Updated: Jan 18
by Jennifer L Armentrout
Published by Spencer Hill Press
Book 5 in the Covenant Series
It's a beautiful day for a war.
As the mortal world slowly slips into chaos of the godly kind, Alexandria Andros must overcome a stunning defeat that has left her shaken and in doubt of their ability to end this war once and for all.
And with all the obstacles between Alex and her happily-ever-after with the swoonworthy Aiden St. Delphi, they must now trust a deadly foe as they travel deep into the Underworld to release one of the most dangerous gods of all time.
In the stunning, action-packed climax to the bestselling Covenant series, Alex must face a terrible choice: the destruction of everything and everyone she holds dear… or the end of herself.
RATED: 14+ CATEGORY: MOOD:
Foul Language #YoungAdult Action
Some Steamy Scenes #Mythology Emotional
Oh. My. Gods.
Sentinel by Jennifer L Armentrout is the fifth, and final *sob* book in the Covenant series. Sentinel starts up immediately after the end of Apollyon, with Alex waking up after her stunning defeat left both her body and spirit broken. While Alex tries to deal with the physical and mental scars of her trauma, she is also forced to continue to fight in the war against Ares. In order to weaken their enemy, they are forced to enter the Underworld once again, and release one of the most dangerous gods of all time to help.
Wow. I'm left stunned. This was an insane, epic, conclusion to Alex's story. Sentinel blew all of my predictions away. The book itself, the whole series, is so wonderfully original, and fresh in a genre what tends to be copy, paste, repeat. Sentinel didn't skimp on the action, but it also didn't pass over on the emotional content. Love and heartbreak. Happiness and sorrow. Sacrifice. Sacrifice is the big one here, because everyone, especially Alex, is forced to give up something in order to get ahead in the war. By the end of the book, and sadly, the series, I'm left with an emotional hangover.
Alex has grown up. Despite her brutal defeat in Apollyon, she continues on. Knowing in the end, if she does what the gods want, and becomes the God Killer and takes down Ares, she will very likely be taken out as well, she still goes on to do whats right, and despite all the bad things that have happened to her and around her, she hopes. Alex may be feisty, temperamental, and sometimes a little selfish, but she is also incredibly loving, and loyal. She will do anything for those she loves. She's not fearless, but does what needs to be done. And Aiden ... oh be still my beating heart. Ever since admitting that he loves Alex, his happiness radiates whenever she is near ... even when he probably wants to strangle her. Their chemistry is beautiful, and admittedly, steamy as hell. Aiden's calm personality is the perfect pairing with Alex's fiery one, but he can come out and become unstoppable when he needs to. We can't forget about Seth. I am so glad I had hope for him, because somehow he wiggled his way back in, made me root for a happy ending for him, while still maintaining his arrogant, douchy personality. Seth has come a long way, and by the end, he has learned a lot from Alex, despite him being the First. He was always brave and strong, but Alex taught him a whole new meaning to those words.
My face is still puffy from that ending. It's bittersweet for sure. With war comes death, and we lose some. Some get a happy ending, and some don't. And while Alex's story is done, Seth's isn't. There is a spin-off series starring how favorite bad boy Apollyon, and I'm crossing fingers that good things come to him, and we get to see some of our favorite characters again. Jennifer L Armentrout is a phenomenal writer, and I promise you, you will not regret picking up the Covenant series.
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My heart skipped a whole beat, and then sped up in recognition. Ah, I knew that voice. My heart and my soul knew that voice.
Aiden: "Alex, open your eyes. Come on, baby, open those eyes."
A warm, strong hand curved along my cheek; the touch was so different than my mother's, but equally powerful and heartbreakingly tender. My breath caught in my throat. His thumb traced the curve of my jaw in such a lovingly familiar way that I wanted to weep.
Aiden: "It's okay. Apollo said it could take some time. I'll wait for however long it takes. I'll wait forever, if I have to."
He was my strength when I needed him to be, my friend when I needed someone to talk me down, my equal in a world where by law I would always be less than him, and honest to gods, he was the love of my life.
And he would wait forever for me, just as I would wait forever and a day for him.
Aiden: "I know why you made sure Marcus and I were out of that room when Ares attacked. It was incredibly brave, and so like you. But if you ever do anything like that again, I will strangle you. Lovingly, of course. We promised each other we'd face this stuff together."
Alex: "Ares would've killed you."
Aiden: "But I would've protected you. I would've done every godsdamn thing there was to save you from having to go through what you went through in there. When I came into the room and saw you ..."
He broke off, cursing under his breath.
Alex: "You would've died trying to protect me. Don't you get that? I had to do it. I couldn't live with myself if you or Marcus died -"
Aiden: "And do you think either of us can live with ourselves knowing what that bastard did to you? Look at me."
I shook my head
Aiden: "Godsdammit, Alex, look at me!"
Startled, my head jerked up and my eyes met his. They were a furious shade of gunmetal gray, and they were so open. Raw pain flowed from them, and I wanted to look away from that, to take the coward's way out.
Aiden: "My heart stopped when that damn door closed on me. I could hear you two fighting. I could hear him taunting you, and I could hear him breaking your bones. And there wasn't a damn thing I could do about it."
He placed his hands on the sides of my legs. Tension rippled through the muscles in his arms.
Aiden: "You never should've face something like that alone."
Alex: "But you would've died."
Aiden: "And because I love you, I am willing to die to save you from that. Don't you dare take that decision away from me again."
Aiden: "Stop being so stubborn, Alex."
Alex: "You're the one who's being pigheaded."
I tried to pull free, but Aiden held on, a warning flaring in his eyes.
Alex: "I'm trying to protect them."
Aiden: "I know. And that's the only reason I'm not throwing you over my shoulder and locking you in a room somewhere."
My eyes narrowed
Alex: "I'd like to see you try."
Aiden: "Is that a challenge?"
Someone in the back of the common area cleared his throat.
Person: "So I'm assuming these two have some sort of past?"
Deacon choked on his laugh as he plopped down on the sofa
Deacon: "That would be an affirmative."
Aiden's gaze slid to his brother, and he took a long, nice, deep breath.
Deacon elbowed Luke.
Deacon: "This would be awkward if it weren't so entertaining. It's like watching our parents -"
Aiden and Alex: "Shut up, Deacon."
Deacon: "See! They're like peas and carrots."
Alex: "I look like Frankenstein."
Aiden: "You're beautiful."
Alex: "I look like Frankenstein with a beauty-school-dropout haircut."
Our eyes locked again
Aiden: "You've never been more beautiful to me than you are right now."
Aiden: "Did you feel that?"
His lips curved into a one-sided smile.
Aiden: "I was kind of hoping you'd say you didn't so I'd have a really good excuse to kiss you again."
My fingers dug into his arms
Alex: "You don't need an excuse."
There was a soft warning in his voice.
His head tilted to the side, causing his nose to brush mine.
Aiden: "You don't know what you're doing?"
I almost laughed
Alex: "I know exactly what I'm doing."
Aiden: "Gods ..."
Aiden cradled my cheek as he shifted my hips closer to his. My stomach dipped in such a pleasant way.
Aiden: "You've been through a lot. You're still healing and -"
Alex: "And what?"
Aiden: "I'm not perfect. I only have so much control. And if you keep kissing me like that, we won't even make it somewhere private."
Alex: "And there's something wrong with that?"
Aiden: "No. Yes."
He pressed his forehead to mine, and the once-wonderful dipping motion suddenly twisted.
Aiden: "You've been -"
Alex: "I'm okay. I'm better than okay when I'm like this with you. I need this. I need you, Aiden. Please don't - "
Aiden's mouth crashed into mine. Whatever I had said was like finding the map to a treasure. Bam. Right there. Hiss kiss swept me up into a place where I wasn't thinking. There was no Ares. No looming battle to plan for. No Seth. No pain or fear. All I felt was warmth and love and Aiden.
All I felt was him.
Aiden: "You are a lot of things, Alex. Strong. Brave. Beautiful. Incredibly sexy. But you are not fine. You and I both know that."
My jaw dropped open
Alex: "Holy crows ..."
Luke: "There's a couple of eagles mixed in there."
Aiden: "And a few hawks."
I rolled my eyes.
Alex: "Okay. Holy birds of prey! Is that better?"
Luke: "That was so Resident Evil. Awesome."
I cracked a grin, a little breathless.
Alex: "It was kind of Alice awesome, wasn't it?"
Aiden: "They won't get past us. Have half of us form a line several yards back. The rest of us will stay here."
Luke: "That would be the oh-shit line."
Alex: "Um ... I really hope this has a point, because half the guys are staring at us like they're hoping we're going to make out."
Alex: "I think you spend your spare time studying a book full of the right things to say."
Aiden: "Nah. I just love you, Alex."
Aiden: "We need to press pause for a second."
I knew I couldn't have heard him correctly, because he moved his leg in a way that had me trembling, then kissed me again, nipping at my lower lip.
Aiden: "Seriously, we need to talk for a second."
A small grin pulled at my lips
Alex: "Then stop kissing me."
Aiden: "That's an excellent idea."
He pressed his lips to the sensitive spot under my ear.
Aiden: "Yet so incredibly hard. I want to talk to you about something."
Alex: "Okay. About what?"
Aiden: "About what Artemis said to you out there today."
Alex: "About my hair?"
He shot me a bland look
Aiden: "No. When she said there was something inside you."
Alex: "Oh. That? Weird, right? Apollo's son - Hippo-whatever - said the same thing when I was in Olympus. I have no idea what they're talking about."
Aiden: "You don't?"
Alex: "No. Do you?"
Aiden opened his mouth and closed it. Several seconds passed, and then he thrust his hand through his hair, scratching his head.
Aiden: "Think about it, Alex."
Alex: "Enlighten me, wise one."
Aiden: "You're really going to make me say it?"
He swore under his breath as his hand fell to his lap
Aiden: "Of course you are. Don't you think there could be a possibility that whatever Artemis felt, or saw or whatever, means you're ... pregnant?"
I stared at him
I coughed out a laugh and rolled my eyes
Alex: "No way."
Aiden looked at me like I was half-stupid.
Alex: "What? There's no way it could be that, because that just isn't possible. I would, like, know if that was it, and I would totally be ..."
Oh my gods in Olympus ...
I sat up, nearly knocking Aiden off the bed. My eyes were wide.
Alex: "Pregnant? Bun in the oven? A little Alex or Aiden running amuck? Okay. A little you would be so adorable, but preggers? Oh gods, have I told you how much I hate the word 'preggers?' Like, is 'pregnant' such a long word that you have to shorten it? I feel the same way about 'hubby.' Seriously? Hubby and preggers are the stupidest -"
Aiden: "Alex, whoa. Slow down. Take a breath."
Alex: "It can't be that, can it?"
Aiden: "It could be, Alex."
Aiden: "I know this isn't happening at a good time."
I did laugh at that.
Alex: "Yeah, that would be horrifically bad timing."
Aiden: "But would it be so bad?"
Alex: "You would be okay with this?"
Aiden lowered his gaze for a moment and then shifted so he was sitting in front of me. He took my hands in his, and I suddenly realized how serious this was.
Aiden: "This isn't the right time for us. Not with everything going on, but ... but how could I not be okay?"
I was actually speechless. Someone needed to record this moment
Aiden: "I love you, Alex. That's never going to change, and although neither of us is ready for this, I can get ready for this. Both of us can, and we will face this together. I can't be that bad at being a father. I mean, I basically had to raise Deacon, and he's still alive."
Alex: "You're perfect."
Aiden: "I'm not perfect. I just can't be that upset over the fact that we might be having a baby."
Aiden: "I really do like the hair. But you could be bald and I'd still think you were hot."
I made a face.
Alex: "My ears are huge. That would not be attractive."
Aiden chuckled and pressed a kiss to the corner of my mouth
Aiden: "Mmm, you taste like bacon."
Alex: "That's hot."
Alex: "This is stupid. We're arguing over whether or not I belong on this stage - this stupid stage. That's all this is. And these thrones? They're just chairs. Who cares? They mean nothing to me or to the rest of the world. They only mean something to you because you made them so."
Minister Castillo: "How dare you?"
Alex: "Oh, I dare. Yes, I am a half-blood. I am one of many trained to give their lives so you can sit in your precious chairs. So how about you show the halfs a little bit of respect?"
Alex: "But I am also the Apollyon. If I wanted to, I could blast your asses into next week, or use compulsion to gain everyone's agreement here, but I don't believe in forcing people to do things they don't want to. You could learn from that."
Minister Castillo: "I see what you're getting at, but that does not change the blatant rape of our laws!"
Alex: "Rape of our laws? Whoa. That isn't insulting or anything. You people are insane. You don't get it. When Ares gets through the wards, which he will, he will be sitting on one of your precious thrones. None of you will be. And he will do with you as he pleases."
Minister: "He is a god. We are their servants. If he -"
Alex: "Oh, yeah, you'll definitely be his slaves. Maybe we should stop right here and invite him in. Karma is a big, fat -"
I rolled my eyes, but took a deep breath and forced my gaze away from the Minister before I made him start squawking like a chicken.
Alex: "I watched Ares kill people without lifting a finger. I heard his plans. He doesn't care about any of you. He sees pures just as you see the halfs. He will enslave you along with the mortals. He believes the gods should rule over the mortal realm once more, and that's a dangerous desire. He will make war on the mortals, on you, and any god who stands in his way. There will be no Council to argue over. There will be new rules and new laws to follow, and all of us will still be on the same level. I can promise you that. And if he succeeds in turning the First into a God Killer, then the other gods will rip this world apart to stop him. They've already begun.
Seth: Do it. If it wipes out the memory of what Ares did to you, then do it. Do it!
Taken aback, I stared down at him
Alex: You felt everything, right? Everything that he did to me?
Seth's eyes fluttered open, and I didn't want to believe what I saw in the,. Regret was too late for both of us.
Aiden: "What's he talking about?"
I shook my head as my stomach plummeted
Alex: You know how I felt? What I wanted?
He squeezed his eyes shut.
Alex: And you want me to take those memories from you? You really think a bullet will do that? Fuck that. I can't get rid of those memories, so neither can you.
Alex: "Fuck you."
Aiden: "Come on, Alex, talk to me. What's going on?"
Seth: "I never meant for any of this to happen. I would never be okay with what happened. I didn't know he was going to do that to you."
Aiden: "Is he talking about Ares? That he didn't know what Ares was going to do?"
Seth: "I know it doesn't change anything or make it right, but I didn't know, and I would never be okay with anyone hurting Alex."
Aiden: "You hurt Alex, you son of a bitch."
Seth: "Well, you have a good point there, Saint Delphi, but I love her -"
Alex: "Don't shoot him! Whatever you do, don't shoot him."
Aiden: "I can't make any promises."
Aiden: "One more step, and we'll find out how an Apollyon survives a head wound."
Seth: "You have no idea how badly I want to find that out myself. Did I tell you about the time I slept -"
Alex: "Seth. Can you take Lucian out of the compulsion, or did you fry his brain?"
Seth: "I didn't fry him. I figured I'd leave that to you."
Aiden: "We need to talk about what happened, Alex."
Talking was the last thing I wanted, right next to thinking. Feeling was the only thing I was interested in at the moment. I leaned forward, pressing my forehead against his. Our mouths lined up perfectly, and Aiden's chest rose sharply.
His hand tightened into a fist against the small of my back.
Aiden: "This isn't talking."
Alex: "I don't want to talk. I want to feel you."
Alex: "Let's be real with one another. You never loved me like that. You know that, right?"
Seth: "You're right, but I never had the chance."
Alex: "I loved you. It's not the same way I feel about Aiden, but I loved you, and you betrayed me. You sided with Lucian and practically held my hostage so that I would be forced to connect with you! And I still had hope for you. I still defended you. And then you turned me into Evil Alex and started a warm alongside Ares! People have died, Seth."
Alex: "You're better than that."
Seth: "I'm not, and you know that, so cut that shit out. But you are."
Alex: "I'm not better than you."
Seth: "You are. You are."
Aiden: "You told him you wanted to die."
His voice broke on the last word, and the quick burst of anger inside me vanished. Pain poured into his expression, paling his face.
Aiden: "And I know you were about to say that part of you still wishes you had died that day."
I took a step back, wanting to deny that, but words left me and the shame came again, stronger this time. I wrapped my arms around my waist, trying to stop it from spreading. Aiden was the last person I'd wanted to know how weak I'd been - how weak I still was.
Deacon: "So you're not going to talk to me about Aiden?"
Alex: "Are you doing to follow me all the way to the dean's office?"
Deacon shot me a quick grin
Alex: "There's a lot of steps."
Deacon: "I need my exercise."
Alex: "Aiden's mad at me."
Deacon: "I doubt that."
Alex: "Oh no, he's definitely mad at me. He's mad because I went to see Seth."
Deacon raised a brow
Deacon: "He's mad over that?"
Alex: "Well, I left in the middle of the night, didn't tell him what I was doing, and there's other stuff, but ... So he's a little perturbed at the moment."
Deacon: "Well, considering all the crap with Seth, I can get why Aiden isn't happy."
Alex: "I know. I'm not mad at him. He has every right to be upset."
Deacon: "He'll get over it. My bro loves you, like really loves you. Like, he's in love with you, Alex."
I cast him a smile
Alex: "I know. I just hate that he's mad."
Deacon: "I think that's the first time I've seen you really smile in a while. You doing okay?"
Alex: "No. But I will be."
Deacon was on his feet, eyes wide, and he immediately started to backpedal out of the room.
Deacon: "I think I need ... to, um, go find something else to do. Yeah."
Alex: "What is it between you two?"
Deacon froze near the door
The lopsided smile on Apollo's face spread
Apollo: "Well, I would never kiss and tell."
My mouth dropped open as Deacon's face turned blood red. Oh jeez. Suspicions confirmed. Wow.
Aiden: "What. The. Hell."
Seth: "Oh. It's you."
Apollo: "Yeah, it's me."
Guard: "He just got out. No warning. We tried to stop him."
Seth: "Sorry. I thought it was another god, one more annoying than this one."
My eyes widened.
Apollo smiled tightly
Apollo: "Oh, you're so cute."
Seth: "I am fabulously sexy, the last time I checked, but I'll go back to my cell now. Breakfast would be nice, by the way. I'm starving."
Aiden: "This isn't a hotel."
The Apollyon eyed the gun in Aiden's hand and then arched a brow.
Seth: "You really like pointing that thing at me."
Aiden: "You have no idea how much joy it gives me."
Seth: "Don't let me forget. I do owe you for the knock over the head yesterday."
Aiden: "You want that again? Keep talking."
Alex: "Oh, for the love of gods everywhere, stop it. This is ridiculous. Obviously you don't think he's tricking us, Apollo, or you'd have blasted him with some god juice by now."
Apollo: "Just because I haven't doesn't mean I won't."
Seth opened his mouth, but I jumped in before he could make the situation worse.
Alex: "And it's rather pointless. He can get out if he wants to. So what's the point of making him go back into the cell?"
Aiden: "I can knock him out again. He'll stay put for a while after that."
Seth: "you're really starting to annoy me. You know what your problem is?"
Aiden: "Do tell."
Seth: "One word. Jealousy."
I threw my hands up
Alex: "I give up. Not like we don't have real problems to deal with, but let's continue the boy-fight."
Alex: "Sorry about you ... face."
Our eyes met, and an uneven grin appeared on his face
Seth: "No, you're not."
Alex: "You're right."
Turning my cheek into his palm, I swallowed hard.
Alex: "I'm sorry."
Aiden: "I'm the one who should be apologizing, especially for last night. I was jealous, and that was stupid, I know, but I'm -"
Alex: "No. No, you were right to be upset, but that's not what I'm talking about. That's not what I'm apologizing for."
His brows rose.
Alex: "I know ... I know there was a part of you that was okay with the idea of us having a baby. I know there was a part of you that was excited in spite of everything else, and I'm sorry that's not what was going on. I'm sorry that it was this and not -"
Aiden dropped his forehead to mine and slid his strong hands up to cup my cheeks
Aiden: "You do not need to apologize. Ever. Do you understand me? None of this is your fault. And you haven't done anything wrong. What we though? It doesn't matter."
Alex: "You have to be disappointed."
Aiden: "Never. If anything, I'm upset this happened to you. I'm freaking pissed that it did, but, Alex, we have a lifetime ahead of us to have that conversation and feel that way again."
Alex: "You're perfect."
Aiden: "And you know that's not true."
Alex: "It is."
A throat cleared behind us.
Apollo: "Seriously, you two? It's not like you're keeping a god waiting or anything."
Aiden drew back with a soft groan.
Aiden: "Sometimes I hate him."
Apollo: "I heard that."
Alex: "And don't think you and me are okay.. It's great you're no longer Ares' little bitch-boy, but you're still a punk-ass."
Apollo: "And I hope your jaw really hurts."
Seth: "Hey, if you want to go a few rounds again, Golden Boy, we can do it."
Deacon: "This is an awesome start to our Army of Awesome meeting number two."
Apollo: "That's okay. When you least expect it, I'm going to turn you into a pink flower that smells like cat pee."
I choked on my laugh
Alex: "Oh, my gods..."
Marcus: "I'm sorry. Am I the only one stuck on the fact that these two thought they might've been ... that you could've been ... that there might have been ...?"
Alex: "That we could'e made you a great-uncle. Can we not talk about that right now?"
Aiden: "I second that."
Apollo: "I disagree. This conversation is going to be epically entertaining."
Aiden: "For you."
Alex: "Oh my gods."
Marcus: "Don't 'oh my gods' me. Do I really need to have a conversation with you about responsible sexual activity?"
Seth looked like he wanted to shove a dagger in his eye.
Apollo: "I think you do."
Alex: "Oh! You're one to talk!"
I whirled on Apollo.
Alex: "Seriously? If I was to Google 'irresponsible sexual activity', it would be your picture staring back at me!"
Apollo made a face at me - actually made a face at me like he was ten years old or something.
Marcus was now staring at Aiden like he wanted to take his dagger and use it on Aiden in an area much lower than the eyeballs.
Alex: "Okay, can we move on to the important stuff? If not, then this is wasting my time, and I'm going to bed. That just might include irresponsible sex, because I've had a really crappy day!"
Five sets of eyes settled on me. One set was particularly interested in what I had just said.
Alex: "What? Get on with it."
Alex: "Okay. I'll admit, I slept or doodled through most of my classes. I have no idea who you're talking about."
Marcus: "That is a lovely discovery."
Alex: "I think there will still me moments when it ... well, when i sucks, but I don't want to die. I'm glad I didn't. I don't feel that way anymore."
Aiden inched his head over and kissed me so softly, like he was being cautious, and then pulled back. He slipped his hand off my cheek, placing it over where mine rested against his chest.
Aiden: "It killed me, Alex, when I heard you admit that to Seth. All I wanted to do was go in there and hold you, figure out some way to make it better."
Alex: "I'm okay now."
Aiden: "He was right."
Aiden: "The little bastard was right. I was jealous when I found you with him. I was jealous afterward. I am still jealous."
Alex: "I -"
Aiden: "I heard what you said. I heard you say that you loved him.""
My eyes widened and my stomach dropped as a horrible feeling opened up in my chest
Alex: "I did say that, but it's not the same -"
Aiden: "Same way you feel about me. I know. I honestly know it's not, but hearing that ...? I wanted to punch him. I still do for various reasons, but mostly because I know that there will always be a part of you that does love him. That you two will have this connection for the rest of our lives, and that's something I can never compete with."
Alex: "I'm sorry."
Aiden: "For what, Alex? I should say I'm sorry. I was a dick to you because of my stupid jealousy. You shouldn't have to apologize."
Alex: "But you shouldn't have to deal with a freaky Apollyon connection. What normal couples have to deal with that?"
Aiden: "We deal with a lot of things normal couples don't deal with."
Alex: "I know! That's why I'm sorry you have to deal with ... with Seth and me on top of everything else. If it was me, and you were connected to someone, I'd probably stab her in the eyeball every time I saw her."
Aiden's lips quirked up lazily.
Alex: "It's not funny."
I smacked his chest lightly.
Alex: "I would. I wouldn't be able to deal with it, so I totally get your jealousy. I just don't want you to feel that way, because I love you. I'm in love with you. Forever and ever, and all the corny things I can attach to that."
He chuckled deeply
Aiden: "I know you do. And I have to work on not hating him for this. I have to remember that there are other reasons to want to kill Seth."
Aiden: "You're not wearing anything under this shirt, are you? Like, at all?"
Alex: "I think you know the answer to that."
He had to, especially considering where his hand drifted to in that moment. I wasn't giggling anymore. I was barely breathing.
He made that sound again, that absolutely sexy male sound that rumbled through him and then me.
Aiden: "You're killing me, agapi mou."
Alex: "I'm sure that's not what I'm doing to you."
Aiden: "Agapi mou, I've missed you."
His lips moved across my jaw and trailed a heated, shivery path down my throat, and then back to my lips.
Aiden: "I need you."
His hand hooked around my hip, urging me to wrap my leg around his, and I stopped thinking. If only I got these damn pants off -
A sudden pop and crackle proceeded the overwhelming and very unwelcome presence of a god. Aiden's lips stilled against mine. My eyes popped up, latching onto his quicksilver ones.
No way. I refused to believe it. No freaking way.
Apollo: "Hades will be here in twenty minutes. Either speed this up or pick it up later, kids."
Alex: "Oh my gods."
Apollo: "Oh, and I hope you two are being responsible."
And then he was gone.
Aiden: "Damn him. Damn him to the Underworld and back again."
My cheeks burned
Alex: "A bell - the first chance we get, we are buying him a bell."
I shrugged a shoulder.
Alex: "The marks always go crazy when there are gods near by."
As we walked towards to dean's office, he reached over, trailing his fingers along my arms.
Aiden: "Do they still react when I touch you?"
Heat crawled through my veins, and I nodded. The marks had followed the path of his touch.
Alex: "Yeah, they still like you."
One side of his lips curled up, and a look of male pride crossed his face. I shook my head. Boys.
Alex: "No. Hell to the no, you cannot have his soul."
Hades: "I would've asked for yours, but Apollo wouldn't have allowed that."
Alex: "You cannot have his soul. I don't care what we need you for."
Apollo heaved a heavy breath
Alex: "No! No way."
Hades' smirk infuriated me.
Hades: "But you haven't even heard the details."
I stormed up to the god, already tasting his blood
Alex: "You can take your details and shove them up your fake British -"
Aiden: "There is no other way."
Aiden crossed the short distance between us and gently placed his big hands on my cheeks,
Aiden: "You know that."
Alex: "No. There has to be something else."
Hades: "Is there? Minutes ago, Perses was our only option."
Outrage caused the akasha in my veins to start begging to be used. Loudly.
Alex: "It's your soul, Aiden. When you die, you will have to go work for him or worse. You won't go to the Elysian Fields. You ..."
I broke off, unable to say what was so selfish but true.
We wouldn't have eternity together.
Tears filled my eyes as Aiden lowered his forehead to mine.
Aiden: "I don't plan on dying for a long time, agapi mou. We have today, and we'll have many tomorrows, but only if we get Hades help. We don't have any of that if we don't stop Ares."
Alex: "But -"
Aiden: "This is bigger than both of us."
His thumb caught a tear that had snuck out, wiping it away before anyone besides Seth noticed. And there was no hiding how I felt from the First. He was standing close to us, his expression devoid of its usual smirk. Aiden smiled, but it hurt.
Aiden: "We have to do anything and everything to stop this."
Alex: "I don't care."
Aiden: "Yes, you do."
I shook my head.
Alex: "Not if it means this, I don't. I don't care. You wouldn't want this for me."
Aiden: "I wouldn't, but that's not the situation, and we need this."
Hades: "You do."
Seth: "Aiden is right. You know there's no other choice."
Alex: "I don't want you to have to make this choice."
Aiden: "I know."
His lips brushed the corner of my lips.
Aiden: "But we have to.:
I opened my mouth to protest more, but he took advantage of that moment. He deepened the kiss and kissed me like we were the only two people in the room, in the world. Tingles shot up and down my spine in a wave of electricity. I leaned into him, kissing him back with everything I felt. Aiden tasted of salt, or mint, and of love.
Someone, maybe my uncle, cleared his throat.
Aiden slowly lifted his head, and the room came back into focus. My cheeks burned.
Aiden: "By doing this, we are giving ourselves a future together. Okay? We have to do this. I have to do this, and there's nothing that can be done to change that."
Alex: "Wait. There's something I want before we do this."
Hades chuckled deeply
Hades: "What position are you in to bargain, Love?"
Alex: "You want us to go down into Tartarus and fetch Perses, watch over him while he helps us, and then you want me to become the God Killer and take out Ares, right?"
Apollo: "That sounds about right."
Alex: "I will only do this if you do something for me."
Hades: "Again, Love, what position are you in to bargain with us?"
Alex: "Without me, you don't have a God Killer. You can't make me become it, and you can't make me fight Ares."
Hades: "We can be very persuasive."
Alex: "Yeah, and Ares tried to be persuasive, and I still didn't give in. I know you guys can't make Seth or me do it. We could leave you guys to this mess. You need us willing."
Apollo's lips twitched as if he wished to smile
Apollo: "What do you want, Alex?"
Alex: "I want you to free the half-bloods. I want you to get rid of the laws requiring them to either become Sentinels, or Guards, or servants. I want you to give them the same rights as pure-bloods. I want the Breed Order revoked."
And then Seth chuckled deeply
Seth: "Clever, Angel."
Alex: "I know you can do it, Apollo. I know you can make the other gods agree. You do this for me, and I'll be all about taking a tour of Tartarus."
Apollo stared at me as he slowly shook his head.
Apollo: "There was so much more you could've asked for, Alex."
Alex: "Like what? What could be more important than that?
Apollo: "Okay. Once everything has settled, we will change the laws and the Elixir will be no more. You have my word, no matter the outcome."
Aiden: "Come on."
I stared at him
Aiden: "There's room for both of us up here. Ride with me."
Hades: "I really don't care if you ride alone or with Loverboy here, but can we move this along? I am not known for my patience."
I shot him a scathing look, which was ignored. Crossing the distance between Aiden and me, I reached up, putting my hand in his. With astonishing ease, he hauled my up into the saddle in front of him. After a few seconds of awkward fumbling, I was seated on the horse, clenching the edge or the saddle.
Well aware that Hades and Seth were staring at us, I remained stiff as Aiden snaked an arm around my waist and tugged my back between his thighs. His heat immediately seeped into my tense muscles.
Seth: "How cute."
Aiden: "Shut up."
Much lower, directly in my ear
Aiden: "This is the greatest idea I've ever had."
I made a face. Only he would know who Ixion was. Aiden had to have been such a goody two-shoes in school - the kind of kid who'd raised his hand with the answer to every question. Dork. I loved him.
Seth: "Seriously? Could you guys go longer than five minutes without making googly faces at one another? It's distracting."
Hades: "Hello, Perses, how was your nap?"
Perses: "It was great, asshole."
Hades: "Ares can rip the mortal world apart, but if you betray us, we will take the time to track you down, and I will spend eternity getting my jollies off on your suffering."
Perses: "Poor Persephone. It must be hard on her if that's what gets you off."
I wrinkled my nose.
Hades: "If her name drips from your forked tongue one more time, I will rip it out."
Perses: "What? You don't like me talking about your wife?"
He looked over at us
Perses: "Is abduction as a means of marriage still all the rage these days?"
Alex: "Uh ... no. It's really frowned upon."
I was in Vegas with a Titan who needed to get drunk and get laid.
What in the holy Hades? Like, at what point in my pretty short time on Earth had my life veered off so that I would end up here?
Alex: "Don't be a douche."
Seth: "Don't be a pain in my ass."
Seth: "I'm really not interested in talking with you. Other things? Maybe. You know, for old times' sake."
Aiden: "You were wrong. I wasn't doing push-ups to stop myself. I was just visually entertaining myself with all the different ways I could break your jaw. SO back the hell off."
Seth snicked as he pushed off the wall, raising his hands.
Seth: "Look, all I was doing was telling her I would pull babysitting duties. She wanted me to stay and you to go. Don't hate on me."
Aiden: "Gods, Alex. You'll never know what you do to me, how you make me feel."
Aiden: "I know I've said this before, but I like seeing you in my clothes."
Alex: "Good. I like wearing them."
Aiden: "But you know what I like better?"
I didn't get a chance to say anything before he hooked his fingers under the hem of the borrowed shirt and tugged it over my head. The material fluttered to the floor as he clasped my hips, lifting me up.
Aiden's lips brushed mine as he spoke, eliciting a series of shivers.
Aiden: "I like taking them off."
Alex: "I need you to prepare me for facing Ares. You have already seen how that went the first time."
Seth's eyes tightened.
Seth: "You also have to prepare me to fight Ares."
Aiden: "And I need to be trained on how to fight him as well."
Alex: "Guys, the last time I checked, I was becoming the God Killer, which would make me pretty badass as it is. And with Perses' training, I'm going to also be kickass."
Seth: "That doesn't mean you don't need back-up."
Aiden: "And you're not facing Ares alone."
Apollo rolled his eyes
Apollo: "Children, really, Alexandria is a big girl and doesn't need two boys rushing to defend her."
Aiden: "Hi, Deacon. Are you aware that it's customary to wait until someone answers the door or says 'come in?'"
Deacon: "Not like I was interrupting anything. Both of you still have your clothes on."
Alex: "He has a point."
Aiden: "So, what's up, Deacon?"
Deacon: "Marcus is looking for you. He's in the common room, so I figured it would be better if I was the one who checked in on you two, just in case you were naked."
He winked and I smothered another giggle.
Deacon: "You're welcome."
Marcus: "Did no one ever tell you two that it is not nice to communicate telepathically with one another while others are present?"
Alex: "No, actually, no one has said that."
Marcus: "Well, I am."
Alex: I hate you. "So, what's up?"
Alex: "Okay. So we will have to scout the wall first. We can - Apollo!"
The god looked up. In his hands. the Newton balls knocked off of each other once more.
Alex: "What? Seriously. Have you've never seen a Newton's cradle before? Every time you move the first ball, it's going to move the rest of the balls."
Apollo: "No. Gravity is cool."
Alex: "Oh my gods. My brain hurts."
Seth: "Well, now that's settled, I think I'm going to find something soft to lie on."
He glanced at me, and a mischievous glint filled his amber eyes.
Seth: "Want to join me?"
I rolled my eyes.
Annoyance flashed into Aiden's eyes, turning their hue into a stormy gray as he pushed off the desk and straightened.
Aiden: "Very amusing."
Seth winked as he backed away
Seth: "Hey, just being gentlemanly."
Aiden: "Go somewhere else, then."
Apollo: "I promise you, Alex, that no matter what happens, I'll take care of you. I told you that, and I always keep my promises."
Perses: "I hope, when you become the God Killer, Ares stands still for you."
I flipped him off.
The Titan tipped his head back and laughed.
The three pures exchanged surprised glances, but none of them spoke.
Alex: "Ah, you have nothing to say. I know it's shocking to see a pure and a half together. And yes, we're together in the biblical sense."
Their eyes widened
Alex: "And seriously? That's not a big deal. So, why don't you three douche canoes go find something else to gawk at? Or, I don't know ... get a hobby. Or better yet, there's this huge war that's about to start. You guys could go figure how you could help instead of standing around like a bunch of bigoted ass-hats. Okay? Buh-bye."
Alex: It was stupid to hope, wasn't it.
Alexander: Your mother and I wouldn't have wanted this kind of life for you.
Alex: "I - "
He held up a finger and finished his note.
Alexander: Laadan kept me updated on you, telling me what she could. I would've wanted anything but this for you, but I am so very proud of you.
Aiden: "I know you have to do this, Alex, but it goes against everything in me not to be with you."
Biting my lip, I nodded.
Alex: "If it were you asking me not to be with you, I wouldn't want to listen to you."
He let out a dry laugh
Aiden: "You wouldn't listen to me, Alex. You'd go against me, and you'd find a way to be there with me."
I cracked a grin
Alex: "I would. I would do it even knowing that you'd be distracted by me, because I'm selfish like that. You're not."
Aiden: "I can be incredibly selfish. I've been nothing but selfish with you."
Confused, I frowned
Aiden: "I was selfish in wanting you, knowing what it could mean for you. I was selfish the first time I kissed you, touched you. I was selfish the night I came to your bed when you were at my parents' house, and I've been selfish every day since then. The only time I hadn't been selfish was when I pushed you away, and that's the day I regret the most."
Alex: "Aiden ..."
Aiden: "You're going to be separated from me tomorrow, and it's going to take everything in me to let you face Ares without me standing by your side, so I'm going to be very selfish right now."
His finger trailed over my cheek and across my parted lips.
Aiden: "Because it's the only way I can be unselfish tomorrow."
Seth: You're having a lot of feelings right now.
My gaze narrowed on his back as he moved ahead of Aiden and me.
Alex: And you're not?
Seth: You're afraid. Being afraid isn't the problem, Angel.
Alex: Stop calling me that.
Seth: Use the fear.
Glancing over his shoulder at me, he winked. Aiden cursed under his breath, and Seth smirked.
Seth: Use anger. Don't let either of them consume you.
Alex: Yes, sensei.
Aiden: "I hate when you two do that."
Alex: "I love you. I love you so much.
Aiden's lips moved over mine.
Aiden: "Agapi mou, I will be with you in no time."
Perses: "They are as bloodthirsty as I remembered."
Alex: "And creepy."
Perses: "I think they're magnificent."
Seth: It had to be done.
Alex: I know.
He glanced over his shoulder, eyebrow arched as if he didn't believe me, and he was right.
Alex: All right, I'll tear myself apart about it later, but for right now, I'm fine.
Seth: That's my girl.
Alex: That's twisted.
I stopped in front of the closed ballroom doors and raised my hands, summoning akasha. Releasing it took nothing. Energy pulsed out from me. I blew the titanium doors right off their hinges, throwing them clear across the ballroom.
Ares and Perses whipped around. Several feet separated them. The Titan's eyes widened. One of the doors hit the floor and slid, tearing up the marble. The other slammed into Ares, throwing him back against the wall.
My lips curled into a wide smile as I stepped into the room.
Alex: "Whoops. Didn't see you standing there."
Perses chuckled as he tipped his head back
Perses: "And here is the God Killer."
Ares: "You look lovely. All juiced up, but oh, your face and body look like a road map. Sexy."
Seth stiffened beside me, but I laughed
Alex: "Sticks and stones, Ares. I thought you were more mature than that. And more clever. It's kind of disappointing."
Grief tore through me - the kind I hadn't known would be possible to feel again, because I had felt this when I'd held Caleb as he died. No matter what Seth had done, the terrible things he's started, he'd made it right in the end. And even if he hadn't, if it had been my hand in the end that brought him down, the pain would've still been there. Seth was a part of me - my other half. And I was losing that part. Forever.
Alex: I can't breathe
Seth: "Neither can I. You're squashing me."
Jerking back, I let out a startled shriek. Seth stared back at me, his amber eyes slightly unfocused, but he was breathing. He was alive.
I smacked him. Hard.
Seth: "Ow! What the hell was the for?"
Alex: "Don't ever do that again, you jerk!"
I smacked him again, hitting him on the hip.
Alex: "I thought you were dead!"
Seth chuckled hoarsely as he rose onto his knees
Seth: "I was knocked out, Angel. Please don't do that again."
I stared at him, caught between wanting to hit him and hug him.
Alex: "I hate you."
Seth: "I'm going to have to call bullshit on that."
Seth: "SO, you think their here to congratulate us?"
Alex: "I don't think so."
Seth: "Maybe they're mad because you've been sleeping with a pure."
I looked over my shoulder at him
Alex: "Really? That's the reason? It couldn't be that you took out an entire Council of pures?"
Seth: "You're splitting hairs, Alex."
Alex: "Gods, you're so annoying."
Apollo: "Alexandria. It is time."
I turned to Seth, my heart racing.
Alex: "Please -"
Seth: "No! This isn't right. They can't do this. You don't deserve this. I do. They - "
Alex: "They're not going to take you. Listen to me, Seth. They're not. They can't kill you. Ares is gone, and I'm the God Killer. There's nothing we can do."
The full horror of the situation dawned in Seth's expressive face, and he placed his hands on my cheeks. He pressed his forehead to mine.
Seth: "Oh gods, Alex, I don't want this to happen. Alex ..."
I gripped his arms, forcing myself to breathe
Alex: "Please take care of Aiden. I know you two don't get along, but please. He's going to need someone. So please watch out for him. Promise me, Seth. Promise me."
There was a long pause, and I thought I felt his tears mix with mine.
Seth: "I promise."
Alex: "Don't let go."
Seth: "I won't. I will never let go."
I started to shake. I didn't want to be scared. Where was the strength and courage I'd felt earlier? I wanted to be the one who faced Fate with her head high, but I was scared. I knew there was no coming back from this. I would never see my father, my friends, or Aiden again. My breath caught again, and each time I took a breath, I feared it would be the last one.
Alex: "Don't leave me. Please? I don't want to be by myself."
Seth: "You're not."
Seth slipped his arms around me, holding me close.
Seth: "You're not alone."
His tears were mingled with mine.
Seth: "You're not alone. You'll never be alone, Angel. I promise you. You'll never -"
I took a breath and never heard his next words.
Caleb: "Lie down with me?"
Stretching out beside him, I stared at the ceiling.
Alex: "This reminds me of our ..."
Caleb: "Last time together topside?"
He laughed when I cringed
Caleb: "At least you don't smell this time around."
I laughed as I shot him a glare.
Alex: "You jerk. I didn't smell then."
Caleb: "Hell you didn't. You hadn't showered in days. You were stinky."
Alex: "That's so wrong."
Caleb: "Love you."
Alex: "How is everyone?"
He looked at me sideways
Apollo: "How do you think?"
My palms tingled, and anger heated my cheeks.
Alex: "A part of me knew that this would be the outcome, but I hoped it would be different. I hopes because of what you said and what I was being asked to do You let me down, Apollo. So the least you could so is give me a straight answer."
Apollo: "They're not happy. Your uncle holed himself up in a room and drank himself into a stupor. Your friends? Inconsolable. I think you know how Seth feels. Maybe you don't - not to the full extent, anyway. And Aiden? I have never seen a man break the way he did. And he broke Set half the damn Covenant on fire. If his brother hadn't showed up when he had, I'm positive that he would've stayed in the burning building. Is that what you wanted to know? Did it make you feel better, Alexandria?"
Apollo: "Seth didn't want you to know he did this, and while I have honored most of his requests, I felt you needed to know what he has done for you. HE gave you this, Alexandria. He gave Aiden this. And I know it is hard for you to accept. And it was hard for Aiden to fully accept, surprisingly. But it was Seth's decision, and it cannot be undone. And when you go topside in six months, you should find him and thank him."
I was actually going to hug and squeeze and love the dude. Then smack him. And then hug and squeeze and love him again.
Aiden: "Do they have bells in Elysian Fields?"
A laugh bubbled up my throat
Alex: "Yeah, I'm sure they do. You kind of need something, and it appears. Like, if you want to eat some coconut shrimp, you get coconut shrimp."
Aiden: "Really? What about Big Macs?"
Alex: "Yep. Even Big Macs."
Aiden: "Wow. This must really be paradise for you then."
Alex: "It ... really isn't. I've missed you terribly. I ..."
He pressed his lips together as he smoothed his thumb along his jaw. Then he glanced over his shoulder.
Aiden: "Is that what I think it is?"
I bit down on my lip, hoping this didn't make me come across like a total creeper.
Alex: "It made me happy, and it felt ... it felt like you, so it turned out to be a part of my paradise."
Aiden's hand slipped down my arm, and he threaded his fingers through mine. When he spoke, his voice was rough with emotion
Aiden: "Show me?"
I led him into the cottage, and as he looked around, seeing the familiar living room and kitchen, his hand tightened around mine. I felt my cheeks flush.
Alex: "It has a bedroom and a bath, like yours, but there's a garden in the back. I know it's not -"
Aiden: "It's perfect. You're perfect."
Aiden: "Look at you. Your eyes ..."
I stood still, letting his fingers trail an unseen path across my face.
Alex: "I look a lot better half-dead or whatever, huh?"
Aiden: "You've always looked beautiful to me, Alex."
He trailed his fingers over the line of my jaw and down my neck. His hands trembled as he slid them down my shoulders.
Aiden: "Gods, Alex, I'd thought after what happened with Linard, I'd never face losing you again. Even when you were connected with Seth, you were still alive. And even if you didn't want to be with me, you were living, and in the end, that was all that mattered. But when I came into that room and saw Seth and Apollo, but didn't see you, my heart stopped. It broke me. Because all I wanted was a future with you, and it had been taken from me again."
I closed my eyes against the rush of tears.
Aiden: "But here we are."
Alex: "Here we are. I love you."
Aiden: "Agapi mou, you are my everything."
In no time, our limbs were tangled together, and when our bodies joined, everything slowed down. Our want for one another was all-consuming, but for the first time since we'd locked eyes in Georgia, we had all the time in the world to enjoy our love. And we did.
Check out the rest of the Covenant Series below
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