“It doesn’t feel that way for you now, does it?”
I lifted my head so I could see him. “It doesn’t feel anything like that, Luc. I feel comfortable and completely at ease being like this.” My gaze searched his in the dim light. “What does it feel like for you?”
“Better than I could’ve ever imagined. It feels like words would be inadequate even I tried to even describe it.”
“Does it bother you that this wasn’t my first time?”
“Honest? It doesn’t bother me. Not in the way you meant. Was I jealous? Of course, but that’s on me. And like I said before, it’s not like I’ve kept my hands to myself over the years.” He touched my cheek. “You were living. I was living. That’s all any of that was.”
My smile returned, and I stretched up, kissing him. His hand slipped back into my hair as I settled against him once more. Silence fell between us, and for some reason, my mind wandered its way to what Grayson had said before I had gotten dizzy.
“How long has Grayson been here?” I asked.
“Well, he arrived at the zone around the same time we did, perhaps a few seconds—”
“That’s not what I meant. Was he born here, on Earth, or was he a recent arrival?”
He looked at me for a few moments, and then his lashes lifted. “That’s another impressively random question. Let me guess. Something Grayson said?”
“Yes. He said Kent was the first human he met and that he was sixteen when that happened. Unless Grayson is aging incredibly gracefully, that couldn’t have been more than a couple of years ago.”
“He met Kent four years ago.”
I sucked in a sharp inhale. “Grayson was…” I lowered my voice for some bizarre reason. Wasn’t like anyone was hanging around in the closet listening to us. “Did he come with the invasion?”
Those lashes lifted. “I think you already know the answer to that.”
Wow. I had so many questions. “Is that why he seems to hate humans?”
“Grayson is an equal opportunity species hater,” he murmured.
That was believable. “How did you two meet? Did he want to kill humans?” Another thing occurred to me. “That means he rapidly assimilated a human’s DNA to look like us! He took someone else’s face! Did he want to put us in people zoos?”
“People zoos?” Luc chuckled under his breath. “I can tell you that he didn’t kill innocent humans. Well, not many, at least.”
My brows lifted. Not many? Uh …
“He’s not a bad guy, despite what he has done and despite his less-than-stellar personality, and I know you’re dying to know all about Grayson, but a lot of that—all of that—isn’t my story to tell. It’s Grayson’s. I have to respect that.”
Which was his way of asking me to respect it, too. It was killing me not to ask a million questions and demand answers. I’d never met one of the invading Luxen—well, at least I didn’t think I had. Hell, I could’ve and never known.
But knowing that Grayson legitimately hadn’t been around humans until four years ago explained why he seemed to stand out so much from humans, unlike the majority of Luxen who’d been here for decades or been around humans since birth. No wonder he felt so … inhuman.
Honest to God, I wasn’t sure how to feel knowing that Grayson had been a part of the invading Luxen. But he hadn’t killed innocent people—well, other than whoever’s face and body he’d stolen, Invasion of the Body Snatchers–style … and however many “not many” actually was. Okay. That was semantics, but if Luc trusted him, there had to be a reason, one that went beyond pesky moral gray areas.
Luc twisted my hair around his finger. “I think you heard my thoughts earlier.”
I lifted my head again, no longer thinking remotely of Grayson. “What?”
“I think you heard my thoughts,” he repeated, looking incredibly cozy with his arm tucked behind his head.
“I can’t hear your thoughts.”
“But you did.” He tilted his chin toward me. “When I left to get the doc, what did I say?”
My head was still a little all over the place, so it took me a moment to remember. “You said you didn’t want to leave.”
One side of his lip quirked. “But I didn’t say that.”
“Yes, you did.” I rose onto an elbow, bracing myself on Luc’s chest. “I heard you.”
“I didn’t say it out loud, Peaches. I thought it,” he explained. “And when we were talking about everything after the doc left, you heard me again.”
“I thought, ‘I caused this,’ and you answered as if I’d spoken the words out loud, but I hadn’t.”
All I could do was stare at him. My first response was to deny that was possible. There was still a huge part of me that operated on the belief that I was an ordinary human. After all, I’d had years and years of being just that.