“Jesus.” I smoothed a hand down my face. There was a good chance I was going to be sick. “I don’t have impressions. I remember Dad and—”

“Tell me what Jason’s voice sounded like,” she demanded, coming around the island.

I opened my mouth, but I . . . I couldn’t. I hadn’t been able to in . . . I hadn’t been able to. “He sounds like a guy,” I said, blinking rapidly.

“Tell me what our old house looked like in Hagerstown?”

I knew what it looked like. The memories were there, but I was too overwhelmed to see the house in my mind. I had those memories; I knew I did. I just needed to concentrate.

Tears filled her eyes. “Tell me what I said to you the morning of the invasion and where did we go?”

“You—You told me that everything—” I squeezed my eyes shut. What had she said? Everything was a blur. “I was too panicked. I don’t remember, but that means nothing.”

“Honey, it means what it means. You weren’t with me when the Luxen invaded. You were wherever Luc had you.” She pressed her lips together. “There is not a single thing you can tell me about elementary school or your tenth birthday. What you have to pull from, the well you’ve drunk from these last four years, are stories I told you while you had the fever, while we cured you.”

Panic started to dig in with razor-sharp claws. “How is that possible? How can you stand there and tell me that I have no memories, or that the ones I do have are fake? That’s impossible. You’re my mom and I’m Evie. That’s who I’ve always been!”

Mom shook her head.

As I stared at her, a horrible, terrifying thought occurred to me. What if . . . what if she was telling the truth? There had been that weird sense of déjà vu when I first saw Luc in the club. There were all those times when Luc spoke as if he knew me. And the deal—he’d kept mentioning this deal.

Mom stopped in front of the island, placing her fist against her chest. “I’m still your mother. I am—”

“Stop,” I demanded. “I just need you to stop. Please. Because this can’t be real.”

“It is.” Her chest rose, and then she lifted her other hand to her eyes, making a pinching motion. When she lowered her hand, she dropped something on the island—two brown contacts.

My gaze flew to hers, and I gasped.

Mom’s eyes weren’t brown anymore. They were the color of the summer sky, before a storm. A vibrant, unnatural shade of blue.

“No,” I whispered, shaking my head.

She smiled as tears tracked down her cheeks, and those tears disappeared as the veins under her skin filled with beautiful, luminous light. The glow spread, seeping into her skin and replacing the tissue. Within moments, she was fully encased in light.

Suddenly I remembered when Luc had come into the house and Mom had lifted her hand as if she was about to do something. Luc had dared her to do it. I hadn’t understood then what was happening, but I did now.

Luc had known. . . .

He had known that Mom was a Luxen.

But she wasn’t my mom—not my biological one. I knew that now. No matter how much I wanted to deny what she was telling me. I knew enough about the Luxen to know they couldn’t have children that weren’t Luxen.

“God.” The room tilted. I felt faint, dizzy, and I couldn’t deal with this. I couldn’t process the truth that was glowing back at me. My feet were moving into the living room before I realized what I was doing or where I was going. Then I ran back into the kitchen and grabbed my bag off the island. I spun and went for the garage door.

“Honey!” she called out.

I stopped and looked. She was back to normal. Well, except for her eyes. They were still the eyes of the Luxen.

“Please,” she said again, her eyes glistening. “Please just sit down and we will talk. We will—”


She took a step toward.

“Don’t.” My voice cracked. “Don’t come near me.”

She stopped.

My entire body trembled. “Just stay away from me.”

I pulled the door open, stepped out, and smacked the button on the side of the wall. The garage door groaned open as I yanked the car door and tossed my bag onto the passenger seat. Muted daylight poured into the garage as I rounded the front of the car—of the Lexus that had belonged to Dad.

But he wasn’t my dad.

Because if Mom wasn’t my mom, then he wasn’t my dad. . . .

But she was the only mom I knew, and I loved her. I knew her.

My hands were shaking as I climbed into the car. I started it as the garage door swung open. Mom stood there, calling my name, but I gunned the car in reverse. Tires squealed as I backed out of the driveway. I made it to the end of the driveway when movement out of the corner of my eyes caught my attention.

I slammed on the brakes and then looked to my left. “What the hell?”

A man strode across my front yard, a tall dark-haired one I recognized immediately. Daemon. What was he doing here? My gaze flew to the open garage and I saw Mom.

Daemon appeared at my driver’s door, tapping on the window. I hadn’t even seen him move. He was in the yard and then right there.

In a state of stunned disbelief, I rolled down the window.

He bent over, placing his hands on the open window. “Where you heading to? I doubt it’s school.”

I blinked once and then twice. Then it hit me. Daemon was here because of Luc, because of that Origin. Holy crap, how long had he been out here? I clenched the steering wheel as I stared into eyes that were impossibly green.

Mom was saying something as she walked forward, but I couldn’t look away from the Luxen. I remembered the look on his face when he first saw me at the club. I remembered Luc quickly shutting him up, but Daemon had looked at me with surprise. I’d chalked it up to me being a human. . . .

“Do you know who I am?” My voice was hoarse, unfamiliar to my own ears.

An easy smile formed on his lips. “Why don’t you turn the car off and step out? Go inside. Okay?”

“What is my name?” I asked, my knuckles aching from how tightly I was clenching the steering wheel.

Something flickered over his face. “Let’s head inside. You shouldn’t—”

“What is my name?” I shouted, my voice giving out on the last word.

“Hell,” he muttered, glancing toward the garage. “Call Luc.”

My stomach plummeted all the way to my toes. I didn’t want them to call Luc. I didn’t want them to do anything.

Pulling my foot off the brakes, I slammed my foot down on the gas pedal. Daemon cursed as he jerked back. The car flew out into the street, fishtailing. With my heart racing, I shoved the gear into drive and floored it. Wind and rain poured in through the open window as I sped through the subdivision.

None of this was true. It was too unbelievable to believe, too out there to even consider.

But Mom was a Luxen.

And she said I was that girl—that girl who Luc claimed had been his only true friend. The girl he’d admitted some ten hours ago he was still in love with.

That was the deal. I stayed away if you stayed away.


No way.

I wasn’t her.

My name was Evie.

That was who I was.

I passed the entrance as I dragged in deep, even breaths, hitting the open stretch of road.

My name is Evelyn Dasher.

Tears blurred my vision as I eased off the gas. My mother’s name is Sylvia Dasher. My father—

Daemon suddenly appeared in the center of the road, several yards away. Screaming, I slammed on the brakes. The wheels lost traction on the rain-slick asphalt. The car spun out, and by some act of God, I didn’t lose control. The Lexus coasted to a stop.

Dragging in deep, uneven breaths, I watched Daemon start toward me. My hands slipped off the steering wheel as emotion boiled up from deep within, like a shaken soda bottle. I smacked my hands over my face and opened my mouth to scream, but there was no sound. Nothing came out. I pressed my forehead against the steering wheel, my fingers curling into my skin. This couldn’t be happening. This couldn’t be real. I dropped my hands, clutching my knees as my stomach roiled.