The Brightest Night (Origin 3) - Page 104

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Relief saturated the man’s face when he saw Luc. “Thank God you’re here. We just got a package, and it’s a mess.”

A package usually meant a group of Luxen or others who needed safe entrance into Zone 3, and based on the blood, I had a feeling something had gone terribly wrong. I immediately thought of Heidi and Emery. They weren’t expected, but …

“Where are they, Jeremy?” Luc’s demand was as cool and calm as still water.

Jeremy’s chest rose and fell with rapid breaths. “At the entry house. Doc Hemenway is heading over there now. I know Daemon is with Kat, and Eaton has medical knowledge, but you can heal, right? Zouhour is there, but—”

“She’s not going to be able to do a damn thing.” Eaton dug into the pocket of his jeans. Keys clanked together as he snatched them up. “Who’s down?”

“Spencer.” Jeremy’s hands opened and closed at his sides. He glanced in my direction but seemed to not see me. “It’s not good, man. Not at all. His chest—” He sucked in a sharp breath, his voice ragged when he spoke next. “It’s bad.”

I had no idea where the entry house was or who Spencer was, but when Luc sent a quick look over his shoulder at me, I said, “Go.”

He nodded once, and then he was gone in the time it took me to blink.

“Come on.” Eaton wheeled around, heading for the door. “I’ll drive us over there. Faster than walking, and you can tell me what the hell happened.”

Sending me another questioning glance, Jeremy unclenched his hands and rubbed his palms over the hips of his pants. “I’m not exactly sure. We were expecting Yesi and her group back this morning, transporting three unregistered, and friendlies, but only Spencer and the two friendlies arrived. He was hurt, and all I was able to get out of one of the unregistered was that they were ambushed at the state line.”

“ART officers?” Eaton stopped at the door, looking back. “You coming? Or do you want to stay here and move this stuffed banana around some more?”

Unable to hide my surprise or my unwillingness to move a stuffed banana around, I snapped forward. “I’m coming.” Catching up to them, I followed the two out of the door and the stale, dusty air.

“Assuming it was ART,” Jeremy answered. “They’ve been picking up more and more patrols in Oklahoma and Louisiana. Got some of us thinking they may know something is going on here.”

Eaton didn’t respond to that, so I asked, “Are friendlies humans?”

“Yeah.” Jeremy swallowed. “You know, like allies in war? A military thing, I guess. Or that’s what I heard.”

“Makes sense.” I watched Eaton cut through the weeds that had broken through the asphalt, his limp evening out as he waded toward an old UTV like the one the doc had. I glanced over at the young man. “I’m Evie, by the way.”

“Jeremy. But you probably already know that.” A brief smile as he extended his hand and then jerked it back. “Sorry. Blood.” He climbed into the back of the cart as Eaton jammed the key into the ignition.

I scrambled into the passenger seat, and not a second after my butt hit the thin, rain-rotted cushion, the cart jerked into motion. He gunned it, throwing me back against the seat. The next heartbeat, he hung a sharp left. Reaching above me, I grabbed the bars before I slid right out of the cart and ended up in what looked suspiciously like a continent’s worth of poison ivy. The cart zoomed between the warehouse and a chain-link fence, the space barely wide enough to fit the cart. My wide-eyed gaze swung toward Eaton as the wheels bumped over rocky terrain and then hit the asphalt of the road in front of the warehouse. He picked up speed and the wind caught strands of my hair, blowing it back from my face.

He sped down the road, past the rusted-out cars. When he whipped the vehicle left, he narrowly avoided colliding with a truck that must’ve been a bright, cherry red at one time. White-knuckling the bar, I pictured myself flying out and face-planting in the road at any given second. Heart thumping, I almost missed the movement. Something darted out from behind the truck, running behind the work van with faded letters. The glimpse had been quick, but I saw bright auburn hair.

Nate.

The bag of food I’d left out had been there the following morning, but it was gone the next time the sun rose, and I’d been so very hopeful that it had been Nate who’d retrieved the food and not a strong squirrel who’d carried it off.

I almost shouted for Eaton to stop the vehicle, but if he did, there was a good chance we’d all go flying into the air. Not only that, I didn’t want to delay getting to someone who sounded gravely injured.


Tags: Jennifer L. Armentrout Origin Romance
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