As Alex told her uncle, I could feel the mood in the room change. Without having to tell Marcus why it was so important we find that damn demigod yesterday, he got it.
“The Titans could use him in ways we haven’t seen yet.” Marcus’s lips pursed. “His abilities won’t have the same impact on pures and halfs, but in the wrong hands he could create even more problems. The question remains—how will you find him?”
“Deacon is insistent on going over there.” Aiden sighed as he leaned onto the back of Alex’s chair. “I hate the idea, but he and Luke have a knack for finding the demigods. We need to get over there as soon as possible and find him.”
“And I guess if he is Ares’s son, I would recognize him.” Alex started messing with her hair, the same way Josie did. “I know that sounds crazy, but I just…I’d recognize him.”
Her father didn’t look happy about any of that.
But I understood what Alex was saying. “I would recognize him, too.” When she looked over at me, she nodded slightly. We both would know the second we saw the guy. “I can take them over. Save some time and money on a flight.”
Marcus arched a brow. “Would it be wise for so many demigods and a god to be there? The Titans may not have found the location yet, but with so many of you there, it’s bound to draw them.”
“I’m going to hang back here,” Josie spoke up then. “Not that I don’t want to go to Pluckley and possibly see a ghost, but it’s just not smart.”
Aiden nodded. “Agreed.”
“I think that is wise.” Marcus nodded, but he didn’t know the real reason why Josie wasn’t going there.
I looked over at her, and she must’ve seen the question in my eyes, because there was the tiny lift at the corners of her lips and she nodded.
Shifting closer to her, I brought my gaze to Marcus. “You don’t know this yet.” I glanced at Alex’s father. “Neither do you, but sooner or later, you’ll find out.”
Marcus lifted his brows while Alex folded her hand over her mouth, obviously hiding a smile.
Then I said the words I was quickly beginning to realize I really fucking enjoyed saying. Words I was oddly proud of. “Josie and I are expecting a child.”
If I thought Marcus was caught off-guard by the whole Ares bullshit, I hadn’t seen him truly shocked. Hell, I couldn’t remember seeing him so thunderstruck before. Not even when I showed up with Josie the first time or when I popped into his office without warning when I’d been looking for her.
He stared at us like he didn’t even understand how a baby was made.
Alex choked on a giggle.
“Is it that shocking?” I asked, one side of my lips kicking up.
“Yes? No.” Marcus gave a little shake of his head, and I had no idea what that meant, but then he looked at Josie. “A child of a god and a demigod. That’s—”
“Never happened.” Josie grinned. “We know. We just learned that.”
“And that…that will be something amazing.” It was rare to see the Dean smile. It wasn’t something he often did and usually it looked more like a grimace than it did a smile, but this was a real one, warming those usually chilled green eyes. “Now I see why you plan on staying back. I believe that is a mature and wise choice. How far along?”
“She’s at about six weeks.” Leaning over, I gently flicked her ear.
Josie shot me a look, but she was grinning. “I’m guessing I’m not due until around January, but I think we’ll know more once we see a doctor who specializes in babies.”
“Congratulations,” Marcus said, rising from his chair. “I truly mean it.”
Then he did probably the most shocking thing I’d ever seen the man do. He walked up to me and offered his hand.
What felt like an entire minute went by before I snapped out of my stupor. In a daze, I shook his hand. Marcus had never shaken my hand. I was still standing there, staring at him like a dumbass when Marcus bent down, kissing Josie’s cheek.
Aiden raised a brow as he looked over at me. When our gazes locked, he smiled and then looked away, placing a hand on the back of Alex’s neck.
Drawing back, Marcus leaned against his desk. “Well, today has been full of unexpected revelations. A very good one.” He met my gaze briefly, looking at me like he’d never seen me before, and then his gaze flickered over the room. “And some not so good ones.”
“Starting to sound like an ordinary day,” Alex commented. “Or, at least—”
A knock on the office door silenced Alex. I turned just as it opened. A Guard popped his head in. “I’m sorry to interrupt, but this could not wait.”
“It’s okay, Banks. What is going on?”
Banks stepped into the room, spine straight and shoulders stiff. I had a feeling the “not so good” part of the day was about to get worse. “We just received a call from one of our communities in Chicago. They said there’s been an incident and they’ve lost contact with some of the people in different parts of the city.”
I frowned as Alex twisted and looked at Aiden. Marcus became very still. “Do we have any more information?”
Banks nodded. “I think you need to see it. It’s all over the news.”
Marcus reached into a drawer and pulled out a slim remote. With one tap of a button, the upper doors on the mahogany cabinet to the left of the desk silently slid open, revealing a TV I’d never known was there. The TV turned on and a news channel appeared.
“Oh shit,” Alex murmured under her breath the moment she saw the “Breaking News” banner along the bottom of the screen.
Suspected terrorist attack near South Wacker Drive. Multiple injuries and casualties reported.
No one needed to read the banner to see what was happening. The scene on the screen was one of chaos. People flooded the sidewalks, rushing out of the buildings and into the congested traffic that was at a complete standstill. There were glimpses of people covered in dust. As the camera whirled, there were brief glances of others just standing amongst those running, staring up, and then the camera went up.
Dark smoke poured out of several skyscrapers, darkening the sky and blotting out the sun.
Jaw clenching, I shook my head as I stared at the screen. The unseen reporter talked over the video. It was a suspected bomb—possible suicide bomber. Mortals. Sometimes I forgot just how violent they could be all on their own.
“This is terrible,” Alex whispered. “There have to be so many people in those buildings.”
The camera panned out over the crowd again, at the base of one of the burning buildings, lingering for a moment before zooming in on the smoke pouring out of the skyscrapers.
“Oh, my God.” Josie shot from the chair so fast it could’ve toppled over. “Holy crap.”
“What?” I turned to her.
“That man—that man in the crowd.” She rushed toward the TV. “That was Cronus.”
My stomach felt like it was somewhere near my toes as I stood in front of the TV. I couldn’t believe who I’d just seen.
“Are you sure?” Seth asked, suddenly at my side.
“Yes.” I looked at him, eyes wide. “Never in a million years will I forget what he looks like.”
His jaw tightened. “I believe you.”
The camera was zoomed onto the building now. “Can you go back?”
“I believe so.” Marcus was standing, staring at the remote with a slight frown on his face. “I think one of these buttons…”
“Geez.” Alex rose from the chair. “Let me see the remote.”
Marcus handed it over, and within a few seconds the images rewound.
“There,” I said, my breath catching. “Stop.”
Alex stopped and then paused it. Immediately I saw him in the crowd. An icy chill clung to my skin as I pointed at the man. “That’s him. He didn’t look like that when I saw him. He was frailer, but that is him.”
Everyone crowded behind me, getting their first look at the man I knew as Cronus. “He was a lot slimmer when I saw him. He was frail, but that is him.”