The Burning Shadow (Origin 2) - Page 55

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“Her bones … I could hear them breaking,” I said, almost afraid to close my eyes for any period of time because I was sure I would see her. “How in the world did she jump up and run after that?”

Kent lifted a shoulder.

“And she survived the fall, which is insane.” Heidi tucked her legs to her chest. “Are you guys sure she’s human?”

Emery nodded. “Definitely human.”

“But we don’t do that,” Heidi replied. “We don’t get sick like that, survive what her body did, launch ourselves out of the window, and survive a fall from five stories to then just scamper off.”

I wasn’t quite sure Sarah scampered, but that image was now stuck in my head. “But look at Coop. He was completely human, too.”

Kent crossed his arms. “She was as human as I am, despite what Grayson might claim about me.”

“I know you guys say mutations don’t look like that, but maybe that’s what it is,” Heidi said. “And no one knows for sure if those serums the Daedalus used are still out there.”

“We would’ve seen the trace on her.” Emery stretched out her legs. “Just like Zoe would’ve seen the trace on that guy you all went to school with.”

“Maybe there’s a whole different serum that removes the trace,” Kent tossed out there. “Anything is possible.”

“Sarah did say something.” I glanced at Kent, tapping my foot on the floor. “You heard her, right? She said, ‘They did something to me.’”

A frown tugged at his mouth. “I didn’t hear that.”

“What?” I stared up at him. “She said it right after she vomited and before she turned into something straight from a horror movie. She said it twice.”

His reddish-brown eyebrows lifted. “I didn’t hear her say anything like that.”

“How…?” I looked over at the girls, who were staring back at me. How in the world had Kent not heard her?

Kent’s brow creased. “She did make these weird trilling sounds, though. I heard that.”

I’d heard them, too, but I’d heard her speak. It had been a little slurred, but she’d spoken. A lot had been going on, so I guessed I couldn’t be that surprised that Kent hadn’t heard her in between the vomiting and snapping bones.

“What do you think they’ll do with the girl if they find her?” Heidi asked, twisting toward her girlfriend.

Emery glanced over at Kent, and a long moment passed before she answered. “It’ll depend on what she does. He’s not going to let her hurt anyone, and he’s not going to let her expose what we’re doing here. If it comes down to something like that, Luc will take care of it.” Emery’s tone was blunt. “That’s what he does.”

That’s what he does.

I swallowed hard as those words replaced what Sarah had said. Luc would … take care of her, just like he’d had to take care of those Origins the Daedalus had created, those kids that had been more dangerous than any adult Luxen could ever be to humans. He’d take care of Sarah just like Micah had forced him to do that night in the woods.

He would have to kill this girl if she proved a risk to people or to what they did here.

My mouth dried, and the drink of soda didn’t help.

Luc was … he was a guy who, a little over an hour ago, had danced with me and told me I only had to be who I was, not who I used to be. He could make me laugh with his ridiculous surprises or terrible pickup lines, distract me when I got lost in the past I couldn’t remember or the leftover fear from Micah’s attack. He was a guy who wore absurd shirts and took in Luxen and humans alike who were in need, collecting people around him like one would take in and care for stray animals. He helped get Emery clean. Luc was kind.

And Luc was also a killer.

I’d seen it with my own eyes, when three Luxen had shown up and one of them had attacked me. I’d seen it when he’d finally ended Micah’s murderous reign. I’d seen the brutally cold precision of his kills, and I’d also seen the haunted look in those stunning amethyst eyes afterward. He hadn’t killed Brandon, but he’d broken the guy’s hand with absolutely no remorse.

A shudder racked me.

The contrast of who he was and what he could be, his unending gentleness and unyielding hardness, was startling even though I’d seen both sides of him before, knew exactly what he’d do and how far he’d go to protect others.

And hearing it now still rattled me.

“Hey.” Kent nudged my shoulder with his elbow. “He’ll do what’s right, honeybuns. He always does.”

Surprised that Kent had followed my thoughts, I forced a brittle smile as I placed my glass on the end table. Needing something to do with my hands, I started working out the tangles in my hair with my fingers.


Tags: Jennifer L. Armentrout Origin Romance
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