The Burning Shadow (Origin 2) - Page 40

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“Oh.” I looked down again. Yep. My shirt did say that. Apparently, I’d forgotten how to read. I wondered what the other two things were, but I didn’t have the courage to ask.

His gaze flicked from me to the space above my bed. A slow smile appeared, and I knew he was staring at the framed photograph of the picture he’d given me. I’d decided to take it home that night, and after nailing several holes in the wall above my bed, I’d finally gotten it level.

At least, I thought I did.

“Forensic Files,” he said after a moment, tilting his head toward the television as I grabbed the hem of the shirt, tugging it as far it would go. “I think you’re the only person who can fall asleep with that on.”

While his back was to me, I all but darted toward the bed, still holding on to the hem of my shirt as I dived under the covers. “Probably why I have nightmares.”

Luc turned to me, and even though I couldn’t see his eyes, I could feel his gaze as I tugged the soft blanket to my waist. He took a step and then stopped. “That’s not why you’re having nightmares.”

Letting go of the blanket, I looked up at him, my chest clenching. “Why would you say that?”

He picked up my laptop from where it rested and sat at the foot of the bed. “You’ve been through a lot of shit, Peaches. You’ve seen me kill Luxen, and you’ve stumbled across dead bodies. You were hurt by Micah and learned that your entire life was a lie. You’re bound to have some nightmares.”

“Do you?”

“Almost every night.”

A different kind of pressure clamped down on my chest. “What kind of nightmares do you have?”

He was quiet for a long moment. “Things that have already come to pass,” he said and then quickly moved on. “What woke you?”

“Micah,” I said, telling the truth instead of lying or avoiding his question like I normally would.

“Micah’s dead. You said that yourself.” His head turned in my direction and in the shadows of the room our eyes met. “Which is probably why you’re having nightmares.”

“I know he’s dead, it’s just…”

“You’ve been through a lot,” he repeated. “I wish Micah were alive so I could kill him all over again.”

“Don’t say that. I know you didn’t want to kill him, and I know killing him bothers you.”

Luc tilted his head to the side. “Why do you think that?”

“Because I remember what you told me about the other Origins, and I could tell that what you had to do is something that’s stayed with you.”

“It has, but Micah was different.”


“Because Micah did something that none of the others did.” He rose with the laptop in hand and walked to the head of the bed. He sat beside me, on the other side—his side. Not that he had a side, but he sort of, kind of did. “He hurt you. I don’t regret a thing I did to him.”

I sucked in a shrill breath. “You don’t mean that.”

“I do. There’s not an ounce of regret in me. He deserved it—deserved worse. He hurt you, Evie.”

“He also killed other people, but—”

“I don’t care about that.”

My mouth dropped open as a lock of hair fell across my cheek.

“When he broke your arm, he was already in his coffin.” He leaned against the headboard, stretching out his long legs. “Him attacking you again, hurting you like he did? I just put the final nails in.”

My gaze lifted to his, and I drew in a shallow breath and spoke the truth. “I don’t know what to say to that.”

He stared at me a moment longer and then nodded. “You don’t need to say anything.”

I reached up to push my hair out of my face, unsure if I believed him or not.

Luc snapped toward me, his long, warm fingers circling my wrist. “What happened to your arm?”

The contact of his fingers sent a pleasant jolt up my arm. I followed his gaze as he lifted my arm, examining it. At first, I didn’t know what he was talking about, but then I saw the blue smudges marring the inside of my forearm.

“These are fingerprints.” His mouth pulled taut. “Who did this?”

I shook my head. “There were some idiots protesting Luxen at school today, and things got heated.”

His head cocked to the side. “Who did this, Evie?”

My gaze snapped to his. Barely leashed violence churned in his eyes, matching his tone. There was no way I was going to tell him what happened, and I immediately started thinking about puppies with fluffy, wagging tails and kittens chasing balls.

Luc’s eyes narrowed.

“It’s nothing,” I told him.

“Sure as hell doesn’t look like nothing.” He finally looked away as he lowered my arm to his thigh. “No one should be touching you in a way that leaves a bruise behind.”

Tags: Jennifer L. Armentrout Origin Romance