The Burning Shadow (Origin 2) - Page 163

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A man drifted into the glow of the lanterns, an older man with white hair buzzed closed to his skull. He was dressed in a white cotton shirt.

“As if you ever saluted anyone in your life.” The man was nearly as tall as Luc and Archer, and while he appeared to be in his sixties, he was fit and trim.

Then I remembered Luc saying he planned on seeing if Eaton knew what the Cassio Wave was. This was the man who possibly held all the answers.

“This is Evie—” Luc started.

“No, she’s not.” The general eyed me over the long, crooked slope of his nose. “I know exactly who she is. Nadia Holliday.”

Everything inside me locked up as Zoe exchanged a look with Archer and Dee.

Being called Nadia twice in a span of minutes was weird.

“Well,” Luc drawled as he stared down at the general. “Hell of an icebreaker.”

The older man smiled tightly. “We’ll talk later.” He scanned the group. “Glad everyone made it made safely. Archer, I want a debriefing now.”

Archer sighed so heavily that Grayson would’ve been envious. He kissed Dee’s cheek before he pulled away. “This shouldn’t take long,” he told her.

“It won’t.” Eaton nodded at me before pivoting sharply, stalking down the dark street, back straight as if he were performing for an army we couldn’t see.

“See you all later,” Archer said, and then he jogged off, easily catching up with the older man.

Kat lifted her brows. “He’s been moody lately. Stress.”

“I can imagine,” I murmured, more than unnerved as I watched the general disappear into the dark.

“Come on, I’m sure you guys are hungry and exhausted,” Kat said. “I can show you the house we have ready.”

“I’ll do it,” Dee offered. “Daemon, get back to bed before she gives birth in front of us and traumatizes everyone.”

Kat turned to her slowly.

The smile on Dee’s face was angelic. “Just looking out for you.”

“Uh huh,” she murmured.

“Perfect.” Daemon started to turn her away. “I want to get Kat in bed.”

“No one wants to know that,” Dee remarked. “TMI.”

“To rest,” he stressed, and then he looked at Luc. “Don’t forget we need to talk.”

“I won’t,” Luc answered, and a fine shiver curled down my spine.

I had a feeling I knew what he wanted to talk about.

We said our goodbyes, and then Dee was leading us down the dark street, lit by the lamp Zoe now carried.

“There are two houses next to ours that are empty and are perfect,” Dee was saying. “You’ll be able to take a quick shower, but it’ll be cold.”

I about moaned. “A shower would be amazing, cold or not.”

“How do you have the water running?” Zoe asked, keeping step with Dee. “You all didn’t have that before.”

“We powered up some of the generators in anticipation that you guys would like to freshen up. The drive is ridiculously long,” she explained. “And I know that would be the first thing I would want.”

“You are magnificent,” Zoe told her.

Dee laughed. “I do try.”

As we went farther, I could hear the distant hum of low conversation. People were definitely here, hidden in the homes or under the canopies.

“Has anyone else arrived?” I asked, thinking of Heidi and Emery.

“You guys are the first.”

“Emery and Heidi probably won’t be here for several more days,” Luc explained.

I nodded, worrying festering inside me like a wound.

“By the way, Evie has a girl crush on you, Dee,” Luc randomly announced.

“Luc!” I gasped as Zoe giggled. I swung at him, but he darted out of the way.

Dee spun around, her long hair spinning around her. “I’ll take that as a compliment.”

I was going to throat punch Luc. “It is. I mean, I hope it is. It’s just that I think you getting on TV and talking with the senator and keeping your calm is really admirable.”

“Thank you.” She walked to me, threading her arm through mine. “It’s not easy. I want to flip a table or find the senator and beat his face in.” Her forehead creased. “Which would reinforce all the terrible things he says about us, so unfortunately, I can’t do that.”

“Too bad,” I said, earning a quick grin.

“Taking the smarter road is not fun.”

“Do you film here?” I asked.

She shook her head. “We could power up all the necessary equipment, but there’s the chance of getting traced back. We leave here to do the interviews.”

Zoe stopped suddenly, her gaze tracking over a wooden area. “Are you guys setting me up in the brick house with the white shutters? The one I normally stay in?” she asked, and I was struck again by how little I really knew about Zoe.

“Yep,” Dee answered.

“Cool. I’m going to go check out where Grayson went to,” she said, appearing beside me. “Unless you want me to hang out for a while?”

“No, I’m good.” Slipping free from Dee, I hugged Zoe. “See you in the morning?”


Tags: Jennifer L. Armentrout Origin Romance
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