Home > Oblivion (Lux #1.5)(6)

Oblivion (Lux #1.5)(6)
Jennifer L. Armentrout

I didn’t lift my head. “Don’t really think that’s breaking news.”

Turning away, she stalked into the kitchen and returned a few seconds later with her purse and car keys. She didn’t speak as she walked past me.

“Where are you going?” I asked.

“Grocery shopping.”

“Oh Jesus,” I muttered, wondering how many human laws I’d break if I locked my sister in a closet.

“We need food. You ate it all.” Then she was out the door.

Tipping my head back against the couch, I groaned. Good to know everything I’d said had gone in one ear and danced right out the other. I didn’t even know why I bothered. There would be no stopping Dee. I closed my eyes.

Immediately, I relived the conversation with my new neighbor, and yeah, I really had been an ass to her.

But it was for the best. It was. She could hate me—she should hate me. Then hopefully she’d stay away from us. And that was that. It couldn’t be any other way, because that girl was trouble. Trouble wrapped up in a tiny package, complete with a freaking bow.

And worse yet, she was just the kind of trouble I liked.

Chapter 3

It literally took Dee only a handful of hours to take everything I’d said to her, throw it out the window, and run over it with her Volkswagen. She’d come back from the grocery store with bags of crap and a big smile on her face, and I’d known she’d found our neighbor.

When I’d asked her about it, she buzzed past me like a damn hummingbird, refusing to answer any questions about what the hell she was doing, but a little after one, she disappeared out the front door. Being the good older brother—older by a handful of minutes—I’d gone over to the window to make sure everything was okay. But Dee hadn’t headed toward her car. Oh no, she had gone straight for the house next door. Not like I was entirely surprised. She had either been on the girl’s porch or already in her damn house. It was hard enough keeping an eye on her during the school year, but now this?

Dee avoided me when she finally made her way back over to the house, which was fine by me. I didn’t trust myself not to start yelling at her, and even though I was admittedly a grade-A certified asshole, I didn’t like losing my cool on my sister.

I’d left home in my SUV that evening, managing to not look at that damn house for one second. Halfway into town, I called up Andrew, Adam’s twin and the Thompson brother who matched me in temperament and personality. In other words, we were fucking balls of sunshine.

He was going to meet me at Smoke Hole Diner, a restaurant not too far from Seneca Rocks—the nearby range of mountains that contained beta quartz, a crystal that had this amazing ability to block our presence to what most Luxen considered our only true enemy, the Arum. But even if the beta quartz blocked Luxen, once an Arum saw a human with a trace, they knew Luxen were nearby.

I took my seat in the back, near the massive fireplace that was always cranking during the winter. The diner was pretty cool, with rock formations jutting up among the tables. I kind of dug the whole earthy vibe it gave off.

Andrew was tall and blond and turned heads as he strolled in, walking down the middle of the booths.

I’d had the same effect on the patrons earlier.

Might’ve come across like I was rocking a healthy dose of arrogance—well, I was—but it was simply the truth. Blending of human and Luxen DNA and the choice we had in the matter typically meant we were very blessed in the appearance department. I mean, if you could choose to look like anyone, wouldn’t you choose the hottest looks you could? My green eyes were a family trait and my hair tended to curl a bit on the ends whether I wanted it to or not, but my six-foot-something awesome frame and movie-star good looks—well those just fit my stellar personality.

Andrew slid into the seat across from me, his eyes a vibrant blue, just like Adam’s and Ash’s. He lifted his chin at me in greeting. “Fair warning. Ash knows I was leaving to meet you. Don’t be surprised if she shows.”

Lovely.

I kept my expression bland out of respect for her and her brother sitting across from me, but a meet-up with Ash was not something I needed right now. “Last I heard, she wasn’t very happy with me, so I’d be kind of surprised if she showed up.”

He snickered. “You’d be surprised? Really? You’ve known Ash your entire life. The girl thrives on confrontation.”

That much was true.

“So do you,” Andrew added, smiling slightly when I lifted a brow. “I don’t know what’s going on between you two.”

“And that’s not something I’m really going to talk about with you, Oprah.” Besides the fact that they were siblings, so come the hell on, it was also hard to put into words. I liked Ash. Hell, I genuinely cared about her, but I was bored with that whole thing, the expectation of our people that we’d of course end up together. I didn’t do predictable.

Andrew ignored that. “But you know what’s expected of us.” His voice lowered as his gaze met mine. One of the waitresses here was a Luxen, but 99 percent of those around us were human. “There aren’t many of our kind around our age, and you know what Ethan wants—”

“The last damn thing I care about is what Ethan wants.” My voice was deadly calm, but Andrew stiffened across from me. Nothing pissed me off faster than dealing with the Elder known as Ethan. “Or what any of them expect from me.”

His lips curled up on one side. “Something’s done crawled up your ass today.”

Yeah, and that something had a name that reminded me of a little furry, helpless animal.

“So what’s your deal?” he persisted. “Right now you just got this look on your face that said you’re either really hungry or you want to kill something.”

Shaking my head, I draped my arm along the back of the booth. The Thompsons obviously didn’t know about that girl moving in next door, and for some reason I figured it was better if it stayed that way for as long as possible. Not because I cared or anything, but because once they did realize there was a human living next door, I was going to have to deal with them bitching about it.

And I was pissed off enough for all of us already.

We ate and then I headed back home. Andrew’s sarcasm had a way of lightening my mood, but I was back to doom and gloom as I pulled up in my driveway again.

It was the Thompsons’ night to take patrols, but I was too restless to just sit inside. Our families were the strongest of all the Luxen, hence why the colony was already planning Ash and my nuptials, so it was upon us to run most of the patrols and train the new recruits.

I spent half the night out there, finding nothing to work off the building frustration. Building? Hell. That was laughable. More like constant state of anger that had been present ever since Dawson… Since he’d died. Very few things eased it. Certain things with Ash had, but the peace was always fleeting and it was never worth all the strings attached to it.

I crashed somewhere around three in the morning and woke up way too damn late, near eleven, the pent-up energy still humming in my veins. Dragging myself out of bed, I brushed my teeth, then pulled on a pair of sweats and sneakers.

Dee was already gone when I left the house and stepped out into the muggy summer weather. Her car was in the driveway, but that girl’s was gone. Hell. They were together. Of course. My anger hit near stroke levels.

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