The Burning Shadow (Origin 2) - Page 88

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“Since when?” I asked.

“Since … him.” James stopped, and Zoe and I did the same, following his gaze.

Luc was lounging against my car, long legs crossed at the ankles and arms folded over his chest. His eyes were hidden by silver aviators, and he wore the slouchy, gray knit beanie. He was dressed in dark denim jeans and a navy-blue Henley.

He looked good. Really good.

And just by looking at him, I immediately thought about last night—er, this morning—whatever. My entire body flushed, and even from where I was, I saw his lips curve up in a small, smug smile.

Egomaniac.

Nervous energy had buzzed around in my veins all day, partly because of the conversation with Mom, partly expecting April to show up, and partly due to what we were going to be doing tonight, but also because of Luc—because of us.

There was definitely an us now.

That smile of his kicked up on the other side, and I knew right then, the bastard was peeping in on my thoughts.

Then he tilted his head toward James, and that smile became downright predatory. He was like a large cat seconds before snatching up a mouse.

James and Luc had met briefly. It hadn’t gone all that well. Not at all surprising—Luc didn’t people well.

“Hey.” Luc nodded at James.

“Hi,” he grumbled, eyeing Luc like he wanted to ask for his ID, last known address, and possible aliases. “What are you doing here?”

“James.” I smacked his arm.

Luc only chuckled as he pushed away from my car, approaching us. “I’m taking Evie to the movies,” he said, and my brows rose as he dropped his arm over my shoulders. “Right, Peaches?”

We were so not going to the movies, but it wasn’t like I could tell James the truth. I shot Luc a sharp look. “Something like that.”

James’s gaze bounced between us. “Can I go with you guys?”

“Actually, you’re coming with me.” Zoe, who knew what Luc and I were up to, looped her arm around James’s.

“I am?” Surprise colored his tone as Luc’s arm tightened around me.

“Yep.” Zoe started tugging James away. “We’re going to go to the store to get Heidi a get-well present. Something with chocolate and maybe some grapes.”

“Chocolate and grapes?” Luc murmured, lip curling.

“Heidi loves to eat them together,” I explained as Zoe waved back at us.

“That’s gross.”

I started to dip out from under Luc’s arm, but he caught me and tugged me against him, front to front. I saw my eyes widen in the reflection of his sunglasses.

“Remember what I said last night?” he asked.

“You said a lot of things last night.”

“I did, but I did warn you.”

“Warn me about—”

Luc kissed me, and it wasn’t like the fierce, starved kisses from last night. This was slow and sensual, a brushing of his lips over mine, once, twice, and then he urged the seam of my mouth apart. He deepened the kiss, and I tasted chocolate on his tongue as I sank into him.

When he finally lifted his mouth from mine, I was nearly panting for breath. “I warned you that I am needy.”

“You did.” That was about all I could say.

“Very needy.”

I opened my eyes. “I can tell.”

“Too much?”

“No,” I whispered, and it wasn’t.

“Good.” Chuckling, he kissed my forehead and then stepped back. I stood there for a good minute trying to figure out what I was doing before I opened my back door and started to toss my bag in, but stopped, staring at the empty back seat.

Luc came up behind me. “What are you doing?”

Blinking, I shook my head. “I don’t know. It just seems weird to not have my camera on my back seat or in my bag. April destroyed it. But it’s not important. Ready?”

“Yeah.” Luc walked over to the passenger side. “You sure James isn’t into you?”

“Positive. And it wouldn’t matter if he was, because I’m not into him like that.” I opened the driver’s door. “He just doesn’t like you.”

Luc rested his forearms on the roof of the car. “How can someone not like me? I’m awesome.”

I narrowed my eyes.

“Actually, I’m adorable and well loved by the masses.” He flashed a wide, way-too-charming grin. “Your friend has to like me.”

My lips twitched. “Get in the car, Luc.”

“I like it when you order me around. Especially last night when you were like, ‘Kiss—’”

“Get in the car, Luc.”

“Yes, ma’am.” He gave me a jaunty salute.

Rolling my eyes, I got behind the wheel and closed the door. Hitting the ignition button, I glanced over at him.

“Wait.” Luc leaned over, smoothing his thumb over my lower lip, sending a sharp thrill through my veins. Every part of my being became wholly aware of the pad of his finger. The contact was unexpected and brief, nothing like a kiss, but it still dazed me. “Got it.”

“What?” I blinked.

“A piece of fuzz.” A secretive little smile graced his lips as he settled back in his seat. “I thought we’d go to the club first. Give you time to visit with Heidi, get some food in you, and then we’ll wait until the sun goes down. Sneaking around someone else’s house is easier when it’s dark.”


Tags: Jennifer L. Armentrout Origin Romance
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