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Home > Obsidian (Lux #1)(14)

Obsidian (Lux #1)(14)
Author: J. Lynn

“I can see that.”

“You can?”

“Yeah, I can. We only have a little bit more to go.”

I wanted to question him further, but why put the effort into it? He’d give me another vague answer or innuendo. “A little bit? How long have we been walking?”

“About twenty minutes, maybe a little longer. I told you it was fairly hidden.”

Following him over another uprooted tree, I saw a clearing ahead beyond the trees.

“Welcome to our little piece of paradise.” There was a sardonic twist to his lips.

Ignoring him, I walked into the clearing. I was amazed. “Wow. This place is beautiful.”

“It is.” He stood next to me, one hand cupping his eyes against the glare from the sun bouncing off the smooth surface of the water.

I could tell from the stiff set of his shoulders, this place was special to him. Just knowing that kind of made my stomach flutter. I reached up and put my hand on his arm, and he turned to face me. “Thank you for bringing me.” Before Daemon could open his mouth and ruin the moment, I dropped my hand and deliberately looked away.

A creek divided the clearing, expanding into a small, natural lake. It rippled in the soft breeze. Rocks erupted from the middle, flat and smooth-looking. Somehow, the land had been cleared in a perfect circle around the water. Large patches of flat, grassy land and wildflowers blossomed in the full sun. It was peaceful.

I went to the water’s edge. “How deep is it?”

“About ten feet in most parts, twenty feet on the other side of the rocks.” He was right behind me, doing that creepy, quiet walking thing. “Dee loves it here. Before you came, she spent most of her days here.” To Daemon, my arrival was the beginning of the end. The apocalypse. Kat-mageddon. “You know, I’m not going to get your sister in trouble.”

“We’ll see.”

“I’m not a bad influence,” I tried again. Things would be much easier if we could just get along. “I haven’t ever gotten into trouble before.”

He slipped around me, eyes on the still waters. “She doesn’t need a friend like you.”

“There isn’t anything wrong with me,” I snapped. “You know what? Forget this.”

He sighed. “Why do you garden?”

I stopped, hands clenching. “What?”

“Why do you garden?” he asked again, still staring at the lake. “Dee said you do it so you don’t think. What do you want to avoid thinking about?”

Was this caring and sharing time now? “It’s none of your business.”

Daemon shrugged. “Then let’s go swimming.”

Swimming was the last thing I wanted to do. Drowning him? Maybe. But then he kicked off his sneakers and took off his jeans. Underneath, he had on swim trunks. Then he whipped his shirt off in one quick motion. Dayam. I’d seen guys without their shirts on before. I lived in Florida, where every guy felt the need to walk around half-dressed. Hell, I’d seen this half-naked guy before. This shouldn’t be a big deal.

But man, I was so wrong.

He had a great build, not too big but more muscles than any boy his age should have. Daemon moved with a fluid grace to the water, his muscles flexing and stretching with every step.

I wasn’t sure how long I stood staring after him before he finally dived into the water. My cheeks were warm. I exhaled, realizing I’d been holding my breath. I needed to get a grip. Or a camera to memorialize this moment, because I bet I could make money from a video of him. I could make a fortune… As long as he never opened his mouth.

Daemon broke the surface several feet away from where he went under, water glistening in his hair and on the tips of his lashes. His dark hair was slicked back, bringing more focus on his eerie green eyes. “Are you coming in?” Recalling the red bathing suit I’d decided to wear, I wished I could run away. My earlier confidence had evaporated. I toed off my shoes with slow, deliberate movements, pretending to enjoy the surroundings while my heart threw itself against my ribs.

He watched for a few moments, curious. “You sure are shy, aren’t you, Kitten?”

I stilled. “Why do you call me that?”

“Because it makes your hair stand up, like a kitten.” Daemon was laughing at me. He pushed back farther, the water lapping at his chest. “So? Are you coming in?”

Good God, he wasn’t going to turn around or anything. And there was a challenge in his stare, as if he expected me to chicken out. Maybe that’s what he wanted—expected. There was no doubt in my mind that he knew he had an effect on girls.

Practical, boring Katy would’ve gone into the lake fully clothed.

I didn’t want to be her. That was the whole purpose of the red bathing suit. I wanted to prove to him I wasn’t easily intimidated. I was determined to win this round.

Daemon looked bored. “I’m giving you one minute to get in here.”

I resisted the urge to flip him off again and took a deep breath. It wasn’t as if I was getting naked, not really. “Or what?”

He moved closer to the bank of the lake. “Or I come and get you.”

I scowled at him. “I’d like to see you try that.”

“Forty seconds.” He watched me with an intense, piercing gaze as he drifted closer.

Rubbing my hand down my face, I sighed.

“Thirty seconds.” He taunted from an even shorter distance.

“Jesus,” I muttered, yanking my shirt off. I thought twice about throwing it at his head. I raced to shed my shorts when he called out the last taunting reminder.

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