Pure, p.50
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       Pure, p.50

         Part #2 of Covenant series by Jennifer L. Armentrout
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Page 50

 

  Aiden.

  Oh, my Aiden. My heart, the very air I breathed equaled Aiden. But his name disappeared in the mad rush of Seth’s touch. I shifted restlessly, needing to be closer, and I thought I’d moved at first, but I hadn’t moved at all. I tried to again, but my body wouldn’t respond.

  “We should stop here, Angel,” Seth whispered against my lips, even as he slid a hand under my hip, lifting me, bringing me closer.

  Closer. Hadn’t that been what I wanted all long? Didn’t I still want that? I just couldn’t get closer. My hands slipped off his back and then my arms fell limply to my sides.

  Seth lifted his head and two bright, nearly iridescent eyes filled my vision. They were hazy, clouded with passion. I think he frowned, but then his face blurred in and out.

  “Alex? What…? Oh, hell. ”

  Concern replaced lust, passion—whatever he’d felt. He sat back, pants sliding low on his hips as he pulled me into his lap. “Alex, are you in there?” He brushed the hair off my face.

  “I’m… so tired. Sorry…”

  He smiled, but it rang false. “I know. It’s okay. ”

  I shivered, unable to wrap my arms around myself. Where had all that heat gone?

  Seth got his other arm around me and stood, cradling me like he’d had a lot of experience carrying girls. Judging by his recent actions, I think he did. He placed me on the bed and hovered over me. “You still there?”

  I blinked slowly, his face going in and out. “I’m… sleepy. ”

  “Okay. ” Seth leaned in and brushed his lips over my forehead. I squeezed my eyes shut, stomach twisting when he disappeared.

  A few seconds later, he returned to my side and helped me get into a shirt that fell to my knees. Things were kind of hazy after that. Numbness settled so deep in my bones, I started to believe that my limbs weren’t connected anymore. Unable to move, unable to say more than a few words at a time, I lay there and tried to figure out what was going on with my body.

  Lust and all those other warm, wonderful feelings had vanished. So had the numbness, and in their place was a godsawful feeling in the pit of my stomach. I squeezed my eyes shut again and tried to breathe through the sharp rise of nausea. It didn’t help. A twisting and churning motion swept through me. Oh, gods, this wasn’t going to be good. I was going to puke. I could feel—taste it—and I couldn’t move. A soft whimper escaped my lips.

  The bed dipped beside me and a warm hand brushed across my cheek. “You hanging in there?”

  “Sick,” I gasped out.

  Seth scooped me up in one swipe and carried me to the bathroom. The part of my brain that still functioned on normal Alex level noted that his bathroom was bigger than my entire room, and much nicer. So not fair. But then I stopped thinking altogether. The moment he held me over the toilet, I started heaving. Once I started, I couldn’t stop.

  I really don’t know how long I remained latched there or how in the world Seth stomached all of it, holding me up and keeping my hair out the way. Only when my sides ached and my eyes leaked did the painful heaving subside.

  “Better?” Seth smoothed the damp strands off my forehead.

  “I want to die,” I moaned pitifully. “I think I’m… dying. ”

  “No, you’re not. ” Seth shook his head. “Water will help. Just hold on to—” He tried to keep me upright, but I slipped to the floor. “Or just lie down. That works, too. ”

  I pressed my forehead against the cool tile. It helped with the hot feeling, but my head throbbed something fierce. Moaning, I wrapped my arms around my waist and curled into a ball.

  Seth cursed under his breath. I felt him stand and go back into the bedroom. I hoped he left me there. I never wanted to move ever again. I could rot there, as long as the pounding went away and the room stopped spinning.

  But he returned a few seconds later and forced me to sit up. He barely got one bottle of water in me. I struggled, slapping his hands away a dozen times. Seth was halfway through forcing a second bottle when someone knocked at the door. We heard it swing open.

  Seth swore again, put the bottle of water down, and eased me back to the floor. Ah, the cool floor was my friend—friend? I missed Caleb. I missed him so terribly.

  “Where is she? Seth?” Aiden’s firm voice called from the bedroom.

  “Dammit,” Seth muttered, standing. “She’s fine,” he called out. “Just needs a few more minutes to hang on to the floor. ”

  I wanted to hit him.

  Seth left the bathroom then, and the silence from the other room stretched out long, becoming ripe with tension. My mind provided the images of what the room must’ve looked like to Aiden. And shirtless, pants-unbuttoned Seth. Surely—surely Seth would’ve taken five seconds to button them?

  I heard Seth sigh. “Look, I know all this looks really bad. It’s not what you think. ”

  “This isn’t what it looks like?” Aiden growled, and I’d never heard his voice sound that way before, so hard and flat but with an edge that trembled with the promise of violence. “Really? Because I think this belongs to Alex. ”

  I cringed, wishing I could sink through the floor and disappear. A mass of confusion and unease formed in my delicate stomach. Then Aiden stood in the doorway to the bathroom, and I knew I must’ve looked a mess. Damp hair clung to my skin; the room smelled of sickness, and I was dressed in Seth’s shirt and little else.

  “Aiden,” I said weakly. “It’s not—”

  “Seth, I trusted you. ” Aiden’s voice was filled with cold steel.

  “Look, I know. This wasn’t—”

  The sound of a fist connecting with flesh came from the next room. A body slammed into something—a dresser? Something heavy crashed to the floor, shattering. The really sweet TV came to mind. Curses exploded from each of them.

  I pushed myself off the bathroom floor, standing on wobbly legs. The white walls and gilded mirror spun in wild circles for a moment. Pushing through the dizziness, I staggered out of the bathroom and into the middle of a major throwdown between a highly trained Sentinel and the Apollyon.

  “Guys, come on… you both are being so stupid. ” I swayed to the left. Cold sweat clung to my forehead.

  They either didn’t hear me or didn’t care. Aiden, who looked surprisingly unscathed, backed Seth across the room. He lunged at Seth, knocking him to the floor. They rolled, each of them exchanging and receiving blows.

  “Aiden! Stop it!” I lurched forward, swearing as my stomach rolled violently. “Seth—don’t choke him!”

  Seth had gained the upper hand, rolling Aiden onto his back. He reared back, throwing one arm in the air. Blue light shimmered around his fist. Akasha. I panicked—which maybe wasn’t the greatest thing to do considering my reflexes and even basic walking skills were subpar at the moment. I stumbled to them, intending on pulling Seth off Aiden, and then I planned to knock the crap out of both of them.

  I wrapped my arms around Seth’s waist the same moment Aiden slammed his fist into Seth’s stomach. When Seth fell backwards, so did I. My shoulder smacked off the edge of the bed first and then Seth’s weight crashed onto me. I hit the floor for the second time that night.

  Aiden popped to his feet and grabbed Seth, tossing him to the side. I turned over and there was my bra—lying right there, laughing at me. I closed my eyes, utterly mortified.

  “What the hell?” another voice rang out. A clear, distinct voice I knew belonged only to Leon. “Have you all lost your godsforsaken minds?”

  Seth rolled to his knees, wiping his hand over his bloodied lip. “Oh, we’re just wrestling. ”

  Aiden shot him a dark look as he dropped down. “Alex, are you okay?” He slid his hands under my arms and helped me to sit up. “Say something. ”

  I peered through the mess of hair covering my face. “I’m… great. ”

  Aiden brushed the hair off my face. “I’m sorry. I should have never—”

  “Aiden, I know
you’re pissed—”

  “Pissed? You took advantage of her, Seth. ” Aiden rose to his feet. “You son of a—”

  “Stop it!” Leon ordered. “You two are going to bring every Guard in this building to this room. Seth, get out of here now. ”

  “This is my room,” Seth protested, climbing to his feet. “And if this dickhead would give me five—”

  Aiden growled low in his throat. “I’m going to kill you. ”

  “Oh, that’s it. ” Seth whirled around, eyes flaring. “Let me see you try. ”

  I staggered to my feet and reached for Aiden. The room swayed off kilter, but I ignored it.

  “Don’t. Please. This isn’t Seth’s… whoa. ” The wall spun suddenly.

  “Alex?” Aiden said, but he sounded so far away, which was weird, since he was right beside me. I reached for him, but then I think I keeled over.

  When I woke up, I felt like hell and I hadn’t even opened my eyes yet. A drummer lived inside my head and my mouth was a desert. I groaned and tried to roll over, but I couldn’t move. Something stopped me. Slowly, I pried my eyes open and looked down.

  A heavily muscled arm lay across my waist—not my arm.

  Well, this was odd.

  I tilted my head to the side, blinked once, and then twice. It couldn’t be him… Waves of dark hair fell over his forehead and along his cheek. It was Aiden’s flawless face inches from mine, but a younger version of him. At rest, he looked vulnerable, peaceful. My fingers itched to trace the smooth line of his jaw, to touch his parted lips and see if he was real. It had to be a dream, something my heart had produced, because he couldn’t be here.

  “Stop staring at me. ” Aiden’s voice was gruff with sleep.

  I jerked back an inch. Okay, maybe not a dream. “I’m not. ”

  He pried one gray eye open. “Yes, you are. ”

  Accepting that this was reality, I glanced around. We were still in Seth’s room. “Where’s Seth?”

  “I don’t know. He left a couple of hours ago. ” Aiden seemed to realize then that his arm was around me. Looking confused, he pulled back and sat up. “I sat down for a little while. I must’ve fallen asleep. How are you feeling?”

  Everything seemed hazy at first. Then, slowly, the memories clicked into place: Laadan giving me the super sex cocktail drink, Aiden ordering me off with Seth, and then… everything with Seth.

  “Oh. My. Gods,” I moaned. “I want to die. Like right now. ”

  Aiden hovered beside me. “Alex, it’s okay. ”

  I covered my face with my hands. When I spoke, my voice was muffled. “No, it’s not. I’m going to kill someone. ”

  “I think you’re going to have to get in line for that. ”

  “Have you found Laadan?” I asked. “Is she okay?”

  “Yes, I found her in her room just before I… I checked on you. She’s fine, but she doesn’t remember a thing. It’s just like the night Leon found you in the maze. To compel someone that strongly and to make them forget is a hell of a compulsion. And to use it against another pure is unheard of. ”

 
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