The Darkest Star (Origin 1) - Page 56

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14

The local news Wednesday morning was consumed by what had happened to Colleen, and Amanda’s disappearance.

Murder.

Kidnapping.

The reporters openly speculated that it had been a Luxen attack—an unregistered Luxen attack—and that one was also behind Amanda’s disappearance. They didn’t say why they thought that, but the why didn’t seem to matter to them. They’d already made up their minds.

When I arrived at school on Wednesday morning, news crews from every major network were parked out front, grabbing and interviewing students as they stepped off the buses.

The whole day felt off. At lunch, even James was subdued. I imagined it would be that way for a while. No one had heard from Amanda, and without anyway saying anything, I knew we all feared the worse.

She would turn up just like Colleen.

Mom had texted saying she wouldn’t be home until late, so I was left to my own devices. After everything that had happened in the last week, that meant my brain was working overtime and what Luc had asked me yesterday had haunted me on and off over the last twenty-four hours, and it was back with a vengeance, pecking away as I walked into the quiet house. Why would he ask me something like that about my mom?

Why hadn’t I asked myself that yet?

Because I’d learned firsthand this weekend that there was a lot I didn’t know about my mom or my father. I had no idea they’d been involved in the Daedalus—hell, I hadn’t known about the Luxen making this planet their home sweet home for decades.

Mom was a bucket of secrets.

Dropping my keys and bag on the dining room table, I shivered as I stood in the same place I had last night when I’d felt the presence behind me. Someone had been in here and they had been in Mom’s office.

Why?

Maybe focusing on this was pointless, but it was better than thinking about what had happened to Colleen and what could be happening to Amanda. That was what I didn’t want to dwell on while I was home alone.

I walked through the living room and into the foyer. Bright light streamed from all the windows and everything was where it should be, but the house seemed strange to me now.

Cloudy, somehow.

The glass French doors were closed, and a thick white curtain shielded the little square windows. I’d never been in Mom’s office. Never had a reason to. Someone could be living in there for all I knew.

Biting down on my lip, I reached out and wrapped my hand around the cool, tarnished gold handle. My wrist twisted. The door was locked, as always.

Would be really nice to have that nifty Luxen ability right about now.

“Wait,” I whispered. Luc had that awesome breaking-and-entering talent. He could easily get into her office.

But seriously? Would I ask him to do that? I didn’t even know how to get in touch with him. . . .

Actually, I did know how to get ahold of him. There were two ways.

I pivoted and went to where my bag was on the dining room table. I snatched my phone out of the top pocket, ignoring the little voice in the back of my head that was demanding to know what the hell I was planning to do. I hit the second contact on my phone.

Heidi answered on the third ring. “Hey, girl, what’s up?”

“Um, nothing. I was wondering if Emery was with you?”

There was a beat of silence. “Yeah, she’s right here.”

“I know this is going to sound really weird, but can I talk to her for a moment?” I folded an arm over my waist and started pacing.

“Is this about Luc?”

I tripped over my feet. “What? Why would you ask that?”

“Why else would you be calling me to talk to Emery?”

She was right, but I still lied. “There could be tons of reasons why I’d want to talk to her. Like your birthday is coming up. Maybe I want to plan something with her.”

“My birthday is in April, Evie. It’s only September.”

“Yeah,” I drew the word out. “I’m just planning ahead.”

“Uh-huh,” Heidi replied. “So, this is about Luc?”

I sighed and rolled my eyes. “Yes, but it’s not what you think.”

“Sure.” She laughed. “Hold on a second.”

Before I had a chance to reply, Emery was on the phone. “What can I do for you?”

What in the world was I doing? I had no idea, but I was pacing again and my mouth was running. “I know this is going to sound weird, but I was wondering if you could . . .” I trailed off as I stopped in front of the couch.

The cushions were where they were supposed to be, but all I could see was Mom whipping the one cushion off, pulling out a shotgun—and pointing that shotgun at Luc.

“If I could what?” Emery asked.


Tags: Jennifer L. Armentrout Origin Romance
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