It was the first thing he said.

“Yeah,” I replied, my voice breathy. “Is that…um, okay with you?”

His gaze flicked up to mine, and he arched a brow. “Do I need to kiss you again?”

My lips twitched. “Maybe.”


He cupped my cheek, spreading his fingers out. “How are you feeling?”

“Okay. Better than before. What about you? I didn’t mean to do…well, whatever it is that I did, but when I saw you down, I thought I—”

“No. I’m fine.” He pressed a finger to my lips for a second, and then dragged it over my lower lip. A tense minute passed. “Did he hurt you in any way I can’t…I can’t see?”

My stomach tumbled and a shudder danced over my shoulders. I didn’t want to think of the time with Hyperion, of the things he’d said. “No.”

There wasn’t any real measure of relief in his golden stare. “You should never have fallen into his hands. My job is to protect you, and I left you unguarded. He was hurting you. He would’ve—”

“Stop.” It was my turn to place my finger over his lips. “We’re here. Both of us. You did nothing wrong.”

The look that pinched his features said he wasn’t convinced, so I did the only thing I thought I could do. I moved my hand as I stretched up, replacing my fingers with my lips.


I kissed him softly.

It was nowhere near as skilled as his, or as suave, but he made that sound in the back of his throat—the sound of approval, and he shifted his hand behind my head, holding me to him.

This time, when we broke apart, Seth eased onto his side, got me on mine, and managed to get the blanket up over our hips. Somehow both of us fit on the bed, our cheeks resting on the same pillow.

We stared at each other.

And then Seth got closer, brushing his lips over the curve of my cheek. The tip of my nose was next, then each of my eyelids, and then he kissed my forehead.

We didn’t talk for a long time, even though there was so much to talk about, so much to deal with and to think about. There was the fact that I was a demigod now. I didn’t know where to even begin with that, and everything that would now change because of what I had become. Like, would another solar flare emit from me unexpectedly, taking out hapless pures and halfs? What about the elements? Would I now be a ninja like Seth? There was also the fact that Hyperion was still out there and he was going to come back. So were the other Titans. I had to find an icon. We needed to find the other demigods before the Titans did.

There was so much to deal with, and I could see it in Seth’s eyes that he knew it too, but he remained quiet as he drew his hand up and down my arm. With each pass, that weird jolt lessened but didn’t completely go away. If he felt it, he hadn’t said anything about it.

I let out the breath I hadn’t realized I was holding. “Guess what?”



Meeting his amber-colored eyes, I admitted what probably wasn’t a secret, but what I felt like I needed to put into words. “I like you, Seth.”

He stopped his hand over mine, staying there, as he gave me a lopsided smile. “Guess what?”

“What?” I whispered.

Seth shifted so that his lips brushed mine as he spoke. “I like you too, Josie.”


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