“What . . . what are those?” Josie breathed.
“Furies,” I said. “A problem we really don’t need right now.”
Josie blinked. “Furies? Is Erin in there?”
“I don’t think so. Probably three of her million sisters.” I led her around the statues, giving them a wide berth. “They appear whenever the gods are displeased with something. They serve as a warning even though they are entombed for right now.”
“That if whatever is going down that has them pissed off doesn’t stop, they’ll release the furies, and these kind aren’t going to be like Erin. They’re going to rip through everything and everyone in their paths.” As we walked through the lobby, she was craning her neck to stare at them. “My guess is the gods are pissed about what’s going on between the halfs and pures, but that may be giving them too much credit. Not like they ever cared before.”
Josie was quiet as I led her down the hall, and when we came up on our rooms I made a split-second decision and brought her into my room. I let go of her hand the moment the door closed. She halted just inside the sitting area of the room. “What am I doing in here?”
Good question. “Just stay put for a few moments, then I’ll take you to your room.”
She stared at me balefully as I stalked past her. Damn. A pissed-off Josie was still an incredibly hot one. The hardness wasn’t going down anytime soon, which was whatever, because I was a walking hard-on anyway. Once inside the bathroom, I grabbed the towel and ran it under the tap. Wiping the blood off my chest, I walked back into the main room, finding her where I’d left her.
“I’m surprised you actually listened.”
“I . . .” She faded off as her gaze tracked my hand and the towel before looking away, focusing on what appeared to be my shoulder. “I didn’t stay because you told me to.”
“Of course not,” I murmured.
Her nose wrinkled. “I stayed because I think we need to clear the air between us.”
“Is that so?” I tossed the towel onto the back of the chair.
Josie stepped away from the door and placed the dagger on the coffee table, then stepped back, wiping her right hand on the side of her jeans. Then, slowly, her gaze lifted to mine. “I know what happened between us.”
My stomach clenched. “Josie—”
“No,” she stated the word so strongly, so firmly that it caught my attention. Silenced me. “You’re going to listen to me, because I deserve that. Do you understand me?”
I totally understood that my dick was pressing against the zipper of my pants at a very inappropriate time. Jaw working, I nodded.
“At first, I didn’t understand. I was shocked, because I thought . . .” She swallowed hard before continuing. “It doesn’t matter what I thought, and I want to get one thing straight. I’m not telling you any of this because I expect pity or any real explanation. I’m telling you this because we’re going to have to work together. We’re going to be seeing each other around, and I don’t want to worry about things being weird and awkward.”
Her eyes flashed. “And we need to establish some boundaries—rules about what you can and cannot do with me and how you will speak to me.”
My brows inched up my forehead, but I kept my mouth shut, because the hard glint to her eyes told me she sort of wanted to cut me.
“All right?” When I nodded, she exhaled roughly. “I know you’re still . . . um, hung up on Alex.”
I stared at her a moment, unsure if I’d really heard her correctly. Okay. I did hear her right. Maybe she was joking. Based on the seriousness with which she delivered it, I was going to go with the fact she was being serious.
She lowered her gaze as she twisted her hands together. “I mean, obviously you’re still attracted to other people. Duh, but I get that what runs deeper is reserved for her.”
“Wait. What?” I said, snapping out of it.
She moved back and sat on the edge of the chair. “I mean, it totally makes sense now, and I feel like an idiot for not seeing it before. I get that you’re in . . . in love with her and—”
I laughed. I couldn’t help it. Holy shit.
Her eyes narrowed. “I don’t think this is funny.”
“It kind of is, trust me.”
“No, it’s not.” She popped to her feet, and at her sides her hands balled. “You can stand there and laugh, because you’re either a jerk-face or in complete denial, but I saw the way you looked at her—”
“The way I looked at her?” Incredulous, I stared at her.
“When she first showed up on the quad, you stared at her like you—you never expected to see her again.”
“Because I really was hoping not to,” I admitted, brows furrowing.
“I totally understand that. I mean, trust me, I get it.” Her arms folded across her stomach. “Seeing someone you want and can’t have—”
“That’s not the reason, Josie. I am not in love with Alex.” I stared at her a moment. “I was never in love with her. It wasn’t like that between us.”
“You’re saying there wasn’t anything there? That you felt nothing for her?” she challenged.
Part of me couldn’t believe we were having this conversation. Turning away, I shoved my hand through my hair, clasping the back of my neck. “Of course I felt something for her, but it wasn’t that. It wasn’t what she felt for Aiden or he felt for her.”