I picked up her hand. “What’s wrong, Josie? Why are you at the infirmary?”
She glanced at the pure before drawing in a deep breath. The entire damn world stopped at that moment, because the question formed even though I couldn’t speak it out loud.
Did something happen to the baby?
The pure cleared his throat. “I’ll give you two some time. Dr. Morales will be back as soon as she can.”
“Thank you,” Josie replied.
The pure nodded in my direction as he slipped past the bed and out the door, closing it quietly behind him.
“Babe.” My damn hand trembled as it coasted over her cheek, my heart pounding in my chest. “Tell me what’s going on, because my head is going in so many directions right now, and none of them are good.”
“Seth.” She curled her hand around my forearm, her fingers cool. Her shoulders tensed. “Did you guys get back from finding the demigod? Bring him back?”
“We found him. He’s not here yet. We’ll talk about that later, but that’s not what I care about right now.”
Josie’s brows knitted. “If you weren’t done, why are you here?”
“Your father told me to come here.”
Her eyes grew wide with surprise as her hand slipped off my forearm.
I dragged my thumb along her jaw as my heart still raced in my chest. “Tell me what happened.”
Those bright blue eyes met mine. “You don’t know what happened here while you were gone?”
I coughed out a short laugh. “I don’t know anything.”
She looked away then. “There was an attack—the pure-bloods. They apparently caught a bunch of half-bloods off guard in the cafeteria. They killed…they killed nine half-bloods and two pure Guards, Seth. They stabbed them to death or used the elements. I managed to stop some of them.”
“You were fighting?” I felt sick. Was she hurt? Was our child hurt? “Psychi mou…”
“I had to do something, Seth. I walked right into the middle of it. I wasn’t going to run away and hide.”
Of course she wasn’t.
Josie was brave, and that was dangerous, because she didn’t even realize it.
She swallowed as she pressed her lips together, and my feeling of unease tripled, burning through my veins like acid. Sitting down on the edge of the bed, by her hip, I picked up her hand again. “There’s more?” I asked, sensing that there was.
Josie nodded as she squeezed her eyes shut. “The furies were unleashed.”
Every part of me froze.
That was the last thing I’d suspected her to say. I’d seen firsthand what the furies were capable of when they were unleashed from their tombs.
“They came out of nowhere, and they were brutal.” She tipped her head back against the extremely flat pillow. “It didn’t matter. They were just ripping through people. We got caught outside with them.”
I brought her hand to my chest. “Who were you with?”
Those beautiful eyes opened and slid to meet mine. “There was a Sentinel.” She frowned. “I don’t even know his name. He knew me, but I…” Josie sighed. “There was him, Alexander, and—” Her voice cracked. “And Colin.”
Immediately I knew.
I knew without her having to explain anything that something really bad had happened. I closed my eyes as I brought her hand to my mouth, pressing a kiss to her knuckles.
“The furie went right at Colin, and I tried to stop it,” she whispered, voice thick. “I killed it, Seth. I killed it. I killed a furie.”
My eyes opened. “Oh, Josie, babe, you did what you had to do.”
“I know.” Tears filled her eyes, thickened her voice. “But I was too late. The furie had a hold on Colin, and it killed him.”
Heart sinking, I leaned over as I let go of her hand. Cupping her cheek, I pressed my forehead to hers. I’d never liked the guy. Wasn’t exactly based on something he’d ever done. My dislike was on my end, but he’d been a good friend to Josie, and I didn’t want her to lose anyone else, because she’d already lost so much.
“I’m so sorry.” Tilting my head, I kissed away the tear that tracked down her cheek. “I’m so sorry.”
“He didn’t deserve that, Seth. The pain he must’ve felt—the fear? He didn’t deserve that.” Her breath caught as she gripped the front of my shirt. “None of them deserved that.”
“I know.” I smoothed my hand along her jaw as I kissed her other cheek. “It shouldn’t have happened.”
And I couldn’t help but feel like I should’ve been here. I didn’t say it, because she didn’t need to hear that right now, but damn it, whenever Josie needed me the most, I was gone. She didn’t need me to always be there to protect her, but I wanted to be. I wanted to be there to protect her from seeing this harshness, from being in danger.
Worse yet, none of this explained why she was lying in this bed.
Part of me didn’t even want to ask, because I wasn’t sure what I’d do. Yeah, after seeing what I had seen in Long Beach, I knew to control my temper, to not just react out of emotion.
But if something happened to our child, I couldn’t say what I would do. Every action had a reaction, and I knew my reaction would rock the whole damn world. The fear that was building inside me was something I’d never experienced before. It was raw and consuming as I drew back just enough that I could see her face. I tried to prepare myself for what I was terrified to hear. I took a shallow breath as more tears formed on her thick lashes.
No matter what, I would hold it together. I would be here for her if the news was bad. I wasn’t going to fly off the handle and abandon her. I wasn’t that person anymore.
“Talk to me.” I guided her gaze to mine. “Are you okay? Is our child okay?”
Josie’s hand spasmed around my shirt. “I’m okay,” she whispered, tugging at me. “The baby is okay.”
I didn’t hear her right.
There was no way I did.
A shudder rocked me. “Josie…”
“I got knocked down by a pure-blood,” Josie continued, watching me. “I wasn’t hurt, but I felt weird. There wasn’t time to really think about what happened, because then the furies came.”
I tensed all over again. “Is that pure still alive?”
“I don’t know.”
I would find out. “And what happened?”
“Everything with the furies happened, and then I was with Marcus. He’d rounded up all the pure-bloods who were a part of the attack and they were being led off to be questioned when I felt this sharp pain in my stomach.”
Holding onto her hand, I breathed in the minty scent of the infirmary. Shit.
“At first, it went away, and then I felt it again,” she explained. “Along with this weird pulling sensation. It scared me, and Marcus—he was really good. He got me right here and had the doctor see me even though they are crazy busy with all the injuries.”
It might make me an ass, but I really didn’t care about any of the other injuries right now. My stomach pitched once more. “And it’s not the baby?”
A tentative smile pulled at her lips. “The doctor doesn’t think so. She thinks I actually pulled a muscle.” Her laugh was hoarse. “Didn’t know a demigod could pull a muscle, but apparently we can. I guess I overreacted.”
“You didn’t overreact.” I squeezed her hand as cautious relief seeped into me. “You feel like something’s wrong, you get to the doctor. I’m thinking you did the right thing.” Wishing the doctor was in here, I smoothed my thumb along her palm. “Are you sure everything is fine with the baby?”
“She and the nurse did an exam, a blood test, and gave me another pregnancy test. There was nothing in the exam that she found concerning and both the blood and pregnancy showed positive.” She shifted on the bed, still holding onto my shirt. “You can’t see the baby’s aether any longer, can you?”
“I only saw it when your powers were unlocked. Both your aether and the baby’s faded after a few moments.” I drew in a shallow breath. “What about that scan thing they do for women when they’re pregnant? I think it’s called an ultrasound?”