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The Struggle

The Struggle

Page 46

A strange look flickered over Apollo’s expression. It was strange because it almost looked like pride, but that made no sense. He was probably constipated. “I will go to Hades and see what can be done.”

Disbelief thundered through me. “How could you be unaware of what has happened to her? What she’s going through? Or do you just not give a fuck?”

“Do not question how I feel about my daughter or what I would do for her,” he cautioned, his voice eerily low and calm. “You do not understand. You couldn’t understand.”

Yeah, that sounded like a whole load of bullshit. “At least I can admit that I made a mistake by leaving her. You can’t even acknowledge that you weren’t there for her.”

Apollo closed his eyes and looked like he was counting under his breath. When they reopened, he still appeared to want to hit me. Too bad. “You made the right decision.”

My brows flew up. “What?”

Those creepy-ass eyes met mine. “Leaving her was the right choice at the time. You showed a level of . . . restraint I never believed you were capable of.”

Was Apollo complimenting me?

“You left to protect her. There is no fault in that.”

I had no words.

None.

Apollo stepped back, his gaze traveling to the altar on the raised dais. “I will go to Hades. I will make sure he assists us one way or another.” His gaze settled on me again.

If he was waiting for me to thank him, he was going to be waiting for an eternity to hear that. But there was something I wanted to ask him. “Did you know? Did you always know what I would become?”

He sighed heavily. “I am the God of Prophecy.”

“That’s not really an answer.”

Apollo was quiet for a moment and then said, “A prophecy is never guaranteed to play out like it has been seen. Not every aspect of fate is written in stone. I had foreseen the rise of the Appointed One. I have foreseen what is to come, but it still can change.”

“You know, a heads-up about this whole god thing would’ve been great.”

He smirked. “What would it have changed?”

“If I had known what I was to become and what I could control, I wouldn’t have left Josie.”

“And do you plan to keep feeding off your priestesses without her knowing?” He volleyed back, proving that he’d been keeping an eye on this. “Or will you feed off her?”

Fury punched me straight in the chest, and I stepped up to Apollo, going eye to eye. “Or maybe I will take up residence in Olympus and not have to worry about feeding. I’m thinking the place could use a little redecorating.”

Apollo’s eyes flipped all white. “Is that a threat?”

I smiled tightly. “I guess we’ll just have to wait and find out, won’t we?”

His expression locked down, his features impassive as he started to fade out. “We just might.”

~

Josie

I was dreaming again.

Part of me could recognize that—a very distant part of me knew that I wasn’t really standing at the University. I was at Seth’s home. I knew that, but I could feel the warm breeze on my arms and stirring my loose hair. I could see the tall, marble statues that lined the courtyard as the stranger with blond hair and bright blue eyes stepped forward, taking my hands in his.

“Hi there,” he said.

I could hear someone crying behind me as he turned my hands over so they were palms up. “It’s time, don’t you think?”

“Time for what?” I asked, confused.

The stranger smiled boyishly.

Jolting awake, I sat straight up. The soft blanket slipped down and pooled at my waist as I glanced around the room. My head pounded like someone had taken up residence inside my skull and started banging on a set of drums.

“Hey, you’re awake.”

I jerked around, spying Alex at the entryway to the living room. She was holding a mug in her hand. “Yeah, I . . . I am.”

She came into the room, her long ponytail bouncing with each step. “How are you feeling?”

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