Lucas Orfeo is Samantha Dahl's childhood best friend and a Red. He is kind and caring, with a big imagination and a pure heart. When he was eleven he was taken by the PSFs from his parents car (where they were hiding) and brought to Philadelphia, where the Trainers attempted to break his mind but didn't succeed. He had to pretend to be as blank and unfeeling as his fellow Red's to survive, and only broke his mask when he saw Sam in Thurmond.
"I won't promise anything. If he touches you again, he's ashes." Lucas, in Sparks Rise
Lucas Orfeo is the son of Peter and Melissa Orfeo and the older brother of Mia Orfeo. They lived in Bedford, Virginia, and were the neighbors to the Dahl family. Lucas eventually became friends with the Dahls' daughter, Samantha - or as he likes to call her, "Sam" - despite not appreciating the strict behaviour of her parents. Lucas and Sam would hang along with Mia out in the Orfeos' backyard, more specifically in their treehouse, which they named Greenwood after the street they lived on, Greenwood Lane. To them, Greenwood was a magical kingdom where they could imagine fantastic stories involving witches, monsters and knights. Lucas would come up with ideas, Mia would write what to say, and Sam would act the stories out with them. Lucas once kissed Sam in Greenwood.
After IAAN infected America and indirectly caused the economy to collapse, the Orfeos' house was foreclosed by the bank, forcing the family to move away. This broke Lucas, Sam and Mia's hearts, as they thought they would never see each other again. The Orfeos moved around, living in their car wherever they could park. At some point, Lucas developed Psi abilities - specifically Red psychokinetic powers. The family tried to hide, but men hijacked their car while they were sleeping and killed the panicked parents. They also reported the two children to the PSFs, who came and had to break Mia's hand to separate the heartbroken siblings.
Lucas and his sister were separated and he was ‘trained’ with other Reds. Eventually, he made it to Thurmond with the other Reds to work as guards. That was where he saw Sam for the first time (although he did not know it). When she attacked Tildon when he almost assaulted her. He restrained her and held her while she was beaten. He accompanied her to the cages where she was put into a dog crate. Olsen left and because there was a power outage, Lucas talked to her, seemingly to find a piece of himself again.
However, Tildon entered, and Lucas - keeping up the act of a Red - had to step away. When the PSF began to harass Sam again, Lucas notified control centers and both of them left. Shortly afterwards, Sam was bitten by a snake.
The next morning he lines up next to a Red he names Rose and receives his schedule. Seeing that he is accompanying kids to the infirmary, he is disappointed that he won’t be seeing Sam. As you his leading Chelsea, Tildon provokes him and Lucas barely holds his power in control. At the end of his schedule, he slips into another room to look on the computer for his sister. They were separated before she turned, so he did not at that point know she survived. The nurse catches him, but before too many questions are asked, the nurse has to rush off to see Sam who’s snake bite has grown progressively worse. there, they make an escape plan to get Sam to a real hospital.
However they are caught and taken back where the Trainers blended and changed his mind so its empty, waiting for a command. He can't feel anything and recognizes no one, not even Sam and Mia.
When Lucas was eleven, he was small and skinnier than Sam, but over the course of the seven years, he shot up to his Dad's height and filled out, with skinny but strong shoulders. He has ink black hair that shines like a raven's wing in the sun and very dark almond shaped eyes. His skin is tanned and he has a dimple in his chin.
He has a younger sister named Mia who is a Blue and was at the Black Rock camp. Before he was taken Into the Red training, he was living in a car with his family. One day Lucas' car was hijacked and the hijackers saw Lucas and Mia inside. Mrs. Orfeo reached into the glove box for money to give to the intruders but they panicked, thinking it was a gun she was reaching for, and shot her. Mr. Orfeo tried to protect her but was also killed, leaving Lucas and Mia in the abusive hands of the psi.
Sam and Lucas were childhood best-friends before Lucas moved away and Sam got sent to Thurmond. They meet again seven years later at Thurmond, when Lucas is 18 and Samantha is 17. Lucas immediately feels emotionally attracted to Sam and feels more intimate towards her than when he was a kid. When Sam gets bitten by the snake, Lucas breaks down into tears when he sees her, because he cares that much. He runs his knuckle over the curve of her nose, the way his dad did to his mom when he thought his children weren't looking. He kisses her on the cheek, and realizes that he would do anything to get her out, and how dangerous that emotion is, because hes not allowed to feel anything.
He says he loves her at least three times throughout the book, twice out loud and once in his head. Lucas said that Sam made his eleven year old heart "flutter' and she could turn him "dumb and shy with a single smile."
Lucas is a Red, meaning he has the ability to control and manipulate fire. He changed a few weeks after leaving Bedford and Sam. He protects his fire from the Trainer by retreating deep into his head, earning the nickname 'Turtle" from his mother when he was little because he was slow to come back from his imagination.
He describes the feeling of the fire calling his name and whispering "sweet things" and "words of encouragement," when he is angry or upset. When Sam and his cover got busted while trying to escape Thrumound, Lucas uses his fire to burn the PSFs trying to take them back, but the White Noise wins in the end.
In Beyond the Night, when Sam and Mia are being captured by Skip Tracers, Lucas' fire got out of control and exploded a car and set fire to the house they were seeking refuge in. Lucas is a powerful Red and dangerous when under the Trainers influence.
Lucas experiences a tic in his left arm when fire is alive and running under his skin.