The Burning Shadow (Origin 2) - Page 39

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Groaning, I sat up and slowly rose to my feet. Shuffling to the vanity, I turned the water on and then bent over, scooping the icy water and splashing it across my face. I sucked in a sharp gasp but did it again, letting it soak my skin and most of my hair. I reached for the mouthwash, swishing it around until the taste of the bile was gone. Then I lifted my eyes to the water-spotted mirror and gazed upon the girl who stared back at me.

I recognized the heart-shaped face and damp, blond hair sticking to cheeks that were flushed a faint pink. The large brown eyes were mine, as were the parted lips and slightly pointy chin that really didn’t match the rest of my face.

That was me.

“My name is Evie.” I cleared my throat as I placed my hands on the vanity, steadying myself. “My name is … Nadia Holliday?” I shook my head. “No. I’m not her. I’m Evie Dasher.”

I wasn’t her, either, now was I?

But I was Peaches …

I ran my hands down my face as I stepped back from the sink. And I had remembered something of Nadia. The kiss. Our first kiss. I may not have any other memories of my time as Nadia, but I knew in my bones that had been my first kiss, too.

A ding from my phone startled me. I turned from the mirror and flipped off the light, hurrying to my bed. I found the phone half buried under a pillow and picked it up, my stomach twisting and dipping when I saw Luc’s name on the screen.

Can’t sleep. You?

I sat down on the bed. A strange mix of fluttering anticipation and trepidation replaced the churning nausea, and I wasn’t sure if that was better or worse.

Since the day in Harpers Ferry, things had shifted between us. What I was beginning to feel for him, or had always felt for him, was all over the place. How could I untangle those feelings from a past I couldn’t remember and a present that left me entirely confused?

Can’t sleep, either, I texted back.

A moment passed and then, Let me in.

Let me in? Crap! Shooting off the bed, I spun around and stared at my bedroom window. Was he—

There was a soft knock.

He was totally outside my window.

I hurried over before one of our neighbors just happened to notice him perched on my window like a hot pterodactyl.

“Evie?” came the muffled voice. “Is Diesel sleeping?”

A grin tugged at my lips. I probably shouldn’t let him in, but I wanted a distraction after that nightmare.

That’s what I told myself as I pushed the curtains aside and shoved the window up. That letting him in had nothing to do with that distraction being Luc. Cool night air rushed in. “My mom is home.”

“I know.” Moonlight sliced over his striking face.

“You shouldn’t be here.”

Luc grinned as he offered a can of soda to me. “I know.”

“You just don’t care?”

“About getting caught? Nope.”

Shooting him a dark look, I snatched the can out of his hand and then stepped back. “If she catches you, it’s really not going to win you any brownie points.”

“She won’t catch me.”

Like a large cat, he came through the window and landed nimbly, quietly on his feet. He straightened to his full height. I wasn’t exactly short, but Luc still towered over me. He turned, closing the window.

Soda can in hand, I desperately tried to ignore the fluttering deep in my chest as I checked the bedroom door, making sure it was locked. Then, drawing in a shallow breath, I faced him.

He was wearing a plain white T-shirt and a pair of gray-and-burgundy flannel bottoms. His hair was a mess, waves sticking up in every direction, and he looked utterly adorable, which was a word I never thought I’d use to describe Luc.

But there was something boyishly charming about him as he stood there, his eyes heavy with the cobwebs of sleep. In that moment, when he looked like he’d just shuffled out of bed, I could almost forget what he was.

“You came all the way here in your pajamas?” My gaze dipped. “And barefoot?”

“My feet didn’t even touch the ground.” He gave me a cheeky grin as his gaze drifted over me in a quick perusal. “I like the shirt.”

Glancing down at myself, I frowned. The shirt I wore was at least three sizes too big. It was a shapeless tent, and as long as I didn’t start to do jumping jacks, there was no way he could tell that I wasn’t wearing a bra. A whole lot of leg was on display since the shirt only reached the middle of my thighs.

But Luc had seen a lot more than my legs.

“What do you like about it?” I asked.

One side of his mouth curled up. “There is an unmeasurable list of things I like about this shirt, but the QUEEN OF THE NAPS written across the front of it is in the top three.”


Tags: Jennifer L. Armentrout Origin Romance
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