Luc was at the door faster than me, but I was right behind him. I saw several things at once. Viv was sitting on a wooden chair in the corner, her bloodied hands clasped together under her chin. Jeremy and Georgie were spreading a navy-blue sheet over Spencer while Eaton stood beside Viv. Three women stood in the doorway, two humans and a Luxen. One had gray hair flowing to her shoulders. I recognized her from the photos. Doris. She had her arm around the other human girl, the one who’d screamed. Hands covered her mouth as she trembled against the older woman. The woman with pale skin and eyes a golden hue was a Luxen. The rainbow aura gave that away.
Doris comforted the girl, making soft soothing noises as she started to move her back to the door where another girl stood. It took me a moment to recognize her. There were two main reasons for that. First being the weird, rippling overlay effect that briefly obscured her features, as if there were two of her standing in the same spot—one light, one dark.
And the second reason was because when that aura disappeared, she looked different. The last time I’d seen her, her blond hair had been limp, she’d had veins that looked like black snakes, and she’d been spewing a blackish-blue bile everywhere before she’d jumped out of the window of Luc’s club.
I suddenly knew exactly what I’d been feeling in this house the whole time. It hadn’t been Hunter who had caused my skin to prickle and crawl. It had been her.
Sarah, the sick human who’d mutated into a Trojan and then disappeared, stood before us.24“This day literally cannot get any more messed up,” Luc growled, and then to me, This is what you felt?
Yes. I knew that without a doubt.
I didn’t feel her. At all.
That wasn’t good, but I wasn’t surprised. After all, a Trojan would go undetected, wouldn’t it?
“You’re looking a lot better since the last time I saw you,” Luc said.
Sarah didn’t seem to hear Luc—didn’t seem to even know he was there. She stared at me, her head cocked to the side like a dog catching a note only it could hear.
“What’s going on here?” the pale-skinned Luxen asked, her dark brows furrowing as she moved to stand in front of what she believed were three humans.
“Just long-lost friends coming together for a chat.” Luc moved a foot forward. “Why don’t you take Doris and the very traumatized human girl out for some fresh air, Zouhour? Georgie will help you. And while you’re at it, I think the doc could benefit from that. What do you think, Eaton?”
“I’m thinking we all could use some fresh air.” Eaton stood like a rod as he made eye contact with Jeremy.
Confusion flickered over Zouhour’s face, but she thankfully listened. She started to turn to Sarah, to include her—
“Nah, not her.” Luc’s tone was calm, even pleasing. Out of the corner of my eyes, I saw Eaton take Viv by the elbow, bringing her to her feet. “She’s going to stay.”
“A walk sounds really nice, the more I think about it.” Eaton led Viv around to the other doorway. “I know a good place. The long way down by the river.”
Whatever Eaton said meant something to more than half of the people in the room. Faces went impressively blank, one after the other, like a row of dominoes.
Zouhour’s grip on the crying girl tightened. She’d taken one step, and I saw Sarah’s gaze shift to her.
Instinct fired warnings left and right, and I felt the Source building in my chest, expanding and stretching. The other in me, the Source, retracted into the center of my chest, tightening and curling. My heart rate kicked up, sending my pulse into overdrive.
I’ve been looking for you. Her voice was a sudden intrusion, like talons in my mind. I jerked back a step. Our massster is very displeassed.
The Source pulsed and then began to unfurl, filling my veins. I tasted it in the back of my throat again. Heated metal and stone. It was happening so fast—the Source was taking control, seizing hold of muscles and nerves, responding to the presence of another Trojan.
My fingers twitched as my vision seemed to sharpen, and deep inside me, where the Source radiated, a door was opening.
I didn’t know what the end result was going to be, whether I would remain or if I was about to become something else. Panic didn’t have the chance to even set in. There were only seconds for me to warn Luc.
It’s happening, I told him. Get everyone out of here. Now.
An audible gasp came from the female Luxen, and the gravelly curse that followed was all Eaton.
Sarah blinked, and her irises were pools of onyx, the pupil a bright star.