“I think it went in through her back,” the blue-eyed Luxen said. “The chest is where it exited.”
Purple Eyes tugged at my shirt, lifting it. With a curse, he started to turn me onto my side, toward him—
Burning pain shot across my shoulders, so sharp and sudden that I screamed. The Source throbbed in response to the pain, pulsing out from me.
Purple Eyes grunted, jerking back, but he held on tighter. “I’m sorry, Peaches. I’m so sorry.” He continued to turn me until I was on my side, the agony an endless wave that tore another scream from me. “I know I’m hurting you. I’m sorry.”
The Source didn’t respond this time, not even when he shifted, pressing his hand to the throbbing pain. Heat flared from his hand, beating back the ragged stinging. The warmth flowed down my back.
“Open your eyes. I need you to do that for me. Please. Open those beautiful eyes.”
They weren’t open? My body seemed to obey that almost desperate plea as I forced my lids to lift.
His entire body glowed, not just his eyes, and the pulsing warmth was everywhere, ebbing and flowing. “There you are.” He smiled, but I thought it didn’t look right. “You’re going to be all right. Do you hear me, Evie?”
“I … failed.”
An emotion akin to pain tightened the lines of his features. “You did not fail, Evie. You did not. I failed.”
I opened my mouth, but a wet cough came out instead of words—a cough that tasted of rich iron.
“It’s okay.” The beautiful man’s face above me grew fuzzy around the edges. “It’s okay. I promise you. Just stay with me.”
He bent over me, and a shock of electricity flowed through me as he pressed his lips to the center of my forehead. Memories flashed of him doing just that time and time again. His lips against my temple, against my skin and my own lips. He’d kissed me many times before, because he was …
“I’m your everything,” he whispered, curling his body around mine. “You’re my everything.”* * *I woke up remembering everything.
Sprawled atop Luc with my cheek plastered to his chest, we both were nude from the waist up. A sheet was draped over us, and I had a vague recollection of Viv and Zoe stripping away my blood-soaked shirt and bra to examine the healing wound.
I cringed. Things were spotty, but I clearly and unfortunately remembered clinging to Luc like a squirrel monkey when Viv and Zoe tried to separate us. I was so bad that Luc had to carry me here.
He was probably never going to let me live that one down.
My behavior probably had something to do with the fact that I couldn’t remember who Viv and Zoe were at that moment, and in my weird Source-infested mind, I’d felt safe with Luc because he’d healed me.
I also remembered Viv being rather excited about my behavior, something to do with it giving further credence to her rebooting theory. At that time, I had no idea what she was talking about, but now I did. When I had let the Source take over, it had done so in a way that had been different from in the woods. I had been different but not randomly homicidal. So that was an improvement.
Getting shot, though? Not so much.
I couldn’t believe I’d been shot or that I was alive and felt okay except that the space between my shoulder blades was sore. And I had Luc to thank for that.
I had a distinct impression I would’ve healed without his intervention, but the same instinct was telling me it would’ve been a longer, more painful process. Did I have regenerative abilities? Or was it like how Luc had removed those bullets from himself? He’d thought he could heal himself once he got them out, but those bullets had been different. They’d been modified with a weaker form of the EMP, designed to wound and not kill. Would I have known how to heal myself? I had no idea.
Luc’s chest moved in the deep, steady rhythm of sleep under mine. The fine hair along his chest tickled my sensitive skin. I didn’t remember falling asleep like this, but based on what I did remember, I probably climbed right on top of him. While I was a little embarrassed that others had witnessed me turning into a DEFCON 1 clinger, I wasn’t ashamed that he’d evoked such a response from me while I hadn’t entirely been myself. That was a sign that maybe I was less dangerous than before. At least to him.
But not to that girl.
Not wanting to think about any of that right now, I opened my eyes. A gas lamp flickered softly from the nightstand, casting light across the bed, and another sat on the dresser, pushing at the deepest of shadows—