A feather-light caress skated down my arm and over my hip. A moment passed as I stirred from the depths of sleep. Hard warmth pressed against my back, sending a series of shivers down my spine.
Only half-awake, I smiled as I blinked open my eyes. The room was dimly lit, telling me that it was way too early to be awake.
Lips brushed against the sensitive spot on my neck, just below my pulse, and another set of fine tremors danced over my skin. Muscles tightened low in my stomach.
The kiss came again, this time over my pulse, and my toes curled.
It was way too early, but who would complain about waking up this way? Not me. If I spent the rest of my life waking up like this, I’d be a happy girl. So happy.
Rolling onto my back, my sleepy grin froze as my gaze connected with pitch-black, obsidian irises. What the . . . ? Confusion quickly gave way to icy terror that dug deep into every cell and latched onto bone and tissue.
My heart kicked in my chest, pounding so fast I thought it would climb out of my chest and run out of the room.
A Titan loomed over me, his cruel lips curling into a bitter, vengeful smile. “I will find you when you least expect it,” he said in a voice as suffocating as heavy smoke. “I’m always going to be right behind you. There is no—”
Jackknifing upward, I threw out my hand, prepared to deliver what was probably going to be a not-so-effective throat punch. I opened my mouth to shout, but no sound came out, and suddenly, there was nothing in front of me. Nothing.
I was sitting up and staring at the empty space in front of me, my heart racing. Scanning the shadowy dorm room, I found no sign of the dangerous and sickening god. Everything was as it had been before I’d fallen asleep Sunday night. TV across from the bed, turned off. The blinds covering the small window near the bathroom were slightly open and I could see the pale blue light of dawn creeping over the Black Hills, the protected portion of the forest deep within the Northern Hills of South Dakota.
My new home.
Which was sort of like my old home, Radford University. Except this University looked like something straight out of Greece during the time people actively worshipped the gods. And I was surrounded by mythical beings instead of by twenty-somethings whose greatest powers were the ability to perform tasks hungover and with minimal sleep.
Correction. I was a mythical being, actually, and the students at the Covenant University weren’t very different from mortal students. With the exception of being descendants of gods, and the whole trying-to-kill-each-other thing they had going on right now.
But there was no psychotic Titan lurking in the shadows of my room, preparing to feed on me until I was nothing but a dried-out husk, then do other spiteful, repulsive things that I—
I wasn’t going to think about.
Exhaling, I closed my eyes as I rubbed my palm over my forehead. Just a dream—a stupid dream. Titans couldn’t get inside the University. Wards prevented that. The shades could, but I’d rather face a hundred souls that had escaped Tartarus than see Hyperion’s or another Titan’s face again.
I had no idea who the man was that I’d dreamed about, except that I knew deep in my core that he was a Titan.
“Josie?” came a rough, sleep-heavy and slightly accented voice. “What are you doing?”
My pulse kicked up again, but this time for a very different reason as I twisted around and got an eyeful of possibly the sexiest being alive.
Seth Dio—however you spelled or pronounced his last name—was lying on his side. The thin comforter was tangled low around his hips, revealing a whole lot of golden-colored skin—taut and ripped skin.
Seth had a legit six-pack. Like, not painted on, or only visible when he was flexing or doing strenuous activities. I half-suspected he was born that way, a baby with a six-pack and rock-hard pecs, doing bicep curls with milk-filled bottles. Speaking of biceps, they were extremely nice too. So were his broad shoulders and tapered waist. And his face?
He was beautiful. Almost too much. Like his features had been carefully pieced together, a collection of perfection—which they had been. Angular, high cheekbones and full, sensual lips you could get lost staring at. Dreaming about. Well, fantasizing about. A straight, flawless nose, and his eyes . . . They were the most stunning ocher color, framed by dark, thick lashes. His arched brows were slightly darker than his blond hair—hair that he’d cut recently. I was still getting used to the shorter locks. The soft strands were buzzed close to the skull on the sides and longer on the top, sometimes straight, sometimes a mess of waves. I liked running my palms against the sides, feeling the shorter hair tickle my palms.
I just liked touching Seth in general.
Sometimes I had no idea how he had ended up in my bed. I mean, of course, he was there because I invited him in and wanted him there, but I don’t think I was the type of girl anyone pictured with someone like him. I wasn’t knocking myself. I was just being realistic. I was five feet and nine inches of uncoordinated mess most of the time. My hips would’ve been popular back in the fifteen-hundreds or something, when “child-bearing hips” were all the rage, and I’m pretty sure my thighs were never in style or going to be. Apparently no amount of training—kickboxing, grappling, running, defensive or offensive training—was going to tighten my stomach or trim my waistline. I wasn’t thin or willowy, or graceful and demure. I was loud, could be fairly obnoxious, and I rambled.
But Seth liked me. He’d said I was his salvation.
And I liked him.