The Darkest Star (Origin 1) - Page 9

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“Those people?” I repeated.

Grayson’s ultra-blue eyes met mine. “The kind scared of the Luxen.”

I shook my head as the music and the club seemed to fade into the background. It was then when I realized no one, not a single person in here, approached this area. Everyone gave this alcove a wide berth.

Luc made a noise under his breath. “Does being around Luxen like this, out of the public eye, bother you? Scare you?”

“No. It doesn’t.” That wasn’t exactly true, because come on, I wasn’t part of the Hate All Luxen train roaring through every city and small town, but they were scary. You had to have absolutely no common sense if you didn’t fear them a little. They’d killed millions of people. Maybe these two guys hadn’t, but they weren’t wearing Disablers. They could kill me before I even saw it coming.

But the urge to prove that I didn’t care if they were Luxen or not rode me hard. My ID wasn’t real. It didn’t have my address or real name on it. Showing it to him wouldn’t endanger me. I sat my drink down on the table and pulled the ID out of the thin slot.

“Here you go,” I chirped, forcing as much brightness into my voice as possible.

Luc lifted his hand off the back of the couch and took the card. His fingers brushed over mine in the process. Static crackled, sending a tiny jolt up my arm. Gasping, I pulled my arm back.

His smile kicked up a notch, and my stomach pitched. Had he done that purpose? Shocked me? His lashes lowered. “Nola Peters?”

“Yes. That’s my name.” That was so not my name. It was a combination of two cities I’d never visited—New Orleans and St. Petersburg.

“It says you’re twenty-two.” He lowered his hand as he looked at me. “You’re not twenty-two. I bet you’re barely seventeen.”

I inhaled deeply through my nose. I was not “barely” seventeen. In six months I’d be eighteen. “You know, you don’t look like you’re twenty-one.”

“Looks can be deceiving.” He moved the card over his fingers, flipping it back and forth. “I have a baby face.”


“I like to think I’m going to age gracefully. People will think I’ve found the fountain of youth.”

“Okay,” I said, drawing the word out. “Look, it’s hasn’t been nice talking to you, so I have to go. I need to find my friend—”

“Your friend is busy, you know, having fun.” His grin spread into a cheeky smile that would’ve been endearing if I didn’t want to straight up punch him in the face. “Unlike you. You are not having fun.”

“You’re right. I’m not.” My eyes narrowed, and I resisted the near primal urge to pick up my water and throw it on him. “I was actually trying to be polite—”

“Quaint,” he murmured.

Oh my God, this guy was going to make my head spin right off my shoulders. “But truth time? I really don’t want to spend another minute in your presence.” I started to get up. “You’re a dick and I don’t know you. I don’t want to get to know you. Peace out, home skillet.”

“But I know who you are.” He paused. “I know who you really are, Evelyn.”3

He knew my name. Not my fake ID name, but my real name.

It felt like the entire building was moving even though nothing had. My spine turned to steel as an icy sensation drenched my skin. I stared at him for several moments. “How do you know my name?”

He looked up at me through his lashes as he moved both arms to the back of the couch. “I know a lot of things.”

“Okay. You just took creepy to a creeptastic level of unknown proportions.” It was time to find Heidi and get the hell out of here.

Luc chuckled again, and the sound would’ve been nice, attractive even, coming from anyone else. “I’ve been told that a time or two in my life.”

“Why am I not surprised? Don’t answer that question,” I said when he opened his mouth. “Can I have my ID back?”

He shifted suddenly, dropping his feet to the floor. Without warning, our faces were inches apart. As close as we were, it was hard not to get a little lost in the beauty of his features. And as close as we were, it was also hard not to get really freaked out. “What if I told you a truth? Would you tell me one in return?”

I clamped my mouth shut so hard, my jaw ached.

“You were right earlier. I’m not twenty-one,” he said, the gleam in his eyes now dancing. “I’m eighteen.” There was a short pause. “Almost nineteen. My birthday is December twenty-fourth. I’m a Christmas miracle. Now it’s your turn.”

“You’re creepy,” I replied. “That’s a truth I will tell.”

Luc was silent for a moment and then he laughed—laughed long and hard, surprising me. “Now, that is not how you play this game, Evie.”

Tags: Jennifer L. Armentrout Origin Romance