Amanda Kelly was dead.
She had been murdered in the same way Colleen had.
It looked like she’d been electrocuted, but we all knew that was what it looked like when a human was killed by a Luxen using the Source. Colleen. Amanda. Both killed in the same way. Both left at the school in a very public manner, to be found.
Police had arrived before any of us could leave the parking lot. I think we were all questioned. I had no idea if Amanda had been kept like Colleen, alive for days after she’d disappeared. I wasn’t even sure I wanted to know.
“Evie?” Mom said softly.
I peeked up at her. “Yeah, I’m okay. Just . . .” I lifted a shoulder. “I was thinking about everything.”
Mom came around the island. “I wish you never had to see anything like that.”
She cupped my cheek in her cool hand. “I’m sorry, hon.”
My gaze lifted to hers, and I wanted to ask what other terrible things had she seen. She worked for the Daedalus. I knew they were responsible for things just as horrific as what had happened to Amanda and Colleen. I looked away and her hand fell to the side. “Do you . . . do you think a Luxen is responsible?”
“I don’t know.” She turned, walking back around the island. She clicked the stovetop on and blue flames roared to life. “It seems to be that way.”
“Why? I mean, why would they do something like that, knowing how people already feel about them?”
“Why does a human kill innocent people? A lot of times we don’t have all the clues or answers. I think sometimes they are some people are just . . . evil, and I imagine it’s the same for the Luxen.” One of the kernels popped, smacking off the lid as she looked over her shoulder at me. “I just want you to be extra careful, Evie. Pay attention to your surroundings. Listen to your gut. Just like it was after the invasion.”
Pressing my lips together, I nodded. “So you think there is, like, a serial killer Luxen?”
Mom turned back to the stove, shaking the pan. “I don’t know what to think, but being careful and vigilant never hurts.”
I twisted my hair in my hands and tapped my foot off the base of the island. “I wonder if the cops will figure out what it has to do with the school.”
“I wonder the same.” As the popping slowed, Mom turned off the stove and moved the pot to one of those trivets I never used. “Are you sure you’re okay?”
Was I? I’d seen a . . . a dead body today. From a distance, but I’d seen enough, and my head was wrapped up in everything Luc had told me. So I guess I was okay, all things considered.
It was killing me not to talk to my mom about everything I’d learned, and my mind raced to come up with a plausible way to bring up what Luc was and what he’d said about the Daedalus without her suspecting I’d been in contact with him.
What did Mom know?
“So, I was . . . thinking about what you told me about Dad.” I kept twisting my hair, searching for a way to broach the topic with her. “You said he was responsible for taking something from Luc. A girl, right?”
Mom glanced up, and a long moment passed. “I never said it was a girl, Evie.”
Oh crap. She hadn’t? I couldn’t remember. My heart thundered in my chest. “Yeah, you did. You said it was a friend. A girl.”
“Did I?” She stared at me for a long moment and then sighed. “I don’t know the details surrounding what Jason did. I just know he did something he shouldn’t have.”
She was lying. Anger sparked deep inside me. She was totally lying. “It had to be pretty major for you to be worried about Luc.”
“I don’t want you to stress over what I told you about your father. Not when this terrible stuff is happening to your classmates. Okay? What your father did is in the past.”
But it wasn’t.
Exhaling roughly, I let go of my hair and hopped off the stool. It was time to change the subject before I blurted out things that showed I knew too much. I walked over to the counter and grabbed a large bowl. “Do you have to work this weekend?”
“I may head in for a few hours tomorrow.” She pulled the lid off the pot, revealing fluffy white heaven. “What do you have planned?”
I sat the bowl on the island and then grabbed the saltshaker, dumping a salt mine’s worth on the popcorn. “Nothing, really. Might take some pictures. I have a paper to work on.”
“How about you work on the paper first and then go take pictures?”