The Struggle (Titan 3) - Page 53

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Turning away from them, I scanned the glass windows in front of the top floor. Yeah, I didn’t have the fucking time for walking into the lobby and finding some damn key. I squinted at the glass floor to ceiling windows. There was no way all of our asses, dressed in black and carrying guns and daggers wasn’t going to draw some unwanted attention. We’d have to use compulsions. Someone would probably scream before we got the chance. I’d get annoyed. Then someone would end up going splat.

“It’s that section of windows right there?” I asked, cutting into their conversation. “Correct?”

“Yes.” Kia rose. “That appears to be some sort of living room.”

“Cool.” I faced them. “Can you guys keep a secret? Like, a really big secret that I’d kind of have to kill you if you shared level of secret-keeping?”

“Seth,” Aiden sighed with a roll of his eyes.

The Sentinels exchanged looks, but Torin said with a shrug, “Yeah, I guess so.”

“Good.” Smiling, I pivoted around and lifted my hands. A surge of power rushed the room. “Because I’m about to straight up murder some people. See you on the flip side.”

Aiden started forward. “Seth—”

It was too late.

Centering myself, the blue sky around me faded out and was replaced by high white ceilings, slowly churning fans, and several still, musky-smelling mortals.

Jackpot.

Chapter 28

Josie

“How has everything been going here?” I asked Deacon as we walked toward the dorms. The last time I’d been at the University, it appeared as if a war was brewing between the pures and halfs.

The halfs had been through a lot and it had only been a matter of time before they started fighting back.

With his hands in his pockets, he glanced up at the cloudless blue skies. “It seems to have calmed a bit since Luke and I got back. I think a lot has to do with Marcus’s no tolerance policy. A lot of pures have been expelled.”

“Good,” I said, meaning it. Some of the pures had been doing terrible things.

“And a lot of other pures have been standing side by side with the halfs.” We climbed the steps and Deacon reached the doors first. He looked over his shoulder at me. “I’m hoping things continue to change, because the old way was one giant dumpster fire.”

“Agreed.”

We hit the common area of the dorm and passed a group of students who were sitting on the couches. I realized at once that we were walking down the same hall that Seth and I had stayed in before.

Halfway down, Deacon stopped and faced me. “Before we do this whole meet-and-greet thing, I want to know how you’re really doing.”

I drew up short. “I’m doing fine.”

He cocked his head to the side. “Josie, you were taken captive by a psychotic Titan who had a major bone to pick with your father. How would you be doing okay after that?”

A shaky laugh escaped me. “Well, I’m as okay as I can be, I guess.”

His gunmetal gray eyes met mine. “I was really scared for you. We all were.”

I swallowed hard. “I was scared for myself,” I admitted quietly. “I didn’t think . . .” I shook my head and drew in a deep breath as I reached up, tugging the band out of my hair. “I didn’t think I’d ever see anyone again.”

Deacon stepped, curling an arm around my shoulders. He pulled me in, and I went, circling my arms around his slim waist. “I said it before, but I’ll say it again. I’m glad you’re here. And if you need anyone to talk to, you got me. Don’t forget that.”

I squeezed my eyes shut against the sudden burn. “I won’t.”

“Good.” He kissed the top of my head and then drew back. “Now, let’s go coax this girl out of her room.”

Smiling weakly, I nodded. We started back down the hall, and I discovered that she had been placed in a room about five doors down from where I had stayed. I pulled myself together as we stopped in front of her door. It was important that we got her to understand what was happening here so she didn’t end up like Mitchell—like me.

“I know someone’s out there,” a voice from the other side of the door came. “I can hear you breathing.”

Frowning, I looked at Deacon and raised my brows.

He grinned and murmured, “Heavy breather.”

Rolling my eyes, I leaned against the wall. “Hi. My name is Josie. You’re Cora, right?”

“Yes. That’s my name.” There was a pause. “If you’re not here to let me leave, then you need to go away.”

I was guessing now wasn’t a good time to ask why the town she lived in was named Thunder Bay. I was curious as to how it had gotten such a badass name.

Placing my hand on the door, I drew in a shallow breath. “I know you’re probably freaking out. I’ve been there. For real.”

“So, you’ve been kidnapped and told that you’re a demigod?” she fired back.

“Actually, yes.” I glanced at Deacon. “I don’t like to use the word ‘kidnapped’, but when I was found, I didn’t believe anything that was being said either. But it’s true. All of it. And I know it doesn’t seem that way, but we’re the good guys and you’re safe here.”

There was a long stretch of silence and then, “Is that guy out there?”

“Deacon is here with me.”

“Hi!” Deacon chirped. “I’m one of the guys who kidnapped you.”

My eyes widened as I looked at him. He just shrugged.

“Not you,” came the response. “The other guy. His name is Gable.”

“No, he’s not here,” I answered, wondering where he was since I hadn’t seen him yet. “Do you want to talk to him?”

There was another gap of silence. “No.”

“Josie is the daughter of Apollo,” Deacon said from where he’d positioned himself on the other side of the door. “But she doesn’t have any cool abilities like you do.”

I flipped Deacon off.

“I don’t have any abilities!” the girl shouted.

“That’s not what I hear.” Closing my eyes, I tilted my head against the wall. “I hear you can bring dead plants back to life. That’s really cool.”

“And also something that mortals can’t do,” Deacon pointed out. “But we’ve already had this conversation.”

“Deacon is right, though. I don’t have any special talents,” I said, and Deacon snorted. I ignored him. “Well, I can control the elements, but that’s like nothing.”

A couple of moments passed. “You said your name is Josie, right?” The voice was closer to the door.

“Yes.”

“Gable mentioned you. He said you’d been taken by . . . by freaking Titans.”

“I was. I got free. I was lucky, but some like us weren’t as lucky. I know you don’t feel this way now, but you should know how lucky you are that Deacon and Luke got to you first. If you’ve seen what I’ve seen, you wouldn’t doubt that for a second.” Opening my eyes, I found Deacon staring at me. “Nothing they’ve told you is a lie. The Titans were looking for you, and if they found you, you would . . .”

“Would what?” she asked.

Lowering my gaze to the floor, I said, “You’d wish you were dead.”

About a minute went by and I was afraid she was going to ignore us. “I couldn’t always bring plants back to life.”

Deacon pushed off the wall, his face sparking with interest. I was guessing this was new info. “You couldn’t?”

“No. It started a couple of weeks ago. I found out by accident. I knocked over an old flower that I had in a vase, and when I picked it up the damn thing came to life,” Cora said, and then she laughed. “At first, I just kind of ignored it. Because, come on. Then I did it again, a day later. I reached down to pluck up a dead dandelion and those little white wispy things came right back to life.” Another brittle-sounding laugh emerged. “I feel like I’m going crazy.”


Tags: Jennifer L. Armentrout Titan Fantasy
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