Deacon stepped in front of me and opened up the heavy, titanium-plated door. The amount of money they had spent to build this place had to be astronomical.
“Luke hates this place. It’s so weird that he gets wigged out in these buildings. It was the same way back on Deity Island,” he explained as we stepped into the library. “Whatever it is, halfs sense something . . . off about these places.”
I inhaled deeply, loving the musty smell of books. As far as my eyes could see, there were massive, crammed full floor-to-ceiling bookshelves. Between them were chandeliers that probably cost more than a four-year degree would.
“I wonder why they do, but you guys don’t.” We headed through the first row. All we’d be doing was roaming aimlessly until dinner, hoping we came across the mysterious librarian. “You all have more aether in you.”
Deacon shrugged as he slipped his hands into the pockets of his jeans. “It’s the same thing with them being able to see through a daimon’s glamour. To us, the pure-bloods, they look normal. But to halfs? Daimons look like they really do, which is something straight out of a damn horror movie.” He paused. “Now that you are all full demigod, I wonder if you can see through a daimon’s glamour.”
I wrinkled my nose. “Is it weak of me to hope I never find out?”
“No.” He laughed as he knocked me with his shoulder. “It makes you sane.”
Relieved he didn’t think I was a giant wuss, we roamed the stacks, passing several students clustered at the large tables, their heads bent over their textbooks.
I kind of missed school.
And I really missed my old roommate, who’d turned out to be a furie. Erin had suffered a horrible injury by Hyperion, and Apollo—my father—said she was healing in Olympus. He’d told me she was okay, but I needed to see that for myself.
We neared the back of the library, and somewhere in a section full of books I was pretty sure were all written in Greek, the temps dropped significantly. Even in my sweater, goosebumps spread across my arms. “Did you guys know the . . . the half-blood who was killed yesterday?”
He shook his head as we hung a left, passing a series of closed doors. “No. I’ve heard he was a Sentinel. Was supposed to graduate this semester. Luke knows one of his friends. Said he was transferring to Vegas after this, to work near a pure community.”
“That’s so sad.” I folded my arms across my chest. “And so damn wrong. I can’t even imagine.”
“Yeah,” he breathed. “It had to be a compulsion. There’s no other way a pure would’ve gotten the upper hand on someone who was practically a fully trained Sentinel. Not even a pure who really knows how to handle an element.”
“I just don’t understand, and it’s not even because I don’t get the politics around here,” I explained, glancing up at the wrought-iron spiral staircase that led to the second level. “We’ve had the same problems in the, um, mortal world. We still do, and I didn’t even understand it then. How people can hate someone else for really superficial differences so deeply that they hurt and kill them.”
Deacon was quiet as we climbed the stairs. When we reached the top, his lips were curled. “It’s always been like this for our kind. For probably freaking eons, the pures have treated the halfs like shit.”
A librarian hurried past us, shooting Deacon a nasty look.
He smiled as he waved his middle finger, causing me to grin. “I’m kind of surprised that the halfs aren’t rebelling.”
“Yet,” I whispered, scanning the stacks up here. “Couldn’t blame them if they did.”
“Nope.” His hands went back into his pockets. “Two years ago, Luke would’ve been put on the Elixir or killed if it got out that he was in a relationship with a pure. And you know what would’ve happened to me?”
I shook my head.
“I would’ve gotten a wink, wink and maybe a smack on a hand.” His lips pursed. “That’s it. They would’ve most likely killed Luke and secretly applauded me for getting it on with the help.”
My stomach churned. “That’s messed up.”
Deacon nodded slowly. “You know what’s even more messed up? That mindset hasn’t changed, Josie. Not after what happened with Ares or what’s happening now with the Titans. Bigotry is literally the Twinkie of human emotions. Shit will survive the apocalypse.”
I shuddered, because the terrifying thing about what he said was, he was probably correct.
I was starving.
Night had fallen and Seth was currently MIA. Okay, he wasn’t exactly missing in action. During training, he’d said that he’d probably be late since he was going to do some outside patrols with Solos. I had no idea what he was patrolling since there really wasn’t anything out there except trees.
And more trees.
I figured he just wanted to get outside these walls, and I couldn’t exactly blame him for that. While the University campus was beautiful and so much of it was still fresh and oh-so-new to me, I got restless. A lot. And I was sure it was the same for Seth, especially since he wasn’t used to being confined in one spot.
But I was legit starving. My hips were about to start eating each other.
Roaming the campus by myself wasn’t necessarily something Seth had warned me against, and I didn’t feel unsafe doing so. The students and most of the staff thought I was some pet mortal, but I wasn’t and I knew I could defend myself if necessary.
I pushed myself off the small sofa and grabbed my hoodie. Pulling it on over my head, I tugged my damp hair out from underneath, letting it fall down my back. I snatched my keys off the coffee table and then I was off.