The Burning Shadow (Origin 2) - Page 112

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“I’m not sure you’re ready for this conversation, Peaches.”

I wasn’t, but that didn’t mean we shouldn’t have it. “I need to get ready, because tomorrow is going to be here sooner than later, and then what?”

“You can’t go near a RAC drone. Not until we can test one out. So, school is out of the question until then.”

I think I’d already known that the moment I saw my black-and-white eyes in the mirror, but still, it was a gut punch. What if I couldn’t go back? Ever? What if I couldn’t graduate?

“You know, we could just put her in contacts,” Grayson said, and my gaze shot to him. “No one would know the difference.”

“He’s right, but it’s not safe there for you,” Luc said, taking a step toward me. “Not until we know more.”

I knew what more meant. If it really was the Daedalus behind everything. If they were now going to come for me. But if school wasn’t safe, was my home?

Was my mom?

A shudder racked me, because all afternoon I’d been trying not to think about her—think about whether she knew that there was something in that serum, if she had been lying all along. I looked up and found Luc’s gaze fastened to mine.

“None of this … this doesn’t make sense,” Heidi said, twisting a strand of red hair. “You’re human—I mean, yeah, the whole serum thing, but you’re human. The RAC drone has never hit on you—”

“And it’s never hit on April,” Zoe cut in, her brows furrowed.

“Could April have been wearing contacts then?” Heidi suggested.

“I guess we’ll find out if Clyde pops her eyeballs out,” Grayson answered.

I curled my upper lip. “I saw her eyes change.”

“April wearing contacts before or not doesn’t explain anything. You’ve bled red. You haven’t turned into a half-smoke creature,” Heidi pointed out, and I nodded, because both were true. “I just don’t get it. How in the world did you go from tripping over air to taking April out like a trained hit man?”

I pursed my lips. “That’s a good question.”

“Can a serum do all of that?” Heidi turned to Luc.

“None that I know of. Serums can mutate, but they don’t turn you into a martial arts specialist five seconds later,” Luc answered.

Zoe pushed away from the bar top, and as her gaze met mine, I had to think she was considering the same thing I was.

Those missing summer months I had no real memory of. What if I hadn’t been in the house? I thought about how I’d handled that gun in April’s house. The male voice I’d heard. What if?…

I couldn’t even bring myself to finish the thought, because how could it be possible? How could I be trained and then all memory of that be wiped? How could a sound wave unlock that?

And how in the hell was my mother not involved?

“You asked me … if I knew why Sylvia gave you Evie’s life, and I told you I didn’t,” Luc said into the silence.

I stiffened. He didn’t know I’d talked to her about this. I hadn’t a chance to tell him with everything that had happened.

“I wanted to believe it was because she missed this other girl. The heart, even a Luxen’s, can make people do crazy things. But I never could make myself believe it,” he went on, his purplish gaze latching on to mine. “When you asked me if I knew where you were the summer after you were healed, I didn’t lie. I wanted to believe that you were there, inside those walls, being taken care of. I had to believe that at the time.”

A chill swept through me, and I felt all the eyes on us.

“You want to know why I don’t trust her? It’s because of this. Right here. Right now. I may not know what was done to you, but there’s one person who has to. That’s Sylvia.”26My house was empty when Luc and I showed up an hour later, which made sense since school had just gotten out. Mom wouldn’t be back for at least three more hours, and that was if she came home on time.

“Did you text her?” Luc asked as he followed me in, carrying my backpack and my new camera.

I nodded. “I tried calling, but it went straight to voice mail.” Nervous energy buzzed through me as I went into the kitchen. “That’s normal, but I texted her, telling her I needed to talk to her and that it was an emergency.”


“You know, I haven’t seen her since … the day before yesterday,” I realized as I opened the fridge and grabbed a bottle of water. “Want one?”

Luc stood in the doorway, shaking his head.

“I mean, she’s been working so late. You know that, so that’s not all that suspicious, but…” I shut the door, turning to him. “You’re going to be mad at me.”

Tags: Jennifer L. Armentrout Origin Romance