Colin was gone.
That had to be one of the hardest things I’d ever done.
His body was in the…cold room in the infirmary, and his life was over. “He didn’t deserve that,” I said, my voice hoarse. “None of them deserved what happened to them, but those furies…”
“They don’t see good and bad. They are perfect killing machines. Blind justice.”
Shivering, I folded my arms across my chest. There was a coldness in my chest that couldn’t be warmed. “Erin wasn’t like that.”
“She was your roommate at college?”
“Yeah. She was like…she was like me, just like anyone else.” A weird sensation rippled across my stomach. It wasn’t painful. More of a…discomfort. I shifted my weight from one foot to the next. “She didn’t run around, killing everyone in sight.”
Marcus turned to the locked lobby doors. I followed his gaze. All I could see was a sea of white-garbed Guards and Sentinels dressed in black. “Your friend had been around mortals. She’d learned empathy. She adapted. These furies are the furthest thing from human, Josie.”
I’d seen that with my own two eyes.
“Colin was an amazing student here,” Marcus said after a moment, and my breath caught. “But more importantly, he was a good person who knew what loss was and still pushed through it.”
My lower lip trembled. Colin’s family was killed in the war with Ares, and now he was gone, killed not in a war but by a furie who had been unleashed because of hatred and bigotry.
“He was someone who had an extraordinarily bright future ahead of him.” Marcus’s voice thickened, and I had to think he’d seen too much of this already. How many students during the war with Ares had ended up the same way? Too many, I was sure. “He will be rewarded greatly. I know death is different in the mortal world, but I assure you that he will be reunited with his family and he will be given—”
A sudden, sharp pain lanced across my lower stomach, startling me. Gasping, I doubled over, clutching my belly. What in the world? I waited, eyes peeled wide as I thought someone called out my name. The pain was gone as quickly as—I cried out as another burning stab traveled along my pelvis.
“Josie!” Marcus was suddenly right by my side, touching my shoulders. “What’s wrong?”
I forced a breath out as fear pinged around inside me. That pain—oh, gods—that pain was not normal. “I don’t know. I think…I think it’s the baby.”
Alex stared at Erik, her expression one of reluctant curiosity, and she looked more than just a little disturbed.
Erik had taken us back to the flat he rented in one of the stone homes a few blocks from the pub. Alex lingered in the back of the room, near a blown-up black and white poster of David Bowie, while Aiden and the guys sat down with Erik.
“He looks like him,” Alex whispered. “It’s crazy, but he looks like Ares.”
Folding my arms, I leaned against the wall. “I know, and I have more crazy for you.” I looked over at her, keeping my voice low. “He says his presence started affecting people around the same time Josie’s abilities were unlocked. Doubt that was a coincidence.”
Her gaze met mine. “Doubtful.”
“And more crazy?” I looked over to where Erik sat, his eyes as dark as the damn sky outside. “Erik, tell them about Ares.”
Aiden twisted at the waist, his brows raised as he looked over in my direction. I nodded.
“I knew my father.” Erik leaned back, resting an ankle on his knee. “Met him more times than I could count. He told me what I am and who he was. My father was a god.”
Tension rolled off Alex as she stepped away from the wall. “Your father was a psychotic mass murderer who was hell-bent on committing genocide.”
Erik glanced over Aiden’s shoulder, at Alex. “I’ll have to take your word for it.”
Deacon raised his brows from where he sat. “You have to take more than her word for it. He was everything Alex said.”
A muscle flickered along Erik’s jaw. “He told me about some of you.” He looked over to where Alex and I stood. “He told me about you two. Apollyon?”
“Apollyon.” I chuckled, and then I blinked out of existence, reappearing directly in front of Erik.
“Bloody fuck.” Erik jerked back.
“I’m not the Apollyon anymore.” Reaching down, I picked up his foot and dropped it on the floor. “I’m a god. Just like your father. Except he’s dead, and that girl back there, who is now a demigod, killed him. So, you’re going to do more than take our word for it.”
“Seth,” Aiden warned, and Luke cursed under his breath.
“Do you understand me, mate?” I asked again, letting just a little bit of my godhood slip in. I knew what Eric saw. Eyes that were now all white.
Eric inhaled sharply, but he didn’t look away as he looked up at me. “I understand.”
“Good.” I smiled then, and by the time I turned around, my eyes had returned to normal. “There’s a lot we need to discuss, but that’s not going to happen here.”
Erik looked around the room as a little bit of unease seeped into his features. “What do you mean?”
“Maybe we should hold off on that,” Aiden suggested, slapping his hands on his knees.
“You want to hold off? Fine,” I replied. “But I’ve already been gone too long, and I need to get back. You want to stay? Up to you.”
Alex came forward. “We can’t stay here too long. Not all of us. It’s too much of a risk.”
“Why? Why is it a risk? You said my father is dead—”
“It has nothing to do with your father.” Luke rested his hands on the back of Deacon’s chair. “It has to do with the Titans. Did your father tell you about them?”
“Yeah. He told me who they were.” Erik frowned as he rubbed a hand over his chest.
“Well, they’re free and they’re hunting down demigods like you to use as portable battery packs,” I explained, grinning while Deacon grimaced. “We have no idea if they’ve figured out where you are, but they have this nifty ability to track demigods, and besides you? They are two more. They’re going to find you, and since I’m not allowed to kill any more of them, they’re probably going to take you. So, you’re either coming with us or not. Either way, I’m leaving, with or without you.”
“What Seth is trying to say,” Aiden began, “is that—”
Without warning, a fissure of energy flowed through the room. Glyphs erupted all over my skin, spinning and gliding in a dizzying rush. A god was coming.
No more than a second later, a column of shimmery light appeared in front of the closed, curtained doors, and then it faded to reveal Apollo in his full god glory—a massively tall man with hair the color of the sun and white eyes spitting static into the air.
Poor Erik about came out of his skin, lurching to his feet, face pale and obsidian-colored eyes wide. He may have seen his father several times throughout his life, but he wasn’t used to gods randomly appearing in front of him.
I didn’t get a chance to say a word to Apollo.
He turned to where I stood and said, “Josie needs you now. Go.”
At those words, my fucking heart stopped in my chest. I didn’t question his command. Didn’t take a moment to even respond. I focused on Josie, and let myself slip into the void.
The immediate startled gasp I heard didn’t belong to Josie.
Opening my eyes, I saw an unknown male first, He was a pure dressed in pale blue scrubs—nursing scrubs. The rest of the room came into view. It was small and white, with only a cabinet and a sink along one wall.
“Gods.” The pure-blood stumbled back, crumpling what appeared to be a plastic cup.
The room suddenly made sense. It was the infirmary.
“Josie!” I shot around the pure and saw her. My stomach dropped in one of the worse ways I’d ever experienced in my entire life. “What happened?”
She was propped halfway up on the narrow bed, a thin blanket tucked in around her waist. I scanned her. Cheeks were flushed with color. No visible signs of trauma. I didn’t know if that was good or bad news.