The Burning Shadow (Origin 2) - Page 72

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Luc’s intense gaze found mine as he turned the car on.

My heart lurched against my ribs as I looked away and swallowed hard, my throat too dry. I couldn’t even think about that at this moment or even the fact that we hadn’t spoken since our argument Saturday night. All I could think about was Heidi.

He pulled out of the parking spot. “You know that Luxen and some Origins can heal and that not all are good at it, especially when it comes to someone they … don’t feel strongly about. But when it’s someone they do care about, no matter how poor their skills are any other time, they can bring that person back from the brink of death. The Daedalus studied it extensively. There is a science to how we can heal a human.”

That much I remembered. The energy inside them could repair tissues and damage done to the body. It’s how they could heal themselves, but none of that explained how Emery, who couldn’t heal my broken arm, could then heal a giant, gaping hole in Heidi’s shoulder and chest.

“There is also mysticism to it,” Luc continued. “A part that not even the greatest of researchers or doctors can explain.” There was a pause. “Please put your seat belt on.”

I laughed, and it came out sounding choked. Hands shaking, I clasped myself in. My hands … they were caked with blood—Heidi’s blood. If she died …

I smashed my lips together, vaguely aware of my body slowly rocking back and forth. A numbness settled over me as Luc drove. I stared at my hands.

“You need to tell me what happened,” he said after what felt like an eternity.

I drew in a deep breath, but it went nowhere. “It was April. It was her.”

“I need a little more detail.”

A shudder worked its way through me, and I squeezed my eyes shut. I needed to pull it together. Luc needed to know what I saw. I took another breath and started at the beginning, with April’s pictures and the weird effect I’d seen. “I showed Heidi the pictures. I think I was focusing on it, because then I wasn’t thinking about everything else and Heidi … she knew that.” My voice cracked as a wave of hot tears crawled up my throat. “She suggested we go get a picture of April to see if it was some weird outdoor effect. It was stupid, but she was just trying to distract me.”

Luc listened as he turned onto the street that led to the back of Foretoken.

“We found her, and I took a picture of her. That … that was all.” Lifting my right hand, I wiped at my cheek. “The effect was the same. She had this shadow around her. April took my camera and saw the picture, and I don’t even know how it happened. All I knew was I had to get Heidi out of there, that I needed to call you, because it was bad. I pulled the fire alarm.”

“Smart. You did good.”

The next breath I took was steadier, but I didn’t feel like I did well. If I hadn’t had my head up my butt and Heidi hadn’t sought me out none of this would’ve happened. “It was like April put her hand through Heidi’s shoulder. Through it, and April’s hand … it was almost transparent. And her eyes … they were just like that girl’s—Sarah’s. Pure black with white pupils.”

Luc pulled into a narrow space by the back entrance, and I could feel his gaze on me. “Are you sure?”

“Yes.” I looked at him. “Her eyes were all black except for the pupils. They were white. Like a Luxen. And she was fast like a Luxen. Just like Sarah was, but neither of them are Luxen.”

“No.”

“And they aren’t Arum or Origins?”

He shook his head.

“Sarah got sick. We saw that with our own eyes, and even though I’ve never seen a human mutate and you guys said that wasn’t what it looked like, I think we need to reexamine the whole mutation thing,” I said, and Luc looked away, his jaw tight. “Because whatever the hell April is, it’s what Sarah is, and I know you guys didn’t hear Sarah, but I did. She said someone did that to her.”

His gaze found mine as his head turned toward me. “I believe you.”

“If that was done to Sarah and to April, then who did it?”

Luc rested his head back against the seat. “There’s only one group of people that can … do something like that.”

I thought I might already know. “The Daedalus?”

“Yes.”* * *I sat side by side with Zoe in silence as we waited for an update. Luc had brought me up here when we arrived and then had left to check in on Emery and Heidi. We hadn’t seen him since.


Tags: Jennifer L. Armentrout Origin Romance
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