The Burning Shadow (Origin 2) - Page 165

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“You look like an ice cube.”

“I am.” I hopped from one foot to the other. “But I’m just glad to be clean.”

“So am I.”

“Shut up.”

He laughed as he placed the plate on a dresser, along with bottled water. “Dee brought some clothes over along with this. We’ve got a whole assortment of cheese and veggies.”


He walked over to a chair in the corner and picked up some clothing. “There’s more bottled water in the kitchen. Not quite sure where they got it, but we’re just going to assume it’s safe to drink.”

I smiled a little at that.

“I’m going to go and freeze to death. You good?”


Luc hesitated, and then he went into the bathroom, and I focused on eating as many pieces of celery and hunks of cheese as I could without choking. Then I rooted around in my bag, realizing I’d left my sleep shorts at the cabin. Nothing I could do about that now.

But I hadn’t forgotten Diesel.

I pulled out the rock and placed him on the nightstand, by the lamp. Then I snatched up one of the bottles of water and guzzled the liquid.

The bathroom door opened no more than five minutes later, and Luc stepped out, wearing a pair of sweats, which hung indecently low on his hips, and nothing else. My gaze got a little hung up on all the hard, damp, bare skin on display.

I really needed to stop staring at him.

“I don’t mind,” he said.

“Get out of my head.” I picked up the plate and walked over to the bed. “You don’t even look cold.”

“I’m actually freezing, but it was worth it.”

I sat on the bed, crossing my ankles. “I guess it’s something we’ll get used to.”

“Imagine so.”

I peeked over at him as he lifted his hand to push the wet strands of hair back from his face.

“So … when should we see this general?” I asked. “He’s the one you think will be able to answer some of our questions, right?”

“Yeah. Tomorrow morning, if you want.”

I nodded as I offered Luc a carrot. Curling his fingers around my wrist, he took a bite of the baby carrot and then sat beside me on the bed.

He checked out the plate of veggies and cheese. “You want anything else to eat?”

“No, I’m stuffed. You should eat, though.”

“Later.” The plate moved off my lap and onto the nightstand, resting next to the gas lamp and Diesel. He tugged on my arm, and I rose onto my knees. An arm curled around my waist, and he pulled me over into his lap. “How are you processing everything?”

“I don’t know.” I settled against him, a little surprised by the ease of being this close to him. But it just felt right—natural, even. “I’m kind of surprised we made it here. I kept thinking we were going to run into an ambush or something; I keep waiting for something to happen.”

“We’re safe here.” He tucked my wet hair back from my face and then dropped his hand to the space above my knee, where the robe ended.

For now hung unspoken between us.

And there was something else unspoken between us that couldn’t stay that way. “Are they safe from me?”


“It’s a valid question,” I said. “And isn’t that what Daemon wants to talk to you about? I know he doesn’t want me here, and I don’t blame him. He doesn’t know what I’m capable of. I don’t even know, and neither do you.”

“I really don’t care what Daemon wants.”

“Luc.” I sighed.

“That doesn’t mean I don’t understand his concerns,” he added, squeezing my knee. “I do. I also get why you felt like you had to do something to stop everything back at the cabin, even if I didn’t agree with it. I do know you, Peaches. I get that you’re worried, too. We don’t know what’s going to happen an hour from now, let alone a day or a week, but what I do know is that we’re together. Right?”


“Whatever happens, we’re going to face it together, and I will not allow you to hurt anyone who doesn’t deserve it,” he said. “You have to believe in that. I stopped you before. I will stop you again.”

But I’d almost killed him when he’d tried to stop me before.

“Trust me,” Luc whispered against my forehead. “I need you to trust that I will not let you hurt anyone here.”

I closed my eyes, shuddering. I did trust him. Irrevocably. And that meant I was going to have to act on that trust. Taking a deep breath, I nodded. “Okay.”

“Okay,” he repeated, kissing my cheek.

Several moments passed while I rested in his embrace, the chill on my skin seeping away. “When Kat said something about my mom, it made me think that she’d, you know, been through something like that.”

“She has.” He lifted his head, and in the flickering lamp, I met his gaze. “Kat lost her mom during the invasion.”

Tags: Jennifer L. Armentrout Origin Romance