The Burning Shadow (Origin 2) - Page 43

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My mouth dropped open, and I had a sudden, sinking suspicion that I knew who it was.

“And then told him if he ever looked at you or breathed in your general direction again, it would be the last thing he ever did.” April was practically humming with rage as she hissed, “And the guy was a Luxen. He had those freaky eyes.”

My jaw was officially on the table. Luc. It had to have been Luc, but I hadn’t told him the night before. I had made sure not to even think Brandon’s name.

Immediately, I thought about what Daemon had told me—had basically warned me.

“He’s been at the hospital all morning, and he’ll have to wear a cast for three weeks,” April ranted, and there was a part of me that was surprised that was all Luc had done.

“Then maybe Brandon shouldn’t grab people like he did yesterday.” Zoe picked up her sandwich and took a huge bite. “Just saying.”

Had Zoe told Luc?

“You tell your Luxen freak to stay away from Brandon—away from us—or he’ll regret it.”

I couldn’t help it. A laugh burst out of me as I imagined telling Luc to stay away from them or else.

April’s cheeks went a mottled red. “Do you think I’m funny?”

“Yes.” I nodded.

“We’ll see just how funny you think it is.” Then she flicked the tip of my nose.

I jerked back out of surprise, and there was no stopping the red-hot burst of anger. I reacted without thinking. My fingers wrapped around hers before she even had a chance to pull her hand back.

Surprise widened her eyes, and then her glossy red lips curved into a smirk. “Do it. I dare you, Evie.”

The bone was fragile. I knew that. Hell, I knew firsthand exactly how frail bones could be and how easily they could break. My skin heated as I inhaled through my nose, holding her stare. I could easily do it. I wanted to. Probably more than I wanted to do anything in my life.

And that was kind of messed up.

I didn’t care, though.

“Evie.” Zoe’s soft voice snapped me out of it.

Blinking, I dropped April’s hand as if her touch scalded me. Unnerved, I clamped my hands together in my lap.

April’s smirk grew. “Didn’t think so.” Straightening, she twirled around, nearly smacking Heidi and April in their faces with her ponytail.

Heidi was staring at me. “I really thought you were going to do it. Honest to God, I thought, Holy shit, she’s going to break April’s finger, and I didn’t know if I should stop you or applaud you.”

I laughed, but it sounded as forced as it felt as I met Zoe’s stare. “Did you tell Luc?”

“No. I didn’t.”

Then how did …

I twisted around, my gaze swinging exactly to where the Luxen usually sat. They were all there, all except one.

Connor.

Whipping around, I pulled my phone out of my backpack and fired off a quick text to Luc.

We need to talk.* * *It was a little before five when Luc texted back. He didn’t question why I was texting him. His response was Meet me at Walkers.

Walkers was a burger joint not too far from my house, and it served amazing pan-fried hamburgers. Like, old-school, not even remotely healthy kind of hamburgers. I hadn’t been there in ages, but I always gave them a look of longing every time I passed the usually packed parking lot.

As I grabbed my small purse off the front seat and climbed out of the old Lexus that had belonged to the man I’d thought had been my father, it felt like a nest of butterflies was fluttering around in my chest.

Why in the world was I so nervous?

I had no idea.

Okay. That was a lie.

I was nervous because I’d kissed him two days ago. It wasn’t much of a kiss, but I’d done it. Even though I’d seen him since then, I was … I was crushing on Luc.

Despite the fact I was 100 percent confident he’d broken Brandon’s hand. Not that Brandon hadn’t deserved it, but Luc couldn’t just run around breaking people’s hands.

Closing the door, I hopped up on the sidewalk and made my way to the all-glass door. There were flyers plastered all along the front windows of the diner. Most looked like they’d been there a while and were offering things for sale or for free. Someone had a litter of adorable black-and-white kittens.

But one of the flyers stood out. Kind of hard not to notice it since it was right in the center of the door and used big, bold letters.

LUXEN NOT WELCOME HERE.

Underneath the words was the standard alien face, the oval-shaped head and big, black eyes. The circle-backslash symbol was over the top of it for, I guess, aliens who couldn’t read?

That had to be new. The last time I was here, they weren’t banning Luxen from eating their artery-clogging pieces of heaven.


Tags: Jennifer L. Armentrout Origin Romance
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