A Covenant Novella 3.5


Jennifer L. Armentrout

Pronunciation Guide for Elixir




















ALEX CLENCHED THE TITANIUM BARS HONED BY Hephaestus and Apollo, amber-colored eyes burning with hate. But those eyes… they didn’t belong to Alex.

Alex’s eyes were warm and brown like good whiskey. I’d memorized those eyes the first time I saw them in that warehouse in Atlanta. This was a different creature entirely.

When we’d moved her to the safe house deep in Apple River, Illinois, we’d almost lost her. None of us, including me, had been ready for the full display of her power. If Apollo hadn’t finagled Hephaestus—the only god who could build something that could withstand the Apollyon—into creating a room to keep Alex in, we wouldn’t have been able to control her.

“If you don’t let me out of here, I’m going to rip your brother’s ribs out and wear them as a crown.”

I showed no emotion. Perhaps I’d grown used to the intimidations over the last couple of days. Threatening to kill Deacon was one of Alex’s favorites. She’d grow bored with it soon enough. It hadn’t been like that at first. She’d been… almost normal, except for her amber-colored eyes. She’d talked and sounded like Alex. Cracked jokes like Alex. Argued like Alex. And she’d reasoned like Alex.

She clenched the titanium bars. Each bar had been encased with an unbreakable chain-link net that Hephaestus had used on Aphrodite once. Not even the Apollyon could break through it.

Above her, several marks had been carved into the cement, neutralizing most of her newly-discovered abilities—not fully stopping her, but enough that she wasn’t a danger to herself or others.

For now.

My blood boiled at the memory of what’d happened after she’d Awakened. She’d connected with the First —Seth—and there was no doubt in anyone’s mind that she’d given up her location. I’d completely understood that she needed to be moved and quickly, but I didn’t agree with how Apollo had done it.

He’d hit her with a god-bolt.

And I’d punched him.

I was still surprised that I was alive.

“Do you know how it’s going to feel when you stand there and watch me do it?” she taunted. “Just like you stood there and watched your parents get slaughtered by daimons, but this will be much, much sweeter.”

I folded my arms.

Exhaling slowly, she lowered her head and blinked back tears. “Please. Aiden please let me out of here.”

I closed my eyes. A muscle spasmed along my jaw. This… this tactic was the hardest.

“Why are you treating me like this? I don’t feel good. I hurt. Why did you let them hurt me like this?”

My eyes flew open. Every muscle in my body went rigid. Tears spilled down her cheeks, and for a moment —just a moment—I forgot that it wasn’t really Alex in there, pleading and begging me.

“I thought you loved me?”

I moved so fast I startled her. My hands shot through the bars, clasping the sides of her face. My forehead pressed against the cold bars and my lips were on hers. The kiss was hard and fast. Angry. Desperate. She went still, unsure of how to respond. Several times in the past forty-eight hours it had been the only way to shut her up.

I pulled back, releasing her. “Because I love you, I won’t release you.”

Frustration rolled off her and threatened to tear the skin from my bones. The teary gaze was gone in an instant. Alex screamed and threw herself to the back of the cell. Ten feet away from the bars, she leaned against the wall, back bowed. “You can’t keep me in here forever.”

“I can try.”

“He’s coming for me.”

“He’ll never find you,” I said, sitting down in the metal chair placed before the cell. I’d made sure she had everything she needed in there—a small bathroom off the one room, a bed that she’d destroyed and had been stripped down to just a mattress, and clothing.

Alex laughed, pushing off the wall. “You can’t take him.”

My gaze fell to the untouched plate of food by the barred door. “Eat, Alex. You need to eat.”

“You can never be him.”

I rubbed the growth of facial hair along my jaw as she slowly approached the plate of food, and hope sparked deep inside me. She hadn’t eaten in the four days since she’d Awakened. I had no idea how she was still walking around. Picking up the plate of food, she backed away.

“Are you going to eat the food this time?” I asked wearily.

Alex smiled and then threw the plate directly at where I sat. Plastic crashed against titanium before clattering on the floor. Pieces of food—maybe mashed potatoes and some kind of meat—made it through the bars, splattering my chest and cheek. We’d stopped giving her ceramic plates after she’d tried to turn the broken shards into weapons.

Drawing on patience I was running out of, I slowly knocked the chunks of food off me. “Did that make you feel better, Alex?”

She pouted. “Not really.” Then she started pacing, her movements fluid and spellbinding in spite of the fact she’d thrown her dinner at me again. “I can’t take this any longer. Let me out or, so help me, I will destroy you.”

I shook my head. “Alex, you have to be in there. I know you. My heart would not be beating if you were truly gone.”

Dropping onto the mattress, she growled. “Gods, isn’t that just so sweet? My heart is all aflutter.”

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