap around so it was on backward, he then lowered his hand to the smooth surface of the table as he looked around the club. “Interesting place.”

I eyed the hall Clyde had gone down. Was he going to find my phone or, God forbid, find Luc? My stomach knotted. I really didn’t want to see Luc again.

“So, you told me you came here last night with Heidi,” James said, cocking his head to the side. “But you didn’t tell me about being in some random room with some random guy.”

My cheeks heated. “It’s not like that. At all. It’s, well, it’s a long story.”

“We have time—wait. Hold that thought.” James leaned in, squinting as he stared across the club. “Don’t we go to school with him?”


He jerked his chin toward the bar, and I turned. The two people who’d been standing there had moved farther into the light, and I immediately recognized one of them. The dark-haired Luxen. His name was Connor. No idea what his last name was. Surprise flickered through me. “Yeah. We do.”

“Wonder what he’s doing here?”

Before I could answer, Grayson appeared from across the club, walking from where the shadows clung to the walls as if he had been conjured out of thin air. I stiffened, wondering if the Luxen had that kind of ability and we just didn’t know about it.

“Oh hell,” James muttered, apparently realizing in that moment that Grayson was a Luxen and wasn’t wearing a Disabler.

A smirk tipped up the corner of Grayson’s mouth as he stopped in front of our table. He passed a dismissive glance over James, and then those ultra-bright blue eyes landed on me. “I’m told that you’re looking for your phone?”

“Yes. It’s a slim black—”

“I know what a phone looks like,” he replied. “I don’t have it.”

Tags: Jennifer L. Armentrout Origin Romance