Home > Apollyon (Covenant #4)

Apollyon (Covenant #4)
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout



Covenant series
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CHAPTER 1


MY BLOOD ITCHED FOR A FIGHT. MUSCLES SCREAMED to engage. My thoughts were covered in a heady, amber haze of power. I was the Apollyon. I wielded control over the four elements, and the fifth and the most powerful—akasha. I fueled the God Killer. I was his power-up—the ace up his sleeve. I was the beginning and he was the end. And together, we were everything.

Yet, all I could do was pace back and forth. Caged and made helpless by the markings etched in the cement above me and by bars crafted by a god.

“Alex.”

Of course, I wasn’t alone. Oh no. My own personal hell was a party for two. Well, it was really a threesome… foursome of sorts. Sounded more fun than it was. Voices… there were so many voices in my head.

“Do you remember?”

I tipped my head to the right, feeling the muscles stretch and the bones crack. Then I repeated the movements to the left, my fingers moving—pinky, middle, pointer… over and over.

“Alex, I know you can hear me.”

I looked over my shoulder, my lip curling at what I saw. Boy, did I have a T-Rex-sized bone to pick with that pure-blood. Aiden St. Delphi stood on the other side of the bars. There, he was an immovable force. But without the protections from Hephaestus or Apollo between us, he would become an inconsequential nothing.

No. No. No.

My hand flew to the crystal rose on its own accord, feeling the smooth and delicate edges. He was everything.

Sharp pain sliced between my temples, and I snarled. Sending him a hateful look, I faced the bare cement wall. “You should have kept me on the Elixir.”

“I should have never put you on the Elixir,” he countered. “That wasn’t the way to get to you.”

I laughed coldly. “Oh, you got to me all right.”

There was a pause. “I know you’re still in there, Alex. Underneath that connection, you are still you. The woman I love.”

I opened my mouth, but there were no words—only memories of standing by the stream and telling Aiden I loved him, and then an endless stream of thoughts and actions centering on him. Months, if not years, of them cycling over and over again until I couldn’t distinguish between the past, present, and what was to become of my future.

As if sensing where my thoughts had gone, he said, “A few days ago you said you loved me.”

“And a few days ago I was high as a kite and hiding in closets, thanks to you.” I whirled around, just in time to see him flinch. Good. “You put me on the Elixir.”

Aiden sucked in a sharp breath, but didn’t look away in shame or guilt. He met and held my gaze, locked onto eyes I knew he loathed with every fiber of his being. “I did.”

I took a deep, heavy breath. “I will get out of here eventually, Aiden. And I will kill you. Slowly.”

“And you’ll murder everyone I care for. I know. We’ve been here before.” He leaned against the bars. There wasn’t a hint of stubble on his smooth face this time around. He was in his Sentinel uniform—all black. But there were dark shadows under those striking eyes of his.

“I know you won’t hurt me if you get out,” he continued. “I believe in that.”

“Sad.”

“What is?”

“That someone as good-looking as you is so incredibly stupid.” I smiled as his eyes narrowed. The moment they flashed silver, I knew I’d hit a nerve. That made me all warm and fuzzy for about three seconds, and then I realized I was still in a freaking cage. Pissing Aiden off helped pass the time, but it didn’t change anything.

There were better things I could be doing.

I just needed to wait and bide my time. The low-level static was in my head. Constant. All I needed to do was tap into it, but the moment Aiden even thought I was doing that, he started talking.

Going to the mattress on the floor, I sat down and tucked my knees under my chin. I watched Aiden watch me. And I tried to keep the voice that popped up whenever he was around quiet. I didn’t like or understand that voice.

Aiden ran a hand through his hair, and then pushed back from the bars. “Do you know what’s happening out there, right now?”

I shrugged. Was I supposed to care? All I cared about was getting out of here and connecting with my Seth. Then, if my father was still enslaved in the Catskills, we would free him. My Seth had promised me.

“Do you remember what Poseidon did to Deity Island?”

How in the hell was I supposed to forget that? Poseidon had wiped out the Covenant there.

“Well, it’s going to get worse, Alex. Half of the Olympian Twelve want to make war on Seth and Lucian,” he continued. “And I’m sure he knows that. Maybe that’s what he wants, but is that what you want? Do you know how many innocent lives will be lost—have been lost? Both mortal and half? Is that something you can live with?”

I really wasn’t living right now, considering I was in a cage.

“Because I know deep down you couldn’t live with yourself, knowing you helped cause the death of thousands, if not millions—especially those halfs. You were questioning becoming a Sentinel because of how they were being treated. If Seth goes through with this, they will die.” The conviction in his voice was annoying. So was the passion that fueled the words. “Caleb—do you remember how you felt after Caleb—”

“Don’t talk about him!”

His dark brows shot up. Shock splashed across his face and then he darted toward those damn bars, grasping them. “Yes, Caleb, Alex! Do you remember how you felt when he died? How you blamed yourself?”

“Shut up, Aiden.”

“Do you remember being so torn up that you stayed in bed for five days? Your heart was broken when you lost him. Do you think he’d want to see you do this to yourself? His death was a wrong place at the wrong time thing, but this? There will be thousands of Calebs, but they will be your fault.”

I pressed my head against my knees and clamped my hands over my ears. But that did nothing to stop the rising tide of emotion beating at me or the ache in my temples that was quickly turning into a sharp, stabbing pain.

And it didn’t stop him. “What about your mother, Alex?”

“Shut up!” I screamed.

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