The Burning Shadow (Origin 2) - Page 111

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Still didn’t give him a pass for saying I was useless.

When I finished, Zoe and Heidi stared at me like I’d grown a third eye in the center of my forehead and was winking at them with it.

“I know all this sounds impossible, but it’s true,” I finished. “Everything is.”

Zoe shoved a hand over her head, gathering curls and pulling them back. “I don’t think anything is impossible. Not after seeing firsthand what the Daedalus is capable of. But this is really out there.”

Grayson still looked pissed, but he asked, “You have this key fob thing?”

“I do.” Luc reached into his pocket and pulled it out. “Haven’t seen anything like this that can do what it did to Evie. I’m hoping maybe Daemon or one of the others has some insight. I’ll get a message to them.”

I glanced at the fob in his hand, easily recalling the pain. “She pressed that button, and that was it. Pain—and then I turned into the Terminator.”

“What happens if you push it again?” Grayson asked.

My gaze shot to him, eyes narrowing. “Besides it feeling like I’m being stabbed over and over in the head?”

“Yeah, besides that.” Dryness seeped into his tone.

“We’re not hitting it again,” Luc replied, his fingers curling over the fob.

“What if hitting it again does something? Gives her back more memories and turns her into the Terminator again?” Grayson shot back.

“And what if it causes her more pain? Hurts her?” Luc lowered his hand, fingers still closed around the fob.

“Or what if it does nothing?” Grayson challenged. “Knowing that tells us something.”

“No.” Luc shook his head.

“How could pressing it and it doing nothing to Evie tell us something?” Zoe asked.

“I don’t know why we’re still having this conversation.” Luc crossed his arms.

“Well, it could tell us that whatever that thing did—the Cassio Wave—it’s unlocked whatever code April claims was in the serum. It would tell us that at least we don’t have to worry about someone else hitting the button again and doing God knows what to her.”

Zoe looked thoughtful, and …


“He has a point,” I said. “If it does something or not, it does give us some answers.”

Luc turned to me, his expression stark. “Not going to happen.”


“There is no way anyone is pushing a button that could possibly cause you debilitating pain.”

“Maybe it won’t, though.” I gripped the edge of the bar top. “Look, I don’t want to feel the pain again, but it’s a risk—”

“That I’m not willing to let you take.”

Irritation pricked along my skin. “But I’m willing to take it.”

He cocked his head. “Is there anything about my words or my stance that gives you the impression that this is going to happen? So, let’s change the subject.”

“It’s my choice, Luc.”

“And it’s also my choice to stop you from making stupid choices,” he retorted.

I hopped off the bar top. “You do not get to make a choice over what I do and do not do with my body.”

“Oh no. Don’t even try that argument.” He faced me. “That’s apples and oranges. This isn’t about your right to do as you damn please. This is about me stopping you from potentially hurting yourself.”

“I agree with Luc. We could find something out by hitting the button, but we also don’t know what it will do,” Heidi spoke up. “Because we also don’t know if hitting that button will strip your memories on a more long-term basis. So, I don’t think we should do it.”

I crossed my arms. “Not helping.”

“Sorry,” Heidi muttered. “But that’s my two cents.”

Taking a long, slow breath, I tried a different route. “What if it gives me back more memories—memories of who I used to be? That’s worth the risk. Do it. Hit the button. It’s the only way.”

“Nothing is worth the risk of seeing you hurt. Not even you remembering every damn second of what it was like to be Nadia.” His chin dipped, and his voice lowered. “I know you want to feel useful. That you want to prove that you can help us—help yourself—but this is not the way.”

I stilled.

Grayson cursed under his breath. “Forget it,” he said. “It was a shit idea.”

“Yeah.” Luc slipped the fob in his pocket. “It was.”

“No, it wasn’t!” Shaking my head, I turned around and leaned against the bar. “I get that you don’t want to see me hurt—”

“Or worse,” he interjected. “We don’t even know what the Cassio Wave truly is. What it really means when it gets in there and scrambles shit around in your head. Until we learn more about what it is and what it does, we need to hold off on randomly pushing buttons.”

“Going to also have to side with Luc here.” Zoe rested her elbows on the bar. “I think we should wait until we know more.”

Of course, they also had a point. Frustrated, I folded my arms. “And what am I supposed to do while we wait?” All those important things Luc and I needed to discuss, but I had pushed to the side earlier, came to the surface. “Can I go to school? Do I even go home? If April was with the Daedalus or some other group, they’re going to realize she’s missing, maybe dead, and then what? She talked like they knew I existed.”

Tags: Jennifer L. Armentrout Origin Romance