The Burning Shadow (Origin 2) - Page 59

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Shuddering at his words, I quickly realized I shouldn’t have said that. “I know you didn’t just give me to them. I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said that, but that doesn’t change the fact that you also kept huge secrets from me.”

“Yeah, because you would’ve definitely believed me if I’d told you right away.”

“That’s still no excuse for lying by omission.” Truth was, I wouldn’t have believed him. Who would? But that wasn’t the point, because this whole situation made me realize something very important. Luc kept me in the dark about a lot of things, and I’d thought it was to keep me at a safe distance from the dangerous and illegal things they did here, but now I was beginning to think that wasn’t the only reason. There was a good chance he was keeping me in the dark because of Mom. “You still don’t tell me everything, Luc. You keep stuff from me now.”

“Like what?”

“You didn’t tell me about Sarah or what happened with the other Luxen. You don’t tell me 99 percent of the things you do here even though you have officers randomly showing up, and I bet that happens a lot even though I only know of that one time.”

Luc looked away.

“Answer this—do you go on these runs? Help move Luxen out?”

His jaw clenched. “Sometimes I do when you’re at school. Quick trips where Archer or Daemon are coming up to meet me.”

The breath of air I took went nowhere. “And you never told me about this.” My heart started pounding in my chest. “What if something happened to you on one of these runs? I wouldn’t even know, Luc. I’d have no idea. You’d just be gone.”

His gaze shot to mine. “I don’t tell you because I don’t want you to worry.”

I blurted out the truth. “Do you think I don’t already worry, Luc? What you do here is crazy dangerous. Hell, your very existence is dangerous. Not telling me is not going to make me worry less.”

The line of his jaw softened, as did the glint to his eyes. “You don’t need to worry about me, Peaches. I’m always going to come back to you. That’s a promise.”

Warmth flushed my face. I’m always going to come back to you. That promise excited and angered me, left me feeling hopeful and full of dread.

And then the strangest sensation hit me. I’d heard him make that promise before, hadn’t I?

“I don’t tell you where I go with those Luxen or where they’re taken because knowledge like that puts you in danger, and it also makes you dangerous.”

“Makes me dangerous?” It took me a moment to realize what he meant, and I couldn’t believe it. “Do you really think I’d tell anyone what goes on here? That I’d do that?”

He didn’t respond for a long moment. “I don’t think you’d say anything to be malicious, but the fact that you trust Sylvia means there are things I cannot trust you with.”

Luc and I stood toe to toe, and I realized that everyone had bounced out of the room like rubber balls. We were alone, and I hadn’t even noticed up until that point.

“I have to trust her. She’s my mom—”

“Sylvia is not your mother.”

I sucked in a sharp breath, feeling as if I’d been smacked right in the face, because what he said came close to what I was feeling and thoughts that already left me reeling with guilt and confusion.

Mother. Daughter. Just words and labels, but powerful words—words that went beyond blood.

It struck me then as I blinked back the uncomfortable burn behind my eyes. She had told her fair share of lies and kept even more secrets, just like Zoe had and just like Luc still did. Things were a little awkward between Zoe and me, and I was just beginning to find my way with Luc, but it wasn’t fair to give them passes and not give one to her.

Because at the end of the day, she was my mother. She kept a roof over my head and my belly full. She showered me with love and encouragement, and she was my mother in every sense of the word.

“She’s the only mom I remember,” I said, voice thick. “I love her.”

“Shit.” Luc thrust his hand through his hair. “Evie, I—”

“She didn’t have to care for me or provide for me over these years. You know that.” I stepped back from him. “Maybe you’re right. Maybe she can’t be trusted completely, but she’s still my mother, and I’m still her daughter. And I don’t believe for one second she’d ever do anything that would put me in danger or hurt me. And I just realized that you don’t trust me, and I don’t even know what to say about that.”

Luc moved toward me, but I held up my hand as I backed toward the door. He held himself still. “Where are you going?”


Tags: Jennifer L. Armentrout Origin Romance
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