The Power (Titan 2) - Page 5

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Josie was the other.

Once the dummy was back on the ground, I made her use the element of air three more times, just to make sure it wasn’t a fluke. With her, you never knew.

Josie turned to me, pushing a shorter strand of blonde hair out of her face. A tentative smile appeared as she bounced over to where I stood. “I think I finally got the hang of the air element.”

Truthfully, I couldn’t say if she finally did have control over it or not, and we wouldn’t know until she could do it several days in a row. Josie stared up at me, eyes bright and hopeful. I didn’t want to piss on her parade.

“Yeah,” I said, leaning down and pressing my lips to her forehead. “You did really good, Josie.”

Stretching up, she looped her arms around my neck and gave me a quick, tight hug before settling back on her feet.

I stood there. Stared at her for a few moments. Like a creep. Sometimes I didn’t know what to do with her. I could be touchy. Gods knew I had boundary issues. I had no problem being . . . affectionate, but I was not, under any circumstance, used to someone being affectionate with me. Not like this. When it was actually genuine, not forced for one reason or another, and went deeper than a physical thing.

Josie was free with the affection—the smiles and the touches, the soft kisses and the closeness.

She blew me away with all of that.

Sometimes I also wondered what I was doing with her, getting involved in a real relationship, because it wasn’t exactly fair to her. A handful of months ago, I would’ve laughed my ass off at the prospect of something like this, but here I was, in a relationship with Apollo’s daughter.

And besides all that terrible shit I’d done in my past and the shit with the aether that I was still struggling with, I literally had no future.


Eventually, once the Titan situation was handled and I survived that, I would be going back to doing the gods’ bitch work, dealing out Remediations. In other words, hunting down and destroying those who had sided with Ares against the Olympian core. And then after that? Whenever I did die, my soul belonged to Hades. There was no promise of tomorrow and no paradise waiting for me.

So doing this with Josie was selfish. Unfair. The odds were stacked against me, against us, and just like I knew Apollo was eventually going to appear at the most inopportune time, she was going to end up hurt by all of this.

But, like I said, I was selfish.

I couldn’t walk away from Josie. I had tried to ignore what I was feeling for her. I had tried to leave her the day that I’d brought her here, to the University, as I’d been ordered to do, and I hadn’t been able to do it. I wouldn’t be able to do it.

I just hoped she didn’t end up paying for it in spades later.

Despite where my head had gone, Josie smiled up at me. “I’m hungry.”

A slight grin tugged at my lips. “Of course.”

Josie smacked my arm. “Jerk.”

Pushing the darker thoughts away, I draped my arm over her shoulders. “Come on. Let’s head to the cafeteria.”

“Can we grab some food and take it back to my room?”

“Sure.” Considering the cafeteria was becoming more of a warzone between the halfs and pures than a place to eat, I didn’t have a problem with that.

Since the very first birth of the half-blood—the child of a pure-blood and a mortal—the half-blood race was subjugated by those with pure bloodlines. It was a fucked-up caste system, reminiscent of ancient Greek times, where destinies were fated based on whether or not the blood was considered pure.

Up until recently, the halfs had it bad, absolutely no choice. The Breed Order that had been in place since the beginning stripped them of rights and prohibited the mixing of the two breeds. At the age of eight, halfs had been brought in front of a council of pure-bloods and had been determined if they would be given the Elixir, a serum created by the gods that robbed a half-blood of all free will, and placed into indentured servitude, or if they would go into training. Some believed that training to become a Sentinel or Guard was better than the servitude, but Sentinels and Guards had notoriously short lifespans. Most didn’t make it out of their mid-twenties, dying while hunting daimons—pures and halfs that had become addicted to aether—or from guarding the pures.

Becoming a Sentinel hadn’t meant that the halfs had free will. It just meant they had been chasing the lesser of two evils.

But the rule of the Breed Order was over and gone, just like the Elixir. Halfs had all the rights of the pures, and while many pures had fully supported the change, some were not overly thrilled that they no longer had access to free labor. And there were also halfs who weren’t ready to let thousands of years of injustice go.

Couldn’t really blame them for that.

Some of the halfs chose to continue training to become Sentinels. Some left their posts. Others stayed. And there were even some pures, much like the saintly Aiden St. Delphi, who had risen to the occasion and were now training to become Sentinels.

Chaos had a nasty habit of sneaking up on everyone when it was least expected, and although things had been quiet the last couple of days, I doubted it would remain that way.

In the cafeteria, Josie bypassed the grilled chicken and salad bar, bum-rushing the fried foods section. My kind of girl right there. She grabbed a basket of fries and I went for the fried chicken tenders. After loading up on drinks, we headed back to the dorm, and the whole time, Josie smiled in a way I began to worry might crack her face.

I eyed her as we headed down the narrow hall toward our rooms. “What are you smiling about?”

Tags: Jennifer L. Armentrout Titan Fantasy