The Struggle (Titan 3) - Page 51

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Aiden nodded. “There are a couple of abandoned warehouses about two miles from their community.”

She lifted her chin. “So I’m going with you guys.”

Behind me, Seth sighed.

“That’s not necessary,” Aiden returned.

“It’s not?” she asked, voice low.

“Oh, man,” Deacon mumbled.

As Alex and Aiden descended into a full-blown argument, Seth tapped me on the shoulder and widened his eyes as he nodded to the door. Pushing out of my chair, I followed him to the hallway outside the Dean’s office, closing the door behind me.

“Do you think Aiden is going to cave and let Alex come?” I asked.

Seth propped his hip against the wall. “She can be fairly convincing when she wants in on the action, but there really is no point. When they went to Baton Rouge, it was a bust, and even though there are a few places that fit the description of the warehouse you were held in, that doesn’t mean we’re going to find anything. She doesn’t need to go. Neither does Aiden.”

“But he wants to help. Both of them do,” I reasoned.

“I get that, but they’re a liability,” he pointed out with a one-shoulder shrug. “They’re demigods, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be seriously injured or killed. I, on the other hand, cannot be killed as easily.”

My stomach dipped at the thought of Seth being in danger. “Well, we demigods aren’t that easy to kill,” I reminded him as the door opened and Marcus walked out, Deacon and Luke behind him. They moved to the other end of the hall, and I thought it was kind of funny that Aiden and Alex had chased the Dean out of his own office. Damn.

“But only Cronus, Hera, and Zeus can kill me, and based on what you’ve said about Cronus, he’s really not a threat at this moment.”

“And what about Zeus and Hera?”

Seth grinned. “Pretty sure they spend the vast majority of their time watching old reruns of Happy Days and trying to kill each other. They aren’t a problem.”

“Happy Days?” When I pictured Zeus, I saw a middle-aged man with a beard for some odd reason, and now I saw him lounging on a couch watching Fonzie on a massive big-screen while Hera sat in a recliner glaring at him. I shook those images out of my head. “I know you’re the ultimate badass right now, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be careful.”

A playful grin teased at his lips. “You know me. I’m always careful.”

“Uh-huh,” I murmured.

“Surprised you’re not demanding to go,” Seth said after a moment.

“Do you want me to?”

“No. I’m glad you’re not pushing it.”

I tilted my head to the side. “We made a deal, and I still have these bands on my wrists.” I paused, breathing through another sharp wave of nausea. “And I . . .”

“What?” His gaze sharpened, all playfulness gone.

“I’m good at the hand to hand stuff. I mean, you taught me. So did Luke and . . . and Solos.” My heart hurt thinking of the fallen half-blood. “But I’m tired—”

“How tired?”

“Not anything serious,” I rushed to assure him. I didn’t tell him that I felt sick because I knew, if I did, he wouldn’t leave. “I just know that I’m not up to a hundred percent, and even though I want to help and I hate staying back, I know . . . I know I need to stay. Going out there with these damn bands on my wrists and feeling like I do would be the stupidest decision ever.”

His eyes searched mine, and then he nodded. “Thank you.”

Before I had a chance to ask him what he was thanking me for, Aiden stepped out into the hallway. Based on the messy dark hair and the swollen appearance of his lips, I was guessing he and Alex had argued, and then made up.

“Ready when you are,” he called.

“And Alex?” Seth asked.

The tips of his cheeks flushed. “She’s agreed to stay behind.”

“Uh-huh.” Sliding his hand to the nape of my neck, Seth kissed the center of my forehead and then his lips found mine. The kiss was intense, flipping and twisting my insides into a pleasant, heady mess. My hands found their way to his chest and my fingers curled into his shirt. As he lifted his head, I wished we had enough time to go somewhere private and finish what we’d started in his bedroom.

“Be back soon,” he said, kissing the corner of my lips.

I nodded and nearly slumped against the wall as he let go of me. He swaggered down the hall to where Aiden waited. Goodness, that was a kiss. Snapping out of the daze, I stepped forward. “Seth?”

He looked over his shoulder.

“I love you.”

Seth’s response was immediate. The smile that raced across his face was wide and beautiful, and the look he sent me turned my insides to goo. He didn’t take his eyes off me as he placed his hand on Aiden’s shoulder.

A second later they were gone.

Grinning, Deacon strode forward, hands in his pockets. “Ready to meet our guest?”

Chapter 27

Seth

We made a pit stop in the weapons room before we went to Texas. Although I really didn’t need them, I grabbed two daggers and a belt mainly because the daggers were fun to use.

Aiden hooked on a set and also grabbed one of the Glocks that was loaded up with titanium-capped bullets. His demigod abilities, much like Josie’s, weren’t infinite. He’d eventually tire out.

I, on the other hand, pretty much just wanted to stab something.

“You ready?” I asked, amused by the fact that we were actually working together again. “I don’t want to be gone too long.”

“Understandable.” Aiden walked over to where I stood but stopped. His steady gaze met mine. “What’s the plan if we come face to face with a Titan?”

If only we’d get that lucky.

One side of my lips kicked up. “Kill them.”

Aiden crossed his arms as an eyebrow rose. “That’s not exactly a plan. The gods—”

“I really don’t care what the gods want.”

“Killing the Titans causes pretty catastrophic consequences,” Aiden reasoned just like the good saint that he was. “We might’ve gotten lucky with Perses, but we have to take that into consideration. Our actions impact the lives of innocent people, Seth.”

I wondered if saying I really didn’t care would make me sound like an ass.

His eyes narrowed. “I can tell what you’re thinking. You have to care about this.”

“See, that’s the thing, Aiden. I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to. I’m not you,” I told him. “I’m not here to save the world. That’s not who I am. I will never be that.”

A muscle ticked in his jaw. “Then what are you?”

“You know what I am.” I cocked my head to the side.

“A selfish, arrogant prick?” he replied blandly.

My smile spread. “There is only one person I truly care about. Only one person I would go to the ends of the earth to keep safe. You’re not that person. It would be wise to remember that.”

Aiden lifted his chin as his eyes flashed silver. “You need to remember that I would do anything to keep Alex safe, and if killing Titans put her in danger, then I will do whatever it takes to stop you.”

“I think you will try to stop me,” I corrected helpfully. “Look, what do you want me to say, Aiden? What would you do if Hyperion had gotten hold of Alex and did those things to her?”

His lips thinned.

“I know what you wanted to do to Ares. I know what you wanted to do to me,” I pointed out. Aiden looked away. “I’m not completely irresponsible, contrary to popular belief. If there is a way to entomb those Titans without putting Josie in harm’s way, I’m all for it, but I will not let Hyperion live. There is no convincing me otherwise. So if you have a problem with that, then you should probably sit this one out, because if I come face to face with him, he’s a dead motherfucker.”

A moment passed and Aiden said, “That I can understand.” His gaze lifted to the ceiling. “Hyperion is the god of heavenly light—one of the pillars of earth. The east, I believe. Not sure what taking him out would do.”


Tags: Jennifer L. Armentrout Titan Fantasy
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