“I don’t want that,” Alex argued, her hands curling into fists at her sides. “I know it’s hard to believe, but I care about Seth too.”
Heat poured into my chest. I was woman enough to admit I still didn’t like hearing that. Nope. Nope. Nope.
“I will always care about him,” she added, meeting and holding my gaze. “But we have Titans running around gaining strength, and if they enter Olympus, it’s over for all of us. We need to focus on finding the other demigods.”
“We need Seth to help defeat them.” I was seconds away from stomping my feet. “And you know where Demeter’s daughter is. You two can go with Herc and get her. Deacon and Luke can help with finding the other demigods.” Stepping back, I fisted my hands until my knuckles ached. “Honestly, I don’t care what you end up doing. I don’t need your blessing or permission,” I told the two demigods. “And if you’re smart, you’re not going to try to stop me. So either you’re going to help me or you’re going to stay out of my way.”
Luke let out a low whistle and said, “We will do whatever you need us to do. We’re not giving up on him.”
Truth was, Alex and Aiden were both super-strong. They might not be able to stop me, but I wasn’t sure. I had more aether in me, but they both knew how to use their physical strength a hell of a lot more than I did. I needed them on my side. I needed them to not run to Herc or my father and tell them where Seth might be, but if I couldn’t get them . . .
“I will do anything to protect Seth,” I warned, my voice low. Both of them looked over at me sharply. Understanding flared in their features. “Anything.”
Aiden lifted his chin. “And what if he is where you think he is and you find him, and he’s not . . . not the same, Josie?”
Cold air drilled into my chest, reminding me so very much of Hyperion’s touch. I shuddered. Right now, I couldn’t let myself think of that and I wouldn’t let myself think of the possibility of Seth being unreachable. I refused to even consider the idea, because I could get to him. I could help him. “That’s not what’s going to happen, Aiden.”
He looked away, a muscle feathering along his jaw. Silence stretched out between us, feeling like an eternity. My shoulders tensed. I fully expected them to argue with me more.
“Okay,” Alex said, reaching down and wrapping her hand around Aiden’s. He squeezed her hand, and my chest clenched. “We’re in.”
Beside him, Luke lifted his chin quietly.
Aiden nodded and then lowered his head to Alex’s, brushing his lips across her cheek. “You’re right,” he said after a moment, lifting his silvery gaze to mine. “We owe Seth. We owe him big.”
And I exhaled roughly, caught up in a mixture of triumph and exhaustion. I didn’t have time for either, because I needed every ounce of strength and determination I had in me. Because I was going after Seth, and I wouldn’t rest or give up until he was where he belonged.
Standing beside me.