The Brightest Night (Origin 3) - Page 122

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His gaze searched mine. “They may have taken your memories and put you in skin that didn’t fit, but you have always been in there, and I have to think having that strength and that willpower leashed for so long made you feel like there was no control. Maybe it was even your subconscious trying to tell you something wasn’t right.”

I thought about what Eaton had said. “Time to take back the power of my real name—my real identity.”

Luc didn’t respond to that, but I knew that was right. It was far past that time, and realizing that wasn’t a life-altering moment, not in any way that I could feel. It wasn’t like all of a sudden I had no fear and believed that I was capable of everything and anything. Nor did it mean that I would suddenly start answering to Nadia, but it was a long-overdue step in the right direction and then some.

Because I knew in my bones, Nadia would trust that no matter what, she wouldn’t hurt innocent people. She would believe in herself just as much as she believed in Luc. She sure as hell wouldn’t take the path of least resistance. She would explode right through any and all obstacles. And she’d do it dancing.

The corners of my lips turned up.

“You hungry or anything?” Luc broke the silence. “Daemon brought some food over. Or at least that’s what he said when he was here.”

My smile halted. “Daemon was in here while I used you like an inflatable mattress?”

One side of his lips kicked up. “Yep.”

“Oh man,” I groaned.

“I didn’t mind. I found it oddly soothing.” He trailed his finger along my arm. “You were like one of those gravity blankets. We need to sleep like that more often.”

He had been surprisingly comfortable, but our possible sleeping arrangements weren’t the most important thing at the moment. “Was Daemon able to tell you anything about how Sarah ended up with these people?”

“Yeah.” The half grin faded, and my stomach dipped. “The other human girl? Her name is AJ. She was able to fill in some of the blanks once she calmed down. She was with an unregistered Luxen, a friend she’d grown up with. They were concerned about what was going down and wanted a place to lie low. We have contacts in Luxen outreach centers who vet those who are looking to escape. AJ and her friend passed the vetting, and they were given the details on where to meet up with Spencer and Yesi. AJ claims that Sarah was already there with a Luxen, waiting to be moved here. She said that Sarah and this male Luxen kept to themselves, which is ordinary. They’re instructed to not even share their names until they’re here. The same goes for those moving the packages. They don’t tell anyone who lives here or even where they are going. It’s one way to protect the zone in case any of them are captured in the process. The ones retrieving the packages are the zone’s most trusted. They will go down without speaking a word, no matter what.”

Luc lifted his arm and I rolled over, into him. “According to AJ, things went south when they arrived at the area where we had to ditch the car. Yesi had started ahead with Sarah, the mystery Luxen, and another. We think that’s when Sarah attacked them. Why, we don’t know. Sarah would’ve entered at that point no matter what. Maybe Yesi saw or sensed something, but AJ said that they heard muffled sounds of fighting in the dark, and before Spencer could check it out, AJ said something came out of the woods and slammed into her. She was knocked out, and when she came to, everyone but her, Sarah, and Spencer were dead.”

“Oh God.” I shuddered.

“She said that she and Sarah helped get Spencer to the wall. She had no idea that it was Sarah who’d hurt them.” Luc ran the tips of his fingers down my spine. “Dawson and Archer went out to where Sarah said she believed they were attacked. They found the bodies of four Luxen, which has to include the one Sarah was traveling with. So while there’s not a threat that this Luxen may have gone back to the Daedalus, it doesn’t tell us how she hooked up with him or why she turned on him.”

“Do you think maybe the Daedalus made a Luxen go with her and she was ordered to kill him before he could possibly warn others here? Because if that’s the case, it would be a huge risk once this Luxen got around others who could help him.” I spread my hand out over his chest, above his heart. “But then that would mean the Daedalus would know about the zones.”

“If the Daedalus were aware of who was here, they’d be storming those walls yesterday,” he replied dryly. “But they most definitely have to know that unregistered Luxen are being moved and hidden somewhere. They have to figure that we’ve disappeared into one of these places. Pairing Sarah with a Luxen they are controlling one way or another ups their chances of Sarah being trusted and allowed into at least one of the places that the Luxen are being held. Either she got incredibly lucky with ending up at the right place or she gained some inside knowledge that the contacts she went to worked with our zone.”

Tags: Jennifer L. Armentrout Origin Romance