The man imploded.
Like sucked right into himself and crumpled.
Alex lowered her dagger as both of us looked at him. “Really?” she said, mouth dropping open. “That’s how you get rid of shades?”
He arched a brow. “How else would I?”
Now my mouth was hanging open. “Seriously? This entire time and all you had to do was snap your fingers?”
“Why, yes. All gods can.”
I frowned. “Seth can’t—” I sucked in a sharp breath as I realized I’d said that in the present tense. “Seth couldn’t do that.”
An emotion flickered across Apollo’s face, but it was gone before I could figure out what it was. “He would’ve been able to. If he had had more time to learn.”
If he had had more time…
My hand tightened around the dagger. It felt like I’d just stabbed myself in the chest.
Apollo’s head suddenly swung back around as the ground trembled under our feet. Energy poured into the street. Goosebumps erupted all over my arms. The air began to warp, and I saw the blue Mohawk first.
Fury exploded inside me. That Titan had done terrible, horrific things, and he wasn’t alone. The female Titan appeared behind Oceanus, and my lip curled back with a snarl.
She had destroyed Long Beach.
She had made Seth feel like shit.
I wanted to kill them both.
Oceanus smirked as he eyed my father. “This is an interesting development.”
“He came here to die.” Tethys laughed. “In front of his daughter. Cute.”
Oceanus looked the rest of us over. “But where is—”
“Now, Josie,” Apollo commanded.
Sending him a brief glance, I did what he’d instructed me to do earlier. I stalked forward, and then I let all that anger and hurt and fucking despair empower me. Meeting Oceanus’s stare, I swung the dagger high and then brought it down, letting out a scream as I slammed the dagger into the asphalt with everything I had in me.
The dagger cut through the cement and stone, sinking deep. I saw Oceanus’s eyes widen in surprise. I saw him mouth one word.
The force of what I’d done came back up, thrusting through the asphalt and up the length of the blade. It slammed into me, knocking me backward and flat on my ass.
The blade shot into the air, where it vibrated and then stilled. It hovered as if an invisible hand held it. Then it exploded into a million fine pieces, nothing more than dust.
“Was that supposed to happen?” Luke asked.
Apollo widened his stance. “Just wait.”
Eyes wide, I shoved myself up onto my feet. Behind Tethys, the air warped once more and my breath got lodged in my throat as Cronus appeared.
“What have you done?” he asked, that pitch-black gaze burning mine. “What has he done?”
The shades threw their heads back and howled. Their screams sent chills down my spine.
“That’s not creepy or anything.” Alex shuddered. “When are those—?”
The shades charged.
Alex and Aiden shot forward, catching the first wave of shades. Alex slammed the hilt of a Covenant dagger deep into the chest of the first shade. Aiden spun like a graceful dancer, releasing his sickle blade. It caught the shade under the chin. With one clean strike, the head went in one direction and the body went in another. Luke started unloading, striking one shade after another, in the centers of their foreheads.
One blew past Alex, gunning straight for me. Newly honed instinct took over. I lifted my hand and tapped into akasha. Every cell in my body sparked alive as power flowed from my core. A bolt of charged energy arced from my palm, smacking into the center of the shade’s chest. It flew backward, past Oceanus.
It started as a tremor, like a train was running nearby, but the tremor grew until it became hard to stand. The shades stopped attacking, their screams fading as they stared at the ground. Unbalanced, I threw my arms out as I looked at Apollo.
“Please tell me this is supposed to happen.”
The street swelled as if some great pressure was pushing it up. We stumbled back as the street collapsed, settling. The road was cracked, and all I could hear was Luke’s ragged breathing.
Chunks of asphalt spewed into the air, mowing down the shades who hadn’t been wise enough to back away. Dust blanketed the sky, and out of the floating dirt came a hand.
A hand that was about the size of my torso.
Aiden threw an arm out, shielding Alex. “Holy…”
“Daimon balls,” Alex whispered.
Another hand smacked down on the ground, rattling the buildings. A large, soot-covered head appeared. It came out of the torn street, a massive creature that had to be more than twenty feet tall.
I really hoped there weren’t any helicopters flying nearby because there’d be no hiding this guy.
My eyes nearly popped out of my head as my gaze drifted down, and I immediately wished I hadn’t.
“Whoa,” Alex murmured.
The giant was buck-ass naked.
Another set of hands came out of the torn ground. A second giant joined the first and then a third appeared.
Aaand all of them were naked.
“I guess they don’t make clothing big enough for them?” she asked, and a small, hysterical-sounding giggle escaped me.
Oceanus shouted something and then turned. The shades rushed forward, toward the giants. Some fell into the hole in the street. Others were smarter, going around the rift. They swarmed the giants, attacking their legs and climbing up.
Apollo cocked his head to the side and then sighed. “He always has to make a fashionable late entrance.”
A fissure of pure energy shot down the road. Static crackled, and my heart nearly stopped in my chest. Behind Cronus, a column of shimmering blue light appeared. When it faded, Zeus stood there.
“Where do you think you’re going?” He smiled as lightning crackled from his palms and wind blew the strands of his hair.
Cronus drew up short. “Not again.”
“History does have a habit of repeating itself.” Zeus smiled.
“Look!” Aiden shouted.
Black dots appeared in the sky above us, circling and swirling, coming closer and closer to the ground with each cycle. They weren’t dots. They were large winged creatures.
“Furies.” Luke cursed.
Before we had a chance to run for cover, they carpet-bombed the shades trying to slow down the giants, snatching them up with their clawed feet and throwing them into the air. Oily blood arced out, dotting the broken ground. A shadow passed over me and the ground shook as a furie landed directly in front of me.
I gasped. “Erin?”
The furie winked. I barely recognized her features, but it was her in her true form. “Be right back.”
Using powerful legs, she launched into the sky. Within seconds, she had a shade in her grip. I stared at her, shocked that she was, in fact, very much alive.
My father hadn’t lied about that, at least.
The first giant broke free from the shades and rushed forward, each step jarring the earth. It was heading straight for Tethys.
A burst of white light shot from Apollo, striking Tethys in the back. She stumbled. She didn’t fall, but Apollo had cornered her. Zeus was doing the same, hitting Cronus over and over with lightning.
Apollo and Zeus weren’t killing the Titans. They were trapping them, not allowing them to escape.
Alex walked past me and picked up an overturned bench. She sat down, plopping her cheek on her fist.
“Getting comfortable?” Aiden asked.
She lifted a shoulder. “Not like they need our help.”
“For once.” A rare grin appeared on Luke’s face as he watched one of the giants snatch up Tethys in a meaty hand. The female Titan shrieked and flailed, but she was not getting free. “It’s about time.”
The four of us were actually on the sidelines as Apollo and Zeus, along with the furies, took over. I couldn’t help but think if Seth were here, he would’ve passed out from seeing this.
A sad smile tugged at my lips. He wouldn’t even believe what he was seeing. That finally, after all this time, after all the deaths and the sacrifices, Zeus was down here, fighting.