Sadie pov

"Jelly babies? Really?" Percy looked amused, as if his adventures were any less bizarre. A casino where time doesn't exist? That's totally normal...not.

"Hey, c'mon. What matters is that Neith totally fell for it."

"It's weird enough that you guys were trying to rescue a shadow...but Jelly babies?"

"So that's weird but getting turned into a rodent isn't?" I raised an eyebrow.

Neither one of us was aware of the fact that the sun was already rising. We'd talked all night. Percy had told me all about his quests. Every time Annabeth came up, he pretended like he was totally okay with talking about her, but I could see how the light in his eyes dimmed down. Which happened way too often given the fact that she seemed to be a part of ALL of his quests.

Even when he lost all his memories, the one thing that kept him going was the memory of her. The more I listened to his stories, the better I understood why her death had affected him so much. She was a huge part of all his memories, ever since he found out he's a demigod. Losing her must have felt like having his Ba ripped out of him. Still, a part of me did hurt a little every time a good memory with her came up and he suddenly became distant for a few minutes, before getting back into the story.

Of course I had to prove myself to be worthy of him, so I shared with him the details of my equally messed up life. He had trouble catching up...what with me trying to explain the Duat, Ba, Ren, how I was possessed by a goddess, the fact that we have a pet griffin called Freak ( he has a Pegasus called Blackjack and a huge dog called Mrs. O Leary, so I guess that part didn't surprise him much), or how Philip of Macedonia was a shabti .

Khofu's obsession with the letter O earned me a questioning look which was ignored(mostly because I didn't have much of an explanation to that myself). At the part about me opening my big mouth to blabber about Jelly Babies, he interrupted me for the hundredth time. Wait till I get to the part where Ra wanted weasel cookies.

"So yeah, anyways, where was I ? Neith, right. So-"

"Sadie." Percy interrupted me. I stopped when I sensed the change in his tone. He'd gone from amused and sassy to gentle and sober in less than a minute.


"Sadie, I just.. I mean I really..." It was like he was battling with himself.

"What? You can tell me, Percy."

He let out a defeated sigh. "Never mind." He got up and placed his hands on the railing, staring straight ahead.

"Hey, don't do that." I got up as well, and mimicked his position.

"Do what?" He asked innocently.

"You know, that. That whole thing where you pique someone's interest and then leave them hanging with the infamous 'never mind'."

"You know what? You were right." Percy smiled.

"Of course I'm right. That just gets so annoying-"

"Not that." He cut me off again. "I mean you were right about the fact that you've still got your British accent. It's more discernible when you're annoyed." He chuckled as he placed his hand on mine.

"Discernible." I scoffed. "That's a big word, Hot Shot."

"Well sure, Candy Cane. For you guys, yeah it's a big word. I mean Bast, Bes, Ra, Nut? I mean, why are all these names monosyllable ? If you had to deal with names like Aphrodite and Hephaestus, big words wouldn't really be a problem. For a dyslexic like myself, those names are just nightmares. You've got it easy though."

" Hey, not all names are monosyllable. We've got Anubis-"

"Your godly ex." He said. I ignored that comment.

"Then there's Osiris, Tawaret..." I said as I linked our fingers.

" Really? That's what your giving me as a competition to Hephaestus?" Percy smirked.

"You really shouldn't be throwing around the names of gods like that." Nico walked up to them.

"Neeks, if the gods wanted to strike me down, they would've done it when I asked them to."

"What?" My eyes widened.

"Never mind. Forget I said anything." Percy scratched the back of his neck with his free hand.

"Oh again with that!" I looked up in exasperation.

" Don't tell me you guys were up all night?" Nico had a weird look on his face. I blushed when I realised what he was implying. Percy however, did not grasp Nico's implication immediately.

" Yeah, we did." Then it seemed to dawn on him, as his eyes widened. "Talking. We were up talking." He said, blushing. Then suddenly, as if a cloud had passed over him, his expression darkened. Another good memory turned bitter. Seemed like he and Annabeth and been through QUITE A LOT. And he might have tried to be subtle about it, but I noticed how he was elaborately casual as he slipped his hand out of mine and folded both arms across his chest, loosely.

"You know, I think it's better I go freshen up before everyone else wakes up. You should too." He said to me without making eye contact. And then he walked away, leaving me and Nico staring at his retreating form.

Nico looked at me and I forced a smile. After trying to read my expression for a few uncomfortable seconds, he walked back to his room. As I walked to my own room, thoughts swirled in my head.

I was happy. I should be. I'm finally dating Percy, the guy I'd been dreaming of ever since I saw him. Then why did my smile, which was effortless a few minutes ago, seem so forced. Why did I have this sinking feeling in my chest ? Why did I feel like a shadow was hovering over me. A shadow of someone who wasn't here but would never truly be gone.

Shake it off, Sadie. I thought to myself. I knew about Annabeth. From the day I knew Percy I also Annabeth. She was always a huge part of who Percy was. This had never bothered me before. It shouldn't now. I took a deep breath. I am happy, I told myself again, whether or not I believed it.