“That’s pretty smart.” Cora’s dark eyes were alight with interest. “Has to be a hell of a lot easier than interviewing half the campus.”
“Right?” I smiled, sort of proud of myself.
I stayed for a little bit, talking about my plans to see if I could ferret out some information on how to unbind their abilities fully. Neither Gable nor Cora knew mine had been unlocked when Apollo had thrown a dagger straight at my heart, effectively ending my mortal life. I figured we’d cross that bridge with them if it came to it, because while knowledge was power, that kind of knowledge just wasn’t necessary at the moment.
After promising to come back later, I asked to talk to Colin out in the hall. He rose, following me outside. “What’s up?” he asked.
“Have you heard about what happened in Chicago?”
Scratching fingers through his hair, he frowned. “The terrorist attack?”
He didn’t know. I glanced down the hall, making sure it was still empty, but I kept my voice low anyway. “It was the Titans.”
“What?” His eyes widened. “Are you serious?”
I nodded. “They also took over a pure community. I don’t think it’s something Marcus wants everyone to know, and I…” I drew in a deep breath. “I feel terrible for even suggesting this, but I don’t think we should let Cora and Gable know it’s the Titans.”
He tilted his head. “I don’t know, Josie. They need to know what they’re going to face.”
“I agree, but they don’t need to be terrified,” I reasoned. “They’re basically mortal—they spent their whole lives being mortal and we’re throwing so much at them. Trust me, them knowing the Titans are responsible for what happened in Chicago could be too much for them.”
Colin was quiet and then he nodded. “You have a point. We don’t want them to shut down, or to run.”
“Thanks for letting me know, but damn.” He tipped his head back against the wall. “These Titans are no joke.”
“No, they’re not.”
He sighed. “I was thinking about working with Cora and Gable later, some basic fighting moves. What do you think?”
“I think it’s a good idea.”
“Cool.” He pushed off the wall. “See you in a bit?”
“Yep.” I left him to get back to doing the Q&A thing.
I had a game plan for today.
The hallway outside our rooms was empty, but the lobby was always packed, even during the summer. I skirted around the entombed furies. To me, they looked like beautiful angels praying with their hands folded under their delicately curved chins, wings tucked back and stone expressions serene. However, from what I had been told, their presence served as a warning. The gods were upset about something, and everyone had told me I didn’t want to see them unleashed.
Seth figured their presence had something to do with the animosity between the pures and the halfs, but the gods had never seemed to care about that before. So who knew? But considering the whole Ares’s symbol thing on the mask, he could be right.
Seth had also insisted that these furies would be nothing like my friend Erin. That, once unleashed, they would come after anything in their way, including me. I couldn’t suppress my shudder as I walked past them, heading for the glass doors.
No one said anything to me; they never did. Heck, the whole time I’d been here, Colin was the only one who had spoken to me, but I could feel their gazes on me.
It was kind of funny in the way only irony could be.
When I’d first arrived at the University, the students here pretty much ignored me. I was invisible to them. A ghost. Before, all they’d cared about was Seth, and that used to tick me off to no end. But now? They knew I was a demigod and Apollo’s daughter, so I got the same wide-eyed stares Seth received.
Honestly, I kind of wished they’d go back to ignoring me, because it was more than a little unnerving. Stepping outside, I squinted and immediately wished I had grabbed sunglasses. I bet if Seth was with me, he could just will them out of thin air.
Because he was so special like that.
Welcoming the pleasant, warm air, I took my time as I followed the pathway to the library. It was…goodness, it was lovely to have warmth without stifling humidity.
It made me long for lazy days, lying out in the sun. Lazy days that involved Seth and…and our child. The three of us on a blanket, dozing the day away. The moment that image filled my mind, a burst of sweet yearning nearly swept my legs out from underneath me.
How could something so simple as spending a day doing nothing have such an impact on me? But it did. It really did, and I wanted it so badly I could taste it.
One day, I promised myself. One day I would have that, and to get that, I needed to figure out how in the hell we were going to entomb these Titans.
The only person that I knew besides my absentee father who might have some clue on how to do this, or if there was another way, was Medusa.
There was a wicked sense of deja vu as I hoofed it up the massive steps and entered the library. I remembered doing just that when I was looking for her the first time.
All I was missing was Deacon.
Chilly, musty-scented air greeted me as I stepped just inside the huge library. Everything on this campus was crazy big.
Seeing the massive, stacked shelves that stretched all the way to the ceiling made me think of Radford University and the many, many evenings spent inside its library, cramming for exams. A small smile pulled at my lips and a feeling of nostalgia rose.
Strange thing was, I…I didn’t miss Radford.
The realization stopped me dead in my tracks. I missed Erin and the few close friends I’d made, but I wouldn’t go back if I had the choice. My life was so different now and it could be insanely dangerous, but it was better. Maybe one day I’d go back to college. It wasn’t like demigods couldn’t get degrees, and I already knew some people in this community who’d totally benefit from some counseling sessions, but my life wasn’t lacking or incomplete because I wasn’t in college. Realizing that was… It was a wow moment for me.
Truth was, I’d been feeling that way for a while now, but it was almost, like, wrong to admit. Screw that. I wasn’t going to spend time forcing myself into some kind of shell I no longer fit in.
My steps were a little lighter as I started walking.
The last time I’d gone looking for Medusa, she’d found me roaming aimlessly through the stacks, but this time I knew where to go.
Passing the empty tables, I glanced around and noted that there were hardly any students in here. Granted, enrollment was low in the summer, but I thought it might be more than that. What had Deacon said about the libraries? The halfs were weirded out by them, but the pures were never bothered? Something like that.
I headed down one of the aisles and did what I always do whenever I am around so many books.
Grinning like an idiot, I ran my fingertips over the spines of the books, all way to the very end of a row. I hung a right, heading for the space under the wide, ornate staircase. My steps slowed and then I stopped. I blinked once and then twice, because I knew I couldn’t be seeing what I was.
“What the hell?” I gasped.
“Shush,” someone, somewhere, reprimanded me.
I scanned the shadowy space. This didn’t make any sense. The doors…they were gone. How was that possible? I hurried forward, scanning the bare, seamless wall. There’d been three of them before. Three. This was insane.
Spinning around, I stalked down the narrow space between the shelves and back wall, peering around the rows as I looked for the person who had shushed me. I found her using the air element to put books away on the top shelf.
“Excuse me,” I said, gaining her attention. “What happened to the doors that were underneath the stairwell?”
“Doors under the stairs?” She picked up a book that looked like it weighed about twenty pounds. It lifted like a feather, floating to the top shelf.
“Yes.” I turned, gesturing back toward the wall. “There were three doors there. They’re gone.”
The older lady frowned as she picked up another book. “I don’t know what you’re talking about. There have never been any doors there.”