The Burning Shadow (Origin 2) - Page 153

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Daemon glanced at Archer, but the Origin was zeroed in on Luc. I knew in that instance that Archer would support Luc if Luc decided to end this man’s life right then and there. Part of me thought that Luc might, even though he’d let go of the man. Deadly violence etched into his features, a promise of retribution.

“What is your name?” Luc asked.

Rolling onto his side, the man gagged as he struggled to breathe. “Steve,” he rasped. “Steven Chase.”

Luc’s lips curled. “You’re going to talk, Steve, and maybe, just maybe you’ll get to breathe a little longer.”

I expected the man to put up a fight, because he looked like he was the military sort. In all the movies I’d seen, people who looked like he did required a ton of convincing and torturing before they started spilling secrets.

Not Steven Chase.

He sang like a canary.

“We didn’t want any trouble with you guys. We really didn’t,” he rasped.

“Really?” Derision dripped from Luc’s tone as he bent down, grasping the man by the front of his shirt. Dragging him by the shirt, he lifted the man—like he was a kitten—to his feet. “Look around. You got a whole lot of trouble.”

“I know.” Steven was trembling, his broken arm hanging limply. “But we didn’t have a choice. We had a job to do. You all … were in the way. We only wanted her. Those were our orders. Take her out, and then we get to go home.”* * *Archer dragged the guy all the way back to the house. Literally. Dragged him by the scruff of his neck. Luc stayed close, but he didn’t speak. Not until we reached the house, and Grayson and Dawson returned.

“They were taken care of?” Luc asked, referencing those who had run, and when they nodded, I didn’t feel at all bad for those men. He turned to Daemon. “Secure the asshole.”

I trudged along, following Zoe, but Luc reached out, catching my arm. “Oh no. Not you. You’re staying out here with me for a moment.”

Zoe hesitated, and I thought it was for me, but then I realized she was hanging around for Luc. She was worried about him.

“It’s okay,” I said, just wanting to get this over with, figuring I knew why he wanted to talk to me. “He’s just going to yell at me—”

“Damn straight,” Luc growled.

My eyes narrowed on him. “And I’m not going to kill him.”

“You sure?” she asked.

I kind of felt bad for her having to ask that. “Yes.” I sighed. “I’m sure.”

Ahead of Zoe, Daemon’s lips twitched as he glanced back at us. “Come on, Zoe. Help me find something to tie this douchebag up with.”

Zoe didn’t move for a second, and then she finally turned away, stalking off toward the guys. I watched until the whole group was gone before letting out a ragged, bone-deep sigh. I turned to where Luc stood, vaguely registering the simmering fury etched into his coldly striking face, and I realized just how much he’d been holding back until he made sure I wasn’t going to kill anyone.

He drew in a long, slow breath. “I’m going to try to be calm about this, because of what just happened, but I need to get this off my chest, because if I don’t, I might actually implode.”

I crossed my arms. “I know—”

“You don’t know shit,” he said, seething as he stepped forward. “I think that is something we have established multiple times over.”

I blinked. “Well, that is completely—”

Luc shot forward, moving so fast I didn’t have a chance to react. His hands clasped my cheeks, tilting my head back. In a stuttered heartbeat, his mouth was on mine.

The kiss was deep and sudden, beautiful in its rawness, and my body reacted without thought to the almost brutal emotions pouring into the kiss. My hands landed on his chest, and my fingers dug into his shirt. I kissed him back, and it reached deep inside me, burning its way into my soul.

This was far better than being lectured.

By the time we both came up for air, Luc’s chest was rising raggedly under my hands. He rested his forehead against mine, and neither of us moved. I didn’t even open my eyes. We stood there in silence as the rain started coming down again, a fine sheen that settled on our skin.

“You need to know that I didn’t think you were going to be able to do what you did when they took you outside.”

“I didn’t, either,” I admitted.

“And that makes this worse. I didn’t know if I would make it to you in time,” he said, sending a shiver through me. “I thought that this time, this would be it. No more bargaining or miracles.”

Breathing in the scent of rain and woods, I opened my eyes. “It wasn’t.”

“It could’ve been.” His hands slipped off my cheeks, sliding down to my upper arms. He drew back, and my eyes fluttered open. Raindrops clung to his thick lashes. “Don’t you ever do anything like that again. I don’t care what you can do.”


Tags: Jennifer L. Armentrout Origin Romance
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