When he lowered my legs and eased out, he climbed over me, kissing my lips. I had a hard time mustering the energy to do much more than lie there as he disappeared to take care of the condom. I hadn’t moved by the time he returned.
Seth was all okey-dokey about that.
He stretched out beside me, tossing his arm and leg over me. He drew me close and every part of us was touching. Both of us were nude and sweaty and it was freaking perfect. In moments like this, it was easy to let myself think, dream, that he and I were just normal, like any other couple in the world.
His hand grazed my breast. “I was thinking . . .”
“I didn’t know you were capable of that,” I teased.
He chuckled. “Sometimes.” That wandering thumb of his found the hardened tip. “But I was wondering if there was any way I could convince you to stay here while we head to California.”
That knocked me out of my pleasure-induced haze. I turned my head toward him. “Come again?”
“You don’t really need to be there. Hercules, the legendary Bag of Dicks, can find them without you,” he explained as my eyes narrowed. “We can bring the demigods back here, to you, where it’s safer.”
“Besides the roaming packs of daimons, potential shades and Titans, and halfs and pures fighting constantly,” I pointed out.
He raised his head up, propping his cheek on his fist. “Yeah, but the Covenant is warded against Titans.”
“But you’ll still be safer.” He smoothed his thumb over my nipple, but that wasn’t going to distract me. “I just don’t want you in a dangerous—”
“Don’t say it.” I lifted my hand, placing my fingers against his lips. “I get it, Seth. I really do. You want me to be safe. I want you to be safe, but you know that you can’t keep me here. Eventually I’m going to have to fight the Titans.” My heart rate kicked up at the thought even though my voice was level and calm. I sounded so mature and accepting of my future that I thought I sort of deserved a basket of chicken tenders or something. “That’s going to happen.”
A muscle thrummed along his jaw, but he kissed the tip of my finger. I smiled at him. “We don’t even know what’s going to happen out there. Probably nothing but really awkward conversations with some person who has no idea we’re about to tell them they’re a demigod.”
“Yeah, I figured that would be your response, but I had to try.”
“And that’s the only reason why I’m not throat punching you right now,” I paused, smiling sweetly, “with love.”
His lips curved up on one corner. “Can you make me a promise though?”
I waited. “Yes. I promise to forever use you as my Pillow Pet.”
Seth chuckled. “I’m glad to hear that, but that’s not what I was asking about.”
I giggled. “Okay. What?”
There was a pause. “If we run into any problems, promise me that you’ll stick close to Alex and Aiden.”
Unsure I heard him correctly, I looked over at him again. “What?”
“If anything goes down, you’ll stick close to them,” he repeated. “I know you’ve been training. I know you can fight and you’re using the elements. I’m not saying this because I doubt your ability to fight and hold your own.” He paused, brows furrowing together. “Even though I sort of suggested that earlier, but I was being a dick because, well, I’m a dick.”
“But I just want you to stick close to them, okay?” he finished.
I really had no idea where to start with this. “Why would you tell me to stay close to them and not you?”
His hand stilled on my breast. “I can get a little . . . out of control if a fight turns bad.”
My brows inched up.
“I just don’t want anything to blow . . . back on you,” he added as his lashes lowered. “I couldn’t deal with being the reason something—”
“You’re not going to be the reason.” I placed my hand on his cheek, lifting his chin so his eyes met mine. “And I know you’re never going to hurt me.”
A muscle flickered along his jaw. “How did I . . . ?”
When he trailed off and didn’t finish, I ran my finger under his lower lip, smoothing out the skin. “How did you what?”
Those eyes met mine again. “How did I get so lucky with you?”
“Good question,” I murmured.
He laughed, but the light sound quickly faded, as if it was never there. “I know that sounds stupid, saying something like that, but I . . . I never expected you, Josie. Not once did I ever think any of this was going to happen.” He paused, dragging his hand down, over my stomach. “I’ve never been in a serious relationship.”
“And this is serious?” I asked, wanting to squeeze my eyes shut.
“More serious than I’ve ever been about anything in my life,” he said, and there wasn’t a part of me that doubted what he said. He shifted his palm against his cheek. “But you know that this . . . this won’t last.”
Ice drenched my skin.
“No matter how badly I want it to, and I do, Josie.” His eyes closed briefly. “I want it more than anything, but I made a deal, and at some point they will come to collect.”
“And I’ll be there to stop them,” I stated.
His eyes flew open. Surprise flickered over his face. “Josie—”
“If I have to fight every god, including my father, to get you out of that deal, I will.” Determination filled me. “That’s a check you can take to the bank and cash.”