“No doubt,” Deacon replied, shaking his shoulders. “And hey, if you believe in Alex, so do I. You know her better than any of us.”

“That is true.” Marcus smiled, leaning against the couch. “I’m in.”

Solos sighed. “This is crazy, but what the hell? I came here to protect Alex. Not to hand her over to be put down like a dog.”

I turned to Lea, and for the first time in a long time, she smirked. “I want to see Alex kick Seth’s ass. Someone’s got to do it. It wouldn’t be fair that she dies for him to live.”

I breathed a sigh of relief. “You guys know this could get bad, really bad.”

No one moved for a while, and then Marcus strolled forward, clapping a hand down on my shoulder. “We’ve got your back, Aiden. We’ve also got Alex’s.”

And that was what I needed to hear. “She can do this. I know she can.”

I left them then, retreating to the bedroom. I crossed the room to the bed and sat. Alex stirred, aware enough that she didn’t resist when I pulled her into my arms, cradling her to my chest. I’d prepared myself, but not in the way Apollo meant.

Alex would get no more doses, and when the Elixir wore off, I would do what I felt was the worst thing possible. I’d place her back in the cell, and then I’d wait.

I’d fight.

Alex. Seth. A whole slew of gods if necessary. No one was going to take Alex. No one was going to give up on her or hurt her—not even Alex.

Apollo had changed Hyacinth into a flower to protect him. I would give Alex back control so she could protect herself instead of making the decision for her. That’s how we were different from the gods.

I lowered my lips to her cheek and kept them there, holding her tighter and tighter. The gods wanted war?

They were about to get it.

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