This was it.
Him. Me. No clothes. Together. Like, really together. It wouldn’t be my first time, but it would be his, and this time, in a bed and house that belonged to someone else, it felt so much more right than before.
Luc’s eyes flared an intense amethyst. “Evie?”
It was one of those rare moments when I didn’t mind that he’d been picking up on my thoughts. “Yes,” I whispered. “I mean, if you—”
I never got to finish the question, because Luc kissed me and there was something entirely different about it this time. It was slow and deep, and beautiful, and then it became more. He reached for the shirt I’d donned before going to bed and I shoved at his sweats—
A knock on the front door stilled us. My eyes flew to his as I held on to the band of his bottoms. He had my shirt halfway up my chest.
“It’s our imagination,” he said, voice rough like sandpaper. “We didn’t hear anything.”
“I heard nothing.” I lifted my head to his, kissing him. His groan rumbled through me. He went for my shirt again, and I yanked on his bottoms as I arched my back. His hands, his gaze was so close—
The knock came again, this time followed by the muffled voice of Kat. “Guys, are you all awake?”
The groan that came out of Luc was nothing like the one from before. He dropped his head to my neck. “We could ignore her.”
“We could.” I let go of his pants, folding my arms around him.
“She’ll go away.” His lips coasted over my neck. “Eventually.”
I turned my head toward his, seeking his mouth. “She has to.”
“Definitely.” He kissed me, pressing his body against mine and into the bed.
“Eaton sent me!” Kat’s voice rang out, this time closer, as if she was coming around to a different window. “He wants to see you guys and he’s super impatient.” A pause. “As per usual.”
A giggle crept up my throat. “I don’t think she’s going to go away.”
“I think you’re right. Unfortunately. I’ve never been more disappointed in my life.” Luc lifted his head and then yelled, “Give us twenty minutes.”
“I think I’m going to be disappointed,” I murmured.
Luc looked down at me, eyebrows raised and his eyes slightly wide. “Peaches.…”
The laugh burst out of me before I could stop it, and it felt good to laugh, and it felt even better when he silenced that laugh with another kiss.* * *Off in the distance, downtown Houston loomed, a graveyard of buildings built of steel and stone. It was the first thing I saw after Luc and I joined Kat, who was waiting for us on the porch. There was something unnerving about seeing a city of that size completely stagnant, and it caused me to remember the faint memories of how quiet things had been after the invasion. I had no idea if those memories were real or something that had been implanted, but the city seemed … haunted, a ghost of the past.
“Sorry we kept you waiting.” Luc closed the door. “We weren’t expecting to be summoned this early.”
“Neither were we.” Kat rose from the wooden glider she’d been sitting on, one hand on her lower back, the other clutching a floppy, cream-colored hat. While she didn’t look remotely comfortable, she looked really cute in the simple pale blue sheath of a dress with long sleeves. “But Eaton was all but banging on our door at the crack of dawn, getting Daemon to go into the Yard.”
“The Yard?” I asked, stepping off the porch. I wished I’d grabbed a heavier shirt as it was actually cooler than I thought it would be.
“It’s a few blocks over, by the old high school.” She slid the hat on, the floppy edges covering most of her face. “It’s where … well, it doesn’t matter. By the way, I don’t think Eaton slept at all last night.”
It didn’t pass me by that Kat had changed the subject instead of telling me what the Yard was being used for. Had Daemon told her about me? It didn’t take a leap of logic to assume that he had. It would be the first thing I told Luc. What did she think? Was she worried? Uncomfortable, I dragged my gaze from her to the street across. Homes nearly identical to the one we’d come out of faced me. It was the same both left and right, but there were no signs of life inside, no low voices of hushed conversation. The only sound was the soft snapping of the breeze catching the canopies. It was early, but not that early.
“Do people live in these houses?” I asked, thinking the whole place sort of reminded me of the first season of that zombie show.
Luc’s hand folded around mine, drawing my gaze. He was watching Kat as she waddled along beside us.