A shudder coursed through Olivia. The girl had never been a fan of Seth, and I remembered what Aiden had said last night. Everyone had seen what Seth was really like, but not me. Well, and not Caleb, because Caleb had been a major fanboy when it came to Seth.
Oddly, there was no slicing pain when I thought about Caleb.
“We aren’t going to do anything right now,” I said finally. Everyone at the table stared at me. My gaze lowered to the half-eaten plate of bacon. “Seth isn’t working with Ares anymore. I’m not saying we should welcome him with open arms or invite him in for breakfast, but he’s not our big enemy right now.”
“What?” Olivia’s voice was an octave higher. “How can anyone be sure of that?”
“That’s a good question.” Deacon slid me his unopened bottle of OJ. “Thirsty?”
I murmured my thanks again and took a drink. “Well, for starters, that cell is only holding him because he’s not trying to escape. If he wants out, he’ll get out faster than any of us could, including me. Secondly, he doesn’t want to become the God Killer anymore.”
Luke rocked back on his chair, eyes widening. “Come again?”
Olivia stopped with another sausage link halfway to her mouth and gaped at me. Shifting in my seat, I felt heat spread across my cheeks, but I wasn’t sure why. “He doesn’t want to be the God Killer. He wants me to transfer the power from him.”
“How did he find out that was our plan?” Deacon asked. He was suddenly serious, which was a rarity for him.
“He didn’t. He suggested it without me saying anything. Seth’s got…well, like I said, he no longer wants anything to do with Ares and Lucian…” My brows pinched. “Lucian is no longer an issue.”
“I’d say,” Luke said under his breath and then louder, “Not to beat the dead-and-buried horse, but how can anyone, including you, trust anything that Seth says? I mean, if he changes his mind…”
We were all screwed.
I got that, but I couldn’t really vocalize why I trusted Seth. His issues with his twisted addiction were his own business. No longer hungry or in the mood to convince them when I had Aiden and a whole slew of other people to talk to, I pushed up from the table. “I’ll see you guys later.”
I made it to the door before I realized Deacon was following me. He fell in step beside me as we walked out of the dorm. “You know they were just vocalizing their concerns, right?” he said, shoving his hands into his jeans. “They didn’t mean to upset you.”
“I know.” I squinted against the bright glare of the sun. “And they didn’t upset me.”
“You sure about that?”
I was. Like always, I really wasn’t feeling much of anything. We continued down the pathway in silence, passing a few pure-blood students. They stared.
“Aiden is in a mood. Like a ‘if you breathe in my direction, I will nunchuck you into next week’ mood,” Deacon announced as we passed one of the training centers.
My stomach sank a little. “Nunchuck? I don’t think he knows how to use them.”
“My brother knows how to use every weapon known to man. Nunchucks are no exception.”
A small grin tugged at my lips. “I’ll take your word for it.”
“So, are you gonna tell me what crawled up his ass, besides the fact a fleet of potentially crazy Sentinels is poised outside our gates and his arch-nemesis is chilling in a cell right under his nose?”
“Have you seen Aiden?” I asked instead.
He nodded. “He’s in the dean’s office with Marcus.”
Veering toward the main Covenant building, I didn’t look forward to going to the room where I’d last seen Ares
“So, you’re not going to talk to me about Aiden?”
“Are you going to follow me all the way to the dean’s office?”
“Yep.” Deacon shot me a quick grin.
“There’s a lot of steps.”
“I need my exercise.”
I sighed. “Aiden’s mad at me.”
“I doubt that.”
“Oh no, he’s definitely mad at me.” I tucked my hair back behind my ear and glanced at Deacon. He elbowed me gently in the arm, and the corner of my lips pulled up a little, but it quickly slipped away. “He’s mad because I went to see Seth.”
Deacon raised a brow. “He’s mad over that?”
“Well, I left in the middle of the night, didn’t tell him what I was doing, and there’s other stuff, but…” I shook my head, not wanting to really get into it. “So he’s a little perturbed at the moment.”
He didn’t respond as we stepped into the main building and passed the Guards, waiting until we reached the stairwell. The cord inside of me strained since we were near Seth.
“Well, considering all the crap with Seth, I can get why Aiden isn’t happy.”
“I know.” I rounded the second floor. “I’m not mad at him. He has every right to be upset.”
Deacon hopped up the stairs, chock-full of energy. I hated him. “He’ll get over it. My bro loves you, like really loves you. Like, he’s in love with you, Alex.”
I cast him a smile. “I know. I just hate that he’s mad.”
He looked at me, his eyes a brilliant silver. “I think that’s the first time I’ve seen you really smile in a while.” He spun around, opening the door to the top floor. “You doing okay?”
“No.” I stepped through the doorway. “But I will be.”
Deacon dropped his arm over my shoulder as we headed down the long hall. There were no guards at the dean’s door, because there was no dean to protect, not really. “We’ll be okay,” he said, squeezing me. “I’m all into positive thinking these days.”
The door to the dean’s office was cracked open, and without a second of hesitation, Deacon slid around me and opened the door, pulling me in behind him. “Hello!”
Marcus looked up from the desk, brows raised. Over his shoulder, Aiden straightened. His gaze went from me to Deacon, and then back to me. There was nothing to be gained from his expression, but the tips of my ears burned.
“What’s going on?” Marcus asked.
Deacon dropped my arm and plopped into one of the leather chairs. “I have no idea. I just have nothing better to do.”
Aiden folded his arms as he pinned his brother with a look.
Well aware that we probably weren’t welcome at this moment for a multitude of reasons, I inched my way over to the other seat and sat.
Taking a quick inventory of the room, I was happy to see that, with the exception of the boarded-up window, everything had been repaired. The aquarium was gone and the desk had been replaced, as had the carpet. But I knew, if I pulled up the carpet, there’d be bloodstains underneath.
Some of them would be mine.
My chin jerked up at the sound of Aiden’s voice, and our gazes collided for a brief second. I’d come to talk to him, but I’d lost my courage the moment those thundercloud-colored eyes had focused on mine. “I don’t have anything better to do, either.”
“So what are you two doing?” Deacon asked, batting impossibly long lashes.
Marcus leaned back in his chair, and his cool emerald gaze drifted over us. “We were discussing what to do with the Sentinels outside the gates. They haven’t caused any problems yet. In fact, it appears they are now guarding the gates from outside.”
My gaze flicked over to Aiden. He was staring at me in that intense, consuming way only he could pull off. It was the same way he used to watch me while I was in grappling class. I shifted in my chair. “Well, um, that’s good news, right?”
“We hope.” Marcus scratched his chin. “Aiden was telling me you talked to Seth last night?”
I squirmed some more. “Yeah, I did.”
“And you believe him?” he asked. “He’s turned over a new leaf?”
“I’m not sure I’d say he’s completely turned over a new—” A quick fissure of energy rolled down my spine, and the marks of the Apollyon raced across my skin. Electricity filled the room, and my senses flared. I knew the feeling. A god was here. I shot to my feet and started to turn.
Apollo stood behind me. “Hi.”
I jerked back, smacking my hand over my pounding heart. “Good gods…”
One side of his lips curved up. He looked completely unrepentant, but he was rocking those baby blue eyes instead of the creepy god ones.
“Why must you keep doing that?” Aiden shook his head. “Gods.”
The god shrugged. “How else should I do it? Ring a bell first?”
“That’s actually a great idea,” Aiden replied dryly. Deacon was on his feet, eyes wide, and he immediately started to backpedal out of the room. “I think I need…to, um, go find something else to do. Yeah.”
Momentarily distracted from Apollo’s sudden appearance, I narrowed my eyes at Aiden’s brother. “What is it between you two?”
Deacon froze near the door.
The lopsided smile on Apollo’s face spread. “Well, I would never kiss and tell.”
My mouth dropped open as Deacon’s face turned blood red. Oh jeez. Suspicions confirmed. Wow.
“What. The. Hell.” Aiden stepped around the desk, glaring at Apollo. “Have you—?”
“Wait.” Apollo held up a hand, his voice brokering no argument. He stared at me for a second. “Come here, Alex.”
“Uh…” I didn’t move, and I sure as hell didn’t want to get between Aiden and Apollo. “No thank you. Find another diversion tactic.”
Apollo’s head moved to the side. “Alex—”
I sensed Seth the second before I heard a shot outside, and then he barreled through the door, skidding to a halt a few feet behind Apollo. There were daggers in his hands.
Amber eyes dilated, Seth took a deep breath and let it out slowly as his gaze landed on Apollo. “Oh. It’s you.”
Well, now we knew Seth most definitely could get out of that cell when he wanted to. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Aiden draw his gun. Deacon crept back to our side.
“Yeah, it’s me.” Apollo seemed to grow in height, which was a bit frightening considering he was already Godzilla-sized.
A handful of Guards appeared behind Seth, all of them out of breath and a bit banged up. Seth shrugged and turned, handing the pair of daggers back to an empty-handed Guard. Several of them began talking at once.
“He just got out. No warning,” one Guard said. “We tried to stop him.”
“Sorry,” Seth said. “I thought it was another god, one more annoying than this one.”
My eyes widened.
Apollo smiled tightly. “Oh, you’re so cute.”
Seth smirked. “I am fabulously sexy, the last time I checked, but I’ll go back to my cell now. Breakfast would be nice, by the way. I’m starving.”