“Forgotten what?” he asked, those amber-colored eyes of his luminous in the fading sunlight.
Frustration pricked my skin as I took a step toward him. “Where have you been?”
“I told you where I was going.” He tilted his head. “I went back to Andros to check in—”
“With Basil,” I interrupted. “But that’s not all you did, is it?”
Seth opened his mouth, but he didn’t say anything. His eyes widened with realization. A moment passed. “Josie—?”
“I didn’t forget,” I reminded him, unfolding my arms as I drew in a short breath. “And I know checking in with Basil was not the only reason why you returned to Andros. I don’t know if you forgot that I saw you with her—”
“It’s not like that.” Seth was suddenly right in front of me. Barely an inch separated us. “When you saw me with Karina, I was—”
“You were recharging. I know.” I lifted my chin to meet his gaze since Seth was a good head taller than me. “I know you weren’t being romantic with her or anything else like that. That’s not what I’m talking about.”
His eyes searched mine. “You know I have to do that. If I didn’t have to, I wouldn’t. I promise you that.”
“I know,” I repeated, and I did. When Seth became a god, he finally learned why he’d always struggled with the allure of aether. Aether was what fed the gods’ abilities and what made them immortal. It was why the Olympians stayed in Olympus. The place was surrounded in aether. But for Seth? He existed in the mortal realm. The only way he could get aether was by…by feeding just like the Titans did.
“And I wouldn’t have had to do it so soon, but after fighting Hyperion and dealing with the damn daimons crawling out of the ground, I needed to.”
It had only been two days since Seth had taken out Hyperion, but in those two days, he’d been busy. Hyperion’s death hadn’t just caused one tear in the mortal realm, allowing daimons to escape Tartarus. Just yesterday, an earthquake had rocked Oklahoma. The mortal world had no idea it wasn’t a normal earthquake. We had no idea why there’d been another tear, but we figured it had to do with how powerful Hyperion was. His death was having a continuous ripple effect.
But none of that was the point.
“You didn’t tell me the truth,” I said. “You could’ve told me the real reason why you went back there.”
Seth said nothing as he looked away. A muscle flexed along his jaw.
“I get that you have to do it, and I’ll be honest, I do not like that it has to be one of the priestesses, but I get it. You have to do it.” I stepped back, and Seth’s head swung in my direction. “But I don’t get why you’d lie to me.”
“I…I didn’t mean to lie to you.”
My brows lifted.
“Okay. I just hoped you wouldn’t think about what I was doing,” he corrected, and that wasn’t much better.
“Yes. Really.” He sighed, shoving a hand through his hair. “It’s not exactly something I’m proud of, Josie.”
“Why would you be ashamed? You have to do it. You’re a god—”
“But I know you don’t like it. I know it bothers you, because how could it not? That bastard fed off you until it almost killed you—killed our child. And you really want to know the exact moment I’m doing the same thing?”
“It’s not the same thing.” I moved to him, grasping his cheeks and forcing his gaze to mine. “What you’re doing is not the same thing Hyperion did, for a multitude of reasons. How can you think it’s the same thing?”
Seth’s jaw hardened. “So, you’re a hundred percent okay with me doing that? Doesn’t bother you at all?”
“Honestly? I wish it wasn’t Karina, who just has to be utterly gorgeous, that you have to get all up close and personal with, but other than that? No. It doesn’t bother me.” I dragged my thumb along the line of his jaw as the wind picked up, blowing a lock of his hair across his cheek. “I wish I could be the one who could give you what you need.”