The Brightest Night (Origin 3) - Page 22

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“I took it from you,” he stated as if he’d simply taken a coat from me and not a deadly mass of chaotic power. “And then I took the surge of the Source inside me.”

I blinked the watery haze from my eyes. “Did you know you could do that?”

His head tilted, and then he nodded.

“Is it common knowledge that you can?” A tremor coursed through me.

“No. I’ve only done it once before.” A pause as his head straightened. “With Micah.”

I shivered at the mention of the Origin that had nearly ended my life. Micah had belonged to the last batch of Origins, but those kids had turned sour. Given God only knows what to increase the speed in which they’d physically developed, they’d become aggressive and dangerously violent. They’d thrown Kat through a window over a cookie, and eventually they’d killed a human. Luc had tried to intervene, but nothing he did seemed to have any impact on them, and he did what he had to do, putting them down, all except Micah, who then returned to terrorize the city of Columbia later.

It was another stain on Daedalus, but also one that Luc carried with him. What he had to do with those Origins was something he’d carried with him until the end.

“You didn’t tell me you could,” I said finally.

“It wasn’t something you needed to know,” he replied without hesitation. “It’s not something anyone needed to know.”

My brows lifted, and I struggled not to be offended or a bit hurt by his cool statement since now was not the time for achy feelings. There was something wrong with Luc, like scarily wrong. “Are you really okay?”

“Yes. I feel … invincible.”

I opened my mouth and then closed it. How did one respond to that?

“It’s strange,” he continued in a way that was almost clinical as he took a step toward me. I tensed. “I thought I knew what that felt like, but I was wrong.”

“I wish I were recording that statement.” I watched him warily as I pulled my legs off the bed, tucking them against my chest. “But no one is invincible, Luc.”

“I was the closest thing to invincible. Before you, that is,” he amended rather factually. “Now that I know the extent of your power, I have concluded that I was not, in fact, invincible.”

I was really beginning to wish for something I’d never had before: that Grayson was still around.

Luc took another step closer, and the heat of his body reached me. “But right now?” He lifted his radiant arms, his head turning to the left and then the right arm. “Even if you could control your abilities, you’d be no match for me.”

“Congrats?” While he was busy checking himself out, I scooted back about an inch or five, freezing when the glowing mass of light that was his head snapped in my direction. My heart rate tripled. “Do you think you can, you know, dim down the light show?” If I could see him—his face and especially his eyes—I’d feel a hell of a lot better. Actually, I would probably feel better only when he returned to a little scary but normal Luc, and not this completely terrifying, inhuman Luc.

I glanced to where the pet rock sat on the nightstand. Above the eyes drawn in black marker, there was a Harry Potter lightning scar. Diesel was a goofy, senseless, and vastly useless gift, something that Luc would find great humor in.

This version of him standing in front of me would not.

“It has to run its course.”

I swallowed. “What does that mean, exactly?”

“Once I absorb the Source, it will fade and I will be…” A pause. “A little scary, but normal, and not this completely terrifying, inhuman version of myself.”

“Get out of my head.”

“I can’t help it. You’re in me.” Two incandescent hands pressed into the bed, a mere foot from my feet.

“That sounds … slightly disturbing.”

“It is … different,” he said, his voice still tinged with unfamiliar undertones. “The Source has an imprint of what drove it. I can’t see what you were dreaming, but I feel it. I can taste your emotions.”

I locked up, eyes going wide. I wasn’t sure how to feel about that. While I’d wanted him to understand why I’d lost so much control, I didn’t want him to gain such intimate knowledge of that choking, suffocating heaviness.

“It tastes like blood and terror,” he said, and my breath caught. “Humiliation and defeat.”

I was so caught up in what he was saying, I hadn’t realized he was closer, on his hands and knees, prowling up the length of my legs.

“I can taste the residue of hopelessness,” he continued. “What caused those feelings are still hidden from you—from me. Whatever he made you do during the time you were with the Daedalus does not matter. Only this does. I won’t kill him, Evie. There will be no simple, quick death for him.” Luc’s hands were at my hips, and my back was pressed to the mattress. His head and shoulders were level with mine, and when he spoke, his words dripped fire. “I will flay his skin from his body and then shred his muscles and tendons until he cannot even lift a finger. I will slowly tear him apart, at the most sensitive parts, limb by limb, and then, when he sees death looming, he will see you. You will be the last thing he sees before you deliver the killing blow.”


Tags: Jennifer L. Armentrout Origin Romance
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