The Burning Shadow (Origin 2) - Page 167

Listen Audio

If I deserved this—waking up in the arms of someone who loved me just as much as I loved him.

I didn’t know if I did, because at the end of the day, I didn’t know what I was, and neither did Luc. And maybe I didn’t and maybe it was unfair, but I sure as hell was going to fight with everything in me to have more mornings like this, to stop losing people I loved, and to have all my friends with me, safe and happy.

When Luc had said we’d find who was responsible for all of this and burn down their entire world, his words had spoken to a part inside me that I hadn’t known existed until that moment. I didn’t know what it was. Determination. Retribution. Justice. Could be all of them, but what I did know was that I hadn’t batted an eyelash when he’d said it. There wasn’t a moment of hesitation even though I knew that whatever path we took was going to be a violent one. The Evie who would’ve pumped the brakes and suggested we call the police had died on the floor along with the only woman I knew as my mother, and the Evie that was birthed in the safe house outside of Atlanta would not stand by and watch anyone else be hurt. Whatever had come alive inside me in the woods sure as hell wasn’t going to allow it. I might be dangerous. I just might be a Trojan. But I trusted Luc; I believed that he’d stop me if it came to it. Like he’d already done before.

Because what drew us to each other while we were awake and even in sleep was also powerful enough to blast past whatever resided in me, reaching me.

I opened my eyes and lifted my head. Luc’s face was turned toward my side of the bed, his profile visible. I still couldn’t get over how he looked in his sleep. His angular features softened in a way they rarely did when he was alert. The otherworldliness was still there, but blurred, and I could almost imagine if we were normal, and this was our bed, and we had days and weeks and months and years of simply living stretched out before us, an infinite time to explore each other and the world, to grow and learn together. Graduate school and figure out what I wanted. Move in together out of want and need instead of necessity. Get married and maybe even start a family in some way, many, many years from now.

But that wasn’t us.


“Peaches,” Luc murmured, startling me. “I wish you’d brought your camera. You would be able to take a picture.” His arm around me tightened. “It would last longer.”

“Jerk.” I smiled. “I didn’t mean to wake you.”

“It’s okay.” One sleepy eye opened. “I could never complain about being woken up like this, by you.”

A sweet swelling motion filled my chest. “Hearing you say that makes me want to kiss you.”

Luc turned his head to me then as his hand on my side slid up my back, tangling in the mess of my hair. “That’s an even better way to wake up, so what’s stopping you?”

I wiggled up and lowered my head. “I probably have morning breath.”

“I probably do, too.” His eyes went half-mast. “I don’t care.”

As I stared down at him, I realized I didn’t either. “Did you sleep well?”

“Yeah.” His other hand cupped my cheek. “I thought I wouldn’t sleep at all, but fell asleep right after you. You’re like my perfect dose of melatonin.”

I laughed at that, and then I lowered my mouth to his, kissing him. I just meant to give him a quick one, but that wasn’t what happened. The moment I started to lift my head, Luc rolled me under him.

“Now, you can give me a better good morning kiss than that,” he teased, and this time, I did.

We got a little lost in each other for a while. Kissing. Touching. We knew we had to get up and find the general, but we both seemed to sense that this was … it was just as important as all the possible answers in the world were. It wasn’t just living in the moment. It was seizing whatever seconds we had because we’d already lost so many, and when he settled over me, the kisses became more urgent, our touches more frenzied as we moved and twisted against each other. Electricity seemed to charge the air as he lifted his head, his chest rising and falling heavily as he stared down at me with pupils a bright, intense white. There was a tension to his mouth that caused my heart to jump all over the place, a question in that odd, beautiful gaze of his, and I knew. I suddenly knew.

Tags: Jennifer L. Armentrout Origin Romance