Updated: Jan 19
by Jennifer Armentrout
Published by Jennifer Armentrout
Book #4 in the Titan Series
HISTORY IS ON REPEAT…
Seth never thought he’d have a future. Now he’s on the brink of having it all: A tomorrow. A family. All that’s standing in the way of that forever with Josie is the Titans.
A PRICE MUST BE PAID…
For Josie, entombing the Titans is what she was born to do. But she also knows she’s not fighting just for herself — she’s fighting for the man she loves, for their future, for the world. Together, Josie and Seth will face the unthinkable. And to win this war, the ultimate sacrifice must be made.
FOR THE END IS HERE AND THE PROPHECY WILL BE FULFILLED….
RATED: 18+ CATEGORY: MOOD:
Steamy #Mythology Exciting
The Prophecy by Jennifer L Armentrout is the fourth, and final book in the Titan series. As with the previous three, we have two narrators: Josie, a demigod, who is charged with the task of entombing the escaped Titans, while pregnant, and Seth, the god of life and death, who not only is trying his best to keep Josie out of the fight, but is also preparing to be a father his child can be proud of.
Holy. Daimon balls.
I had to say that at least once.
The Prophecy was everything you want in a final book of a series. The action started right away, and built to a very climatic end. Fun fact: 3 hours later, and my face is still puffy and blotched from the amount of BAWLING I did. Not only did The Prophecy keep me entertained (I couldn't put it down), but it left me emotionally hung over. One of the things I enjoyed, was how surprised I was throughout the book. I had my predictions, and none of them panned out. None.
Holy redemption arc! I was one of those readers of the Covenant series who always felt Seth wasn't the villain. Well ... I mean, that's obvious at the end of the series, but he did some terrible things. I always had hope for him though. While I loved what he did for Aiden and Alex, I hated it for him. This series might have been called the Titan series, but the real story here, is Seth's arc. Jennifer wrote Seth's arc in a way that made him worthy of all the good in his life, but still keeping the things we love about Seth the most (like his dry sarcasm, and hell, even his arrogance). And the Seth we get after he meets Josie? Oh. My. God. Don't kill me JLA fans, but he may have bypassed Aiden for me in the whole Aiden vs. Seth argument. If not bypassed, they are pretty equal at the very least. And Josie? What a perfect match for Seth. She has gone through a significant change over the last year (hard to imagine these books span a year), going from mortal, to a demigod who has mastered her powers, and is strong, not just physically, but emotionally as well. She went from someone who never even thought about kids, to being a mother. Much like Alex and Aiden are perfect halves that make a whole, Seth and Josie are as well.
Well, that's it for the Titan series. I'm left ... happy for most of our characters, but sad that it's done. In Acknowledgments, I noticed the JLA said that this is the end ... for now, which has me thinking she has more ideas bouncing around in her head. I hope so. I really do. It's hinted that Aiden and Alex have been wanting a child ... does it happen for them? Deacon mentions wanting a child, and Luke said maybe a long time in the future ... will they eventually adopt? And I feel like there is a whole story that could be written about Seth and Josie's child (nope, I will not spoil the gender or name, but I will say, the name is perfect) when he/she comes of age. For now though, I will have to settle for this being the end.
Where to Buy
Seth: "You're beautiful. Have I told you that yet today?"
Josie: "This morning, and then right after lunch."
Seth: "But I haven't in the last hour?"
Seth: "Do you think we should get out of bed now? You said there were important things to do."
She bit down on her bottom lip
Seth: "That's not an answer, Josie."
Her eyes narrowed
Josie: "I think you can find a better use for your mouth instead of talking."
Seth: "Damn, girl."
Josie: "You have a point."
Seth: "I know."
Josie: "You're just full of yourself today, aren't you?"
Seth: "Full of love for you."
Seth: "I know you want to be a part of this and you want to be out there, fighting the good fight, but -"
Josie: "I really don't."
Seth blinked, obviously caught off guard.
Josie: "That's a really terrible thing to admit, isn't it? In the movies and books, the badass woman is still a hardcore warrior even if she's pregnant. Like Maggie from The Walking Dead! She was pregnant, but she still led the Hilltop to battle. With only a revolver. Or maybe it was a different gun. I don't know. But I have super powers, so whatever."
His jaw softened
Seth: "Josie, that's a TV show and not real life."
Josie: "I know it's a TV show, but if it were a real zombie apocalypse -"
Seth: "But a zombie apocalypse isn't real."
Josie: "Ugh! I know, but what I'm saying is that the Titans are the zombies and I must lead the -"
Seth: "The Hilltop to battle?"
His lips twitched
Josie: "I'm seriously going to hit you in like five seconds."
Josie: "I mean, a part of me does want to still be that badass. I want to be out there, rounding up demigods, and I want to bitch slap the Titans back into their tombs."
Seth: "Bitch slap them back into their tombs?"
Josie: "Yeah. But I also don't want to do anything that jeopardizes this baby. I know we didn't plan this and the whole idea of being pregnancy is, frankly, terrifying, but I love it already."
Those eyes of his turned a brilliant amber as he cupped my cheek
Seth: "So do I, babe. This wasn't something either of us planned, but I love it with every part of my being."
Josie: "People are going to think I'm weak."
Seth: "Josie, I don't give a fuck what people think."
I opened my mouth
Seth: "And you shouldn't give a fuck what people think. You're not backing down from this fight. You're being smart. You're trying to come up with different options and you're picking you're battles. That's not being weak. That's being wise."
Seth: "You're incredibly strong, Josie, and you don't give yourself enough credit."
Seth: "Yes, psychi mou. Everything you thought you knew about the world changed in a matter of seconds and you adapted. You've lost your family and you've dealt with that. You were captured by Hyperion, not once but twice, and you survived that. You found out you were pregnant and you've accepted it. And through all of that you never gave up on me. Even when I was an asshole. Even when I left you, you never gave up. You are the furthest thing from weak and I never - never, Josie, want you to think for one second that you're weak."
It was due to Josie.
From day one, she had my back and saw me for more than who I had been, but for who I was ... and who I was becoming. Sounded cheesy as hell, but it was t rue. She was why I was able to start moving on, and she was why I was becoming a better man.
But I was still an asshole on most days.
All anyone had to do was ask Aiden.
Aiden: "Why don't you tap into some of the special god power and get rid of this thing? You know, before we find out if this things is hungry or not."
Seth: "Gods. Your breath smells like a divorced man's ass.
Aiden: "How in the hell did you not bring any daggers?"
Seth: "I'm a god. I shouldn't need them."
Aiden: "Well, obviously being a god is about as useful as a hole in the head at the moment."
Seth: "True dat."
Alex: "Guys are such caveman douchebags."
Cora: "I've heard about you."
Deacon: "It was all me. I gave her the unofficial but true biography of Alex Andros."
Alex: "That worries me. A lot.."
Deacon: "Aw, poor little Alex was left out. Do you need a hug? You need a hug so you feel loved and cared about and cherished?"
Holding her hands up, Alex quickly backed away.
Alex: "I do not need one of your hugs. Nope. Not today, Satan."
Josie: "I like his hugs. They're all warm and squishy."
Alex: "What? He must give you nicer hugs than me."
Alex darted behind the couch, away from Deacon.
Alex: "I'm pretty sure I end up bruised after his hugs.
Deacon lowered his arms and pouted.
Deacon: "You gave me a sad."
Cora: "Are you ...?"
Luke: "Are you what?"
Luke frowned as he glanced between Cora and me. His eyes narrowed on me.
Luke: "What is going on?"
Cora: "God, I'm sorry. I really need to learn to keep my mouth shut. I just see things and blurt them out, and then this happens."
Alex: "Oh, boy."
Deacon's pout grew.
Deacon: "Okay. Now I'm feeling left out, and if you think Alex bitching about being left out is bad, you haven't seen anything yet."
Luke: "There has never been a truer thing spoken."
Gable: "I feel left out too. Then again, I feel like I never really know what is going on. Probably because I don't."
Josie: "Um ..."
I glanced over at Alex, but she wasn't much help at all. If anything, I was think she now looked grateful that she's been left behind to witness this.
Cora: "I really am sorry, Josie."
Luke: "Wait a second ... Holy shit."
Deacon: "What? Oh my gods, if someone doesn't tell me what is going on, I'm going to start a fire."
Josie: "Okay. I'm sort of pregnant."
Slowly, Deacon turned to me. His face was devoid of emotion.
Alex: "Sort of. How are you fort of pregnant?"
I rolled my eyes.
Josie: "Okay, I'm totally pregnant -"
Deacon: "You're pregnant?"
Deacon: "Like you're pregnant with an actual baby?"
I started to frown
Josie: "Verses being pregnant with what?"
Deacon: "How did I not know?"
Josie: "Please don't be mad -"
Deacon: "I'm not mad! Not at you. I'm just mad that I could've been obsessing over the baby shower, like, days ago."
A surprised laugh burst out of me
Josie: "Baby shower?"
Deacon: "Of course! We're going to have a huge one. Like, the baby shower to end all baby showers. It'll be Supernatural-themed."
My brows flew up
Luke's grin was now a full-fledged smile
Deacon: "How far along are you? Do you know if it's a boy or girl? When are you due? Can I name it? If it's a boy, it has to be Sam or Dean. No other options."
Alex: "Come get your boy, Luke."
Deacon: "They're going to have a baby."
He paused, eyes widening as he locked gazes with me.
Deacon: "Seth is going to be a dad."
Josie: "Yeah. He is."
Deacon: "Wow. And he knows?"
Alex: "Did you seriously ask that?"
Deacon: "I's a valid question."
I nodded my head.
Josie: "He knows."
Deacon: "I bet he is so happy."
It was so obvious that was a genuine statement that I felt tears start to crowd the back of my eyes.
Josie: "He is. I thought he was going to pass out at first, but he's happy."
Deacon: "Good. You deserve it. He deserves it."
Josie: "Thank you."
Josie: "So, now that the cat is out of the bag on that -"
Alex: "Or the bun is out of the oven? Heh."
Alex: "That was clever of me."
We all stared at her.
Alex: "What? I thought it was hilarious."
Zeus: "We've all made mistakes - mistakes that have laid waste to entire civilizations. Mistakes that have destroyed countless lives. You are a new god, the start of a new era. And you're already beginning to learn the hard way. You do not need to follow in our footsteps. I would think you of all people would want to avoid that. You have a lot of reasons to be angry. I get it. Your mother was a cold, heartless woman. Your father a man you never got the chance to know. You were used as a tool in a war you did not know was brewing, and you struggle with countless decisions, but you cannot let your emotions rule you. Not anymore."
Seth: "He asked me if this was a world I wanted to bring a child into. And I don't want to bring our child into a world like that, but most importantly I don't want our child to grow up and have to learn what I've done. Who I am."
My eyes flew up
Josie: "You're an amazing -"
Seth: "I've done a lot of bad, Josie. A lot of bad shit, and I wanted to be better for you. Killing Hyperion may make you safer, but it didn't make me better."
Josie: 'I know you have done bad stuff, but that isn't the sum of who you are. You are making amends. You're not a bad person, and I know, without a doubt, that our child will never be ashamed of who his father is."
Seth: "I want that to be true. I need that to be true."
Seth: "Sorry to pass out on you on the couch."
Josie: "It's okay."
A different kind of smile played out on his lips. Not a bad one. More of a boyish one.
Seth: "You're lying."
His finger skimmed down the center of my nose
Seth: "That couch is about as comfortable as a two by four. Then again, I was there, so it was probably the best sleep you've ever had."
I let out a sleepy laugh
Josie: "Your ego never fails to amaze me."
His gaze searched mine as his finger found its way to my bottom lip.
Seth: "You never fail to amaze me."
Josie: "Why? Was I snoring again?"
Seth: "No. But the fact something so beautiful can sound like Chewbacca getting run over by a van is pretty amazing."
Josie: "I do not sound like that. You're a liar-liar pants on fire."
Seth winked and I rolled my eyes.
Josie: "I'm always going to be there for you. No matter what. I love you, Seth."
Seth: "Say it again."
My gaze met his and I said it again and then again, and I kept saying it until his mouth silenced me.
Seth: "I will never get tired of hearing that. And I'll never stop feeling it. What I feel for you increases every waking moment and sometimes that scares the hell out of me, but I love you. Yesterday. Today. A thousand tomorrows from now, I will be in love with you."
His voice thick as he trailed his fingers across the tip of one breast. I jerked as my heart jack-hammered as his hand dipped, drifting over my stomach in a way that was reverent.
Seth: "And I know in the upcoming months, you're going to become even more beautiful."
His gaze coasted over me.
Seth: "We need to do that first before the day gets crazy."
I caught his gaze and grinned.
Josie: "We should get ready right now."
Chuckling, Seth rose once more, climbing over me.
Seth: "Oh, we are not doing that right now."
Josie: "We're not?"
Seth: "I think I must've misspoken. There is one other thing we are going to do first."
Josie: "And what is that?"
Seth: "Well, it's something you're going to do first."
Air hitched in my throat as his mouth took control of mine. Folding my arms around him, I held him close. His tongue swept over mine. Then Seth was on the move again, sliding down and taking his sweet time doing so. Somehow my panties were gone. There was nothing between my skin and his hands and mouth. It had to be godly magic, because they seemed to disappear, and then I realized it was magic, because his tongue found the oddly sensitive crease between my thigh and hipbone. I lost my grip on his hair as he worked his way down my inner thigh, nipping at my skin and then soothing the illicit little sting with his tongue. Each sweep of his tongue was like touching a live wire.
I shuddered as his warm breath drifted over the most intimate part of me.
Josie ; "What ... what am I going to do first?"
Seth: "You're going to scream my fucking name."
Marcus: "Handing over that kind of information is serious. To be honest, I'm more comfortable with you having access to these records than anyone else in this room."
Alex's mouth dropped open
Alex: "Well, I'm kind of offended."
Seth: "Meanwhile, I'm not at all surprised that you wouldn't be comfortable with me having that info."
Seth: "That's bloodthirsty. And it really turns me on."
Alex: "Gods. We didn't need to know that, Seth."
I shrugged and Josie flushed pink
Aiden: "I want to go with you."
Seth: "Are you trying to be my best friend?"
Aiden: "I thought we already were best friends."
Seth: "You just can't stop thinking about me, can you?"
Shrieking, my eyes shot open and I pulled my hand away.
Josie: "You have got to stop doing that. Or I will put a bell on you."
Seth: "That was possibly the hottest thing I've seen in all my years."
Seth pulled my hand away and climbed fully clothed into the shower.
Seth: "You have no idea how badly I needed to see that."
Seth: "Beautiful. But this?"
He brought my hand to his mouth, sucking a finger into his mouth.
Josie: "Oh, my ..."
Seth: "I'm jealous. Would've given just about anything to see how all of this started out."
Josie: "It really wasn't all that exciting."
Seth: "Are you out of your mind? It was probably exciting on a heart-attack level."
I rose on my elbow, grinning when he arched his brows at me.
Josie: "You're sort of stunning. But I'm sure you already know that."
He stepped out of the wet pants and leaned over me, placing a hand on each side of me, caging me in.
Seth: "You're one to talk."
I tipped my head back
Josie: "I love you, Seth."
He made a deep sound, brushing his cheek over mine.
Seth: "I know."
I placed my hands on his chest, lowering them over each hard ripple. He pressed against my thigh, warm and hard.
Josie: "You're supposed to respond with 'I love you, too.'
Seth grasped my hips and rolled me on top of him.
Seth: "I think I already did, in the shower."
I kissed the stubble along his haw as I reached between us, palming him. His back reared off the bed. My heart was already racing again.
Josie: "Not good enough."
He reached up cupping the nape of my neck. His eyes were startling in the darkness of our room, consuming me. My heart tripped over itself. Lust hardened the edge of his voice.
Seth: "I love you."
Josie: "That's better."
Sitting up in one fluid motion, he slipped deep inside me and captured my mouth, smothering my cry of surprise. He wrapped his arms around my waist, holding me tight against him as he flexed his hips upward while pulling me down. Toes curling, I gripped his shoulders as my surprise turned to pleasure.
Seth: "I love you now. I will love you always."
I pressed my forehead against his, my bottom twisting down. Both of our chests were rising raggedly.
Josie: "Always? I - I love the sound of that."
He pulled back and our eyes locked.
Josie: "I'll make sure they stay put and are safe. Meanwhile, I'm going to see if I can locate Medusa and try to get some info out of her."
Deacon: "Well hell, that might sway me to stay behind."
Aiden: "Really? I'm sure -"
Alex: "Pretty sure Medusa doesn't like guys. We're stuck with Deacon."
Deacon: "Or I'm stuck with you two. That sounds more like what is really happening."
Seth: "You do not need to worry about me, psychi mou. No matter what, I'm coming back to you. Always."
Her lips brushed mine as I found her hand.
Josie: "I know."
Luke: "Dammit. Where is he going?"
Deacon was already halfway through the uneven rows. He looked over his shoulder when Luke shouted.
Deacon: "This is the most amazing thing I've ever seen. You guys have to see some of these tombstones."
Luke sighed heavily as he glanced at Aiden
Luke: "That's your brother."
Aiden: "That's your boyfriend."
He let out another sigh.
Luke: "I better go get him."
Aiden: "I wanted to say something to you."
Seth: "Do I even want to know?"
A faint grin appeared.
Aiden: "I'm proud of you."
I almost stopped walking when I looked over at him.
He let out a low chuckle.
Aiden: "Shocked you into silence? I'm going to take advantage of that before you tell me to shut up. You didn't go after Oceanus yesterday. The old Seth would've. And the old Seth would've thrown down with Zeus, no matter the consequence. You may have even killed him. At least, you would've put a hurting on him. The fact it appears you just talked with him shows how much you've changed, and I was wrong."
Tartarus just froze the fuck over.
Aiden: "I was wrong when I said it appeared you weren't concerned and didn't care. So, I wanted to say that I'm proud of you."
Seth: "Shut up."
Aiden smiled as he looked away.
Doctor Morales: "I'm sorry. When I see you, I don't know if I should shake your hand or bow."
My grin spread.
Seth: "I do like when people bow -"
Josie smacked my back, and I thought for a moment Dr. Morales would pass out.
Josie: "You don't need to do any of those things."
Seth: "Well, that's no fun."
His gaze dropped and drifted over my bare chest
Seth: "What are you doing?"
Josie: "What does it look like?"
Seth: "I think I have a good idea, but we really shouldn't be doing that right now."
Josie: "Why not?"
I pressed my mouth to his, and Seth's opened, welcoming the kiss.
He was breathing heavier.
Seth: "Do I need to remind you that you were just hurt? And Dr. Morales said -"
Josie: "I have a pulled muscle, Seth."
Smiling, I rocked against him.
Josie: "And we can take this easy."
Seth: "Josie. You know I want you. Always. But when Apollo came for me tonight, I thought ... I feared the worst."
I squeezed my eyes shut
Seth: "Those seconds that is took for me to get back here, I feared the worst. That there'd be no more moments like this. They were only seconds, Josie, but they felt like an eternity."
Josie: "Seth. Then let's take back those seconds and make them ours."
Seth: "How can I say no to you?"
Josie: "You can't. Because you love me."
Seth: "I do. I love you so fucking much I think it's killing me sometimes."
Apollo appeared in front of me, in the center of shimmering lights, in all his golden glory. The moment he became visible, I slammed my fist into the fucker's jaw.
Apollo turned his head back to me, his all-white eyes narrowed as he rubbed his jaw.
Apollo: "Was that necessary?"
Seth: "Not really, but it made me feel so fucking good."
Apollo: "I see some things never change."
Seth: "Yeah, ditto, fucker."
Seth: "I love you. Just want you to remember that."
Josie: "What's going on with Erik?"
Seth: "Besides the fact he's arrogant, unpredictable, really doesn't want to be here, and has the ability to piss off everyone ..."
Everyone, including Josie, was staring at me expectantly.
Josie grinned a little
Josie: "You're pretty much describing yourself."
Seth: "Am not."
Alex: "Yeah, you are."
I opened my mouth, and then rolled my eyes.
Seth: "Whatever. My point is he's really a wild card right now and there's something about him I don't trust."
Alex: "And that has nothing to do with him answering the door almost naked?"
I tilted my head as I stared back at her.
Aiden: "Look, it's a rare day when I agree with anything Seth has to say, but I do. There is something off about him."
Josie: "And that also has nothing to do with him answering the door in a towel?"
Aiden shot her a deadpan look.
Seth: "We're confident in our sexiness. Thanks."
Brows lifting, I watched Alex and Josie twist their hair. I couldn't get over the fact that both of them were literally doing the same thing.
Seth: "Okay. You guys are freaking me out."
They stopped and looked at one another, not mirror images, but way too damn similar. It was unsettling as fuck.
Aiden must've seen it too, because he blinked as he shook his head.
Alex: "What? What are we doing? We're just sitting here, waiting for you two to get to the damn point."
Josie's grin spread
Seth: "You guys have very similar mannerisms. I don't know how you two haven't noticed it."
Josie lowered her hands as her lips pursed.
Josie: "Well, now we will."
Tipping her head back, Alex stared at Josie.
Alex: "It's because we're awesome."
Aiden: "I seriously doubt that Apollo will answer our summons and bop us over there."
Seth: "Did you just say bop?"
Aiden: "Shut up."
Alex: "I thought it was kind of cute. I like the word. Bop. Bop. Bop."
Alex: "The library? I hate libraries."
Aiden looked down at her fondly.
Aiden: "Not always."
Her cheeks flushed a pretty pink.
Sacrifice the one I loved to save the world, or sacrifice myself to save her so that she could raise our child in a better world.
There wasn't even a choice.
Apollo had asked me what I would do to protect Josie and our child, and I had said I would do anything.
And I meant that.
Seth: "Why this?"
Zeus: "Because love is selfless, and an act of love is the ultimate sacrifice."
Josie: "Seth! Please, stop."
Josie pulled on my arm, her voice cracking with anguish.
I grasped her hand, holding on.
Seth: "If I do this, you will make damn sure that Josie wants for nothing. That she will be safe and our child will be safe."
Zeus: "I will ensure it myself."
Josie darted in front of me, clasping my cheeks. She forced my gaze to hers.
Josie: "You do not need to do this. Don't you understand me? This is not how this -"
Seth: "This is what I have to do, psychi mou."
I lightly gripped her wrists, pulling her hands from my face.
Seth: "It's the only way to end this."
Tears glimmered in her eyes
Josie: "It cannot be the only way."
She stiffened and then slowly turned to face her father. She didn't speak as her chest rose and fell sharply.
Apollo: "If he does not do this, there will be nothing but destruction and death. Millions will die, and that is before Cronus forces Seth's hand. The Titan's will come for you, and Seth will kill Cronus. Tens of millions will then die as his death rocks the earth from its very core. I have foreseen it."
Josie: Now? Now you dare to speak to me?"
Energy cracked dangerously, and the rush of power wasn't coming from me. It was all Josie.
Artemis shifted in her throne as a look of unease settled into her expression.
Apollo: "I am sorry."
Josie sucked in air as she tried to step forward, but I held her wrist.
Josie: "You knew? Did you know this all along? From the very beginning? You knew how this would end?"
Apollo looked away.
I thought for a moment Josie might explode, but she seemed to rein it all in.
Josie: "I hate you."
I pulled Josie back against my chest as Apollo sat down. I turned her to me, but she yanked herself free. Stepping back, she wrapped her arms around her chest. She stared at the floor of the temple, breathing raggedly.
Drawing in a ragged breath, I dragged my gaze to Zeus.
Seth: "I will make the sacrifice."
Zeus: "Then so be it."
Zeus: "Your son will think of you with great pride."
Seth came to me and knelt on the floor. He looked up at me, but I could barely look at him, because if I did, I would completely break down.
Josie: "You can't do this."
Seth: "I have to. It's the only way."
I lowered my head
Josie: "How can you be sure of that?"
Seth: "It's crazy, but I know this ... this is right. This is what my entire life has been leading to -"
Josie: "You honestly believe your entire life has been leading up to the moment where you can sacrifice yourself?"
Seth: "Yes and no."
He placed his hand on my cheek, guiding my head up.
Seth: "My life really didn't have much meaning until I met you. I always hated the idea of fate, but it feels like this is fate. It makes sense."
Hands shaking, I clutched my knees.
Josie: "It doesn't make any sense, Seth."
Josie: "We were supposed to have forever."
Seth closed his eyes
Josie: "We were going to defeat the Titans and then we were going to come back here. We were going to pick a room for our child and we were going to do normal things, like shop for baby stuff, and let Deacon throw us a baby shower. We were going to be together."
My voice cracked
Josie: "And you were going to be there when I had our child. You'd be there. You wouldn't be dead."
Seth's fingers slipped from my cheeks as he rose. Turning, he dragged his hand through his hair.
Josie: "There ... there has to be another way. This has to be some kind of twisted test that we have to figure out. Maybe that's all this is. Some kind of sick test and we can figure this out, right? We -"
Seth: "It is a test, Josie."
He faced me, his sculptured face painfully open. My breath caught at the finality in his expression, and I shook my head, already knowing what he was going to say.
Seth: "There is no other way. Apollo was right. If I don't stop this now, it will end with me killing Cronus."
Josie: "So what? Then we kill him -"
Seth: "I know you do not want that, not when millions will die."
Josie: "Then kill Zeus! That's still on the table. We kill Zeus and then we take his head to Cronus."
He caught my shoulders, holding me still.
Seth: "That is not who I am anymore."
Panic clawed through me.
Josie: "If I had to kill -"
Seth: "I want my child to grow up knowing I made the right choice. I want my child to think of me and be filled with pride. I want our child to look up to me. Killing Zeus isn't going to do that. Neither is killing Cronus."
Josie: "I won't let you do this, Seth. I can't."
Seth: "You have to. I know you don't want me to. And that you don't want to hear this."
He grasped my face, tilting my head back.
Seth: "But there is no other way."
I couldn't stop the tear as I grasped the collar of Seth's shirt and pressed against him. His arms circled me, holding on to me just as fiercely as I gripped him.
Josie: "Do you want to die? Is that it?"
Seth: "Gods, no. All I've ever wanted to do is be good enough for you - for our child."
Seth smoothed his hand down my hair, cupping the back of my neck. He pressed his lips against my damp cheek.
Seth: "And if I have to give up my life to make sure you and our child have a long one in a better world, then I will gladly do it."
Josie: "You are good enough, Seth. You already are."
Seth: "I will be."
Crying out, I pushed him away.
Josie: "That's not right! You can't be okay with this."
I backed away from him, keeping my hands up as if I could ward off what he was saying.
Josie: "You're just going to give up?"
Seth: "I'm not giving up, psychi mou."
Pain shone in his eyes, pain for me and not him.
Seth: "I'm telling you that I know this must be done."
Josie: "No! Seth, please. Don't you want to see your child?"
He grabbed me, pulling me into his arms.
Seth: "I saw ... I saw out child's heartbeat. That's going to be ... It has to be enough and it is. It's more than I ever could've hoped for."
The finality of this slammed into me. This was happening. There was no way out of this. He was going to do it, and I broke. Deep, soul-crushing sobs racked my body as Seth held me. I buried my face into his chest, gripping his shirt once again.
Seth: "Shh, psychi mou, it's okay. It's going to be okay."
He rocked me gently, soothing me as each sob tore me apart from the inside out.
Seth: "I'm here. It's okay."
But it wasn't okay. It would never be okay. Never again."
He placed his lips against my temple.
Seth : "We still have right now, psychi mou. And we'll have forever in our memories."
I pulled back, unable to catch my breath against the pressure clamping down on my chest.
Josie: "Right now."
Seth: "You've always been the best of me, Josie. I love you."
Seth: "You're so beautiful and you're so strong. Don't ever forget that. No matter what. Never forget that."
Wrapping myself around Seth, I sobbed against his skin. My insides were twisted, cold.
Josie: "I can't. I can't do this."
He cradled me to his chest.
Seth: "You don't have to. I'm not going to do it here. I'll leave. It'll be easier that way."
Josie: "How can you be okay with this?"
He kissed the tip of my nose and brushed my tears away with the back of his hand.
Seth: "I love you. And love is selfless."
Josie: "I don't want you to ... I don't want you to ... go."
Seth: "I know."
Seth kissed my tear-soaked lips and pulled back far enough that his breath warmed the space between them.
Seth: "Close your eyes."
I squeezed my eyes shut, but the tears still leaked through. My heart completely ripped open, beyond repair. Out of everything that I'd experienced, this was the one thing that would kill me. We would defeat the Titans and save millions of lives, but I'd never be the same. A huge part of me would die a slow death, because I no longer knew what life was without Seth.
But I wrapped my hands around his.
And his hands were wrapped around the dagger.
Seth: "I love you."
He pressed the sharp edge against his chest, above his heart.
Seth: "I will always love you."
A ragged sound escaped me, more animal then human as I opened my eyes.
Josie: "I love you. Oh God, I love you so much."
Seth: "I know. I know, Josie."
Josie: "And I will tell our child all about you. Every day. Every second, I will tell our child how great you were and how much you loved them. Our child will know you. I promise."
Seth: "Thank you. I love you."
Hands trembling around his, I felt him pull back, and at the last minute instinct took over. I tried to stop him, but it was ... it was too late.
A shudder rolled through me.
Josie: "I can't believe he's gone."
Deacon bent down, resting his forehead on the side of my head.
Josie: "This can't be happening. I keep thinking this is a nightmare. That I'm going to wake up and all of this will just be a nightmare."
Deacon: "I know. It doesn't seem real. Seth was ... He deserved so much more than this."
Another tremor rocked me.
Josie: "He did - oh, God, he did, but I ... I don't think he knew that. I don't think he ever did."
Deacon: "He didn't."
Deacon folded his hand over mine
Deacon: "You haven't lost him. Not really. You're always, always going to have your memories, and most importantly, you're going to have this."
He gently pressed on my hand, flattening my palm to my stomach.
Deacon: "You're going to have his child, Josie. You're always going to have a part of him. Don't lose sight of that."
Deacon was right again, and in a way, that hurt more than anything, because I would have my memories of Seth. I would have a piece of him, but all out child would have would be what I had to share about Seth, and while that had to be enough, it wasn't going to be.
Seth had deserved to know his child.
And our child deserved to know him.
Aiden: "He loved you and this child in the purest and most powerful way."
He caught a tear that had snuck free, wiping it away with his thumb.
Aiden: "And you made him into a person capable of that kind of love. Don't forget that."
My lip trembled as I swallowed down the know in my throat.
Josie: "I won't."
Aiden bent his head and kissed my forehead.
Alex walked past me and picked up an overturned bench. She sat down, plopping her cheek on her fist.
Aiden: "Getting comfortable?"
She lifted a shoulder
Alex: "Not like they need out help."
Luke: "For once."
A rare grin appeared on Luke's face as he watched one of the giants snatch up Tethys in a meaty hand. The female Titan shrieked and flailed, but she was not getting free.
Luke: "It's about time."
Zeus looked at me.
Zeus: "It is over, Josie."
I don't know what I was expecting to feel. A sense of completion? Relief? Righteousness? As if knowing Seth's sacrifice wasn't for nothing was suddenly going to lessen the burden of facing a ... a possible eternity without him?
But I felt ... I felt nothing.
I looked over Zeus's shoulder, and I didn't see any of the furies. I saw my father. He was staring back at me.
Zeus: "This was because of him. He made this possible, and you will understand one day why this had to be this way."
Josie: "I will never understand."
Tearing my gaze away from Zeus, I shuddered as I faced my father
Josie: "I want to go ... home."
Basil: "Just because he is no here with us does not mean he is gone. He is the God of Life and he is the God of Death. This is just a moment in that cycle."
Josie: "Boy or girl?"
Josie: "Is this some kind of cruel trick? Are you going to disappear? Are you going to fade away -?"
Seth: "This isn't a trick. I swear."
He caught another tear, smoothing it away.
Seth: "I'm not going anywhere. I'm not disappearing on you. I'm not leaving you. Never again, Josie."
Hope dared spark alive in my chest, but so did a terror I'd never tasted before, because hope - it could kill me. I jerked back, slipping out of his grasp as I put some space between us.
I stared at him with wide eyes.
Josie: "I can't do this again."
Tremors rocked my entire body
Josie: "I can't lose you again. I won't survive it. I'm barely surviving it now. I can't -"
Seth moved fast.One moment he was sitting on the edge of the bed, and then the next he was caging me in, one hand planted on the headboard behind me, theo ther curled around the nap of my neck.
He brought his mouth to mine, and there was nothing slow or soft about the way he kissed me. It was raw and brutal. Our teeth knocked together, and there was a good chance my lips would be bruised in the morning, but he kissed me without an ounce of restraint or reservation. My already - turbulent senses spun out of control. I was immediately overwhelmed.
He tasted like Seth.
He pulled back enough that, when he spoke, his lips brushed mine,
Seth: "It's me. You used to call me Sethie and I called your Joe. You used to tell me all the time you didn't like me, but you did, you always did."
Another shudder rolled through me as I opened my eyes
His stare was fierce
Seth: "You were tagged by a daimon, at the motel with condoms in the reception area. When you first learned how to use the elements, you always tapped into fire when you were trying to summon air. Luke never wanted to be around you when you were practicing."
A choked-sounding laugh escaped me.
Seth: "It's me. You wanted me even when I wasn't worthy of you. When you told me that we were going to have a child, I fell flat on my ass. And because of you, and only you, I became a better man. It's me, psychi mou. I am here, and I am never leaving you again."
Josie: "What I don't understand is why no one told me. Zeus could've. And if Zeus knew, then my father had to. Of course. He's the God of prophecy. He knew. Oh my God, I am going to kill him."
My lips twitched.
Seth: "Bloodthirty. Gods, I missed you."
Seth: "There is something I need to do. Something I've wanted to do for a while now and then. For a while, when I was stuck in that nothingness, I thought I missed my chance. that I wasted so much time. I'm not wasting another second."
She placed her finger on my lower lip
My chest expanded
Seth: "I want to get married. Not six months from now. Not a week from now. I want to get married as soon as we can. I know this isn't the most romantic of proposals, but will you marry -"
Josie shot forward, knocking me flat on my back as she scrambled on top of me.
Seth: "Psychi mou. You steal my breath."
Josie: "The suit. I like it. A lot."
One side of his lips kicked up
Seth: "How much?"
Josie: "A lot."
Seth: "Show me later."
Marcus cleared his throat, and I jerked, having completely forgotten about him.
Marcus: "You two have an audience, in case you've forgotten."
My eyes widened while Seth chuckled. Laughter from our friends reached me, and I felt the blush deepen.
Marcus: "You two ready?"
Seth: "I've been ready."
Josie: "For forever."
Josie: "Seth. Don't let me go."
His face contorted. Tears filled his eyes as he lifted my head, pressing his mouth to my forehead.
Seth: "I'll never let you go, Josie. Never."
A fissure of energy rippled across the beach. The glyphs appeared on my skin. There was a flash of light and then a shadow fell over us, blocking out the sun.
Apollo knelt between Alex and Aiden, his gaze focused on Josie.
Seth: "Help her. Please, Apollo. Help her."
He touched her forehead
Apollo: "Her soul is leaving, Seth. The wound is deadly. Your child is already -"
Seth: "No! She is not dead. Our child is not dead."
He smoothed the blood from her forehead, blood I had tracked there.
Apollo: "I've seen this."
He trailed his fingers down her face
Apollo: "I've know this was going to happen. You do not understand how hard it is to know how your daughter and grandson will die."
I stared at him.
His gaze shifted to mine.
Apollo: "It is Fate, Seth. It is the prophecy written eons ago."
Rage filled me as I rocked back. My cheeks were damp as my vision blurred.
Seth: "Fuck Fate! Fuck prophecies! I will not lose her or my child. This will not be taken from us. I swear to gods, I will -"
Apollo: "You will do nothing."
He said calmly, his eyes turning all-white.
Apollo: "For it is not your prophecy. It is mine. And it is your son's. For love is the root of all that is good, and the root of all things that are evil. Love is the root of the Apollyon. Fate is afoot,"
he continued, moving his hand to Josie's sternum, over his icon that was engraved in her skin.
Apollo: "Things cannot be undone. Fate has looked into the past and into the future. History is on repeat."
Alex: "What the hell?"
snapped Alex, recognizing the prophecy that she's heard years ago at the Covenant in North Carolina.
Fine hairs rose all over my body as Apollo's voice carried through the salty air.
Apollo: "Know the difference between need and love."
Apollo began to glow. From the top of his golden head, down through his entire body, he became as bright as the sun.
Apollo: 'For what the gods have feared has come to pass. The end of the old is here, and the beginning of the new has been ushered in. For the sun child and the new god will give birth to a new era and the great creators will fall one by one, reshaping our homes and hearths, reaping man and mortal alike."
I shuddered as the glow radiated from his hand and enveloped Josie in warm golden light, blurring out her features as I held her in my arms.
Apollo: "A bloody path was chosen."
Lightning ripped across the rapidly darkening sky. Night fell, pitching the world into darkness.
Apollo: "The Great War found by the few has come to pass, and in the end, the sun has fallen, and the moon will reign until the new sun rises."
My skin burned from holding onto Josie, but I didn't let her go. I would not let her go. I'd promised her I wouldn't let go, and I would never do it. Never.
Apollo's voice weakened as the light pulled back from Josie and traveled up his arm. I could see Apollo's features again. He stared down at Josie.
Apollo: "She carried the god of music, truth and prophecy, the god of sun and light, plague and poetry, and when he comes of age, he will take his rightful place among the Olympians. He will rule until end times."
The bright glow receded from his eyes. The whites were milky and flat.
Apollo: "Tell her that I have always been proud of her. That I have always loved her. Tell her that I give this to her not out of obligation, but out of love for my child. Tell her that, Seth."
I opened my mouth, but fuck, I was out of words. All words. Across from me, Alex fell to her butt, a broken sound coming from her, because Apollo .. He was ...
Flaking piece by piece, drifting into the air around him. The night cleared as rays of sunlight streamed down, reflecting off the glittering sand. Apollo was slowly, right before our eyes, becoming nothing as he returned to the light all around us.
Apollo: "The new sun ... has risen."
Josie jerked in my arms, and my gaze shot back to her face. Color returned to her skin, spreading across her face and down her throat, a pink flush that brought life back to her body. I trembled. Her eyes flew open as she dragged in a huge gulp of air. Her chest rose and fell heavily.
Lifting her against my chest, I buried my face in her neck as I lost all control. Didn't even care. I fucking sobbed as I help her.
She managed to pull back and lift her arms. She clasped my cheeks and tilted my head up.
Josie: "Seth? Why are you crying?"
A hoarse laugh escaped me as I pressed my forehead against hers.
Seth: "I love you, Josie. I love you."
Josie: "I wish I had ... time with him. To actually get to know him. You know? Because I really didn't know him at all."
Seth: "I'm sorry. He loved you. At the end of the day, he proved that and then some."
Josie: "I know."
Seth: "I just wish he'd showed it in a different way. Like, I don't know, taking you out for ice cream or some shit."
Turning my head, I caught the tip of her finger between my teeth. Passion clouded her eyes as I nipped down.
Josie: "You need to stop doing that."
Seth: "Why would I do that?"
Josie: "Because for some reason, these pregnancy hormones have me wanted sex for, like, nearly twenty-four hours a day. You do something like that, and I just want to climb on you like a sex-deprived manic."
Seth: "Okay. I don't care what you say. I am so fucking lucky."
Josie laughed against my mouth
Josie: "Because I'm horny all the time now."
Seth: "Yeah. And for the fact that, after all of this, you've never given up on me."
Josie: "I could never give up on you."
She kissed me again, nibbling at my bottom lip.
Josie: "Not just because I love you, but because you're worth fighting for, Seth. You're worth loving, and if it takes a hundred years to prove that to you, I will."
Seth: "Have you been watching me sleep?"
Josie: "Maybe just a little."
Seth: "How long was I sleeping?"
Josie: "A couple of hours. Not too long."
Seth: "Shit. Really?"
Josie: "I wasn't staring at you the whole time."
Seth: "Well, that's a relief. Sorry about that."
Josie: "It's okay, Seth. You can take naps. We have forever to be awake and annoying each other. Like literally. Forever. And soon, we'll have a little version of ourselves to also annoy and take naps with."
My voice thickened as I tugged her back down, right where I wanted her. Flesh against flesh. Heart to heart.
Seth: "Yeah, we do."
Seth: "I'm going to spend the rest of eternity proving to you just how much I deserve all this."
Tears filled her eyes
Josie: "You already do, Seth."
Deacon: "Do you think you'd ever want one of these?"
Luke looked over to where I stood. His brows lifted in surprise.
Luke: "I think so, but not for a fairly long time from now. Like a real long time from now."
Deacon: "I don't know. I would like to get me one of these."
Luke: "You make it sound so simple. Like you can go to the local grocery store and pick one up."
Seth: "Nowadays, that could happen."
Luke: "Don't antagonize him."
I faced him as I gently lifted my son in my arms
Luke: "I don't think I've said this yet, but I just want to tell you that we love the name you picked. Apollo ... he would approve."
Leaning over, I kissed her cheek and then stayed there.
Seth: "Deacon and Luke approve of his name."
Josie: "I figured they would."
She turned her head toward mine, and kissed me.
Josie: "I think Alex and Aiden will like it too."
Seth: "They will."
I kissed her back and then pulled away just enough to see our son staring up at us, his haze steady and sharp. The kid seemed to know exactly what we were talking about.
Seth: "I want you to do me a favor, little man. The first time Aiden holds you, I want you to take the biggest crap -"
Josie: "Don't you dare finish that sentence."
Seth: "Your mom is a life-ruiner."
Josie: "And your dad is going to be in a lot of trouble if he keeps it up."
Her eyes widened when our son let out another gurgle, as if he were responding.
Josie: "Oh, yes he is."
Seth: "Leon. Leon is the perfect name."
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