The Burning Shadow (Origin 2) - Page 125

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“Luc,” I croaked out, starting, trying to rise.

Out of the thick, cloudy smoke, a tall figure came toward me. I thought at first it was Grayson, maybe even Kent, but as the shape grew closer, parting the smoke, I saw what was held in its hand, pointed right at me.

The barrel of a gun.29The man wore a black ski mask, shielding the entirety of his face. My entire being focused on the tip of the barrel as my heart seemed to grind to a halt in my chest.

I was going to die, and people lied.

I didn’t see my life flash before my eyes. There was no mental photo album, highlighting all the best moments. All I saw was the barrel of the gun. The gloved hand that held said gun. That hand did not shake. Not even a tremor. He held it like he’d pointed a gun at a teenage girl a hundred times.

A shiver of energy rushed over my skin as I saw his forefinger twitch, pulling back on the trigger as he lowered the gun, so it was pointed at the center of my chest. The shot sounded like a crack of thunder. I threw my arm up out of instinct, as if my hand could somehow deflect the bullet.

I waited for the pain—the blinding, final pain.

It didn’t come.

The man was staring down at the gun. Had it misfired?

“What the hell?” his muffled voice asked.

I didn’t question my good luck.

Gripping the heavy piece of drywall that had landed on me, I sprang to my feet and swung the piece of the wall as hard as I could. It connected with his arm, breaking in half. The man grunted, and the gun fired again, this time the bullet drilling through the floor next to me.

I took a step back as the smoke and dust settled, empty-handed. My wild gaze darted around for another weapon. His hand whipped out, and I didn’t even see the blow coming.

Red-hot pain erupted along the side of my head. Stars burst behind my eyes. Crying out, I stumbled to the side, dizzy and nauseous. My knees smacked off the floor.

Holy crap, the man punched like a pro boxer.

A roaring sound invaded my senses, and for a second, I thought maybe a tank was coming through the house. At this point, anything was possible, but the sound … it was part animal, part human. A sound of pure, primal rage letting loose. Electricity filled the air, popping and crackling.

I lifted my head, wincing as the room seemed to shift and whirl. Without warning, a figure appeared in front of me, standing before me like a wrathful sentry, shoulders broad and legs widespread.

It was Luc.

He was the source of the sound—the source of the growling fury. The house began to tremble again. Gasping, I fell back against the destroyed wall.

“That was a huge mistake,” Luc growled.

Floorboards rattled. Particles of dust lifted into the air, broken chunks of wall following. White, luminous light filled the veins along Luc’s forearms. Static charged the air. Pieces of furniture rose, sucked right up to the ceiling.

That was Luc, all Luc, and that kind of power was unfathomable.

Masked Man had a death wish. He swung the gun toward Luc, and Luc … laughed. A deep, challenging laugh that raised the hairs all over my body. Micah’s words came back to me in a rush.

We were all dark stars, but Luc was the darkest.

The gun flew out of Masked Man’s hand, landing in Luc’s. Muscles flexed along his back and shoulders. Metal ground together. “I don’t think you’ll be needing this.”

Then Luc opened his hand.

Nothing but dust sifted through his long fingers, falling silently to the floor.

“Christ.” Masked Man shuffled back a step.

I echoed the sentiment.

White light flickered over Luc’s knuckles, snaking out and spitting electricity. Pitching forward, I pushed up with my hands and stood.

Luc lifted his arm. A powerful bolt of energy erupted from his palm, smacking into the chest of the man. The blast lifted him into the air, sending him spinning back down to the floor several feet away.

Masked Man landed in a boneless, smoking heap.

No twitching. No moaning. The man was dead the moment the light hit him.

Luc started to turn toward me, but I heard Zoe shout his name. He stopped just as several men, over half a dozen, filed in from where the front door had once stood and spread out across the room.

These men looked like the ones who had entered my house—dressed all in black, carrying the same long-barreled rifles.

Zoe came out of nowhere, vaulting over the overturned couch like a damn Olympic gymnast. She was fast, nothing but a blur of curls and long limbs as she appeared in front of the closest killer dude. Snatching the rifle out of the man’s startled hands, she whipped it back around like a baseball bat, catching the masked gunman upside the head. The man went down, and I doubted he was getting up again.


Tags: Jennifer L. Armentrout Origin Romance
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