Chapter 1: All for Love
Bliss and happiness are small words to describe what Annabeth Chase is feeling right now in the arms of her true and great love, Percy Jackson. They had shared what they could in their life together, they experienced things together. She knows that they're still so much more that she wants to do with him, to give him and to see with him. With Percy she feels like she's the most powerful woman in the planet. He makes her feel smart, and beautiful and he makes her want to love and worthy to be loved. She already found her fairytale with him. Every day she hopes and prays that life would be longer for them. One lifetime is simply not enough. She ought to live a life like this with Percy forever; a life full of dreams and love and joy and hope, a life with none of the frustrations and the hang-ups and lies.
But she should've known better than to think that life hasn't got enough surprises for her. She should've known better than to think that life would let her be happy for a long distance of time. There will come a day when all of these . . . will be taken away from her. Their story started like this:
"You must really love me," Annabeth giggled at Percy when he somehow made an attempt to impress her by praising what seemed to be Annabeth's architecture drawings on blueprints. Percy just said that the lines and curves on one of the blueprints contain feelings and that it has personality. Annabeth had always been interested in architecture and is planning to study it in college.
"Yeah, I do love you." Percy told her with a smile.
"Yeah, you do, because baby, I hate to break it to you, but . . . the drawing that you just praised is my scratch. That one's my piece." Annabeth laughed as she pointed to the blueprint opposite Percy.
Percy laughed sheepishly as he rubbed the back of his neck, "Oh. Well, your scratch's beautiful. I like it." He said, bluffing. "Hey, c'mon, this is our last day in San Francisco! Let's go to the beach. You can do that later. Let's have some Percy time, eh?"
Annabeth sighed, "You're right. We can go to the beach and we can do what we always do: watch the stars and wish on every one of them." She smiled.
"Oh no . . . "Percy fake whined. "We have dinner with your dad later, remember? Then tomorrow, we'll back in New York, where senior year awaits."
Annabeth's face brightened, "I have an idea! We could do one of our games." She said with a mischievous glint in her eyes.
"Which game?" Percy asked, smiling.
Annabeth whispered something in his ear. And both of them smiled ear to ear.
Percy Jackson was sitting alone in a bar sipping gin by himself when a cute brunette girl came in and caught his eye. The girl saw him looking and gave him a flirtatious smile. Percy beckoned the girl to come forward to him and so she did.
"Hi. I'm Percy . . . Jackson." He said, using all his charm on that brunette girl.
"I know," the girl answered seductively.
"I wasn't expecting someone like you . . ." he eyed the girl from head to toe "somewhere like here so early in the day."
"I'm in need of refuge. It's too hot." She said suggestively, twirling her hands on Percy's arms.
"Oh, it's never too hot." He whispered in her ear.
"Care to test that theory?" the girl asked him.
"What if I have a girlfriend?" he raised an eyebrow at her.
"Percy Jackson doesn't do girlfriends," she answered.
Percy forced himself to smile as the girl pulled her into one of the empty corridors and started kissing him on the cheeks and on the lips. But Percy's avoiding her lips. As if he doesn't want any contact between them. The girl started to eye him suspiciously.
"Is something wrong?" the girl asked him.
"Can you not kiss me just yet?"
The girl flung her arms around Percy's neck, "Why not?"
Percy smiled sweetly at her, "It's better to wait."
"How long?" the girl asked as she kissed his neck. Percy continued to avoid her lips, until he heard footsteps coming towards their direction.
"Now," he said, raising his voice.
"What the hell is going on?" Annabeth's shrill voice filled the empty corridor. The girl pushed herself away from Percy, who looked at Annabeth with pleading eyes.
"Annabeth . . . I can explain." He said nervously.
"Um, I'm sorry." The girl stuttered. "I didn't know he had a girlfriend." She said, cowering. It's hard not to when you're under Annabeth's death glare.
"Yes, you did!" Percy told the girl harshly before turning to Annabeth, "She did."
Annabeth raised her eyebrow at the girl.
"I . . ." the girl trailed.
"Shame on you, Ashley Hinshaw!" Annabeth yelled, leaving Ashley wondering how the hell she knew her name. "How could you do that? Pick up someone in a relationship? Have you no pride? No self-respect?"
"Okay, but I didn't know that-"Ashley started but Annabeth cut her off.
"You may have an Abercrombie campaign and the security code to Clooney's castle in Lake Como, but that doesn't give you the right to steal someone else's man!" Annabeth yelled shrilly. "Now take your American girl hair and your pooreless skin and get out!"
"Okay, you're crazy!" Ashley said as she exited the corridor.
Annabeth folded her arms and looked sternly at Percy, who looked at her sheepishly.
"Hey," Percy said.
"Hi," Annabeth said monotonously. But after a few seconds, Annabeth's frown turned upside down. She smiled brightly and kissed Percy.
"Oh, thank you" she breathed. "It's been three hours. I've missed you." She told him as Percy continued to kiss her cheeks and then her lips.
"Mm. Well, let me make it up to you." He said, lacing her hands with Annabeth's. "Let's get out of here."
Annabeth pushed him up into the wall and continued to kiss him feverishly, "Or we get to stay." She smiled sweetly at him.
"Staying it is," Percy confirmed before latching his lips with Annabeth's.
"Bye dad! I'm going to miss you so much." Annabeth said as she hugged his dad. Today was the day that she and Percy were going back to New York for their senior year and Fredrick was in the airport with them to see them off.
"Oh, sweetie, I'm gonna miss you too. You take care of yourself, okay?" Fredrick told her daughter as he kissed her forehead. He turned to Percy, "Take care of her for me, will you?"
Percy smiled and nodded, "Yes sir, I promise." He said curtly.
"You go and call me Fredrick. If you're important to my daughter then you're important for me, too." He held his hand at Percy, who shook it.
"Thank you, si- I mean, Fredrick." He smiled as he wrapped his arms around Annabeth's waist.
"Right then, you go ahead or you're going to miss your flight." Annabeth's dad told them, tears threatening to fall from his eyes.
"Aww, dad! We said no mushy stuff." Annabeth whined.
"Alright, alright. You go now. I don't want to keep you."
"Okay dad. I'll call you, okay?"
"You do that,"
"Love you dad!"
And that's when Fredrick Chase disappeared from view. Annabeth shuffled closer to Percy where she laid her head on his shoulders.
"I'm so tired." Annabeth whined but then her head shot up as she remembered something. "Oh god, I have to call Thalia!"
Percy looked at her inquisitively.
"You know, just to tell her and Nico to pick us up tomorrow." She said as she flipped her phone open.
"Hello?" Thalia's voice filled her ears.
"Thals! It's me, Annabeth. Percy and I are going home tomorrow. Mind picking us up at the airport?"
"Oh really? How come you told me just now? Of course I wouldn't mind. I'm going to drag Luke, too. Oh, I'm so excited! I've really missed you so much and-"
"-you never called me much this summer and I have to spend mine all alone eating take outs and watching movies and you're right that I really need you to take me out of trouble and-"
"Thalia!" Annabeth snapped. Percy chuckled at the background as he kissed her forehead.
"Oh, sorry. Getting ahead of myself. I'll see you tomorrow, right?"
Annabeth giggled, "Yeah. See you."
She hung up and smiled at Percy, who smiled back.
"Shall we?" he asked, gesturing for them to board the plane.
"You sure you won't faint?" Annabeth teased.
Percy held her waist more firmly but gently, "As long as you're holding me. I won't"
"You know I won't let go of you, right?" Annabeth asked sweetly as she hugged Percy sideways.
"Always have, always will."
The flight lasted for a few hours. The majority of which, Annabeth was sleeping while Percy stared at the window and tried to calm himself by tracing gentle patterns on Annabeth's back and concentrating on Annabeth's hand on his stomach. He was deathly scared of planes, see. And whenever he's on one, he couldn't sleep a wink.
When the flight attendants announced that they would soon land, he gently nudged Annabeth awake, "Baby, it's time to wake up. We're here."
Annabeth began to stir and after a few more gentle pats from Percy she said, "What's happening?"
Percy chuckled, "You need to put on your seatbelt. We're going to land now." Percy said, softly kissing her head.
Annabeth straightened up reluctantly and began putting her seatbelt. At the sudden loss of Annabeth's warmth, Percy immediately began to hyperventilate. He turned away from the window and concentrated on taming his heart when Annabeth held his hand and he relaxed.
"Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. We'll be landing shortly in John F. Kennedy International Airport so may we please request everyone to put on their seatbelts and refrain from using the lavatory. Thank you very much."
Annabeth held Percy's hand tighter as they sensed the plan land.
"We hope you enjoyed your flight with us and we hope that you visit again soon. Have a good day everyone."
A few minutes later, Annabeth and Percy,after getting their luggage, headed towards to where Thalia and Luke were waiting. The moment Thalia saw Annabeth's blonde hair, she flung herself to her, causing Annabeth to stumble backwards. Luckily, Percy was ready to catch her.
"Oh, god! I've missed you!" Thalia squealed as she hugged Annabeth.
"Ow, Thals. I've missed you too but can you please let me breathe?" Annabeth choked.
"Oops, sorry." Thalia said, not sounding sorry at all.
"So . . . you're still alive. Good job, man!" Luke greeted Percy as they bumped fists.
"Yeah, I made it." Percy grinned.
Their exchange brought Annabeth's attention to Luke, "Hey, Luke!" Annabeth hugged him. "How've you been? Found anyone lately?" she raised an eyebrow.
"Well . . . I'm not as lucky as Percy here, but I'm happy right now." Luke smiled.
"Hey, Percy?" Thalia interrupted.
"Can I borrow Annabeth for a while?" Thalia pleaded. "You know, you've had her all by yourself all summer. I'm her best friend." she pouted.
"Easy," Percy laughed. "Sure. You girls have some uh, girl time or whatever it is you call them."
"Good." Thalia said triumphantly, "Cause I won't take no for an answer. You and Luke could catch up, too. Anyway, we're going, okay? C'mon Annie!" Thalia dragged her away from the boys and into her car.
Annabeth blew Percy a kiss before entering Thalia's car.
Annabeth and Thalia spent their time at the mall, shopping. Thalia insisted that she needs new clothes for senior year and that she was too bored to do it alone, so she waited for Annabeth to come back. The two girls talked about their summer until Annabeth came to the subject of Percy and her playing games.
"Wait, you do what?" Thalia spluttered. "I was gone for three months and you turn from Jane Austen to Anais Nin. Is there anything Percy Jackson can't get you to do?"
"It was my idea." Annabeth defended Percy.
Thalia shook her head, "No. No, it wasn't" she said as she changed her dress to try on another that Annabeth handed her.
"Yeah. We . . . we had our honeymoon period and it was perfect, but . . . while other couples settle into a routine, we were determined to keep things interesting." Annabeth smiled. "So . . . Percy plays the cheating bastard and I play the scorned woman. I even get to choose who to humiliate . . . models, tourists." She explained.
"I don't know if anybody told you this, but the honeymoon is supposed to end, it isn't real." Thalia said from behind the curtains. "The real part is when you settle down with each other. The 3-month milestone."
"It's not a milestone, it's a gravestone." Annabeth grumbled. "Settling down means death . . . less fun, more silence. We found a way to avoid that that works for us." She said, satisfied.
Thalia went out of the dressing room and examined herself in front of the mirror and when she's satisfied she walked towards Annabeth and held her shoulders firmly, "If you love him, then lock him down. Open relationships only invite chaos. Trust me, I know." She said seriously.
"It's not an open relationship," Annabeth said, but worry was evident in her voice. "We're completely monogamous. It's just one of our games, like the rest."
"Yeah, until it isn't anymore, playing the scorned woman and actually being the scorned woman!" Thalia said, determinedly trying to make her friend stop from doing their games. "It's a slippy slope, Annabeth. What happens if one day, you don't get there in time, and he actually kisses someone else . . . or worse?"
Annabeth frowned, thinking through Thalia's words carefully, "He wouldn't" she said uncertainly. "Enough about me, How're you and Nico? I still haven't seen him."
Thalia grabbed another dress and hid behind the curtains, as if she doesn't want Annabeth to see her expression, "We broke up."
"Wow, you guys sure about that?" Luke asked Percy as they plopped down on Percy's sofa the moment they got home and settled the luggage. "I mean, if you don't mind me saying so, I . . ."Luke was uncertain of how to continue. "Well, I think I know Annabeth pretty well."
Percy rolled his eyes, "Look, I would so like to retire any mention of the whole "Jules and Jim" thing."
"But listen, the games may seem like fun. But are you sure Annabeth's not just playing for you?" Luke raised an eyebrow at him, making Percy frown in confusion. "Cause if she's not doing it for herself, too . . . well, things could get messy." Luke warned.
Annabeth was sitting restlessly on their couch, waiting for Percy. Her mom, Athena, was still out at work so she has no one to talk to ease the heavy feeling in her heart. She asked for Percy to come to her house. She thought he would never come when suddenly she heard a knock on the door. She hurried towards the doorway and opened it, "Where have you been? I've been calling you for an hour." She said worriedly.
"I was with Luke, baby. I'm sorry. Why'd you ask me to come?" Percy said as he wrapped his arms around her waists.
"Luke. No reason." She smiled fervently.
"I've arranged a little go-see at a modeling agency downtown. We should pick someone out together, take her back to my place." He suggested, but then he saw the look on Annabeth's face: worry and doubt and anger mixed. "Or we could just stay in. Whatever you want."
Annabeth fixed her emotions immediately, "No. We'll go, we'll go. I-I'll just . . . go get my purse." She said distractedly, making Percy sick with worry.
After walking in awkward silence, the couple finally reached their destination: a one-stop modeling agency. They stood in a distance, watching girls after girls file out of the agency, with Annabeth muttering insults under her breath.
"Needs a sandwich."
Annabeth turned to Percy, who was watching her with worry and amusement, "Percy, none of these girls are even worth humiliating. Looking in the mirror will do that for them."
Percy couldn't bottle his worry anymore, "Is something wrong? What's going on, baby?"
Annabeth avoided Percy's eyes, "Nothing's wrong, why?"
"This is one-stop shopping," Percy said as a matter of fact "And you're acting like everything's last season. I thought you wanted to play."
"I did." Annabeth answered promptly, then realized what she said and quickly covered the damage, "I do."
But Percy couldn't be fooled easily. He raised an eyebrow at her.
Annabeth gave up and sighed, "I did." She looked directly at Percy and said, "The summer was great and . . . we had a lot of fun. But maybe summer's over."
Percy wrapped her into a loving hug, "Okay, if that's what you want."
"Is that what you want?" Annabeth asked shyly.
"I want you to be happy. However that's achieved." Percy said, pulling out of the hug and cupping Annabeth's face. "I love you." He said genuinely.
"As I love you."