“Is that so?” The brilliant green gaze slid to Luc. “I didn’t know you were into that kind of stuff. Freaky.”

Luc rolled his eyes.

“I’m being serious.” I took a step forward and then stopped when Luc shifted toward me. “See! If I walk toward that door, he’s not going to let me leave.”

“Well, Luc, you know that’s illegal, right?”

“No shit.”

“It’s totally illegal, but he’s trying to say he’s offering me a vacation—an all-exclusive vacation! In other words, he’s trying to kidnap me.”

Daemon drifted into the room. “And why is he doing that?”

“Seriously. You do have things to do, Daemon. Go do them.”

The man pouted—actually plumped out his lips and pouted. “But this is really more interesting.”

“He took my phone and won’t give it back.”

Daemon cocked his head to the side. “I wasn’t expecting that.”

“No. You don’t understand. I left my phone here last night and I came back to get it, because you know how expensive those things are,” I tried again, my heart thumping.

“Uh-huh,” Daemon murmured.

“That’s all, and everything has completely gotten out of hand. He sent my friend home with some blue-haired dude who looks a little serial killer-ish. I’ve seen a guy who I’m pretty sure looks half dead,” I rushed on. “I’ve been picked up, carried around, and choked. And all I want is my damn phone and I’ve yet to see it—”

“I have your phone.” Luc reached around, patting his back pocket. “I was going to give it back you.”

Slowly, I turned to him. I couldn’t think of anything to say as I stared at him for what felt like an eternity. “You’ve had my phone in your pocket this whole time?”

Luc lifted a hand, knocking a wavy tumble of hair off his forehead. A second later it fell back in place. “I have.”

“In your back pocket?”


My mouth dropped open. “And why haven’t you just given it to me?”

His lips pursed. “I was planning to, but then I got distracted when you almost got yourself choked to death.”

“That wasn’t my fault!” I shouted.

“We’re going to have to disagree on that.”

“Then why didn’t you give it to me afterward?” I demanded.

A smirk formed. “Well, I was just messing with you then.”

“Oh my God.” I shook my head, glancing over at Daemon. “Are you hearing this?”

He held up his hand. “I’m just an innocent, enraptured viewer of this.”

A lot of help he was.

“But then you threatened to call the police and run your mouth,” Luc added, the smirk fading. Daemon’s gaze seemed to sharpen. “And that changed everything.”

I stepped toward him, hands shaking. “I wouldn’t have threatened you if you had just given me the stupid cell phone!”

“I have to say, Luc, that sounds reasonable.” Daemon leaned against the wall, idly crossing his arms. “You could just—”

“I didn’t ask for your opinion.” Luc turned to him. “And why are you still standing here?”

Daemon lifted a shoulder. “This is so much more entertaining than hanging around Archer and Grayson.”

Violet eyes narrowed. “Daemon, you don’t leave, I’m going to help you leave.”

“Damn,” Daemon drawled. “Someone’s in a bad mood.” He backed up, a look of amusement settling into his features. “Talk to you later, Evie.”

Wait. He was leaving me? Here? With the guy I just said was trying to kidnap me? What was wrong with these people? “But—”

Daemon pivoted and was gone in the blink of an eye. I was left here, with Luc. Drawing in a deep breath, I faced him once more. “I wasn’t really going to call the police. I wouldn’t do that.”

Luc pulled his gaze away from the now empty doorway. “Then why did you threaten that?” He moved toward me, stopping when I stiffened. “Do you know how serious that is?”

“I just need my phone back. That’s all. I wasn’t going to breathe a word of this to anyone. I swear.”

His jaw worked as he stared at me. A moment passed. “You know what the big problem is here?”

I glanced around the otherwise empty room. “You trying to kidnap me?”

“No,” he replied. “You know nothing about anything, and that makes you so incredibly dangerous.”

I glared at him. “That makes no sense.”

“It makes perfect sense.” He leaned against the bare white wall. “There are things you have no clue about—things that a lot of people have died to keep secret. What’s stopping you from running back to your friends—to the guy you brought with you?”

“What would I tell them?” I threw up my hands, exasperated with him—with everything. “I’m not going to tell anyone about . . . about those Luxen. Just please give me my phone and I will be gone from your life. Forever.”

An odd look flickered across Luc’s face, and then he reached around, pulling something out of his pocket. He opened his hand, and in his palm was my phone. My phone! “Here it is.”

I almost fell over in a rush to snatch my phone, but I held back, staring at him warily. “So, I . . . I can have my phone and leave?”

Luc nodded.

Drawing in a shallow breath, I extended my hand and he dropped the phone in my palm. I started to pull my hand back, but he closed his fingers around mine.

A slight shock of electricity traveled from his hand up my arm as he tugged me forward, into his side. Luc lowered his head to my ear. “You speak a word about what you saw today to anyone, you’ll be endangering innocent people—friends, family, strangers,” he whispered. “I won’t hurt you. Ever. The rest won’t be so lucky.”

I was still in shock as I drove home. Part of me couldn’t believe I’d walked out of that club and was in my car, but Luc had given me back my phone and hadn’t stopped me from leaving.

The first thing I did when I got in my car was call James. He was fine and had just been dropped off at his house. Of course, he had a thousand questions, but I made him promise that he wouldn’t tell anyone about the trip to Foretoken.

I knew I’d never see Luc again, but I didn’t want to tempt it by any of us blabbing anything to anyone.

But what had Luc meant about the deal? About him staying away if I stayed away? That made utterly no sense. I didn’t know him. Last night was the first time I’d ever seen him.

“I doesn’t matter,” I said out loud. And it didn’t, because obviously there was something very weird and wrong with Luc, and whatever he’d meant by that was irrelevant.

I just wanted to forget about this weekend, and I would. Heidi had reassured me that she wouldn’t step foot in Foretoken again, and I was convinced that I wouldn’t immediately blab the truth about last night and today to Mom the moment I saw her and she gave me that look.

That Colonel Sylvia Dasher look.

Luckily, I knew Mom was going to be at work and probably wouldn’t be home until late tonight. I had all day to not succumb to that look and confess every dumb thing I’d done in the last twenty-four hours.

I couldn’t remember if Dad had ever mastered that look or not. Mom had always handled the discipline. Then again, I didn’t remember much about my dad anymore and that was sad.

My hands tightened on the steering wheel. This car, an older Lexus, sometimes felt like the only thing I had left of Dad’s. I didn’t look like him. I took after Mom, so when I looked in the mirror I didn’t see him, and with each passing year, it was getting harder to remember what he looked like.

My dad—Sergeant Jason Dasher—had died in the war against the Luxen. His service to our country, to mankind had been posthumously rewarded.

He’d been given the Medal of Honor.

The thing was, when I thought about Dad, it wasn’t just hard to see him, but also to hear him. Before the war, he hadn’t been home often. His job had him all over the States, but now I wished there had been more time, more memories to fall back on. Something more than a car, because when I thought about Dad, I had trouble piecing his face together in my memories and there weren’t any photos. All of that had been left in the house we discarded during the invasion.