The Brightest Night (Origin 3) - Page 39

Listen Audio

“And she’s also super-weird,” Zoe tacked on, and when I looked over at her, she burst into laughter. “What? It’s true. She never met you as Nadia.”

Glancing back at the little Origin, I thought about what Luc had told me. “Luc said each Origin has unique abilities. That Ashley just knows things. What about you?”

“Nothing as cool as knowing things.”

“I’m sure it’s cool. What is it?”

She rolled her eyes. “I can use the Source to charge up the atmosphere. If there is any humidity in the air, I can create one hell of a storm.”

My eyes widened. “You’re like an X-Man.”

“I don’t know about all of that. I mean, Luxen can do something similar. Charging up the air and causing lightning.”

“But can they create storms?” I asked.

Zoe shrugged. “Some can get one going, depending on the environmental circumstances, but I don’t know any who’ve been able to create a tornado.”

I blinked slowly, thinking I heard her wrong. “You can create a tornado?”

Zoe shrugged again like it was no big deal. “And I can control it.”

“You can create a freaking tornado and control it!” I repeated, gaping at her. “Dude, that’s really freaking cool.” I paused. “And kind of scary, but I totally want to see one.”

“Maybe one day.” She grinned, and now I was wondering what Archer could do. I knew he could read minds. Was there more? Like, could he walk through walls?

A sudden, strange tickling sensation erupted along the back of my shoulders. Smacking around, I prayed my hands didn’t come in contact with a crunchy insect.

I could only imagine the size of bugs in Texas.

Nothing was there, but the feeling remained, intensifying until—

“We are about to have company.” Zoe pushed off the tree, her attention focused on whoever was behind me.

Lowering my hands, I turned and saw a tall, beautiful woman with deep brown skin and hair in thick, neat braids. Some of those braids were dyed blue, the effect stunning as the wind played with her hair. Her eyes were a shocking amber color, reminding me of a topaz, and they matched the casual maxi-style dress she’d paired with a cute black cardigan.

And she was a Luxen.

“Cekiah!” Happiness lightened Zoe’s tone as she strode forward, embracing the older woman warmly.

When they parted, Cekiah clasped Zoe’s cheeks. “Ms. Callahan,” she said in a way that was full of fondness. “It’s been far too long since I’ve seen you. You doing well?”

Zoe curled her fingers around the woman’s arms. “I’ve seen better days, but I’m doing okay.”

The woman’s angular features softened. “I heard about Kent. I’m so sorry.”

My heart squeezed while Zoe took a heavy, visible breath. “He was one of the good ones,” she said, voice thick. “He didn’t deserve that.”

“No, he did not,” came the soft, sad reply. “He died with people he cared about, people he loved. A family that is thicker than those he shared blood with. Find some peace in that, and remember him as Kent would’ve wanted you to.”

Zoe nodded.

Pressing a kiss to Zoe’s forehead, Cekiah then straightened, her ultrabright gaze finding mine as she lowered her hands. “So, this must be Evie.”

I gave her a half wave like a dork.

“I spoke with Eaton this morning,” she continued. “He told me that Luc brought you the day before yesterday.”

Having really no idea if that was the only thing Eaton had shared with her, I stepped forward and extended a hand. “Pleased to meet you.”

The Luxen took my hand in a cool, firm grip. “It’s nice to meet you. Has Zoe been showing you around?”

“Just the basics,” Zoe answered before I could. She went to stand beside her. “The market and here.”

“And what did you think of the market?”

“I was kind of dumbfounded at first,” I admitted. “It’s amazing that people who need help can get it here.”

“Unlike in the world outside of these walls,” she said. “We make sure that no one here is ever in need, no matter if they’re human or Luxen, Arum or hybrid.”

“The world could use more of that.”

She cocked her head slightly to the side. “The world could use a lot of things.”

“Cekiah is one of the council members,” Zoe jumped in. “And one of the first Luxen who came here.”

She was a council member? Eaton would’ve shared what I was with a member of the council, wouldn’t he? “How did you end up here?” I asked.

“Before the war, I lived in a community of Luxen in Colorado, one of the ones the Daedalus helped establish for those … assimilated.” Cekiah’s gaze never wavered from mine. “After the invasion, I met Daemon and his siblings there. Luc, too. He was a very young man at that time, but even at that age, you listened when he spoke. He didn’t trust the registration program that was being created even though many were hopeful, foolishly so. I, like Luc, had a feeling that numbering and tracking us was the beginning of something that would not end well. And when he and Daemon found evidence that there were people trapped within the walled cities, I had to do something. The idea that people were just forgotten, shut away from a world that believed them to be dead? It gave me nightmares. Thankfully, I wasn’t unique in that sense.”

Tags: Jennifer L. Armentrout Origin Romance