The Brightest Night (Origin 3) - Page 85

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Lots of hugs.

And maybe a few tears.

“Don’t ever do something like that again,” she said, arms wrapped around my shoulders. “Do you understand me? I was scared to death.”

“Sorry.” I squeezed her back as I tried to get air into my lungs and not think about the fact that her face was almost planted in my unwashed hair.

“Don’t apologize!” she cried. “It’s not your fault. I’m just so happy you’re okay and you’re not—” She cut herself off.

My gaze lifted to where Luc lingered, arms crossed as he leaned against the doorframe. Grayson was there, too, standing silently behind Luc. When he’d walked in, I’d seen the rainbow effect around him, but when I looked at him now, all I saw was the bluish-purple bruise.

The Luxen had a black eye.

I had no idea how a Luxen could have a black eye, but I was full of questions.

“That I’m not trying to kill everyone?” I finished for Zoe.

“Yeah,” she whispered. “Heidi would never forgive me if something happened to you before she got here.”

I had hoped that they’d made their arrival while I slept, but they hadn’t, and I was doing my best not to freak out about that. Nobody seemed concerned, so I was taking that as a good sign.

“I missed you,” Zoe said, squeezing me until I squeaked.

“Your girl is starting to sound like one of those dog toys,” Grayson commented.

“True.” Pushing away from the door, Luc approached and gently pried Zoe away from me, and I don’t know what he said to her, but after a few more moments, and then a few more rushing back to the bed for one last quick hug, Luc and I were alone again.

“It’s getting late,” he said, returning from showing them out. A few more candles sparked to life as he passed them. “And I figured you’d want to take a bath—a warm bath. I know you want to do it yourself, but I think we can make an exception tonight.”

I really did want to do it myself, but I wanted a warm bath more.

“Bath. Please. And then you.” I scooted to the edge of the bed, throwing the blanket off. “You have to tell me why and how Grayson has a black eye.”

“Sort of a funny story.” Luc carried one of the lanterns into the bathroom, placing it on the sink counter. “I punched him in the face.”

My mouth dropped open. “What?”

“Yeah. He could’ve healed it by now—” The water came on, drowning out whatever he was saying as he sat on the ledge of the bath.

“What?” I rose, my steps a little wobbly as I made my way to the bathroom. “What did you say?”

“I said he’s wearing it like a badge of honor.” The lantern didn’t do much to beat back the darkness of the bathroom, but it cast interesting shadows along the back of his shoulders.

“Why did you punch him?” I tugged on the hem of my borrowed shirt.

“He told me.” Luc glanced over at his shoulder at me. “He told me what he said to you.”

Oh.

Wow.

Was not expecting that.

“Why would he do that?” I asked.

“Because he needed to.” Luc reached over, turning the water off. “Do you want to see how I’m going to do this?”

I wanted to know why Grayson felt the need to tell Luc how much of a dick he’d been and why he hadn’t healed his own injury, but frankly, I was more curious about how Luc was going to heat the water. Shuffling forward, I stepped behind him.

“I think of boiling water,” he said, placing his hand in what had to be frigid temps. A faint burst of white light powered down his arm, barely noticeable as he lazily trailed his hand through the water. “That’s all.”

Before I could speak, I heard the gentle rumble of water and squinted, seeing the bubbles spring forth from his fingers. “That’s all,” I murmured.

He withdrew his hand. “It’s not easy to control, though, so you need to wait a few minutes for it to cool down.”

With that, he rose fluidly, and with me standing so close to him, there was very little room between us. I had to crane back, way back, to look up at him. I suddenly felt incredibly nervous. Not the bad kind, but the kind that was an odd mixture of hope and anticipation. I wanted …

I didn’t know what I wanted other than I knew I wanted him, and I could sense he was about to leave.

“I saw the aura thingy,” I blurted out, and Luc’s forehead creased. My cheeks heated as I shifted from one foot to the next. “I saw the same transparent aura around Zoe that I saw around you.”

“And Grayson?”

“He looked like a rainbow.” I toyed with the hem of the shirt again. “A bruised rainbow.”


Tags: Jennifer L. Armentrout Origin Romance
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