The Burning Shadow (Origin 2) - Page 80

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There was a crack in Dee’s composure, a flushing of olive skin tone. “There is no way a Luxen is responsible for any virus or sickness. None whatsoever.”

“So, you’re suggesting that not only are our local governments lying but so is the CDC?”

“It wouldn’t be the first time, now would it?” Dee replied. “If any report is claiming that Luxen are making humans sick, it’s a lie, one that is biologically impossible. So, what you need to do and what all the viewers at home need to do is ask yourselves why anyone would lie about that.”19What Dee said clicked things into place for me. I thought about how Heidi had questioned April’s hate of Luxen and fierce defense of human rights. How ironic it was, considering April was obviously not human.

April had killed Andy and the family that had been local to the area, and while she hadn’t admitted to a motive, it became rather obvious to me as I listened to the senator continue to rant about how violent and scary Luxen were.

“She wanted people to think it was a Luxen,” I blurted out.

“What?” Luc looked over at me, brows raised.

“April! She killed Andy and that family in a way that would make you think a Luxen did it. Or an Origin. But no one knows you guys exist, so whatever,” I continued. “Anyway, she was also out there, turning people against Luxen at school. I mean, she’s amassed quite a following. None of this is coincidental, Luc. She was killing and making people think it was a Luxen. Why?”

Luc glanced at the TV to where Senator Freeman was now arguing with one of the human Luxen rights advocates.

“What if that family that the senator was talking about wasn’t killed by a Luxen but by something that can make it look like it was? April can’t be doing this alone. Murdering people and making it look like the Luxen were responsible. Getting people to hate and fear them. More people have to be involved, maybe even her parents.”

“There are always more people involved.”

“Then there has to be evidence of that. Maybe there is some evidence at her house. There might be something there that could point us toward whoever is responsible for those murders and maybe tell us what the hell April is.”

He stared at me. “You’re probably right, but you used the royal we, and we aren’t doing anything. You’re not going anywhere near April’s house.”

Irritation pricked at my skin. “Luc—”

“It’s too risky.”

“Everything is risky!” I nearly shouted as I shifted, rising onto my knees beside him. “Me being alive is freaking risky.”


“It is! Just like you’ve said before, I’m a walking miracle. A rare example of the serums working for humans without mutating them. I live with an unregistered Luxen and I’m friends with them and you—and Zoe! Every single day is a risk.”

“You’re right, so let’s not add to those risks.” Those violet eyes flared.

I smacked my hands down on my thighs. “You just want me to do what? Stay closeted away in my house or school?”

“Uh.” He frowned. “Yes.”

“That’s not fair. All of you are out there taking risks while I’m either sitting around doing nothing or getting people hurt—”

“You didn’t get Heidi hurt.”

I ignored that. “And I get that there isn’t much I can do. You guys have superpowers. I’m pretty useless nine times out of ten—”

The frown deepened. “You’re never useless.”

I also ignored that. “But I can help here. I can look through stuff. This I can do.”

Shaking his head, he looked away. A muscle along his jaw thrummed.

“I need to be able to do something,” I reasoned, my gaze searching his face as I reached between us, placing my hand on his arm. “Please understand that I have to do something and help me instead of trying to stop me.”

Luc tipped his head back, eyes closed as he pressed his lips together. Then he did the oddest thing. He laughed a deep, rumbling laugh.

Now it was my turn to frown. “What?”

He shook his head and then opened his eyes, sliding me a long look. “You want to know something about … Nadia?”

I tensed, not expecting him to say that.

“She was the only person who could get me to do something I didn’t want to or didn’t think was a good idea. No matter how much I feared it was going to go sideways, she’d get me to do it. In reality, she had me wrapped around her pinkie.” Thick lashes lowered. “We’ll go to April’s house tomorrow, after school.”

My lips parted on a sharp inhale. Once again, Luc was saying so much while saying so little. I bit down on my lip, but there was really no stopping it.

I smiled.* * *A scream lodged in my throat as I shot up, gasping for air, my eyes peeling wide open. For a moment, I didn’t understand where I was as the soft glow from the television shone light on the foot of my bed.

Tags: Jennifer L. Armentrout Origin Romance