The Brightest Night (Origin 3) - Page 137

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“If I hurt you, you’ll stop me.”

Luc nodded, but a part of me knew that he was lying. He wouldn’t stop me, and I didn’t know if I wanted to yell at him or tell him that I loved him.

Drawing in a shallow breath, I placed my other hand on his chest like Hunter had instructed, right where I felt the Source inside myself. I closed my eyes, and a moment later, I felt Luc fold his hand over mine. Tears pricked my lids as emotion swelled so swiftly I sucked in a sharp breath. Instead of shoving the riot of feelings aside, I let them wash over me, and then I held all that love, all that acceptance close to my heart.

Hunter hadn’t been lying.

Instinct took over. I leaned in, placing my lips a hairbreadth away from his, and inhaled.

Against his chest, I felt the Source flare, and then warmth flowed through my hand and down my throat like a cascading fall of sunlight. Deep in my chest, the Source pulsed again, this time stronger, brighter, like a morning glory opening to the first rays of sun.

Luc spasmed, sending a shock of fear through me. I started to pull back.

I’m okay. Seriously. His voice whispered among my thoughts. It doesn’t hurt. It’s just … different. Continue.

Listening to his voice for any hint of pain, I found none, which was good, because I needed more. I inhaled again, and this time, the warmth poured through me, into the pulsing center of my chest, and then Luc’s energy was everywhere. My skin hummed with it, my blood sped up in response to it. The spark didn’t flicker this time. It roared to life and—

Images suddenly and without warning pieced together. I saw myself, a younger me dressed in what looked like a white sheet with an opening cut out for my head and a silver-colored belt cinched around my waist. My hair was twisted into buns on either side of my head. I was spinning, the edges of the sheet lifting to reveal white leggings underneath as I swung a plastic lightsaber. Laughter. I heard laughter, and I knew it was Luc’s as I shot toward the sound, jabbing the lightsaber as if it were a sword. The image was quickly replaced by another one of me, where I looked maybe a year or so older.

I was sitting on the floor beside a stunning man who looked as if he were made of gold and diamonds. His skin was such an astonishing shade of gold, hair like sunlight.


Oh God, that was the Paris.

He was watching me as I shook my fist and then opened my hand. Dice fell out. All sixes.

“Yahtzee!” I shouted.

Paris grinned. “How many is that, Luc?”

A disgruntled sigh came. “Five. That’s five Yahtzees, and you’re totally helping her cheat.”

I watched myself laugh in a way I had never laughed before, tumbling over onto my side.

That image evaporated, replaced by an older version, one where I wore a silvery, shimmering dress and my hair was long, a wild tangle. Cheeks flushed with anger and hands curled into fists, I stood inside a doorway of an office. Wads of cash were stacked on a desk. Sitting on top of one of the stacks was some kind of handheld game system.

“I hate when you do that,” I said.

“Do what?” The nonchalant voice belonged to Luc. It was his, but nowhere near as deep as it was now.

“Don’t pretend like you have no idea what I’m talking about! That couple and that guy that were just here. You didn’t want them to see me. What was wrong with them? They looked—”

“It’s not the couple I’m worried about,” he replied. “It’s the other one. He never needs to know about you.”

My thoughts crowded with churning light and shadows, pushing back other images—

Enough. I had enough. I needed to stop.

But the taste of Luc was on my lips and inside me. I was surrounded in him, and I thought I could drown in him, and that would be okay. That would be more—


If I drowned, Luc would surely go down with me. I had enough, more than enough.

I yanked my hand back as I lifted my head up. That was as far as I got. Somehow Luc was on his back and I was half on him, half on my side. His arms were tight around me, and underneath my chest, his heart was beating fast. His head was kicked back, eyes closed and mouth lax. My heart stopped with dread even as my entire body thrummed with power. “Luc? Are you—?”

“I’m fine.” His throat worked on a swallow. “I’m not in pain.”

“You look like you’re in pain.”

“I’m not in pain.”

My brows drew down as I started to roll over him—

“Nope.” His arm clamped my waist to his side. “Just stay right there.”

Tags: Jennifer L. Armentrout Origin Romance