The Brightest Night (Origin 3) - Page 157

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The room had emptied by that point, and there was a part of me that wanted to go after Heidi. There was so much I needed to tell her, and I wanted to hug her again, but instinct was going off left and right, telling me that I needed to stay here.

The hybrid slowly lowered himself to the floor, sitting with one leg drawn up, the other stretched out.

“That means you, too.” Grayson looked at the Luxen.

“I can’t,” he replied. “I can’t move.”

“That’s me.” Pulling the Source back, I let the Luxen go.

Jerking as if he were attached to a string and it was pulled, the Luxen swung his head toward me as he sat a few feet from the hybrid. “How did you do that?”

I didn’t answer, because I wasn’t sure what I should admit in front of him.

“The Daedalus is how she did that,” the hybrid answered. “The Andromeda serum, right?”

I shifted toward him. “I want to know how you know me.”

“No,” the hybrid said, his jaw hardening. “You don’t.”

Tiny knots filled my stomach as I started toward him.

“If you insist on staying, the least you can do is to stay away from them.” Grayson’s arm blocked me. “If they are who they claim to be, Luc wouldn’t want you in the same zip code.”

Those knots grew. Neither seemed very threatening at the moment. The Luxen appeared seconds from breaking down. Then again, all of this could be an act.

I didn’t know them even though the hybrid seemed to know me. “Who are they?” I asked Grayson.

“Who are they claiming to be?” Grayson pulled a Blow Pop out of his pocket. “Two people who should definitely be dead.”

“That tells me nothing.”

“I never met you.” The hybrid eyed Grayson from where he sat.

“No, you haven’t.” Grayson unwrapped the sucker. “But if you are who you say you are, I’ve heard the stories.”

“From Luc?” he asked.

Grayson didn’t answer.

One side of the hybrid’s lips twitched upward as if he tried to smile. “If you didn’t hear it from him, then I think I know who the others are who are here.”

“Then you know your shocking return from the grave is going to be really short term.”

“We didn’t come here to cause trouble,” the Luxen spoke up. “I swear we didn’t. We were just looking for a safe place, and we heard that there were areas where we could go. We had no idea who was here. They told us nothing more. If we’d known, we wouldn’t have come. I swear it. We would’ve risked it out there.”

“It doesn’t matter, Chris,” the hybrid said as he tipped his head back against the worn, faded white cabinets. “They wouldn’t believe us.”

“Can you blame them?” the Luxen whispered.

Tilting his chin in the Luxen’s direction, he shook his head. “No. I never blamed any of them.”

The Luxen started to shift onto his knees, but halted when Grayson looked at him. He sat back, facing the hybrid. “You did what you had to do to survive. We all did.”

“What did you do?” I asked.

Still staring at the Luxen, the hybrid pressed his lips together and then said, “Betrayed everyone. Everyone except Luc. He always knew. Can’t keep much from him. But he never told the others the truth about me. Wasn’t until later that I figured out why.”

None of what he was saying made a bit of sense. “I want to know how you know me,” I asked once more, ignoring the sharp look Grayson shot in my direction.

“Do you really?” The hybrid looked at me then with eyes haunted.

A world of unease settled over me like a thick, coarse blanket. “You knew me when I was Nadia.”

His brows knitted, one of them split in half by a faint scar. “They took your memories. Wiped them completely.”

Air halted in my lungs.

“That’s right. That’s what they’d said they would do. My memory is a bit spotty these days.” A sardonic twist curled his lips. “I didn’t know they did it. One day you were there. Then you were gone.”

Oh my God, he knew me when I was with the Daedalus. Shaken, I didn’t know what to say or do, because I felt split into two. Half of me wanted to launch into an interrogation, forcing him to tell me everything. The desire to learn about the missing time burned through me, making my skin itchy. But the other half? Based on the way Luc had paled when he’d realized I’d been Nadia at that time, how Kat and Zoe both said my lack of memory was a blessing, and from the brief memories I could grasp and hold on to, the other part of me wasn’t sure I needed to know what was done to me. Or what I’d most likely done to others.

“I saw you with Luc even though he tried to keep you hidden,” the hybrid said. “That was before the Daedalus.” His gaze lifted to me. “Before I understood why he wouldn’t tell the others who I was. It was because of you.”

Tags: Jennifer L. Armentrout Origin Romance