Updated: Jan 22
by Jennifer L Armentrout
Published by Spencer Hill Press
Book 3 in the Covenant Series
History is on repeat, and things didn't go so well the last time.
Alexandria isn't sure she's going to make it to her eighteenth birthday--to her Awakening. A long-forgotten, fanatical order is out to kill her, and if the Council ever discovers what she did in the Catskills, she's a goner... and so is Aiden.
If that's not freaky enough, whenever Alex and Seth spend time "training"--which really is just Seth's code word for some up-close and personal one-on-one time--she ends up with another mark of the Apollyon, which brings her one step closer to Awakening ahead of schedule. Awesome.
But as her birthday draws near, her entire world shatters with a startling revelation and she's caught between love and Fate. One will do anything to protect her. One has been lying to her since the beginning. Once the gods have revealed themselves, unleashing their wrath, lives will be irrevocably changed... and destroyed.
Those left standing will discover if love is truly greater than Fate..
RATED: 14+ CATEGORY: MOOD:
Foul Language Young Adult Action
Some Steaminess Mythology Emotional
Deity by Jennifer L Armentrout is the third book in the Covenant series. The best way to describe Deity, is by going back to the first book, and reading Grandma Piperi's prophecy. Deity is the answers to all the questions Alex had after her encounter with her. Add that to her deepening connection to Seth, her growing emotions and attraction with Aiden, and her worries about Awakening on her birthday, we have one action packed book, that will leave you stunned in the end.
I mean that. I literally got to the last page, dropped my phone, and said "Holy shit." Because I'm dramatic like that.
This series so far has been nothing but climatic. Especially Diety. There is literally no moment where I was bored. The story is constantly one upping itself, and keeps up it's wonderful originality within the genre ... while still keeping true to Jennifer L Armentrouts YA formula. I've read enough of her books to know that in every YA series, there is always a cafeteria scene, where someone is getting good dumped on them. Or thrown at them.
Alex is probably one of Jennifer's strongest female leads that I have come across in her books. At least top 3. She constantly shows her strength and bravery through her actions and words, yet has a vulnerable side to those she is closest to. She's intelligent, and begins to acknowledge that her choices have power. By going along with the normal way of things, she accepting the treatment of half-bloods, and the laws enslaving them. Alex is good. Is she wild, and fiesty, with one hell of a temper? Hell. Yeah. But she has a strong head of her shoulders, and does what is right ... not caring about the consequences.
Aiden .... oh my heart. One of my favorite things about this book was Aiden and Alex getting closer. He is the perfect half to Alex. Brave and strong also, with a strong moral compass, he is the rational side, to her irrational one. Neither of them give up, especially on each other. His obvious adoration and love of Alex is obvious to everyone but Alex it seems.
Oh Seth. I once described Seth as the devil on Alex's shoulder, while Aiden is the angel. Seth is definitely something all right. His actions in the book constantly had me cringing. It was obvious where it was going. Hell, the prophecy in book one essentially spoiled this book. While his actions in this book are ... for lack of a better word ... horrible, I can't give up on him yet. Much like Alex. She knows Seth, and this isn't him. I hope my thoughts on him are correct. Piperi's prophecy, when she says "The poor child, he doesn't see it," HAS to be talking about Seth. By the end of this book, it's obvious he has been groomed from the start, easy pickings due to his lonely childhood with no parents who loved him.
Deity was such a INSANE ride. I just knew that this book ended on a cliff hanger (I see you, Jennifer. The third book is ALWAYS a cliffhanger), but what a freaking cliffhanger it is. I can't WAIT to dive into the novella Elixir (from Aiden's POV), and then into the fourth book, Apollyon. Get this series. Seriously. I highly recommend it!
Aiden comforting Alex after she found out her father was still alive
Alex throwing her sub at Seth after he asked her if she was PMSing
The sensory deprivation room, where Alex and Aiden face their fears
Aiden and Seth's "boy fight"
Aiden admitting to Alex that he knows Deacon is bisexual, and is only upset over the fact that Deacon hasn't told him
Aiden staying with Alex the night he caught her almost sneaking out
Alex asking Apollo a bunch of insulting questions
Deacon's MHT tree
Aiden finally confessing his love for Alex, and they finally do the deed
Artemis saving Alex from Hades
Aiden giving Alex the rose necklace he made her for her birthday
Where to Buy
Alex: "You were in my dream."
One amber-colored eye opened.
Seth: "Please tell me we were naked."
I rolled my eyes
Alex: "You're such a perv."
Leon: "You are in need of a professional babysitter."
Leon: "Why is it every time I see you, you are about to do something you shouldn't?"
Alex: "It's a talent."
Aiden: "You have this knee-jerk reaction to everything."
Alex: "It's the first initial response. The immediate thought when you hear something. You act on that instead of thinking things through."
I burrowed my cheek against his chest.
Alex: "That's not a compliment."
Aiden: "It's not an insult. It's just who you are. You don't stop to think of the danger, only what is right. But sometimes it's not ... right."
Aiden: "Did you think I wouldn't help you with something as important as this?"
Alex: "Things are ... different."
Aiden: "I know things are different, Alex, but I will always be here for you. I will always help you. How can you ever doubt that?"
Alex: "I don't doubt that."
Aiden: "I told you I'd never let anything happen to you. It seems like a full-time job, though."
My lips quirked
Alex: "I've really been trying, you know. Today was the first day I even did anything remotely stupid."
Aiden: "What did you do?"
Alex: "You really don't want to know."
Seth: "I know what you're feeling right now. I totally approve of it."
My cheeks burned
Alex: "Gods, I hate you."
Alex: "Get off."
Seth: "I was trying to."
Marcus: "Are we keeping you from a nap, Alexandria?"
Leon: "They were training, in her room."
I wanted to die.
Lucian: "It is expected. They are young and drawn to one another. You cannot fault them for seeking privacy."
I couldn't help it. My eyes found Aiden. He stood beside Leon and Linard, his gaze flitting over the room, stopping and lingering on me before passing on.
Marcus: "Fated or not, the rules of the Covenant still apply to them, Minister. And from what I've heard, Seth has a hard time remaining in his own room at your house during the night."
Seth: "I think we've been found out."
There was no way Aiden could've heard Seth, but anger rolled off him in waves, so much so that Seth tipped his head up, met Aiden's stare, and smile.
I'd had it. Sitting up straight, I knocked Seth's arm off the back of my chair.
Alex: "Is this why we're having a meeting? Because, seriously, I could really use a nap instead."
Lucian: "The best we can do at this point is to ensure that Alexandria stays out of trouble and does not give the Head Minister any excuse to place her into servitude."
Several pairs of eyes landed on me. Alex: "I'll try not to do anything crazy."
Marcus arched a brow
Marcus: "That would be a nice change."
Alex: "Time for me to awaken? Then what? You don't care what happens to me?"
Lucian: "Nonsense. Not only will you have power, Seth will be able to protect both of you."
Alex: "I don't need Seth to protect me!"
Seth: "You know how to make a guy feel useful."
Alex: "Shut up. You know what I mean. I can fight. I've killed daimons and I fought the furies and lived. I don't need Seth to be my babysitter."
Leon: "You do need a babysitter, but I doubt he's qualified for the job."
Aiden coughed, but it sounded an awful lot like a choked laugh
Seth: "Do you think you can do a better job? Because you're more than welcome to try."
Aiden's eyes went from gray to silver, his full lips tilted into a smirk as he met Seth's stare.
Aiden: "I think we both know the answer to that."
My jaw hit the floor.
Seth: "Simmer down, cuddle-bunny."
Jackson: "You're going to be hurting by the end of class."
I raised a brow and motioned him forward with one hand. I waited until he was only a foot away before I launched a brutal offensive. I was fast and light on my feet. He would feint in one direction to avoid a sharp thrust and end up with a sideways kick in his back, panting and swearing from a fierce spin kick.
Alex: "I'm going to be hurting? Nah, I don't think so."
Breathing harshly, he jumped onto the balls of his feet
Jackson: "Wait and see, baby."
Alex: "Baby? I'm not your baby."
Aiden: "You've never been one to wallow in self-pity when the odds are stacked against you."
Alex: "I'm not wallowing in self-pity, Aiden."
Aiden: "Really? Just like you aren't settling for Seth?"
Alex: "I'm not settling. I don't want to talk about Seth."
Aiden: "I cannot believe you've forgiven him for what ... for what he did to you."
Alex: "That wasn't his fault, Aiden. Seth didn't give me the brew. He didn't force -"
Aiden: "He still knew better!"
Alex: "I'm not talking to you about this."
I started to back away
The hand beside him clenched
Aiden: "So you are still .. with him?"
Alex: "Define 'with,' Aiden."
I tipped my head up
Alex: "Do you mean am I hanging out with him or are we just friends? OR did you mean to ask if we're sleeping together?"
His eyes narrowed into thin slits that shone a fierce silver.
Alex: "And why are you asking, Aiden? Whatever the answer is doesn't even matter."
Aiden: "But it does."
Alex: "You have no idea. It doesn't. It's fate, remember?"
I grabbed for my bag again, but he caught my arm again
Alex: "What do you want from me?"
Aiden: "You're afraid."
I laughed, but it came out sounding like a nervous croak
Alex: "I'm not afraid."
Aiden's eyes drifted over my head and determination settled into his eyes.
Aiden: "Yes. You are."
Without saying anything else, he turned me around and pulled me toward the sensory deprivation chamber.
My eyes shot wide
Alex: "What are you doing?"
Aiden: "Do you know what they use this for?"
Alex: "Um, to train?"
Aiden: "Do you know how ancient warriors trained? They used to fight Deimos and Phobos, who used the warriors' worst fears against them during battle."
Alex: "Thanks for the daily weird god history lesson, but -"
Aiden: "But the gods of Fear and Terror have been off the circuit for a while, they created this chamber. They believe that fighting using only your other senses to guide you is the best way to hone your skills and face your fears."
Alex: "Fears of what?"
Aiden: "Whatever fear are holding you back."
Alex: "I thought you said I was fearless."
Aiden: "You usually are. Which is why being scared now is so hard for you. Being afraid isn't a weakness, Alex. It's only a sign of something you must overcome."
Alex: "Fear is a weakness."
Expecting him to still be in front of me, I decided to go along with him. I threw an elbow out, but he wasn't here. And then he was at my back, his breath dancing along the back of my neck. I swung around, grasping air.
Alex: "What are you afraid of?"
A whoosh of air and he was behind me again.
Aiden: "This isn't about me, Alex. You're afraid of losing yourself."
Alex: "Of course not. What was I thinking? So why don't you tell me what I'm afraid of, oh-fearless-one?"
Aiden: "You're scared of becoming something you have no control over."
He caught my arm as I swung toward the sound of his voice
Aiden: "That scares you to death."
He let go, backing off.
He was right, and because of that, anger and embarrassment flooded me. Out of the darkness surrounding me, there was a patch thicker than the rest. I threw myself at him. Anticipating the move, he caught me by the shoulders. I swung out, catching him in the stomach and chest.
Aiden pushed me back
Aiden: "You're angry because I'm right."
He pressed down, and when he breathed in, his chest rose against mine. In the utter darkness of the sensory deprivation room, his breath was warm against my lips. I didn't dare move. Not even a fraction of an inch.
His grip around my wrists slackened and his hand slipped over my shoulder, cupping my cheek.
Aiden: "It's okay to be afraid, Alex."
I threw my head back then, wanting to be far away from him as much as I wanted to be right where I was.
Aiden: "But you have nothing to fear."
He guided my chin down with gentle fingers.
Aiden: "When will you learn. You're the only person who has control over who you become. You're too strong to ever lose yourself. I believe that. Why can't you?"
Alex: "What are you afraid of?"
Aiden: "I thought you said I was afraid of nothing once."
Alex: "I did."
Aiden shifted slightly and his thumb caressed the curve of my cheek.
Aiden: "I'm afraid of something."
Aiden: "I'm afraid of never being allowed to feel what I do."
Luke: "Gods, Alex! Holy Hades, what are you doing in here?"
Alex: "How'd you know it was me by just feeling up my boobs?"
Luke: "It's a superpower."
Luke: "You need someone who wants to be around you not because of what you are, but who you are."
My jaw hit the mat
Luke: "Everyone knows what you are, Alex. And most people thing it's pretty damn cool. What they don't think is cool - the reason why everyone is avoiding you - is your attitude. Everyone gets that you're hurt over Caleb and what happened with your mom. We understand that, but that doesn't mean we have to tolerate your constant bitchiness."
In the silence and darkness surrounding us, Luke found me and wrapped his arms around my stiff shoulders.
Luke: "Well, maybe we do have to tolerate it a little bit. You are an Apollyon after all. And even though you've been a giant bitch, we still love you and we're worried."
Leon: "May I ask why you're passing notes to Aiden?"
Alex: "It's a love note. I'm asking him to circle 'yes' or 'no' if he likes me."
Alex: "I was beginning to think you found your own bed more appealing."
Seth: "You missed me."
Alex: "I don't need a damn babysitter."
Seth: "Yes, you do. The girl who can't follow rules to save her own life is still inside you."
Alex: "You're an asshole."
Seth: "Been called worse by you, so I'll take that as a compliment."
Alex: "Look, this whole marking and Awakening thing freaks me out. You know that, but ... but I shouldn't have accused you."
Seth: "No, you shouldn't have."
Alex: "And this has nothing to do with Aiden."
I grabbed his free hand and he flinched
Alex: "I'm sorry, Seth."
He stared behind me, lips thin.
Alex: "I really am sorry."
I let go of his hand and placed my head against his chest. Carefully, I wrapped my arms around him.
Alex: "I just don't want to become someone else."
Seth inhaled sharply
Seth: "Alex ..."
He dropped his shoes and swept his arms around me.
Seth: "You drive me crazy."
Alex: "I know. The feeling is mutual."
Aiden: "That's enough. Back off."
Seth: "You really want to get involved in this? Right now?"
Aiden: "More than you would ever know."
Akasha fizzled out and Seth pushed Aiden
Seth: "Oh, I think I do. And you know what, it's something I think about ... every time. You get what I'm saying?"
Aiden: "That's the best you got, Seth? Because I think you and I both know the truth about that."
Oh dear gods, this was turning into a boy fight.
Seth moved so fast it was hard to see him. An arm cocked back, aiming right for Aiden's jaw. Reacting just as fast, Aiden caught Seth's arm and threw him back again.
Aiden: "Try it again, and I won't stop."
A second later they were crashing into each other. Both his the ground, rolling and throwing punches . They weren't even fighting like Sentinels. There was nothing graceful in their punches or blocks. They brawled like two idiots high on testosterone, and I had the strongest urge to walk up and kick them both in the head.
I threw my hands up
Alex: "You've got to be kidding me."
The Guards and Leon shot forward, grabbing for the two guys. It took several tries to get Aiden off Seth.
Leon: "Are you done? Aiden, you need to stop."
Aiden wiped the back of his hand over his cheek as he shrigged Leon's hand off.
Aiden: "Yeah, I'm done."
Alex: "Do you have any idea how nice it is to be able to do something other than train or stay in my room?"
Leon: "Or spend time with Seth?"
Alex: "Was that a joke? Oh, my gods. It was."
Leon: "There is nothing about that boy that is a joking matter."
Alex: "Okay. You really don't like Seth, do you?"
Leon: "Is it that obvious?"
I peeked at him
Alex: "No. Not at all."
He sighed deeply as he stared up at the statue of Apollo and Daphne, a distant look on his face.
Leon: "Emotions that are forced always end in tragedy."
Alex: "Do you think Daphne knew that the only way she could escape Apollo was by dying?"
Leon: "Daphne did not die, Alex. She still remains as she was the day ... she was lost. A laurel tree."
Alex: "Man, that sucks. Apollo was such a freak."
Leon: "Apollo was struck by a love arrow and Daphne was struck by a lead one. Like I said, love that is not organic in nature is dangerous and tragic."
Alex: "Well, I hope I don't have to turn myself into a tree."
Leon: "Then pay attention to what is need and what is want."
Alex: "That's really cool that Deacon is studying and all."
Aiden: "Can I ask you a question?"
I pulled out the massive book and placed it between us.
Aiden: "Do I look stupid?"
My hand froze over the edge of the book
Alex: "Uh, is this a trick question?"
He arched a brow
Alex: "No. You don't look stupid."
Aiden: "I didn't think so."
He reached over, taking the book away from me. His hand brushed mine as he did so, sending little shivers through my fingers.
Aiden: "They were doing the same amount of studying that we're doing."
Deacon glanced up, grinning as I sat beside him.
Deacon: "How did your library visit go? Get any studying done?"
Alex: "My library visit? How was yours?"
Deacon: "Good. Got a lot of studying done."
Alex: "Wow. Amazing, considering neither of you had any books to study."
Deacon opened his mouth, but shut it.
The tips of his ears turned bright red. He tapped his fingers on the top of the desk.
Deacon: "Well, then."
Telly: "What a mouth you have on you. Tell me, is it because you think you're so safe? That being the Apollyon makes you untouchable? Or is it just blind stupidity?"
I pretended to think about that.
Alex: "Sometimes I do some pretty dumb things. This could be one of them."
He smiled tightly
Telly: "Do you think I'm stupid?"
Alex: "Is that a trick question?"
Telly: "Do you think you're clever?"
Telly's hand snaked out so quickly I didn't even have a chance to deflect the blow. The back of his hand connected with my cheek with enough force to snap my head to the side.
I gripped the edges of the chair, facing him. That's what Telly wanted. He wanted me to strike him back. Then he's have my ass on a golden platter.
I returned the gesture, ignoring the stinging in my cheek.
Alex: "Thank you."
Anger flared deep in his eyes
Telly: "You think you're tough, don't you?"
Alex: "I guess you could say that."
Telly: "You'll go into servitude and you will go on the elixir. If you refuse, well, things will end badly."
My hands curled into fists.
Alex: "You're ... revolting."
Telly started toward me, his hand streaking out to hit me again.
I caught his wrist, my eyes meeting his and holding.
Alex: "I've been hit enough, thank you."
Aiden: "Is that all you'll do? She is your niece, Marcus. He hit your niece and that's your answer?"
Marcus: "I am well aware of the fact that she is my niece, Aiden. And do not think for one second that I found any of this acceptable. I will contact the Council immediately. I do not care that she is a half-blood. Telly has no right."
Alex: "The Council is going to care? Seriously? You guys beat the crap out of servants all the time. Why would I be any different?"
Marcus: "You are not a servant."
Alex: "Does that make it okay? It's okay to beat servants because of their blood? And it's not okay because I have half -"
Behind his desk, Marcus took a deep breath and briefly closed his eyes.
Marcus: "Are you okay, Alexandria?"
Alex: "I'm just peachy."
I heard Aiden move around the table and sit on its edge in front of me. His hand pressed against my other cheek
Aiden: "You can tell me anything. You know that. I will help you always. How can you doubt that?"
Alex: "I don't doubt that."
Aiden: "I want to kill him."
Alex: "Me too, but that's not really going to help things."
Aiden: "But it would make us feel better."
Alex: "Damn, you've gotten dark. Funny, but dark."
Alex: "Gods, I wish you were in front of me."
Seth: "I knew you missed me."
Alex: "No. If you were in front of me, I'd kick you in your junk, Seth."
Seth: "I'd love to be in your head for just one hour. No. Forget that. I don't. You'd kill my self-confidence."
Alex: "Gods, Seth. Sometimes I don't even know you."
Seth: "You never tried to."
Alex: "What am I doing?"
Aiden: "Absolutely nothing if I have anything to do with it."
Shrieking, I dropped the blinded and spun around.
Alex: "Holy daimon babies! You gave me a heart attack."
Aiden: "Sorry about that."
Alex: "What are you doing in my dorm?"
Aiden: "You have a problem with guys in your dorm now?"
Alex: "Ha. Ha. Actually, I never invited Seth in here. He just kind of made himself at home."
Aiden: "Look. Get mad at me. Hit me. It doesn't change anything."
I moved toward him, to push him but not actually hit him.
Alex: "You can't -"
Aiden caught both of my wrists to one hand. He sighed.
Aiden: "I didn't mean for you to actually hit me."
Too stunned to respond, I just stared at him. Our heads were only inches apart. My legs tangled with his, and then he reached up with his free hand, smoothing the mess of hair back from my face. My breath caught as my heart sped back up. Our gazes locked and his eyes turned to quicksilver.
He cupped the nap of my neck. I heard his sharp intake of breath. Then he let go of my wrists and grasped my hips. Before I could blink, I was on my back, and Aiden hovered over me. Using one arm to support himself, he lowered his head and brushed his lips over my swollen cheek.
Aiden: "How do we always end up like this?"
Alex: "I didn't do this."
Slowly, I lifted my hands and placed them against his chest. His heart jumped under my palm.
Aiden: "No. This was all me."
The lower half of his body shifted down. Out legs were flush. His eyes searched mine.
Aiden: "It gets harder every time."
My brows rose and I bit back a giggle
Alex: "What does?"
Aiden grinned and his eyes lightened
Aiden: "Stopping before it's too late."
Alex: "Don't stop."
He lowered his chin to the top of my head and drew in a deep breath.
Aiden: "Go to sleep, Alex."
My eyes snapped open.
Alex: "I don't think I can sleep now."
Aiden: "Well, you better try."
I tried to wiggle free, but he moved his leg, clamping one of mine between his. My fingers curled into his thermal.
Frustrated, I pushed on his chest. Aiden's laugh rumbled through me, and even though I wanted to smack him, I started to smile.
Alex: "Why? Why did you kiss me? I mean, you did just kiss me, right?"
Aiden: "Yes. No. Sort of."
Aiden: "I wanted to."
Alex: "Okay. Then why did you stop?"
Aiden: "Can we talk about anything other than that? Please?"
His hand moved up my back, delving into my hair and sending shivers over my skin.
Aiden: "Because I asked you nicely."
Alex: "You remember the weirdest things I say."
His fingers closed over mine
Aiden: "I remember everything you say."
Alex: "That's kind of embarrassing. I say a lot of stupid things."
Aiden: "You do say some pretty weird things."
An ache filled my chest. Being in his arms like this hurt, but there wasn't an ounce of regret. In the silence of the early morning, I admitted that there was no getting over Aiden. No matter what happened from here on out, my heart would remain his. He could settle down with a pure and I could go leave this island forever and it wouldn't matter. Against all offs and common sense, Aiden had slipped under my skin, wrapped himself around my heart and embedded himself into my bones. He was a part of me and ...
All of me - my heart and my soul - would always belong to him.
Aiden: "He has this BMW R1200 C motorcycle in Tomorrow Never Dies. Man, that bike was sweet."
Alex: "Never seen it - the movie."
Aiden: "What? That's sad. We'll have to fix that."
I rolled over. The smile Aiden wore now reached his eyes, turning them a soft heather gray.
Alex: "I have no desire to watch a James Bond movie."
Alex: "Nope. Those movies sound boring to me. So do Clint Eastwood movies. Yawn."
Aiden: "I don't think we can be friends any longer."
I laughed and his smile spread. Those dimples appeared, and oh man, it'd been so long since I'd seen them.
Alex: "You don't smile enough."
Aiden arched a brow.
Aiden: "You don't laugh enough."
Aiden screamed for help as he dropped beside me, knocking my trembling hands out of the way and pressing his own down on the wound. Aiden's stricken face loomed over mine, his eyes wide with horror.
Aiden: "Alex! Alex, talk to me. Talk to me, dammit!"
I blinked and his face formed again, but it was fuzzy. I tried to say his name, but a hoarse, wet cough racked my body.
Aiden: "No! No. No."
He looked over his shoulder at the door. Guards had gathered, drawn by the commotion
Aiden: "Get help! Now! Go!"
My hands spasmed at my sides and then a numbness settled deep in my bones. Nothing hurt really, except my chest, but it ached for a different reason. The way he looked when he turned back to me and his eyes darted to my stomach. He pushed down harder. His gaze was frantic, shocked, and terrified.
I wanted to tell him that I still loved him - that I always had - and I wanted to tell him to make sure Seth didn't lose it. My mouth moved, but no words came out.
Aiden: "It's okay. Everything is going to be okay."
Aiden forced a smile, eyes glistening. Was he crying? Aiden never cried
Aiden: "Just hold on. We're getting help. Just hold on for me. Please, agapi mou. Hold on for me. I promise -"
Caleb: "Don't go toward the light! They lie about the light, you know. Never go toward the light."
I turned slowly, I couldn't believe - didn't want to believe what I was seeing because if this wasn't real ...
Caleb: "Alex? You look like you've seen a ghost."
All my muscles sprang into action at once. I took off toward him and jumped.
Laughing, Caleb caught me around the waist and swung me around. It was like a dam bursting open. I turned into a fat, bawling baby in under a second. My whole body shook; I couldn't help it. It was Caleb - my Caleb, my best friend. Caleb.
Caleb: "Alex, come on."
He set me on my feet, but still held me close.
Caleb: "Don't cry. You know how I get when you cry."
Alex: "I'm ... sorry. Oh, my gods, I can't believe ... you're here."
He smoothed my hair back
Caleb: "Missed me, huh?"
I lifted my head
Alex: "It's not the same without you. Nothing is the same without you."
Caleb: "I've missed you."
Alex: "Caleb, I'm so, so sorry for everything. What happened in Gatlinburg and ... and I didn't really pay attention to what you were going through afterward. I was so stuck on myself."
Caleb: "Alex -"
Alex: "No. I am sorry. Then what happened to you. It wasn't fair. None of it was. And I'm so sorry."
Caleb lowered his forehead to mine and I swore his eyes glistened.
Caleb: "It wasn't your fault, Alex. Okay? Never think that."
Alex: "I just miss you so much. I didn't know what to do after you ... left. I hated you for dying. And I just wanted you back so bad."
Caleb: "I know."
Alex: "But I don't hate you. I love you."
Caleb: "I know."
Alex: "I just miss you so much."
Caleb squeezed me tighter and he laughed
Caleb: "I know, but we need to stop with this friendship bonding crap, Alex. First we're tortured by daimons together and no we've both been stabbed. That's taking the 'we do everything together' to an all-new high."
Caleb: "We don't have much time, Alex. I need you to listen to me. Sometimes we hear things down here ... about what is going on up there. It's about Seth."
Alex: "What ... what about Seth?"
Caleb: "He doesn't really know, Alex. He thinks he's in control, but he's not. Don't ... don't believe everything you hear. There's still hope."
Caleb: "I love you, Alex. You're like the sister I never wanted, you know?"
Alex: "I love you, too."
Caleb: "Never change who you are, Alex. It's your passion - your reckless faith - that will save you, save both of you."
Alex: "I'm like a cat. I sweat I have nine lives."
Aiden: "Alex. You used all those lives, and then some."
Alex: "Well ..."
Aiden cupped my cheek, and warmth sped through me. His thumb smoothed over my jaw
Aiden: "Alex, you ... you died. You died in my arms."
Aiden: "I thought you were gone - you were gone, Alex. You had died, and I was ... I was holding you and there was nothing i could do. I never felt pain like that. Not since I lost my parents, Alex. I never want to feel that again - not with you."
I realized something so important, so powerful them. Aiden could tell me he didn't feel the same way I did. HE could fight what lay between us night and day. He could peak only in lies from here on out. It didn't matter.
I would always, always know differently.
Even if space separated us, or a dozen rules were imposed to keep up apart, and we could never be together, I would always know.
And gods, I loved him - loved him so much. It would never change. There were so many things I was unsure of, especially right now, bit that I knew. Before I could stop it, a single tear escaped, running down my cheek. I squeezed my eyes shut.
He drew in another breath, this one much sharper, more broken. The bed dipped as he moved, and his hand slid into my hair, where his fingers curled around the strands. His lips were warm and smooth against my cheek, kissing the tear away.
Aiden: "I won't be gone long."
Alex: "I'm not going anywhere."
Aiden: "I know. Neither am I."
Seth: "Dammit, it's cold out here."
Alex: "Better be careful. Don't want anything to freeze and fall off."
Seth: "Oh, that was bitchy. I think you just might be jealous."
Aiden: "How are you feeling?"
I leaned away from him
Alex: "I haven't brushed my teeth or washed my face in days. Don't come near me."
Aiden: "Alex, come on."
Alex: "Seriously, I'm gross."
Aiden: "You're as beautiful as always, Alex."
Alex: "It's not my fault. Leon - Apollo - whoever he is - didn't fix me right. Godly powers me -"
Apollo: "I did fix you, but you were dead. Give me some credit."
I jumped, smacking my hand on my chest.
Beside me, Aiden bowed stiffly
Aiden: "My master."
Alex: "Oh, my gods. Seriously. Are you trying to kill me again by giving me a heart attack?"
Apollo: "Why are you out of bed? Doesn't getting stabbed warrant some downtime?"
He smiled at Aiden, who was now standing
Apollo: "She really is hard to take care of, isn't she?"
Aiden looked a little pale
Aiden: "Yeah ..."
Slowly, I reached over and poked his arm. It felt like real flesh, warm and hard. Disappointed, I poked him again. I was expecting something amazing - celestial - by touching him. Instead all I got were weird looks from everyone in the room, including Apollo.
Apollo: "Please stop touching me."
I jabbed his arm again.
Alex: "Sorry. It's just that you're real. I mean, I just thought you guys weren't really around here."
Aiden: "Alex. You should probably stop touching him."
Alex: "I'm sorry. This is just really awkward."
Apollo: "Do tell."
Alex: "I mean, I've like insulted you every which way from Sunday to your face. Multiple times. Like when I accused you of chasing boys and girls and how they turn themselves into trees to get away -"
Apollo: "Like I said before, some of those things are not true."
Alex: "So Daphne didn't turn into a tree to get away from you?"
Aiden: "Oh, my gods."
A muscle popped on Apollo's jaw.
Apollo: "That was not all mu fault. Eros shot me with a damn arrow of love. Trust me, when you are hit with one of those things, you cannot help what you do."
Alex: "But you cut off some of her bark. And wore it as a wreath. That's like a serial killer collecting their victim's personal items ... or fingers."
Apollo: "I was in love."
Alex: "Okay. What about Hyacinth? The poor boy has no idea -"
Alex: "Sorry. I just don't understand why he hasn't smited me or something."
Apollo: "The day is still young."
He grinned when my eyes widened.
Apollo: "The oracle had a prophecy upon your birth, that one would bring the true death to all of us and the other would be our savior."
Alex: "Oh geez. Grandma Piperi strikes again."
Apollo: "She could not tell which one, though. And I grew curious. When Solaris came around, there had been no such prophecy. What made this time so different? So I checked in on you both throughout your lives. There was nothing particularly remarkable about wither of you."
Alex: "You're really doing wonders for my self-esteem."
Deacon: "Just so you I know, I get incredibly bored quite easily and you will be forced to be my source of entertainment. You'll kind of be like my own personal jester."
I flipped him off.
Deacon: "Well, that wasn't funny at all."
Alex: "The house is really beautiful."
Aiden: "Some days it's more beautiful than others."
Aiden: "Well, I don't like the fact that you're settling for him."
I rolled my eyes
Alex: "I hate when you say that."
Aiden: "It's the truth."
Alex: "That's not the truth. I'm not settling for Seth."
Aiden: "Let me ask you a question, then. If you could have ... who you wanted, would you be with Seth?"
I stared at him, somewhat shocked that he'd even throw that out there.
Alex: "Why can't you just admit it?"
Aiden: "Admit what?"
Alex: "That you're jealous of Seth. You're jealous of the fact that I can be with Seth if I want to be."
Aiden: "There. You just said it yourself. You'd be with Seth if you wanted to be. Obviously you don't, so why are you with him? You're settling."
Alex: "Ugh! You are absolutely the most frustrating person I know. Fine. Whatever. You're not jealous of Seth or the fact that he's been sleeping in my bed for the last two months, because of course you haven't wished that was you at all."
Something dangerous flared in his silvery eyes
Alex: "Just forget it."
I started past him, but his hand shot out as fast as a snake striking. One second I was walking and the next I was in his lap, straddling him. Eyes wide and heart thundering, I stared at him.
Aiden: "Okay. You're right. I'm jealous of that little punk. Happy?"
Aiden: "Alex. Alex, please ..."
I hesitated for an instant, but I had to see it. I just had to. Carefully, I tugged the chain up. My breath caught in my throat as I lifted the chain until it was completely out from underneath his shirt.
Dangling from the silver chain was the black guitar pick I'd gotten him for his birthday.
Speechless, I ran my thumb over the polished gemstone. There was a tiny hole in the top, where the chain threaded through.
Aiden placed his hand over mine, closing my fingers around the guitar pick.
Aiden: "Alex ..."
When my eyes met his, there was a brutal level of vulnerability in his stare, a sense of helplessness that I shared. I wanted to cry.
Alex: "I know."
And I did. I knew even if he never spoke those words, even if he refused to, I'd still know. His lips parted.
Aiden: "Couldn't fool you for that long, I guess."
I squeezed my eyes shut, but a tear wiggled its way free, gliding down my cheek.
Aiden: "Don't cry."
He caught the tear with his finger as he pressed his forehead against mine.
Aiden: "Please. I hate when you cry because of me."
Alex: "I'm sorry. I don't want to be all weepy. It's just that ... I never did know."
Aiden clasped the sides of my face, pressing a gentle kiss to my forehead.
Aiden: "I wanted a piece of you with me always. No matter what."
Alex: "But I don't ... I don't have anything of you."
Aiden: "Yes, you do."
Aiden brushed his lips over my damp cheek. A soft smile filled his voice.
Aiden: "You'll have a piece of my heart - all of it, really. Forever. Even if your heart belongs to someone else."
Alex: "What do you mean?"
Aiden: "I know you care about him."
Alex: "It's not the same. It never has been. You have my heart ... and I only want to share my heart with you."
His thumb smoothed over my jaw
Aiden: "I'm sorry for that day in the gym. For how I talked to you, for how much I hurt you. I just thought I was doing the right thing."
Alex: "I understand, Aiden. It's okay."
Aiden: "It's no okay. I hurt you. I know I did. After you told me how you felt, at the zoo ... it ... it shattered my self-control. I knew I couldn't be around you anymore, because I knew I would touch you and I would stop."
Aiden's hand found the nap of my neck and pulled me down. His lips met mine, and like every time before, there was this indefinable spark that coursed through us. He made a sound against my lips, kissing me harder and harder. He pulled back enough so that his lips brushed mine when he spoke.
Aiden: "I can't keep pretending that I don't want this - that I don't want you. I can't. Not after what happened to you. I thought ... I thought I'd lost you, Alex, forever. And I would've lost everything. You are my everything."
Alex: "This ... this is what you've been trying to tell me."
Aiden: "It's what I've always wanted to tell you, Alex. I've always wanted this with you."
I slid my hands to his cheeks, meeting his heated gaze with my own
Alex: "I've always loved you."
Aiden: "I love you. I have since the night in Atlanta. I always will."
I gasped against his skin
Alex: "I love you."
Aiden: "Oh, Alex."
He gathered me into his arms, holding me tightly against him. I burrowed my face in the space between his neck and shoulder, inhaling deeply.
Aiden: "What we did - it was the best thing I've ever done and it wasn't just some sort of fling."
Alex: "I know."
Aiden: "And I'm not going to let you go - not because some stupid law says we can't be together."
Aiden: "I know what you're thinking, agapi mou, zoi mou."
Alex: "What does that mean?"
Aiden: "It means ' my love, my life'."
Apollo: "I do like your feisty temper."
I kicked the shield. Pain fired through my foot. I hobbled back.
Alex: "Ouch! Dammit, that hurt."
Aiden got a secure grip around me
Aiden: "Alex, you need to calm down."
Alex: "I am calm!"
Aiden chided, obviously trying not to laugh.
Apollo: "This would be so much easier if you had an agreeable personality."
Alex: "I don't need you looking out for what's best for me, Aiden. I'm not a child!"
His eyes narrowed
Aiden: "I of all people know you're not a child, Alex. And I sure as hell didn't treat you like one last night."
Alex: "Then don't make decisions for me."
Aiden: "We're trying to help you. Why can't you see that? I will not lose you again."
Alex: "You haven't lost me, Aiden. I promise you. You haven't and you won't."
Alex: "I don't need you to protect me, Aiden. I need you to do what you're doing now."
Aiden: "Hold you? I can do that."
I kissed him and my chest squeezed.
Alex: "Yes, that, but I just need ... your love and your trust. I know you can fight for me, but I don't need you to do that. These problems - they're mine, not yours, Aiden."
Aiden: "Because I love you, we share each other's problems. When we fight, we fight together. I'm going to be by you side no matter way, whether you like it or not. That's what love is, Alex. You never have to face anything alone again."
Seth: "It doesn't really matter. That's what you don't get. She can love you and it still doesn't matter. We belong together. It's fated. Have your moments, Aiden, because in the end, it really won't mean a damn thing."
Aiden: "You really think that? If so, then you're a damn fool."
Seth: "I'm not the fool here, pure-blood. She doesn't below to you."
Aiden: "She belongs to no one."
Seth: "You want to fight me now, in your true form?"
Apollo: "I will fight you in any form, you little punk-ass brat."
Seth: "You can't kill me."
Apollo: "But I can beat the living snot out of you."
Aiden: "Agapi mou, don't hold this kind of guilt too close. A different path could've been chosen, but in the end you did what you felt was right. You gave him a chance."
Alex: "What are we going to do? I can't stay hidden forever."
Aiden: "I don't know. But we're in this together, Alex, to the end."
Hades: "You wanna play, luv?"
Alex: "Not really."
Solos: "Go for the heart! The heart in the chest, Alex!"
Alex: "Like I don't know where the freaking heart is!"
Then something zinged past my cheek. I caught a glimpse of silver before Hades released my arm and snatched an arrow out of the air.
Hades: "Artemis, that wasn't very nice. You could take an eye out with one of those things."
She reached behind her, pulling another arrow from her quiver.
Artemis: "Back down, Hades. You will not catch the next one, Hades. And you will not take her."
Hades: "Why are you intervening, Artemis? You know what will happen. All of us are at risk."
Artemis: "That is my twin's lineage standing there and she belongs to us. Which means she is my flesh and bone. So I will say it one more time just in case Persephone has befuddled that brain of yours - stand down."
Hades: "I do not care if she is the heir to the bloody throne, Artemis! We must prevent the First from gaining complete power!"
Artemis: "She is not to be harmed, Hades. That is it."
Hades: "I would not harm her ... not really. I could take her to the Underworld. It would not even hurt. Artemis, we cannot allow this threat to continue. Be reasonable."
Artemis: "And I cannot allow you to hurt her. It is not up for discussion."
Hades: "So you would risk more destruction? Did you see what Poseidon did today? Or were you too busy hunting and playing with your consorts?"
Artemis: "You really do not want to piss me off right now, Hades. Not when I have an arrow pointed between your eyes."
He shook his head
Hades: "You know what Zeus will do if the First becomes the God Killer. You risk it all - the lives of our offspring and the mortals - and for what? Watered-down familial bonds?"
Artemis: "We will risk it all for everything."
Artemis: "You have a reckless sort of passion about you. It guides you. Some would see it as a weakness."
Alex: "It's not?"
Artemis: "No. You have the eyes of a warrior. Prophecies always change, Alexandria. Nothing in our world is set in stone. And power never flows just one way. They key is finding a way to reverse it."
Alex: "Part of me wishes tomorrow wouldn't come."
He kissed the top of my head.
Aiden: "Everything will be okay, Alex."
Alex: "I know. I just don't know what to expect, you know? Will I automatically turn into a super badass tomorrow or something? Or will I be accidentally blasting people with akasha?"
Aiden: "Whatever happens, you'll still be Alex ... you'll still be agapi mou, my life. Just ... just don't ever scare me like you did today, okay? We're still in this together."
Alex: "To the end?"
Aiden: "To the end."
Aiden: "I've been thinking about the future - our future."
Alex: "What did you come up with?"
Aiden: "It's more like something I've decided. Let's say everything blows over with the compulsion thing, okay?"
Not likely, but I nodded
Aiden: "I don't want to stay in our world."
I caught his hand, lowering it to where my heart pounded as I twisted around in his embrace.
Alex: "What? What do you mean?"
Aiden: "If we stayed in this world, the Hematoi world, we couldn't be together. there will be some who don't care, but ... it's too much of a risk, eve if we did manage to get assigned to the same area."
Alex: "But if you left you couldn't be a Sentinel anymore, and you need that."
He looked up, meeting my eyes.
Aiden: "I do need that. Being a Sentinel is important to me, but it's not my world, my life, or my heart. You are. And I want you in my life, really in my life. It's the only way."
Aiden leaned in, brushing his lips over mine,
Aiden: "I love you, Alex. I'd give it all up for you, and I know you've been thinking about it, too, but that's up to you."
Tipping my head up, I met his silvery gaze. I could always tell what Aiden was feeling by the color of his eyes and right now, he was laying everything out there and still giving me the choice.
Alex: "Yes. I could do it. I would do it."
Aiden lowered his head, bringing his mouth to mine. HE made a sound in the back of his throat as the kiss deepened. The tentative touch gave way to something infinitely more. When he rolled his body, fitting it against mine like a warm blanket, my heart thundered. I was feeling so much and no enough - never enough. There was a yearning, devastating and raw, that would never go away. I lose track of Aiden's hands and how many time we kissed as our bodies moved, and in those moments, we finally found a way to make time stop.
Alex: "I can take you, you know?"
He leaned over, lips curving into a wolfish smile.
Aiden: "You can't take what you already have."
Alex: "Aiden, it's ... where did you find something like this?"
The tips of his cheeks flushed.
Aiden: "I made it. Do you like it?"
Alex: "You made this? I love it! When did you make something like this?"
Aiden: "A while back. After you gave me the pick, actually. I wasn't sure I'd ever ... get to give it to you. I mean, I just started making it one day and the more it took shape, I thought of you. I was just going to leave it in your dorm, but then everything happened ... I'm just going to stop talking now."
I stared at him wordlessly
Aiden: "Are you sure you like it?"
Climbing to my knees, I threw my arms around his neck. I clenched the rose in my hand as I kissed his cheek.
Alex: "I love it, Aiden. It's perfect. Beautiful."
He laughed softly
Aiden: "Here, let me help you put it on."
I popped around obediently and held up my hair. Aiden clasped the chain behind my neck, letting the crystal rose settle above my chest. The weight of it felt wonderful. I reached up, running my fingers over the delicate edges. Then I sprang around and tackled Aiden.
Laughing, he caught me before we both tumbled off the bed.
Aiden: "I guess you do like it."
I pushed him down and kissed him.
Alex: "I love it. I love you."
Aiden reached up, tucking my hair back as his molten stare pierced me to my core.
Aiden: "I know what you're thinking."
Alex: "Great minds think alike."
Apollo: "How is my birthday girl?"
Alex: "Doing good, grandpa."
He smirked as he slid into the seat beside me, easily prying the knife from Deacon's fingers.
Apollo: "I do not look nearly old enough to be what I am to you."
Alex: "So when were you going to tell me that you spawned me?"
Apollo: "I didn't spawn you. I spawned a demigod centuries ago who eventually spawned your mother."
Luke: "Can you guys stop saying 'spawn'?"
Apollo shrugged as he carved off an edge of the cake
Apollo: "I did not find it necessary to tell you. It is not like I am going to be bouncing little Alex babies on my knee."
The soda caught in my throat, and I almost spit it back up. Someone chuckled, and it sounded like Luke.
Alex: "Yeah, that's not going to happen."
Alex: "Do you think I'm weak?"
Aiden: "What? Good gods, you're one of the strongest people I know."
Alex: "I don't feel very strong."
Aiden: "She's Awakening."
Marcus: "But the blood .... Why is she bleeding?"
I eased onto my side
Alex: "I'm being tattooed by a giant mother fu-"
Another strangled scream cut off my words as a different type of pain settled in, moving under my skin.
Deacon: "This is ... wow."
I pried my eyes open. There was a whole audience by the door.
Alex: "Get them out of here! Gods, this sucks!"
Deacon: "Who. This is like watching a chick give birth or something."
Alex: "Oh my gods, I'm going to kill him."
I could feel the beads of blood breaking out under my jeans.
Alex: "I'm going to punch him -"
Aiden: "Everyone leave. This isn't a godsdamn show."
Luke: "And I think he's like the father."
Aiden rose to his feet.
Aiden: "Get. Out."
Check out the rest of the Covenant Series by Jennifer L Armentrout below!
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