The Brightest Night (Origin 3) - Page 174

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That was a relief to hear, and I hoped it was the case. We stayed there for a little while longer, but the warmth and silence didn’t last long. Dee and Archer returned later that afternoon, having already known about Blake. Somehow Daemon had gotten a message to them. Had he used a carrier pigeon or something?

Almost everyone was at the old library, piled into the main room. Surrounded by stacks of books, the council who refused to call themselves a council took up one of the long conference-style tables. Luc and I sat side by side on one of the smaller tables, our legs dangling as we listened as one hour turned into two hours of them arguing about what to do with Blake and Chris.

Not entirely surprisingly, Dee wanted him dead. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. And also not entirely surprisingly, more than half of the unofficial but totally official council was stuck on the moral wrongness of it all.

I had a headache.

Okay, I didn’t have a real headache, but I had an imaginary one that felt as painful as any I’d ever had.

“We should have a trial,” someone suggested.

“Are you guys serious?” Dee exclaimed, throwing up her hands. Archer had stepped outside at some point, and I had no idea where or why, but I was so envious of him.

So envious.

“A trial?” Daemon scoffed. “And who is the judge?”

“Who would be the jury of his peers?” Zouhour asked. “Do we need to find a handful of people who’ve been in his situation before? A trial seems pointless.”

“We have a jury of his peers.” Cekiah gestured at those sitting at the table. “There are people right here who have been under the control of the Daedalus before. Who could possibly—”

“If you think for one second any of us can sympathize with him, you’re out of your mind,” Kat said. “And if you think we’re going to stay here while he’s here? Not going to happen.”

“We don’t want anyone to feel unsafe,” Quinn, the older Luxen male, said. “And we understand your history.”

Vibrant, enraged green eyes flicked to the Luxen. “I don’t think you do.”

Quinn leaned forward. “We have to take Chris into consideration. I’ve spoken to him. He’s been nothing more than a hostage.”

Slowly, I looked over at Luc. A moment later, two purple eyes met mine. I sighed. One side of his lips kicked up.

I can’t take much more of this, I told him.

They just keep talking in circles, he agreed, glancing back to where Daemon looked like he was seconds away from flipping a table. At least that would be something different. Why don’t you head out of here? No reason for you to be in here.

If I go, you go.

The other side of his lips curved up as he leaned over, kissing my lips. I would love nothing more. Maybe we could have a repeat of this afternoon. A pause as he leaned back. Not the deep, dark part. But what came after. I think I got rug burns on my back.

My face flamed with heat. “Nuh-uh,” I gasped.

Cekiah looked over at us with a slight pinch to her face.

Running his hand over his mouth, he muffled his laugh.

I hate you.

That was not what you were saying earlier.

I looked at him.

He managed to wipe the grin from his face. But I need to stay. I have a feeling Daemon is going to go Full Daemon, and I need to be here to stop him. He placed his hand on my knee and squeezed. Not that I really want to see Blake live, but that might actually get him kicked out of here, and even though they both were willing to leave if you weren’t accepted, they need this place.

Glancing over to Daemon and Kat, I thought of baby Adam. He was at home, being watched by Heidi and Emery, who apparently were all about watching babies. They did need this place.

I can stay.

Go. He squeezed my knee again. Let me live vicariously through you.

That made me grin. I wanted to check in with Viv. I haven’t seen her since you returned. I totally bailed on her.

I’ll look for you there.

I started to slide off the table, but stopped. Leaning over, I gave him a quick kiss as I thought to him, You do care.

Luc didn’t respond, and that was okay. I knew he heard me. I knew he knew I believed in what I said, and if he didn’t believe in those words yet, I would until he could.

No one else noticed my escape as I crept out of the room. They’d fallen back into a heated argument. Out in the hall, I looked down the end, to the lone door that led to Blake. What were they going to do with them?

Having no idea, I walked out into fading sunlight. Archer had left the meeting, but he hadn’t gone far. He was pacing right where Luc and I had stood earlier. He stopped, looking over as I went down the steps. “They still at it in there?”

Tags: Jennifer L. Armentrout Origin Romance