Hey guys! I'm so sorry for the long wait, but I'm hoping to get back into the swing of things and start updating more frequently now.

I did feel like a butt for not updating this sooner, especially because I updated Black Water first, but since then things haven't been going great for me. I've really lacked the motivation and energy to do even the simplest things; like homework, which has become a major priority of mine.

I just want you guys to know that if I'm gone for a long time, it's because I'm trying to work through some things. But I really want to see this story reach the end, no matter how long it takes so know I will always come back. I'm just hoping it doesn't take too long.

Thank you so much for your continued support and enthusiasm for this, and I hope you guys wont regret it.

With love, BubbleInk

"I swear I'm going to scream!" Annabeth yelled, flinging her hands into the air. "The nerve of that pathetic, low down worm." She gritted her teeth, her cheeks flushed as she seethed with loathing. She crossed her arms over her chest and leaned against Percy's side as she let out an irritated breath. He squeezed her shoulder reassuringly.

Annabeth is going to kill someone. I thought, taking a subconsciousness step away from the seething daughter of Athena.

"Are we talking about Mrs. Porrins or the sleaze?" I inquired carefully, aware that Annabeth was in a mood that meant she would break my arm without regret if she wanted to.

I hadn't been there when everything between Annabeth, Mrs. Porrin, and the jerk had gone down, but Annabeth had been all to happy to inform us everything in a very colorful retelling of the events. About how some idiot hadn't taken the hint and kept attempting to wheedle his way into touching her. How Alex had had to keep Percy calm so he wouldn't attack the idiot and break every bone in his worthless body.

"Both." Annabeth snapped. She inhaled deeply, the scowl that had been etched onto her features fading as she worked to calm herself down. "I can't see how anyone would hire that woman to work with teens." She pursed her lips. "She's an awful teacher."

Sarah timidly spoke up from where she was walking on the other side of Percy. She'd been quiet ever since she'd joined us on our way to the next class, so I was a bit surprised she was talking."Actually, I find Mrs. Porrins to be very good at her job. But I do agree that she has certain qualities that make her an awful person." She looked over at Annabeth like she was waiting for her to bite her head off, but even though Annabeth looked like she'd swallowed a lemon, she was nodding her head in agreement.

"Yeah, if you ignore everything that was wrong with my situation, the class was very informative and would be a great learning enviroment if there wasn't toxic people in it. I just wish that maybe Mrs. Porrins wasn't such a-a-"

"Republican Senator?" Tyler offered with a snicker. Max reacted oddly, punching his snickering friend in the shoulder. His lips were pulled into a frown and his black eyes gleaming with irritation. "Ow!" Tyler cried, glancing over at his friend with a hurt look on his face while he rubbed his shoulder. "What was that for?"

"I'm a republican!" Max snapped at him.

"Geeze man," Tyler cried in exasperation, rolling his eyes and throwing his hands in the air. "I wasn't trying to offend you," Tyler broke off from the conversation to lean down and kiss Sarah's forehead since he and Max needed to walk down a different hallway. "I was just giving my-"

The conversation trailed away as the two boys broke off from our group to head to their next class. The conversations and voices from all the other students around us quickly drowned out their voices as they drew farther and farther away until they were hidden from view by other students.

I quit looking after them turned back to look at Annabeth who appeared much calmer at the moment. "Do you even know who the guy was?" I asked, bringing us back to our previous conversation. There was no way some total stranger tried to make a move on a girl he didn't know. No mortal teenager was so low as to do that, right?

"No." Annabeth said as her hands clenched into fists. Looked like the conversation was just getting her angry again. "And I had to sit next to him because that was the only empty seat left in the room." She ran a hand over her face and sighed, shoulders sagging as if all her energy had been drained from her body. "And now I know why."

Alex looked over. "Well, I know who he was. His name is Jacob." She offered, flashing a weak smile. "I know a bit about him," She said with a frown. "He lived over at my old apartment building for a few years. He's a total jerk. He was going out with Nicole for a few months, but they broke up a few weeks ago when she cheated on him."

"Actually, he was cheating on me." Someone practically shrieked. Or maybe that was just their unnaturally high pitched and breathy voice that made it seem like they were shrieking.

I looked over to the source of the noise to see Mackenzie and her barbies blocking the hall, all of them glaring at us. You would think were gum that they had stepped on while wearing their favorite Miu Miu heels. I blinked, wondering why I even knew about designer shoe brands. I shrugged it off; must have come from hanging around the Aphrodite cabin so much.

I tried to focus my attention on the wall of powdered dolls in our way, but my mind couldn't acknowledge something so insignificant so it kept wandering to what Mrs. Jackson had possibly packed for lunch. Hopefully those blue cookies she had made a few days ago because Styx were they good.

Oh wait, focus.

I looked over at Percy and Annabeth, since they were the people Mackenzie was interested in. They had locked eyes, glaring at each other. The pale blonde's glare was almost on par with Annabeths, a feat that would have garnered my respect had she not been, ya know, a Harpie. Someone coughed sweetly, drawing my attention away again momentarily.

It was the girl who had first spoken. The one who had been denying what Alex had said about Jacob and some girl named Nicole, who I was slowly piecing together to be her. She was looking at me funny, wearing a look I had seen Drew with when I first showed up at Camp Half-Blood. Nicole was biting her lower lip, and when she saw she had my attention, she winked at me.

I frowned, unsure of what exactly to do with and looked away.

It looked like things were getting tense, like a fight was about to break out. Unfortunately for me, Piper had to take a detour to get to her locker; having forgotten a folder she needed. I couldn't help but wish she was here right now just in case. If a fight does breaks out, I thought, I don't want to have to break it up on my own. Just call me Jason the Peacemaker.

Even so, that thought wasn't necessary, because Mackenzie -with a flip of her hair- broke eye contact with Annabeth and began to saunter down the hall. "Ugh, why wouldn't they move?" She whined to Nicole, talking like we weren't even there. She was speaking loudly, and her lips were pulled into a sneer as her coal black eyes darted to glare at our group as she passed. Seeing that she was leaving he standoff, her followers broke apart the line forming the hallway barrier and flitted after her. How they didn't trip and break an ankle from those heels was a mystery to me.

I rolled my eyes and was fully prepared to start walking again when I heard two thuds and the sound of a bunch of papers flying through the air. I whipped around to see that Sarah was on the ground, her backpack and notebooks beside her and in a mess. Mackenzie was towering above her, looking asnpissed as Hera.

"What the Hell!" She screamed,fists at her side. Her voice echoed in the halls menacingly. Everyone who hadn't been watching our little show down earlier was sure watching now, pressed against the lockers in case Mackenzie turned into a whirling tornado of hair extensions and lipgloss. "Watch where you're going Sarah Heath!" She shrieked. I winced at the high pitched sound, hands over my ears.

With little huff and one more flip of her nearly white hair, she sauntered down the hall with her posse following close behind, offering their condolences that they have to touch such 'filth'. If anyone was filth, it was Mackenzie. She had no right to act the way she did.

I was one of the first people to reach Sarah, bending down to help pick up her stuff while Annabeth and Alex helped her to her feet. Percy and Jeff helped me pick up her bag and put her loose papers into neat piles.

"You okay Sarah?" Alex asked. There was a sniff, and since she didn't say anything I assumed Sarah was nodding. As I stood up with her things in my arms, I noticed how her jaw was clenched and her eyes were shinning. Yet she wasn't crying at all. She swallowed and held her arms out for her stuff.

"Thanks guys, I'm fine. Guess I should have been paying better attention to where I was going." Sarah said with a small, humorless laugh.

Jeff scowled and exploded into a seething rage. "Are you kidding me? You were fine! I saw Mackenzie; it was totally her fault! If she had been walking in a straight line you guys would never have collided!"

There was silence for a few moments. "Wait," Annabeth began. "Are you saying Mackenzie bumped into Sarah on purpose?" Jeff furiously nodded his confirmation. "But why would she do that?"

Sarah laughed bitterly. "She may hate you, Annabeth, but she despises me."

"It's true." Alex agreed as she looked at her friend pityingly. "Mackenzie has a special dislike for Sarah. I'm just confused as to why she's suddenly physically bullying you." She frowned and rubbed Sarah's back soothingly. "Usually it's just verbal insults, and I know you can handle those. What's changed?"

Sarah shrugged and looked down at the floor. I had a feeling she knew exactly what was going on, but didn't want to say anything. So I didn't say anything either. "I'm fine, really." Sarah repeated as she tried to convince us. Yeah, right. I frowned. Anyone could see that something was wrong. Sarah was visibly shaken from the encounter, clutching a piece of paper in her trembling hand so hard it looked like she might tear it.

"Well," I shared a look with the rest of the group. They obviously believed her as much as I did, but were hesitant to demand she tell the truth about how she was really feeling. I shook my head and sighed. "I guess we should head to class then...?"

"Yeah," Annabeth sighed. "Come on then guys." Her gray eyes lingered on Sarah questioningly, but Percy slung his arm around her shoulders and shook his head.

"Come on,there's nothing we can do." He whispered.