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Cetral Park

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1. Meeting Percy

     Annabeth was just an ordinary girl, strolling with her dog, Latte, a fluffy little Yorkshire Terrier, through Central Park, thinking about life. She wore a simple tank top and shorts, enjoying the feel of the cool breeze that drifted through the warm air. She walked over from where she was jogging around the water with her dog, to the little field of grass next to it. She lied on her back in the cool shade brought by the trees while her dog ran around for a little. This is amazing, thought Annabeth, as she stared up into the blue sky, cloudless end never-ending. She could stay like this, right there forever. But sadly, it was at this moment that a little girl chasing Latte appeared. The girl, who looked around nine, almost trampled over Annabeth to try and get her dog, which was now behind her. Yep, 'totally' amazing, she thought ruefully. Anyway, she crouched down to look the girl in the eye. "Hello, why are you trying to chase my dog?" she asked in a gentle voice. The girl looked slightly embarrassed, so Annabeth quickly added, "It's alright, but I just want to know why."

     The little girl nodded. "Um . . . so . . . I don't know why exactly I started to chase your dog, but I have a reason." At that Annabeth raised an eyebrow in skepticism, but the girl wasn't done. "So . . . I have an older brother and he said that you looked really pretty while you were laying on your back and stuff and then he went to buy me some ice cream because I wanted a diversion to get to you."

     "Go on," said Annabeth, feeling slightly curious now.

     "Well, when he said you were pretty I was like 'Hey, maybe I can get Percy a girlfriend, because he hasn't had one in forever.'" Annabeth chuckled, this little girl seemed so sweet, though she was surprised by the girlfriend thing. She probably wasn't going to start dating a stranger. "So then your dog ran over to where we were after Percy left and I was like 'Hey, maybe I can chase it back to its owner' . . . um, I don't know why I thought that considering that I already knew where you were. And so while I was chasing, I was like 'Okay, now Percy has to come over here and talk to this girl'. Oh, I also wanted to pet your dog," she said, shyly holding out her hand. Annabeth smiled and put the puppy in her lap. The little girl was delighted.

     Annabeth was getting pretty curious about this "Percy" guy. Most little sisters would not run to strangers to get their brothers a girlfriend, so either Percy was the only nice boy on the face of the Earth, or the little girl was just super sweet. "Can you tell me more about your brother?"

     The girl perked up even more at mention of her brother. Wow, she must really love him. The girl started to speak. "My brother's name is Percy. He has black hair and sea-colored eyes. He is super funny, though he's not that smart. Once I asked him for help on math homework and he taught me everything wrong," she said, giggling. Annabeth had to laugh too, I mean, this guy couldn't do 3rd grade math? "Oh, he also makes the best cookies in the world, wait, no, my mom makes the best, but Percy is a close second. He's a suuuuuuuuuuuuper good swimmer and is really nice to me. Once, he piggy-backed me from Central Park to Times Square and back because my feet hurt." Annabeth smiled. Percy seemed nice. "Oh and - "

     "Estelle! There you are!" the girl, now Estelle, was scooped up into the arms of a boy, as she giggled in delight. Percy gave her a vanilla cone with about a thousand chocolate sprinkles. Percy turned to Annabeth, and she was stunned for a millisecond. He had wind-swept black hair, mischievous sea-colored eyes, a lean, tall build, and a nice tan. However, she didn't miss the light blush on his face, and the nervousness hidden in the oceans he calls eyes. He wasn't all that bad looking. "Hi miss, was she bothering you?" he asked as Estelle started to lick the ice cream Percy had gotten her.

     "No of course not, we were having a nice conversation before you arrived. She also wanted to pet my dog," she added, smiling at the last part.

     "Annabeth! This is my brother, Percy! I was telling you about him, remember?" Annabeth laughed at Estelle's words while Percy both flushed and turned pale at the same time. He groaned.

     "Oh no, Estelle? What have you done?" His sister giggled in reply. He spun to her, mortified. "What has she told you?"  

     "Oh nothing . . . " she said while Percy smiled in relief. Then a sly smirk came onto her face and he groaned in despair. "Except that you thought I was pretty, haven't had a girlfriend in 'forever'," she said, quoting the little girl. Percy looked very embarrassed and tried to interrupt, but Annabeth wasn't done. "You also make the second-best cookies in the whole world, are super funny, super kind, and really, really, really bad at math," stated Annabeth. "Did you really fail 3rd grade math?" Percy looked indignant.

     "No I did not!"  he exclaimed, looking over offended before continuing to speak, this time with a slight embarrassment. "It was second grade," he muttered, rubbing the back of his neck and grinning sheepishly. She burst into laughter. "Hey! Not funny! I was the hardest second grade math ever!" He proclaimed, though his eyes gave him away. She could tell that he liked hearing her laugh, and in her chest, her heart fluttered. Wait . . . am I . . . in love with him? But I just met him. Her heart didn't seem to care. Percy was smiling, a lopsided grin that seemed infectious. Her mouth stretched into a smile, before deciding how to play her next card.

     "So . . ." she said carefully. "Your sister tells me that you said I'm pretty," she slowly met his eyes, which were unmoving from hers. He spoke before she could continue.

     "She was wrong," he said quickly. "I didn't say you were 'pretty' I said you were the most beautiful woman that I had ever seen." Annabeth grinned, while Percy flashed her his lopsided one.

     "Well, thank you Percy." Then she did something that was possibly the most rash thing she had ever done. She stood on her tip toes, wrapped her arms around his neck, and kissed his lips. He was frozen, shocked. She started to pull away, extremely embarrassed, but he didn't let her, and kissed her back. Annabeth broke the kiss, a whine escaping from his mouth. She smirked. "Percy, don't you need to go look for your little sister?" He quickly looked to the place where she had been. She wasn't there, apparently she'd run off. He looked around, scanning the area for his sister, panic building and rising . . . until he spotted her on a nearby play structure.

     "Jerk. You did that on purpose, didn't you?" he asked. Annabeth smiled, revealing the answer. Percy tried to go in for another kiss, but she held a finger to his lips, stopping him, one perfect eyebrow raised.

     "So you're just going to keep kissing this random girl you met 5 minutes ago?" she asked, enjoyment shining on her face as Percy blushed in embarrassment and pulled away.

     "Sorry," he mumbled.

     "Don't be," she said smiling. "I liked it." Her stupid heart fluttered at his smile. She then switched her tone from serious to teasing. "All I'm saying is that we should probably get to know each other more before you decide to go any further and impregnate me." Percy was tomato-red, looking absolutely horrified. Annabeth held her straight face for as long as she could but in the end, she ended up laughing. "I'm just kidding, Percy." He was still red, though now considerably less. He suddenly looked her in the eye, the hope in his eyes sparking something inside of her.

     "Can I get your number? And maybe I'll take you out on a date this Friday?" He asked, hope evident in them with an undercurrent of nervousness. Like she could possibly say no. She just kissed the guy for heaven's sake. Nonetheless, Annabeth kept smiling.

     She held out her hand for him to give her his phone. He quickly unlocked it and she typed in her number, adding her name, and taking a selfie. "There," she said, handing the phone back to Percy. "As for the date, tell me what time and I'm sold."

     Percy grinned, "I'll be sure to let you know." Then her Estelle came back, Latte in her arms.

     "Are you guys dating now?" she asked. Percy shoved her half-heartedly, and Annabeth laughed. Waving bye to a flustered Percy, and adorable Estelle.

     "Come on, Latte. Lets go home." Her dog barked in agreement. The whole walk home, she couldn't stop thinking about Percy and Estelle's question. Were they dating? Maybe not yet . . . but I hope soon.