Apollyon (Covenant #4) - Jennifer L. Armentrout

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.