“C told you that’s true for all of us? He said the actual words?” Hades is more animated than I’ve seen him in… Ever? He paces the narrow space in front of my bed, running the fingers of both hands through his hair.
“Not the ac—”
“So you don’t know if it’s true for”—he cuts his gaze to Hermes—“Joy, for example.”
“Pretty sure it is,” Joy says. “I’ve been remembering things too. I think. They’re like dreams.”
Irine and Sei exchange a look, and he shakes his head. It’s such a tiny gesture, I almost miss it.
She purses her lips and arches a brow.
He seems resigned to his fate when he says, “There’s something else. Something Irine thinks may be important.” A long sigh, for effect, then— “The Titans’ soulmates are reincarnations of the Titanesses.”
Blank looks all around.
Sei tries to tuck Irine against his side, but she slips out of reach. “Don’t you see? Their soulmates are who they’ve always been,” she says. “And I… Well, I also have memories. I thought I was dreaming at first too. Maybe picking up on Sei’s memories in my sleep. But—well—I’m pretty convinced I used to be Medusa.”
When Ares lets out a derisive snort, she narrows her eyes at him. “Move. I dare you.”
I can practically see his eyes roll, only they don’t. They remain on Irine, just as the rest of him remains rooted on the spot, leaning his ass against my fridge.
By the way, thanks, Sei, for bringing everyone to my place now, when I said I needed to talk to you all tomorrow.
“I can’t move,” Ares screams in my head. “Tell her to let go.” His panic is palpable.
Before I can talk, Sei clears his throat, and Irine says, “Sorry.” Her cheeks are bright red. “I didn’t think…” She doesn’t complete her sentence, but I don’t need to be able to read her mind, to know what she wants to say. She didn’t think of how being held in place would affect Ares.
She hurries to his side, a glass of water materializing in her hand. This is cool. I need to learn how to do it. “Are you all right?” Her voice is filled with concern—an emotion Ares doesn’t appreciate, especially when it’s directed to him.
“I’m fine.” He brushes off her touch and ignores the water. “Let’s get back to the subject at hand. C more or less told this guy”—he indicates me with a tilt of his head—“that our soulmates are the women we were meant to be with in our original lifetime. Which makes mine… Whom?”
“Xena the Warrior Princess?” Moira pops her head out from under the covers, sounding entirely too pleased with herself. She beams a huge smile at him, even as the others guffaw.
Ares scowls. “That’s a fictional character. Read up on your mythology, girl.”
She’s still smiling as she shrugs.
I make out the neckline of a T-shirt. That’s why she’s suddenly cool, after hiding since the guys dropped in unannounced. She conjured clothes.
“Fictional or not, Xena wouldn’t put up with your sorry ass,” Hephaestus says. “Though I don’t know why a Valkyrie would, either.” The last words are little more than a whisper, but the cat’s out of the bag.
Ares takes two strides, and he’s in Hephaestus’ face.
I need to find a bigger place, if they plan on visiting often.
“What Valkyrie?” Ares asks. “I never hooked up with one of those. Never met one either.”
In my head, Moira’s voice is almost a shriek. “Valkyries exist? That’s awesome. You need to tell me about them. And about the Titans. I was too preoccupied to ask when you mentioned them before.”
“You weren’t this excited to know we exist,” I reply the same way, and she sends me a mental eyeroll.
“You mean my soulmate is a fucking Valkyrie?” Ares asks. “Where do I even find one of those?”
“Silence.” Hades’ voice booms in my small studio, as impressive as if he already ascended. He slams one large palm on the wall, and I wince, expecting the floor to shake. “Can you tell me with absolute certainty that Despina is the reincarnation of Persephone?” he asks.
I feel like the worst kind of pond scum when I shake my head. What darkens his gaze isn’t his usual grumpiness. His expression is one of pure torment. Why?
“There’s a good chance she is, though,” Irine says. “A really good chance. Look at the Titans. I’m telling you, they’re all bonded with their original soulmates.”
I take in Hades. His expression is blank again, a mask of indifference, but I wasn’t mistaken about what was there a heartbeat ago. What does Persephone mean to him? Those of us who’ve bonded with our soulmates had no memory of them from before. Well, I remembered Ariadne, but not how much she meant to me. Sei’s memories of Medusa only came to him after his powers were fully restored, and Hermes…
“Do you know who you were?” I ask Joy.
She bites her lips together. “What I see is still blurry, which is all kinds of messed up—I mean, I can see the future, but the past? Ugh.”
“Baby?” Hermes cups the nape of her neck and rubs the spot beneath her ear with his thumb.
“Sorry. I love my tangents.” She chuckles. “Hermes believes I used to be the prophetess Sose.”
It would explain her visions.
“If my mate is a Valkyrie, your little theory is crap.” Ares crosses his arms over his chest and flicks his gaze from me to Sei, to Hermes, and back again. “Valkyries aren’t reborn souls; Odin created them for the specific position. And like I said before, I’ve never met one.”
Hephaestus arches both brows. “Seems I owe Hades a hundred. You can have an intelligent thought. A single one, but still counts.”
Ares gives him the finger, but he’s grinning. These two will one day be BFFs if they don’t kill each other first.
Moira says, “I remember dying of old age, and I’m pretty sure Medusa had a bloody demise.” She gives Irine an apologetic look. “How come we weren’t immortal back then? Was it the bonding?” She pinches my thigh. “Why didn’t you bond with me?”
“I don’t know what was different, but if I could have bonded with you, I would have.”
Hades runs the fingers of both hands through his hair and weaves them together at the back of his head. “I don’t know what to do with this information.”
Doubt any of us does. Which means we need to talk to freaking C, and he’d better be honest this time.