The Burning Shadow (Origin 2) - Page 28

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Luc was no miracle worker, but he was … well, he was just Luc.

“Okay, now I really need some cupcakes.” Emery’s laugh was shaky. “What do you want, Evie?”

“Um.” I glanced back at the menu. “Can I have all of them?”

Before the girls could respond, there was a knock on the door, and Emery called out, “Come in.”

I twisted around, and my heart gave a little jump when I saw it was Luc. I hadn’t seen him earlier, but I figured he was around somewhere. At once, I noticed his shirt. It was gray with a picture of a panda in the middle. It read WARNING. PANDAS ARE BEARS. And then underneath, in smaller print, was STILL NOT AS BAD AS KOALA BEARS.

Immediately recalling his text rant, I grinned.

Luc’s gaze immediately zeroed in on me. He didn’t need to look around; it was like he knew exactly where I was sitting from the moment he opened the door.

“I’m coming to crash the girls’ party.” He walked up to where I sat. “Because I know you guys missed me.”

“We were just sitting here, talking about how much we missed you, and we were wondering what you were up to,” Emery responded, grinning.

“Actually, we were almost in tears over the fact you hadn’t blessed us with your presence yet,” Heidi chimed in. “Right, Evie?”

“Right,” I replied dryly.

“You guys warm my soul.” Luc tugged gently on a strand of my hair, and I looked up at him. “I have a surprise for you.”

I immediately became very, very wary.

Heidi, on the other hand, clapped excitedly, vaguely reminding me of a seal. “I’m so excited to see what this is.”

“Same,” Emery echoed as she kicked a long leg onto the coffee table.

Admittedly, I was, too, because I really had no idea what Luc had for me today. Diesel the pet rock wasn’t his last gift. There hadn’t been any more trips to Harpers Ferry or anywhere, but there’d been a lot of surprises.

A lot of weird ones.

“It’s a private one.” Luc’s grin was downright wicked.

My eyes widened.

“That makes it all the more interesting,” Heidi said.

“That it does, but…” He tapped the bridge of my nose, and I swatted at his hand. “Can I steal you away?”

I glanced over at them, and after a moment, I nodded. “Can you guys get me one of the Butterfinger cupcakes?”

“You mean, like, three of them?” Heidi corrected me.

I laughed as I rose, dropping the menu on the coffee table. “Yes. Text me when they’re here.”

“Will do.” Emery handed the menu to Heidi.

As I stepped around the couch, Luc pushed off the back of it and took my hand. Warmth exploded across my cheeks, because I knew damn well both Heidi and Emery were watching, and I’d never hear the end of it.

But I didn’t pull my hand free. I let him lead me out of Emery’s apartment and down the hall. “Where are you taking me?”

“It’s a surprise, Peaches.”

“I’m not sure I like your surprises.”

“You don’t,” he replied. “Because you love my surprises.”

I arched an eyebrow. “Yeah, I don’t know if we’re in agreement. I loved Harpers Ferry, but the rest of them? Not so sure about that.”

“Now what makes you say that?” The door to the stairwell opened before we reached it.

“Diesel,” I reminded him.

“What about my handsome boy?”

We climbed the stairs. “He’s fine.”

“I know he is, because he’s sitting right on your nightstand.”

The stupid rock was sitting there. It was the last thing I’d seen when I’d fallen asleep the night before and the first thing I saw upon waking.

I glanced over at him, finding him grinning at me. “Okay, what about last Sunday? You asked me to come over because you had a surprise, and the surprise was a marathon of all the James Bond movies.”

“James Bond is amazing.”

“I hate those movies,” I pointed out as we reached his floor.

Luc bent his head toward mine, coming just short of his lips brushing my cheek as we stopped in front of his door. “I know.”

When he spoke, I felt his breath, and a tight, hot shiver curled its way down my spine.

“And I still like you even though James Bond is a classic and you have no taste,” he added, opening his door with a wave of his hand.

“How was that a surprise?”

“You didn’t know it would happen, now did you? Pretty sure that’s the definition of a surprise.” He pulled me into his dimly lit apartment. The blinds were drawn, blocking out most of the afternoon sun.

“Pretty sure that surprises should be something the person receiving the surprise is interested in.” The door swung shut behind us.

“Don’t think that’s what it means.” Luc tugged me forward, and I went, stopping directly in front of him.

I had to tilt my head way back to meet his shadowy gaze. “How about the day before that? You said you had a surprise when I came over and you handed me cheese and bread.”

Tags: Jennifer L. Armentrout Origin Romance