Oblivion - Jennifer L. Armentrout Page 0,1

habit of going missing around here.

The smirk twisting my lips faded as an image of Dawson formed in my thoughts. Not just humans…

When I thought of my brother, anger bubbled inside me, rushing to the surface like a volcano about to erupt. He was gone—dead because of a human girl. And now there was another damn one moving in next door.

We had to…simulate humans, blend among them, and even act like them, but being close to them always ended in disaster.

Always ended in someone missing or dead.

I had no idea how long I stood there, staring at the house, but the girl eventually appeared again. Pulled out of my thoughts, I straightened as she walked to the back of the U-Haul. She dug a key out of her pocket and then opened the metal door.

Or tried.

And tried some more.

She struggled with the lock and then with the lever for what had to be the longest amount of time in history. Her cheeks were flushed, lips pursed. She looked like she was seconds from kicking the back of the U-Haul. Good God, how long did it take one person to open a trailer door? She made it a marathon event. I was half tempted to make myself known and walk my ass over there and open the damn door for her.

Finally, after an eternity, she opened the trailer and pulled down the ramp. She disappeared in and reappeared moments later with a box. I watched her carry it in and then return again. Back up the ramp, she stumbled down it this time, carrying a box that had to weigh more than her by the strained look on her face.

She shuffled around the trailer, and even from where I stood, I could see her arms trembling. I closed my eyes, irritated over…everything. She’d made it to the steps, and I knew there was no way she was going to get the box up that porch without falling and possibly breaking her neck.

I raised my brows.

If she broke her neck, then I guessed that solved the whole “moving in next door” problem.

One foot made it onto the bottom step and she teetered to one side. If she fell then, she would be okay. She made it up another step, and my stomach growled. Damn, I was hungry even though I’d eaten about ten pancakes an hour ago.

She was almost to the top of the steps, and granted, if she fell, she wasn’t going to break her neck. Maybe an arm? A leg would be pushing it. As she planted a foot on the next step and then slowly lifted the other foot beside it, I was reluctantly impressed by her sheer determination to muscle that box into the house. When she wobbled dangerously at the top, I muttered a rather obscene list of curse words and raised my hand.

Zeroing in on the box in her hands, I tapped into the Source. In my mind, I focused on raising the box just the slightest, taking the brunt of the weight off her arms. She stopped on the porch just for the tiniest of seconds, as if she recognized the change, and then with a shake of her head, she walked into the house.

Slowly, I lowered my hand, somewhat shocked by what I had done. There was no way she could ever guess that some random dude standing in the woods was responsible for that, but man, that was still a dumbass move on my part.

There was always the risk of exposure whenever we used the Source, no matter how insignificant it was.

The girl reappeared again on the porch, her cheeks bright pink from the work so far, and headed back to the cargo container as she wiped her hands along her denim shorts. Once again, she stumbled out of the trailer with a box of death in her arms, and I had to wonder: where in the hell was her mother?

The girl’s step faltered and the obviously heavy box rattled. Glass was inside.

And because I was competing for world’s biggest dumbass, I stayed out there, in the trees, stomach grumbling like a damn engine, and helped her carry in box after box without her even knowing.

By the time she/we finished hauling every last item into her house, I was wiped, starving, and certain I’d risked tapping into the Source enough to get my damn head examined. I hauled my tired ass up the steps to my house and slipped inside quietly. No one