Like a strike of lightning, she dipped low as another fired. Her hand shot out, gripping the man’s calf. He screamed, dropping the rifle. His knees buckled as he turned into a living x-ray. His bones lit up underneath his skin.
A bolt of pure energy shot across the room, slamming into another gunman. It came from Grayson. He was on his feet, in full Luxen mode, but Luc …
He rose off the floor by several feet. I tripped over broken drywall, my mouth hanging open. He was suspended in the air, hovering several feet off the floor.
I’d never seen him do that.
“Have you guys seen the first X-Men movie?” Luc asked, speaking as if he were discussing the weather. “It’s an old one, but a favorite. If you ask me, one of the best cinematic scenes in all of movie history was in that film.”
They stared at him, slowly backing up as somewhere, off in the distance, sirens screamed to life.
I could hear the smile in Luc’s voice when he said, “I’m going to do you a solid and re-create it.”
Luc lifted his hands.
All the rifles flew out of the hands of the attackers, then stopped in midair. The rifles flipped around, turning on their owners.
I’d seen this movie.
I knew this scene.
I so doubted there was a Professor X to step in here.
“Zoe?” Luc clipped out.
A warm hand curled around mine, and I looked over. Zoe now stood behind me, her face and hair covered in chalky dust. She spoke, but I didn’t hear the words over the pounding of blood. When she started moving, started pulling me forward, I went.
Dodging fallen furniture and crumbling walls, we entered what was left of a kitchen. The cabinet doors were open, and even in here, items had risen to the ceiling. Pots and pans. Utensils. All the metal was bent in half, as if it were trying to be sucked through the ceiling.
“We’ve got to go.” Kent appeared, throwing open the screen door. It came off its hinges, hanging crooked. Blood marred the skin under his lower lip, and I wasn’t sure if that was from earlier or not. I was just glad to see him still standing.
Zoe rushed out of the kitchen, holding tightly to my hand. I dug in, though, looking back through the mess. “What about Luc?”
“He’ll be fine.” Zoe stepped out into the cool, night air, but I dug my feet in.
“I’m not leaving him,” I said.
“He’ll be okay. I swear—Christ,” she gasped as I jerked my arm free from her grasp, causing her to stumble.
I spun around and was halfway back through the door when I heard a series of what sounded like fireworks going off, a quick succession of pops and then fleshy thumps, one after another.
I didn’t know what to feel as I stood there. Sympathy for these men? Empathy? No. I felt nothing like that. They were here to kill us.
Luc was suddenly in front of me, appearing out of the dust. The pupils of his eyes burned brightly as his gaze fixed on mine.
Heart thumping, I lifted my hand, palm up.
His hand folded over mine, and then we were running through a narrow backyard, pushing through overgrown grass and weeds. We passed a run-down shed, bursting out into an alley.
Zoe stopped suddenly up ahead. An oversize SUV was parked out back, running. Painted white and definitely big enough it could nearly seat a baseball team, I knew this was not the one I’d gotten into earlier. This was a Yukon. I didn’t know a lot about cars, but I knew these things were super-freaking expensive.
“How did you get this car?” I asked.
“I used skills and my amazing credit score.” Kent climbed into the driver’s seat, rubbing his hand under his lip. “Get in.”
“Is your skill grand theft auto?”
Zoe opened the back door, motioning me to climb in. “Among other things.”
At the moment, stealing a car was definitely the least of my concerns. I climbed in, and seconds later, Zoe was beside me, slamming the door shut, and Luc was coming through the other as Grayson got situated in the front seat.
No one said anything as the SUV coasted out of the alley and onto the main road, slowing down as several police cars raced past us, heading to the poor, destroyed home. We left the silent, sleeping neighborhoods behind and hit the highway, picking up speed.
I stared at Luc. He was looking out the window, his profile as if it were cut out of stone. Tension radiated from him.
“Should’ve kept one of them alive,” Grayson grumbled, shifting in the seat. “I imagine we could’ve made one of them talk.”
My head snapped in Grayson’s direction. “I don’t think we had the time for that.”
Luc slowly looked at me. In the darkness of the SUV, his gaze swept over my face. My heart stuttered as he gently placed his hand along my jaw, his cool fingers brushing my temple, right where pain flared from the blow I’d taken.