She paled as she stepped back, folding an arm across her stomach. Thick lashes lowered, shielding her eyes. “No,” she said, her voice reedy. “I’m seeing everything now, but you’re right. Them. Her. They aren’t any of my business.” She took another step and then turned, her voice pitched low. “I’ll see you . . . around.”
My anger had risen to the surface, like water boiling over, and I’d lashed out like the dick that I was. None of this was her fault and she meant well. Josie always meant well.
Things with her were messed up, but she didn’t deserve this shit from me. Keeping my distance from her the last three weeks had made me experience serial-killer levels of asshole, but she, of all people, didn’t deserve this.
I started after her, but I didn’t get very far. Marcus finally appeared. Happy reunion number five million took place, and before I could sneak off, and by sneaking off I meant following Josie, I was surrounded by what Deacon had dubbed the Army of Awesome.
While Marcus dealt with the latest civil breakdown, we ended up in one of the large conference rooms in the main Covenant building. I had no idea what I was doing there, but every time I tried to leave the room, someone asked me a question.
Namely that someone was Alex, who was sitting on the leather couch, squeezed in between Aiden and her father. Deacon was perched on the arm, beside Aiden, and Luke was sitting on the ottoman. Solos was leaning against the wall, grinning. Everyone was happy.
Not that I wasn’t, but I didn’t want to be in this room with them, so I stayed by the window, watching the Guards escort pures and halfs back and forth. But my attention kept wandering back to who was sitting on the couch. Out on the quad, I’d managed to ignore it, but I couldn’t seem to stop it now. Every fiber of my being was aware of potent aether emanating from the two demigods, but it was more than that. The long-dormant cord was thrumming to life, and I was doing my best to—
“Why do you keep staring at me?”
Realizing I was, in fact, staring at Alex, I blinked. Awkward.
Aiden leaned against the cushion on the couch, tossing his arm along the back. “Good question.”
I shot him a bland look before focusing on her. “You look like . . . like you did when we first met.”
“I do, right?” She lifted her hair in both hands and wiggled the ends. The last time I’d seen her, her hair was much shorter. Ares had gotten hold of it, lopping it off with a knife. “Apparently when you die, you get doused with Scar Begone or something.”
Jaw working, I looked away from her. When you die . . .
“Not that she really died,” Aiden intervened quickly, always the mediator. “But when you enter Tartarus the correct way, you’re kind of . . .”
“Reassembled?” Alex said with a laugh. “Caleb is the same way. So are Olivia and Lea.”
The names of those who had perished echoed in my skull.
“How are they doing?” Luke asked.
“Great. Caleb and Olivia are together, just like they were, um . . . here. Topside. And we’ve played Mario Kart with Persephone a couple of times.”
Alexander’s brows rose at that.
She giggled. “She gets mad when she loses, though.”
“And when she gets mad, that usually means Hades is going to be in a worse mood than usual.” Aiden grinned a little as he glanced at Alex. “We make ourselves scarce when that happens.”
“Sounds like fun,” Solos said, but his tone was the complete opposite.
“It’s really not that bad. Pretty much whatever you want is there,” Alex replied, leaning her head onto her father’s shoulder. “But we miss you guys. Sucks that we have to wait six months and we aren’t allowed to communicate with anyone topside during that time. Feels like forever to us down there.”
Her father turned, dropping a kiss to the top of her head.
Aiden leaned forward, his gray eyes serious. “So, we’ve heard about what’s going down with the Titans.” His stare landed on me, and I thought it was ironic how they couldn’t communicate with us but they seemed to know what was going on somehow. “Any updates?”
“Not really.” I folded my arms. “Hyperion was out of commission for a while, but I’m sure he’s back or will be soon. Apollo is supposed to be bringing a demigod back with him to help locate the other ones so they can entomb—”
“Other demigods?” Alex frowned. “Demigods like Aiden and me?”
“You don’t know about that part?” I asked.
Aiden shook his head. “This is the first time we’re hearing about anything demigod-related.”
“Why am I not surprised you guys only got half of what is important?” I sighed, pressing my shoulders against the wall. “I’m going to give you the version for dummies.”
“Gee, thanks,” Alex replied. “Otherwise, we might not be able to process it.”
I smirked. “When I was created, the gods knew something was going on and that there was a chance that we’d connect and one of us would turn God Killer on them, so they took precautions.”
“Man.” Aiden slid a hand over his face. “This is going in so many directions.”
“The gods came down to earth, got it on with various men and women, and produced twelve demigods. Born demigods. Not made ones like you two. You know, real demigods,” I pointed out, and Alex rolled her eyes. “The gods locked their abilities, basically turning them into sleeper demigods. Of course, Hera ended up killing some. So did . . . so did Ares. Six remain. The Titans got hold of two of them, but Apollo said that one of the original demigods would be able to find the other three. If we get the six of them together, then their abilities will automatically unlock.”