By: Jennifer L. Armentrout


{ Katy }

ack in the day, I had this plan for the off chance that I was around for the whole end-of-the-

B world thing. It involved climbing up on my roof and blasting R.E.M.’s “It’s the End of the

World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)” as loud as humanly possible, but real life rarely turns

out that cool.

It was happening—everything about the world as we knew it was ending, and it sure as hell did not

feel fine. Or cool.

Opening my eyes, I inched aside the flimsy white curtain. I peered out, beyond the porch and the

cleared yard, into the thick woods surrounding the cabin Luc had stashed in the forests of Coeur

d’Alene, a city in Idaho I couldn’t even begin to pronounce or spell.

The yard was empty. There was no flickering, brilliant white light shining through the trees. No one

was out there. Correction. Nothing was out there. No birds were chirping or fluttering from leafy

branch to branch. Not one sign of any woodland creatures scurrying anywhere. There wasn’t even the

low hum of insects. Everything was silent and still, soundless in a totally creeptastic kind of way.

My gaze fixed on the woods, glued to the last place I’d seen Daemon. A deep, throbbing ache lit up

my chest. The night we’d fallen asleep on the couch seemed like ages ago, but it had only been forty-

eight hours or so since I’d woken up, overheated, and nearly been blinded by Daemon’s true form. He

hadn’t been able to control it, although if we’d known what it signaled, it probably wouldn’t have

changed anything.

So many others of his kind, hundreds—if not thousands—of Luxen, had come to Earth, and

Daemon . . . he was gone, along with his sister and brother, and we were still here in this cabin.

Pressure clamped down on my chest, as if someone were squeezing my heart and lungs with vise

grips. Every so often, Sergeant Dasher’s warning came back to haunt me. I’d seriously thought the

man—that all of Daedalus—was riding the crazy train into Insanity Land, but they had been right.

God, they had been so right.

The Luxen came like Daedalus had warned, like they had prepared for, and Daemon . . . The ache

pulsed, ripping the air right from my lungs, and I squeezed my eyes shut. I had no idea why he left

with them or why I hadn’t seen or heard from him or his family. The terror and confusion surrounding

his disappearance were a constant shadow that haunted every waking moment and even the few

minutes I’d been able to sleep.

What side would Daemon be standing on? Dasher had asked that of me once, while I’d been held at

the very real Area 51, and I couldn’t let myself believe that I had that answer now.

In the last two days, more Luxen had fallen from the sky. They’d kept coming and coming like an

endless stream of falling stars, and then there was—


My eyes popped open, and the curtain slipped from my fingers, softly falling back into place. “Get

out of my head.”

“I can’t help it,” Archer replied from where he sat on the couch. “You’re broadcasting your

thoughts so damn loudly I feel like I need to go sit in the corner and start rocking, whispering

Daemon’s name over and over again.”

Irritation pricked at my skin, and no matter how much I tried to keep my thoughts, my worries and

fears, to myself, it was useless when there was not one, but two Origins in the house. Their nifty little

ability to read thoughts got real annoying real fast.

I picked at the curtain again, watching the woods. “Still no sign of any Luxen?”

“Nope. Not a single glowing light crashing to Earth in the last five hours.” Archer sounded as tired

as I felt. He hadn’t been sleeping much, either. While I’d been fixated on keeping an eye on the

outside, he’d been focused on the TV. News all across the globe had been reporting nonstop on the


“Some of the news stations are trying to say it was a massive meteorite shower.”

I snorted.

“Trying to cover up anything at this point is useless.” Archer sighed wearily, and he was right.

What happened in Las Vegas—what we had done—had been videotaped and blasted all over the

internet within hours. At some point during the day after the absolute obliteration of Las Vegas, all the

videos had been pulled down, but the damage had already been done. From what the news copter had

captured before Daedalus had shot it down, to those on the scene who recorded everything with their

camera phones, there was no stopping the truth. The internet was a funny place, though. While some

people were blogging that it was the end of times, others took a more creative approach to everything.