“Man, they are like legends.” He shook his head, and there was no mistaking the awe creeping into his tone. “They actually are legends among our kind.”
“Really?” I murmured, staring at my pile of bacon.
Colin munched on his toast. “I never actually formally met them, but I was here when they first came, before they left to fight Ares. The fact that they did that willingly is freaking beyond amazing. I mean, who would want to fight the God of War?”
Not me, but that was no big surprise.
“They’re pretty badass,” he went on, and I swallowed a sigh. “I might have a crush on Alex.”
I slowly lifted my gaze to his. Seriously?
He flushed. “I mean, not in that way. I’m smart enough to realize Aiden would kill me. I have a respect crush on her. She’s badass. She left to fight Ares knowing she wasn’t going to walk out of the battle.”
How fast could I haul butt out of that cafeteria?
“That took major balls.” He paused, frowning at his half-eaten toast. “Well, it took major ovaries. She had no idea that Apollo, your father, had given her ambrosia. Or at least that’s the legend and she . . .”
Colin’s praise party faded in a dull hum that matched the ache behind my eyes. I knew my irritation was unreasonable, and I also knew exactly what the source of my anger was.
My skin should have been green by then. Seeing Alex yesterday had totally confirmed what I always believed about her. She was literally everything I wasn’t.
How in the world could Seth have ever been interested in me after sort of being involved with someone like her?
It wasn’t her fault. Hell, the girl didn’t even know I existed. She was batting in the major leagues and I was still trying to get into the minors. My irritation and frustration were all on me.
I was woman enough to admit that.
After breakfast, I parted ways with Colin even though he was all about us going for a run or something—and who in the hell did he think I was, that I was going to voluntarily do that? Ha. I went to the library, trolled around in there for hours with no luck, and then finally moped back to my dorm.
I stopped at my door and turned to Seth’s. Chewing on my lower lip, I willed the door to open and for Seth to step out. I don’t even know why I wanted that. He’d made things pretty clear yesterday. He’d made it clear weeks ago.
Turning around, I walked into my room, went to the bedroom, and picked up the old picture of me with my grandparents and mom. I wished I could crawl back in time and commit the moment to memory, because I didn’t remember the hours leading up to it or after it.
None of us had second chances.
Well, except Alex and Aiden. And Seth. And me, in a way. A lot of us had second chances, but we didn’t get to pick what they would be.
Based on my appearance, it was around the time of middle school. I was so freaking chubby, a total butterball, and the pattern on the paisley shirt didn’t help. But I was smiling. So was Granny. And Papa. And Mom. It had been a good day.
Placing the picture on my nightstand, I wiped the back of my hand under my eyes. My cheeks were damp, and I wasn’t sure what or who I was crying for. All I knew was that I’d been crying a lot lately, and I hated that crying made me feel weak.
What in the hell was so weak about it? Like that was the worst thing I could be doing right now. I mean, I could be engaging in self-harm or risky behaviors. I could be shit-faced or high as a kite. Nope. I was weepy, and I had a feeling there were people out there who probably thought going out and picking fights or drinking until they vomited was better than having a good cry.
On second thought, drinking until I didn’t know who I was sounded good right about then. I just . . . I really didn’t want to . . . feel anything. I missed my family. I missed Erin, and as much as I wanted to turn Seth’s nuts into a punching bag, I missed him—the him from before.
God, his words still stung, but I saw the truth behind what was driving them. I’d probably seen it before, but hadn’t wanted to truly acknowledge it.
Plopping onto my back, I stared up at the ceiling. Seth’s sudden change of heart sort of made sense now. He had to have known it was getting close to when Alex would return. There was no way he hadn’t. Not with the kind of bond they had. He had to have known she was coming.
I’d seen the way he’d stared at her yesterday.
And when I left the quad, Seth hadn’t followed. He stayed there with them, with her. That wasn’t jealousy talking. That was just reality.
Even though Alex and Aiden had the kind of love poets rambled on about, there had been something powerful between Seth and Alex. Deacon had said so himself, something practically unbreakable.
I always thought his reluctance to talk about Alex had to do with his guilt, but now, I knew there was more to it. Seth wasn’t over Alex and whatever they shared.
And that sucked.
Because I couldn’t compete with someone who was a legend. Someone Seth had given up eternity for.
I was in love with someone who was still wrapped up in someone else—someone who was a freaking legend among their kind.
A knock on the door drew me out of my thoughts. Sitting up, I swung my legs off the bed and stood. I hoped it was Deacon or Luke or both of them. Deacon would watch Supernatural with me and everything would be right in the world, at least for a few hours, and I wouldn’t feel like I . . . like I was forgotten.
Opening the door, I came face to face with Alex.
Startled, I took a step back as I felt my mouth drop open. What was she doing here? Was she at the wrong door? Oh my God, what if she was at the wrong door and had meant to knock on Seth’s?