Opposition (Lux, #5)(10)

Dawson took a deep breath as I approached him. “Hey,” he said. “There you are. They—”

I snatched the phone from his hands, turned, and threw it as hard as I could. The little square object flew clear across the room and shattered against the opposite wall.

“What the hell, man?” Dawson exploded, hands flying up. “I was on level sixty-nine of Candy Crush, you bastard. Do you know how hard that—?”

After cocking back my arm, I slammed my fist into his jaw. He stumbled into the wall, raising a hand to his face. A sick sense of satisfaction twisted up my insides.

He raised his head, tilting it to the side. “Jesus.” He grunted as he lowered his hand. “I didn’t kill her. Obviously.”

My thoughts emptied like a bowl of water being tipped over as I drew in a shallow breath.

“I knew what I was doing, Daemon.” He glanced at the door, his voice lowering. “There was nothing else I could do.”

Launching forward, I gripped the collar of his shirt and lifted him up onto the tips of his boots. The reasons were not good enough. “You have never had any measure of control when it comes to using the Source. Why in the hell would it be different now?”

The pupils of his eyes started to glow white. He shoved his arms between mine, breaking the hold. “I had no other choice.”

“Yeah, whatever.” I stepped around him, forcing myself away from my brother before I threw him through a wall and in front of a tank.

Dawson turned, and I could feel his shrewd gaze on my back. “You need to get control of yourself, brother.”

I stopped in front of the closed doors and looked at him over my shoulder.

He shook his head. “I’m—”

“Don’t,” I warned.

Dawson’s eyes squeezed shut for a moment, and when they reopened, he was staring at the closed doors, nearly devastated. “How much longer?” he whispered.

Real fear punched me in the gut. It was too much. I knew his defenses were down and he had been put in a bad position. He didn’t have any other choice. “I don’t know, because . . .”

I didn’t have to elaborate. Understanding dawned on his face. “Dee . . .”

My eyes met and held his, and there was nothing else to be said. Facing forward, I pushed open the door, and the constant hum banging off my skull grew stronger as I entered the wide, circular office.

Newcomers were in the room, but it was the one in the seat with his back turned to me who mattered, the one we’d been drawn to the moment they’d shown up at the cabin.

He was sitting in a leather chair, watching a big flat screen on the wall. It was a local TV news station broadcasting images of downtown Coeur d’Alene. Totally different place than it had been three days ago. Smoke billowed from buildings. Fire covered the west like a burning sunset. The streets were a mess. Complete war zone.

“Look at them,” he said, his voice carrying a strange lilt as he navigated the new language. “Scurrying around on the ground aimlessly.”

Looked like half of the humans were looting an electronics store.

“They’re so helpless, unorganized. Inferior.” His laugh was deep, almost infectious. “This will be the easiest planet for us to dominate.”

It still amazed me that they’d been out there this whole time, generation after generation since the destruction of our planet, holed up in some godforsaken universe that was apparently not as comfy as Earth.

He shook his head, almost in wonder, as the screen flipped to images of tanks rolling into the city. He laughed again. “They can’t defend themselves.”

Another newcomer, a tall redhead dressed in a tight black skirt and pressed white shirt, cleared her throat. Her name was Sadi, which was fitting, because I referred to her as Sadi the sadist.

She didn’t seem to mind, because in the short time I had known her, the nickname was well earned, and the only other thing I did know about her was that her gaze was usually attached to my ass.

“Actually, they do have weapons,” she said.

“Not enough, my dear. This is happening in some of the largest cities in every state, in every country. Let them have their little weapons. We may lose a few, but those losses will not impact our initiative.” The chair wheeled around, and the muscles along my back tensed. The human form he’d chosen was that of a trim male in his early forties, with dark brown hair parted neatly and a wide, perfectly straight white smile.

He’d taken the form of the mayor of the city, and he liked to be called by the dead human’s name: Rolland Slone. Sort of weird. “Our goal will still be reached. Isn’t that right, Daemon Black?”

I met his stare. “I really don’t think they’ll be able to stop you.”

“Of course not.” His fingers steepled under his chin. “I hear you brought something with you?”

He posed it as a question, but the answer was already known. I nodded.

Sadi’s body angled toward mine with interest as her bright teal gaze lit up, and by the wall, the other one stirred.

“A female?” asked Sadi, who must’ve picked up the fleeting image that had flickered through my thoughts.

“The last time I checked, yes.” I smiled when her eyes narrowed. “But I’m still not convinced you’re rocking all the right girl parts.”

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