The Burning Shadow (Origin 2) - Page 42

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I bit down on my lip.

“Because it’s got to be illegal to look as hot as I do—wait. I meant you. Got to be illegal to look as beautiful as you do.”

Laughing under my breath, I shifted onto my back. Luc had the worst pickup lines I’d ever heard in my entire life, and nothing distracted me more than his ridiculous one-liners. “You’re a dork.”

“Got an even better one.” He scooted down so our heads were resting on pillows. “Was your father an alien?”

“I don’t want to see where you’re going with this.”

“Because there’s nothing like you on earth.”

“Please stop.”

“Never.” There was a brief pause. “You must be a broom, because you’ve swept me off my feet.”

“You’re a cornball of epic cornball proportions.”

He was closer, our mouths inches apart. “But you miss me when I’m not here.”

Closing my eyes, I let out a little sigh. I did miss his stupid shirts that were always so random. I missed the way he could irritate me one second and make me burst into laughter the next. I missed the dumb, mysterious little half grin that seemed to always be on his face, like he was in on all the universe’s secrets. I missed him randomly showing up at my bedroom window like a freak with a fresh, chilled can of Coke. I missed the way he sometimes seemed like he couldn’t take his eyes off me. I missed the way he looked at me, because no one, especially not Brandon, looked at me like I was the only important person to him in the whole world. I missed—

“I miss you when you’re not here, Peaches.”

I even missed that idiotic nickname.

Taking a shallow breath, I opened my eyes and saw that his were closed, those thick lashes fanning his cheeks. “I miss you.”11“God,” Heidi groused Friday during lunch, drawing my gaze from my lunch tray. I thought it was Salisbury steak and gravy, but I wasn’t entirely sure, because the slab of meat also vaguely resembled meat loaf and tasted like wet cardboard. “What have we done to deserve this?”

I looked up at the same time Zoe did, both of us scanning the packed, brightly lit cafeteria. We saw her at the same time. April. Heading straight for us, cutting between tables and people, her long ponytail snapping behind her. I had no idea why she was walking toward us. How could she not realize none of us wanted anything to do with her? We’d made that painfully clear.

Plopping my elbow on the table, I groaned. “Not today, Satan.”

Zoe sighed, dropping her peanut butter sandwich onto her napkin. “I’m not in the mood for her.”

“Who is ever in the mood for her?” Heidi pressed her cheek into her fist as I placed my plastic fork down, just in case I caved to the urge to turn it into a projectile.

April reached our table with unerring speed, her pale eyes flashing as her gaze zeroed in on me. “What did you do?”

“Me?” I looked around the table, confused. “I haven’t done anything.”

Squeezing in between Heidi and Zoe, she planted one French-manicured hand on the table and leaned forward, pointing the other directly in my face. “That’s bullshit.”

“I’m out.” James stood, snatching a handful of chips off Zoe’s plate before he spun, leaving us to deal with April.

Everything in me focused on the slim finger inches from my face. How easy would it be for me to reach out and snap it back? Too easy. One side of my lip curled up as my skin prickled with the desire to hear the crack—

I caught myself lifting my hand. Shocked, I leaned away from her finger as my heart hammered against its cage. Was I going to break her finger? Not that anyone would blame me if I did it, but I wasn’t a violent person.

At least I didn’t think I was.

“I don’t know what you think I did,” I said after a moment. “But you really need to remove your finger from my face.”

“And you need to remove your body from my presence,” Zoe added, leaning as far as she could to her left.

“I’m not talking to you.” April glanced down at Zoe, her lip curling. “Are you wearing overalls?”

Zoe’s dark brows lifted, and then she looked over at me. “Remind me that she’s not worth it.”

“She’s not.” I met Zoe’s stare and then looked up at April. “I honestly have no idea what you’re talking about, and your finger is still in my face.”

“You really don’t know that some guy accosted Brandon outside of his house this morning?” April’s finger was still in my face, getting closer.

“Accosted?” Heidi giggled. “Sorry. That just sounds funny.”

“Someone jumped him? You can safely assume it wasn’t me.”

“No shit, but the guy jumped him because of you,” April snapped back, and a sense of knowing invaded me. “Got him outside of his car and then proceeded to break every single bone in his hand.”


Tags: Jennifer L. Armentrout Origin Romance
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