“What in the hell?”
I turned toward the sound of Solos’s voice. He cut through the crowd, his steps slowing as he saw the body on the ground. The tawny skin around the jagged scar on his face paled.
“Gods,” he grunted, staring down.
“Someone strung him up,” Seth said, his voice flat.
The first girl who spoke out stepped forward, her violet eyes wide. “Or someone used a compulsion on him. Made him do it.”
A murmur rose among the small group, and that horrible bile in the back of my throat got even closer to coming out. A compulsion? Good God, I couldn’t even imagine why someone would want to compel someone to do something so heinous. But pure-bloods did have that ability. So did Seth. The gods also had the ability. They could make a half-blood or a mortal do anything they wanted. I’d seen it with my own eyes. Even hang themselves. Or stab themselves. That kind of power was frightening.
“Either way, whoever did it is long gone.” Seth glanced back at me. Our gazes connected for a moment and then he turned back to the body. He said something to Solos, but it was too low for me to hear.
Solos stepped to the side, facing the group. “All right, I need everyone to get moving. Go to your classes or where you need to go, but you don’t need to be here.”
“Yeah, because it’s a crime scene.” The tall, well-built guy was dressed like me, in Covenant-issued training attire. I was betting he was a half. “Or do you guys just not care, because he’s a half-blood?”
“Considering I’m a half-blood, I care.” Solos shifted his stance. Guards appeared, dressed in all white, different than the Sentinels’ black uniform. “You know that, Colin.”
Seth turned back to the body and then tugged his shirt up over his head, leaving him in a shorter-sleeved shirt. He stepped closer to the body, carefully, respectfully, draping his shirt over the man’s face.
I looked away again, pressing my lips together. This was wrong, so wrong that the word “wrong” didn’t even cover it. This guy was a stranger to me, but my heart hurt and I was sickened by the implications, by what was right in our faces.
He was killed simply because he was a half-blood.
This was not remotely okay.
“You might care, but you know damn well over half of those at this damn campus don’t give two shits about what has been going on yet. They aren’t going to care when the gods start murdering us,” the guy named Colin challenged him. “They never cared before.”
“He’s right,” a voice said from the back of the crowd. A girl. “You know what happened to Felecia two days ago.”
I didn’t know who Felecia was or what happened to her.
Solos’s jaw hardened. “They are looking into that. They—”
“A pure used a compulsion on her, raped her, and then passed her around,” Colin returned, anger thickening his voice. “And what has happened? Absolutely fucking nothing.”
Oh my God. I was really going to vomit.
“So what? No one cares, and Felecia is a whore. So whatever.”
I jerked in disbelief, and Seth turned back to the crowd. The white-dressed Guards stiffened.
Several of the students stepped aside, revealing a tall, icy-blond guy. Someone muttered, “You did not just say that.”
He shrugged. “What?” Derision dripped from his snotty tone. “You know what they say. The only good half-blood is a drugged or dead one.”
It happened that quickly.
Seth flew across the walkway, reaching the guy before I took my next breath. He grabbed the collar of Icy Blond, who I was assuming was a pure-blood, and lifted him clear off his feet. Clothing ripped.
“I’m not even going to ask you to repeat yourself.”
Icy Blond paled a second before Seth cocked his arm back and landed a punch that knocked his head back. Icy Blond’s hands clawed frantically at Seth’s arm, trying to free himself, but that wasn’t happening.
Within a handful of seconds, the crowd scattered back, giving Seth—the Apollyon—wide berth. The Guards didn’t even make an attempt to stop him.
“Seth,” Solos warned quietly, stepping toward Seth, but not getting close.
“But I can see it in your eyes that you really believe that.” Seth’s free hand closed into a fist once again. “And you know what, asshole? You may be a pure-blood, and there may have been rules once upon a time that protected your dumb ass, but those rules never applied to me and what I can do to you.”
I tensed, frozen where I stood.
“And they still don’t,” Seth added.
Another blow landed, a punch that would’ve shattered the jaw of a mortal. Icy Blond’s lip split and blood flew as his head lolled back. Seth jerked his arm back again.
Solos inched closer. “That’s enough, Seth.”
He didn’t listen, and for a moment I feared he wouldn’t until it was too late.
Springing forward, I snapped out of my shocked stupor, raced past Solos, reaching Seth’s side. Grabbing hold of his bicep with both hands, I held on. “Seth. That’s enough. Let him go.”
A heartbeat passed, and I thought he was going to ignore me and break the guy’s skull, and while a part of me was sort of okay with that, I couldn’t let Seth do it.
Slowly, he lowered his arm and let go of the pure. The guy hit the ground with a fleshy smack as he landed in a heap.
Well. Okay. Seth did let him go.
His chest rising sharply, Seth turned around. Our gazes met, and I sucked in a shallow breath. The amber hue of his eyes was bright and sharp as a winter’s morning. He stared down at me, but I wasn’t even sure he saw me. A shiver tip-toed down my spine as I let go of his arm.