“Oh my God,” I whispered as horror rose inside me. When Luc said he could do everything a Luxen could do but better, he hadn’t been joking.
Luc’s head whipped around. His pupils glowed like diamonds as he lowered his hand. Wayland fell to the floor, and I knew he was dead before he even landed. Luc’s gaze dropped to where I clutched the bottle. That muscle flexed along his jaw and then he turned away.
Grayson suddenly skidded across the floor, thrown by Sean. “We came to you for help!” shouted Sean. “And this is how you respond?”
Spinning toward Sean, Luc stiffened.
“You’re going to regret this, so help me.” Sean moved so fast, he was nothing more than a bolt of streaking light.
But he didn’t make it far.
I saw him at the door, yanking on the handle. It wouldn’t budge. Luc stalked toward him. In his true form, Sean burst away from the door as Luc stopped in the center of the dance floor. A faint whitish glow appeared over Luc’s form. The air crackled and thinned, as if the oxygen were being sucked out of the entire room. I tried to take a breath, but it burned. I stumbled back, bumping into the shelf. Liquor bottles rattled.
“I am done with this,” Luc said, closing his hand into a fist.
The light around Sean’s body pulsed to an intense, nearly blinding white light. He jerked, falling to his knees. His back bowed as he threw his arms out. The light around him began to flicker rapidly and then it went out. Stopped. Oxygen rushed back into the room as Sean toppled forward, unmoving. A dark pool appeared under him, seeping across the floor.
My wide gaze lifted from the fallen Luxen to where Luc stood. The hazy glow receded back into him. So that was the difference between a Luxen and an Origin. The latter was able to kill by closing its hand.
“Well.” Luc sighed, looking at the floor—at the bodies. “That escalated quickly.”
Grayson shoved a hand over his head, pushing his hair back from his face. “That it did.” He looked over at me. “I think the girl is traumatized.”
Still holding the bottle of liquor, I glanced at the bodies. They looked so . . . weird. Like props from a science-fiction movie.
Luc slowly turned to me. His chest rose with a heavy sigh. “I’m pretty sure I told you to stay in the room.”
“No.” I forced my gaze away from the dead Luxen. “You said I couldn’t come down with you.”
He walked over to me, ignoring the bodies as if they weren’t even there. “You do realize that meant the same thing.” He stopped in front of me and reached out, prying my fingers off the bottle. He placed it back on the bar behind me as his eyes met mine. “Are you okay?”
My hands fell to my sides. “Yeah.”
His gaze flickered over my face and he seemed to draw in another deep breath. His voice was low when he spoke. “I had to, you know? I had to do that. Those Luxen were not good Luxen.”
I swallowed. “I sort of figured that out.”
“I’ve had a few run-ins with Wayland. He knew better than to bring them here.”
“They were invading Luxen, right?” When he nodded, I exhaled roughly. “That’s why you wouldn’t help them?”
His gaze searched mine. “I didn’t help them because they have no respect for human life. That’s why.”
My heart pounded in my chest.
“Wayland knew that any Luxen who would be a threat to a human would not receive my aid.”
“If they knew that, then why did they come to you?”
“Because they were desperate.” Luc looked away then, and I saw that Grayson was no longer on the club floor. “The task forces are ferreting out unregistered Luxen every day, and I have a feeling they’d done things that had brought unnecessary attention to themselves. They were bad.”
Having heard the way they’d spoken told me that, but would things have escalated like they had if I hadn’t been here? Guilt formed an uneasy knot in my stomach. “I should’ve stayed in your room.”
“Yeah.” His gaze slid back to mine. “You should’ve.”
“I’m sorry,” I whispered, fully understanding that if I’d stayed in the room, things might not have—
“Things would’ve ended the same way,” Luc cut into my thoughts. “Whether you stayed in the room or not, but you could’ve been hurt.”
“Don’t read my mind.”
He stared at me, somewhat unapologetically.
I sighed heavily. “They were scary, Luc.”
“They are. Most Luxen care for humans. Some don’t. Those Luxen were dangerous.” He leaned in, placing one hand on the bar, beside my hip. His lashes lowered. “I’m sorry you had to see that. I’m sorry you could’ve been hurt.”
I really could’ve been.
“She called you Peaches?” A faint smile tugged at his lips as he lifted his gaze. “I kind of like that.”