Something as white as a sheet of paper, with all-black eyes and teeth that looked like they belonged on a demonic dog.
Holy crap, what in the hell was that? I stumbled back out of surprise and then understanding struck me. A daimon—holy crap, that’s what a pure-blooded daimon looked like! I could see a daimon for what it was now, and oh my gods, they were not pretty.
It sniffed the air like a dog, legs tensing. Then the thing launched off the ground like it had rockets under its feet, coming right at me.
Darting to the side, I spun around as its bare feet kicked up loose soil and dirt. The thing twisted and shot toward me.
This isn’t training. This isn’t training.
Air froze in my lungs as I planted my left leg behind me. I’m not weak. The daimon landed right in front of me. I can hold my own. I sprang forward, using my back leg to propel me. Pulse pounding, I held tight onto the dagger as I whipped around the daimon. Our arms brushed, and I dipped down, swiping out with my legs.
The daimon went down, sprawling onto its back as I popped up. Instinct took over, and I raised the dagger. I didn’t think as I brought it down, slamming it into the chest. The dagger went through the torn shirt and into the chest cavity as if the daimon’s skin was made of water. There was little or no effort behind it. I couldn’t believe it. The dagger went clean through, nearly to the ground.
It jerked, back bowing, and then imploded in a shower of glittering dust. It happened so fast I nearly fell forward, catching my balance before I stumbled through whatever was left of the daimon.
“Holy crap,” I whispered, and then coughed out a startled laugh. I did it. I totally did it, and Seth—he thought I couldn’t do this, take out a daimon. But I did it!
Empowered by my proven badassery, I headed toward the group, where they were still fighting the remaining daimons. Seth took out a daimon, and like the one I got, it exploded into a strange shimmer. My gaze connected with Solos’s.
“Oh shit,” Solos said.
Seth spun around, and I swear he almost fell over. Shock splashed across his face, and then his eyes went luminous, a deep burning tawny.
Bare-chested and speckled with blood and God knows what else, Seth prowled toward me. “Please tell me I was knocked over the head and I’m seeing shit, because—”
A blood-curdling scream raised the hairs all over my body. I spun around, and inhaled sharply. A female Sentinel rushed me. Blood covered her face like a gruesome smear of red lipstick. Her blue eyes were unfocused, glazed over. There were no daggers in her hands. She shrieked again, and a part of me knew she wasn’t friendly, but she didn’t look like the—
“Josie!” Seth shouted, springing forward, and it all happened so fast.
Stepping into her attack, like I’d done before, I started to dip down to take her legs out, but she spun on me, forcing me back a step. Her arm cocked and she screamed again, swinging like a pro—like she knew exactly how to deliver a debilitating blow. I dodged the blow and thrust my arm back, about to shove the dagger forward, but I . . .
Oh my gods, I froze for a second. Wrong, totally bad move, but she looked like any other Sentinel. She looked mortal. Human. Not some deranged Greek creature hell-bent on gnawing on me like a chew toy.
A dagger exploded out of the center of her chest, cutting off her chilling scream. Blood sprayed the front of my shirt. I didn’t move, couldn’t, as she fell forward, and all I heard was the sickening suctioning sound of the dagger being yanked out.
Alex stood there, her wavy hair a wild halo around her. “Were you going to hug her or something?”
“I’m done,” Seth growled.
I had no idea what Seth meant, but he sheathed his daggers and then stepped forward, raising his right arm. An amber glow surrounded his bicep as the glyphs rushed to the surface of his skin. The light, the color of his eyes, wrapped down his arm like a shining cord. Energy filled the air as he summoned akasha.
Seth was deadly and quick with dispatching the remaining daimons. Spinning as fluidly as any trained dancer, he moved his arm like he was tossing a baseball, hitting each remaining daimon wicked fast. The moment the amber light hit them, they ceased to exist. There a second, gone the next. Nothing, not even a shimmery dust. Same for the half daimons.
“Well, that works too,” Alex said dryly, “but less fun.”
Seth’s expression was locked down as he faced us, walking back to Aiden and Solos. He said nothing as he curled his hand around mine, the grip tight but not painful. Our eyes met.
No words were necessary to convey the message.
I was in so much trouble.
Never in my life had I wanted to lock a woman up in a titanium-encased room with an army of Hades’s Guards. Actually, that wasn’t entirely true. I’d wanted to do that a time or two with Alex, something Aiden would’ve been a hundred percent behind.
But it was different this time, because it was . . .
It was Josie.
“You guys got this handled from here?” I asked.
Aiden glanced down at where my hand was wrapped firmly around Josie’s. “There isn’t much left to do except . . .” He glanced around, frowning. “Clean up.”
“We got this,” Alex confirmed, her gaze darting to Josie. She shifted her weight from one foot to the next. “You okay with this?”
I cocked my head to the side. Did she legit just ask Josie if she was okay with this?
“Yeah.” Josie started to turn away but stopped. She extended her arm, offering the dagger. “I, um, took this from a Guard who . . . didn’t need it anymore. It’s not mine.”