I smacked his chest, and he rolled onto his side, taking half the sheet with him as he laughed. “Oh, you like your privacy? Must be nice! How do you think I feel?”
“Like you don’t have any privacy?” He looked over his shoulder at me.
“Oh my God.”
Still laughing, he shifted onto his back. “I can teach you how to shield your thoughts, if you’d like.”
I took a deep, long breath and then another. “You know, I was about to ask why you’re just now offering that, but I’d probably hit you again, so moving on.”
“Yes. Moving on. One baby Trojan step at a time. If you can read my thoughts, it could come in handy for when—”
“We need to talk privately,” I cut in.
“—I want to talk dirty to you in public,” he finished.
I closed my eyes and then reopened them.
Luc looked utterly innocent.
“Luc.” I sighed.
A half grin appeared. “Let’s try again. I won’t block you.”
“You’d better not.”
A wave of goose bumps erupted over my skin. I’d been watching him, so I didn’t see his lips move. “I heard you.”
Look at you, reading my thoughts.
The shivery feeling across my skin intensified. “How? How can I read them but not everything else? Or are you shielding your thoughts nonstop?” If so, that sounded exhausting.
“I was projecting, for lack of a better word,” he explained. “I concentrated on wanting you to hear me. It’s just like speaking.”
And that meant I could do it, too. Instead of him picking up random, often inconvenient thoughts, I could control—
Something occurred to me. “You weren’t lying when you said you only hear me when I’m being loud.”
“Mostly. There have been times when I went digging around, but you know that.”
I did. “So, is it possible that the reason why I’m so loud is because I’m projecting without realizing it? Thinking about you at the same time?”
“You’re right,” he said, and I was a second away from clapping. “And you’re wrong.”
Good thing I didn’t clap.
“Most of the time, it’s because you’re projecting without realizing it.” Shifting onto his side, he propped his cheek onto his fist. “Other times, it’s because your emotions are heightened, and any natural shield that the mind possesses—and yes, some of the blocking is organic—collapses. Building shields to block mind-reading jerks like me isn’t easy.”
“Of course not,” I muttered.
But you know what is?
The shiver that accompanied knowing I was hearing his words in my mind was intense. “What?”
Responding to me like this.
Think of me and say what you want, but do so in your mind.
Responding like a normal human being was, well, what came naturally, so I had to stop myself from doing that. I concentrated on Luc, but I didn’t look at him. That felt like cheating. Can you hear me?
My head snapped toward Luc. He was watching me with those hooded eyes. “Really?”
He arched a brow as he tapped a finger off his temple.
The corners of my lips tugged up. This isn’t some sort of wish-fulfillment hallucination?
Luc smiled. This would be a weird thing to wish for.
Not when you wanted to feel like you were actually accomplishing something.
But I was totally talking to Luc telepathically, and that had to be the coolest thing ever.
Okay. Maybe moving a shirt with my mind—with the Source—was equally as cool.
Who was I kidding? All of this was cool, and I … holy crap on a cracker. I wasn’t afraid of these abilities. My gaze dropped to my hand, and I saw very faint black dots, barely visible under my skin. I wasn’t afraid.
I looked to Luc, and he was watching me. You know what?
I feel like a badass.
His answering smile was swift and it was wide, and before I could track what he was doing, he moved. In a nanosecond, I was under him. You have always been a badass. Do you know how that makes me feel?
My body flushed hot. I have a pretty good idea.
Luc’s lips touched mine, and there wasn’t any talking from there, not vocally or in our minds.* * *Hours later, I very slowly, very carefully extricated myself from Luc’s embrace.
It took a while.
Even sleeping, he held on to me like I might disappear on him again, and knowing that was a very real concern for him caused my heart to ache.
But the fact that Luc didn’t wake up proved just how exhausted he was. He needed to sleep a day or two, but I couldn’t sleep yet.
Restless, but nowhere near as much, I found a pair of leggings in the dark and pulled them on. In the back of my mind, I knew I would’ve had one hell of a time finding those black pants before, but I didn’t obsess over that. Improved eyesight was definitely a cool benefit, but I’d talked to Luc telepathically tonight.
I’d also moved a shirt with the Source.