Pure, p.53
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       Pure, p.53

         Part #2 of Covenant series by Jennifer L. Armentrout
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Page 53


  “Is it always going to be like this? When I Awaken, will I constantly be feeling you and vice versa?”

  “You could shield your feelings. ”

  I popped forward. “How do I do that?”

  Seth laughed softly. “I could teach you, work it into your training if you want. ”

  “Can we start now?”

  A slow smile appeared as he dipped his head. “That’s not what I want to do right now. ”

  Parts of my body tingled—some parts more than others. “Seth…”

  Seth kissed me. It wasn’t like the heady and deep kisses from the night before. His lips were sweet, soft. His hand caressed my cheek before sliding around the nape of my neck and delving into my hair. I let my eyes drift shut, soaking up the dizzying warmth of his lips. For the briefest moment, I didn’t think about anything. And that’s what I liked most about Seth’s kisses. I didn’t think or want anymore. In Seth’s arms, with his lips trailing kisses over mine, his presence overshadowed the hurt, eased it.

  The tingling in my body suddenly grew stronger, like little sparks dancing over my skin. My palm itched, burned. I gasped as his mouth dropped to my throat, where my pulse had gone from pleasant to throbbing.

  Seth pressed his lips there, inhaled deeply and pulled back, fingers trailing over my flushed cheeks. “Interesting. ”

  “Yeah… that was different,” I said breathlessly.

  He chuckled. “Not the kiss. Don’t get me wrong, that was interesting too, but look. ”

  “Huh?” I followed his gaze and squeaked. The rose in my hand was on fire again. Blue flames licked over the stem, curling around the fragile petals, smoldering into thin wisps of azure. The rose shuddered once and then collapsed into itself, leaving a fine blue dust covering my hands.

  “Akasha,” Seth explained quietly.

  “Okay. ” I let out a breath, relaxing for the first time in days—weeks even. “Okay. I don’t know what that really means, but okay. ”

  He hopped up on the wall beside me. We sat there for a little while, legs swinging above the ground. “What do you want to do? We have a couple of hours before you leave. ”

  “You’re not leaving after the session?”

  “Nope. Lucian wants to leave in the morning, so I’m stuck here another night. ”

  Dammit. Another eleven-hour car ride with Aiden.

  Seth nudged my shoulder. “What?”

  “I was kind of hoping you could convince Lucian to let me fly back with you. ”

  He looked surprised. “You hate flying. It scares you to death, you little wimp. But you can’t stay here another night. You have to leave tonight with Aiden. ”

  “And with Leon. ”

  “Yeah,” he sighed, kicking his legs off the wall. “Want to go swimming?”

  I laughed. “No. ”

  “Damn. I was hoping you’d fall for that one again. ”

  I stared at the moss-covered walkway, knocking my heels off the wall. “Seth?”

  “Yep. ”

  “Who do you think was responsible for slipping me that drink?”

  His expression hardened. “I don’t think it was the Council’s decision. ”

  “Then who could it be if it wasn’t the Council?”

  “I didn’t say it wasn’t one or more of them, but I know it wasn’t something approved by the Council. Lucian would never allow something like that to happen. ”

  I snorted. “You give Lucian way too much credit. ”

  “Don’t get me wrong, he’s still a pompous ass. ” Seth flashed a grin. “But he wouldn’t allow something like that to happen to you. I’m sure it could be a Council member, but they don’t have the official backing of the Council. ”

  “Sorry. I don’t trust Lucian. ”

  Seth twisted around. “You need to start trusting him. He wants to make sure you Awaken, Alex. There isn’t a damn thing he’s going to do to jeopardize that. ”

  “And that is another thing I don’t trust. Why does Lucian want two Apollyons, when every other pure is scared to death of that idea?”

  “Because Lucian wants to see change—and we are the vessel for that change. You want to change this society, make it better? Lucian wants that, too. ”

  “Since when did Lucian become such a half-blood lover?”

  “You don’t know your stepfather, Alex. You never really tried. ”

  I shook my head. “Sorry. You didn’t spend fourteen years with him. Lucian is cold, conniving, and has never been a fan of halfs. You’re not going to get me to believe otherwise. ”

  Seth sighed. “I’d put my bets on Telly, but that seems too obvious and he’s too old school. But it’s one or more of them. ”

  I wrapped my arms around me, shuddering when I thought about what could’ve happened. “They didn’t have to do something so vile. ”

  He reached over and pulled me down so my head rested in his lap. It felt weird at first, but after a few seconds, I rolled onto my back and stared up at the gray clouds. “We’ll figure it out once we get out of this damn place. Lucian is already—”

  “You told Lucian?”

  “He needed to know. ” He brushed a strand of hair off my forehead. “Needless to say, he was pissed. ”

  I groaned and placed my hands over my eyes. “Did he throw something dainty? He usually throws something small and expensive. ”

  Seth laughed. “Yes, he did actually. I believe it was a Fabergé egg. ”

  “Oh. Sweet. ”

  He picked up my pinky and peeked down at me. “What are you hiding from?”

  I considered that. “I don’t know. Everything?”

  “Sounds like a plan. ”

  I lowered my hands to my stomach, but Seth still held onto my pinky. “Childish, huh?”

  He wrapped his hands around mine. “It’s all right. You can hide for a little while longer, but then you’ve got to face… everything. ”

  “I know. ”

  He grinned down at me. “But for right now, just relax. ”

  Once we got back to North Carolina, there would be classes, and Olivia now hated me, and we still needed to find out who’d set me up last night, and… crap, Instructor Romvi. I cringed. “Can we stay… here for a little while?”

  “Sure. ” He bent down, pressing his lips against my forehead. “If that’s what you want. ”

  It really didn’t matter what I wanted, but I closed my eyes and smiled anyway.

  The sun had set by the time the servants lugged my bag downstairs. Seth and I waited in the glass breezeway outside the ballroom. I tried to not stare at the furies, but my eyes kept going back to them.

  “Do you think I’ll get to see Laadan before we leave?” I asked.

  Seth leaned against the wall opposite from me. “I’d think so. ”

  I slid down the glass and crossed my legs. “I just want to see her before I leave. I hope she doesn’t feel…” I stopped, glancing around me before I continued, “guilty or anything. ”

  “Understandable. ” He shot an irritated look back toward the ballroom. “How long is this crap going to take?”

  “Who knows?” I muttered. Telly had all the pures gathered, doing some kind of stupid closing ceremony. I stretched out my legs and eyed Seth. He had changed into his Sentinel uniform, blades and all. Squinting, I noticed the new blade attached to his thigh. “Can I see that one?”

  “Hmm?” He glanced down and unhooked the blade. “This one?”

  I wiggled my fingers. “Let me see it. ”

  He walked it across and handed it to me. “Be careful with it, both edges are deadly sharp when released. ”

  “Yeah, I know. Aiden showed me one earlier. ” I pushed to my feet, imagining chopping a daimon half’s head off with it. “You know, using this thing is going to be really messy. ”

  Seth made a grab for the weapon, but I stepped back. He gave me a droll look. “Haven’t used it yet, but I’m sure it’s not going to be pretty. ”
  I whipped the sickle blade through the air again, and then remembered what I’d realized when Aiden had showed me the blade. I peered up at Seth. “What about after I Awaken? You’ll just have unlimited zapping powers, right?”

  “I don’t know. ” He watched the blade with wary eyes. “I imagine it will be different. Could even be different now. Remember, we don’t know all the fine details. ”

  I looked at Seth, but he still fixated on the blade. “What happens to me when you pull from my energy?”

  Seth’s eyes snapped to my face. “I don’t know. ”

  My fingers tightened around the blade. “I’m not sure I believe you. ”

  His eyes bored into mine. “I’ve never lied to you before. ”

  I swallowed hard. Seth had a point, but if he did know that something bad would happen, would he actually tell me?

  Leon strolled into the foyer, coming to a complete stop when he saw me holding the blade. “For the love of the gods, who gave that to you?”

  I pointed the sharp edge. “Seth. ”

  Seth arched a brow at me. “Wow. Thanks. ”

  “Please give it back to him before you do damage. ” Leon frowned as I twirled the blade. “You’re going to cut off your hand or arm. The sickle blade is by far the sharpest. ”

  Rolling my eyes, I stopped twirling it. But I kept it. I liked it. “Are they almost done in there? Because I’m getting really—”

  A siren blasted off in the distance, starting as a low pitch and building into a never-ending loop of eardrum-breaking noise. I jumped a good five inches off the floor. The three of us looked at one another and seemed to share the same mind for a moment. Even though I’d never had the misfortune of hearing a Covenant siren, I knew they meant only one thing: security breach.

  Usually a very big and very bad security breach.



  Behind me, several Guards burst into the hall, and beyond them excited voices came from the adjoining ballroom. Guards rushed past us, one of them yelling, “Secure the gates! Lock down the school!”

  Then the sirens ceased their blaring, and a cold shiver ran down my arms. “False alarm?”

  “Not sure. ” Seth whipped the blade out of my hand. “But I’ll be taking this back now. Thank you. ”

  I barely paid him any attention. The light from the scattered lamp-posts outside began to dim and flicker. I glanced back, finding Leon with a sickle blade in one hand and a dagger in the other.

  “Everyone calm down!” A Guard yelled over the panicked voices. “The siren has ended! Everything is fine. Everyone just needs to calm down and stay in the hall. ”

  Marcus and Aiden brushed aside curious and frightened pures as they entered the room. My overactive imagination said that Aiden’s eyes searched the crowd until he found me and that there was a flicker of relief on his face.

  Aiden crossed the room, dagger in hand. He must’ve changed into gear before the closing ceremonies. He stopped beside Leon. “What’s going on?”

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