And boy, that was one hell of a de-motivator.
I didn’t say anything as Seth placed the dagger on the wall, hooking it into place among the other deadly, shiny weapons. We headed out into the main hall, past several students who were walking into one of the other training rooms. I had no idea if they were halfs or pures, but they were dressed like I was. They were Sentinels in training.
I bet they had no problem with killing things.
The afternoon sun warmed the air, but it still wasn’t like the temps in Missouri or Virginia in May. I doubted it ever got really hot here, and it was downright chilly under the shady overhang of the training facility.
Walking next to Seth, I did my best to ignore the looks sent in our direction. Most people here still thought I was a mortal. For some reason, they couldn’t sense me like they could with each other. I imagined it was something Apollo had done or maybe it was because I was a demigod. Not like Apollo was around to tell me. Either way, everyone stared at Seth. Everyone. All the time.
It was annoying.
I glanced over at him. The smirk was still on his lips. Yeah, he so knew everyone was staring. Instead of focusing on that, I thought about what we’d talked about the night before. Lately, Seth had this habit of asking me weird hypothetical questions. What would I be doing if Apollo weren’t my father? Easy answer. I’d still be in Radford studying psychology. He’d asked where I would go if I didn’t have to be here, like where I would visit. That took a little to answer, because I really wanted to think about it. I’d eventually ended up settling on Scotland, because I was fascinated with the history of the country. Each time I attempted to ask him the same questions, I ended up falling asleep before I could, or we’d end up being interrupted.
“Got a question for you,” I said.
“Probably got an answer for you.”
I smiled. “So, if you go could anywhere in the world, where would you go?”
He raised his brows at me. “Seriously?”
“Yes.” I laughed. “You know I’d go to Scotland—”
“I know it took you nearly fifteen minutes to answer that question.”
“Shut up and answer my question.”
“Not sure how I can do both of those things.”
I rolled my eyes. “Seth.”
He smirked that sexy, infuriating smirk. “I think I would go . . . home to the Cyclades Islands—to Andros. I haven’t been there since I left.” He paused. “I wonder if anyone is really even there anymore. Not a lot of people lived there when I was there. It wasn’t a very populated island.”
If he’d told me he was secretly a huge fan of One Direction, I wouldn’t have been more surprised by his answer. Based on how harsh his childhood was, I couldn’t imagine him wanting to go back there. “Why there?”
He shrugged. “I don’t know. I just want to see it. Kind of hard to explain.”
I thought about it for a moment and wondered if it had to do with laying to rest the demons of his past. “Would you want—?”
A shout of surprise cut me off, loud and harsh. As my heart stuttered a beat, a horrific cracking sound tore through the quad, a snapping that echoed through the marble statues. A scream, high-pitched and reedy, followed. Then another. I spun around at the same time Seth stepped in front of me, shielding me from whatever was happening.
But it was too late.
I saw it.
“Fucking gods,” Seth muttered.
Horrified, I smacked my hand over my mouth and stumbled a step back, blinking. I thought I was hallucinating what I was seeing, but I wasn’t. It was real.
A body hung in the air, right in front of the training facility, where Seth and I had just walked out. The denim-covered legs hung straight as they swayed back and forth. A chain of some sort was right around the neck that was bent at an unnatural angle.
Someone had hanged himself.
Oh my God, no. My gaze zeroed in on the chest. No. Someone hadn’t hanged himself. He’d been hanged.
On his chest was a piece of paper—a piece of notebook paper stabbed into the chest with some kind of knife. The words were easy to read, even with the red drenching the stomach, and hard to forget.
NO FREE HALFS.
Asmall crowd gathered quickly, their faces a blur. Nausea twisted up my insides and I had to look away. The body—the person—he couldn’t have been any older than me, maybe younger. There was no forgetting his face. The slack jaw. The ghastly pallor. The open, unseeing blue eyes.
“This is so wrong,” a girl said, her voice trembling. “This is so messed up.”
Another girl spoke up. “Oh my gods, that’s Brandon.” She pushed through the cluster of people. Tears filled her eyes. “Someone get him down. Please.” She twisted at the waist, toward some guy in the crowd. “Why isn’t anyone getting him down?”
But Seth was already moving.
Face blank and stony, devoid of all emotion, he stalked forward, and with unbelievable gentleness he wrapped an arm around the legs, stilling the poor guy. Seth lifted his left arm, and amber light danced over his knuckles. The stream of pure energy hit the center of the chain, snapping it in half.
Seth caught the body and lowered it to the marble walkway. Without saying a word, he rose. A muscle feathered along his jaw as he studied the roof of the training facility. There was no one there now, but every being here, on this campus, was super-fast. They could’ve knocked the guy off the edge and been out of sight before the . . . the neck snapped.
If that was what had killed this guy. The knife in the chest could’ve done the job. Bile rose in my throat and threatened to come out.