The Brightest Night (Origin 3) - Page 101

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I counted to ten as my gaze slid past Luc’s bemused expression to the old man sitting in the folded metal chair.

Unfortunately, Zoe hadn’t come alone the last two days.

General Eaton sat there, rubbing the knee of his stiff leg. He had more comments than a sports broadcaster. When he’d showed up yesterday with Zoe, he’d claimed he’d wanted to see for himself that I was—how had he put it? “Awake and breathing and not trying to kill everyone in sight.”


“It was not twenty-three times,” I snapped, resisting the urge to turn the banana into a real projectile and launch it toward his head.

“It was more like fifteen,” Luc interjected.

I narrowed my eyes at him. “You’re so not helping.”

Luc grinned, but there was something off about it. I couldn’t put my finger on what it was or if there was anything truly off about it. You’re hot when you’re mad.

Don’t try to sweet-talk me.

Chuckling, Luc lifted his hand, and the banana flew from mine straight to his. Over the last couple of days, Luc constantly shifted from speaking out loud to not, and while it was still a shock to hear his voice so clearly, sending what I wanted him to hear had gotten easier. And despite Eaton’s less-than-supportive attitude, I was significantly better at using the Source. Yes, my aim was sometimes a wee bit off, but from day one, as Luc was referring to the first day after waking up, there been a marked improvement. No more misfires when I was attempting to move something. I didn’t have to concentrate as hard, and I was feeling pretty darn kick-ass, to be honest.

“We’re going to try to do something harder,” Luc announced, tossing the banana into Eaton’s lap. The general frowned down at it. “I want you to move animate objects—something that can fight back.”

Zoe lifted her hand. “I volunteer as tribute.”

I crossed my arms. “Not sure I’m comfortable with that.”

“I am.” Slipping the hair band off her wrist, she pulled the mass of tight curls back from her face. “Move me. I dare you.”

Eaton arched his brow.

I looked to Luc. His shoulders were tense. Moving a stolen stuffed banana was one thing. Forcing my friend to do something was entirely another.

It’s okay. You’re not going to hurt her, Luc’s voice came to me.

How can you be sure?

Because I’m not asking you to toss her through a window.

My lips thinned as I shifted my gaze to Zoe. “Are you sure about this?”

She nodded. “We used to do this all the time when we were training. It’s how we learned to work with the Source.”

Well, that didn’t really make me feel that much better. “And you’re okay with doing this again?”

“Get on with it, girl.” Eaton scratched at his chin. “The day isn’t getting any longer.”

“If you’re bored, you can always go find something else,” I suggested nicely.

He tipped forward. “I got a piece of advice for you.”

“You do?”

“That’s why I’m here,” he replied. “If you want to take what was done to you and do something good with it, you’ve got to get over yourself.”

I blinked. “Excuse me?”

“Eaton,” Luc sighed, turning to the older man.

“Naw, hear me out.” He held up a hand. “You keep thinking like you’re a human—like you’re surrounded by fragile, little humans. You aren’t human. Not anymore. And these two have never been human. You need to stop thinking and acting that way.”

“He has a point,” Zoe said after a moment. “You’re not going to hurt me.”

Luc said nothing as I shifted my weight from foot to foot. The thing was, I could hurt Zoe, but Luc was right. I wasn’t going to try to throw her out a window or anything. And Eaton was also correct. I was still thinking like a human. Kind of hard not to.

“Okay.” I unfolded my arms. “Let’s do this.”

“I want you to push Zoe back without touching her,” Luc instructed.

Zoe skipped her way over to where I stood, stopping in front of me, smiling brightly. “Move me.”

I stared at her.

“Do it. You know what to do. Make me move.” She pushed my shoulder, and I rolled my eyes. “Make. Me. Move.”

“You don’t have to be this annoying.”

“Oh, you know you haven’t seen anything yet,” she replied. “I can be way more annoying than this. Remember that time you and Heidi wanted to watch that creepy show about bugs inside people and I was not about that kind of life?”

I grinned as the memory surfaced. “You started dancing in front of the TV, doing a really bad interpretative dance routine.”

“Oh yeah.” She lifted her brows. “I can be a tree again. A tree being knocked down.” Raising her arms above her head, she started to sway back and forth. “A sad tree, being knocked down.”

“What in the hell,” muttered Luc.

Tags: Jennifer L. Armentrout Origin Romance