The Brightest Night (Origin 3) - Page 119

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We did. “I wish we could stay like this, like right now, forever.”

“You have no idea how much I agree with that statement,” he said, and I was thinking I kind of did, but I opened my eyes. “How much do you remember?”

“Everything,” I answered. “Well, everything up until you were healing me. Things got fuzzy then.”

“How convenient,” he murmured.

“I remember attaching myself to you—”

“Like we were made of Velcro?”

“Shut up.”

“Focus,” he teased. “Tell me what you remember.”

“I remember everything from the moment the Source slid into the driver’s seat.” I told him about the Cassio Wave and what Sarah had claimed, what I’d felt during the whole time. “It was different. I didn’t have control, but I wasn’t psychotic.”

“You think you didn’t have control?” He arched a brow.

“I had no idea how I did what I did. The Source did it. Not me.”

“You didn’t hurt a single person. Not when you forced us out of the house—which, by the way, you ever do that again, I will straight up lose my mind.”

I opened my mouth.

“I get why you did it. You recognized what she was, what she was capable of, and you wanted to protect us. That’s admirable. Hell, more than that.” He let go of my hair. “But I don’t need you to protect me. I don’t need you to worry about protecting me. That will distract you and could’ve made you vulnerable.”

I stared at him as I rose onto my elbows. “Are you done with your rant yet?”

“Actually, no. Sarah could’ve kicked my ass from here to kingdom come and back. She might’ve even hurt me. Doubtful, but hey, stranger things have happened,” he went on, and my eyes narrowed. “You may be a badass Trojan, but I’m yours. You’re mine. That means when you go toe to toe with anyone or anything, you go to battle with me beside you, and if I go down fighting to back you up, there won’t be a single part of me that regrets that. It’s my choice, and you took that.”

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. “Are you done now?”

He smiled. “Yes. I am.”

“You would’ve done the same thing, right? And don’t you dare lie. You would’ve dragged my butt out of that room if you could’ve. It wouldn’t have mattered how many other people get hurt, as long as I’m okay?”

“Right.”

“Wrong.”

His smile faded.

“First off, I know you want to protect me, and yeah, it’s one of the reasons why I love you,” I said, and his little frown turned upside down. That didn’t last long. “But I’m not about letting everyone crash and burn around us. I can protect you while I’m protecting others, so I know damn well you can do it. Secondly, the whole ‘it’s your choice, and I took it’? That’s a two-way street, buddy. I cannot even count the number of times you whisked me away to safety while everyone else, including you, took huge risks. Remember your little rant next time the crap hits the fan and you stand in front of me instead of beside me.”

Luc stared at me, and then he said, “Shit.”

“Yep.”

“You got me.”

“I know.” I smiled then, big and bright.

He didn’t look quite so thrilled.

Whatever.

“Anyway, glad we got that out of the way so we can get back on topic,” I said. “You think I had control just because I didn’t hurt anyone?”

His eyes narrowed, and then he leaned over, kissing me. “It’s a good thing I think you’re adorable.” He pulled back. “You blew a house and a Trojan to teeny-tiny little glittering bits and only shattered a couple of nearby windows. So, yeah, I think you had some level of control, whether you realized that or not.”

“You think I had control on a subconscious level?”

“I think you weren’t afraid of what you are. I think you trusted yourself,” he said, and I didn’t know if that was true or not. I’d been scared of the risk I was taking, but—“But you were more afraid of Sarah hurting someone and you were more afraid of her turning you into something else.”

“Yeah.” Disappointment rose. “I wish I hadn’t destroyed that Cassio Wave. We could’ve studied that, even used it to see what it would do. She made it sound like the Daedalus wasn’t sure.”

“It would’ve been good to have that, but it’s best that it wasn’t used on you.”

That wasn’t the only thing I wished I had possibly handled differently, and maybe that was why I was reluctant to accept that on some level I did have control, because that meant …

That meant it was me who’d killed Sarah.

“Evie?” His voice was soft.

“Sarah hadn’t been trained like I have. She admitted that when I cornered her in that house. She knew it was over. That she’d failed. I could’ve backed off, let her live. That would’ve been the smarter thing. We could’ve questioned her, could’ve compared her to me to see just how different I am—”


Tags: Jennifer L. Armentrout Origin Romance
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