Santa winged the barstool at the bar. That thing flew through the air like a damn Frisbee. The bartender ducked at the last second, and the stool crashed into the shelf lined with liquor. Glass shattered and liquor spewed into the air.
Well, that had escalated quickly.
The bartender popped up and vaulted over the bar. Vaulted. He tackled Santa, crashing into the table next to where we sat. Plates broke as a burly redhead snatched his beer off the table before it was lost.
Luke ducked as a bottle flew over his head. He turned to me. “You going to get up and help anytime soon?”
“Not yet.” My gaze trekked over the bar, searching out any new faces. I was sure I’d seen everyone come in, but obviously I had missed someone.
Because if they’d been right about who this demigod was, he was in here.
Deacon reached over our table and picked up my barely-touched plate of food. “Keeping it safe for you.”
“Sure,” I murmured, scanning the bar.
He backed away, cuddling the plate close to his chest.
“Gods.” Alex swung, catching a tall, scrawny guy who was making a beeline for Deacon by the scruff of the neck. She tossed the guy back, and he slid along the now-slippery floor. “Seth, are you enjoying yourself?”
“Immensely,” I murmured.
Then I saw him.
Well, saw the back of him.
He was tall and his dark hair brushed the collar of the back of his white shirt. He’d easily dipped under a thrown punch that connected with some poor guy’s face. He was carrying a mug of what appeared to be beer.
Every godly instinct in me told me that was who we were looking for.
A slow smile spread over my face as I finally got my ass out of the chair. “Guys, I think we got a winner.”
I watched in stunned silence as a half-blood jumped off the portico and power-bombed a pure into the marble walkway, cracking the stone. Like, legit picked the pure up over his shoulders and then slammed him down like he was in some pro-wrestling match.
“Holy crap,” I whispered. I started to look away, but something odd caught my attention. The pure on the ground was wearing a mask.
The same mask I’d seen by the body of the half-blood girl. Before I could even process that, everything around me changed.
Intense heat blasted the air. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a damn fireball heading straight for the half’s back. I reacted without thought.
Raising my hand, I summoned the water element. Power rushed through me as the air around me dampened and constricted. It was like a tiny rainstorm erupted out of thin air, dousing the fireball before it hit the half.
I’d finally used the element of water correctly.
I wanted to throw myself a little party, but there was no time to be proud of myself.
The fire-happy pure turned to me as the half spun around. Lifting his hand, the pure halted the moment he got a really good look at who I was, and he froze right there. He too was wearing that mask.
It was the same bronze mask, covering the entire face with just thin slits for eyes. The cheeks were overly round and the closed mouth formed a grotesque smile. Etched into the center of the mask’s forehead was that damn circle with an off-center arrow striking through it.
Seeing it by itself was one thing, but seeing it on someone was a whole different experience.
“Well, that’s a mask of nightmares,” I said.
The masked man shuffled back a step, and then tucked tail and ran, dodging between sprawling halfs and pures.
Starting forward, I scanned the open campus grounds and realized that several of the people fighting were masked. Dozens of them.
“Thank you,” the half said, wiping a hand over his forehead as he stared at the wet spot on the walkway. “Shit. That would’ve killed me.”
I started to ask him what had happened, but I saw a different half fly past us, her midsection pressed to the top of her thighs. It was like there was an invisible string attached to her waist, yanking her back toward the entrance of the cafeteria. She was a Guard dressed all in white, and the woman was going so fast through the air that I knew if she hit the building, it would break every bone in her body.
I had to do something.
Spinning, I tapped into the air element, but it was too late. The female Guard hit the wall. Blood splattered where the back of her head connected with the brickwork.
I jolted as I sucked in a sharp breath.
Someone screamed, but the words were lost as horror filled me. The Guard fell, crumpled in a bloody, messy heap.
“Gods.” Anger pumped through my veins as I pivoted.
Some part of me clicked off as I stalked past the half. There was fury just burning through my skin as I neared a fighting half and a masked pure. The pure was on top of the half. The clouds above parted. Sunlight glinted off a blade—an actual knife—as the pure swung his arm.
This wasn’t fighting.
They were trying to kill the halfs—they were killing them, just like they’d killed that girl and caused the death of the other half-blood when I first arrived here.
And Seth had been right yesterday in Marcus’s office. I was bloodthirsty.
I wasn’t thinking about what I was doing as I gripped the shoulder of the masked pure. I was just so pissed. There were Titans out there, hell-bent on taking over Olympus and the world, and they were fighting? Over what? Because one group had more aether in their blood?
This was so damn stupid it went beyond tragic.
My touch startled him. His downward swipe halted as his head swung in my direction, and I found myself staring down into those weird slits.
“Asshole,” I said, and then I tapped into the air element.
The masked pure flew backward, hitting the ground and then rolling several more feet. The knife was lost in the grass.
I continued walking, catching another masked pure off-guard. I threw him backward, into the center of the walkway. The man was stunned as I crouched over and gripped the edges of the mask. The pure grunted as it ripped off his face.
I stared into the emerald-green eyes of a pure-blood that couldn’t have been much older than me. That got to me, cutting so deep. This guy was so young. “What is wrong with you?”
The pure blanched to a pale, sickly white.
Metal heated under the unnatural fire I summoned. Flames rippled over the mask, and within seconds ashes slipped from my fingers.
“Holy shit.” The pure scrambled backwards, on his hands like a crab, and then he rolled. Pushing to his feet, he took off running.
I smiled as I wiped my hands off on my jeans.
I felt like a badass—like Maggie from The Walking Dead. I was leading the—
Hands landed onto my shoulders, pulling me backward. I lost my balance and went down hard, landing on my butt with jarring force. The sunlight was blocked by a shadowy form, and the next thing I saw was a large boot coming down, aiming straight for my stomach. A burst of panic lit up. Not for me, but for my child.
Rolling to the side, I grunted as the boot caught my hip. The spike of dull pain was nothing compared to how bad it could’ve been. I rose onto my hands and knees and then pushed up, springing to my feet. An odd feeling shot across my stomach. Not a pain, exactly, but more like a pulling sensation. There was no time to dwell on it. I darted to the side. Knowing I needed to avoid hand to hand combat, I summoned the air element.
The masked pure jerked and then folded as if his legs had been cut out from underneath him. He hit the ground where I’d just been. Lifting my gaze, I saw Colin.
“Hey,” I said, placing my hand over my stomach. “Thanks for that.”
Concern pulled at his face. “Are you okay?”
“Yeah.” Breathing heavy as I lowered my hand from my stomach. Unless Alex or Deacon had told him, he didn’t know I was pregnant. Taking another look at him, I saw that his shirt had dark splotches all over. Blood. My stomach dipped. “Where are Cora and Gable?”
“They’re in Cora’s room. Or they better be. I was trying to grab them something to eat.” Shaking his head, he thrust his hand through his black hair. “It’s crazy. They attacked in the cafeteria. About fifty of them, all wearing those damn masks. Just started stabbing halfs and Guards.”
Another wave of horror rose. “Fifty?”