Air rushed from my lungs so quickly I felt dizzy.
“Let’s see.” Telly tapped his chin. “There is your uncle, who I think cares for you far more than he lets on. He was in New York. Then there is that one Sentinel—the one who found you that night in the maze. Leon? Then there is the one who graciously offered to train you. I do believe that would be St. Delphi. And then there is Laadan. All of them are suspects, and I will ensure that all of them suffer. As the Head Minister, I can revoke Marcus’ position. I can even remove Lucian. I can file charges against the rest. With all the unrest and recent incidents, it would be all too easy.”
A lump of horror and frustration formed in my throat. Tears built behind my eyes at the same moment I wanted to smash Telly’s head in.
“You’ll go into servitude and you will go on the elixir. If you refuse, well, things will end badly.”
My hands curled into fists. “You’re… revolting.”
Telly started toward me, his hand streaking out to hit me again.
I caught his wrist, my eyes meeting his and holding. “I’ve been hit enough, thank you.”
A commotion from the hallway caught Telly’s attention and he pulled his wrist free. Marcus’ voice rang loud, demanding entry to his office. Telly raised a brow at me. “You have until dawn on Friday.”
The walls closed in.
Telly smirked as Marcus’ demands grew louder. Neither of us spoke during those moments.
“Why do you hate me so much?” I asked finally.
“I don’t hate you, Alexandria. I hate what you are”
THAT WAS WHAT THIS HAD COME DOWN TO—BECAUSE I was an Apollyon, because I’ll turn Seth into a God Killer. And I knew then, beyond a doubt, that Telly was a member of the Order. In his mind, he was just protecting the gods from a threat, and he saw no wrong in what he did.
The doors swung open as I turned back to the window, struggling for control.
“What is going on in here?” Marcus demanded.
“I had some… unanswered concerns about the night Alexandria left the Council,” Telly replied. “At first she was not very cooperative when it came to the questions, but I do believe we worked out an understanding. After that, she was surprisingly helpful.”
Yeah, he worked it out on my face.
I wondered how quickly I could rip one of those daggers off Marcus’ wall and plunge it into Telly’s eye before his Guards could react. The tension in the room escalated, waves rippling out in every direction.
“And why was I not involved in this questioning? Or better yet, why couldn’t this wait until Lucian’s return?” Marcus said evenly, but I recognized the edge to his voice. Gods knew I’d been on the receiving of it countless times. “He is her guardian and should have been present.”
Telly tsked softly. “This wasn’t a formal questioning or sanctioned by the Council. I had a few concerns I needed to clear up. Therefore I had no need for Lucian’s or your presence. That is, beside the fact that I am the Head Minister and do not need your permission.”
He’d effectively put Marcus in his place.
“Alexandria,” called Telly. “Please do not forget what we’ve discussed.”
I didn’t respond, because I was still weighing whether or not I could stab him before the Guards took me down.
Head Minister Telly excused himself then, giving out pleasantries in such a calm manner I almost found it hard to believe he’d just pulled the world out from underneath my feet.
“Alexandria?” Marcus’ voice broke the silence. “What did he want to discuss with you?”
“He had questions about what happened at the Council.” My voice was unnaturally thick. “That’s all.”
“Alex?” Aiden said, and my heart dropped all the way to my toes. Of course, he was here. “What happened?”
Facing them, I used my hair to shield my stinging cheek from them and kept my gaze plastered to the carpet. “Apparently, I have a bad attitude. We had to work through that.”
Aiden was suddenly in front of me, tipping my chin back. My hair slid off my cheek. Rage blasted off him, swallowing up the air like a black hole of fury.
“He did this?” His voice was so low I barely heard him.
Unable to answer, I looked away.
“This is unacceptable.” Aiden whirled on Marcus. “He cannot do this. She’s a girl.”
Sometimes Aiden forgot that I was also a half-blood, which pretty much zeroed out the whole “not hitting girls” thing. Like with Jackson. Like with most pure-bloods. Our society—our rules and how we were treated—it sucked. There were no words for it.
And at once, a thousand questions rose up, but one stood out. How could I continue to be a part of this world? Being a Sentinel, in a way, was supporting the social structure, basically saying that I was okay with this, and I wasn’t. I hated it.
Shaking my head, I pushed those thoughts out of my head for now. “He’s the Head Dick. He can do whatever he wants, right?”
Marcus looked thunderstruck as he continued to stare at me. Was he really that surprised by Telly’s violence? If that was the case, he’d just lost some intelligence points. He turned to Leon. “She was supposed to go nowhere by herself. Why was Telly able to reach her?”
“She was in class,” Leon responded. “Linard was waiting for her to leave. And no one expected Telly to be here. Not with everything that is happening in New York.”