Home > Oblivion (Lux #1.5)(8)

Oblivion (Lux #1.5)(8)
Jennifer L. Armentrout

Dee rose as I crossed the driveway, brushing the grass off her hands, but the girl stayed on the ground, smacking the soil. I dropped my arm over Dee’s shoulders, holding her still when she tried to squirm free. “Hey, sis.”

She grinned up at me with hope in her gaze. God only knew what she thought about me making an appearance, but I was really going to let her down. “Thanks for moving the bags for us,” she said.

“Wasn’t me.”

Dee rolled her eyes. “Whatever, butthead.”

“That’s not nice.” I tugged her close, smiling down at her when she wrinkled her nose. I felt eyes on us and when I glanced up, I saw that the girl was watching us. The sun had pinked the heights of her cheeks—or something else had. Her hair was pulled up but sweat had dampened the loose tendrils around the nape of her neck. The smile slipped from my face. She was going to be such a problem. “What are you doing?”

“I’m fixing—”

“I wasn’t asking you,” I said, interrupting her as I directed my attention to Dee. “What are you doing?”

The girl shrugged and picked up a potted plant, totally unfazed by me, and my eyes narrowed on her. She acted as if I wasn’t even standing there. Unacceptable.

Dee punched me in the stomach. Knowing she could hit a hell of a lot harder than that, I let her go. “Look at what we’ve done,” she said. “I think I have a hidden talent.”

I looked over at the flower bed. Yeah, they had done some major work on it. Then again, how hard could it really be, pulling up weeds and planting new shit? I arched a brow when the girl looked at me.

“What?” she demanded.

I shrugged and honestly, I couldn’t care less about it. “It’s nice. I guess.”

“Nice?” Dee all but shrieked. “It’s better than nice. We rocked this project. Well, Katy rocked it. I kind of just handed her stuff.”

Ignoring my sister, I turned my full attention on the girl. “Is this what you do with your spare time?”

“What—are you deciding to talk to me now?” She smiled, and my jaw tightened as she grabbed a handful of mulch. “Yeah, it’s kind of a hobby. What’s yours? Kicking puppies?”

At first, I wasn’t sure why she had said that to me, because no one talked back to me. No one was that insane. I tilted my head to the side. “I’m not sure I should say in front of my sister.”

“Ew,” muttered Dee.

The girl’s face flushed even more, and I felt my lips kick up at the corner. What was she thinking? “It’s not nearly as lame as this,” I added, gesturing at the flower bed.

She stilled. Pieces of red cedar drifted to the ground. “Why is this lame?”

I raised both brows.

The girl wisely retreated, but her jaw jutted out as she returned to spreading the mulch, and my eyes narrowed even farther. I could tell she was forcing herself to keep quiet, and that made me feel like a shark that scented blood in the water.

Dee sensed it, because she pushed me. “Don’t be a jerk. Please?”

“I’m not being a jerk.” I stared at the girl.

Her brows flew up, and there it was. The attitude. I didn’t like it…but I did, and realizing that amped me up. “What’s that? You have something to say, Kitten ?”

“Other than I’d like for you to never call me Kitten ? No.” Running her hands over the mulch calmly, she then stood and grinned at Dee. “I think we did good.”

This girl was legit ignoring me.

“Yes.” Dee pushed me again, but this time in the direction of our house. “We did good, lameness and all. And you know what? I kind of like being lame.”

As I stared at the fresh plants, I still couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that she was standing there, pretending like I wasn’t even here. This chick was not even one bit intimidated by me. That floored me. I couldn’t be reading her right. Yeah, most human girls didn’t run from me. They wanted to run to me, but one look would send them scurrying away. This girl was basically like, whatever.

“And I think we need to spread our lameness to the flower bed in front of our house,” Dee continued, practically humming with excitement. “We can go to the store, get stuff, and you can—”

“She’s not welcome in our house.” Annoyed, I knew where this was heading. “Seriously.”

Dee’s hands balled into fists. “I was thinking we could work on the flower bed, which is outside —not inside—the last time I checked.”

“I don’t care,” I snapped. “I don’t want her over there.”

“Daemon, don’t do this.” Her voice dropped, and then I saw her eyes turn too bright. “Please. I like her.”

Hating the look in her eyes, I exhaled softly. “Dee…”

“Please?” she asked again.

I cursed under my breath as I folded my arms. I couldn’t give in to this. There was too much at stake, like her life . “Dee, you have friends.”

“It’s not the same, and you know it.” She folded her arms. “It’s different.”

Glancing over at Katy, I smirked. She looked like she wanted to throw something at me. “They’re your friends, Dee. They’re like you. You don’t need to be friends with someone…someone like her .”

“What do you mean, someone like me?” Katy demanded.

“He didn’t mean anything by it,” Dee rushed to add.

“Bullshit,” I said. I’d totally meant it. The girl just didn’t get what it really meant.

Katy looked like she was about to throw down, and if I hadn’t been so damn annoyed, it might’ve been cute. “What the hell is your problem?”

Shock flickered through me as I fully faced her. This girl… Wow. She was kind of prettier than average when her eyes lit with sparks of anger, but I was determined not to care. “You.”

“I’m your problem?” She took a step forward, and oh yeah, she wanted to throw down like a mofo. “I don’t even know you. And you don’t know me.”

“You are all the same.” And damn, that was the truth. “I don’t need to get to know you. Or want to.”

Confusion flickered across her face as she threw up her hands. “That works perfectly for me, buddy, because I don’t want to get to know you, either.”

“Daemon.” Dee grabbed my arm. “Knock it off.”

I didn’t take my eyes off Katy. “I don’t like that you’re friends with my sister.”

“And I don’t give two shits what you like,” she spat back.

Holy shit. I was not one bit mistaken when I realized she wasn’t at all intimidated, and my first, the very immediate response, was that I liked that.

And I could not have that.

I moved, faster than I probably should’ve, but I was there, right in front of her, my gaze locked in on hers.

“How…how did you move…?” She took a step back, her eyes widening as she shuddered.

There it was. Fear. And maybe it made me a complete jackass, but I wanted her afraid, because in my world, fear equaled common sense. “Listen closely,” I said, backing her up until she was against a tree, caging her in. She didn’t look away from me. “I’m only going to tell you this once. If anything happens to my sister, so help me—” My gaze dropped, and I saw her lips part. Damn, I hadn’t noticed how full her lips were until this moment. When I raised my eyes, she had that look again, one that said her mind recognized the danger she was in, but her body was totally not on the same page.

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