I loved Percy with every fiber of my being, and I knew he would never do anything to hurt me, but I never figured that someone would try and drive a wedge between us. I thought the gods were more above this, but I guess I was wrong.
Let’s back up. My name’s Annabeth Chase and I’m twenty one years old. About four months ago, I married the best person in the world, Percy Jackson. We vacationed in a nice hotel in Greece, where I finally got to see the Parthenon, the monument I wanted to see for a long time, but that wasn’t the perfect part.
The perfect part was that Percy and I got to spend this time together. We were happily married, and I thought my life was perfect, but that was before my mother put a curse on Percy.
Percy and I were making dinner at home, but I don’t technically know if this was called making dinner because all we did was order a pizza and I made a side salad. Luckily, I was able to get Percy out of ordering a seaweed pizza. People would think he was crazy. Finally, the doorbell rang and Percy jumped up from the couch.
“I’ll get it.” Percy called.
“Thanks.” We lived in the apartment Percy and his mother had lived in and as another wedding present, Percy’s mother was paying for it. We tried to talk her out of it, but it was impossible once she told us.
“Anyone order a pizza?” Percy laughed as he shut the door.
“Sit. After dinner, you can watch any movie you want since I picked the pizza.” He smiled.
“Thanks. There is one movie I wanted to watch tonight, but I want you to be there.” We had a scheduled movie night every Friday and it alternated between Percy picking and me picking and ordering pizza.
“Good pizza.” Percy laughed through a mouthful of food. I laughed, handing him a napkin.
“Looks like it.” I mumbled, laughing as he wiped the pizza sauce from his mouth.
“I think I’ll let you pick the pizza from now on. Come on. Time for the movie.” He grabbed my hand and led me to the living room, hitting the play button on the remote.
At first, I didn’t know what the movie was, but then I saw the title screen. “Romeo and Juliet” flashed on the screen. I smiled at Percy and kissed his cheek as the movie started.
After the movie was over and the credits were rolling, tears flooded the apartment, and my behavior shocked even me. The tears flowed into Percy’s shirt and he allowed me to cry until the credits were done rolling.
“I’m sorry.” I pushed my hair out of my eyes and was about to dry my tears when Percy’s hand reached up to stop me. He wiped the tears away and smiled.
“I don’t mind.” He whispered, and kissed my cheeks where the tears had trailed off.
“Thank you.” I whispered.
“Sure. I got this for you. I thought you would like it.” His voice was soothing.
“It was a very nice gesture and I thank you for it, but I think I should avoid romance movies for a while.” I smiled and stared into those eyes that I’d grown to love.
“Probably the best idea.” He smiled and looked around at the tissues I’d used. I sighed, getting on my knees to pick them up. I threw them in the wastebasket and noticed Percy staring at my back.
“What?” I asked. I turned and he grabbed my shoulders to kiss my hair. I know what he was looking at now; the whip marks on my back that Luke had given me. I don’t know what made me stop Percy from killing Luke, but I did, and now I had the marks to remember what should have been the happiest day of my life, but I also had the memory that my husband had saved me. His hands ran over the marks and I sighed as I turned to face him, knowing he felt guilty.
“It’s not your fault.” I told him, stroking the hair off his forehead as I spoke.
“It’s Luke’s fault.” He sneered evilly.
“Please, let’s not talk about this. Please.” I begged, seeing his brow furrow with frustration.
“I won’t. There’s no need to make you any more upset.” He whispered, wrapping me in a hug and kissing my forehead. I smiled at him and pulled back, walking toward the bedroom.
I threw off my tennis shoes and socks and crawled into bed, putting my knife and Yankees cap on the nightstand. “Good night, Percy.” I yanked my hair from my ponytail and raked my fingers through it instead of bothering to brush it.
“Good night, Annabeth.” He kissed my cheek again and we slipped into sleep.
Percy wasn’t in the room when I woke up, so I stood, raking the brush through my hair that was only a huge tangle on the top of my head. I scraped it into a ponytail and walked out to the kitchen. I saw Percy there, making pancakes from scratch. I instantly got worried. The last time we tried to make cookies, they burned miserably. I tried to revive them, but I couldn’t. Percy could never cook, and he was lucky that I was there because otherwise, the house would burn down.
I ran toward him, trying to stop him before something horrible happened, but he held out his arm to stop me. “It’s fine. Relax.” He hugged me and kissed my forehead before flipping a pancake onto a plate and handing it to me. I grabbed the syrup and kissed his cheek before sitting and taking a bite of the pancakes. Amazingly, they tasted good.
“What did you put in these?” I asked, taking another bite.
“The normal stuff and a little bit of cinnamon.” He responded, sitting across from me.
“Well, wow. I’m surprised.” He smiled and laughed. He knew he couldn’t cook, and he didn’t try to pretend that he could, but this was the first time that I wasn’t surprised with bits of eggshell in my pancake.
“Good.” I smiled at him and drank a glass of milk before continuing to stare at him. He looked handsome, even though he was wearing jeans and a t-shirt, but I still thought he couldn’t look any better. I had work to do today, so I wouldn’t be at home ‘till at least nine.
After changing out of my camp T-shirt and kissing Percy goodbye, I hailed a taxi and sighed as we sped through the streets of New York. I would be so dead if Zeus found me coming in late again. I had to finish their temples and statues; otherwise, I would be out of a job.
I put a call in to Percy with my phone and told him that I’d see him at nine when suddenly, we were about a block from the Empire State Building, and a car missed the stop sign, and whirled into the intersection, whamming into us. The glass of the front window shattered, causing it to rain backward and hit me from all directions. Blood covered every inch of my body, and the cab driver tried to stop the car, but there was nothing we could do.
A second later, or so it seemed, we crashed, and the glass cut deeper into my arms. I bit my lip and looked at the cab driver, seeing that he was still alive, but quite disoriented. He tried to say something, but it came out as a slur of words. I dragged him out of the cab, grabbing my phone as I clicked it shut and off.
It took all my strength not to faint in the middle of the street. People were running up to me and the cab driver with their cell phones, calling 911, and asking if there was anyone they could call for me. I couldn’t get an answer past my lips. I fell forward, but someone caught me before I could hit my head against something harder than the back of a seat. The last thing I remember was seeing Percy’s crying face above me as he called my name.
I don’t know what happened after that, I only know that I woke up in the hospital with the doctors looming over me. They were saying something, but I couldn’t understand anything they were saying; it sounded like blurred words.
I looked around for Percy, feeling my head spin when I tried to sit up. I fell back and let my eyes slide closed again.
Thank the Gods I didn’t have any dreams, because I think being in a car accident was enough of horror for one day without seeing what the gods were up to. I was happy that I got to relax a little more, but still, I knew that Percy was probably falling apart in the waiting room.
When I finally opened my eyes, I was in a room all by myself with harsh white lights spilling over my eyes. I squinted against them for a second, but let my eyes adjust as I exhaled. I thought that nothing could be worse than this, but that was before the door swung open.
Percy came in, and as soon as he saw I was awake, it was like time just stopped. Slowly, his coffee fell to the ground, but before I could even blink, he’d gathered me in his arms, and holding me against his body.
“Thank the gods you’re alright.” He held my for a few seconds, not moving as if he were stone.
“I’m fine.” I promised him as I pulled back. I was about to say something else, but his kiss silenced me. He pulled back after a few seconds, and smiled at me.
“I was so worried about you.” He whispered.
“I can tell.” I mumbled back. I smiled back at him, but winced when his fingers ran over my arms where the deepest cuts were.
“Sorry.” He pulled back.
“I’m fine.” I mumbled, trying to sit up, but my head got really dizzy, so I was forced to lie back against the pillows. Percy supported my head and sighed.
“You just can’t seem to catch a break, can you?” He asked, but it sounded like he mumbled this mostly to himself.
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“First Luke kidnapped you, then whipped you, and now a car accident? What’s next?” He bit his lip, probably wishing he hadn’t said that.
“It’s no one’s fault. It’s just a strange twist of horrible fate.” I burst up to a sitting position, which only brought me back down again.
“Well, why does fate have to take its toll on you?” He asked.
“I don’t know. I can’t answer that question. I’ll be fine.” Percy pushed another strand of hair behind my ear, then pushed it off my forehead all together to reveal a cut on my forehead that had been cleaned and bandaged. “I’ll be fine. When are they letting me out of here?” I asked, hoping it would be soon. Spiders weren’t the only things that freaked me out.
“They’re going to keep you overnight, but they’ll let you come home tomorrow.” He gave me a smile and kiss on my forehead where the bandage was as I sank into sleep.
Luckily, once again, my sleep was dreamless, but when I woke up, all the lights were off. Percy was curled up in a chair, deep in sleep. Ever since I’d known Percy, I knew that he slept like he was dead and that he always drooled in her sleep. I smiled at him when the door opened to reveal….
“Luke?” I asked, not bothering to try and keep my voice down. As far as Luke was concerned, Percy was dead to the world.
“Hello Annabeth. I heard what happened.” He produced a dozen red roses in a vase from behind his back and setting them on the nightstand. I felt in my pocket for my knife, but it wasn’t there. I was so stupid, because I’d left it on my nightstand. I forgot to grab it this morning. Stupid, stupid, stupid!
If only I could reach Percy to get Riptide to defend myself, but it would only make myself fall at Luke’s feet. I wouldn’t allow that to happen.
“I mean you no harm. I only wanted to see how you were feeling. Is it wrong for me to care?” He asked.
“You didn’t seem to care four months ago when you whipped me and tried to make me marry you.” The scars seemed to glow with pain at the very mention of the event.
“I only did it because I was frustrated. If you didn’t want me to, then why didn’t you defend yourself?” He asked.
“You drugged me and stole my knife. I couldn’t. You’re a total…” At this point, I was screaming swear words in Greek, and I knew he could understand me because he cringed.
“I hope you feel better.” He bent forward, and kissed my forehead before I could get my arms to react and snap his neck. My eyes slid closed even though I didn’t want them to, and saw him walk out the door without looking back.
I burst upward in bed and looked around frantically for Luke, but I was the only one here. Thank the Gods that Luke wasn’t here, and thank the Gods I was going home today. I would feel so much better in my own house and back to my job.
Percy came in a few minutes later, carrying two cups of coffee. I grabbed mine from him and smiled. He took a sip from his cup before looking at the roses. “Who are those from?” He asked.
I should have told Percy about Luke, but what if it was all a dream? I only shrugged and took a sip of my coffee to avoid answering any more questions. We sat silent after that until the doctors came in and announced that I could go home. I smiled as I sat down in the passenger seat of the car.
“I called Zeus. He said it would be okay for you to skip work for a little while.” Percy told me. I didn’t think that Zeus would ever say anything like that. I had to finish their temples.
“I have to go to work.” I protested. Zeus wanted these all done as soon as possible, and as soon as I was done, he promised that he would get me a job here in New York as an architect. I had a lot of work to do. I couldn’t just leave it.
“Just relax for today, at least. Tomorrow you can go back to work. I’m worried about you.” He begged. I looked at his expression.
“Fine. Today only.” It took one look into those eyes to convince me that maybe a day of rest wouldn’t be so bad.
I looked back to the road to see that a little girl was frozen in the middle of the road in fear of getting hit. Percy slammed on the brakes, and the car slammed to a stop. I nearly banged my head on the dashboard, but luckily, my arms reacted to stop it.
I unbuckled my seat belt and leaped onto the road, standing near that little girl. “Are you alright?” I asked, but as soon as we made eye contact, the look of fear had diminished, and a triumphant look replaced it. I looked into her eyes, and knew instantly that this wasn’t good.
“Hit the dirt!” I yelled, pushing Percy to the ground before he could ask what was going on. “Close your eyes!” A golden glow infiltrated the darkness that my eyelids provided, but slowly shrank back. Without even thinking about it, I scrambled to my knees before my mother while opening my eyes. After a minute, Percy did the same.
“Rise.” Athena’s voice was harsh and tough. We stood and I grabbed Percy’s hand as my mother stared us down. “Annabeth, Mr. Jackson, I need to speak to you about something.” Athena’s voice was drowned out by the honks of cars.
“Mortals!” Athena waved her hand through the air and the sounds died down. When I looked at the car that was behind ours, I saw why; every driver of every car was asleep. “As I was saying, I would like to speak to my daughter…alone.” She hissed as I grabbed Percy’s hand tighter.
“With all due respect, whatever you have to say to Annabeth, you can say it in front of me.” Percy took a step forward for emphasis. I knew that this was hard for him, but that he was being brave for me.
“I do not approve of your marriage. End it. Or else.” Mom stared at me as her eyes turned cold and evil.
“Mom, we are married. This is my decision. I love him. There’s nothing you can do about it.” Athena stood there, speechless. I’d never said anything like that to my mother, or anyone, before, but that was just too bad.
“I believe I can do something about it.” Without another word, Athena waved her hand over Percy as we both stared in confusion. Suddenly, Percy’s legs buckled and he dropped to the ground, groaning in pain. I knelt next to him, and he screamed in pain. Athena laughed and the pink cloud that surrounded us disappeared.
“What have you done?” I screamed.
“Whenever you and Percy are near each other, he will experience electric shock. Intense electric shock. I’d move away if I were you.” Athena cackled evilly and smiled before flashing away. I disconnected our hands and watched him stand, though it took all his effort not to fall again.
“This is terrible. We have to go to Zeus.” I was about to grab his hand again, but a horrible shock hit him, so I yanked my hand back. I cocked my head toward the Empire State Building, and we took off running. We would have taken the car, but if we were in a small space like that, Percy would probably be killed by electric shock.
We slammed through the door of the Empire State Building, seeing that there were loads of tourists around just as Percy was about to scream to the security guard. At least he was able to stop himself. “We need to see Zeus.” Percy whispered to the security guard.
“I.D.?” He asked.
I pulled my I.D. badge out of my shirt as it dangled on the chain that hung around my neck, and Percy pulled his out of his pocket. The man checked them, and handed us a golden drachma. We thanked him, stuffed our I.D.’s in our pockets, and pressed the open button. The coin slot popped up, and we let the drachma go in.
The elevator shot up, and we had to hold on to the walls to make sure we didn’t fall over. The electric shock slammed into Percy again, but luckily, the door of the elevator opened. I leapt out at that second, and Percy’s face fell. Obviously, he didn’t like me being away from him, but I didn’t want to be away from him either. We ran up the steps to Olympus, standing at the sky god’s feet at the next second.
Zeus looked down at us, probably thinking we were ants, and I’m sure that he had to look really hard to find out that we weren’t. “Percy? Annabeth? Has something happened? Why are you here?” Zeus knew that I only showed up for work or if something was wrong, and when I came to work, I came alone.
“Sorry.” I mumbled at Percy, who only smiled and nodded, saying he understood. I hugged him, showing Zeus the electric shock that powered through us. He cringed, and so did I when I saw him in pain, but at the next second, we pulled apart. “That’s what happened. Athena put this curse on Percy because she disapproves of us.” I explained.
“She doesn’t have the power to….wait.” Zeus was down to only being a few inches taller than Percy and before we could blink again, he was running down the hall to Aphrodite’s room.
We found the goddess of love on her couch, which was covered with a lot of pillows; I don’t get how anyone could tell that there was a couch there at all. “Aphrodite, did you give Athena the power to break these two young lovers apart?” Since Aphrodite was Zeus’ daughter, she had a little power over lightning, but only a little. She couldn’t create lightning storms like he did.
Aphrodite didn’t answer, but instead reached for her nail polish and began applying a coat over her nails.
“Aphrodite!” Zeus yelled.
“Fine. Yes, I did. You should have heard her. She wouldn’t shut up! I had to if I ever wanted time to myself again.” The love goddess muttered evilly as she spread on more nail polish.
“What can we do about it?” I begged. Aphrodite still said nothing as she blew on her freshly polished nails. Finally, after blowing on her nails, Aphrodite looked up.
“If the curse has been put on, I don’t know how to take it off. I’m so sorry.” The love goddess did actually look sorry. I shook my head and ran toward my mother’s room, seeing that she was lying on her bed reading a book. She put it down and stood to look at me.
“Daughter, to what do I owe this-” I waved my hand in the air to cut her off.
“Mother, take the curse off Percy. Please.” I was begging now.
“I told you that I didn’t approve. There is only one way for me to take the curse away, and that is if he leaves you. Or if you leave him. Nothing else will make me take the curse away.” Athena stared, her eyes showing no mercy.
It’s true that my mother and I were both stubborn, but I didn’t want Percy to have to be hurt for us to be together. I know that he would say that he didn’t care and that it was worth it, but I wouldn’t allow it. “Fine.” I muttered through clenched teeth. Athena smiled and led me to Aphrodite’s room where they still stood, waiting.
I walked up to Percy, shuddering out a sigh as the lump that came before crying swelled up in my throat. “Percy….w-we can’t be together anymore. I’m so sorry.” Without thinking, I kissed him one last time, and ran out of the building.