The Burning Shadow (Origin 2) - Page 75

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Luc nodded. “Until it fades.”

I thought of Lore. “Is that Arum still here?”

His lashes lifted, and violet eyes pierced mine. “He left with Dawson, but she would be safe with Lore.”

I had to take his word for it. “Will she … mutate?”

He scrubbed gently between my fingers. “We don’t know yet. Probably not since this is the first time she’s been healed by a Luxen, but it was pretty substantial. It’s a wait-and-see kind of thing.”

My stomach plummeted. “But if she does mutate, she could die, right?”

“We won’t let that happen.” Placing my hand back down, he picked up the other. “We have the stuff necessary to aid in the mutation, to make sure it holds, if it comes to that.”

“Stuff taken from the Daedalus?”

He nodded.

A long moment passed as I tried to make sense of everything, but then my attention got snagged. I finally read the front of his black shirt.

There was a spaceship beaming up dogs, and it said WE’RE HERE FOR THE DOGS BECAUSE HUMANS ARE GROSS. A wild-sounding laugh erupted out of me.

The corners of his lips tipped up. “What?”

“Your shirt.” I blinked back tears—tears of laughter or stress, I had no idea. “It’s funny.”

“Oh.” He glanced down at himself. “Kind of ironic, isn’t it?”

I nodded.

Luc studied me quietly for a few moments. “You okay?”

Yes. No. Maybe? I didn’t know what I felt, so I said nothing.

“Have you called Sylvia?” he asked.

“She won’t even be home, but I texted her to let her know that I was with Zoe and Heidi. I didn’t tell her what happened.”

“Part of me doesn’t want to even bring this up because of how things ended the last time, but I need to say this. Sylvia cannot know about this. Even if I trusted her, she’s in a very precarious position. There’s no way that everyone she works with and works for doesn’t realize what she is. For some reason, they’re okay with her pretending to be human, but if she started poking around…” His hand stilled. “She doesn’t need to know about this, and we need to be careful of who we trust and who we put in danger.”

His gaze met and held mine. “It could put you in danger. Even with the Daedalus being no more, there are still people out there that would kill to discover how you were cured. They’d come for you.”

A shudder worked its way through me.

“They’d try to take you. Do you understand that?”

I did. His gaze dropped as he seemed to focus on what he was doing. “Luc?”

“Peaches?”

That was the first time he’d used that nickname since he’d shown up in the parking lot. “I know things got … heated between us Saturday night, and I know you don’t trust her, but she can’t be involved in what happened to Sarah or whatever the hell April is.”

“She was involved in healing you. She worked within the Daedalus in some capacity up until four years ago.” He stilled. “All I do know for sure when it comes to Sylvia is that she loves you very much and that she wishes you never walked into this club.”

I gripped my knee with my free hand, unable to even fathom where I’d be if I hadn’t walked into Foretoken that night with Heidi.

Luc looked up at me again. “I can count on one hand how many people I irrevocably trust, and she is not one of them. I’ve learned that people, no matter how much we love them or how much we think we know them, are truly capable of doing anything and everything.”

The back of my throat burned. “If that’s true, then how do you trust anyone?”

He lifted one shoulder as his gaze lowered. “You prepare for the worst and hope for the best, Peaches.”

“Do you trust me?” The question burst out of me like a volcano erupting.

A muscle popped along his jaw. “I used to.”

Used to. Total past tense there, and that hurt like a kick to the chest. Looking away, I stared at the guitar I’d never seen or heard him play. “Is it because I don’t remember … everything or because of my mom?”

“Yes. No. All of the above and none of it,” he answered.

“You’re mad at me,” I said. “You’re still mad at me.”

Luc didn’t answer. A flicker of emotion shot across his face, gone before I could read what it was.

“Because of Halloween. Because I—” I stopped, feeling like my tongue was glued to the roof of my mouth. I screwed my eyes shut. “I walked out of here on Saturday, pissed off. I was angry at you. You’re obviously still angry at me, but you came the moment I called you. You didn’t hesitate and…”

He was staring up at me. “Sometimes I want to shake you.”

“Excuse me?”

“What would you think I’d do? You needed me, and I was there. There is no other option.” Something fierce flashed in those amethyst eyes. “How do you not know that yet? Yes, I’m mad; I’m in a constant state of being angry, Evie. I just hide it well.”


Tags: Jennifer L. Armentrout Origin Romance
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