My stomach dipped. What couldn’t be killed with a god bolt? I guess a hydra couldn’t.
“Well, that’s kind of sad,” Alex muttered, her arms still pinned to her sides.
“It was trying to eat us for dinner.” Aiden grinned down at the top of her head. “So, don’t be too sad.”
“Hold on a second,” I interrupted. “You said you saw Zeus?”
Aiden looked over Alex’s head at me. “Yeah. He showed up afterwards. Was not expecting that. He…he looked younger than I thought he would.”
“Were you expecting to see a hydra today?” Alex asked.
I rose. “Where is Seth?”
Aiden shook his head. “I’m guessing he’s still with Zeus.”
Unease exploded like buckshot in my gut, causing my breath to catch. “What do you mean?”
“Zeus showed up and pretty much sent me back here. I have no idea what he was doing there or what he wanted. Surprised the hell out of me.”
My heart turned over heavily as the unease turned into full-fledged dread. Zeus and Seth? Alone? “That can’t be good.”
Wiggling free from Aiden, Alex turned to me. “I’m sure Seth is okay.”
“Zeus can kill Seth.” Setting the water aside, I started for the door, but stopped, realizing there was nowhere for me to go. I wasn’t like Seth; I couldn’t just pop myself to wherever I wanted to go. I stopped and turned back to them. “How long ago was this?”
“Five minutes? Maybe ten? When Zeus sent me back here, I ended up at the wall, just outside the Covenant.”
A lot of things could happen in ten minutes. Like them having a major fight and destroying an entire city. Antsy energy buzzed through my veins. I had the sudden urge to turn on the TV to see if there were any more earthquakes or erupting volcanos.
Alex started toward me. “I’m sure Seth is fine. It would be so stupid of Zeus to try to kill him. The Olympians know they need the demigods, namely you, to entomb the Titans. Trying to kill your boyfriend would jeopardize that.”
That made sense, but based on everything that I knew about Olympians, they didn’t always make decisions that made sense. Like, they usually did the exact opposite. My heart sped up.
“Alex is most likely right,” Luke said, and Colin nodded from where he sat. “It would be incredibly stupid for them to go after Seth.”
Starting to pace just as Alex had been doing hours before, I nodded absently. “Why else would Zeus seek out Seth, though?”
Alex and Aiden exchanged looks. There was no missing that. I stopped in front of them. “What?”
“If I had to wager a guess to why Zeus would want to talk to Seth, it would have to do with the Titans,” Aiden explained, folding his arms. “Namely what happened with Hyperion.”
My spine stiffened. I knew that Seth shouldn’t have killed Hyperion, and I knew that a part of him realized that too, but if Zeus showed up to lecture him, it would probably end badly for everyone involved.
Because while I knew that Hyperion had needed to be entombed, not for one second did I blame Seth for killing him.
In fact, I was glad.
Hyperion could’ve killed our child. He got what he deserved.
“Seth did what he had to do,” I said, knocking my ponytail over my shoulder. “End of discussion.”
Surprise widened Aiden’s eyes, and he looked like he wanted to say something, but he wisely changed his mind.
Turning from him, I blew out an exaggerated breath as I started pacing once more. Frustration pulled at me. There was nothing I could do but sit around and wait while hoping something horrible hadn’t happened to Seth.
Or hoping he hadn’t started an all-out war with the Olympians.
“We-ell,” Aiden drawled the word out. “Did I miss anything?”
“Kind of,” Alex answered as I turned to them.
Luke sat on the edge of the couch. “We think we may know who the final demigod is. Or who his—”
A sudden scream from outside the room cut Luke off. My heart launched into my throat as I turned, because that wasn’t a playful scream. That was one of horror.
Aiden reached the door first and Alex was quickly behind him. Exchanging a look with Colin, we followed them out into the hall with Luke trailing behind us.
Since it was summer break, there were not a lot of students in the dorm. Probably half the normal amount. Only a few doors were open, with students sticking their heads out.
“What’s going on?” Aiden demanded, slipping into the role of Sentinel like it was a second skin.
“I don’t know.” The girl clutched the door, eyeing us with wide eyes. Most of the students were getting used to having demigods and a god on campus, but you could still see their awed shock. “I think it came from the lobby.”
We picked up our pace, and I was grateful that no one suggested I should stay back due to my situation. The lobby came into view and there was a small crowd. A guy was standing back, his arms folded and his jaw hard, next to a blonde with her hand over her mouth. My heart jumped when I realized they were standing in front of the entombed furies. The crowd parted as Aiden and Alex neared, stepping aside.
“No,” whispered Alex, her hands balling into fists at her sides.
Colin stopped directly in front of me, his back stiffening. The lobby doors opened, and Guards came in as I stepped around Colin.
“Gods,” I whispered.
Lying on the floor at the feet of the entombed furies was a girl. One who couldn’t have been older than eighteen. Her reddish-brown hair was spread out across the white floor. Her skin was a ghastly shade of gray and it was clear that she was…she was dead.
And resting beside her was some kind of bronze mask. The cheeks overly round, eyes just thin slits, and a closed, wide smile. There was a symbol in the middle of the mask’s forehead, a circle with an off-center arrow striking through it.
Alex gasped, taking a step back.
“Ares,” growled Aiden.
The fact that Zeus knew about Josie being pregnant unsettled the hell out of me. No joke. He was one of the last beings on this earth, and in Olympus, that I would want to know, but…
As shocking as this was to even admit, I didn’t sense a threat to Josie or our child from him. I wasn’t worried about Zeus when it came to my child.
That was something I never thought I’d believe. Then again, there was a whole lot of shit that had changed in a matter of minutes.
I stayed after Zeus left, helping where I could. It wasn’t out of a sense of reluctant obligation. Not that I didn’t feel responsible.
I stayed to help, because I should. Because I had caused this—this destruction and loss of life. I didn’t hurt these people with my own hands or by my own will, but I had set the domino in motion.
Killing Hyperion had caused a ripple effect, one that had ended so many innocent lives. And damn, I’d been here…I’d been here before, with Ares. I thought I’d learned then that every choice I made triggered a chain reaction, good or bad.
Obviously, I hadn’t learned.
I was faced with that reality.
And it burned through my skin, knocked my ass down a peg or two that it took Zeus of all damn people to drive that point home. Fucking Zeus. But what he’d said to me was true. All of it. Especially how I didn’t want to follow in their footsteps. I didn’t want to make the same mistakes they had.
I didn’t want to become them, making decisions that ruthlessly slaughtered others.
And I was starting right then. I had no idea how many people I helped pull out of the rubble, but I knew exactly how many of them were beyond help.
Fifty-six of them were dead and four of them… Gods, four of them couldn’t have been out of elementary school. Their faces were forever imprinted in my mind.
By the time I was done in what used to be Long Beach, I was covered in dirt, sand, and a healthy amount of dried blood. My skin and clothes were streaked with the mixture, and all I wanted to do was get back to Josie, to just…hold her and talk to her.
I should’ve popped my dirty ass right to the bathroom to shower first, but I closed my eyes and focused on Josie’s face, letting myself slip into the void. I found her, and I felt the strange tingle of my cells scattering and fusing back together.