I sure hoped not, because I really didn’t want to see what else was going to come through. Well, if it was a Pegasus, then I’d like to see that. As long as it didn’t try to eat me.

Aiden was quiet for a moment and then sighed heavily. “Let’s get out of here before Hades decides to make an appearance.”

Now that made me laugh. “He wouldn’t have the balls. Anyway, there’s something I want to ask you—”

I felt the presence of another god a second before the runes sparked alive on my skin. I spun, stepping in front of Aiden as the air crackled with power—absolute power.

“But I do have the balls.”

Chapter 5

Josie

Sitting with my legs curled under me, I hid my grin as Alexandria “Alex” Andros paced in front of me while I sat on a couch in a room I’d actually never been in before.

The University in South Dakota was on a huge, sprawling campus, so there were a ton of places I hadn’t seen yet. Entire buildings I hadn’t even stepped foot in.

But damn, I wished I’d seen this room before, because it was full of great ways to waste a day away with, everything from air hockey to Pac-Man. The arcade games behind me were quiet, as were the tables, but I figured even if they were turned on, Alex would’ve drowned out the beeps and thuds with her rant.

Saying Alex was annoyed would’ve been an understatement.

“I can’t believe they left me here.” Her pretty, heart-shaped face was flushed with irritation. “I could’ve helped them.”

This was probably my fault.

If I hadn’t started roaming around, looking to see if Seth had returned, I wouldn’t have run into Alex, who was also roaming around, looking for Aiden. The moment I asked if she’d seen Seth, she’d put two and two together, and then her uncle Marcus, the dean at the University, had confirmed what she’d suspected.

Aiden and Seth had left to deal with an issue in Los Angeles.

“They’re out there dealing with daimons on steroids and I’m here when I should be out there with them.” She stormed past me again, stopping by the ping pong table. For a second, I thought she might actually flip it, but she pivoted around. “And they know that. Both of them.”

Pressing my lips together, I resisted the urge to laugh as I folded my right arm over my lower stomach. Only Alex would be upset about being left out of hunting down and killing charred-up, gross daimons.

“Instead, I’m doing nothing but bitching and moaning. It’s not like I can’t fight. They don’t have to worry about me getting hurt or something.”

“Like they would with me?”

She stopped, her warm brown eyes widening. “No! I didn’t mean that.”

I lifted my brows. “It’s okay. It’s kind of true. That’s probably why Seth didn’t tell me where he was going.”

“He probably knew you’d insist on going with him.” Alex started pacing again. “You can fight, too. I’ve seen you.” Letting her head fall back, she groaned. “Guys are such caveman douchebags.”

I thought about the conversation I had with Seth last night. Would I have insisted before? Hell yeah. I’d want to be in the thick of it, even if it terrified me. I’d want to prove myself. Now? I would’ve wanted to help, but I wouldn’t have insisted. Fighting a battle I wasn’t even needed in didn’t seem like a wise choice to make.

Wow.

I was more mature than I realized.

“Sorry, I didn’t mean to insinuate anything. I’m just so freaking annoyed.” Alex plopped down on the couch beside me. “I’m going to throat-punch Aiden.”

I laughed then, unable to help myself.

She slid me a long look and then grinned. “I’m what most people would consider ‘extra,’ aren’t I?”

“A little.”

There’d been a time, not too long ago, when I was consumed with jealousy when I thought about Alex and her history with Seth. I mean, who’d blame me? Alex was gorgeous and a legit badass, a legend among half-bloods and pure-bloods.

And she’d been involved with Seth.

Like there’d definitely been some swapping of bodily fluid going on between them at one point, and it hadn’t mattered that at the end of the day she’d always, irrevocably been in love with Aiden.

Alex was just, well, everything I wasn’t.

Or at least that was how I used to see her, and see myself. Heck, at one point I thought Seth had been in love with her. I’d gotten over all of that, mainly because I stopped comparing myself to her. We may have been oddly related in a really weird and distant way and had some bizarre stuff in common, but we weren’t the same. Alex and I were now friends, pretty close friends. She’d been with me when I found out I was pregnant.

And that had still been kind of awkward.

Alex leaned back into the couch, letting her head rest against the tall, thick cushions as her arms flopped limply at her sides. “I just hate sitting things out, you know?”

I didn’t really know, not in the way she did, because all of this—the fighting, the killing, the protecting—was still new to me, but I nodded. Alex had grown up in this life. This was just an ordinary Tuesday for her.

Her sigh was impressive, sounding so much like her uncle when he was annoyed by one thing or another. That one thing usually being Seth. “I hope we figure out why these earthquakes are still…” She trailed off as her head swiveled to the door. “Well, this should be interesting.”

I followed her gaze and saw a messy riot of curly blond hair. A grin raced across my face. “Deacon!”

Aiden’s younger brother inched into the room, his silvery gaze the only thing that physically matched his darker-haired brother. “Are you guys busy? I have a surprise.”

With Deacon, a surprise could be anything. Once he told me he had a surprise for me, and it was a painting he’d done of a Cabbage Patch Doll. It was strikingly realistic and a little unnerving.

“No. We’re not busy,” Alex answered, still sprawled beside me as if all the bones had been sucked out of her body. “We’re painfully not busy.”

Deacon eyed her and then shook his head. “I have a guest.”

He stepped aside, extending a hand. I expected to see his super handsome and always calm boyfriend Luke, but that wasn’t who crept tentatively into the room.

It was a girl about my height, with warm brown skin and raven-colored hair that fell past her shoulders in tight, springy curls.

“Cora!” Surprise rippled through me. The most recently acquired demigod—er, okay, she was kind of kidnapped—hadn’t stepped foot out of her room since Deacon and Luke brought her here. The only people who she’d spent time with had been Gable, the son of Poseidon that we’d found in Malibu, and Colin, a half-blood who went to school here.

The girl, a daughter of Demeter, gave me an awkward one-armed wave. “Hey.”

Luke was now in the doorway, beside the dark-haired and perpetually tan Gable. I imagined he got that skin tone from spending countless hours every day surfing. How incredibly cliché was that? Being the son of Poseidon and having a knack for water sports.

“Cora has decided to check out the campus.” Deacon clasped his hands together. “Isn’t that exciting?”

Alex glanced at me. “Yeah, that’s really exciting.”

I smiled at the quiet girl, who was obviously way out of her element. I couldn’t blame her for holing herself up in the room and refusing to come out. It had been a shock when I found out the truth about this world of gods and halfs and pures coexisting among the mortal realm. I’d run from the truth. I just hadn’t made it very far.

“I figured since a lot of the students are gone for summer break, it won’t be as overwhelming. I’m her official tour guide,” Deacon continued, draping his arm over the girl’s shoulders. “Luke is my assistant.”

Luke rolled his eyes.

“And Gable-boy is here for…why are you here?” Deacon raised a quizzical brow. “Moral support?”

Gable’s bronzed cheeks pinked as he quickly found something about the brown carpet to be fascinating. “Yeah. Moral support.”

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