The Burning Shadow (Origin 2) - Page 98

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The laziness vanished from his features as his gaze sharpened. “You’re not going to do this without me.”

Stupid tears crowded the backs of my eyes. “What would’ve happened if her aim was a little better? A few centimeters to the left? Or if she—”

Luc sat up swiftly with only a quick grimace. “Evie—”

“You shouldn’t be sitting up!” I cried out. “You should be lying down and getting better and—”

“I’m okay.” He clasped my cheeks in his warm hands. “I promise you. I’m not going anywhere. I’m not leaving you.”

“You can’t make that promise again! You told me you were never going to leave me, and you broke it!” The moment those words came out my mouth, I sucked in a shrill breath. A wave of dizziness swept over me.

“What?” whispered Luc, his eyes searching mine as he held my face close to him. “What did you just say?”

“I … I don’t know.” I screwed my eyes shut. “I don’t know why I said that. You didn’t make that promise to me before.”

“But I did.”

My eyes opened. “What?”

“I promised that before I took you to the Dashers.” His thumbs slid over my cheeks. “I told you that I was never going to leave you.”

“I … I don’t remember that,” I said, confused. “I mean, I said it, but I don’t remember it.”

He nodded slowly as he slid a hand into my hair. “I didn’t break that promise, either. I stayed close. I never left you, but I could see where you would’ve thought that at the time.”

“But that doesn’t make sense that she—I mean, that I would think that. The fever took my memories, so I wouldn’t have remembered you. Like, I wouldn’t have thought that you broke a promise at the time.” I tried working that out in my head. “This is so confusing.”

“Yeah, it is.” He curled his fingers in my hair. “You feeling okay?”

“Yes. My head doesn’t even hurt,” I told him. “I can’t believe Grayson healed me. Did you threaten him?”

A half grin appeared. “No. I didn’t.”

I wasn’t sure I believed that.

“But I wasn’t talking about hitting your head,” he continued. “More like what’s inside it. These last two days have been … a lot.”

“I’m fine.” I blinked back the tears. “You are fine. So is Heidi.”

“Yes.”

Closing my eyes, I leaned in, pressing my forehead to his. A long moment passed. “I was scared. I didn’t know what to do. I felt totally useless seeing you bleeding.”

His lips brushed mine, and a shudder worked its way through me. “You weren’t useless.”

“I…” He was right. For once, I wasn’t useless. I’d shot someone in the head, and I wasn’t sure if that was better or worse.

“Better,” he whispered, his grip in my hair tightening as his lips ghosted over mine again. “Because the alternative was you getting hurt, and that is unacceptable.”

“Did I…?” I drew in a shallow breath. “Did I kill someone before?”

“What?” He drew back.

I opened my eyes. “I shot that woman in the head like it was nothing. I picked up the gun, aimed it, and pulled the trigger, and I…”

He dropped his hands to my knees. “Adrenaline can make people do what seems impossible. It can heighten the senses, even feel like it’s slowing things down.”

“Maybe, but I … afterward, I heard a voice in my head.”

Luc became very still. “Heard what?”

“A man’s voice saying something like, ‘You pick up a gun, you aim to kill.’ The voice was familiar, but I don’t know who I heard say that or … if I maybe heard it on TV or something.” I shook my head. “I’m not even sure it’s real or what it could mean.”

“We’ll figure it out.” His hands went to my arms, and then he pulled me down beside him, so we were lying face-to-face. “You also did something else.”

“What?” I asked, distracted.

He kissed my brow. “You took something from the house. The thing the woman grabbed from the dresser.”

The white pouch. I’d forgotten. “What was in it?”

“Syringes,” he answered. “Syringes full of what appear to be serums.”* * *About an hour later, Luc was up and moving about like nothing had ever happened. We were in one of the common rooms on the third floor.

The whole crew was there, and I was sitting next to a now fully dressed Luc. His arm was resting on the back of the couch.

I’d texted Mom letting her know I was studying with Zoe. I didn’t get a response, so I figured that meant she was still at work.

“They were some kind of law enforcement officers. Well, I’m assuming,” Kent was saying from where he stood behind Emery and Heidi. His arms were crossed over his chest. “They weren’t in uniform, but since they gave chase, we’re going to say they were definitely with some level of the government.”


Tags: Jennifer L. Armentrout Origin Romance
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