The Power (Titan 2) - Page 62

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“Oh my gosh.” I reached out toward the Pegasus, and then immediately yanked my hands to my chest. “I want to touch it. Can I touch it? I can touch it, right?”

Medusa looked at me, a single brow rising above the dark sunglasses. “If he doesn’t want to be touched, he will let you know.”

Probably by kicking me in the face, but it would be worth it. Slowly, as if under a spell, I approached the magnificent creature. My heart pounded as it lowered its massive wings and shook its head, tossing the heavy mane around its neck. Slowly, I placed my hand on its side. Muscles bunched under my palm, but the Pegasus didn’t dropkick me as I ran my hand along its strong back.

A knot formed in my throat. I don’t even know why, but I wanted to cry. I mean, this was so much better than visiting a llama farm or something. I was legit touching a Pegasus. “He’s . . .” I swallowed. “He’s beautiful.”

Medusa stayed back. “He is.”

“What is he doing here?”

“They always come when there is activity at the gateways,” she explained. “Pegasus are curious creatures, sometimes even social. Their blood has a paralyzing quality to it, used by the nymphs.”

“I’ve seen it in action.” My voice was shaky as the awe-inspiring creature drifted away from me, walking toward the trees. I wanted to follow, maybe give it a hug, but I didn’t want to push my luck. “Will more . . . creatures come?”

“I do not think we’ll be here long enough for that.” She waved her hand again and the ground began to shake.

I spread my legs, bracing myself as the earth trembled. The Pegasus appeared unfazed as it grazed nearby. Pulse picking up, I looked down. Flowers shook. Soil erupted, kicking small pebbles into the air. Twelve shimmery columns appeared, forming a circle around Medusa and me. As the glow faded, there were twelve stone busts sitting on pedestals.

“These are the Twelve.” Medusa walked forward. “They represent the Olympians. On each embodiment is their icon, what the children of the gods will need to defeat the Titans.”

Holy moly. I turned, my gaze glancing off each of the busts. This was why Apollo had told me to find the librarian—find Medusa. She was guarding the gateway and the icons.

Spying my father’s, I walked over to the stone bust. A small golden harp, about the size of my hand, dangled from the neck.

A harp.

Not even a legit-sized harp.

For real.

Artemis had a bow. Poseidon a trident. A spear rested in front of Athena. An unlit torch stood in front of Demeter. Hades’s bust wore a helmet, and I had a . . . harp. Well, there was a seashell in front of Aphrodite, so I figured it could be worse. But between a seashell and a harp, I had no idea what to do with either.

Seeing the icons that would never be touched was sad. Zeus’s scepter would never be picked up. Neither would Ares’s shield. I didn’t know their children, but the loss was heavy in the silence.

“So many lost lives,” Medusa murmured, picking up on the nature of my thoughts. “And many more will be lost.”

I shivered, not because her words scared me but because I knew they were true. Drawing in a deep breath, I reached for the golden harp. As my fingers neared it, the tips hummed as if my body recognized the importance of the symbol.

“Now is not the time,” Medusa said, startling me. She was directly beside me. “Once you take that icon, it cannot be given back.”

“Okay.” I looked at her. “My powers have been unlocked—”

“And taking the icon will give you more aether than anything that walks the mortal realm.” The curls on her head vibrated and more tiny snake heads appeared. Creepy. “You will be extremely powerful, and even more useful in the hands of the Titans and to others.”

I assumed she meant daimons.

“When you have found the other demigods, bring them back here. That is when you must take the icon.” Even though I couldn’t see her eyes, I could feel them holding mine. “You must be careful of who you trust, child, of whom you have given your heart to.”

I stiffened.

“Power is the most alluring of all vices. It corrupts and destroys,” she said, her voice shifting low. “And it is the most hidden of all transgressions.”

A cold chill radiated down my spine. “You’re talking about Seth.”

“He is not what he seems,” she said, and a snake snapped at the air. “The Apollyon has committed acts of great treachery.”

“I know.” My hands curled into fists. “I know what he’s capable of. And I know who he used to be and who he is becoming.”

Her head turned slightly as an owl hooted from the trees, and Medusa sighed.

“Of course. She is coming.”

“Who?”

Medusa stepped back as the wind picked up. The curls thickened all along her head and then sprang free. I gasped. Snakes of all sizes formed, hissing and striking at the space. I tried not to stare or freak out, but then the owl called out. I blinked and without any warning, a tall woman stood in front at the edge of the clearing.

Brown hair fell in waves to her waist, covering her chest, which I figured was a good thing. Her white gown brushed the grass and was as transparent as glass.

She was not a waxer.

“Athena,” hissed Medusa. “How nice of you to join us.”

My eyes widened. I might’ve stopped breathing.

The goddess shot Medusa a silencing glare as she approached me. I didn’t know what I was supposed to do. Bow? Get on my knees? I didn’t do that when Apollo came around, but this wasn’t my father. This was the goddess Athena, who apparently punished victims of sex crimes and turned them into monsters. She was in front of me before I could do anything, and I was staring into all-white eyes.


Tags: Jennifer L. Armentrout Titan Fantasy
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