Like before, there was something just on the fringe of my subconscious that I couldn’t quite pull forward. “I feel like . . . like I’m forgetting something—something I saw. It’s right there, but I just can’t remember it.”
“It’ll come to you.”
I nodded as I inhaled roughly. My pulse started to pick up as I peeked up at him. Seth was going to be a dad.
Oh my gods, I was going to be a mom.
But he was going to be a dad.
A really hot dad—like the kind you saw with a baby that made your ovaries go boom. Except my ovaries apparently already went boom.
Holy crap, what was I thinking? I did not need to be thinking about him as a hot dad, because he didn’t even know he was going to become a dad. I needed to tell him.
Anxiety rose in my chest, causing me to clasp and unclasp my hands. “This is all . . . good, though. At least we have a general idea.”
“Right,” he replied, his eyes warming to a tawny glow as he watched me. “How did things go with the kidnapped demigod?”
“Um, good. We got her to open the door and Deacon was going to get her some food,” I said, looking away when his gaze caught mine. “She understands that we’re here to help her. So that’s a few steps in the right direction.”
“Cool.” Seth reached down to his hips and I saw that he had daggers. “We can head back to the island if you want.”
We so needed to stay, at least until tomorrow—well, wait. I had no idea how safe the whole poofing thing Seth did was. I guess it was okay, because he’d done that quite a few times. “Can we hang here for a little bit? It’s safe, right?”
“When did you get the daggers?” I asked.
“Made a pit stop in the weapons room before we went to Texas. I guess I really don’t need them, but they’re fun to use.”
“Oh, that’s smart. Not the fun part, because that’s a little creepy, but the grabbing them part.” My heart was racing so fast I thought I’d be sick. “When are you going to head back out?”
He unhooked the daggers. “Soon. Was thinking about checking out Piney Woods tomorrow.”
That was good, because we needed to find Mitchell. I just hoped we weren’t too late. But if Seth was going back out there tomorrow, should I tell him about the whole baby thing? He could come face to face with one of the Titans. Being distracted was the last thing he needed.
It could be deadly.
I sucked in a sharp breath. If Seth came face to face with a fully energized Cronus, what would happen?
“Hey,” Seth said, drawing my gaze to his. “What’s going on?”
Wiping my damp palms against my knees, I forced a casual shrug. “Nothing. Just got a lot on my mind.”
Seth placed the daggers on the dresser. His hands dropped to the belt that had held them. “You sure you’re feeling okay? You’re looking a little flushed.”
And I was feeling like I was going to laugh and cry and throw myself face-first onto the bed. I opened my mouth, but nothing came out.
Unhooking the weapons belt, he draped it over the dresser and then crossed the small distance between us. “Look, you need to be honest with me if you’re feeling unwell. I need to know—I want to know.”
Mouth dry, I shook my head and tried once more to say something, anything, but nothing came out but inaudible sounds. What was I doing? How could I not tell him? Even though I had no idea how he would react, how he would feel about this, I couldn’t keep it from him. It was too big. Too important. This involved both of us.
This involved our future . . . if we had one.
A frown pulled at his lips as he stood in front of me. Seth knelt, placing his hands over mine, effectively stopping me from rubbing the skin right off. “Josie,” he said, his concerned gaze searching mine. “What is going on?”
“I . . . I have to tell you something important.”
His brows knitted together. “Okay.”
“I really don’t know how to tell you without just saying it.” My breath caught and it felt like my heart was going to jump out of my chest. “I’m pregnant.”
I choked out a laugh. “You’re . . . Wait, what?”
Josie’s ocean-colored eyes were wide and her cheeks a faint pink. “I’m . . . I’m kind of pregnant. I mean, I’m not kind of pregnant. I don’t think you can be kind of pregnant.”
The half-smile faded.
“Alex went with me, because I honestly had no idea where to find a pregnancy test, and yeah, that was a little awkward. Anyway, turns out they don’t just sell them here. You have to go get one done. So I did the whole pee-test thing and when they get a positive response, they repeat the test. Both tests came back positive, so I’m pregnant—pregnant with your baby.” She winced. “You probably figured that last part out already. The baby being yours part.”
My lips parted on a sharp inhale.
“That’s why I’ve been nauseous and puking,” she continued in a rush. “I guess the bands are making me heal slower than I should be, but I don’t think they are causing the tiredness and everything else. And I didn’t think it was that—you know, me being pregnant until I realized a few days ago I hadn’t had my period.”
Josie is . . .
I stopped breathing as her words settled through the shocked fog that had invaded my brain. A hundred different thoughts erupted in rapid succession.
“I thought it was just stress, but then—well, I went down to one of the infirmaries, like I said, and got the test.” She folded her hands together, pressing them against her breasts. “And yeah, it’s positive.”
I’m fucking sure my heart stopped for several beats as I stared at her from where I was crouched. My head tilted to the side as I slowly understood what she was telling me. Josie was . . . pregnant with my child?
A surge of unbridled emotion whirled through me, a wild mixture of acidic fear and brilliant joy—the kind of fear and joy I’d never in my life experienced. The emotions were so raw and so powerful I could barely make sense of them, could barely think around them.
Josie’s lower lip trembled. “Please say something, because I’ve been freaking out pretty much all day, and now you’re just staring at me, not talking.”
I hadn’t said anything? I needed to. I need to say a lot, but as I started to rise, I realized my knees were strangely weak. Like they were devoid of all muscle and bone. Somehow I lost my balance. I actually stumbled back and I went down, landing on my ass. The daggers rattled on the dresser behind me.
“Oh my God!” Josie jumped and reached for me. “Seth!”
Stunned that I actually fell over, I looked around the room as if there was some pint-size apparition that had just taken my legs out. Of course, there wasn’t shit. My knees had given out.
“Seth . . .”
Lifting my gaze to her, I finally got my tongue to work. “You’re pregnant?”
Josie pulled back, clasping her hands together. She nodded. “Yes.” Her chest rose with a deep breath. Those beautiful eyes—eyes that were like two polished sapphires—glistened with unshed tears. “I’m sorry,” she whispered.
I jerked. I mean, my entire body jolted.
She was sorry—sorry about being pregnant with my child? My brows flew up, and for a small instant that icy terror poured into my chest. How could I be a good father? After everything that I had done—everything I would do to keep Josie safe. My hands were dirty, but they’d soon be soaked in blood. Was that why she was sorry? Because she knew I was probably the last person in the world who was fit to have and raise a child?
But I’d give up my life for my child.
Josie sat back down, her throat working as she squeezed her eyes shut. “I know this is a surprise. It . . . it shocked me. It had to be that one time—right when you left. We didn’t use a condom. I know we’re not ready for this, but I was hoping we . . .” Trailing off, she shook her head as she pressed the tips of her fingers to her mouth.
Then it struck me.
She thought I was unhappy with the news, and she had good reason to believe that, because I was sitting on the godsdamn floor like a dumbass.