Home > Oblivion (Lux #1.5)(2)

Oblivion (Lux #1.5)(2)
Jennifer L. Armentrout

The girl reappeared again on the porch, her cheeks bright pink from the work so far, and headed back to the cargo container as she wiped her hands along her denim shorts. Once again, she stumbled out of the trailer with a box of death in her arms, and I had to wonder: where in the hell was her mother?

The girl’s step faltered and the obviously heavy box rattled. Glass was inside.

And because I was competing for world’s biggest dumbass, I stayed out there, in the trees, stomach grumbling like a damn engine, and helped her carry in box after box without her even knowing.

By the time she/we finished hauling every last item into her house, I was wiped, starving, and certain I’d risked tapping into the Source enough to get my damn head examined. I hauled my tired ass up the steps to my house and slipped inside quietly. No one else was around tonight, and I was too exhausted to cook, so I gulped down half a gallon of milk and then passed out on the couch.

My last thought was of my annoying new neighbor and my too-awesome-to-fail plan to never see her again.

Night had fallen, and thick clouds, dark and impenetrable, blocked out the stars and covered the moon, squelching even the tiniest amount of light. No one could see me. Which was probably a good thing.

Especially considering I was standing outside the once-empty house like a total creeper in one of those true-crime shows—yet again. So much for my never-see-the-chick-again plan.

This was quickly becoming a disturbing habit. I tried to argue with myself that it was necessary. I needed to know more about our new neighbor before my twin sister, Dee, spotted her and decided they were gonna be besties. Dee was all I had left in this world, and I’d do anything to protect her.

Glancing over at my house, I blew out an aggravated breath through my nose. Would it be such a terrible thing if I just, I don’t know, just burned the damn house down? I mean, I wouldn’t let those…those humans inside burn or anything. I wasn’t that terrible. But no house, no problem.

Seemed simple to me.

The last thing I needed was another problem—the last thing any of us needed.

A light was on in one of the bedrooms upstairs despite the fact that it was late. It was her bedroom. Only a handful of minutes ago, I’d seen the outline of her pass in front of the windows. Sadly, she was completely clothed.

That disappointment took creeper status to a whole new level.

The girl was a problem, a big one, but I had all the working guy parts, which sometimes zeroed out the whole problem thing.

Having someone move next door, someone who was our age, was just too risky. This girl had only been here two days, but it was just a matter of time before Dee saw her. She’d already asked me a couple of times if I’d seen the new neighbors, if I knew who they were. I’d shrugged and said probably just an old couple retiring to the country to ward off her initial enthusiasm, but I knew Dee’s excitable personality would be impossible to contain for long.

Speaking of the hyper devil…

“Daemon,” a voice whispered from the shadows of my front porch. “What in the world are you doing out here?”

Debating on whether or not burning down a house next time they head to the store is a reasonable response to getting new neighbors?

Yeah, I was gonna keep that one to myself.

Sighing, I pivoted around and headed toward the porch. Gravel crunched under my boots. My sister was leaning against the railing, staring at the house next door, a curious expression pinching her face as a soft breeze tossed her long, dark hair around her.

It took unbelievable effort to walk at a normal speed as I joined Dee. Normally, it wasn’t something I even attempted when I was home since I could move fast as light, but with the new neighbors, I needed to get back in the habit of appearing…well, human.

“I was out patrolling.” I cocked a hip against the railing, my back to the house as if it didn’t exist.

Dee raised a brow as she glanced up at me. Bright emerald eyes, the same color as mine, were filled with skepticism. “It didn’t look like that.”

“Really?” I crossed my arms.

“Yeah.” Her gaze flicked over my shoulder. “It looked like you were standing outside that house, watching it.”

“Uh-huh.”

Her brows knitted. “So, someone has moved in there?”

Dee had been over at the Thompsons’ house the last couple of days, which was a freaking blessing even though the idea of her being there with another alien our age, Adam, overnight did not make me a happy camper. But it worked out. She had no idea who had moved in next door, and knowing her, a human girl of her age would be like discovering an abandoned puppy.

When I didn’t answer, she sighed heavily. “Okay. Am I supposed to guess?”

“Yeah, some people moved in next door.”

Her eyes widened as she whipped back around and leaned out over the railing, eyeing the house as if she could see through it. While our abilities were pretty awesome, we didn’t have X-ray vision. “Oh my, they’re not Luxen. They’re humans .”

Obviously she would’ve sensed if they were of our kind. “Yep. They’re human.”

She shook her head slightly. “But why? Do they know about us?”

I thought of the girl struggling to carry the boxes inside the other day. “I’m gonna go with a no.”

“That’s so weird. Why would the DOD let them move in there?” she asked, and then immediately added, “Who cares? I hope they’re nice.”

My eyes drifted shut. Of course Dee wouldn’t be worried about it, not even after what happened to Dawson. All she cared about was if they were nice . It didn’t even occur to her, not for one second, the kind of danger the close proximity of a human posed to us. Not my sister. She was all unicorns puking rainbows.

“Did you see who they were?” she asked, excitement crowding her voice.

“No,” I lied, opening my eyes.

Her lips pursed as she drew back from the railing, clapping her hands, and turned to me. We were almost the same height, and I could see delight sparkling in her eyes. “I hope it’s a hot guy.”

I clenched my jaw.

She giggled. “Oh! Maybe it’s a girl, like, my age. That would be awesome.”

Oh God.

“It would make this summer so much better, especially since Ash is being a you-know-what,” she went on.

“No. I don’t know what.”

She rolled her eyes. “Don’t play innocent, you jerk. You know exactly why she’s as cuddly as a honey badger right now. She thought you two would be spending all summer together doing—”

“Each other?” I suggested slyly.

“Oh, gross! Seriously. I wasn’t going there.” She shuddered, and I barely hid my grin as I wondered if Ash had admitted that the doing-each-other part still happened although not in a while. Not often, but it did. “She was complaining about not going wherever you promised to take her this summer.”

I had no idea what Dee was talking about.

“Anyway, I really hope whoever is next door is cool.” Like a hamster on a wheel, Dee’s mind kept on cycling. “Maybe I’ll stop over—”

“Don’t even finish that sentence, Dee. You don’t know who they are or what they’re like. Stay away from them.”

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