But something was wrong.
Under the glow of the dome light, I could see that his lip was busted. There was a dark, ugly bruise on his face, above his left cheekbone.
I gripped the back of his seat as Luc tossed my bag in beside me. “Are you okay?”
“Seen better days, honeybuns.”
Luc was next to me, slamming the door shut. “Go.”
I twisted toward him. “What about Zoe? Grayson?”
“They know where to meet us.” He immediately found the seat belt, dragging it across me and hooking it. “We’re not having a repeat of last time.”
Kent tore away from the curb, gunning it as I looked behind us, half expecting to see cars giving chase. The street was empty and dark.
“What happened?” I turned to Luc, thinking of Kent’s face, the call that sent him to the club. Knots crowded my stomach. “Something happened. What?”
Luc leaned back, exhaling heavily in the silence. There were no arguments. No music blaring. This was bad. “It wasn’t just Officer Bromberg who came. It was him and a damn near army of ART officers.”
My hands slipped off the back of Kent’s seat.
“The executive order,” he continued, staring out the window. “They didn’t just raid Foretoken, they razed it. Took everyone before I even got there, and those that didn’t go willingly…”
“Who?” I whispered.
“Chas.” Luc’s voice was flat. “Clyde. They’re … gone. Dead.”
“Kent got out. So did Grayson.”
But—there was always a but.
“They took Emery and Heidi,” he said, voice razor sharp while I felt my insides start to cave. “That’s why I was occupied. Not at the club but at a holding area. I got them out. It was rather … explosive, and I’m sure it will be headline news in the morning.”
Relief swept through me, but it didn’t last long. Headlines tomorrow? Clyde? Chas? I didn’t know them well, at least not as Evie, but their loss …
And Mom’s …
I sucked in a shaky breath. “Where are they? Emery and Heidi.”
“Somewhere safe for the time being. We can’t worry about them right now.” Luc looked over at me, and I wasn’t sure how I was not supposed to worry about them—about Zoe. Even Grayson. “They knew. They made sure I was occupied, and then they made their move for you. This was a setup, Evie.”28They failed.
This was a setup, a massive one, targeting Luc’s place and mine, but they failed to capture or kill me.
I tried to sort through it all. “The club? You said it was razed?”
“Nothing but smoke and embers now,” Kent answered from the front. “But that was Luc.”
Luc wasn’t looking at me anymore. He was focused on the darkness outside the window. “Once I got there, saw what was going down, and I made sure no one was left, I got a little angry. Needed to get rid of it, though. We were careful, but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t evidence.”
Like April’s body?
I reached over, placing my hand on his arm. “I’m … I’m sorry about Chas and Clyde. About everything.”
He moved his arm to his leg, and my fingers curled around empty air. “It wasn’t until I got to the facility they were holding Emery and Heidi in that I knew what was going down at your place.”
“How?” I pulled my hand back, holding it to my chest.
“Radio transmissions.” Kent’s laugh was without humor. “Stupid commandos. We overheard them talking. Heard your address.”
“And then I saw Sylvia’s message,” Luc added. “She said that I needed to come and get you out. That they were coming for you.”
I jerked. “Just get me and not her?”
Luc’s silence was answer enough, and I wondered if she’d even planned to leave that house. If she knew …
Pulling myself away from those thoughts, I rubbed my hands on my legs. “It was the Daedalus?”
“Yes,” Luc growled, and white light flickered over his knuckles. “It was the Daedalus.”* * *The drive was a blur of shadowy trees and then homes. All I knew was that when the SUV pulled into a narrow alley behind a row of dark homes, we were outside of Columbia.
I followed Luc out of the back seat, gasping and stumbling back into the side of the SUV when Grayson suddenly appeared beside Luc—alone.
I tasted fear on my tongue. “Where’s Zoe?”
“She’s okay,” he answered, and I wanted to hear more than that. I needed to see it.
Luc placed a hand on my shoulder, guiding me away from the SUV a few seconds before Kent drove off. “Where is he going?” I asked.
“To meet up with Zoe to grab supplies,” Luc answered, turning me around. “He’ll be back. Both of them.”
“Yes,” Luc answered, picking up on my thoughts as he led me across a gravel driveway and then into a small yard.
Grayson was up ahead, unlocking and opening a door. We followed in silence, entering a small kitchen that smelled like spiced apples. They moved ahead. A lamp came on, casting buttery light over well-worn furniture sporadically placed throughout the closed-in room.