I couldn’t breathe.
“Do you know how the gods maintain their power, their immortality?” he asked casually, like we were discussing how to spruce up the place.
“No,” I grunted out, heart thumping. “But I guess you’re going to tell me?”
“No, Sunshine. I’m going to show you.”
“Yay,” I muttered, lifting my gaze to his.
“Your bravado is false. The stench of terror seeps from your pores.”
“But that’s okay. Pretend you’re brave. It will be so much more fun breaking you, and I will this time.” Hyperion crouched in front of me. “But back to the more interesting part of the conversation. For the gods to live outside of Olympus, we must . . . feed.”
My stomach hollowed as I trembled.
“We can make it feel good or we can make it feel like your skin is being flayed from your bones, but you . . .” He reached out, folding his hand around my jaw. I winced at the touch, and he smiled. “You already know that.”
Breathing raggedly, a scream built in my throat as the male demigod whimpered.
“And it’s time to feed.”
“You need to feed, Kýrios.”
Lowering the glass, I raised a brow as the amber liquid swirled along the crystal. At some point, I stopped drinking straight from the decanter and bottle. That was an improvement.
Night had fallen, the sky was blanketed with stars, and until Basil had spoken, I’d been alone on the balcony. It had only been the sound of waves crashing against the shore and my thoughts.
Thoughts only of Josie.
Every spare moment was consumed by her. How was she feeling? Did she still mourn the death of Solos? Was she okay? Angry? Hurt? I assumed she was furious at me, and I hoped for that, because anger was better than pain—pain I’d inflicted upon her. And when I wasn’t thinking about that, I was remembering what she felt like—her silky skin, her soft hair, and her plush lips. I recalled her throaty laugh and breathy moans. Sometimes, when it was quiet in this massive tomb of a home, I’d hear her calling out to me.
I was fucking losing my mind.
My lips curled up on one side as I lifted the glass. At least I hadn’t unintentionally willed myself to her again, but my head was a relentless one-way train I couldn’t get off of. Three days had passed since I’d arrived here, since I last saw her sleeping, and the only thing I’d done was pop out of one room and into the next.
Well, that wasn’t the only thing I’d managed to do.
I was making an impressive dent in the liquor stock. The liquor here was blended precisely for our kind, mixed with only the gods knew what. One shot would probably knock a mortal flat on their ass. Maybe even kill them.
I was pretty sure I’d spent the last three days in what most would consider a drunken stupor.
Gods, this man did not give up.
“I’ve already eaten.” I took another drink, lips peeling back as the burn cascaded down my throat. Each evening, a feast that could feed an army was prepared. Duck. Cow. Pig. Chicken. Tonight there’d been a random pizza in the mix of the roasted hen and grilled fish. “And how many times have I told you not to call me master?”
“Yes, Kýrios,” he replied in thickly accented English.
My eyes rolled as my fingers tightened on the glass. I glanced over to where the dark-haired Basil stood. He was maybe a decade older than me, dressed in all-white linen. He was a half-blood.
He didn’t have the mark of servitude on his forehead, though.
When I realized there were over a dozen halfs in service, I told them to leave. Released them from service or some bullshit. None of them left. I’d ordered the pures to hit the road. None of them left. According to Basil, they were pleased to serve their theós.
I was the God Killer, but I was no god.
At least that was what I kept telling myself. Kind of hard when the half and pures bowed whenever they saw me. Or the fact that the men and women here who wore cloth the color of amber were priests and priestesses, for shit’s sake.