The Burning Shadow (Origin 2) - Page 51

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But that was all.

Freaky. Cool. Also, again, sort of freaky.

“Have we … um … met before?” I asked, feeling awkward, but we could’ve been best friends forever when I was Nadia and I’d have no idea.

“Briefly,” Luc answered as he shifted so that he was between Dawson and me, and I could no longer see the Luxen. Luc was just as tall and marginally broader. “This is Evie,” Luc said, stressing my name as I rose from the couch and stepped to the side so I could see Dawson.

Dawson nodded. “Nice to meet you, Evie.”

“Same.” I smiled at the Luxen that was somehow familiar and yet a stranger.

“Sorry to have bothered you two, but this can’t wait. Something’s happening with the girl,” Dawson explained. “I think she’s dying.”13“Girl?” My stomach dropped all the way to my toes. Immediately, I thought of my friends, but if it were one of them, wouldn’t Dawson have said so? Plus, they were down below, having fun. They were fine. “What girl?”

Luc hesitated.

My gaze flicked from Dawson to him. “What’s going on, Luc?”

“Her name is Sarah,” Luc answered as he stepped out into the hallway. “And I thought she had the flu or something.” He said the last part to Dawson.

I had no idea who Sarah was, but the flu? “Like the flu from Kansas City kind of flu?”

“I don’t know, Peaches.”

Following Luc out into the hall, I realized Dawson hadn’t come here alone. Grayson was waiting.

“What is she doing out here?” he demanded.

My eyes narrowed, but then Luc looked over his shoulder at me as if just realizing I’d followed him out into the hall.

“Give me a moment,” Luc said, and then he took my hand, taking me back into his apartment. The door mostly closed but didn’t shut the whole way. “You should probably stay here, wait until I get back. This shouldn’t take long.”

I stared at him for a long moment, somewhat stuck between disbelief and irritation. “Just a few minutes ago, we were on that couch and your hands were on me—my hands were on you.”

Luc’s eyes slammed shut as he made a low growling sound. “Don’t remind me. I’m trying everything not to think about it at the moment.”

My cheeks flushed at the sound, sending shivers down my spine. “The point is, we were just really, awfully close right then, and we’ve been closer—”

“Not helping,” he all but moaned.

The tips of my ears burned. “And something is obviously going on and you want me to just sit here and wait for you to come back?”

His eyes opened, and the pupils were bright white again. “Pretty much.”

“That’s not how this works, Luc. I want to go with you.”

“Not sure if that’s wise, Peaches.”

“Why?” I planted my hands on my hips.

“Because if there’s even a small chance that girl does have some kind of weird virus, I don’t want you to get exposed to it.”

I didn’t want to be exposed, either. “I didn’t catch anything from Coop, and he sat right next to me.”

“Maybe, but it’s more than that. You were a part of this world before, but you’re not anymore. What goes on here doesn’t touch you. What I do doesn’t touch you.”

“But I am a part of this world. My mom is an unregistered Luxen. One of my best friends is an Origin, and the other is dating a Luxen. I’ve been shot up full of alien DNA and not in the fun way.”

Luc opened his mouth as his brows lifted.

I didn’t let him say anything. “And then there’s you—there’s you and me, and I’m trying to figure out what you and I mean. I can’t do that if you push me out of this world—your world.”

“Okay.” Something akin to respect glimmered in his eyes as a slow smile tugged at his lips. “Then let’s get you knee deep in this world.”* * *The moment Luc and I stepped back out into the hallway and started toward the stairwell door, Grayson opened his mouth, and I knew he was about to say something ignorant. Luc silenced him before he could.

“She’s here because she wanted to be.” Luc’s tone brook no room for argument, and I resisted the urge to stick my tongue out at Grayson. “What’s her condition?”

Dawson was watching the three of us curiously as he easily kept up with Luc’s long strides and they started down the steps. “She’s awake, but, well, not quite sure that’s a good thing.”

“Can you walk any faster?” Grayson snapped from behind me. “You’re about as slow as a three-legged turtle.”

The corners of my lips pulled down. The way he said you was as if he were speaking of a mutant cockroach crawling along the floor. “You can always walk in front of me, you know.”

“I don’t trust you behind me.”

I laughed. “What in the world am I going to do to you?”


Tags: Jennifer L. Armentrout Origin Romance
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