The Brightest Night (Origin 3) - Page 21

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All around him, the whirling mass of shadow and light was like a battle between dawn and dusk. It consumed Luc, until he was just an outline of a man.

“Luc!” Panic exploded deep inside me, triggering a surge of the Source. I felt the ends of my hair lift from my shoulders in warning, and I tried to stamp down the power before it grew too big, too strong.

The streaks of white light around Luc pulsed intensely. Out of reflex, I threw out my arm, shielding my eyes from the glare as the moonlight shade of energy flared outward, licking and flicking over the darker, more turbulent shades until it became a rolling wave, the only thing that surrounded him—all of him.

His entire body was encased in the white glow of the Source, just like Luxen appeared in their true form.

Luc was as bright as a hundred suns, turning night to day. Anyone who was awake and within a block of this house would’ve had to have seen the light pressing against the windows and leaking out into night. Static charged the air around us, crackling over my skin.

I’d never see anything like this from him before. Normally, when he was really tapping into the Source for more than a few moments, it was only a whitish aura that outlined his body, and that was typically a sign that things were about to get froggy. This? This was totally different.

But he was alive and not ash and dust, something I knew wouldn’t have been the case for me if he hadn’t stepped in. The knowledge that it would’ve been deadly if I’d let the Source erupt inside me was instinctual, something I couldn’t explain.

Tiny hairs raised all over my body, and it had nothing to do with the bursts of the Source still firing deep inside me. He was standing, but he wasn’t moving.

“Luc.” I repeated his name, reaching for him only to realize I was sitting on the edge of the bed. My legs had given out at some point.

There was no response from within the intense light.

I leaned forward, and the glow of light around him reacted to my proximity, flickering rapidly. I halted, fingers inches from the arm encased in the Source. “Please,” I said, heart thundering. “Please say something.”

Silence greeted me—cold, eerie silence.

For a heart-stopping moment, I didn’t think he was going to respond at all, and that moment was one of the scariest seconds of my life, because I had no idea what he’d done to himself, and if I lost him? God. My heart cracked. I didn’t know what I would do without him, because I couldn’t lose him. Not again.

“I’m okay.”

Relief caused my breath to lodge in my throat, but there was something wrong about his voice. His tone was thicker, the timbre deeper, and even I could hear the hum of unbelievable, uncharted power in those two words. The kind of power I doubted even the Daedalus had seen before.

And the alien part of me didn’t know how to react to Luc. I could feel it, reaching out and pressing against my skin in waves as if it were sensing that Luc was a threat, like it had done in the woods, but it didn’t take over this time. It withdrew into my core, seeming to give off the signal that it knew it would not be wise to go toe to toe with Luc while he was this … whatever this was.

And it reminded me of the inexplicable bad vibes I sometimes picked up from a person or strange place even if I hadn’t known them or had never been there before. It was primal instinct warning me that the place or person was bad news, and that kind of intuition was never wrong.

That primal instinct was telling me right now that there was something very, very off about Luc.

“I’m not going to hurt you,” Luc stated.

“I know that.” And I did. Well, at least I thought I did. My eyes started to water from the intensity of the light surrounding him, but I couldn’t look away. I pulled my hand away, though, curling it against the space between my breasts, where he had pressed his palm.

He remained where he stood, a brilliant, utterly otherworldly being. “I had to stop you before you killed yourself. You would’ve died. There would’ve been nothing left of you to even mourn.” He confirmed what instinct had been telling me, but there was something different about his voice that went beyond the threads of power in his tone—something off about how he chose his words and even in how he stood there. “You would’ve taken down this building and everything around it.”

“Thank you,” I whispered, still unsure of what to make of it since he was, well, alive and all, but definitely not right. “How did you do that?”


Tags: Jennifer L. Armentrout Origin Romance
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