I hadn’t been joking when I’d suggested neutering every damn pure.
“Sick, isn’t it?”
Lifting my head, I twisted around and almost gaped.
A nymph leaned against the marble statue of Hera, one leg curled over the other. The same male nymph that had been outside of Josie’s grandparents’ house. He was still wearing the same doeskin pants, and I was almost positive the pretty fucker’s chest was glittering in the moonlight.
“You lost or something?” I asked. “The woods are over the wall.”
Slanted eyes focused on me. “I know where I am. Do you?”
“Uh.” I paused. “Yeah, I don’t even know how to respond to that.”
He pushed off the statue, and in the blink of an eye he was kneeling where the body had lain. “For thousands of years, mortals and immortals have sought to kill others they believe are not like them. Even when the same blood courses through nearly identical bone and tissue.” His head tilted to the side as he stared at the rose. “It was never just a mortal problem, you see. They learned it from our kind. To love. And to hate.”
My brows inched up my forehead.
“It angered you, this half-blood’s death.” He reached out with a slender arm and ran the tip of his finger along the green stem. A second later, a whole damn bushel of roses appeared. The nymph rose and looked over his shoulder at me. “Violence begets violence.”
“I’m pretty sure Martin Luther King Jr. said that.”
“Wise words from a wise man,” he replied, facing me. “Violence festers and turns to a bitter, infectious kind of hate, Apollyon. It spreads like a cancer, one that can only be cut out. Many here and in the world are affected by it, and these pure-bloods responsible . . . well, some may be a lost cause.”
No surprise there.
“You already have that disease.”
“It’s eating away, getting closer and closer to your soul. You’re walking a fine line, where you will topple into areas that are not shaded in gray. We are watching you.” He lifted his chin. “They are watching you.”
Also no big surprise there.
The nymph looked up to the onyx sky blanketed with stars. “The Titans are not the only beings they are concerned with. What’s inside of you must be cut out, God Killer.”
God Killer? What the hell?
I was not the God Killer. Alex had become that, or maybe still was that. I had no idea if she was still an Apollyon or a God Killer now that she had died a mortal death and become a demigod. Wasn’t like email or cell phones existed in Tartarus, so I couldn’t call her and ask. Then again, I couldn’t imagine myself checking in with her if I could.
I stared at the nymph. “What does that—?”
Poof. That was it. The nymph was gone, and well, that was weird as shit. Obviously a warning, a really weird warning.
The roses were a nice touch, though.
I shook my head as I pivoted around and started walking, trying to shake off the nymph’s random words and appearance, but that was real hard. Damn near impossible.
Stopping outside Josie’s door, I glanced down at my right hand. There wasn’t a blemish on my knuckles. Nothing. I was about 99% sure I’d broken that pure’s jaw, and my hand wasn’t even swollen.
And I was also 99% sure I would’ve killed him if Josie hadn’t stopped me.
My gaze centered on her closed door. I knew she was in there, but I stepped back from the door.
I can tell you really don’t care.
Marcus’s words replayed in my head. I didn’t know if he was right or not. If I would’ve cared if I killed that pure or not.
And I knew what that said about me.
“You know, I’ve done a lot of weird things—things you probably don’t want to hear about,” Deacon stated, squinting up at the entrance to the library. “But stalking a librarian is pretty weird.”
I looked over at him. “As weird as doing my father?”
His eyes narrowed. “Okay. That’s one of those weird things you probably don’t want to know about.”
I snorted like a little piglet. That was so very true. “Apollo said I should talk to the librarian here, and I’m guessing he meant that really strange woman I ran into that one day. I haven’t seen her since, and none of the other staff know who I’m talking about.”
Deacon brushed a curl off his forehead as he started up the wide, steep steps. “What does she look like again?”
“She was really tall—tall as Seth—and slender. She had really curly blonde hair pulled back.” I paused, short of breath as I climbed the steps. Jesus. All the training, and these steps were still killer. “She was wearing these huge sunglasses, which I kind of thought was super odd, you know, being inside. Anyway, I couldn’t see most of her face.”
“Huh. That doesn’t sound like a normal librarian. Then again, I don’t really know what a normal librarian looks like.” Deacon reached the top and waited for me. “You know, halfs always get freaked out around the Covenant libraries.”
“Seth said something like that.”
He didn’t show up in my room last night, which wasn’t that big of a deal, but after what happened yesterday with the half-blood and then the pure-blood, I was . . . I was worried about Seth. About the way he’d looked at me like he hadn’t even seen me standing there. There’d been a coldness in his eyes, not necessarily directed at me, but still unnerving. That hadn’t been Seth.