The Burning Shadow (Origin 2) - Page 52

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“Anything is possible,” he shot back.

“Gray?” Luc called out from several steps ahead.

“Yes?”

“Shut the hell up.”

Grayson muttered a curse under his breath, and then he said, louder, “Look, I’m just not sure you want her to see this.”

“See what?” I held on to the railing as I rounded a landing. Grayson was still behind me, and I was willing to bet he was engaged in a massive internal debate over whether or not to push me down the steps.

Dawson glanced at Luc before speaking, and I supposed whatever he saw in Luc’s expression was interpreted as permission.

Everyone always looked to Luc first before doing anything.

Well, everyone except for me.

“I was moving a group yesterday, and there was a couple—a Luxen and a human girl—Sarah,” Dawson said. “We ran into some problems and had to come back here.”

Was it the relationship between this Luxen and human girl that caused a problem? Relationships between Luxen and humans were currently illegal. If the human was under eighteen, their guardians faced substantial fines, and if they were over eighteen, they could face prison time.

Heidi was taking a huge risk to be with Emery, but love was worth it. I truly believed that, so I was thrilled for Heidi. She had the kind of love for Emery that made a slicing motion in my chest that was both scary and hopeful, and it was obvious Emery felt the same way … but that didn’t mean I didn’t worry about them.

We reached the third floor, and my eyes tracked Luc down the wide hallway, my gaze lingering on the breadth of his shoulders. Since the general public didn’t even know Origins existed, they’d assume Luc was a Luxen if they saw his eyes or caught him using the Source. So, if we got together, it would be a risk, too.

Wait. Was I planning to get involved with Luc? Well, I’d just told him I was trying to figure out what we were, and that was the truth. Maybe I hadn’t realized that until this very moment. Plus, a couple of minutes ago, I’d been willing to wrap myself around him like a horny octopus, so …

Luc slowly turned his head and looked over his shoulder at me, his eyebrows raised as he mouthed, Horny octopus?

Oh my God! My hands curled in fists, but before I could yell at him, Dawson was speaking again.

“We ran into trouble just outside of Virginia,” Dawson was saying. “One of those damn recovery teams spotted us, and there was a fight. Two Luxen were killed, one of them being the human’s boyfriend.”

My heart clenched for the couple I didn’t know as I looked at Luc again, surprised that he hadn’t mentioned any of this since I showed up at Foretoken this evening. Dread formed like lead balls in my stomach. Did Luc go out on these missions? He hadn’t mentioned it, but Luc never really said what he did with his time, and he sure as hell hadn’t told me about any of this.

Instead, he took me into his apartment and danced with me.

“Was she hurt in the fight?” I asked, refocusing on the topic at hand.

Dawson shook his head, sending black waves in every direction. “Archer met us halfway and took the rest of the Luxen, but the girl…”

“What?” Confusion swirled.

“Without the Luxen to vouch for her, she wouldn’t be welcome where they were going,” Luc answered, slowing his steps so I was now beside him. “And like I said, she’s sick.”

Luc had said that.

The door suddenly opened at the end of the hall, and I saw Kent and his emo Pennywise face pop out. “I have never been happier to see you guys than I am right now. Even happier than if you’d brought me a bucket of Popeyes chicken,” he said as Grayson snorted behind me. “There is some really weird shit going on in here, and I feel like I need an adult, and I also wish Chas had never come down to get Grayson and me.”

Chas? It took me a moment to place a face to the name. He was the Luxen that had been beaten so badly by Micah, I was still shocked that he was alive. I hadn’t seen him in what felt like forever.

Kent stepped aside, opening the door wide so Luc could enter, and I could finally see into the room. A harsh gasp parted my lips the moment I saw this girl. She was in front of a narrow bed, stringy blond hair hanging around her sunken face in thin, limp clumps.

Sarah was standing, but like Dawson had said, I wasn’t sure that was a good thing. She looked like death stood beside her. Coop hadn’t looked like this, and I thought he’d appeared bad. This was far more severe.

When Luc spoke, his voice was quiet and soothing as if he were speaking to a cornered, sick animal. “Hey, what are you doing out of bed? Did you need something? We can get it for you so you can rest.”


Tags: Jennifer L. Armentrout Origin Romance
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