“But you feel like you should be punished. I get it. Trust me. We’ve all done things that ended badly for others, whether it was unintentional or not.” Kat glanced at Dee, who nodded. “My actions led to the death of one of Dee’s good friends. It wasn’t something I did on purpose. In fact, I thought I was doing the right thing. Dee has forgiven me, but there are still days when it feels like she shouldn’t have.”
“But I did.” Dee leaned into Kat’s shoulder. “Eventually,” she added. “And look, Daemon needs knocking down a peg or five hundred every so often.”
I blinked slowly.
Kat laughed softly. “That is true. Usually, it’s Luc who reserves that special place.”
“They seem to threaten each another a lot,” I acknowledged.
“That’s their version of male bonding.” Dee rolled her eyes. “Throw Archer in the mix, and it’s like who can out-threaten one another.”
“What about Dawson?”
“Dawson is the only normal one out of all of them,” Dee said, and Kat nodded. “So, if he threatens someone, it means some bad stuff is about to go down.”
“Noted,” I murmured, thinking that Dawson and Daemon may appear identical, but their personalities couldn’t be any more different.
“I’m pretty sure this kid has a foot planted in a vital organ.” Kat planted her hands in the mattress and shifted slightly. Once settled, she breathed deeply. “I don’t know if Luc told you this or not, but when I was first mutated, I had no idea what was happening. I was a mess. If I thought about wanting a glass of tea, the jug would open up in the fridge and spill all over the place.”
Resting her hands on her belly, she nodded. “Doors would open before I touched them. Clothing fell off hangers. There were a couple of minutes where I thought maybe my house was possessed.”
“It takes a lot for a Luxen to mutate a human, and it’s not something that happens often, so it wasn’t even a thing I considered at first, but when I finally did tell Daemon, he knew what was going on.” She paused. “I think he was as shocked as I was at first.”
“How did it happen?” I asked, hoping I wasn’t being too nosy.
“Short version of a long story, but it can all be boiled down to Daemon healing me one too many times.”
“Okay. That is not even the correct short version. Yes. Daemon healed her a couple of times, but what did it was that Kat was all badass and saved our lives,” Dee jumped in. “Before the invasion and everything, the biggest threat were the Arum.”
“My, how things have changed,” muttered Kat.
“Daemon had taken out this one Arum’s siblings, and the dude was gunning for Daemon and me. Kat and Daemon were like archenemies at this point, and he said some stupid typical Daemon crap to her, and she ended up volunteering to be a human distraction, much to Daemon’s displeasure—”
“Daemon and I didn’t get along in the beginning,” Kat said, grinning. “Actually, I sort of hated him at that point. Okay. I thought he was hot even then, but his hotness did not override his douche-ness.”
“Anyway, she ended up basically sacrificing herself to save Daemon and me. She almost died.”
“I would’ve died if Daemon hadn’t healed me, and it was such a massive healing, it started to change me on a cellular level.” The topknot on Kat’s head slipped to the side. “The rest of what happened is long and convoluted and, to be honest, will just make me mad and depressed.”
“You don’t need to tell me any more,” I rushed to assure her.
Kat’s gray gaze flickered over my face, and silence stretched out between us. “We met a couple of times.”
The next breath got stuck in my throat. “Daemon said as much. He told me you saw me in the club when you first met Luc.”
She nodded. “And I saw you later, during the invasion. Luc had brought you to Malmstrom, an airbase in Montana. All of us were there, including Eaton. Luc tried to keep you hidden from us.”
I frowned. “Why?”
“Have you met Luc?” Dee asked with a short laugh.
“I’m sure you’ve noticed he’s a little protective of you,” Kat said, and then it was I who laughed.
“Just a little,” I said, rubbing my hands over my knees. “Did we talk then?”
She shook her head. “You were … resting most of the time you were there.”
I understood what that meant. It must’ve been while I’d been very sick.
“After the invasion and things settled down, Luc visited us while we were living in Colorado and you weren’t with him. We thought that you’d…”
“Died?” I supplied. When Kat gave an awkward nod, I grinned. “I think in a way, I did. I mean, other than a few brief memories that don’t tell me much, I don’t remember anything about my time as Nadia.”