The Burning Shadow (Origin 2) - Page 158

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“No, it shouldn’t have.”

“I know I didn’t know him as long as you all did, but I liked him.” I opened my eyes, and my lashes were damp. “He was funny, and he was…”

“Good. Kent was just all around good,” Luc finished for me, and then he took my hand. “Come on.”

Luc led me off the porch, toward where Grayson and Zoe had walked. They hadn’t gone where the other bodies were laid but behind the cabin, near a stone bench.

We didn’t talk about what Steven had told us or confirmed. I don’t think any of us were even thinking about it as Zoe lifted her hand and tapped into the Source. Grayson joined her. So did Luc, and by the time there was nothing but ashes left, we were joined by the twins and Archer.

Kent wasn’t buried in the mist, and there were no words spoken and no tombstone to mark his grave. Just a patch of scorched earth and heavy, palpable silence.

If Kent were here, there probably wouldn’t be silence. He’d crack an inappropriate joke. Probably call me some weird nickname and then have all of us laughing.

All I could tell myself was that he hadn’t seen it coming. There’d been no pain. He’d taken a breath … and then didn’t, and I had to think that was at least some consolation. He didn’t hurt, but it wasn’t fair and it wasn’t right, because, like what Luc said, Kent was good.

My tears joined the mist on my cheeks.

I don’t know how long we all stood there before Daemon spoke. “We need to leave before more come,” he said. “Before it’s too late.”39There wasn’t time to shower or change, so we piled into two new vehicles that had been parked in the garage. Both were older models, a nondescript Jeep Cherokee and a four-door Taurus.

Daemon climbed behind the wheel of the sedan, and I got in the back seat with Zoe. Luc was in the passenger seat. Dawson and Grayson joined Archer in the Jeep. It was more than just weird to see Daemon driving. I’d gotten so used to seeing Kent there in a short period of time that it just felt all kinds of wrong.

He should be here.

He shouldn’t be dust and ash.

Pulling the blanket I’d swiped from the bedroom around me, I rested my cheek on the cool window. My jeans were cold and stiff in some places, sticking to my skin in others. I was filthy, but I was alive.

I kept replaying everything that Steven had told us. There was a super-scary virus out there that could mutate humans into this thing or it could kill them. James had been sneezing the last time we’d seen him. Was he getting sick? Or had he gotten the flu shot?

I didn’t doubt what Steven had said. That I was the result of the Poseidon Project, something so incredibly dangerous that a centuries-old secret society had hunted me down. That I was a Trojan, mutated by my mother and hidden in society to eventually be awakened to carry out some nefarious deeds.

Except something had obviously gone wrong with my mutation. I wasn’t like April.

But I felt … wrong in my skin. Like I didn’t know what I would do next, what I was truly capable of, and I couldn’t stop thinking about the Trojan Daemon and crew had come across on the way to us. It had tried to kill them.

I had tried to kill them.

Would that happen again? They were taking me to a place where their families lived, to a place where traumatized Luxen and humans had already been through enough, and I …

I was capable of anything.

I drew in a rocky breath and slowly let it out.

I was holding it together.

Eleven hours. That was how long this drive would take. Both Daemon and Luc wanted to make the trip with minimal restroom breaks, which translated into one, and I fully understood that. Being seen by anyone was dangerous, especially me since my face had been plastered all over the news.

But I wished we’d saved some of the tranquilizers from the safe house so I could knock myself out.

Minutes ticked into hours, and at some point, Zoe had dozed off beside me while I watched Luc and Daemon, sort of enthralled by their … friendship? I had no idea how the two of them could go from threatening and slamming each other into walls to chatting and chuckling with each other like nothing had happened.

I still felt like crap for hurting Daemon, but they seemed to have forgotten their skirmish. Or maybe since them threatening each other was something that had happened a lot, it was just an ordinary day for them?

Probably the latter.

Several times, Luc glanced back at me as if he were double-checking that I was, in fact, in the back seat. We hadn’t had the chance to really talk after our little showdown outside the cabin.


Tags: Jennifer L. Armentrout Origin Romance
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