“Have you not heard a single thing I’ve said?” she demanded.
“She probably tuned you out.” Zoe plopped her cheek on her arm and sighed. “It’s a talent I wish I had.”
While James was distracted, I reached into his bag, stealing another chip.
“You know what I wish, Ms. Zoe Callahan?” April cocked her head to the side. “I wish you didn’t dress like a toddler who got to pick out her clothes for the first time.”
A noodle slopped off my fork. “Wow.”
Heidi got quiet.
James suddenly decided that the people sitting behind us were more interesting, and turned completely in his seat. Hell, he was practically sitting with them now, which meant I couldn’t reach into his bag of chips anymore.
Zoe leaned back, her dark eyes narrowing. “What’s wrong with how I’m dressed?”
“You’re wearing a onesie,” April stated coolly.
Zoe was totally wearing a onesie.
“You look super-cute,” I told her, and that was the truth. I, on the other hand, wouldn’t be caught dead in a romper. I’d look like someone who needed Child Protective Services if I stepped out in public wearing that, but with Zoe’s deep brown skin, she was rocking the pink frock.
“Thank you.” Zoe flashed a bright smile in my direction and then turned a glare more powerful than the Death Star on April. “But I know I look cute.”
April’s brows lifted. “You may want to rethink that assessment.”
I honestly had no idea how Zoe and April were friends. I swore they bickered more than they ever complimented each other. The only time I saw either do something nice for the other was last year. Some guy had bumped into April in the hallway, knocking her into a locker. Zoe put the fear of God in that boy in, like, under five seconds.
Zoe responded to April with something that was about as friendly as a kick in the throat. I started to intervene, because both could get loud, and I really didn’t want our table to be the center of attention yet again, but a tray clattered off a nearby table, causing my stomach to pitch.
Classmates milled from table to table. Behind me, I could hear them talking about a party on Saturday night. Burnt food mingled with the scent of lemony disinfectant. Teachers lounged by the doors and at the back of the cafeteria, by the letters CHS painted on the wall. Outside the floor-to-ceiling windows, people sat on gray stone walls, laughing and talking, and the sky . . . I could see the September sky. It was blue and endless.
My gaze landed on the table near the door. That was where they all sat. The Luxen who attended our school. Ten of them. All of them beautiful. It was kind hard not to get a little lost looking at them, especially when they sat together like that. I was sure I wasn’t the only one gawking at them. I knew it wasn’t polite, but I wondered why they didn’t sit with anyone else.
Luxen siblings always came in threes. Two boys and a girl. Or at least that was what was said, but I’d never seen a full set of Luxen triplets in my life. We knew how many humans had died, but no one knew the number of Luxen. I imagined that was why I’d never seen a set of triplets.
I always thought they had been part of the invasion, just like everyone else believed, but now I knew differently. That entire table had probably been here since they were born, never once harming a human, but we . . . we were all afraid of them because the truth had been kept hidden.
That wasn’t fair or right.
For some unknown reason, as I stared at them, an image of Luc formed in the back of my head. I could easily see him sitting with them. Well, I could easily picture him sitting at the end of the table like he was ruling over them.
Did any of his siblings survive the invasion? Were there three Lucs?
“Stop staring at them,” hissed April.
Feeling my cheeks heat, I swung my gaze back to her. “What?”
“At them—the Luxen.”
“I’m not staring at them.”
“Yes, you totally are.” She lifted her brows as she glanced over her shoulder. “Ugh. Whatever. I don’t have that big of a problem with them being here, but do they really have to be? Can’t they have their own schools or something? Is that too much to ask?”
My grip tightened on my fork. “April . . .”
Zoe closed her eyes while she rubbed at her brow like her head was about to implode. “Here we go.”
“What?” April said, glancing at the table by the doors. “They don’t make me feel comfortable.”
“They’ve been going to our school for almost three years. Have they ever done anything to you?” Zoe demanded.