The Burning Shadow (Origin 2) - Page 18

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“Oh, good question.” I glanced back at Daemon. His head was tipped back, exposing his neck. “Bet he totally ignores that.”

“I would not be willing to take that bet.”

“If there’s nothing to fear from a Luxen, then why aren’t we having this conversation face-to-face?” Senator Freeman asked with a well-practiced smirk, ignoring Dee’s point like I knew he would. “Instead, you’re squirreled away in some undisclosed location.”

Dee’s steely green gaze fixed on the camera. “Because no one needs to be afraid of us, but we can’t say the same thing about you. About humans.”5I have a surprise for you.

Staring at the text message Luc sent while I was in history class, I volleyed back and forth between excitement and trepidation.

He had a surprise?

I glanced up at Mr. Barker. He stood in front of the chalkboard, green smoothie in one hand like always, a piece of chalk in the other. Whatever he drank every day was something that would never, ever get close to my mouth. I liked meat and carbs and sugar, and that stuff looked like a garden threw up in his cup.

The screen on my phone flashed again from where it was hidden under my desk, signaling another text.

Meet me at your car.

The corners of my lips turned down as I quickly typed back now with about five dozen question marks, along with .

A second later, I got a response. ASAP. The surprise is in a box. And it could suffocate.

I nearly knocked my phone out of my lap as I quickly typed WHAT? Then I followed it up with a reminder that I was in the middle of the class.

Come out as soon as you can, then.

As soon as I could? Like I could just come and go from school as I pleased? This was a problem when you were friends with someone who obviously had no structured education and followed absolutely no rules.

It had been two days since Officer Bromberg had shown up at Foretoken, demanding to see Luc. I had no idea what the officer had really wanted. When Luc returned and after Daemon left, Luc had brushed off my questions, claiming that the officer’s visits were rather routine. I wasn’t sure if I believed him or not. Part of me suspected he wasn’t telling me the whole truth because he didn’t want me to worry.

Which was annoying.

Straightening in my seat, I glanced over my shoulder at Zoe. She was staring at Mr. Barker, a dreamy smile plastered across her deep brown cheeks while she tugged one tight honey-colored curl straight and then let it bounce back.

Zoe had a bit of a crush on Mr. Barker. So did half the school. Mainly because he did have an amazing smile.

My gaze traveled over the class. Most of my classmates looked half-awake, including Coop, who kept blinking to keep his eyes open. His blond head rested on a fist while the other hand hung limply off the desk. Considering how much the guy liked to party, it wasn’t entirely surprising to see him like that. I didn’t know Coop well, but I wondered how he was doing after Andy’s body was found outside his parents’ home, where he’d been hosting the party. Did Coop also know Ryan?

News of Ryan’s untimely death had been all that anyone was talking about this morning, but by the time lunch rolled around, it was like everyone had accepted it.

Until someone sneezed.

And then there were looks of fear, as if every sneeze was spraying a flu virus that had possibly killed a teenage boy. When I’d talked to Mom about it, she’d told me that the flu could kill, especially if someone had underlying health conditions, and that sadly most people didn’t even realize they did until they got sick.

The phone vibrated against my thigh again, and I looked down.

I’m vaguely afraid of pandas, just so you know.

Pandas? What in the world? I grinned. The bubble appeared, showing that another text was coming. Mr. Barker was droning on about conquistadors or something, and I got another text.

Pandas are like one of the most misleading creatures in the entire animal kingdom. They’re fluffy and cute, so you think they want to hug you, but in reality, they’ll rip you limb from limb.

I had no idea how to respond to that.

Wait. I think that’s koala bears. Those things are evil bastards.

And I had no idea how to respond to that, either, so I texted back I’ll be out in twenty minutes.

That’s a long time.

What will I do for twenty minutes?

Someone might try to take me.

I am that needed.

And wanted.

It’s hard being me.

So

Hard

Oh my God, Luc was a mess.

Shaking my head, I dropped my phone into the front pocket of my bag and tried to focus on the rest of the class, but there was a strange flutter in my stomach and an even stronger one in my chest. Like I was buzzing. I’d never felt that way with my ex, Brandon, or any random dude I’d harbored a crush on. I didn’t know what to make of the feeling, but it felt like a first of something major.


Tags: Jennifer L. Armentrout Origin Romance
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