Opposition (Lux, #5)(11)

Sadi’s fingers straightened at her sides. “You want to check that out?”

I smirked. “Nah, I think I’ll pass on that.”

Rolland chuckled as he hooked one knee over the other. “This female. She’s not exactly human, is she?”

Sadi pulled her attention from me when I shook my head. A muscle or a nerve or something else equally annoying started to twitch under my eye. “No. She’s not.”

His hands rested in his lap, one folded on top of the other. “What is she exactly?”

“A mutant,” answered Dee as she strode into the room, her long, dark curls spreading out behind her. A sweet smile formed on her lips as she looked at Rolland. “Actually, she was mutated by my brother.”

“Which one?” asked Rolland.

“This one.” Dee nodded at me as she popped her hands on her hips. “He healed her about a year ago. The girl is a hybrid.”

Eyes flicked back to mine. “Were you trying to hide that from us, Daemon?”

“Did I really get a chance to answer that question?”

“True,” Rolland murmured, eyeing me closely. “You’re a hard one to read, Daemon. Not like your lovely sister here.”

Folding my arms across my chest, I shrugged. “I like to think I’m an open book.”

“Out of all of us, he’s always had little use for humans,” Dee said.

Rolland’s brows rose. “Except for this girl, I imagine.”

“Except for her.” Guess Dee was now my own personal speaker. “Daemon was in love with her.”

“Love?” Sadi coughed out a surprisingly delicate laugh. “How very . . .” She seemed to search for the right word. “Weak?”

My shoulders stiffened as I muttered, “‘Was’ being the key word.”

“Explain to me this healing and mutation thing,” Rolland ordered, leaning forward.

I waited for Dee to chime in, but for once, she appeared happy to remain quiet. “She suffered a fatal injury, and I healed her without knowing that it would mutate her. Some of my abilities were transferred to her, and we were connected together from that moment on.”

“What made you want to heal her?” Curiosity colored his tone.

Dee snorted. “I don’t think he was thinking with the head on his shoulders when he did it, if you get what I mean.”

While I resisted the urge to shoot my sister a look, Rolland stared at me for a moment, and then smiled like he not only got what Dee meant but was also very interested in a whole lot of detail.

“Interesting,” murmured Sadi as she flipped a wealth of coppery hair over a slim shoulder. “How tight is this bond or connection between you?”

I shifted my weight, glancing at the silent Luxen male who was still leaning against the wall. “She dies; I die. Tight enough for you?”

Rolland’s eyes widened. “Well, that is not good . . . for you.”

“Yep,” I drawled out.

A slow curl of Sadi’s lips made her look hungry. “And does she feel what you feel? And vice versa?”

“Only if it’s a near-fatal wound,” I answered, voice flat as the floors.

Sadi glanced at Rolland, and I knew they were communicating. Their words were lost in the hum of the others, but the eagerness that suddenly crept over Sadi’s face had my fists tightening.

I didn’t trust her.

I didn’t trust Quiet Dude, either.

“You don’t have to trust her,” Rolland said, smiling widely. “We just have to trust you.”

Dee stiffened. “We can be trusted.”

“I know.” His head cocked to the other side. “And there was something else there, right? It got away?”

Back to being the ever-helpful minion, Dee nodded as she sat down in an armchair, all but draping herself over it. “An Origin, a product of a Luxen male and a hybrid female. I hope we don’t have to kill him. I think he’s kind of cute.”

“Interesting.” Rolland glanced at Sadi, and again, I knew they were getting all kinds of secret squirrel chatty with each other.

Coming to his feet, he buttoned the front of his beige suit jacket. “There’s a lot we don’t know. These hybrids are new to us,” he said, which almost made me laugh. For a race of beings who’d never been to Earth, they seemed to have a lot of knowledge about the layout. There was something more that I hadn’t figured out. Something, or a bunch of somethings, had been working from the inside. Seemed important. “We’re counting on you and your family, others like you, to aid us in these situations.”

I nodded curtly, as did Dee.

“Now. I have things to do.” He came around the side of the oak desk, and the Luxen male finally moved away from the wall. “People to meet and to put at ease.”

Surprise caught me. “Put people at ease?”

As Rolland strolled past me with Sadi and the Man of Few Words snapping at his heels, he smiled broadly once more. “See you in a little while, Daemon.”

The doors closed behind them, reinforcing the fact that I wasn’t privy to every thought and whim. There was a lot hidden.

Sighing, I turned to where my sister sat, and for a second, realization poked free. I barely recognized her.

Dee glanced up, her eyes meeting mine.

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