The Power (Titan 2) - Page 60

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The librarian stood in front of me.

CHAPTER 20

Afraid the librarian would disappear if I blinked, I gaped at her. “I’ve been looking everywhere for you for, like, weeks, and that probably sounds super weird, but—”

“I know you’ve been looking for me,” she replied coolly, her chin lifting a fraction of an inch. “But you were not ready to find me.”

Any doubts I’d had that this librarian was normal, or whatever the closest thing to normal was around here, faded away. And the fact that she knew I was looking for her was more than just a little creepy, but I had to play it cool. I didn’t want to scare her off or say the wrong thing. My father had told me to find her, and that meant she had to be very important.

“There is something you need to see.” She pivoted around smoothly, not even waiting for me to agree to follow her. She lifted a hand and with a flick of her wrist motioned me to follow. “Come along, now.”

Trepidation walked alongside me. I had no idea where we were going or what she was, but I was relying on the fact that my father had told me to find her. So I was hoping she wasn’t going to kill me.

“So¸” I said, clearing my throat as I followed her. “How did you know I was ready now?”

“I sensed the bloodletting,” she replied, gliding ahead. I wasn’t even sure her feet were touching the floor, because her heels made no rapping sound. “That has changed things.”

“Bloodletting?” I frowned. The tiny curls pinned back in a bun almost seemed to . . . vibrate. Or squirm. I blinked. I was totally seeing things. “What does that mean?”

She looked over her shoulder. The sunglasses shielded her eyes, but the flat press of her lips was not exactly warm. “You are no longer a virgin, correct?”

I tripped over my feet. Throwing out my arm, I knocked a book off a shelf in the process of steadying myself. The heavy tome smacked off the floor. “What?”

“You engaged in fornication? There was penetration of—”

“Oh my God, I totally get what you mean. I don’t need an explanation.” My face burned. “How do you . . . ?”

“I can sense these things.”

I almost asked how, but figured this was one of those things I didn’t want to ever know about. “I . . . I don’t know what is weirder. Talking about this with you, or the fact you can sense that.”

Her laugh was like falling glass, brittle and frail. “If you think that’s weird, I worry if you have the mettle for what awaits you.”

It took me a moment to realize what mettle was, because seriously, it was the twenty-first century and no one really used words like that anymore. “I’m not afraid.”

I couldn’t see those eyes, but I had the distinct impression that I should have been grateful for that. “We’ll see.”

She faced forward, her strides long and quick as she led me under the staircase, stopping in front of one of the doors that Deacon and I had seen. She opened the middle one and walked through.

Hoping I didn’t end up on an Olympian AMBER Alert, I walked through and into a narrow, brightly lit hallway. The librarian stepped around me, walking ahead, and again, the curls of her hair moved. Wiggled?

I shook my head. “By the way, my name is—”

“Josephine Bethel. I know.”

“Of course,” I muttered. “I mean, you know I’m not a virgin anymore, so . . . Anyway, I don’t know your name.” Or how do you walk in those heels with no sound. I didn’t say that last part out loud.

She stopped in front of a . . . wall. I looked around, seeing no doors. Nothing. My gaze flew back to her. Oh geez, I was so going to end up on an Olympian missing person’s report.

“My name? Your father did not tell you?”

I shook my head.

She laughed again, and this time, she smiled. Full red lips parted, revealing fangs.

Holy crap.

Like legit canine fangs, vampire style.

I stepped back, pulse kicking up as I suddenly wished I’d brought the dagger with me. My next thought was that I didn’t need a dagger, because I was a demigod, and I had a whole lot of badass skills. But she had fangs, and they weren’t even like daimon shark teeth. My mind raced through the myths book I’d been reading.

She tilted her head and there was something very, very snake-like about the movement. “You do not know who I am?”

Goosebumps rushed over my skin as I stared at her. The sunglasses. The tight, coiled hair that seemed to move. Fangs. Snake-like movements. My gaze dropped to her feet. How did her heels make no sound? That was potentially the least important clue, but the sunglasses? Could she be . . . ?

No.

No way.

I swallowed hard. “Why are you wearing sunglasses?”

“Would you prefer I removed them?” She reached up, hooking a finger around the arm of the sunglasses. “Most would not.”

“No,” I said quickly, lifting my hand. “That’s not necessary.”

A close-lipped grin appeared.

I drew in a shaky breath. “You . . . you’re not . . . ?” I couldn’t even bring myself to say it, because saying it out loud sounded so crazy. I mean, a lot of things I once thought were just some insane old myths were actually very real, but this . . . No way.

“Are you asking if I’m a Gorgon?”

My heart dropped into my stomach.

“Once upon a time, I was something very different. A priestess in Athena’s temple, but then Poseidon found me.” Her smile faded, and one of the tight curls that rested along her temple swayed and then stretched. The tip of the curl wasn’t a tip.


Tags: Jennifer L. Armentrout Titan Fantasy
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