Luc didn’t answer for a long moment. “Well, that is the question of the day, isn’t it?”

I nodded.

“But you know what the more important question is?” he asked. “What if a Luxen was in you house and they did take something? You said Sylvia’s office door was open, but it’s normally locked.”

“It’s always locked.” My gaze flew to his. “Why wouldn’t she mention that then?”

Luc didn’t answer for a long moment, and when he spoke, he didn’t answer the question. He posed another one. “How well do you think you know Sylvia Dasher?”


The local news Wednesday morning was consumed by what had happened to Colleen, and Amanda’s disappearance.



The reporters openly speculated that it had been a Luxen attack—an unregistered Luxen attack—and that one was also behind Amanda’s disappearance. They didn’t say why they thought that, but the why didn’t seem to matter to them. They’d already made up their minds.

When I arrived at school on Wednesday morning, news crews from every major network were parked out front, grabbing and interviewing students as they stepped off the buses.

The whole day felt off. At lunch, even James was subdued. I imagined it would be that way for a while. No one had heard from Amanda, and without anyway saying anything, I knew we all feared the worse.

She would turn up just like Colleen.

Mom had texted saying she wouldn’t be home until late, so I was left to my own devices. After everything that had happened in the last week, that meant my brain was working overtime and what Luc had asked me yesterday had haunted me on and off over the last twenty-four hours, and it was back with a vengeance, pecking away as I walked into the quiet house. Why would he ask me something like that about my mom?

Why hadn’t I asked myself that yet?

Because I’d learned firsthand this weekend that there was a lot I didn’t know about my mom or my father. I had no idea they’d been involved in the Daedalus—hell, I hadn’t known about the Luxen making this planet their home sweet home for decades.

Mom was a bucket of secrets.

Dropping my keys and bag on the dining room table, I shivered as I stood in the same place I had last night when I’d felt the presence behind me. Someone had been in here and they had been in Mom’s office.


Maybe focusing on this was pointless, but it was better than thinking about what had happened to Colleen and what could be happening to Amanda. That was what I didn’t want to dwell on while I was home alone.

I walked through the living room and into the foyer. Bright light streamed from all the windows and everything was where it should be, but the house seemed strange to me now.

Cloudy, somehow.

The glass French doors were closed, and a thick white curtain shielded the little square windows. I’d never been in Mom’s office. Never had a reason to. Someone could be living in there for all I knew.

Biting down on my lip, I reached out and wrapped my hand around the cool, tarnished gold handle. My wrist twisted. The door was locked, as always.

Would be really nice to have that nifty Luxen ability right about now.

“Wait,” I whispered. Luc had that awesome breaking-and-entering talent. He could easily get into her office.

But seriously? Would I ask him to do that? I didn’t even know how to get in touch with him. . . .

Actually, I did know how to get ahold of him. There were two ways.

I pivoted and went to where my bag was on the dining room table. I snatched my phone out of the top pocket, ignoring the little voice in the back of my head that was demanding to know what the hell I was planning to do. I hit the second contact on my phone.

Heidi answered on the third ring. “Hey, girl, what’s up?”

“Um, nothing. I was wondering if Emery was with you?”

There was a beat of silence. “Yeah, she’s right here.”

“I know this is going to sound really weird, but can I talk to her for a moment?” I folded an arm over my waist and started pacing.

“Is this about Luc?”

I tripped over my feet. “What? Why would you ask that?”

“Why else would you be calling me to talk to Emery?”

She was right, but I still lied. “There could be tons of reasons why I’d want to talk to her. Like your birthday is coming up. Maybe I want to plan something with her.”

“My birthday is in April, Evie. It’s only September.”

“Yeah,” I drew the word out. “I’m just planning ahead.”

“Uh-huh,” Heidi replied. “So, this is about Luc?”

I sighed and rolled my eyes. “Yes, but it’s not what you think.”

“Sure.” She laughed. “Hold on a second.”

Before I had a chance to reply, Emery was on the phone. “What can I do for you?”

What in the world was I doing? I had no idea, but I was pacing again and my mouth was running. “I know this is going to sound weird, but I was wondering if you could . . .” I trailed off as I stopped in front of the couch.

The cushions were where they were supposed to be, but all I could see was Mom whipping the one cushion off, pulling out a shotgun—and pointing that shotgun at Luc.

“If I could what?” Emery asked.

Squeezing my eyes tight, I shook my head. “I was wondering if you could give me”—I cringed—“Luc’s phone number.”

“Yeah,” she answered immediately. “I can have Heidi text it to you.”

I started to tell her that would be fine but stopped. Again, what was I doing? Besides the absolutely insane fact that I was about to reach out to Luc and invite him to my house to help me break into my mom’s office, how would I know if anything was missing? I didn’t even know what the inside of her office looked like. What could I find when I didn’t even know what I was looking for?

But I still wanted in there.

“Are you still on the phone, Evie?” Emery asked.

I nodded and then rolled my eyes, because duh, she couldn’t see me. “Yeah, I’m still here. It’s just I . . . I don’t know why I’m asking for his number. I needed help with something and could use his unique . . . talents, but I . . . I don’t really know him and this was probably a really bad idea. I’m sorry to bother you two.”

“You’re not a bother.” It sounded like she moved and then I heard her say in a low voice, “Is everything okay?”

A weak smile crossed my lips. That was sweet of her to ask. “Yeah, everything is fine. I’m just being dumb.”

“All right, so now it’s my turn to sound weird, but hear me out. I don’t know what you need help with, but whatever it is, Luc will do it,” she said. “You can trust him. Out of everyone you’ve ever met, you can trust Luc.”

Heidi texted me Luc’s phone number and I ended up staring at the text for five full minutes, unable to bring myself to call him. I really felt like something was wrong with me, because there was a huge part of me that trusted what Emery had said in spite of everything that indicated otherwise.

There was no good reason to believe what she said.

I’d met Luc just six days ago and it had been a rough six days, but in a way, it felt like I’d known him a lot longer than that, and that probably wasn’t a good thing.

My phone rang suddenly, and I almost dropped it. An unknown number had popped up with a local area code. It took me a second to vaguely recognize the number.

“Oh crap,” I whispered, my eyes going wide. It was Luc’s number. Of course, Emery had probably contacted him and told him I’d asked for his number.

Scrunching up my face, I squeezed my eyes shut as I squeaked out, “Hello?”

“So, I got this interesting text from Emery,” came the deep voice that twisted my stomach all up in knots. “She said you asked for my number.”

Why did I do that? Why did I answer the phone? “I did.”

“And she said you needed help with something,” he continued. “However, that was about five minutes ago, and you haven’t texted or called, so I’m dying of curiosity.”