The Brightest Night (Origin 3) - Page 151

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Pulling myself free, I faced him. “Before you do, let me explain what I was doing.”

“I don’t think that’s the deal we made.”

“That’s because we didn’t make a deal.” Before he could say another word, I launched into the briefest, shortest version I possibly could about Nate and the kids. I even told him that Luc knew about Nate. “You can’t say anything, not to anyone but Luc,” I told him when I finished. “If we go in there, the kids could scatter, and that guy I saw—”

“Let me stop you right there.” Grayson stepped forward, dipping his chin. “I don’t remotely care about those kids, some guy, or their hunger and cuts and bruises.”

My mouth dropped open.

“The only thing I care about is keeping you alive,” he said, and my mouth then snapped shut. “Which is something that continues to be a full-time job, because only you would do something so incredibly—”

“If you say stupid, we’re going to have a problem,” I warned.

“Thoughtless,” he growled. “You want to help all the lost children in the world. Awesome. But you don’t ever just run off without telling someone.”

There was a tiny part of me that got what he was saying, but a much bigger part of me dived straight into irritation. “I don’t have to tell anyone what I’m doing. No one is my keeper, Grayson. Not even Luc, and certainly not you.”

“Like I said, thoughtless.”

“Thoughtless?” I gaped at him while I wanted to wing the backpack around and smack him with it. “I’m trying to help kids.”

“Do you really have any idea what Luc would do if something happened to you? Again?” he demanded. “What it would do to him? And anyone in his path?”

“I know—”

“I don’t think you really do,” he cut me off as his pupils flashed diamond bright. “Because if you did, you would’ve stopped for one second and thought about the possibility of this being a trap. That you could’ve been led somewhere or to someone who had the Cassio Wave. That you could’ve been immobilized any hundred other different ways. You’re not a hundred percent safe here. No one is, and yet, you just roamed right off without thinking twice.” He was even closer, the heat of his anger radiating off him in waves. “Did you forget that I would be watching? Or was that why you felt safe enough to just leave?”

“I didn’t forget.” I stared up at him. “I just didn’t think you were sitting around, watching me.”

“Maybe you need to start thinking some more,” he snapped.

“And maybe you could be less of a jerk?” I shot back, hands balling into fists. “And why didn’t you intervene? If you’re so worried that I could’ve been walking into a trap, why did you let me just roam off?”

“I wanted to see what you were doing.”

“Oh. Yeah. That makes complete sense.” I laughed. “Maybe you were hoping it was a trap.”

The shock that rolled across his face was possibly the most emotion I’d seen from him. It was brief, but he’d been momentarily stunned before his jaw hardened and those luminous eyes narrowed. “You may hate me, Nadia. You may think I hate you. I wouldn’t blame you for either of those two things, but do not ever insinuate that I would allow something like that to happen.”

Heart pounding, I took a step back without realizing that I was doing it.

Grayson tipped his head back. “Do you really think for one second Luc didn’t warn me about this kid?”

My mouth dropped open.

“That I didn’t know the night I was outside that you were bringing out food for him?” he continued. “There isn’t much Luc doesn’t share with me, and he trusts me, even with you. I wouldn’t fail him or—” He cut himself off, his chest rising in a deep, unsteady breath. “Go home, Evie. Just go home. Please.”

There were a lot of times I would’ve flat out refused to do just that, but instinct told me to listen. More importantly, though, it was how unnerved I was by the fact Grayson had said please.33The following morning, I watched the angel figurines I’d collected from one of the spare bedrooms move up and down over the coffee table as if they were jumping hurdles.

I wasn’t sitting around and entertaining myself. I was working on the Source instead of fretting over Luc and Zoe, Daemon and Dawson, or those kids and that guy.

Or thinking about what Grayson had said to me. I’d done enough of that when I’d lain awake half the night. I hated that he’d had a point. It wasn’t like I didn’t know there was a risk. It was just that I was willing to take that risk, and maybe that did make me thoughtless or, at the very least, reckless.

One of the figurines started to fall, and I cursed. I had no idea why, but using the Source to move lightweight objects was far harder to control than moving heavier things.


Tags: Jennifer L. Armentrout Origin Romance
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