Updated: Sep 27
by Jennifer L Armentrout
Published by Spencer Hill Press
Book #2 in the Titan series
With any great change, there is always strife,
and the Covenant University has become the frontline between pure-bloods who want the Breed Order reinstated and the half-bloods who want the right to control their own destinies.
FATE HAS OTHER PLANS.
The violence is escalating and war between the races seems inevitable, and it couldn’t come at a worse time. Hyperion may be out of commission, but Josie and Seth know they have only earned a reprieve. Seth must get Josie fully prepared, which means controlling her newfound abilities, and they need to find the other demigods before the Titans do.
BUT THE GODS ARE SENSING A GREATER THREAT.
Only one thing is more dangerous than a bunch of starved Titans, and that’s an out-of-control Apollyon. The aether in Josie is drawing Seth in deeper, and when lust mixes with love and gives way to power, he knows being close to her is not only dangerous to her, but to everyone around them, but letting her go requires a level of selflessness that just isn’t Seth’s style.
THE PATHS TAKEN IN THE PAST ARE BECOMING THE ROADS OF THE FUTURE.
Just as chaos breaks out, familiar faces from the past return, complicating the already strained bond between Josie and Seth, and when the danger from the Titans erupts with devastating consequences, the dark allure of power calls to Seth again, but this time Josie might not be able to pull him back.
AND WHEN THE STRUGGLE BETWEEN POWER AND LOVE BECOMES THE DEADLIEST BATTLEGROUND, THERE MAY BE NO SALVATION.
RATED: 18+ CATEGORY: MOOD:
Steamy Mythical Exciting
The Power by Jennifer L Armentrout is the second book in the Titan series, which is a New Adult spin-off from Jennifer's Young Adult Covenant series. This series goes back and forth between two different narrators: Seth, the Apollyon, charged to protect Apollo's daughter, and newly powered up demigod, and Josie, the demigod in question. Along with training and preparing to find the other demigods and defeating the Titans, Seth and Josie's intense chemistry and feelings for one another lead to something neither saw coming.
The Power was nothing short of amazing. The Titan series could easily lean on the Covenant plot, but it doesn't. Sure, things that happened in the Covenant series ARE important here, but there is no copy and pasting in this story. The Power is full of action, love, sex, betrayal, joy, heartbreak, and sacrifice. All of it woven together to make a hell of a book, with a bit of a cliffhanger ending.
We get some interesting character arcs in The Power. Josie, having her powers awoken, is stronger now. Her training is coming along, and while she isn't as adept at fighting as the others, she can protect herself when she has to. Her strength is more than physical though. Her biggest strength comes from within, which leads her to doing some things she never thought she would be able to do. She stands up for what is right, no matter the cost. All of this, and she still hasn't lost that softness, the mortal moral compass she has that Seth is drawn to. Speaking of Seth, what an arc for him. Seth struggles in this book. In the Covenant series, we don't see too much of his vulnerable side, but we do in The Power. Everyday is a constant battle for his character to do the right thing. It's one of the reasons I like Seth so much. He is dangerously flawed, but in a way, he is the most human of all the characters. It's human to doubt ourselves, and struggle between right and wrong. By the end of the book, he is still flawed. He is still walking the line of good and bad.
The romance heated up big time too. Can I just say, I'm totally in love with Josie and Seth together? The softer side of Seth that comes out when it's just the two of them adds so much to Seth's very multi-layered character.
We can't forget our favorite side characters! We don't get too much of Luke, Deacon, Apollo and Solos ... not as much in the last book, but we get enough. But ... spoiler alert ... we do get Aiden and Alex! It's nice to see them back "topside" for a little bit, and see that they are still happy after everything they have been through.
The Power is a thrilling addition to the Titan series, and leads to SO many questions. That ending was wonderful, and while not as big as some of the cliffhangers Jennifer Armentrout has tortured her fans with in the past *cough cough* Origin, Rage and Ruin, Deity, Stone Cold Touch *cough cough*, it still leaves me unable to wait for the next book. So, while you hopefully start reading this series, I'm going to jump into the next book. :)
Seth's surprise birthday party, with Deacon's addition of penis balloons
Josie using her powers against the Pures who were going to attack her and Colin
Apollo once again popping in when Seth and Josie are making out
Deacon comforting Josie when Seth breaks up with her
AIDEN AND ALEX
Josie killing a daimon for the first time
Josie telling Seth she loved him, and afterwards they have sex for the first time
Hercules ... hahahaha
Seth becoming the God Killer and taking out Atlas, Josie being the only one who calmed him down afterwards
Seth and Josie making love before he leaves
Where to Buy
Seth: "I liked that."
Josie: "So did I."
A big, goofy smile tugged at my lips
Josie: "I think you get more today."
His hand slid around to the nape of my neck.
Seth: "I think I should get more every day."
Josie: "Of course you do, but today is different."
Understanding rippled across his features, a slight widening of his eyes and nostrils. A moment of surprise, and seeing that caused pain to flicker through my chest, because he hadn't expected me to remember.
Seth expected so very little sometimes.
Josie: "Happy Birthday."
Josie: "I wanted to get you something, but Amazon doesn't really deliver out here, so ..."
Seth: "You know what?"
Folding his other arm around my waist, he rolled me onto my back and slid on top of me.
Seth: "You've already given me enough."
My brows rose
Josie: "I haven't -"
Seth: "You have."
He lowered his mouth to mine, and when he kissed me there was nothing soft or slow about it. Seth nipped at my lower lip, eliciting a sharp gasp from me.
Seth: "Mmm. You give me that sound."
My breath came out in short bursts as he shifted his weight onto his left arm and rose just far enough that here was the smallest space between us. Those agile fingers worked at the straps of my top until they circled my wrists.
I watched, in a daze, as he lowered his head and kissed the odd scar that remained after Apollo had unbound my powers.
Seth: "You gave ,e these. And they're the gift that keeps on giving."
Josie: "You're a perv."
Seth: "I'm just speaking the truth."
His mouth closed over a tip and his tongue did wicked, delightful things.
Seth: "Best damn birthday gift I've ever gotten."
Seth: "Get that sweet ass up and ready. Time to get to work."
Josie: "Just because you're a Pollyanna, Sethie, doesn't mean you can boss me around."
He shot me a bland look.
Seth: "Apollyon, Joe. Repeat after me. Apollyon."
I grinned. His eyes narrowed.
Seth: "You drive me crazy."
Sidestepping him, I looked over my shoulder as I headed to the small adjoining bathroom.
Josie: "In a good way?"
Josie: "I know I have the power. Duh."
I arched a brow
Seth: "Yeah, you know you do, but you don't really believe it or trust yourself. If you did, you wouldn't be setting every damn thing on fire every time you get horny."
Her cheeks flushed pink
Josie: "I do not!"
Josie: "That was like once or twice."
She threw up her hands
Josie: "Okay, maybe four times. I didn't this morning. Then again, maybe that just means you were slacking."
Seth: "Is that so? Me slacking?"
Seth: "Babe, if you'd been any more ready this morning, the whole damn dorm would've caught on fire."
Seth: "Got a new nickname for you."
Josie: "Oh. I can't wait to hear this."
Seth: "Anytime you get around me, you get so ready, I'm just going to start calling you Slip 'N Slide."
She choked on a strangled laugh.
Josie: "Oh my God, that's terrible. If I ever hear you say that again, I might hurt you, Seth. For real."
Group: "Happy Birthday!"
I couldn't stop staring at all of the ... balloons. Red. White. Yellow. Some were shaped like ... penises? My gaze narrowed on a red one that was a good ten inches long with - yep - with balls as the base. Penis balloons.
Deacon: "You're awestruck, aren't you? Told you, Luke. The balloons sealed the deal."
Luke: "I had nothing to do with the balloons."
Deacon: "That was all me. All. Me."
As Deacon got to work slicing up the rest of the cake, I reached around Josie and gently tugged on her ponytail. When she leaned into me, I circled my arm around her and lowered my mouth to her ear.
Seth: "No one has ... has ever done this for me."
Josie pulled back, her eyes searching mine.
Josie: "Done what? Celebrate your birthday?"
I shook my head.
Seth: "No. This ... this is a first."
The hue of her blue eyes deepened and then she stretched up, kissing my cheek.
Josie: "It's the first of many, Sethie. Get used to it."
Closing my eyes, I pressed my forehead against the side of hers. Damn. I knew three things right then. I didn't deserve that. I didn't deserve her. And I didn't have the heart to tell her this birthday would probably be our first and our last.
Josie: "You don't think I can do this, do you?"
His gaze held mine for a moment and then his lashes lowered, shielding his eyes.
Seth: "One of the things I like about you so much, Josie, is that you are so very mortal despite what and who you are."
Josie: "I'm not sure if that's a compliment or not."
Seth: "It is."
Deacon: "You know, I've done a lot of weird things - things you probably don't want to hear about. But stalking a librarian is pretty weird."
I looked over at him.
Josie: "As weird as doing my father?"
His eyes narrowed.
Deacon: "Okay. That's one of those weird things you probably don't want to know about."
I snorted like a little piglet. That was so very true.
Josie looked way too innocent sitting there with her hands folded primly in her lap and her knees pressed together. I don't think I'd ever seen her so ... still. Or her face to perfectly blank.
Something was definitely up.
And why was she with Cole-Ben-whatever-the-fuck his name was?
Solos: "What's going on?"
I eyed them as I crossed my arms over my chest.
Seth: "I have a feeling I'm not going to like what I'm about to hear."
I paused, letting my gaze slide to the half next to Josie.
Seth: "Sitting a little close to her, aren't you, bud?"
The guy immediately scooted to the right while Josie frowned.
Marcus arched a brow as he glanced back at the two on the bench.
Marcus: "There was an altercation between them and two pure-bloods."
I didn't care what it looked like or what anyone thought. One second I was standing near Solos, and then I was in front of Josie, kneeling down so we were eye level.
Seth: "Are you okay?"
Josie: "I'm fine."
Seth: "What happened?"
Josie: "Well ..."
Colin: "She was going to the cafeteria to get something to eat. I was heading back to my dorm when I saw her. Alone. And with everything going on, I didn't think it was safe for her to be out here and I ..."
Seth: "I don't think I asked you."
Solos: "Why don't you just piss around her?"
Raising a hand, I flipped him off without looking back at him.
Seth: "I'm also not talking to you."
Solos: "Well, it really isn't a big deal then? Here I was thinking she set someone on fire."
Josie's lips pursed.
Josie: "I only almost did that once."
Seth: "On a serious note, you okay with people around here finding out what you are?"
Josie: "I guess. I mean, I don't really have an option at this point. What do you think?"
Seth: "I think it will be okay. And if not, if you get mad, you'll just blow them all away while trying to drown them."
Josie: "Shut up."
Seth: "Or maybe one of Apollo's powers will surface, and you'll turn them into bushes that smell like cat pee. That's what he always threatens to do to me."
Josie: "Don't come in here! Don't you dare come in here!"
Apollo: "Wasn't planning to."
Groaning, I eased her hand away from my dick and rolled to the side. I helped her fix her bra and top before pushing off the bed.
Apollo: "You two are taking really long in there."
Seth: "Really? Do you have some kind of sick sense for this?"
I tucked myself back in and pulled up my zipper. Apollo was the damn God of Cock Blocking, and one of his powers was delivering blue balls.
Apollo: 'It's not my fault that every time I come to visit, you're trying to get with my daughter."
Josie: "Oh my God. This is so weird and so not cool. I'm going to need years of therapy because of this."
Seth: "You and me both."
Apollo snorted from the living room.
Apollo: "You could definitely benefit from therapy, Seth, and it has nothing to do with this."
Lifting my head, my hands stilled st the belt while my lips pursed.
Josie grabbed her hooded sweatshirt and tugged it over her head. She glanced at me.
Her voice was low as she touched my chest with the tip of her finger, tracing the design.
Josie: "I can still see your glyphs. It's beautiful."
I caught her hand and lifted it to my mouth. I kissed her palm.
Seth: "As soon as he leave, we're starting over."
Apollo: "I heard that. And it makes me want to ensure that starting over leads nowhere for you."
Josie: "Oh my God."
Josie: "I couldn't even sense you when you showed up. Why don't I get some kind of cool internal warning system?"
Apollo: "You do. But you're new at this and I'm going to hazard a guess here and say you were too distracted to recognize what you were feeling."
Josie: "Oh. That's kind of awkward."
Apollo: "The only hold-up is getting one of them here."
Seth: "Of course."
He shot me a wry look.
Apollo: "It's going to take some finagling. With the exception of our most recent offspring, demigods have been forbidden to enter the mortal realm for thousands of years. Their presence could have ... consequences."
Josie: "Of course."
Apollo: 'I do not like how similar you two are becoming."
Seth: "Concentrate, Josie. That's all you have to do. That's it."
Josie: "If that was all that it was, don't you think I'd have done that by now."
He shot me a look
Seth: "You're not concentrating."
Josie: "I am too!"
Seth: "That is one thing you definitely got from your father. A bird flies by and you're staring at it for the next minute, no matter what you're doing. ADD must run in the family."
My mouth dropped open
Josie: "That is not true."
Seth: "Really? Because a couple of minutes ago, when you were supposed to be concentrating on summoning the water element, you were staring at an eagle."
Josie: "It was a bald eagle! And it was perched on that statue. Artemis's statue! I mean, what a coincidence."
His brows lowered
Seth: "You do realize she uses hawks, right? Not eagles."
Josie: "Oh, whatever. It was still pretty cool."
He rolled his eyes
Seth: "What about when we first started? The clouds?"
Frustrated, I threw up my arms.
Josie: "It was like for five seconds and it was because the clouds looked like boobs. Giant boobs."
Seth stared at me.
Josie: "I don't like you."
The worst part - oh, God - the worst part was I knew what I was feeling. The very real pain, the bitter swelling of emotions, and the deepness of hurt were signals of something powerful and pure. Something that no longer mattered.
I was in love with Seth.
And he's just broken my heart.
Josie: "I ... I'm s - sorry."
Deacon: "You don't apologize."
He pressed a kiss to the top of my gross, greasy head, unlocking best friend status. I folded my arms around his lender waist and squeezed my eyes shut.
Josie: "Seth. He ... he said everything was a mistake. We - That we were a mistake."
His arms tightened around me.
Josie: "I ... I love him. I love him, Deacon."
Deacon: "I know. I know."
I stopped in front of them, eyeballing the little punk bitch on the bench.
Seth: "You say my name, Josie, like you aren't sure who I am, but considering how you normally scream my name, I'm a bit surprised."
Josie: "What? What did you just say?"
Seth: "I think you heard me."
My attention focused solely on the tool.
Seth: "This is the second time I've found you like this. Third time's not going to be a charm."
Josie's chest - that remarkable, lovely chest - rose sharply.
Josie: "This is not really happening. This is not seriously happening right now."
Colin: "Whoa. I don't know what you think it going on here, but it's not."
Seth: "It's not?"
I laughed, the sound biting and harsh as I told myself to stop and walk away.
Josie: "Colin, you don't need to respond to any of that. Seth can be delusional -"
Colin: "Look, delusional or not, I don't have a death wish. I'm not trying to get with what's yours."
Josie: "Yours? His?"
Seth: "Good to hear."
Seth's fist ended that sentence. Blood and spittle flew.
Seth: "Bigotry is dumb, you know, just in case you didn't realize that yet."
Seth: "Why am I not surprised you guys only got half of what is important? I'm going to give you the version for dummies."
Alex: "Geez, thanks. Otherwise we might not be able to process it."
I huffed out a laugh as I looked back at him.
Seth: "I really don't like you, Aiden."
His lips twitched.
Aiden: "Good. Because I still don't like you either."
Aiden looked over his shoulder.
Aiden: "Being able to control all the elements has its bennies."
Huh. Look at Aiden, being all demigod and stuff.
Seth: "Cute. But can you still fight?"
Seth: "Gods. Do you have any idea what I felt when I turned around and saw you standing there with a damn dagger in your hand?"
Her gaze searched mine intently
Josie: "But that's my duty."
Seth: "I don't care. You're not ready for this. And you could've been hurt. Or worse yet, this could've been a trap and one of the damn Titans could have been blowing through the Covenant right now, and if that had happened again, I would've -"
I cut myself off, unable to go there. My heart felt like it had stopped when I saw her, and it still felt like it was trying to recuperate.
Josie: "You what? Why do you even care? You -"
Seth: "You don't get it."
Josie: "You don't need to hold my hand."
I shot her a look
Seth: "Apparently I need to. If not, who knows where you might end up?"
Josie: "I'm not a child. I don't need a babysitter."
Seth: "Yeah, I beg to differ on that account."
Josie tried to pull her hand free again.
Josie: "You lost your hand-holding privileges, Seth."
Seth: "Holding hands is a privilege?"
Josie: "Damn straight it is. Especially with me, and if I remember correctly, you said you were done with me."
Seth: "Josie -"
Josie: "And you told me not to embarrass myself. You've said that you didn't want any of this with me anymore. So, you don't -"
Stopping suddenly, I faced her as I pulled her to me, chest to chest. I wasn't thinking as I cupped her cheek with my free hand and tilted her head back. Not a single thought occurred when I lowered my mouth to hers.
I kissed Josie.
Seth: "Gods, Josie. Do you really think I see you and her as the same? Alex is Alex, and my past with her is in the past, but you - you are everything."
Her blue eyes were so big they nearly swallowed her face
Josie: "I'm everything? If that's the case, then I don't understand. Why wouldn't you want to be with me? Why would - "
Her voice cracked, and I hated that, and couldn't stop myself. I stepped toward her, but she held up her hand.
Josie: "How could I be everything to you when you broke my heart?"
I stopped. Everything stopped as I stared at her.
Josie shook her head as she pressed the heel of her hand to her chest.
Josie: "I can't be your everything. You would be with me. You would, and I wouldn't be feeling like this. My heart wouldn't be broken."
Eyes glittering like sapphires, she took a step back.
Josie: "If I was everything to you, you'd love me as much as I love you."
Josie: "I love you; I'm in love with you."
Seth jerked like I'd punched him.
Seth: "You can't love me."
My mouth dropped open
Josie: "There you go again! Telling me what I can do and not do! Telling me how I feel. Stop doing that."
Seth: "But I ... I'm at a loss to what to say."
Josie: "Well, that's a first. I don't even know why I told you that. Not like I haven't embarrassed myself enough when it comes to you. I don't even know why I'm in love with you. You're an ass. And I have shitty taste in -"
He shot in front of me, moving so fast I didn't see him until we were face to face.
Seth: "Please just ... I ... I don't know what to say, Josie."
I winced, feeling what he was saying all the way to the core.
Josie: "that ... that says everything, Seth, because if you don't - if you don't know what to say, then that's it."
Seth: "You don't understand. You don't understand anything."
Heart aching, I stepped to the side, but Seth followed.
Josie: "Please, just let me go. We can forget we even had -"
He clasped my cheeks in a gentle grasp.
Seth: "No one has ever told me that before."
Seth: "No one has ever said they loved me or were in love with me, and actually meant it."
Seth's hands slid down my neck, stopping where his thumbs pressed against my pulse.
Seth: "But you ..."
Josie: "But I love you."
Seth's hands shook - his hands. Hands that were always so steady in battle, but they trembled now, touching me.
Seth: "I don't deserve that from anyone, but especially from you. That is a precious gift that I ... that I am not worthy of."
Josie: "You're wrong. You're so wrong about so much, Seth."
I lowered his hands and started walking backward, toward his bedroom. I didn't let myself think of what I was doing, what I was about to initiate.
Josie: "You deserve me. I've told you that before, in this very room. I wasn't lying then. Nothing has changed. You deserve me."
He flinched once more
Seth: "Josie, I -"
I silenced him with a kiss and I threw everything I was feeling into it, every ounce of love and hope and all the hurt I felt when he'd pushed me away and all the ache his words created now. I kissed him like I would never do it again.
Josie: "You're worthy of love."
My pulse was all over the place as I pushed him back and down on the edge of the bed.
Josie: "You're more than worthy of my love."
Seth: "You ... you are truly a goddess. Sometimes I'm not entirely convinced you're real."
Josie: "I'm real."
Seth: "You feel like a dream."
He turned his head slightly, nuzzling the hollow between my breasts
Seth: "Like I'm going to wake up one day and realize none of this was ever real."
I cupped the back of his head, threading my fingers through the short strands of his hair as I lowered my chin, kissing the top of his head.
Seth: "Or that this will turn into a nightmare and you will end up hating me with every fiber of your being."
I promised, sliding my hand to his cheek.
Seth: "And you can be so sure of that, Josie?"
Instead of answering, I found one of his hands and brought it to my breast. Seth's gaze dropped to his hand, and when I let go, he didn't. He drew his thumb over the tip, eliciting a gasp from me.
Seth: "What are we doing?"
Josie: "I want you."
He groaned as if he were in pain.
Seth: "Not as badly as I want you."
Josie: "Then have me."
Seth: "I'm savoring."
He worked his way back down, his tongue dipping into my belly button.
Seth: "Patience, Josie."
I was breathing heavy
Josie: "I'm out of patience."
He chuckled against the fluttering section just below my navel.
Seth: "We;re going to have to work on that."
Josie: "No. We do not need to work on that right now."
Seth paused just over the space between my thighs and lifted his head. The slow grin that tugged at his lips sort of made me want to kiss him ... and punch him.
Seth: "You sure about that?"
One brow rose as he curled a hand around my thigh, spreading my legs further.
Seth: "Now, Josie, you know what they say."
Josie: "I don't care what anyone says right now."
Seth: "You should. Good things come to those who wait."
Josie: "I've waited. You've waited. It's time for the good things."
Seth's gaze dropped.
Seth: "Damn. I so agree on that."
He dipped his head and my back arched as a strangled cry erupted from my throat. Good gods, I couldn't breathe as he teased and tasted, nipped and sucked. There was no room for things, only feeling, and with each thrust of his tongue, my body rose. Moans escaped me. Desire pounded through me, mixing with something far deeper. Emotion swelled in my chest, and when he lifted his head again and pierced me with those amber eyes, I knew there would never be anyone else for me.
Josie: "There has only been you. There will only be you, Seth."
His features sharpened and then he surged over me, that hungry near-haunted gaze fixed on mine. I trembled as he reached for the condom. I ached as I watched him roll it on.
He held my stare as he reached between us, easing a finger through the gathering wetness.
Seth: "This is mine."
It wasn't a question. Oh gods, that was a statement, but I nodded, because it was his. I was his. Like my skin was branded with his scent and aura, I was his.
He circled his fist around the base of his erection.
Seth: "This is yours."
Seth brought his mouth to mine, his tongue delving, matching the thrusts of his finger and then his his fingers, quickly working me back to the point where I felt I would explode into nothing. He pulled away just before, and I whimpered, but then I felt him, just the tip, pressing against me.
Seth: "I don't want to hurt you. It's the last thing I want to do."
Josie: "I trust you."
Seth: "Gods, Josie, I'm trying to take this slow."
Josie: "I don't want you to take it slow."
His laugh was strangled
Seth: "You're going to kill me."
Josie: "I don't want that."
Seth: "I know."
He slid a hand down to my thigh, lifting my leg slightly. The arm beside my head trembled as his intense gaze searched my face.
Seth: "I need ... I need this to be perfect for you."
Josie: "It ... it already is, because it's with you."
I tentatively wiggled my hips, stopping when a harsh groan brushed my lips.
Seth: "You don't have to stop. You want to move, agapi, you move. You do exactly what you want, because there isn't a damn thing you can do wrong."
Seth: "Gods. This. This is what I want. Nothing else. No one else."
Seth: "Are you okay?"
Josie: "Perfect. So perfect that I can't ... even move or think."
He chuckled and then he finally moved. He lifted his head and pressed a kiss to my forehead and then my brow. He dropped a kiss on each eyelid and then the tip of my nose before he found my mouth, and gods, when he kissed me it was the sweetest, tenderest thing ever. It spoke those three words I'd said, but he hadn't. That kiss said it all and more.
Not only did it say love.
It spelled hope.
Solos: "Really? Don't get her pregnant in the lobby, Seth."
Josie: "Oh my God."
I flipped Solos off. He laughed as he headed outside.
Curling my hand around her ponytail, I pressed my mouth to the space just below her ear.
Seth: "I was actually thinking of making use of that closet over there."
Josie: "I've never done that before."
Seth: "Figured as much. And just so you know, I am more than willing to introduce you to semi-public sex."
Josie: "Seth. You are terrible."
I dragged my nose along the side of her cheek
Seth: "Look, I'm just letting you know that I'm all about sexual education. We need to discover what you like and don't."
Josie: "So helpful of you."
Seth: "That's me."
Hercules: "I can sense other demigods -"
Seth: "Yes. We know. Your super-special spidey senses allow you to sniff out other demigods."
Hercules: "I am super-special."
Seth: "I saw the way you looked when Alex and Apollo saw each other."
Josie: "Was it that obvious?"
Seth: "No. It wasn't noticeable."
Josie: "But you noticed."
Seth: "That's because I'm always watching you. If you knew how much, you would probably think it was creepy."
Seth: "Truth? I stared at your ass the whole way to this bench."
Alex: "I worry about what he's capable of. I know that's not something you want to hear and please know it's not ... it's not coming from a bad place. Seth is ... he gave up everything to make sure Aiden and I had forever. There is good in him, so much good, but ..."
Josie: "But what?"
Alex: "There is so much darkness in him."
Josie: "I know. But he can find the light."
Seth: "How did I get so lucky with you?"
Josie: "Good question."
He laughed, but the light sound quickly faded, as if it was never there.
Seth: "I know that sounds stupid, saying something like that, but I ... I never expected you, Josie. Not once did I ever think any of this was going to happen. I've never been in a serious relationship."
Josie: "And this is serious?"
Seth: "More serious than I've ever been about anything in my life. But you know that this ... this won't last. No matter how badly I want it to, and I do, Josie. I want it more than anything, but I made a deal, and at some point they will come to collect."
Josie: "And I'll be there to stop them."
His eyes flew open. Surprise flickered over his face
Seth: "Josie -"
Josie: "If I have o fight every god, including my father, to get you out of that deal, I will."
Hercules: "We're wearing the same shirt."
Seth: "Except I'm wearing it better."
Hercules: "That's not possible. You do not have the body that I do. I'm a ten."
Seth: "Are you for real?"
Hercules: "Am I not standing here? I know. I know. Seeing me, the Hercules, is hard to believe, that such a legend could be -"
Seth: "I know this part is hard to believe, but I don't care, and if you could, like, I don't know, eat shit and shut the fuck up, I'd be forever grateful."
Seth: "You forgot this."
Josie: "Ah, I totally forgot my e-reader. Awesome. Thank you. I'd go crazy without this."
Alex: "That's sweet. You're such a sweetie, a big old ball of sweetness."
Seth: "People are really annoying this morning."
Hercules: "I'm riding with you guys."
Solos stopped, bag in hand, and veered around sharply, heading for where Aiden stood.
Seth: "Oh, no. You're going with us, buddy. Oh yeah you're going down in a ball of flames right along with us."
Josie giggled as Hercules yanked open the back passenger door. The SUV shook and groaned under his sudden weight.
Seth: "You won't be laughing in an hour."
Solos: "You're lucky I like you."
Seth: "You should drive, because I'm going to end it all. Once we're on the freeway, I'm going to jump out of this vehicle and throw myself in front of a Mack truck."
Josie's laugh cut off her yawn
Josie: "That's a little excessive."
Seth: "I do not think anything is excessive when it comes to him."
Josie: "But that won't even kill you."
Seth: "Yeah, but I'm pretty sure it'll knock me unconscious for the time being."
Hercules: "I'm Hercules. Yes, that Hercules. I've come from Olympus to find you - you, the son of Poseidon."
Alex: "Tactful. Gods."
The guy stared at Hercules and then laughed.
Guy: "Man, you're as high as balls, aren't you?"
Hercules: "I don't even know what that means."
Seth: "It means you're an idiot."
He shook his head.
Seth: "He's not high. He's just ... socially inept."
Hercules: "A minute is up. Do I still need to stay quiet?"
Seth and Alex: "Yes."
Hercules: "You guys suck."
Hercules: "Was she in porn? What? We get porn in Olympus."
Alex: "But not Supernatural? That doesn't even make sense."
Hercules: "I must check out this Supernatural."
I didn't even think as I cocked my arm back and punched him right in the stomach. Seth doubled over with a grunt.
Josie: That. That is for feeding off me."
Seth: "Gods. I deserved that."
Seth: "Out of everything that I've done, what I did to you was the worst. You were a gift to me, and I fucked that up. That's on me, and I'm so incredibly sorry."
Hercules: "If he's the God Killer, they aren't coming anywhere near him. Who would? He could take them out."
Hercules: "And why are we even here? He can take us out with the snap of his finger. Fuck this. We need to blow this joint and -"
Josie: "He's not going to take us out. Stop overreacting."
Hercules: "You don't know that. None of us do. I say we take one of these nifty daggers and shove it through his -"
Josie: "You do that and it will be the last thing you do without being tie up by your own intestines. You are not going to harm him."
Josie: "Seth, we need to talk. They're saying that you're a -"
Seth: "shh. I just want to hold you right now. Please? We'll ... we'll talk later."
I lied. Add that to the list of fucked-up things I'd done, but she curled into me, pressing her cheek against my chest with both of her hands gripping my arm. Like she was trying to hold me there. Like she already knew on some unconscious level what was happening.
I held her until she fell back asleep.
I held her until I was no longer sure I could walk away.
I held her until it physically fucking hurt to ease her out of my embrace.
Leaning over her, my gaze roamed over her face. My hand shook as I carefully brushed the long, damp strands back from her cheek. I committed every square inch to memory. The natural arch to her brows. The height of her cheeks and the full, pouty bow-shaped lips.
I brushed my lips against her cheek and then again, lower, on her neck, over the faded tag the daimon had given her outside of St. Louis. Then I spoke the three truest words I'd ever spoken and the three words I didn't deserve to utter, to give air, but I said them.
Seth: "I love you."
Aiden: "I don't think that's wise. You saw him. You saw how unstable he is."
Deacon: "I've also seen how he's been the whole entire time he's been here. So I think my decision is completely wise."
Alex: "I'm going to have to agree with Aiden on this."
Deacon: "Of course you do. I mean, when wouldn't you agree with him?"
Aiden: "Uh, like all the damn time."
She narrowed her eyes at Aiden and then turned to me.
Alex: "I know you have seen a ... a different side to Seth. I get that, but you don't know what he's capable of -"
Josie: "And you do?"
Alex: "Yes. We all know what he's capable of. You don't. And I'm not trying to be a douche canoe by pointing that out, but it's the truth. Seth can be and is incredibly dangerous, even when he's chill, but now that he's a God Killer most likely jonesing for aether? You have no idea how back it is."
Josie: "He is not the same person you knew."
Alex opened her mouth.
Josie: "No. He's not, Alex. He's not the Apollyon who was tricked by Lucian and Ares. He's not the same person who got all those people killed. He's not the man who was willing to play second best to another."
The room went silent. Crickets could be heard. Alex flinched.
Josie: "I'm not saying he's all forgiven or that he's perfect. He's not. I know that. But he's Seth. He's not just the sum of only half of what he's done. He's whole and he's not going to be referred to from here on out as the God Killer. That is not who he is. And he needs help, and because I love him - because I'm in love with him - I'm going to help him instead of giving up on him."
I looked between her and Aiden.
Josie: "I'm pretty sure that's something you two are familiar with, right? You two didn't give up on each other. Not once."
Deacon: "Mic drop."
Aiden: "It's not the same thing, Josie."
Deacon: "It is the same thing. You didn't give up on Alex, and she was legit trying to kill us. None of us did. So why would we give up on Seth?"
Alex: "We're not asking you to give up on him."
Josie: "You're not? Because I'm pretty sure you all are totally on board with Herc capturing him. And why would you all want to capture and cage him? If my father or any of the gods truly think he's a threat, they're going to amp up on finding how to ... They're going to find a way to destroy him. And that's why he would be caged - held until they find a way. That's not just giving up on him, but that's helping them murder him."
Alex: "I don't want that. I know it's hard to believe, but I care about Seth too. I will always care about him. But we have Titans running around gaining strength, and if they enter Olympus, it's over for all of us. We need to focus on finding the other demigods."
Josie: "We need Seth to help defeat them. And you know where Demeter's daughter is. You two can go with Herc and get her. Deacon and Luke can help with finding the other demigods. Honestly, I don't care what you end up doing. I don't need your blessing or permission. And if you're smart, you're not going to try to stop me. So either you're going to help me or you're going to stay out of my way."
Luke let out a low whistle
Luke: "We will do whatever you need us to do. We're not giving up on him."
Josie: "I will do anything to protect Seth."
Both of them looked over at me sharply. Understanding flared in their features.
Aiden: "And what if he is where you think he is and you find him, and he's not ... not the same, Josie?"
Josie: "That's not what's going to happen, Aiden."
Alex: "Okay. We're in."
Aiden: "You're right. We owe Seth. We owe him big."
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