“Stop fighting it. Come on, man, stop fighting it,” Luc ordered, his jaw clenching.
An older man stood at the head of the table, snow-white hair sticking out from under a straw hat, with a grip on the fallen man’s head that said he’d seen a lot in his day. Tendons popped along the sun-spotted forearms revealed by the rolled-up sleeves of his bloodstained denim shirt.
Blood. There was so much of it, running down Spencer’s sides, pooling onto the table, and spilling onto the floor.
Doc Hemenway rushed forward from behind Luc, holding what reminded me of an air pump combined with a giant syringe. Except for Luc, everyone in this room was human, but there were Luxen here. There were others, and there was something else in this house. That feeling had not only lingered but intensified. I didn’t want to bother him, but instinct told me he needed to know.
Luc, I called out to him. I feel something strange.
His eyes lifted to mine for a brief second. What?
There’s something different here. My palms started to sweat.
“Who’s in this house?” Luc asked.
“Two human girls,” the old man answered. “That’s all. Zouhour is with them. They’re pretty freaked out.”
There was definitely something other than a human girl in this house.
Whatever you’re feeling, it’s going to have to wait. I’m losing the battle with this guy, Luc responded directly to me, and he was right. Anything and everything else had to wait.
“I just need you to get the bleeding stopped,” the doc said as she leaned around Luc, jabbing the end of the pump in the pool of blood forming in the sunken cavity of Spencer’s stomach. “Then I can see what we have going on here.” She pulled back the handle of the syringe, and the pump filled with deep, red blood.
“You don’t have a whole lot going on here,” Luc bit out. “He’s got several arteries blown out—” A wave of white light rolled over Spencer, and his back bowed. “And every damn time he moves, he tears the goddamn one I just fixed.”
“His aorta still has to be intact or he’d already be dead.” The doc stepped back. “Keep him alive for ten minutes, Luc. I need ten minutes for the Fuse to filter this blood and get it into a bag.” She glanced down at the tool she held. “Thank God for innovation.”
The ghost fingers along the back of my neck intensified.
“Not sure all the innovation in the world can help him at this point,” Grayson’s droll voice stated from behind me less than a minute later. I looked over my shoulder at him. Was he the Luxen I sensed? I didn’t think so unless he’d been in another part of the house. Grayson didn’t take one peek in my direction as he propped a shoulder against the doorframe. He pulled a Blow Pop out of his pocket.
Jesus, he had to be the most unhelpful Luxen known to man.
Doc Hemenway shot Grayson a look that should’ve fried him on the spot. “If it weren’t for three intelligent and compassionate human women who wanted to make sure developing countries could transfuse blood without electricity, Spencer would be dead and I would be shoving my foot so far down your throat, you wouldn’t be able to think of a sucker again without shuddering.”
My eyes grew as round as saucers.
One side of Grayson’s lips curved up in a smirk right before a cherry Blow Pop went into his mouth, but then Spencer reared up again, and Luc’s curses signaled another spurt of fresh blood.
“Jeremy, get over here and grab one of his legs!” Eaton shouted, going for the one that was curling. “Evie, grab his arm. Now!”
I did as ordered, grabbing the man’s arm and pressing it to the table. Ignoring how cold and clammy and all-around wrong his skin felt, I got an up-close and personal look at the wound. “Dear God,” I whispered, stomach churning. His skin was ripped open. Skin peeled in strips, revealing shattered cartilage and torn muscle.
“Don’t look at it, Peaches.” Luc’s voice was soft as the Source flared. “Look at me. I’m pretty to look at.”
The old man holding Spencer’s head snorted.
I couldn’t pull my eyes away from the mangled mess. “What did this? A grenade?”
“If it was a grenade, pretty sure he’d be dead,” Grayson commented. “Well, he’d be deader.”
“Thanks for the clarification, Captain Douchebag,” I snapped, and the doc looked up across from me.
“I knew there was a reason I liked you.” She smiled again. “We should become friends.”
Spencer pushed against my hold as I said, “I’d like that, Doctor—”
“Call me Viv,” she reminded me. “Everyone else does.” She pinned Grayson with another blistering look. “Except you. You call me Dr. Hemenway.”
“I wouldn’t dare think of calling you anything else, Dr. Hemenway.”
“Get ready,” Luc said, his pupils flipping white before he closed his eyes. His veins lit up under his skin, starting at his cheeks and then fanning out across his face, down his throat, and then out from under the sleeves of his shirt. He was really pulling on the Source. An aura spilled into the air around him, outlining his body in white. Static charged the atmosphere, and I inhaled, tasting life.