HAPPY 18TH BIRTHDAY ALEX FROM EVERYONE AT A DIARY OF A BOOK ADDICT!
I know you will have a pretty interesting birthday with Seth and Aidan. Turning 18 is fun and exciting. You will experience new things but most of all you will have to fight your way through some tough times. The road ahead is not easily paved so remember to always lean and trust on Seth and remember you are not alone.
On my 18th birthday party I celebrated with all the girls and a couple of guys. We went from club to club and had a great time. We danced and goofed off. It was the best time of my life. I had graduated high school and was looking forward to starting college at the end of the month. There was so much to do and so little time. Needless to say that turning 18 was a great year for me and went by very fast. Remember to take the time and enjoy everything because before you know it time comes and goes and you are an adult.Rendezvous with the #HalfBloodLegion on twitter at 7pm EST for a virtual birthday party for our girl, Alex! #Alex18Birthday
So because it is Alex's birthday I figured I would post a sneak peek of Chapter one from the book Pure which is coming out April 03, 2012
I STARED AT THE CEILING OF THE GYMNASIUM, LITTLE
black splotches dancing in front of me. Man, my butt hurt. No surprise,
as I’d landed on it about fifty times already. The only thing not burning
with pain was my face; it was on fire for an entirely different reason.
My Gutter Fighting class wasn’t going well.
This style of hand-to-hand combat wasn’t exactly second nature.
My muscles screamed as I pulled myself off the mats and faced our
Running a hand through his thinning hair, Instructor Romvi looked
disgusted with the entire class. “If he’d been a daimon, you’d be dead
now. Do you understand? Dead, not alive, Miss Andros.”
Like there was some other definition of “dead” I wasn’t familiar
with. I gritted my teeth and managed a nod.
Romvi shot me another scathing glare. “It’s difficult to believe you
have any amount of aether in you, Miss Andros. The essence of the gods
is wasted on you. The way you fight, you might as well be mortal.”
Hadn’t I killed three aether-craving daimons? Wasn’t that worth
“Square off. Keep your eyes trained on muscle movement. You
know the drill,” he instructed.
I turned back to Jackson Manos, resident Covenant heartthrob and
my current opponent. With his swarthy looks and those dark, sexy eyes,
he could be quite the distraction.
Jackson winked at me.Jennifer L. Armentrout
I narrowed my eyes at him. We weren’t allowed to talk during
sparring. Instructor Romvi felt it took away from the authenticity of
fighting. Really, even in all of Jackson’s glory, he wasn’t the reason I
kept missing his heel strikes and spin kicks.
The source of my absolute failure leaned against the training room
wall. Dark waves tumbled over his forehead, falling into gunmetal gray
eyes. Some would say Aiden St. Delphi needed a haircut, but I loved the
wilder look he’d been favoring recently.
An instant later, our gazes locked. Aiden returned to the stance I was
all too familiar with—well-defined arms crossed over his chest, legs
widespread. Watching, always watching. Now he communicated a look
that said I should be paying attention to Jackson and not him.
Tight coils sprung within me—another thing I’d grown accustomed
to. It happened whenever I laid eyes on him. It wasn’t so much the near
perfect curve of his cheekbones or the way his smile hinted at a set of
dimples. Or that impossibly ripped body of his—
I snapped out my reverie with a moment to spare. I blocked Jackson’s
knee with a brutal swipe of my arm, and then I went for a throat strike.
Jackson countered it easily. We circled one another, delivering blows
and dodging them. He stepped back, dropping his arms to his sides. I
saw my opening and went for it. Spinning around, I aimed my knee for
his midsection. Jackson darted to the side, but not quickly enough. I
caught him hard in the stomach.
Surprisingly, Instructor Romvi clapped. “Good—”
“Oh, crap,” Caleb Nicolo, my best friend and partner in mayhem,
moaned from the group of students standing against the wall.
The thing about defensive kicks—once we made contact with our
opponents we either needed to go for the kill shot or back up. I’d done
neither. Jackson doubled over my knee and went down, taking me along
for the ride. We hit the mat, and somehow—and I seriously doubted by
accident—Jackson ended sprawled atop me. His weight knocked my
head back and the air out of my lungs.
Instructor Romvi yelled, slipping into a different language—
maybe Romanian or something. Anyway, whatever he said sounded
suspiciously like cursing.Pure
Jackson lifted his head, his shoulder-length hair shielding his grin
from the class. “Always on your back, huh?”
“Yeah, that’s more like your girlfriend. Get off.” I pushed at his
shoulders. Chuckling, Jackson rolled and stood. Ever since the whole
“my mom murdered his girlfriend’s parents” incident, Jackson and I
hadn’t gotten along. Actually, courtesy of my dead daimon mother, I
wasn’t getting along with most of the other students, either. Go figure.
Flushing with embarrassment, I scrambled to my feet and stole a
quick glance at Aiden. His expression may have appeared blank, but
I knew he’d already compiled a mental list of all the things I’d done
wrong and filed it away. But he wasn’t my immediate concern.
Instructor Romvi stalked across the mats, stopping in front of
Jackson and me. “That was absolutely unacceptable! You move away or
dispose of the opponent.”
To drive his point home, he threw his arm out, hitting me square
across the chest. I stumbled back an inch and clenched my jaw shut.
Every cell in my body demanded that I do the same in return.
“You do not wait! And you.” Romvi whirled on Jackson. “Do you
plan to lie on daimons for fun? Let me know how that works out for
Jackson flushed, but didn’t respond. We didn’t talk back in Romvi’s
“Off the mats now—not you, Miss Andros!”
I stopped, eyeing Caleb and Olivia hopelessly. They stared back,
their expressions mirroring mine. Resigned to what I knew was going to
happen next, because it’d happened every class with Romvi, I turned to
the Instructor and waited for the epic smackdown.
“Many of you aren’t ready for graduation.” Romvi prowled the edge
of the mat. “Many of you will die the first week on the job, but you,
Miss Andros? You’re an embarrassment to the Covenant.”
Romvi was an embarrassment to the male race, but he didn’t hear
He circled me slowly. “I am shocked that you faced down daimons
and still stand before me. Some may think you have potential, Miss
Andros. I have yet to see it.”Jennifer L. Armentrout
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Aiden. He’d stiffened, gaze
narrowed upon us. He also knew what was coming, and there was
nothing he could do, even if he wanted to.
“Prove to me that you belong here,” Romvi said. “Prove to me that
you have gained reentry to the Covenant based on merit and not familial
Instructor Romvi was a bigger jerk than most Instructors. He was
one of the pure-bloods who’d chosen to become a Sentinel instead of
coasting through life living off old money. Like Aiden, pures who chose
this kind of life were a rare breed, but that was where the commonalities
between the two ended. Romvi had hated me from the first day of class,
and I liked to believe Aiden felt quite the opposite.
For someone so old, Romvi sure could move fast. I backed across
the mats, trying to remember everything Aiden had taught me over
the summer. Romvi swung around, his booted heel aiming for my
midsection. I swiped his leg away and threw a punch I really, really
meant. He blocked that. On and on we went, exchanging and receiving
blows. He was landing more on me, continuously edging me toward the
edge of the mat.
With each swing and each kick, Romvi’s blows became more brutal.
It was like fighting a daimon, because I seriously believed Romvi wanted
to do me real harm. I was holding my own until my sneaker slipped off
the edge of the mat. I made a tactical mistake.
I allowed myself to be distracted.
Romvi took it. Reaching out and grabbing a fistful of my ponytail,
he yanked me forward. “You should be less worried about your vanity,”
he said, twisting me so my back faced the doors. “And cut your hair.”
I struck out, catching Romvi in the stomach, but it didn’t faze him.
Using my own momentum—and my hair—he slammed me onto the
mat. I rolled into the fall, half grateful that it was over. I didn’t even care
that he’d kicked my ass in front of the entire class. Just as long as this—
Romvi grabbed my arm and pulled it high above me, yanking me to
my knees. “Listen to me, half-bloods. Dying in battle is not your worst
My eyes popped wide. Oh, no. No, no, no. He wouldn’t dare…
He pushed the sleeve of the Under Armour shirt back until my skin
was exposed to the elbow. “This is what happens to you. Take a good,
long look at what happens when you fail. They will turn you into a
Fire coursed across my cheeks and my brain sort of emptied. I tried,
really tried, to keep the scars hidden from my classmates. I focused on
anything other than the faces of the students as he continued to show the
world my tags. My gaze fell over his rough, aged hand, then up his own
battle-scarred arm. The sleeve of his shirt had fallen back, revealing a
tattoo of a torch turned downward.
Instructor Romvi hadn’t struck me as the type to be into tattoos.
Romvi dropped my arm then, allowing me to pull my sleeve down.
I hoped he got eaten by hungry daimons. I might look like a scarred-up
freak, but I hadn’t failed a damn thing. I’d killed the daimon ultimately
responsible for leaving me this way—my mother.
“None of you are ready to become Sentinels, to face a daimon halfblood trained just like you.” Romvi’s voice carried through the room. “I
don’t expect most of you to show any improvement by tomorrow. Class
I fought the urge to jump on Romvi’s back like a monkey and snap his
neck. That wouldn’t win me any fans, but the sick sense of satisfaction
would almost be worth it.
On his way out, Jackson bumped into me. “Your arm looks like a
checkerboard. That’s real hot.”
“Yeah, that’s what your girlfriend said about your di—”
Instructor Romvi’s hand snapped out, catching my chin. “Your
mouth, Miss Andros, could also use improvement.”
“I do not care.” He dropped his hand, glaring down at me. “I do not
tolerate such foul words in my class. This is your last warning. Next
time you will find yourself in the Dean’s office.”
Unbe-freaking-lievable. I watched Romvi stalk out of the room.
Caleb approached me, handing Olivia her gym bag. His eyes, the
color of the clearest sky, shone with sympathy. “He’s a prick, Alex.” Jennifer L. Armentrout
I waved my hand dismissively, not sure if he was talking about
Romvi or Jackson. They were both pricks in my book.
“One of these days, you’re so gonna snap and kill him.” Luke
dragged his fingers through bronze-colored locks.
“Which one?” I asked.
“Both.” Luke grinned as he tapped my arm. “I just hope I’m here to
“I second that.” Olivia wrapped her arm around Caleb’s. They
pretended whatever was going on between them was a casual thing,
but I knew different. Whenever Olivia touched Caleb, which was often,
he completely forgot about whatever was going on and got this stupid
smile on his face.
Then again, a lot of the male halfs got that look on their faces around
her. Olivia was stunning. Her caramel-colored skin was envied by most
of the halfs. So was her closet. I’d kill to get my hands on her clothes.
A shadow fell over our little group, quickly dispersing them. I didn’t
have to look up to know it was Aiden. Only he had the kind of power to
send just about anyone running in the opposite direction. Respect and
fear did that.
“See you later,” Caleb called out.
I nodded vaguely, staring at Aiden’s sneakers. Shame over Romvi’s
little display made it hard to look at him. I worked hard for Aiden’s
respect, to prove I did have the potential he and Leon had believed I had
the day Marcus had tried to toss me out of the Covenant.
Funny how one person could ruin that in a matter of seconds.
“Alex, look at me.”
Against my will, I obeyed. When he spoke that way, I couldn’t help
it. He stood in front of me, his long and lean body coiled. We currently
were pretending I hadn’t tried to hand my virginity over to him the night
I’d found out I was going to be the second coming of the Apollyon.
Aiden seemed to be doing really well with it. I, on the other hand,
couldn’t stop obsessing over it.
“You didn’t fail.”
I shrugged. “Doesn’t seem that way, does it?”
“The Instructors are tougher on you because of the time you’ve Pure
missed and because your uncle is the Dean. People look at what you do.
They pay attention.”
“And my stepfather is the Minister of Council. I get it, Aiden. Look,
let’s get this over with.” My voice was a little sharper than I intended,
but Aiden had seen how mortifying this class had turned out. Not like I
needed to discuss it with him.
Aiden caught my arm and pushed up the sleeve of my shirt. It had a
whole different effect on me. A flutter formed in my chest, spreading a
warm flush all over me. Pure-bloods were off-limits to us halfs, which
meant what had gone down between us was tantamount to feeling up the
Pope or offering Gandhi a roast beef sandwich.
“You should never be ashamed of these scars, Alex. Never.” Aiden
dropped my arm and motioned me to the center of the floor. “Let’s get
this going so you can rest.”
I trailed behind him. “What about your rest? Don’t you have a patrol
tonight?” Aiden was pulling double duty between training me and his
Aiden was special. He’d chosen to be a Sentinel, and he’d also
chosen to work with me so I wouldn’t be so far behind the other students.
He didn’t have to do either, but a sense of justice had propelled him to
become a Sentinel. We shared that desire. What made him want to help
me? I liked to think he was undeniably attracted to me—like I was when
it came to him.
He circled me, stopping to position my arms at mid-level. “You’re
holding your arms wrong. That’s why Jackson’s hits kept getting
“What about your rest?” I persisted.
“Don’t worry about me.” He squared off, motioning me forward
with one hand. “Worry more about yourself, Alex. This is going to be a
tough year for you, and you’re doing triple time in training.”
“I’d have more free time if I didn’t have to practice with Seth.”
Aiden swung forward so fast I barely blocked the blow. “Alex,
we’ve been over this.”
“I know.” I stopped his chop. I alternated days between Aiden and
Seth, as well as every other weekend. It was like they shared joint Jennifer L. Armentrout
custody of me, but I hadn’t seen my other half yet today. Strange—he
usually lurked around nearby.
“Alex.” Aiden moved out of the offensive stance, studying me
“What?” I dropped my arms.
He opened his mouth, seeming to rethink his words. “You’ve been
looking a little tired lately. Are you getting enough rest?”
I felt my cheeks burst with color. “Gods, do I look that bad or
He drew in a deep breath and let it out slowly. Softness crept across
his features. “Alex, you don’t look bad at all. It’s just that… you’ve been
through a lot and you seem tired.”
Aiden placed his hand on my shoulder. “Alex?”
My heart thundered in response to his touch. “I’m fine.”
“You keep saying that.” His gaze flickered across my face. “You
always say that.”
“I say it because there isn’t anything wrong with me!” I swatted
at his hand, but he dropped his other one on my shoulder, effectively
trapping me in front of him. “There’s nothing wrong with me,” I said
again, but much quieter. “I’m okay. Completely a hundred percent fine
Aiden opened his mouth, probably to say something ridiculously
supportive, but he didn’t say anything. He just stared at me and then his
grip on my shoulders tightened. He knew I was lying.
Everything wasn’t fine.
Nightmares of those horrifying hours in Gatlinburg kept me up at
night. Nearly everyone at school hated me, believing I’d been the reason
for the daimon attack at Lake Lure during the summer. Seth’s constant
stalking only added to their suspicions. Out of all the halfs, only Caleb
knew I was fated to be the second Apollyon—and fated to complete Seth
as his supernatural supercharger or something. His continuing attentions
didn’t win me any fans among the female halfs. All the girls wanted
Seth, while I just wanted to be rid of him.
But when Aiden looked at me like he did now, I forgot about the Pure
world. I couldn’t read much of anything from Aiden’s expression, but
his eyes… well, his eyes told me he wasn’t doing so great with the
whole pretending-we-hadn’t-almost-hooked-up charade. Aiden still
thought about it; hell, he was thinking about it right now. Maybe he
imagined what would’ve happened if Leon hadn’t interrupted—maybe
even as much as I did. Maybe he’d lie awake and remember how our
bodies had felt together.
I know I did.
The tension racked up several degrees and my body warmed
deliciously. These were the kind of moments I lived for. I wondered
what he’d do if I stepped forward and closed the distance between us.
It wouldn’t take much for me to do it. Would he think I just wanted
comfort? Because he would comfort me—he was that kind of guy. And
then, if I tipped my head back, would he kiss me? Because he looked like
he wanted to do both. Hold me, kiss me, and do all sorts of wonderful,
I stepped forward.
His hands jerked against my shoulders, indecision crawled over his
features. For a second—just as second—I think he seriously considered
it. Then his hands flattened, like a barrier meant to keep me back.
The doors opened behind us, and Aiden dropped his hands. I twisted
around, wanting to punch whoever it was in the face. I’d come this close
to getting what I’d wanted.
Leon’s bulky mass filled the door, dressed in his typical, all-black
Sentinel garb. “I’m sorry to interrupt, but this cannot wait.”
Leon always had something important to tell Aiden. The last time
he’d interrupted us had been two seconds after I’d given Aiden the green
light to go all the way.
Leon had the worst timing ever.
Of course, the last time he’d interrupted, things had been pretty
serious. They’d found Kain alive. Once a half-blood Sentinel, Kain
had helped Aiden train me. A weekend trip to nearby Lake Lure had
proved fatal for everyone involved. He’d survived the daimon attack
but had come back to the Covenant as something we’d thought was
impossible—a half-blood daimon.