Pure, p.3
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       Pure, p.3

         Part #2 of Covenant series by Jennifer L. Armentrout
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  Lifting my head, I found Lea Samos and Jackson. It was the middle of September and the chick still sported a super tan—still so beautiful that I wanted to stab her in the eye with a plastic fork. “Yeah, that would make sense. ” I kept my voice even.

  Those amethyst eyes settled on me. “How many half-bloods do we know who’ve been attacked recently?”

  I stared at her, stuck between disbelief and wanting to throw something. “Knock it off, Lea. I don’t want to hear your crap today. ”

  She pulled those full lips into a cruel smile. “I know of two. ”

  Caleb shot to his feet, knocking his chair over. “What are you saying, Lea?”

  Two Guards by the door stepped forward, eyeing the situation with interest. Olivia grabbed Caleb’s hand, but he ignored her. “Come on, Lea. Just say it. ”

  She tossed a mane of coppery hair over her shoulder. “Chill out, Caleb. You got tagged how many times? Two? Three? It takes a hell of a lot more to turn a half-blood than that. ” She looked at me pointedly. “Isn’t that right? That’s what I heard the Guards say. That the halfs have to be drained slowly, and then the daimon gives them the kiss of death. ”

  I took a deep breath. Lea and I were enemies. There’d been a time when my heart had sort of bled for her after her parents had been murdered, but that seemed like ages ago. “I’m not a daimon, you skank. ”

  Lea tipped her head to the side. “If it looks like a daimon, then…”

  “Lea, go screw someone and tan, in whatever order. ” Caleb sat back down. “No one wants to hear your crap. And that’s the funny thing about you, Lea. You think everyone cares what you have to say, when all they care about is how easy it is to get you on your back. ”

  “Or how the Instructors found a bottle of Brew in your room last week,” Olivia added, her lips curving into a half smile. “Didn’t know you were into such freaky stuff, or maybe that’s how you get guys into you. ”

  I snorted. I hadn’t heard that. “Wow. Drugging guys to sleep with you? Nice. I guess that’s why Jackson practically humped my leg in class today. ”

  Lea’s cheeks flamed an odd shade of brown and red. “You stupid, daimon-loving bitch, you’re the reason why my father’s dead! You should have—”

  Several people moved at once. Olivia and Caleb darted across the table, trying to get a hold on me, but I was fast when I wanted to be.

  I didn’t think; I just launched my shiny red apple right at her face. A throw like that from a half-blood turned an apple into a serious weapon. It struck home with a loud cracking sound.

  Lea stumbled back, clasping the front of her face. Blood gushed between her fingers, matching the color of her nails. “You broke my nose!”

  Everyone in the cafeteria stilled. Even the drab-looking half-blood servants stopped cleaning tables to watch. No one screamed or seemed overtly startled. After all, we were half-bloods—a violent bunch. The servants were usually too doped up to be concerned.

  Somehow I’d forgotten about the Guards as I’d gone for Lea. I squeaked when one of them got an arm around my waist and hauled me across the table. Drinks spilled; food fell to the floor, and mystery meat smeared itself all over my gym pants.

  “Knock it off, right now!”

  “She broke my nose again!” Lea dropped her hands from her face. “You can’t let her get away with this!”

  “Oh, shut up. The docs will fix it. Half your face is plastic anyway. ” I struggled against the Guard until he twisted my arm back so far that any movement caused my shoulder to scream.

  “She wanted to get at my aether. ” Lea pointed a bloodstained hand at me. “Her mother killed my parents, and now she wants to kill me!”

  I laughed. “Oh, for the love—”

  “Shut up,” the Guard hissed in my ear. “Shut up before I make you shut up. ”

  Threats made by half-blood Guards weren’t meant to be taken lightly. I quieted down while the other Guard grabbed ahold of Lea. Blood pounded in my ears and my chest still heaved with fury, but I realized that I may’ve overreacted a tiny bit.

  And I was going to be in so much trouble.

  Half-bloods fighting amongst themselves wasn’t a big deal. The aggression and controlled violence sometimes rolled out of the training rooms into places like the cafeteria. Whenever halfs did get in trouble for fighting, they ended up with one of the Instructors who handled disciplinary issues.

  Each dorm floor had one assigned. My floor had Instructor Gaia Telis, a pretty cool chick who wasn’t overly strict or annoying. But I didn’t end up with Instructor Telis. Five minutes after breaking Lea’s nose for the second time, I ended up in Dean Andros’s office.

  This was only one of many drawbacks of my uncle being the Dean.

  I stared at the vibrant fish zooming across the aquarium and fidgeted with the string on my pants while I waited for Marcus. Sometimes I felt like one of those fish—trapped by invisible walls.

  The doors swinging open behind me made me cringe. This was going to suck daimon butt.

  “If you discover anything else, notify me immediately. That is all. ” Marcus’s deep voice filled the room. The Guards adorned the outside of his office doors like Greek warrior statues. Then he slammed the door shut.

  I jumped.

  Marcus stalked across the room, dressed like he’d spent the majority of the day on a golf course. I expected him to sit behind his desk like a dean should, so when he ended up directly in front of me, grasping the arms of my chair, I was a bit shocked.

  “I am sure you’re aware of what has happened today. ” The tone of Marcus’s voice was both cold and distinctively cultured. Most pures sounded that way—classy, refined. “A pure-blood was attacked at some point last night. ”

  I strained back as far as I could go, focusing on the aquarium. “Yeah—”

  “Do not look away from me, Alexandria. ”

  Sucking in my lower lip, I faced him. His eyes were the same as my mother’s had been before she’d turned into a daimon—a vibrant shade of green, like glittering emeralds. “Yes, I heard. ”

  “Then you understand what I’m dealing with right now. ” Marcus lowered his head so we were at eye level. “I have a daimon half-blood on my campus, hunting my students. ”

  “So it’s a half who’s been turned?”

  “I think you already know that, Alexandria. You are a lot of things—impulsive, irresponsible, and ill-mannered—but stupid is not one of them. ”

  I wanted to hear more about this daimon half than my character flaws. “Who was the half? You’ve caught him, right?”

  Marcus ignored my question. “Now, I’m pulled out of an investigation that will make or break my career here, all because my half-blood niece broke a girl’s nose in the cafeteria… with an apple, of all things. ”

  “She accused me of being a daimon!”

  “So your natural response is to throw an apple at her face hard enough to break a bone?” His voice dropped, deceptively soft. Marcus was Chuck Norris in an off-pink polo shirt. I’d learned not to underestimate him.

  “She said I was the reason her parents were killed. ”

  “I’ll ask you one more time: So you decided to throw an apple hard enough to break a bone?”

  I wiggled uncomfortably. “Yeah, I guess so. ”

  He exhaled slowly. “Is that all you have to say?”

  I glanced around the room, my brain emptying out. I said the first thing that came to mind, “I didn’t think the apple would break her nose. ”

  Pushing off the chair, he towered over me. “I expect more from you. Not because you’re my niece, Alexandria. Not even because you have more experience with daimons than any other student here. ”

  I rubbed my forehead.

  “Everyone will be watching you—everyone of importance. You will give Seth unprecedented power. We cannot afford any misguided behavior from you, Alexandria. Neither can Seth. ”

  Irritation flared deep
inside me. At eighteen, something called palingenesis would hit me like some kind of instant supernatural puberty. I’d Awaken and my power would shift to Seth. What power, I had no clue, but he’d become the God Killer. Everyone cared about Seth, but me? They didn’t seem so concerned with what would happen to me.

  “People expect more from you. They will watch you because of what you will become, Alexandria. ”

  I disagreed. They watched because they feared history would repeat itself. The only time there’d ever been two Apollyons in the same generation, the First had turned on the Council. Both Apollyons had been executed. Two Apollyons at one time was considered dangerous by the Council and the gods. It was why Mom had taken me from the Covenant three years ago. She’d thought she could keep me safe, hide me among the mortals.

  “At Council, you cannot behave like this. You can’t run around starting fights and mouthing off at people,” he continued. “There are rules—rules of our society that you must follow! They will not think twice about throwing you into servitude, and it won’t matter who you’re related to. Do you understand?”

  Exhaling slowly, I lifted my head and found Marcus by the aquarium. His back was to me. “Yes, I understand. ”

  He ran a hand over his head. “You will leave your dorm for school, training, and dinner—dinner at the assigned time—and that is all. As of now, you have no friends. ”

  My gaze narrowed on his back. “Am I, like, grounded or something?”

  He looked over his shoulder at me, lips thinning. “Until further notice, and do not even think of arguing with me. You cannot go unpunished for this. ”

  “But how can you ground me?”

  Marcus turned around slowly. “You broke a girl’s nose with an apple. ”

  Suddenly, I didn’t want to argue. I was getting off light. Being grounded also didn’t mean anything. It wasn’t like my social calendar was full. “All right, but are you going to tell me if you found the

  daimon?”

  He stared at me a moment longer. “No. We haven’t found the daimon yet. ”

  I gripped the chair. “So… it’s still around?”

  “Yes. ” Marcus motioned me up, and I followed him to the door. He addressed one of the Guards. “Clive, escort Miss Andros back to her room. ”

  I groaned inwardly. Clive was one of the Guards I seriously suspected of hooking up with Lea. Every single conversation spoken inside Marcus’s office somehow got back to Lea. Considering Clive had a thing for young girls who wore fake Prada shoes, he was the likeliest suspect.

  “Yes, sir. ” Clive bowed.

  “Remember our conversation,” Marcus said.

  “But what about—”

  Marcus shut the door.

  Which part should I remember? The fact I was a disgrace to him or the fact there was a daimon running around? Clive grabbed my arm, fingers biting deep. I winced, trying to jerk my arm back, but he increased the pressure. The daimon tags still felt oddly sensitive.

  “I guess you’re enjoying this. ” I clenched my jaw.

 
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