In honor of today being release day for Daimon (the prequel to Half-Blood) by Jennifer Armentrout we are bringing you an EXCLUSIVE excerpt from Half-Blood. I will warn you, after you read this, you will be dying to read more, so you may want to read it a few times. I know I have.
And if you've still not had your fill, you can read Daimon for FREE right now. Check out the links below the excerpt for more info on that.
Chapter 3 Excerpt
Taking a deep breath, I pushed open the doors. No one seemed to notice me. Everyone was busy cheering on a pure who floated several pieces of furniture in midair. The young girl was a novice at controlling the air element, which explained all the noise. Mom had used air, too. After all, it was the most common element. Pures could only control one, sometimes two if they were really powerful.
I studied the girl. With her bright red curls and giant blue eyes, she looked about twelve, especially standing next to the towering halfs in her cute jumper. I really didn’t have room to talk. I came in at a whopping five and half feet, which was midget size compared to most of the halfs.
I blamed my mortal father.
Meanwhile, the pure pursed her lips as another chair toppled to the floor and more chuckles erupted from her audience—all except one. Caleb Nicolo. Tall, blond, and all charming smile, Caleb had been my partner in dysfunction when I’d been at the Covenant. I shouldn’t be
so surprised to see him here during the summer. His mortal mother had never wanted anything to do with her “weird” child and his pure-blood father was totally on the absentee list.
Caleb stared at me, wide-eyed and stunned. “Holy… crap.”
Everyone turned at that point, even the pure. With her concentration broken, all the items fell to the floor. Several of the halfs scattered as the couch came down, and then the pool table.
I wiggled my fingers. “Long time no see, huh?”
Caleb snapped out of it and within two seconds, he’d crossed the length of the room and pulled me into a mammoth hug. Then he picked me up and swung me around.
“Where in the hell have you been?” He put me on my feet. “Three years, Alex? What the hell? Do you even know what half of the students said happened to you and your mom? We thought you were dead! I could seriously punch you in the face, like right now.”
I could barely hold back my smile. “I’ve missed you, too.”
He kept staring at me like I was some kind of mirage. “I can’t believe you’re really standing here. You better have a wild story for me.”
I laughed. “Like what?”
“You better have had a baby, killed someone, or slept with a pure. Those are your three options. Anything less is totally unacceptable.”
“You’re so gonna be disappointed, because it wasn’t anything exciting.”
Caleb dropped his arm around my shoulders and steered me to one of the couches. “Then you gotta tell me what the hell you’ve been doing and how you got back here. And why you didn’t call any of us? There isn’t a single place in this world that doesn’t have cell service.”
“I’d go with she probably killed someone.”
I tilted my head back and spotted Jackson Manos in the group of halfs I didn’t recognize. He looked exactly as I remembered him. Dark hair parted down the middle, a body made just for girls to drool over, and equally dark, sexy eyes. I gave him my best smile. “Whatever, you douche. I didn’t kill anyone.”
Jackson shook his head as he approached us. “Do you remember dropping Nick on his neck during take down practice? You nearly killed him. Good thing we heal as quickly as we do or you would’ve put him out of training for months.”
We all laughed at the memory. Poor Nick had spent a week in the infirmary after the incident. Our good time and general curiosity drew the other halfs to the couch. Knowing I had to answer some of the questions regarding my absence eventually, I came up with a pretty bland tale about Mom wanting to live among mortals. Caleb looked at me doubtfully, but he didn’t push it.
“What the hell are you wearing, by the way? It looks like the guy’s training uniform.” Caleb plucked at my sleeve.
“It’s all I have.” I gave a dramatic, pitiful sigh. “I doubt I’m going to get out anytime soon, and I don’t have any money.”
He grinned. “I know where they keep all the training clothes here. Tomorrow, I can pick you up some extra stuff in town.”
“You don’t have to. And besides, I don’t think I want you shopping for me. I’d end up looking like a stripper.”
Caleb laughed, the skin around his blue eyes crinkling. “Don’t worry about it. Dad sent me a near fortune a few weeks ago. Guess he feels bad for being a dick of a father. Anyway, I’ll get one the girls to go with me or something.”
The pure—Thea was her name—eventually made her way over to where we sat. She seemed nice and genuinely interested in me, but she asked the one question I feared. “So has your mother… reconciled with Lucian?” she asked in a small, childlike voice.
I forced myself not to show any reaction. “No.”
She looked surprised. So did the halfs.
“But… they can’t divorce,” said Caleb. “Are they going to do the separate house, different zip code thing?”
Pures never divorced. They believed their mates were predestined by the gods. I’d always thought it was a load of bull, but the “no-divorce” thing explained why so many of them had affairs. “Uh… no,” I said. “Mom… didn’t make it out there.”
Caleb’s mouth dropped open. “Oh. Man, I’m sorry.”
I forced myself to shrug. “It’s okay.”
“What happened to her?” Jackson asked, as tactless as ever.
Taking a deep breath, I decided to tell them the truth. “A daimon got her.”
That led to another round of questions, all of which I answered truthfully. Each of their faces mirrored shock and awe as I got around to the part where I’d fought and killed two of the daimons. Even Jackson seemed impressed. None of them had even seen a daimon in real life. I didn’t go into detail about my meeting with Marcus, but I did tell them my summer wasn’t going to be all fun and games. When I mentioned I’d be training with Aiden, a collective groan sounded.
“What?” I looked around the group.
Caleb kicked his legs off my lap and stood. “Aiden is one of the toughest—”
“Roughest,” Jackson added solemnly.
“Meanest,” threw in a half-blood girl with brown hair cut uber-short. I think her name was Elena.
Unease shifted through me. What had I gotten myself into with him?
And they weren’t done their descriptions.
“Strongest,” another kid added.
Elena glanced around the room, her lips curving. “Sexiest.”
There was a round of sighs from the girls, but Caleb frowned. “That’s not the point. Man, he’s a beast. He’s not even an Instructor. He’s a Sentinel through and through.”
“The last couple of graduating classes got assigned to his area.” Jackson shook his head. “He’s not even a Guide, but he weeded out over half of them and sent them back as Guards.”
“Oh.” I shrugged. That didn’t sound all that bad. I was about to pointthat out when a new voice interrupt ed.
“Well, look who’s back? If it isn’t our one and only high schooldrop-out,” drawled Lea Samos.
I closed my eyes and counted to ten. I made it to five. “Are you lost, Lea? This isn’t where they’re handing out the free pregnancy tests.”
“Oh, boy.” Caleb moved to stand behind the couch, getting out of the way. I didn’t blame him. Lea and I had a legendary history. The write-ups Marcus had gone over for fighting had usually involved Lea. She laughed that husky, throaty laugh I was all too familiar with. I
looked up then. She hadn’t changed a bit.
Okay. That was a lie.
If anything, Lea had grown more beautiful in the last three years. With her long copper-colored hair, amethyst eyes, and impossibly tanned skin, she looked like some sort of glamorous model. I couldn’t help but think of my own boring brown eyes. While my own stellar reputation had my name whispered on many lips during my time here, Lea had literally prowled the Covenant—No. She’d owned it.
Her eyes dropped the length of me as she stalked across the rec room, taking in the oversized shirt and rumpled jogging pants. One perfectly groomed brow arched. “Don’t you look lovely?”
She, of course, was dressed in the tightest and shortest skirt known to man. “Isn’t that the same skirt you wore in the third grade? It’s getting a little tight. You may want to go up a size or three.”
Lea smirked and tossed the mass of hair over her shoulder. She sat in one of the fluorescent moon chairs across from us. “What happened to your face?”
“What happened to yours?” I retorted. “You look like a damn oompa loompa. You should lay off the spray tanning, Lea.”
There were a couple of snickers from our impromptu audience, but Lea ignored them. She was focused on me—her arch-nemesis. We’d been at this since we were seven. Sandbox enemies, I guessed. “You know what I heard this morning?”
I sighed. “What?”
Jackson sauntered to her side, his dark eyes devouring her long legs. He moved behind her and tugged a strand of her hair. “Lea, knock it off. She just got back.”
My brows rose as she motioned him down with a flick of her little finger. He lowered his mouth to hers. Slowly, I turned to Caleb. Looking bored with the display, he shrugged. Instructors couldn’t prevent the students from hooking up. I mean, come on. With a bunch of teenagers thrown together, it happened, but the Covenant frowned upon it. Usually the students didn’t flaunt it.
When they were done tonguing one another, Lea returned to staring at me. “I heard Dean Andros didn’t want you back. Your very own uncle wanted to place you into servitude. How sad is that?”
I flipped her off.
“It took three pures to convince her uncle she’s worth keeping around.”
Caleb snorted. “Alex is one of the best. I doubt it took much convincing.”
Lea opened her mouth, but I cut her off. “I was one of the best. And it did. Apparently, I have a bad reputation and he felt I had missed too much time.”
“What?” Caleb stared at me.
I shrugged. “I have until the end of summer to prove to Marcus I can get caught up in time to join the rest of the students. It’s no big deal, right, Lea?” I faced her, grinning. “I think you remember the last time we sparred? It was a long time ago, but I’m sure you can recall it quite clearly.”
A pink flush crawled over her tanned cheeks and her hand crept to her nose in what looked like a subconscious move, drawing an even bigger grin from me. At such a young age, our sparring was supposed to have been an absolutely no-contact training exercise. But one insult had led to another, and I’d broken her nose.
In two places.
It’d also landed me in suspension for three weeks.
Lea’s plump lips thinned. “You know what else I know, Alex?”
I folded my arms over my chest. “What?”
“While everyone here may believe whatever lame excuse you gave for your mother leaving, I know the real reason.” Her eyes sparkled with malice.
Coldness settled over me. “And how do you know?”
Her lips curved at the corners as she met my stare. I vaguely noticed Jackson moving away from her. “Your mother met with Grandma Piperi.”
Grandma Piperi? I rolled my eyes. Piperi was a crazy old woman who was supposed to be an oracle. The pures believed she communed with the gods. I believed she communed with a lot of liquor.
“So?” I said.
“I know what Grandma Piperi said to make your mother go crazy. She was crazy, right?”
I was on my feet without realizing it. “Lea, shut up.”
She looked at me, eyes wide and unfazed. “Now Alex, you may want to calm down. One little fight and you’ll be cleaning toilets for the rest of your life.”
My hands clutched. Had she been in the room, under Marcus’s desk or something? How else would she know so much? But Lea was correct, and that sucked. Being the bigger person meant walking away from her. It was harder than I ever imagined, like walking through quicksand. The more I moved, the more the air around me literally demanded that I stay and break her nose again. But I did it, and I made it past her chair without hitting her.
I was a totally different person—a better person.
“Don’t you want to know what she said to your mother to make her crazy? To make her leave? You’ll be happy to know it had everything to do with you.”
I stopped. Just like Lea knew I would.
Caleb appeared at my side and grabbed my arm. “Come on, Alex. If what she’s saying is true then you don’t need to fall for this crap. You know she doesn’t know anything.”
Lea twisted around and threw one slender arm over the back of her chair. “But I do. You see, your mother and Piperi weren’t alone in the garden. Someone else overheard her conversation.”
I shrugged off Caleb’ grip and turned around. “Who heard them?”
She shrugged, studying her painted nails. I knew right then and there, I would end up hitting her. “The oracle told your mother you would be the one to kill her. Considering you couldn’t stop a daimon from draining her, I guess Piperi meant it in the abstract sense. What
good is a half-blood who can’t even protect her own mother? Is it any wonder why Marcus didn’t want you back?”
There was a moment when no one moved in the room, not even me. Then I smiled at her, right before I grabbed a handful of copper hair and yanked her out of the chair.
Screw being a better person.
Are you ready for Daimon now? Follow the links below to get the pdf for FREE!
Also, check out the links below to follow along with the rest of this blog tour and to enter to win even more great prizes.
Monday May 9th
What's going on? Character interview with Alexandria (Alex)
Prize? Swag Pack Giveaway
Wednesday May 11th
What's going on? Character interview with Aiden St. Delphi
Prize? Signed Half-Blood Poster
Thursday May 12th
What's going on? Daimon Playlist
Prize? Swag Pack giveaway
Thursday Night at 6:30pm EST
Live Chat over at Read.Chat.Love
Discussing Daimon and what to expect from Half-Blood, plus guestions
Giveaways: Signed Daimon Copy, Rune stones, and swag
Friday May 13th
What's going on? Character interview with Seth
Prize? A signed printed copy of Daimon
So how would you like to win a SIGNED Daimon poster?