The Darkest Star (Origin 1) - Page 19

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Luc spun, and without any warning, I was once again pressed against a wall. He towered over me, keeping our joined hands between us. When he spoke, his voice was incredibly soft. “When I said I’d be seeing you again, I hadn’t meant today. Not that I’m complaining, but I’m kind of busy. But I guess you missed me already?”

Missed him? Ha. No. My throat dried as I stared up and into those odd amethyst eyes. The color seemed to . . . churn restlessly. “I didn’t plan on coming here—”

“But you’re here.”

“Yes. I have a reason, a good one—”

“There are no good reasons for you to be here today.”

“I’m looking—”

“For me?” His brows lifted, disappearing into the wavy locks of brown hair. He stepped in, and I imagined I could feel the heat coming off his body. Maybe it wasn’t my imagination, because he was close enough that if I shifted one way or another, my legs would brush his.

“Do you have to talk to me like you have no idea what personal space is?” I demanded. “And no, I’m not here for you.”

“I don’t have to talk to you like this, but I want to. I like it.” One side of his lips kicked up when my eyes narrowed. “And yes, I have a sinking suspicion that you are here, in fact, for me.”

My jaw locked down. “I need to find my cell phone—”

“And you thought you’d find it in a room full of Luxen?”

If he interrupted me one more time, I was going to scream my throat raw. “It would be nice if I could finish a sentence. Then I would be able to tell you why I’m here.”

He tilted his head to the side, staring at me like he’d been hanging around for an hour. “I’m waiting.”

I pulled on my hand again. He held on. “Who were they?” I demanded. “Those Luxen in there?”

“That’s why you’re here? To ask about them?”

It wasn’t, and their presence wasn’t any of my business, but it didn’t take a rocket scientist to know that they were hiding in here. I thought about last night’s raid. The ART officers were looking for unregistered aliens. Luc had them here.

Hell, he obviously was one.

And apparently, the ART officers weren’t very good at their jobs, because Luc, and what I was guessing was a family, were still here.

Luc’s gaze dropped to my mouth, and I drew in an unsteady breath. A muscle flexed along his jaw. “How did you even get up here? I told Clyde to send you away.”

“Grayson . . .” I stilled.

Wait. Had Grayson set me up? He told me to come up here; he had to know that family was hidden in one of the rooms.

Luc’s gaze lifted to mine. “Grayson sent you up here?”

“Kind of,” I gritted out, holding his stare. “Can you back off?”

There was a moment of silence. “I feel like we’re having déjà vu.”

“Probably because you have no respect for personal space.”

His lips pursed. “Sounds about right.”

I stared at him.

Luc dropped my hand and took a step back. His gaze flickered over my face. “Are you okay? Did he hurt you?”

His question sort of surprised me. “No. He didn’t hurt me.”

“He was choking you.”

“Yeah, he was doing that, but I’m . . . I’m okay.”

He watched me a moment, shook his head, and then pivoted. He started stalking down the hall, and it was then that I realized he was carrying something in his other hand. A cloth—a washcloth.

I peeled myself off the wall and hurried up. “I need—”

“Your phone,” he interrupted. “I know.”

“Okay.” I struggled to keep up. His long-legged pace was impressive . . . and annoying. “Can I have it?”


“What? Why not?”

“You don’t need it.”

“I need it—I totally need my phone. It belongs to me.”

Luc kept walking, and I just—I just lost it.

Leftover adrenaline from being thrown against a wall mingled with the frustration burning at my skin like a swarm of fire ants. Snapping forward, I grabbed his arm and stopped him. In the distant part of my mind I knew that he had allowed me to do that. That if he had wanted to keep walking, he would’ve and then simply dragged me behind him. But I didn’t care that he could throw me down the hall with a flick of his wrist if he wanted to.

“I’m not leaving here until I have my phone.”

A smile played at his mouth as he glanced down at my hand and then back up. “Really?”

“Why are you being so difficult? Just give me my phone and you’ll never have to see me again.”

His thick lashes lowered, shielding his eyes as he reached down and pried my fingers off his arm. He did so gently, as if he were well aware of his strength and thought my fingers could snap like dried twigs. “But what if I want to see you again?”

Tags: Jennifer L. Armentrout Origin Romance