I’ve been here before.

My breath caught as a wave of tight shivers rippled over my skin. That thought didn’t make sense. I hadn’t been here with him before.

Luc inhaled sharply, and he moved without me noticing. He was closer. His warm breath danced across my cheeks and then my mouth. Air hitched in my lungs for a second time. Those well-formed lips of his parted, and now I really wished I had my camera. And I . . . I couldn’t stop myself from wondering what those lips felt like—tasted like—because that brief kiss-that-wasn’t-a-kiss hadn’t told me what I needed to know.

“What’s going on in that head of yours?” he asked in a soft voice.

The hold that seemed to have forged itself out of the tense air around us was broken. I snapped out of it, jerking back and nearly smacking into the window. What was going on in my mind? Nothing but stupid—a whole lot of stupid.

My gaze swung across the table.

Heidi and Emery were staring at us like they were watching one of those really terrible but addictive reality shows.

Warmth exploded across my cheeks as I decided staring at the table was an awesome thing to do. My heart was pounding in a silly way. What in the world was I thinking? Luc was attractive. In all honesty, he was truly beautiful, and he apparently had a nice streak in him. Somehow he’d taken care of Emery and Kent when they needed help the most, and I’d seen him with Chas at the club, but I wasn’t even sure I liked Luc.

I wasn’t even sure he liked me.

Thankfully, the food showed up at that moment, and I focused on shoving as much waffle into my mouth as humanly possible while Heidi and Emery chatted. I stayed quiet, as did Luc, but every part of my being was painfully aware of his every movement. When he picked up his glass or cut into the omelet he ordered. He’d shift, and I’d catch that woodsy pine scent of his, and when he did speak, the deep timber of his voice echoed through my veins. By the time breakfast wrapped up, every muscle in my body was stiff and sore. I felt like I’d run a marathon as we filed out of the restaurant.

I lingered behind, giving Heidi and Emery some space as they walked ahead. Luc apparently was of the same mind, because he slowed his long-legged pace, walking beside me.

Walking beside Luc was . . . interesting.

People had one of two reactions when they neared Luc. They either gave him wide berth, nearly stepping into the street to avoid brushing up against him, or they did a double take, male and female. Their gazes would glance over him and then bounce back and they wouldn’t be able to look away. With his sunglasses on and contacts in, no one should be able to tell what he was by appearance, but it was the vibe he emitted, even with his lazy swagger.

We didn’t speak, not until we neared the entrance to the garage. Luc easily glided in front of me, stopping so we were standing next to the building, away from the foot traffic.

My heart was tripping all over itself as I lifted my chin. “Do you need something?”

“I need lots of things,” he replied, and warmth cascaded through me, because my mind belly-flopped right into the gutter. The grin that appeared made me wonder just how apparent my thoughts were. “They seem to really like each other.”

“Oh.” I glanced around him. Heidi and Emery had already entered the garage. “I think they do.”

“You know what that means?”

“They’ll start dating?”

Luc chuckled as he stepped in. “We’ll be seeing lots of each other.”

“I don’t know about that.” I folded my arms.

“I do.”

I tilted my head to the side and lifted a brow. “I think you’re wrong.”

“Hmm,” he murmured, looking out toward the street as a car zoomed by, blaring its horn. A moment passed and then his head turned back to me. Even with the sunglasses, I could feel the intensity of his gaze. “You don’t like me, do you, Evie?”

The bluntness of his question was jarring. “You weren’t exactly nice to me when we first met. Like, at all.”

“I wasn’t,” he agreed.

I waited to see if he would add on to that statement, and when he didn’t, I sighed with irritation. “Look, I could go into extensive detail about all the signals you’ve been throwing off, but I really don’t feel like putting that much effort into it. You don’t seem to like me either, Luc.”

“I like you, Evie.” His hand lifted with startling quickness and he picked up a piece of my hair. “Lots.”

I snatched my hair free. “You don’t know me well enough to like me, and if you do like me, you have a terrible way of showing it. Terrible.”

Somehow he got closer, and I didn’t even know how, but when he spoke, his voice sent a shiver curling down my spine in an oddly pleasant way. “You’d be awed and amazed by what I do know.”

I resisted the urge to retreat.

“And I already told you. I don’t people well.”

“Not peopling well is a crap excuse,” I retorted, and started to step around him, but a sudden thought occurred to me. I stopped, refocusing on him. “Were you in my house last night?”

That half grin kicked up a notch. “If I was in your house last night, you would’ve definitely known.”

My stomach dipped like I was standing too close to the edge of a steep cliff. “I don’t know what that means.”

Luc opened his mouth.

I lifted a hand. “I don’t want to know what that means.”

He dipped his chin. “I think you know exactly what it means.”

I thought I did, but that was beside the point.

“Why would you ask if I was in your house last night?” he asked.

When I started to tell him it didn’t matter, I stopped myself. I found that I wanted to tell him—tell someone, to see if they, too, thought it was my imagination, like Zoe had. “When I was home last night, I heard a crashing sound downstairs, and when I went down there to check—”

“You hear a random noise in your house, you go downstairs and check it out?”

“What was I supposed to do? Call the police and say, ‘Hello, officer, I heard a noise downstairs. Can you come check it out?’”

“Yes,” he said. “Unless you’re equipped with a shotgun, and you just might be because of Sylvia, you don’t go downstairs.”

I shook my head. “Whatever. I went downstairs, and the back door was open even though I know damn well I’d closed and locked that door. And while I was standing there, I felt someone standing behind me, but when I turned around, no one was there. Then the back door slammed shut.”

Everything about Luc changed in that instant. The teasing quality to his voice and the curve of his lips were gone. “What else happened?”

“My . . . mom’s office door was open and it’s always locked. Always.” I shifted my weight from one foot to the other as the scent of exhaust fumes rose. “One of my friends, Zoe, actually came over, and I think she thinks I was overreacting, but I know what I saw. What I heard and . . .”

“And?” he asked quietly.

I leaned against the side of the building and looked away. “I felt . . . I swore I felt someone touch me.” I waited for him to say something obnoxious, but when he didn’t, I drew in a shallow breath. “Mom went into her office last night when she got home, like she always does, but she didn’t mention anything. If something was taken or messed up, I think she would’ve said something to me. Like, asked if I’d been in the office.”

Luc was staring at me.

“I know Zoe thinks I left the door open, but I know I didn’t. It had to be a Luxen. How else could someone move so fast without me ever seeing them? I know it sounds bizarre, but—”

“No.” Luc’s jaw was as hard as his tone. “If you think someone was in your house, Evie, then someone was in your house.”

My heart turned over heavily. It was equally nice and disturbing to have someone believe me.

“You didn’t see anyone, though?”

I shook my head. “Like I said, they were fast. But why would a Luxen come into my home and not take anything and just leave?”