The last part didn’t irritate me whatsoever, and it had nothing to do with me being tired and hungry. God, I was hungry again. “You think something bad is happening.”
“I think there is a damn good reason why Luc has been in there this whole time.” His attention drifted back to the closed door. “Many don’t survive the birth of an Origin.”
Anxiety flooded me. “But Kat’s a hybrid, and Daemon can heal—”
“Sometimes those two things are simply not enough.”
I started to argue that they had to be enough, but …
Just like sometimes all the medical advancement in the world wasn’t enough.
Curling an arm across my stomach, I glanced back at the door. That’s when it occurred to me. My head snapped back to Grayson. “If Kat dies…”
“So would Daemon,” he confirmed what I didn’t want to even think. “Their life forces are irrevocably tied. One dies, so does the other. If the child survives, it would be an orphan.”
I opened my mouth, but I had no idea what to say, and then, as a knot of emotion swelled in my throat, I realized there was nothing I could say. There were no words for situations like these. I sank into the couch, my gaze dropping to my hands. “Is that what happened to Luc’s parents?” I asked, thinking that perhaps Grayson knew. Luc had told me that he was pretty sure his parents were both dead, but that was before I knew I was Nadia, and at that point, he was only telling me half-truths.
“Possible,” Grayson answered after several long heartbeats. “Either that or after the Daedalus got what they wanted, his parents were no longer of value.”
“That’s horrible,” I whispered the obvious.
“His parents may not have even known each other. They could’ve been nothing like Kat and Daemon,” he stated in such a matter-of-fact way my entire body jolted. “He could’ve been the product of a forced mutation and conception. Most Origins were.”
“That doesn’t make it any less horrible.”
“No.” He still stared at that door. “It makes it even more horrible.”
Yes. Yes, it did.
Over the next couple of minutes, I thought about how Luc had threatened both Daemon and Dawson more than once. “They were empty threats.”
“What are you talking about?”
“Luc threatening Daemon and Dawson,” I explained. “He said once he didn’t want to leave Beth a widow, but he knows how it works—”
“How empty his threats are depend on how angry Luc was when he made said threat, but if I were you, I wouldn’t assume any of his threats are empty.”
“He wouldn’t take out—”
“Luc is capable of anything,” Grayson interrupted as my gaze lifted to his. “Perhaps that’s something else you’ve forgotten.”
I didn’t care what Grayson insinuated; Luc was not capable of killing Daemon, knowing it would’ve ended both Kat and the baby’s life. Same for Dawson and Bethany.
Silence descended between us as we were both succumbed to our own thoughts. My earlier mantra—Kat and the baby will be okay—no longer was repeated with confidence. Humans died every second, and just because Luxen and all those who carried their DNA fought death and often won, that didn’t make them immortal. As Grayson had said, sometimes it was simply not enough.
And Luc’s parents? God, I didn’t even want to think about it. Had they loved each other? Had they even known each other’s names? Luc had to think about that, and if I was feeling it as hard as I was, I couldn’t even imagine—
“I miss Kent.” Grayson said those three words so quietly I wasn’t even sure I actually heard them. “He would’ve said something so stupid right now. Something incredibly off the wall. It wouldn’t even make sense, but…”
Sort of stunned by his soft admission, I watched his impressively stoic face, absent from the usual smirk or curl of distaste, crack just a little. It was a small fissure, barely noticeable, but I saw it. The break was in his eyes, in the brief moment when he closed them and his skin tightened. There. There was the touch of humanity I’d only witnessed twice before, when Kent had died and, bizarrely, when he’d discovered I was really Nadia.
If Grayson were James or Zoe or a rabid kangaroo, I would’ve gotten up and hugged him. But he was Grayson, and if I did that, I had a feeling he wouldn’t appreciate it, and I’d regret it.
That didn’t mean I couldn’t sympathize from a safe distance.
“He would’ve made you laugh. He would’ve made me laugh,” I finished, throat thick. “I know I didn’t know him long, but I miss him, too.”
Jaw working, Grayson gave a curt nod. “Kent was the first human I met.”
“You’ve known him since you were a child?”
Luc had explained some of the Luxen who’d been here before the invasion lived in communities, kind of like neighborhoods, and rarely, if ever, associated with the outside, human world. The general public probably thought those “strange” communities were just run-of-the-mill cults or something.