The Brightest Night (Origin 3) - Page 132

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A long moment passed, and then his voice whispered in my thoughts. It would.

“You can show me all these places afterward,” I said.

“I can do that.”


“Promise.”* * *After gorging myself on cheese and some kind of cured meat that reminded me of jerky, I was still hungry as we left to meet up with Hunter.

“Maybe it’s a tapeworm,” Luc suggested as we walked the two blocks over to where Hunter and Serena had set up house.

Curling a lip, I looked over at him. “Really? That’s the best you can come up with?”

He chuckled as he bumped his shoulder into mine. “I mean, if one has been in you long enough, you’d be eating constantly.”

“I don’t think that’s how it works.” I moved out of the way before he could bump my arm again.

“Well, there’s this rare disease that—”

“You know, forget I even mentioned it.” I hopped up on the sidewalk. “It’s not as bad as it was before I took a mental vacay, so it’s probably just my body trying to get used to the lack of sugar.”

“How much sugar were you eating?”

“Not that much.”

“How many grams?”

“How in the world would I know how many grams of sugar—”

Luc caught the bottom of my foot with his, causing me to stumble.

“Dammit!” Laughing, I swung on him, but Luc had moved wickedly fast, halfway down the block by the time I spun around. “That’s cheating.”

“More like that’s you needing to work on your reflexes.”

I flipped him off. Smirking, he came to stand by a yard shaded by large trees with burnt red leaves.

“You may be the most powerful Origin in the whole wide world—”

“Universe,” he corrected.

I ignored that. “But sometimes you have the mentality of a twelve-year-old boy.”

“A twelve-year-old boy who is also the most powerful Origin in the whole wide world.”

Stopping several feet away, I stared at him.

He dipped his chin, grinning. “But you still love me.”

A grin tugged at my lips. “I do.” Then I sprang forward, willing myself to move fast, and I did. I knew I’d surprised him when I clasped his cheeks and he jerked back a fraction of an inch. Stretching up, I kissed him—really kissed him. Luc reached for me, but I darted away. He pouted as he let his arms drop at his sides. “Made you jump.”

“You did.” Eyes glittering, he watched me as I all but flounced past him. “Do you even know where you’re going?”

“Nope.” I kept walking. “I figured I’ll know where I am when my extra-special alien senses tell me so.”

Luc caught up with me as we walked down the block, the street lined with large trees. We’d crossed the street when I felt what reminded me of a breath of cold air along my back. Halting, I turned to my right. The yard was overgrown, but the sidewalk leading up to the curtained front porch was cleared.

“Give me one second.” When Luc nodded, I walked a couple of houses down and came back when the feeling faded. I looked across the street and shook my head. “It’s this house.”

“Two gold stars for you in one day.” He turned to walk up the sidewalk.

Trailing behind him, I waited as he stepped up on the porch. I kicked out, catching the bottom of his foot. He stumbled, catching himself as he spun around, brows raised.

“Three gold stars,” I replied.

His smile started off slowly and then grew into the kind that caused my breath to hitch and my heart to melt. “Do you know what happens when you get three gold stars in one day?”

“What?” I went up the steps, stopping at the one below him.

Luc bent so that his mouth brushed mine as he spoke. “There’s a reward involved.”

My eyes fluttered shut. “Does it involve chocolate?”

“Something better.” He dragged his lips over mine.

“Mmm.” The fluttering in my chest moved lower. “Chocolate-covered popcorn?”

“Even better than that.” Nipping at my lower lip, he caught my gasp with a kiss. We were so caught up in each other, neither of us were aware of exactly when the door opened behind us.

“I feel like there are better porches to do that on,” came Hunter’s voice. “Namely, any of them that aren’t mine.”

Eyes popping open, I saw Luc grin right before he gave me one more quick kiss and pivoted to face the Arum. “I’d apologize, but that would insinuate that I cared.”

Hunter snorted as he glanced at me. “I don’t know how you put up with him.”

“If she knew you any better, she’d be asking Serena the same.”

A semblance of a smile appeared as he showed us in. “True story.”

Following Luc and Hunter inside, the first impression that I got of the small house was that it was very monochromatic. White, bare walls. Black couches and chairs sat beside black end tables and a black coffee table. Curtains and carpet white, there was literally no color in the house with the exception of the small, wooden figurines that were sprinkled through the living area. A wolf was perched on the end table beside a black lantern. A large bear stood on its hind legs between two white pillar candles that had burned halfway down. There was a horse mid-gallop on the other end table, and several small dogs lined up on what had once been a TV stand. Each of the figurines was detailed in a way I imagined took hours of making the smallest nicks and cuts in the wood.

Tags: Jennifer L. Armentrout Origin Romance