The Power (Titan 2) - Page 86

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I smoothed my hand down my face, shaken. “I want you to be honest with me. You only did it once?”

Seth nodded.

“And that’s why you stayed away from me after that?”

Another nod.

I squeezed my hand, placing it against my chest. “But you haven’t done it since we . . . since we got back together. Why?”

“I . . . I never want to ever hurt you or . . . take from you what is not mine.” He went to the door and leaned against it. Slowly, he shook his head, and in that moment, I’d never seen him look so young and vulnerable. So human. “And I decided that night we came together that I wouldn’t ever do it again, and if I did . . .”

“What? What would you do then?”

Lips thin and pressed together, he closed his eyes again. “I would make sure you’d never see my face again.”

Anger beat out all the other emotions once more. “Oh, instead of, I don’t know, coming and talking to me about it? Letting me help you? Us working together—”

“Working together on what, Josie? You think you can help me with this, with this thing inside of me?”

I snapped my mouth shut even though there was so much I wanted to say, that could be said. I could’ve told him no. That this—that becoming better and doing better—was all on him. I could’ve told him yes. That I could help him. I could support him making right . . . right choices. I could be aware of when it was becoming too much for him. I could tell him that I wanted to throat punch him. I could tell him that I still loved him.

And I did.

But I didn’t.

Because I was furious. My skin practically split with the anger. Because I was hurt. The ache was in my chest, spreading and swelling, because . . . dammit. Because I was revolted. I expected better from him, and he had betrayed that expectation and trust. He’d done to me what Hyperion had done to me. That made me want to hurl.

Lowering my gaze, I pressed my balled hand against my forehead and forced the knot in my throat to ease back.

“So.” His gravelly voice broke the silence. “This is it?”

I didn’t say anything. All I could think about was that night he said he was afraid that everything would turn into a nightmare and that I would hate him forever. He’d been living with this secret for weeks, like a sword of Damocles hanging over his head.

Several moments passed and Seth then said, “Out of everything that I’ve done, what I did to you was the worst. You were a gift to me, and I fucked that up. That’s on me, and I’m so incredibly sorry.” He paused, and I squeezed my eyes shut. “There’s nothing more in this world I’m—”

A sudden shout from downstairs cut him off. I reacted out of instinct, springing to my feet as Seth spun around, throwing open the door. There was a loud crash, raising the hairs on my arms. Everything with Seth was pushed aside as we rushed from the room.



Feeling gutted, I left the room, rushing out into the long hallway. At the end, Deacon was coming out of the room he was sharing with Luke, his expression pinched with concern as he tugged a clean shirt on over his head. He joined us as we hit the steps.

I was sick to my stomach, even though I’d done the right thing by telling Josie, and discouraging her from making a deal she’d regret.

Shit. I’d tasted fear the moment she said she planned on making a deal with the gods for me. They would’ve flipped it back on her so fast her head would be spinning. There was no way I could allow her to do that.

So I did what I should’ve done weeks ago, when she’d told me that she loved me. I’d told her the truth, exposing who and what I really was to her. If she never spoke to me again, I wouldn’t be surprised.

But I couldn’t focus on that right now. I had to compartmentalize, shut down the turmoil. There’d be time later to dwell in that shit, roll around in it.

Our feet pounded off the hardwood steps of the stairs. The foyer came into view. I saw Hercules’s massive ass first, and then Aiden. He had a Covenant dagger in his right hand.

“What’s going on?” Josie asked, her voice hoarse. The muscle along my jaw tensed.

“He’s . . . he’s dead,” murmured Gable.

Not seeing whoever he was talking about, I stepped down into the foyer and found Gable standing nearly under the stairs. His face was as white as a daimon’s. Not a good sign.

“Who’s dead?” Deacon walked past Josie, joining Luke where he stood off to the side, near the entrance to the living room. Or the sitting room. One of the dozen needless rooms in this house.

“Look outside,” Alex replied as she strolled in from the kitchen area, the duffel bag of weapons clenched in her hand. She placed it on the floor, just behind the table in the middle of the atrium.

My gaze tracked the length of the atrium to the double doors. There were glass panes, and in the center of the left door I could see a rough circle of spiderweb fissures in the glass. The cracked glass was smudged with what looked like a mixture of blood and some other kind of fluid.

Then I looked down. The porch light was on, casting a yellowish glow on the prone body. I could make out sandals, pale white legs, and dark shorts.

“He k-knocked on the door,” Gable said, lifting a hand and thrusting it through his hair. He tugged on the ends. “When we came out here to see who it was, he saw u-us through the glass and . . .”

“He decided to introduce his face to the glass door, total zombie style.” Luke pulled a Glock out of the bag. “There was a shade in him. The moment he hit the ground outside, the shade came out and took off.”

Tags: Jennifer L. Armentrout Titan Fantasy