The sound came again.

I scurried off the bed, then briefly glanced at my closed door before I rushed around the bed. No way was Luc outside. It was impossible to get up to my window. No trees and only a small roof over the bay window. The only thing that could’ve gotten up there was a pterodactyl . . . or someone who wasn’t exactly human.

Which would be Luc.

Or the psycho Origin.

I drew back the curtain and gasped.

Crouched on the small roof was most definitely not a pterodactyl.

Luc grinned like he wasn’t perched outside my bedroom, and when he spoke, his voice was muffled by the thick glass. “Knock, knock.”


I gaped at him through my bedroom window in a state of suspended disbelief. This had to be a weird dream, one induced by psychotic Luxen and weird Internet searches.

Luc lifted a hand. “I brought you a Coke. A nice, fresh Coke.” And he had. He was holding a red-and-white can in his hand. “Not a Pepsi.”

My heart sped up. What in the world?

Luc waited, his face lit only by the moonlight. Mom was going to flip out if she came home and caught him here. Wait. Was I seriously considering letting him in?

I was.

Which meant I’d officially taken a left turn into Baddecisionville, population: Evie. Cursing under my breath, I unlatched the window and shoved it open since I hadn’t set the house alarm yet. “Are you out of your mind?”

“I like to think I was never in my mind,” he replied. “Can I come in?”

I stepped back and extended an arm. “You’re already up here.”

A wide smile broke out across his face and then he came through the window, landing gracefully and silently. I, on the other hand, would’ve fallen right through the window, likely face-first. He straightened, offering the Coke. “I’m a very special delivery boy.”

I took the can of soda, careful that our hands didn’t touch. “Yeah . . .”

Standing as close as we were, it was hard not to acknowledge how tall he was, how he seemed to take over. My room wasn’t small, but with Luc in it, the space didn’t feel big enough. His presence overwhelmed the room as he turned in a slow circle.

Thank the Lord I was wearing a pair of leggings and a super-baggy shirt, because I was amazingly braless at the moment.

He plucked up my left hand and lifted my arm. “How is it feeling?”

“Almost perfect.” I slipped my hand free and stepped back. “I know you said not to thank you, but thank you for . . . fixing my arm.”

Luc didn’t say anything for a long moment. “It could’ve been worse.”

Knowing that was true, I folded my arms across my stomach.

“He hurt you because of your . . . association with me,” he continued, his eyes churning restlessly. “He will pay dearly for that.”

I was chilled by his words; I knew that was a promise.

Luc turned and walked away.

“What are you doing?” I whispered as he headed to his left, running his fingers over the spines of the books haphazardly stacked on the built-in shelves next to my dresser and TV. “If my mom catches you here, she will shoot you. Like legit whip a gun out of a pillowcase and shoot you.”

He grinned. “She would.”

My mouth dropped open as I threw up my hands. “And that doesn’t concern you?”

“Not really.” He pulled an old, tattered book off the shelf. His brows rose as he read the title. “Claimed by the Viking?”

“Shut up.” I stalked over to him and snatched the book out of his hand. I put it back on the shelf. “My mom is—”

“If you were so worried about your mom, you probably shouldn’t have let me inside.” Luc picked up another book, this time a thin hardcover on photography. He quickly grew bored with that, and placed it back. “But alas, your mom isn’t home.”

“How do you know that?” I followed him as he moseyed on past my dresser and to my cluttered desk.

“I’m omniscient.” Luc touched—touched everything. The pens and highlighters, the heavy five-subject notebooks stacked on top of one another. He picked up the hot-pink miniature stapler, clicked it once, and then put it back. His long fingers drifted over loose papers.

“Oh, come on.”

“She’s been working really late, hasn’t she?”

“Yeah, it’s not at all creepy that you know that.”

He chuckled as he looked over his shoulder at me. “Maybe your momma isn’t working late. Maybe she’s hooking up with someone.”

“Ew. No way is she—” I stopped myself, not wanting to even think about my mom hooking up with someone.

“She has needs too, you know.” He refocused on my desk, picking up my world history textbook.

I shot him a death glare. “Please stop talking about her like that. It really weirds me out.”

“Yes, ma’am.” He leaned in, squinting at the photos.

My heart sped up for no good reason. I stayed where I was, plastered against the wall, near the window. “How did you even get up here?”

“I ran and then jumped.” He touched a Halloween photo from last year. It was Heidi and Zoe at James’s house. They were dressed as Jokers—green hair and purple suit. I’d gone as Harley—old-school Harley Quinn. Finding the perfect jester suit had not been easy. It also hadn’t been that flattering, which was why all pictures of me from that night had been burned. “I’m skilled like that.”

I rolled my eyes.

He chuckled, and the sound was . . . annoyingly nice. “All these photos and none of you as a kid. None of your mommy and daddy?”

“That’s not strange. We didn’t get a chance to grab the photo albums after the invasion. All that stuff was left behind.”

“Every single picture?” He turned to me. A moment passed. “Where were you when the invasion happened and what were you doing?”

I thought that was kind of a weird question, but I answered it anyway. “I was at home. It was early in the morning and I was asleep. Mom woke me up and told me we had to leave.”


“It’s all . . . kind of blur. We left when it was still dark outside.” The details from that day had faded over time, and I thought a lot of it had to do with the fear and panic that had crowded the events. “We moved to a location in Pennsylvania and stayed there until it was safe.”

After a long moment, Luc looked away.

“What about you?” I asked.

“I was in Idaho.”

“Idaho? That’s . . . unexpected.”

“Do you know there’s actually a theory where people believe that Idaho doesn’t exist?”

“For real?”

“For reals. It’s a conspiracy theory. Something like government mind control. Not that the government doesn’t have the power and methods to pull something like that off, but I can one hundred percent confirm that Idaho is a state.”

“All righty then.” Curiosity was getting the best of me even though I should have been demanding that he leave. “Were you alone when it happened?”

He shook his head. “I was with people I knew.”


A strange, wistful smile appeared. “Depends on the day.”


“You actually met two of them briefly.”

I thought about that for a moment. “Daemon and Archer?”

He nodded. “They got back tonight. I’m sure you’ll be seeing them again.” He glanced over at me. “Is there a reason why you’ve attached yourself to the wall?” he asked, those striking eyes shooting to mine. “I don’t bite.”

A warm flush splashed across my cheeks. “Why are you here, Luc?”

“Because I wanted to see you.” He backed up and then sat on my bed, his gaze never leaving me.

“Make yourself comfortable,” I said dryly.

“Already did.”

My eyes narrowed. “You . . . you shouldn’t be here.”

His lashes lowered. “You’re right. More so than you even know.” Before I could question what the heck that meant, he said, “I wanted to talk to you about what happened today.”