Updated: Jan 18
by Jennifer Armentrout
Published by Spencer Hill Press
Book 1 in the Covenant Series
The Hematoi descend from the unions of gods and mortals,
and the children of two Hematoi pure bloods have godlike powers. Children of Hematoi and mortals--well, not so much. Half-bloods only have two options: become trained Sentinels who hunt and kill daimons or become servants in the homes of the pures.
Seventeen-year-old Alexandria would rather risk her life fighting than waste it scrubbing toilets, but she may end up slumming it anyway. There are several rules that students at the Covenant must follow. Alex has problems with them all, but especially rule #1:Relationships between pures and halfs are forbidden. Unfortunately, she's crushing hard on the totally hot pure-blood Aiden. But falling for Aiden isn't her biggest problem--staying alive long enough to graduate the Covenant and become a Sentinel is.
If she fails in her duty, she faces a future worse than death or slavery: being turned into a daimon, and being hunted by Aiden. And that would kind of suck.
RATED: 14+ CATEGORY: MOOD:
Foul Language #YoungAdult Action
Some Steaminess #Romance Emotional
Half-Blood by Jennifer L Armentrout is the first book of her Covenant series. The book is about seventeen year old Alex, who is a half-blood - meaning she is a product of a pure blood, a being from a god and a mortal, and mortal - and finds herself back at the covenant after being taken from there 3 years previously by her mother. In an effort to be able to go to school in the fall and fulfill her dream of being a Sentinel (a warrior that hunts down daimons), she must train all day, everyday for three months with pure blooded Sentinel, Aiden. There are strict laws forbidding romantic/sexual relationships between pure bloods, and half bloods, but that doesn't stop Alex from her years long crush on him. Then there is everything else ... recently orphaned, daimons hunting her down, old rivalries, and a once in a generation warrior suddenly popping up in her life, Alex's senior year will be anything but boring.
This is my first Olympian Gods series, weirdly enough. There are others I have planned on reading at one point or another, but never got around to it. That being said, if I had to pick a series to start off with, I'm happy I picked the Convenant series by Jennifer L Armentrout. The plot is stellar, and unique (as from what I have gathered from other similar series', its usually about the offspring of Gods and mortal, but in this case, it has little to do with the Gods, and more about the offspring of offspring.) This book starts off with a high amount of action, before dropping, which is an unusual start, but afterwards, the plot moves along consistently. There is no wasted pages, and everything furthers the story and character development along.
The characters are super likable. Jennifer L Armentrout is no doubt an amazing writer, able to write flawless stories and wonderful characters. Alex is strong, brave, and as with all of Jennifer's heroines, has claws. I love her attitude and mouth, even if it gets her in trouble more than anything. Aiden is a stand up guy. Kind of the angel on her shoulder, but he himself is tempted to break some of rules for Alex. He chooses the life of a Sentinel instead of living off his family wealth, and tries to raise his his little brother. He is a patient teacher to Alex, but doesn't take her crap either. He is a good mix, and I really enjoy him as a romantic interest. Without getting into too much detail, Seth is an interesting character. Also a Sentinal, but he has a bad boy vibe to him, that makes me think he is the devil on her shoulder. Sure, he is strong ... really strong. He is also arrogant. I am interested to see where his character goes in this series. I have this little feeling that there is going to be a love triangle between Alex, Aiden and Seth.
Half-Blood brings a lot of themes to the table. There is action, and romance, but there is a big theme here of class, and racism. People who are either chosen to become a warrior, and protect the pure-bloods, or become a mindless (literally drugged into a zombie like trance) servant, all because of the concentration of blood from the God's. Pure Bloods don't have it easy either, often forced to marry so continue a pure line (which leads to affairs, which lead to half-bloods). It's a great book, and I am so looking forward to the rest of the series.
Where to Buy
I was going to make it - I had to make it. I'd be super-pissed in the afterlife if I died a virgin in this craphole.
Aiden: "Alex, the fact that you took down one daimon without training is remarkable. It was brave, but also foolish."
Alex: "Well, thanks."
Aiden: "You're not trained. The daimon could've easily killed you. And the one you brought down in the factory? Another fearless, but foolish act."
Alex: "I thought you said it was amazing and remarkable."
Aiden: "It was, but you could've been killed."
Alex: "Why would you even care if I was killed? Why does Marcus care? I don't even know the man, and if he doesn't allow me to resume training, I'm as good as dead, anyways."
Aiden: "That would be a shame. You have all the potential in the world."
Aiden: "Alex. Don't ... let me down. Anything you do will come back on me. Do you understand?"
Alex: "Yes. Don't worry. I'm not as bad as Marcus makes me sound."
He looked doubtful
Aiden: "Fraternizing in the male dorms?"
Alex: "I was visiting friends. Not like I was hooking up with any of them. I was only fourteen. I'm not a ho-bag."
Aiden: "Well, that's good to know."
Caleb: "Where the hell have you been? Three years, Alex? What the hell? Do you even know what half of the students said happened to you and your mom? We thought you were dead! I could seriously punch you in the face, like right now."
I could barely hold back my smile
Alex: "I've missed you, too."
Lea: "Well, look who's back? If it isn't our one and only high school drop-out."
Alex: "Are you lost, Lea? This isn't where they're handing out the free pregnancy tests."
Caleb: "Oh, boy."
Lea: "What happened to your face?"
Alex: "What happened to yours? You look like a damn Oompa Loompa. You should lay off the spray tanning, Lea."
Alex: "Let me pass, Caleb. I swear to the gods, I'm going to break her face!"
Caleb: "Back not even a day, Alex. Wow."
Alex: "Shut up."
Caleb: "It never fails to amaze me that being what you are - what we are - you still don't believe in the gods."
Alex: "No. I do believe in them. I just think they're absentee landlords. Right now, they're probably hanging out somewhere in Las Vegas, screwing showgirls and cheating at poker."
Caleb jumped away from me, his feet landing on the white and tan pebbles.
Caleb: "Do not let me be standing next to you when one of them strikes you down."
Aiden: "You should've been resting. Tomorrow won't be easy for you."
Alex: "You could always make it easy for me."
Aiden laughed. The sound was a rich, deep noise that would've brought a smile to my face in a different situation.
Like one in which he wasn't laughing at me.
Aiden: "Don't leave this room again tonight. I don't want to find out in the morning you burnt down a village while I slept."
Aiden: "First off: no drinking or smoking."
Alex: "Gee. That means I've got to kick the crack habit."
He stared down at me, clearly unimpressed.
Aiden: "You will not be able to leave the Covenant without permission or - don't look at me that way."
Alex: "Jeez, how old are you?"
Aiden cracked his neck
Aiden: "I turn twenty-one in October."
Alex: "Huh. So have you always been so ... mature?"
His brows furrowed
Alex: "Yeah, you sound like a dad. 'Don't look at me that way' or else."
Aiden blinked slowly
Aiden: "I don't sound like that and I didn't say 'or else.'"
Alex: "But if you had, what would the 'or else' be?"
I hid my grin with the bottle
He glanced to the side, frowning
Aiden: "Can you just not talk through this?"
I stood and stretched
Alex: "So, what am I learning today? I think we should start with anything that doesn't involve you kicking my ass."
Alex: "Aiden, I do remember my training. I know how to take a fall."
Aiden: "Do you?"
Alex: "Taking a fall is the easiest -"
My back slammed into the mat. Pain shot through me. I lay there stunned. Aiden loomed over me.
Aiden: "That was just a love tap, and you didn't land correctly at all."
Aiden: "You should've landed on your upper back. It's less painful and easier to maneuver out of. I thought you knew how to take a fall?"
Caleb: "You look hot."
I scrunched up my face
Alex: "You think this is hot?"
He laughed as he turned toward the door
Alex: "I don't think your brother is very fond of me at the moment."
Deacon: "I doubt that. I'm sure my brother is very fond of you."
Alex: "You know what you said about your parents not wanting you to have this kind of life?"
Aiden nodded, a curious look on his face.
Alex: "I think - no, I know they would be proud of you, anyways."
He raised one eyebrow.
Aiden: "Do you think that because I offered to train you?"
Alex: "No. I think that because I remember you."
I turned around, figuring he's changed his mind and was going to order me to see Marcus in the morning and fess up to my bad behavior.
He brushed a lock of dark hair off his forehead and flashed that lopsided smile.
Aiden: "I remember you."
I scrunched up my face
The grin increased to a full smile. And ... oh, man. He had dimples. The air in my lungs died.
Aiden: "I remember you, too."
Alex: "Who reads books that big for fun?"
Aiden lifted his head, pinning me with a bored look
Aiden: "Who talks to hear themselves speak/"
My eyes widened
Alex: "You're in a lovely mood today."
Aiden: "You need to work on your upper body strength, Alex Not your motor speech skills."
I glanced down at the dumbbell and pictured it flying across the room - at his face. But it was such a nice face, and I'd hate to ruin it. Hours went by like this. He's read his book; I'd annoy him; he'd yell at me, and then I would hop on another machine.
Sad as it was, I was kind of having fun messing with him and I think he was, too. Every so often, a small - and I mean really small - smile would grace his lips whenever I'd ask him an irritating question. I wasn't even sure he was paying attention to the book of -
Aiden: "Alex, stop staring at me and do some cardio."
Alex: "I hope that book of yours is on charm and personality skills."
Friends don't let friends act like ho-bags.
Aiming for the vulnerable spot under his rib cage, I almost squealed at how perfect my kick was going to be.
I never made contact
In one nifty swipe of his arm, he knocked me to the mat.
Standing above me, he actual smiled.
Aiden: "Nice try."
I propped myself onto my elbows, scowling.
Alex: "How come you smile when you knock me down?"
He offered his hand
Aiden: "It's the little things that make me happy."
I accepted and he hauled me to my feet
Alex: "Good to know."
Luke: "Did I get you in trouble today during practice?"
Alex: "No. I'm usually easily distracted. So it was nothing new."
Luke nudged me, grinning
Luke: "I can see why you are distracted. Too bad he's a pure. I'd give my left butt cheek for a piece of that."
Alex: "He likes girls."
Luke: "So? What's he like? He seems so quiet. Like you know he'd be good in -"
Alex: "Stop right there!"
I giggled, throwing up my hand.
Luke tipped back his head and laughed
Luke: "You can't say you never thought about it."
Lea: "Like going after my sloppy seconds? How cute."
A second later, I wrapped my hand around her forearm
Lea tried to pull her arm back, but I was stronger than her.
I smiled my best smile.
Alex: "You're boyfriend just copped a feel. You obviously aren't doing it for him."
Caleb: "Never mind. I just need to hook up with someone else. Get this stupid whatever out of my system."
Alex: "That sounds like a solid plan."
Caleb: "Maybe I should just hook up with Lea again or someone else. How about you?"
I shot him a dirty look.
Alex: "Gee, thanks."
Alex: "Grandma Pipero, what did you tell my mom?"
Piperi: "If I told you, what would it change? Fate is fate, you see. Just like love is love."
She cackled as if she'd said something funny
Piperi: "What's written by the gods will come to pass. Most has already. Such as sad affair when children turned against their makers."
Alex: "Please. I need to know what you said to her. What made her leave?"
She tilted her head to the side
Piperi: "Don't you want to know about your truth, child? That is what's important now. Don't you want to know about love? About what is forbidden and what is fated?"
Alex: "I don't want to know about love."
Piperi: "But you should, my child. You need to know about love. The things people will do for love. All truths come down to love, do they not? One way or another, they do. See, there is a difference between love and need. Sometimes, what you feel is immediate and without rhyme or reason. Two people see each other across a room or their skin brushes. Their souls recognize the person as their own. It doesn't need time to figure it. The soul always know ... whether its right or wrong."
Caleb grabbed my arm.
Caleb: "Come on. Let's go. She's not telling you anything you want to hear."
Piperi: "The first ... the first is always the most powerful."
She closed her eyes, sighing.
Piperi: "Then there is need and fate. That is a different type. Need covers itself with love, but need ... need is never love. Always beware of the one who needs you. There is always a want behind a need, you see. Sometimes you will mistake need for love. Be careful. The road with need is never a fair one, never a good one. Much like the road you must walk down. Beware of the one who needs."
Alex: "Why won't the road be easy for me?"
Piperi: "Roads are always bumpy, not flat. This one here,"
She nodded at Caleb with a tiny cackle
Piperi: "This one has a road full of light."
Caleb: "That's good to know."
Piperi: "A short road full of light."
His face fell
Caleb: "That's ... good to know."
Alex: "What about the road?"
Piperi: "Ah, roads are always shady. Your road is full of shadows, full of deeds which must be done. It comes to those of your kind."
My back brushed against something soft and warm, drawing my attention. I turned, finding large purple flowers with bright yellow middles. I shifted closer, inhaling their bittersweet, almost acrid smell.
Piperi: "Be careful there, child. You be touching nightshade. Very dangerous ... much like kisses from those who walk among the gods. Intoxicating, sweet, and deadly ... you need to know how to handle it right. Just a little and you'll be fine. Too much ... it takes away what makes you who you are."
She smiled softly, as if she were remembering something
Piperi: "The gods move around us, always close by. They are watching and they are waiting to see which one is revealed to be the strongest. They are here now. You see, the end is upon them, upon all of us. Even the gods have little faith."
Alex: "So there's nothing you'll tell me about my mom?"
Piperi: "Nothing you haven't been already told."
Alex: "Wait ...? What ... Lea said is true? That I was the reason why Mom died?"
Caleb: "Let's go, Alex. You're right. She's freaking crazy."
Piperi: "Always ears around these parts, but ears don't always hear correctly."
Caleb: "Alex, let's go."
I blinked and - I'm not exaggerating - in the time it took me to open my eyes, Grandma Piperi stood in front of me. The old lady moved that fast. Her clawed hand grabbed my shoulder hard enough to make me wince.
Piperi: "You will kill the ones you love.e It is in your blood, in your fate. So the gods have spoken it and so the gods have come to foresee it.
Aiden: "Do you remember why I volunteered to train you?"
He pushed away from the table I sat on
Aiden: "Well, I lied to you."
Alex: "Yeah. I kinda figured that out already."
Aiden: "You have?"
Alex: "You stood up for me because of what happened to your parents. I think I remind you of yourself when it happened."
Aiden stared at me for an eternal second
Aiden: "You're far more observant than I give you credit for."
Aiden: "So what were you going to do if the daimons hadn't found you?"
Alex: "When ... I was really little, my mom and several Sentinels took a bunch of us kids to the zoo. I loved it - loved the animals. I spent the entire summer telling Mom that I belonged in the zoo."
Aiden: "What? You thought you belonged in a zoo?"
I felt a smile tug on my lips
Alex: "Yeah, I was a strange child. So ... it was one of the things I thought I could do. You know, work with animals or something, but ..."
I shrugged, feeling kind of stupid
Aiden: "But what, Alex?"
Alex: "But I always wanted to come back to the Covenant. I needed to. I just didn't fit in with all the normal people. I missed it here, missed having a purpose and knowing what I should be doing."
His fingers left my skin and he was silent for so long I thought something had happened to him. I twisted around to face him.
Alex: "You're looks at me like I'm weird."
Aiden: "You're not weird."
Alex: "Then ...? You done?"
When he nodded I put the lid back on. Aiden leaned forward, placing his hands on each side of my crossed legs.
Aiden: "Next time you're hurt, I want you to tell me."
When I looked up, he was eye level with me and we were only inches apart - the closest we'd ever been outside of the training room
Aiden: "And ... you're not weird. Well, I've met weirder people than you."
Aiden: "Do you ever sit still for five seconds?"
I grinned, sitting up
Out of control - I was out of control now. Without saying a word, I crossed the distance between us. A wary look flickered across his eyes.
There was no thought behind this, just overwhelming anger and raw hurt. I cocked back my arm and punched him right on the side of his jaw. Fierce pain exploded across my knuckles.
I bent, bringing my hand back to my chest.
Aiden: "Did that make you feel better? Change anything for you?"
Alex: "No! I'd like to do it again."
Aiden: "You wanna fight? Then fight me."
He didn't have to ask me twice. I launched myself at him. He blocked the first jab, but my anger made me quicker than he'd realized. The broad side of my arm slipped past his blocks, cutting him across the chest. It didn't faze him - not one freaking bit.
We circled each other, exchanged blows. Aiden didn't go all out on me, and it only pissed me off. I attacked harder, moving him backwards across the mats. His eyes flared a dangerous silver as he caught my fist inches from connecting with his nose. Bad form to aim above the chest, but screw it.
Aiden: "That's enough."
Aiden pushed me back.
But it wasn't enough. It would never be enough. I went to use one of the offensive moves he'd taught me days ago. Aiden moved so he caught me midflight, bringing me down on the mat. Once he had me down he rocked back on his heels.
Aiden: "I know you're angry. I know you're confused and hurt. What you're feeling is unimaginable."
My chest rose and fell rapidly. I started to sit up, but he pushed me down with one hand.
Alex: "Yes, I'm angry!"
Aiden: "You have every right to be."
Alex: "You should've told me! Someone should've told me! If not Marcus, then you should have."
He turned his head away
Aiden: "You're right."
His softly spoken words didn't ease me. I still heard how he'd said he didn't regret not telling me, that it was for the best. He lowered his hands to his thighs after a few moments.
I reared off the mat, reaching for his silky hair. Total girl move, but somewhere along the way, I'd lost myself to the anger.
Aiden: "Stop this!:
He captured my wrists easily. Actually, it was embarrassing how quickly he subdued me. This time he pinned me to the mat.
Aiden: "Stop this, Alex."
I threw my head back, ready to plant my foot somewhere when our eyes met. I did stop then, with his face inches from mine. The atmosphere changed as one of the wild emotions swirling through me managed to break free and rear its head.
His lean torso and legs pressed against mine in a way that made me think of other things - stuff that wasn't fighting or killing, but did involve sweating, lots of sweating.
Breathing became difficult as we continued to stare at one another. His dark waves had fallen forward into his eyes.
He wasn't moving, and I couldn't even if I'd wanted to. I didn't. Oh, gods, I didn't want to move ever. I saw the moment he recognized the change in me. Something shifted in those eyes of his and his lips parted.
I kissed him.
At first, it wasn't much of a kiss. My lips just brushed his, and when he didn't move away, I pushed harder. Aiden seemed too stunned to do much of anything for a few seconds. But then he released my wrists and his hands slid up my arms.
The kiss deepened, full of passion and anger. There was also frustration, so much frustration. Then Aiden pressed down, and I wasn't the one doing the kissing. His lips moved against mine, his fingers pressing into my skin.
After only a few seconds he broke off the kiss and sprung away from me.
Seth: "I want to know what you are."
Alex: "I'm a half-blood."
He arched a blond brow
Seth: "Wow. I had no idea you were a half-blood, Alexandria. Color me shocked."
My eyes narrowed on him
Alex: "Call me Alex. So why did you ask?"
Seth: "Yes, I know. Everyone calls you by some boys name. Anyway, you know that is not what I'm asking. I want to know what you are."
Alex: "I'm a girl. You're a boy. Does that clear things up for you?"
One corner of his mouth quirked.
Seth: "Thank you for the gender lesson. I've always been confused when it comes to boy and girl parts, but once again, not what I'm asking."
Seth: "I doubt Lucian is being truthful."
Alex: "Lucian doesn't have to be truthful."
Seth: "You would know. He is your stepfather."
Alex: "Lucian is nothing to me. What you saw in that office was bizarre. He must've been high on power or meth."
Seth: "Then you would not be upset if I said he was a pompous ass?"
I bit back my laugh
Seth: "What is it?"
I looked up
Alex: "You know, you aren't the first person to ask me that. A daimon asked me ... after he tagged me."
Interest flickered over his face.
Seth: "Maybe I just need to bite you to find out."
Alex: "Good luck with that."
Aiden: "Alex. Bringing Kain in had nothing to do with that night."
Alex: " It doesn't?"
Alex: "About that night ... I'm sorry about hitting you and ... the other things."
His eyes deepened, turning more silver than gray.
Aiden: "I accept your apology for hitting me."
Alex: "What about the other thing?"
Aiden smiled then, flashing those deep dimples. His arm brushed mine as he reached around and opened the door.
Aiden: "You don't have to apologize for the other thing."
Alex: "I don't?"
He shook his head, still smiling, and then simply left.
Seth: "Twenty-five. Would have been twenty-six but the last bastard for away from me."
Alex: "Got away from the Apollyon? Embarrassing."
Seth: "How many have you killed?"
Seth: "Not bad for an untrained girl."
I smiled brightly
Caleb: "So ... how does it feel to use the elements?"
Seth's eyes stayed on me
Seth: "I've never been tagged. What does that feel like, Alex?"
Alex: "Oh ... it felt wonderful."
He moved, leaning close enough I could feel his breath on my neck. My entire body locked up.
Seth: "Nasty scar you got there."
I mustered my best "ice princess" look and met his gaze
Alex: "You're in my personal space, buddy."
A playful smile graced his lips
Seth: "So? What are you going to do about it? Throw your mashed potatoes at me? I'm consumed by terror."
Elena: "Oh, my gods, Alex. He's the Apollyon."
Alex: "Yeah. So?"
Elena: "Uh ... you could be a little more respectful towards him."
Alex: "I was being respectful. I just wasn't kissing his ass.
Seth: "Your trainer does not like me."
Alex: "He's not my trainer. He's a Sentinel. And I doubt he's even concerned with you."
Seth: "Your trainer, who is also a Sentinel, barely spoke to me while we were in Lake Lure. And when he did, I would say it was quite coldly. It hurt my feelings."
I doubted that.
Seth: "I asked Lucian, you know. I asked why I was here. Do you know how he responded? He asked what I thought about you. He was eager to hear what I had to say. Don't you want to know?"
Seth: "You lie."
Aiden: "There is nothing wrong with hope, Alex."
Aiden: "But you have to know when to let hope go."
He brought the tips of his fingers across my cheek. His hand dropped and he stepped back, the connection broken.
Aiden: "Do you remember why you said you needed to be in the Covenant?"
Alex: "Yeah ... I needed to fight daimons. I have to."
Aiden: "And do you still need that? Even after knowing that your mother is one of them?"
Alex: "Yes. They're still out there, killing. They ... have to be stopped. I still need that even though Mom's one of them."
Aiden: "Then there is hope."
Alex: "Hope for what?"
Aiden: "Hope for you."
Alex: "How do you know I'm so strong? I could be rocking back and forth in my room for all your know."
He gave me a weird look, but shook his head
Aiden: "No. You're always ... so alive, even when you're going through something that would darken the souls of most."
He stopped there, becoming aware of what he's said. The hollows of his cheeks flushed.
Aiden: "Anyway, you're incredibly determined - to the point of stubbornness. You wouldn't stop until you succeeded. Alex, you know what's right and what's not. I'm not worried about you not being strong. I'm worried about you being too strong."
My stomach tightened
Aiden: "I think it would be a good idea ... if you don't wear that to practice again."
Oh. I'd forgotten what I was wearing. It was pair of questionable shorts Caleb had picked up for me. I hadn't even thought he'd noticed. Looking at Aiden now, I realized he had noticed. I fixed an overly innocent look on my face.
Alex: "So you find these shorts distracting?"
Aiden gave me one of his rare smiles.
Aiden: "It's not the shorts I find distracting. In our next practice I may let you train with the daggers if we have time."
Alex: "No way. You're being serious?"
He tried to look serious, but his grin looked a bit mischievous.
Aiden: "I think it wouldn't hurt, but only for a little bit. I think it will help ... you get a feel on how to handle them."
Without thinking, I closed the distance between us and hugged him.
Aiden: "You're far too pretty to be dressed like that."
His breath stirred my hair
Aiden: "And you're entirely too excited to be working with knives."
I flushed, stepping back.
Alex: "I'm bloodthirsty. What can I say?"
Aiden's eyes dropped, and I decided I needed to go to the store and find as many pairs of minuscule shorts as I could get my hands on."
A slow smile crept across Seth's face as he flipped the dagger in his hand.
Seth: "Really, I'd let you play ... with the grown up toys. Here. Take it."
Like I was under a powerful compulsion, I reached for it.
Aiden's hand clamped down on Seth's, pulling the dagger and Seth's hand out of my reach.
Aiden: "She will train with the daggers when I decide so. Not you. Your presence here is not welcome."
Seth: "Awfully controlling, aren't you? Since when do pures care so much about what a half-blood touches or doesn't touch?"
Aiden: "Since when would an Apollyon concern himself with a half-blood girl? One would think he had better things to do."
Seth: "One would think a pure-blood would know better than to fall for -"
Alex: "Okay. Time to play nice, boys."
Lucian: "She's fated to be your other half."
Seth turned and gave me a long look
Seth: "Could be worse, I suppose."
Alex: "What do you mean by that?"
Lucian: "You two are like puzzle pieces. You fit together. Your power will feed his ... and vice versa. Really, it is amazing. You are his other half, Alexandria. You are fated to be with him. You belong to him."
It felt like something heavy sat on my chest.
Alex: "Oh. Oh. No."
Seth frowned at me
Seth: "You don't have to sound so disgusted."
Alex: "Disgusted? It's ... revolting! Do you hear yourselves?"
Seth: "Now you're just being insulting."
Aiden: "You don't have anything to worry about, Alex. I'm not going to let anything happen to you."
Aiden: "You're so beautiful. So brave, so full of life."
He guided my head down and dropped a sweet kiss agains the scar on my neck
Aiden: "You have no idea, do you? You have so much life in you, so much."
I tipped my head and he kissed the tip of my nose
He brushed my hair back from my face
Aiden: "Since the night I saw you in Georgia, you've been under my skin. You got inside me, became a part of me. I can't shake it. It's wrong."
He shifted us, rolling me across the bed until he leaned above me.
Aiden: "Agapi mou, I can't ..."
He brought his lips down to mine once more
Alex: "I hate you."
Seth: "You can't hate me, Alex. You don't even know me."
Alex: "It doesn't matter. I hate what you mean to me. I hate not having control. I hate that everyone has lied to me. And I hate what this means. The Sentinels will die out there, one after another. I hate that I still think of my mother ... as my mother."
Seth leaned forward and grasped my chin.
Seth: "Then take the hate and do something about it, Alex. Use the hate. Don't sit here like there is no hope for them - for us. You saw what I can do. You will be able to do that. Together, we can stop them. Without you, we cannot. And damn it, I need you to be strong. What good are you if you end up a damn servant because you cannot deal?"
I smacked his hand away
Alex: "Get out of my face."
He leaned closer
Seth: "What exactly are you going to do about it?"
Alex: "I don't care if you can shoot lightening from your hand. I will kick you in the face."
Seth: "Why doesn't that surprise me? Could it do with the fact you know I will not hurt you - that I cannot?"
Seth: "That doesn't sound particularly fair, does it?"
Alex: "This whole stuff with you isn't fair."
I poked his chest with my finger
Alex: "You have the control in this."
Seth made an exasperated sound. He reached out and clasped the sides of my head.
Seth: "You have all the control. Don't you get it?"
Annoyed I grabbed his wrists
Alex: "Let go."
He twisted his hands and grasped mine. Those amber eyes flared like he was up for the challenge. After a few terse moments, he broke away and stood.
Seth: "There's the attitude I have come to know and loathe."
I flipped him off.
Seth: "Clean yourself up. I can't have my little Apollyon-in-training looking like a mess."
Alex: "If you ever say something that stupid again, I will smother you in your sleep."
His golden brows rose
Seth: "Little Alex, are you suggesting that we sleep together?"
Alex: "What? No!"
Seth: "Then how could you smother me in my sleep unless you were in bed with me? Think about it."
Alex: "Oh, shut up."
Alex: "Aiden ... Kain said she was looking for me. That she was coming for me."
He reached out and cupped my cheek
Aiden: "I won't allow that to happen. Ever. You will never face her."
Aiden: "You're going to do something stupid again."
I smiled weakly
Alex: "Well, usually I do about once a day."
Caleb: "What are you thinking? I knew you were going to do something incredibly stupid. That's why I couldn't sleep at all. I sat by my damn window and waited. Low and behold, I see your crazy ass sneaking across the quad!"
Alex: "How in the hell did you even get past the Guards in your Mario Brothers pajamas?"
He glanced down at them, shrugging.
Caleb: "I have my ways."
Aiden was quiet as he stared at me
Aiden: "Why didn't you come to me instead of running off and doing this?"
Alex: "Because you were busy with what happened with kain and you would've stopped me."
Anger flared behind his eyes
Aiden: "Damn straight I would've stopped you - prevented this from happening to you."
Alex: "That's why I could come to you."
Aiden: "You never should've faced what you did. None of us wanted you to go through this. What you must be feeling ..."
Alex: "I'm dealing."
Aiden: "You are so foolishly brave."
Alex: "You've said that before."
Aiden: "Yes. And I meant it then. If I'd only known how foolishly brave you truly were, I would've locked you in your room."
Alex: "I also kinda figured that, too."
His lips twitched at my response, but then his eyes met mine and held them in their depths.
Aiden: "The night - what happened between us was ... well, it shouldn't have ever happened."
Alex: "Do you ... do you regret it? What happened between us?"
Aiden: "As wrong as this is, I don't regret it. I can't. I lost control, lost sight of what's important to you - to me."
Alex: "I wasn't complaining."
He looked at me warily
Aiden: "Alex, you're not making this easy."
Alex: "Why should I? I ... like you. I like being around you. I do trust you. I'm not naive and dumb. I wanted you. I still do."
His hands clenched against the blanket tucked around my legs.
Aiden: "I'm not saying you're naive or dumb, Alex. But ... dammit, I nearly destroyed both of our futures in a matter of minutes. What do you think would've happened if we'd been caught?"
Alex: "But we weren't caught. Is it because I'm Seth's freakier half? Is that why?"
Aiden: "No. It has absolutely nothing to do with that."
Alex: "Then why?"
Aiden stared at me like he could somehow get me to understand by his stare alone.
Aiden: "It has nothing to do with you being the Apollyon. Alex, you know that I don't see you as anything different than me, but ... the Council will."
Alex: "Pures do this - they do it all the time and don't get caught."
Aiden: "I know that there are some pure-bloods who break the rule, but they do it because they don't care about what happens to the other person, and I care about what happens to you."
His eyes searched mine intently
Aiden: "I care about you more than I should and that's why I'm not going to put you in that situation and jeopardize your future."
Desperate, I searched for a way we could make this work. We had to, but the look on Aiden's face stole my breath, my protests."
He closed his eyes and took another deep breath.
Aiden: "Both of us need to be Sentinels, right? You know why I have to do this. I know why you have to do this. I lost control, forgetting to see what could come of this. I could've ended whatever chances you had of becoming a Sentinel, but worse than that, I could have stolen your future. It doesn't matter what you are or what you'll become when you turn eighteen. The Council would ensure that you were removed from the Covenant, and I ... would never forgive myself for that."
Alex: "Don't you want me?"
Groaning low in his throat, he pressed his forehead against mine
Aiden: "You know the answer to that. I still ... want you, but we can't be together, Alex. Pures and halfs can't be together in that way. We can't forget that."
Alex: "I hate rules."
He sounded like he wanted to laugh, but knew it would only provoke me further. He sighed.
Aiden: "But we have to follow them, Alex. I can't be the reason you lose everything."
Aiden: "You are so reckless."
Alex: "I know."
Alex: "It - I look horrible."
Aiden: "No. They'll fade, and before you know it, no one will even notice."
I shook my head. I couldn't hide this - not all of these.
Aiden: "Besides, these are scars to be proud of. Look at what you've survived. These scars will make you stronger, more beautiful in the end."
Alex: "You said that before - about the first one."
Aiden: "The same still stands, Alex. I promise you."
Caleb: "So a skunk humped my leg earlier."
He laughed and then winced
Caleb: "You haven't been listening to me."
Caleb: "How did it happen?"
Alex: "I'm not going to go into details you perv."
Alex: "I mean, it's pretty cool. Right? At eighteen, I'll either be obliterated or sucked dry by Seth instead of legally buying cigarettes."
Caleb: "But -"
Alex: "Not that I would smoke. I guess I could pick up the habit."
Seth: "Please don't stop with just the shirt."
Alex: "Holy crap!"
I clutched my chest in surprise.
Seth sat on my bed, hands folded in his lap. His hair hung loose around his face. There was a devious smirk on his face that said he's totally gotten a glimpse of my lacy bra.
Alex: "What are you doing in here? And on my bed?"
Seth: "Waiting for you."
Alex: "Before you go any further, I want to say something."
Alex: "Thank you for doing whatever ... it was you did to find us. If it wasn't for you then I'd probably be dead - or slicing and dicing someone right now. So ... thank you."
He was silent for so long I checked out what he was doing. Seth just stared at me with this dumb look on his face
Seth: "I think that's possibly the nicest thing you have said to me. Ever."
Alex: "No it's not. I've said nice things to you before."
Seth: "Like what?"
Alex: "Like ... when ..."
I couldn't think of anything. Jeez, I was a bitch.
Alex: "Okay. That is the first nice thing I've said to you."
Seth: "I think I need a moment to recognize and cherish this."
I rolled my eyes
Alex: "So you felt what I was feeling?"
Seth: "Every. Single. Tag. Like it was my skin being ripped into and my aether being drained. I never felt anything like it. I don't know how you ... dealt with it. It felt like my soul was being torn apart, but it was your soul."
Snapping out of my thoughts, I looked down at him
Alex: "The next seven months are really going to suck for you."
Seth tipped his head back and laughed
Seth: "Ah, I don't know about that. This - this thing - has it's benefits."
I sat back, folding my arms.
Alex: "How so?"
Alex: "What are you thinking?"
Seth: "That we've actually held an entire conversation without insulting one another. Next thing you know, you'll actually consider me a friend."
Alex: "Baby steps, Seth. Baby steps."
Seth: "Do you know what your name means? Your real name - Alexandria?"
I shook my head. He smiled slowly
Seth: "It means 'Defender of Man' in Greek."
Alex: "Oh. That sounds cool. What does your name -?"
Suddenly he bent at the waist and swooped in. He was so damn fast I didn't even have a chance to jerk back, which by the way, is totally a natural reaction when to Apollyon comes at someone that quickly. He brushed his lips over my forehead, lingering only long enough I could be positive he'd placed a gentle kiss against my skin before straightening.
Seth: "Good night, Alexandria, Defender of Man."
Alex: "Thank you."
Aiden: "When my parents died, I never thought I'd find peace again. I know you have, and for that, I'm happy. You deserve it, Alex."
Alex: "Did ... you ever find peace?"
He reached out and brushed his fingers over the curve of my cheek.
Aiden: "Yes. I have now."
Check out the rest of the Covenant Series Below
Check out the spin-off series, Titan, below (for a mature audience)