My brows lifted.
“Or you’ll find yourself screaming into the wee hours of the morning.” He leaned against the side of the carport, meticulously unwrapping the sucker. “Because it’s not entirely impossible for you two, so you and Luc had better be engaging in some Teflon-level protection.”
For a long moment, all I could do was stare at him, and then finally I was able to formulate a coherent response. “I really do not want to talk you about what Luc and I do and how we do it—”
He held up a hand as he said, “I don’t need details, but thanks.”
“I wasn’t offering details,” I snapped, my fingers now digging into the edges of the quilt.
“All I’m saying is that it’s not impossible. He’s an Origin and you are … well, you’re whatever you are, but I’m betting you have enough alien DNA in you to make it probable.” Sliding the discarded wrapper into his pocket, he raised the Blow Pop as if he were making a toast. “So, congrats.”
I shook my head, dumbfounded. Luc and I hadn’t exactly discussed protection, even though we’d come close to actually doing it a time or two. And yes, we probably should’ve had that conversation long before it even got close to the actual act, but neither of us would go into having sex with just thoughts and prayers as our only protection. “Let me say it again: what Luc and I are doing or not doing isn’t any of your business. So, I’m going to pretend this conversation didn’t happen. Okay? Great.”
Chuckling in a way I knew he was laughing at me, he popped the sucker into his mouth.
And stared at me.
Tiny hairs all over my body started to rise. The old me would’ve looked away and wondered how quickly I could get away from Grayson. I wasn’t her anymore. I met his stare. If we were going to have an epic stare down, I was in it to win it.
“Do you need something?” I asked, my voice so sweet it dripped diabetes.
Smiling around the stick of the Blow Pop, he crossed his arms over his chest. “Just waiting for an update.”
“And you can’t wait somewhere else?” I asked.
He lifted a shoulder. “Here seems like as good as any other place. If that’s okay with you?” He paused. “Nadia?”
I had no reaction to him using my real name, not even a flinch, and my brain didn’t take a trip down missing memory lane. “There’s plenty of seating.” Easing my death grip on the quilt, I made a broad, sweeping gesture toward the other furniture. “Help yourself.”
“I’m fine standing. Thanks.” A muscle ticked along his jaw.
Knowing he was annoyed I didn’t rise to his bait, I smiled. I might’ve even batted my eyelashes.
“The couch is so much more comfortable,” I pressed, refusing to look away. “I imagine the chair is, too. Better than standing and holding up the carport.”
“Better stay where I am,” he replied. “Wouldn’t want it to collapse on your head.”
“Let’s be honest here.” I leaned back, kicking my legs up on the cushion next to me. “You’d love to see it fall on my head.”
His head tilted slightly, the stick moving in a slow circle. “You have no idea what I’d love.”
His vague comments almost always came off sounding either like a thinly veiled threat or something someone who was seeking attention would post on Facebook. They’d normally leave me sputtering, but I was too tired and worried about Kat to pay it any mind. “You’re right. I wouldn’t.”
“There isn’t much you do know, is there?” he challenged. “No memory of who you really are. No idea of what you’ve become. You hadn’t even tried to use the Source until today, and you don’t have a single clue on how to prevent yourself from going apeshit and—”
“Killing a bunch of innocent people? True story,” I cut him off. “I’m sure there’s a lot more I don’t know. We can write them down if you have a piece of paper and pen? Make a list, and then when I figure things out, we can check them off.”
The white stick stopped moving as his lips thinned.
“Together,” I added.
Grayson broke eye contact then, his jaw clenching so hard I was surprised the stick didn’t snap in two.
Snark point explosion to Evie!
I wanted to jump off the couch, run around the yard, and shout my triumph. Ha! I won. I actually won the stare down, and he could go kiss my—
“This has been going on too long,” he stated, bringing my gloat fest to a sharp standstill.
“What has?” I was half-afraid to ask.
“The labor.” His gaze flicked to the door behind me. “That’s an Origin in there trying to be born. Usually, the labor is fast and hard.” His eyes were more like midnight pools as his gaze returned to mine. “And before you ask, no, I’m not an expert, but I know enough and definitely more than you.”