The blue-haired Titan smirked. “And we’re supposed to believe that? We know who she is. We know what you’re about. All you concern yourself with is a personal vendetta.”
Hyperion said nothing.
“He thinks she will draw Apollo out,” Perses stated, still holding my arm like I was going to run. I wanted to, but I wasn’t stupid. There was no place for me to go. “The only thing he will succeed in doing is bringing the God Killer to his door.”
Air whooshed out of my lungs at the mention of Seth.
“He will not find her,” Hyperion argued. “We are warded.”
“Wards are not permanent,” Perses retorted. “And you do not know him. I do. He will get through the wards. He will find a way.”
“He hasn’t yet.” Smugness crept into Hyperion’s tone. “I will find him first.”
Oceanus sneered. “He killed Atlas, you fool. He is a god, capable of killing us.”
Seth was an actual god now? I guessed that made sense since he was the God Killer, but Apollo hadn’t called him that. Neither had Hades.
Hyperion rolled his eyes. “I am not afraid of him.”
Perses cocked his head. “Perhaps you should be. We all need to be cautious.”
“He will not be able to end me once I’m fully restored,” Cronus said slowly, painfully lifting his hand. He crooked a finger. “Bring her.”
Panic exploded in my chest, and I dug in, but Perses was strong, and my bare feet slipped on the hardwood floor. I threw up my hand, grasping the edge of the bed.
“Why?” I gasped out. “Why are you doing all of this?”
I’d asked Hyperion that and never gotten an answer beyond his hatred for Apollo entombing him, so I didn’t expect Cronus to answer.
He did. “We want what our children took from us. We want to repay them for what they’ve done.”
Revenge? This was all about revenge?
Holy crap, lives were being destroyed and lost all over something that happened back before time was probably even being recorded? And they accused Hyperion of having a personal vendetta? Didn’t seem any different to me.
Oceanus moved toward the bed and slid an arm behind Cronus, easing him upright. “We must be quick.”
“Closer,” urged Cronus.
Fear overtook the panic. I fought—fought as best as I could, and the fight was over before it ever began. Perses lifted me up like I was nothing more than a struggling kitten. Pressed onto the bed and held down, panic consumed me. This was it. This was going to be it. I knew it. The dream had been wrong. I would die here. I would die being used as a universal power adapter—
“Don’t be afraid,” Cronus rasped, his eyes lighting up as he placed a bony hand against my sternum. “The pain is only temporary.”
Basil stood beside where I sat, his hands clasped together in front of him. There wasn’t a speck of dust on his white clothes. He waited in silence. The damnable chair I sat in was almost the size of a throne. Actually, if I was being honest with myself, which was what I was trying to do, it was a throne. It was the only chair in what used to be the sitting room. A dais had been built at some point and that was what the chair sat upon.
So, yeah, a damn throne.
My hands tightened on the titanium-plated arms and I tried again. Eyes closed, I pictured Hyperion’s face and let myself slip into a void. Opening up all my senses, I searched for him in the darkness.
This is almost like when Professor Xavier uses Cerebro, I thought with a smirk. I was looking for the imprint the Titan left behind. It was how Apollo seemed to always know where we were and could appear wherever we were at any given time.
Once I’d put the bottle down and started listening to what Basil and Karina had to say, I was figuring out there was a whole hell of a lot I could do. Karina had explained how all of this was possible, how I’d become what I was. A little part of me still almost couldn’t believe it.
But the proof was in the Pegasus.
For starters, if I could picture the person or the place, I could easily transport myself there. I’d already figured that out when I’d popped in on Josie. Calling forth akasha or any of the elements required a mere thought, and if I was very still and quiet, I could feel the power humming under my skin.
I had to . . . I had to feed, though.
It wasn’t like before—like it had been with Alex all those years ago or like it had been with Josie. There was no confusing need with want. I needed the aether Karina offered. I did not want it from her.
That was the difference between feeding from her and Josie. I wanted it from Josie, because I wanted her, everything about her, but I couldn’t do that to her.
I also, frankly, didn’t really care when I fed off Karina and she was several shades paler or when she immediately excused herself and barely made it to the temple to rest. I only felt the barest flicker of remorse when she had shown up last night and there were dark shadows under her eyes.
But if I didn’t feed off her, then it would be one of the tall, blonde priestesses and I couldn’t do that.
What in the hell did that say about me?
Luckily, I did not need to feed every day. I started to recognize the signs—weariness, hunger for mortal food, and irritability. All signs that it was time to recharge.
It blew my mind that no one had ever known that all this time this was how the gods had maintained their power.
Exhaling roughly, I searched the abyss, but like the time before, I found nothing. Frustrated, I opened my eyes. “I can’t find him.”
“Then he must not be on the move,” Basil replied. “That has to be good news.”
I wasn’t so sure about that. Just because Hyperion wasn’t roaming around didn’t mean the other Titans weren’t, and Josie . . . She was still out there, maybe even still in Malibu. Or they’d left to find the other two demigods.
Unrest filled me, and it had nothing to do with aether. There was an odd sensation in the center of my chest. Had been there when I woke up. Almost like when you walk in the room and forget something. I couldn’t shake it.
Something didn’t feel right.
Thrusting my fingers through my hair, I narrowed my eyes as I stared across the narrow, empty room. “I tried seeking out Apollo this morning. Couldn’t locate him either.”
“He must be in Olympus, Kýrios.”
I’d given up on telling the bastard to stop calling me master. I couldn’t pop myself into Olympus. Since I’d never been there, I couldn’t seek it out, but I knew of gateways that would let me in. Finding one would be . . . interesting.
And probably fun.
But once I made it to Olympus, they would not be able to stop me from entering whenever I wanted, and that would be even more fun.
Standing, I walked across the raised floor and stepped down. I started across the room when Basil said, “You should bring her here, Kýrios.”
I stopped before I was even realizing what I was doing.
“I know you do not like to speak of her,” Basil continued cautiously. “Perhaps your heart no longer feels the same for her, but even if you no longer want to be with her, it is not safe for her to be out there.”
Slowly, I turned around and faced him. Power rippled over my skin. “My feelings for her have not changed. They will never change.”
Basil tilted his head to the side. “So you still care for her deeply?”
Part of me wanted to tell him to mind his own damn business, but I didn’t. “She is psychi mou. I love her. I will always love her.”
Confusion marked his face. “If she is your soul, then how do you not trust yourself with her? That alone would ensure her safety.”
I opened my mouth to respond, but I found myself without words. Basil didn’t understand. I hadn’t been able to stop myself before. But it is different now, whispered the voice in the back of my head. Listening to that voice, caving to it, was too risky.
Spinning around, I stalked out of the door and passed several servants who were dusting or doing whatever the fuck they always seemed to do in the many rooms. They, of course, practically kissed the floor when they bowed.
I ignored them and went outside. Stopping under the shade, I scanned the horizon. Several small boats floated in the sea. I rubbed my hand against my chest, under my heart. I knew what the problem was. I needed to know if Josie was okay. I could do that without her knowing since I’d done it before. I could keep watch over her from afar.