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Page 28

After a long, tense moment, that resonating power vanished. I looked around nervously, searching for any signs that the people milling around us had noticed anything, but no one seemed any the wiser.

Twenty feet away, I spotted James talking to a woman wearing a massive backpack. He pointed down the length of the terminal, and she gave him a grateful smile and ran off in that same direction. I frowned.

“Not exactly the best time to stop and give directions, is it?” I said as he rejoined us. James shrugged.

“Not exactly the best time to gather enough power to wipe out half of Africa either,” he said, looking pointedly at Henry. They glared at each other. “Besides, giving directions is what I do. Among other things.”

“Like rob banks,” said Henry.

“That was once.” James shook his head and produced three tickets. “The airport in Athens isn’t there anymore, but I got us as close as possible. Are you sure you want to do this, Kate?”

I nodded numbly. As important as reporting to the council was, I had to see the damage. Cronus had left the Parthenon untouched for a reason, and maybe there was a clue there, or something that could help us. Besides, I had no doubt Henry would dive into the war the moment we returned to Olympus, and he needed a break before he went head to head with Cronus. Keeping him away for as long as possible was the only solution I could think of.

Henry pressed his lips to my temple. “Going to Athens won’t help,” he said quietly. “It won’t change anything.”

“It could. We might find something. Those people died because of me—”

“Of course they didn’t.” Henry’s frown deepened. “It has nothing to do with you. Cronus would have attacked humanity eventually, and nothing you could have done would have prevented it.”

James gave me a look, but I averted my eyes. I couldn’t tell Henry how wrong he was.

“Come on,” said James, offering Henry a hand. He refused, and James’s arm dropped to his side. “Our flight boards soon. We should arrive with enough time to reach Athens before the next sunset.”

“Why does that matter?” I said, steadying Henry by the elbow as he stood shakily.

“Because the closer we are to Cronus, the more danger we’re in,” said James. “I don’t know about you, but I’m not willing to risk it for very long.”

Part of me didn’t care, the part that had died along with the people of Athens. But the part of me that held Henry’s hand and dreamed of holding Milo cared, and I nodded. The less time we spent in Greece, the better. I had to go, though. I wouldn’t budge on that.

“Maybe you should go back to Olympus,” I said to Henry. If Cronus discovered Rhea had healed him, Henry would be dead the moment he stepped within reach. How wide was it now? How far could Cronus extend? To Athens? To London? To New York City? How long before he broke out of the island prison the others had managed to construct? He’d broken out of the Underworld on the winter solstice. Would he do the same this December?

Of course he would. That was why the council was fighting him now.

“No,” said Henry with gentle firmness, and his fingers tightened around mine. “I will not leave you again.”

And selfishly I couldn’t ask him to either, even though it might cost us everything.

Our flight was nearly empty. It was like the reports I’d watched on television hours before a hurricane was supposed to hit a town; the freeways leaving were crowded with more people than they’d ever been designed to handle, but the roads leading into town were deserted.

That was us. We were alone in first class, a necessity now that Henry was with us and needed space to rest. I sat in the seat beside him, watching him sleep and trying to coax him to eat something once the fancy meals came around, but he didn’t do much more than pick at his chicken and remind me gods didn’t need food.

“He’ll be fine,” whispered James from the seat in front of me. Though Henry had fallen back asleep, he continued to squeeze my hand. “Should’ve never left Olympus in his condition, the stubborn ass. Once we get back, he’ll recover a lot faster.”

“You think?” I pursed my lips. “That’s part of the reason I wanted to go to Athens. I figured the minute we get back, he’s going to want to fight with the others. He won’t give himself the time he needs to recuperate. At least this way he’ll get some rest.”

James eyed him. “You really think he’ll change his mind about fighting?”

“Of course. They have Milo.” And no matter how stubborn Henry could be, he wouldn’t abandon our son. “Are there any others?”

“Any other what?”

“Titans,” I whispered. “There were others in the myths, right?”

James scowled, the line between his eyebrows deepening. “Yes, there were others, but they won’t be any help. They were buried in Tartarus with Cronus.” He must have seen the look on my face, because he added hastily, “We don’t have to worry about them. Cronus would never allow them to leave, first of all—he wants to be king, and they’d challenge his rule. Second, they were all captured before Cronus was, and the measures the original six took to make sure they’d never see the light of day again...” He winced. “The only reason they didn’t take those measures against Cronus is because Rhea begged them not to. It more or less kills them,” he added. “Or at least as much as a Titan can be killed. And because she’s their mother, they listened.”

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