My heart was tripping all over itself as I forced the words out. “Who else is responsible?”
“Good girl.” He took a slow, measured step forward. The paint on the truck rolled back, hanging limply in the wake of his touch. “Luc is. He’s about eighty percent responsible.”
“So are you,” he cut me off. “After all, I thought I was grabbing you that night at the club. I mean, I’d only seen you from a distance, talking to Luc, and that girl was wearing the same color dress. She was a blonde. Honest mistake. Kind of worked in my favor, though, especially when I grabbed another blonde. That was on purpose. You know, just to do it.”
Horror froze every muscle in my middle as what he said sunk in. I thought about what Heidi had said about both of them being blondes. It had been a pattern, a terrifying pattern.
“Because I got to see you up close and personal in this very parking lot. I knew you weren’t that second girl.” The easy tone of his remained level. “But she knew you.”
A horn blew in the distance, causing me to jump.
“It was so easy to find you.”
Luc’s warning came back to me with a vengeance. Do you know how easy it was to find you? Christ. He hadn’t been joking around.
“I don’t understand—”
“Neither do I. Well, some parts of this little story,” he said. “I don’t understand you. Yet. But I’m figuring it out. Going to your house helped.”
Oh my God. He was the one in my house that night—
“Yes,” he intruded into my panicked thoughts. “More than once, actually. You should really set that alarm system. I mean, what good is having one when you don’t use it? Then again . . .” He laughed, a sound so at odds with what he was saying. “It wouldn’t have stopped me. I was so close, I left my mark behind.”
Horror gave way to nausea as understanding filled me. I stumbled back a step. “You scratched me?”
“Well, yeah, and I was choking you.” His smile spread to both sides of his mouth. “Just a little.”
“Just a little?” Bile climbed up my throat. Terror turned my blood cold as my heart ended up somewhere in my throat. My hand closed into a fist. I’d been so close—
“To dying? Yeah, but not as close as you have been before. Don’t—” His voice rose and his tone sharpened. “Come any closer.”
I thought he was talking to me at first, but I wasn’t trying to get near him. Then my gaze shot behind him. Standing between the bed of the truck was Emery. Behind her was . . . Connor. What was Emery doing here? I didn’t see Heidi. And why was she with Connor?
“You two come any closer, I will have to do something that would be considered inappropriate,” the Origin said, never looking behind him. Not once. “Something that would make Luc very upset, and you guys don’t want that. Right? You know what happens when Luc is . . . disappointed.”
“I don’t know who you are and I don’t even care at the moment, but it seems like you know Luc and what happens when he’s angry. You do not want to get on his bad side,” Emery warned as the wind picked up, tossing the longer hair across her face. “Trust me on this.”
The Origin smirked. “Oh, trust me, I know exactly what happens when Luc is angry.”
Air lodged in my throat. I stared at Emery, really looked at her. Her eyes weren’t . . . they weren’t a muted green anymore. They were the color of the brightest moss, and her pupils—her pupils were all white. My mouth dropped open.
Emery wasn’t human.
She’d been wearing contacts the day at breakfast. Heidi’s girlfriend was a Luxen!
“You have no idea who is really around you, do you? I guess you’ll figure it out in due time.” The Origin drew my attention back to him. “But in the meantime, I have a question I want you to ask Luc. Would you do that for me? Please?”
He gripped my arm before I even saw him move. I gasped as he yanked me forward and my bag slipped off my shoulder and hit the ground. His grip tightened, causing me to cry out. “Ask him if he’ll play with me?”
“What?” I whispered.
It happened so fast.
There was a crack from inside. Red-hot pain, the kind I’d never experienced before, shot up my arm, stealing the next breath I took. I couldn’t even scream as my legs gave out.
The Origin let go, and my knees slammed into the asphalt. Doubling over, I pressed my arm to my stomach. Someone cursed, but I could barely hear them over the pounding of my blood.
He broke my arm.
Holy shit, he broke my arm.