The Brightest Night (Origin 3) - Page 75

Listen Audio

Were my ears still asleep?

Okay, that sounded next-level idiotic.

I managed to move my lips, mouthing his name against the skin of his throat.

Luc shifted, drawing back until an opening formed between our chests and cool air glided into the space. “Evie?” A moment later, I felt his hand leave my back to come to rest against my cheek. “Have you come back to me?”

Come back from where? I’d been sleeping and dreaming some weird dreams—dreams that felt like memories—but now I was worried. It wasn’t just the fact my eyes felt glued shut and my limbs useless, but now I remembered hearing his voice while I slept. He’d been concerned then, and now? He sounded desperate.

And Luc never sounded desperate.

I needed to wake up and figure out what the hell was going on. I hated how Luc sounded. I needed to do more than flex my stupid foot.

Luc was incredibly still for several moments, and then he shuddered. “It’s okay.” His thumb dragged over the line of my jaw, the caress a brand on my skin. “I’m here waiting for you, but, Peaches, please don’t take too much longer. I miss you.”

Pressure clamped down on my chest as I thought, I miss you, too.

His hand jerked against my cheek, and I felt him move again as if he were half sitting up. “Evie?”

Trying and failing again to respond, I was starting to drown in frustration. Why was everything so hard?

“God,” he said in a rough exhale. “I want to hear your voice so badly that I’m imagining it in my head. I’m losing my mind.”

I wanted him to know I was okay. Well, sort of okay. This whole not-waking-up thing probably spelled trouble, but I was fine. I’d just been sleeping—


Memories were slow to form. I didn’t just fall asleep. I’d been with Grayson while waiting to hear about Kat and her—oh my God, did Kat have her baby? Was she all right? Okay. I needed to be able to wake up to find out the answer to that, so baby steps. I’d felt dizzy, and I’d seen weird rainbows around Grayson, and then I didn’t remember anything else. Obviously, I’d passed out. Since I wasn’t exactly human, I didn’t think I could get migraines or seizures.

Something happened.

So maybe I was a little comatose? Holy shit, did I have that locked-in disease I’d seen in a Netflix documentary? Oh my God, what if—

“What if you wake up and you’ve forgotten yourself all over again?” His words were just a murmur, but they knocked me out of my panicky downward spiral. “What if you’ve forgotten me again? That’s all I keep thinking about. That all of this? All the crazy, all the unknown, and all the terrible things that have gone down? That it was still too damn good to be true, because we knew each other. We had each other,” he continued in a whisper, breaking my heart in ways I didn’t even know were possible. “We were finally together.”

Emotion welled in my chest. The back of my eyes burned as he pulled my heart all over the place, twisting it into mushy knots.

“But even if you wake up and you don’t know who you are and you don’t know who I am, it’ll be okay. I’ll be here, and I’ll help you remember.” His lips brushed my forehead. “I’ve got enough love for you that I’m overflowing with it. It’ll be more than enough if you wake up and see me as a stranger.” Luc’s next breath sounded as ragged as my heart felt. “No matter how you come back to me, as Evie or as Nadia or someone else, I’ll still love you like I do now, like I did yesterday and the day before, and that’ll be enough.”

I’ll still love you.

Even though there wasn’t a single doubt in my mind that Luc loved me, the shock of hearing him say it was like touching a live wire. His actions from the first time I’d met him as Evie screamed those words even if he’d never spoken them, and actions carried so much more weight than pretty words.

Within a few heartbeats, his words were tattooed on my skin, flowed through my veins, and etched into my bones. They’d forever be there, no matter what, that I was sure of.

A tiny, nameless muscle twitched along my pointer finger. It was such a minuscule movement that it went unnoticed by Luc, but that frustration in me became a fire that forged steely determination. I pushed past the heavy fatigue.

“It’s okay,” he repeated, his voice weary and gruff with exhaustion as he settled back beside me. “It’ll be okay.”

But it wasn’t.

Not when he sounded like this. I wanted to make him better. I wanted to remove the weariness and concern in his voice and his thoughts. I wanted him to stop hurting and for him to laugh and to feel the tension seep from his muscles. I wanted him to tell me more stupid pickup lines. And I wanted to see how his lips moved when he said he loved me.

Tags: Jennifer L. Armentrout Origin Romance