The Brightest Night (Origin 3) - Page 173

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“No.” I leaned into him, feeling him shudder. “If that were true, you couldn’t love me like you do. And that’s why you did what you needed to do. Not because of the Daedalus or because something is wrong with you but because I was the only thing you ever needed in your whole life.”

Another shudder rocked him as he lowered his head to mine. The tips of my fingers were wet from the tears, but not mine.

They were his.

“You’re a gift. You’ve always been the most precious gift life has ever handed me. Can I ever be worthy of that?” he whispered. “Of you?”

Tears had hit my cheeks now, and they were mine. “You already are, Luc. You’ve always been. We just all have a little bit of a monster inside of us. How could we not when we love someone like we do?”

“I love you, Evie. I fell in love with you within the first week I met you. I loved you before I even knew what that meant, and I loved you even when you were gone, and I loved you when you became someone else,” he said—pleaded, really. “And I fell even more in love with you when you walked through the doors of Foretoken. I’ve never stopped loving you. I never will.”

“I love you.” I closed my eyes, losing a breath and then two. “And every part of my heart and my soul belongs to you, Luc. You are a gift.”

I don’t know who made the first move, who kissed who, but our lips met, and everything—everything—was a heated, blinding rush that carried that edge of desperation that was always there. I’d tasted it in his kisses before, felt it in how he held me close at night. I tasted and felt them now as my back hit the door. It fed the greedy way our hands pushed and tore at clothing, the way his hands gripped my hips and lifted me. It was behind the near frenzied way his mouth moved against mine. I’d thought that it was from how close he’d come to losing me before, and I was sure that was a part of it, but I knew now it was also those scars hidden so deep within him.

It wasn’t the only thing that drove us to the floor and to what felt like the brink of death. It was the raw power of what we felt for each other. It was love, the kind that could level entire civilizations, the kind that could rebuild them. Love was the thunder in our hearts, the lightning in our veins, and it was what kept us together where we landed, even after our skin had begun to cool and our breaths had slowed.

We lay there, his head tucked under mine as I stared at the ceiling, smoothing my hand over and through his hair. I made myself a vow, and I hoped he heard it. I hoped he knew how deep it ran.

What I told him hadn’t healed the wounds that were in his soul. What we’d just done wasn’t a magic fix, either, but I now saw the wounds that were there, and I would do everything to heal them.

I’d do anything.38It was sometime later that I’d told Luc about Nate and what I’d seen when I’d followed him into the city. I wasn’t at all surprised when he’d sat up and leaned over me, his brows raised as he demanded to know if he’d heard me correctly. I had to repeat that yes, I’d gone with Nate into the city. As I’d expected, he wasn’t thrilled, and I didn’t think hearing that Grayson had followed me had helped. I had a feeling Grayson was going to have to explain why he hadn’t stopped me, and I hoped for his sake he had a better answer than what he’d given me.

When Luc finally was done lecturing me on being safe, he asked, “You think that guy—what was his name?”


“You think he’s abusing those kids or something? Because if so, how do we sit and wait for them to ask for help?”

Right there.

Right there proved Luc cared more than he realized. “Nate said he doesn’t, so it’s just my suspicion, but either way, he’s most likely using those kids to scavenge food and supplies, and God only knows how dangerous that is.”

Luc settled beside me. “We’re going to have to do something.”

I looked over at him. “I know. I just hope they come to us. If we force them, I think it will confirm their fears. Not only that, if we go there, they’ll run.”

“I have a feeling those kids know where to hide.”

I nodded. “Do you think the others will be okay with taking them in?”

“Cekiah and the others would gladly take them in,” Luc said. “I don’t doubt that for a moment.”

Tags: Jennifer L. Armentrout Origin Romance