Author

Summary- This is taken from Rick Riordan's The Lightning Thief, pages 230 to 241.

Disclaimer – I do not own Percy Jackson and the Olympians. Most dialogue belongs to Rick Riordan.

Chapter Four – Page 230 – Love Tunnel of Death

Hey, sorry it took so long. Camp and stuff. Hey, if you like my story, review! Even if it's one word like, awesome, or a whole monologue about what you think about it. REVIEW. R-E-V-I-E-W! Whoo-hoo!

The sunset was beautiful, but unfortunately, I was distracted by the favor we were about to commit for Ares. The sign read WAT R A D. There was also a fence, locked and topped by barbed wire. A water park lied on the opposite side, pathetic and deserted.

"If Ares brings his girlfriend here for a date, I'd hate to see what she looks like."

I had to stifle a laugh. "Percy. Be more respectful."

"Why? I thought you hated Ares."

"He's still a god. And his girlfriend is very temperamental." And a total witch. Grover intervened.

"You don't want to insult her looks."

"Who is she? Echidna?" I knew he was joking, but he was entering a danger zone.

"No. Aphrodite. Goddess of love," Grover replied, his voice wistful.

"I thought she was married to somebody. Hephaestus."

"What's your point?" he asks, coming out of his faraway character.

"Oh. How do we get in?" Nice save, Percy.

"Maia!", and Grover floated upward on his winged shoes. Showing off, he did a somersault through the air. Or, wait, I think he did it by accident. Oops, never mind.

"You guys coming?" he asked slyly from the other side.

Percy and I clambered to the top, where Percy held down the barbwire for me. I blushed unwillingly at the act of chivalry, and then held it down for him once I was over.

All the ride names were atrocious, and I grimaced at each one as we walked by. Eventually, we came across the souvenir shop. It had every thing, from Limited Edition WaterLand Jerky to, thank the gods, clothes.

"Clothes," I say, in pure heaven. "Fresh clothes."

"Yeah, but you can't just-"

"Watch me," I snapped melancholy.

I relieve a row on the racks of its clothes, and enter the dressing room. It was small, with a tiny stool and full sized mirror. On the stool were the three shirts, two pants and pair of shoes and backpack I had taken, along with other things, including the jerky. I did my best to match, but it's kind of hard to when you have pink and orange and/or green and blue flower shirts, and a red shirt, yellow shirt and purple shirt, with turquoise surf shoes and/or gold surf shoes. I stripped out my old clothes (hallelujah!). There's nothing I could do for my undergarments, but no one would be seeing them, anyway. Quickly, I decided on the red shirt, pink and orange flower shirts, and gold shoes. I stuffed the backpack with the things I had collected, along with my other things, and walked out of the dressing room.

"What the heck," Grover relented, and they followed my example. Once we were all dressed, we continued the wild goose chase.

Percy returned to our old conversation. "So Ares and Aphrodite, they have a thing going?"

"That's old gossip, Percy. Three thousand-year-old gossip."

"What about Aphrodite's husband?"

"Well, you know. Hephaestus. The blacksmith. He was crippled when he was a baby, thrown off Mount Olympus by Zeus. So he isn't exactly handsome. Clever with his hands, and all, but Aphrodite isn't into brains and talent, you know?"

"She likes bikers."

"Whatever."

"Hephaestus knows?"

"Oh sure. He caught them together once. I mean, literally caught them, in a golden net, and invited all the gods to come and laugh at them. Hephaestus is always trying to embarrass them. That's why they meet in out of the way places, like…" I stopped. We had arrived our destination. A sign marked it: THRILL RIDE O' LOVE: THIS IS NOT YOUR PARENTS' TUNNEL OF LOVE! "Like that."

Cupids surrounded the empty pool, all with arrows at the ready. It was strange. They all faced each other…

"Guys, look." A canopy-covered love seat boat sat at the bottom. On it was Ares' shield.

"This is too easy. So we just walk down there and get it?"

I traced a Greek letter at a bottom of a Cupid statue. Eta. "There's a Greek letter carved here," I inform them. "Eta. I wonder…"

"Grover, you smell any monsters?"

"Nothing."

"Nothing- like, in-the-Arch-and-you-didn't-smell-Echidna nothing, or really nothing?"

Offended, Grover said, "I told you, that was underground."

"Okay, I'm sorry." He takes a deep breath. "I'm going down there."

"I'll go with you," Grover volunteered, not to happy about it.

"No. I want you to stay up top with the flying shoes. You're the Red Baron, a flying ace, remember? I'll be counting on you for backup, in case something goes wrong," he denied, and Grover's chest puffed at the compliment.

"Sure. But what could go wrong?"

"I don't know. Just a feeling. Annabeth, come with me-"

Whoa. Wait. Rewind. Did he just ask me to go on the Thrill Ride O' Love with him? Nuh-uh. Not going to happen.

"Are you kidding?" I asked, blushing.

"What's the problem now?" he sighed, annoyed.

"Me, go with you to the… the 'Thrill Ride O' Love? How embarrassing is that? What if someone saw me?"

This was my worst nightmare. In fact, it was probably the worst nightmare for every girl across the nation. Being on a tunnel of love, with your crush, would be so awkward! I could barely sit next to him without my heart expanding, and my stomach tying itself into knots. Sitting next to him, especially on a boat decorated with little hearts, would be pure torture.

"Who's going to see you?" His face was red, too. "Fine. I'll do it myself."

He went down the side, and I forced myself to follow, but not with muttering about it. Percy looked around, his reflection caught in the mirrors that surrounded the pool. I was standing next to him, and saw myself blanch. My face was dirty and dark from the sun, my hair a tangled mess. But in the WaterLand outfit, my body looked slim and tall. Percy and I were polar opposites, physical and mentally. Then how was it I was attracted to him?

I watched him pick up a scarf, probably Aphrodite's. He sniffed it and smiled, a faraway look in his eyes. Before he could do something drastic that would send me through the roof, like lick it, I grabbed it.

"Oh, no you don't. Stay away from that love magic."

"What?"

"Just get the shield, Seaweed Brain, and let's get out of here."

I run my hand along the back of boat, slowly circling it. My fingers run over a small hollow, and I go back and bend down and investigate. It was the same carving as the one on the Cupid's base.

"Wait."

"Too late."

"There's another Greek letter on the side of this boat, another Eta. This is a trap."

Suddenly, noise breaks through the silence. It sounded like a broken machine.

"Guys!" Grover bellowed from above us.

The Cupids had shot their arrows at each other, each arrow connected with a gold thread. They link together by magic, forming on giant net. Crap.

"We have to get out," Percy says. Way to go, Mr. Obvious.

"Duh!"

He takes the shield and we scramble up the side, only to slip backwards. Grover was trying to open a spot for us, but the threads wrapped around his hands. "Come on," he yelled.

Robotically, the Cupids heads bend backwards to reveal slowly rising cameras. A sudden voice startled me, "Live to Olympus in one minute… Fifty-nine seconds, fifty-eight…"

"Hephaestus! I'm so stupid! Eta is 'H'. He made this trap to catch his wife with Ares. Now we're going to broadcast live to Olympus and look like absolute fools!" I realized I was screaming, but I was to angry to care. We were feet away from getting out of the death trap when the spiders came. I screamed.

"Spiders! Sp- sp- aaaah!"

I felt myself fall, and the spiders crawled over me. Screams escaped my lips, one after the other. Percy grabbed me and pulled me up, and I clung to him, to afraid to care that I was holding Percy. He pulled me to the boat. We sat down, and Percy started kicking them as they drew near. Fear blanked out my mind, blocking out every rational thought. I think I heard my myself screaming, and I distantly felt Percy's warm body beside mine, pressed against me in small seat. I screamed again and again.

Then something horrible occurred. The spiders, they- they… they started spitting cables at us. I thrashed around, breaking them. My eyes widened as a spider crawled up my leg, and I froze, and stuttered, "P- P- P- PERCY!"

He kicked it off me and I returned to my screaming. In a few minutes, I was going to give myself a heart attack. Slowly, I shut my eyes, and rocked back and forth. But I felt a spider crawl up my leg and I screamed, and screamed and screamed.

The thing bit me, taking a small chunk of my flesh with it as it went flying through the air to join its brethren. Spiders over took the front of the boat, and I screamed even louder. Seriously, that moment still scares, even when I look back on it. Percy, beside me, closed his eyes and concentrated. As for me, I concentrated on screaming.

Water bursted out of the pipes, drowning all of the spiders. Even though it nearly capsized us, relief flooded through me. Percy tugged me farther back into my seat, and then did my seatbelt. I stared at his hands, so close to my stomach. Butterflies took flight through my stomach, and a rock settled in my throat.

We held on to each other as the boat went through the crazy route, taking sharp turns and steep plunges.

A new fear aroused in my throat. A gate blocked our exit, and we were going to crash.

"Unfasten your seatbelt!" Percy yelled. Apparently, he had noticed it too.

"Are you crazy?"

"Unless you want to get smashed to death," he yelled, attaching Ares' shield to himself. "We're going to have to jump for it."

I held his hand, and squeezed. I knew what he meant to do, and it was crazy.

"On my mark," he told me.

"No! On my mark!" If he jumped when he told us to, we would die, or be seriously injured.

"What?"

"Simple physics!" I explain. "Force times the trajectory angle-"

"Fine! On your mark!"

I waited three seconds before yelling at him to jump. We jumped, and flew through the air. We had to much momentum, though, and flew over our target, the pool. The ground came crashing towards us. Grover grabbed me hard by the arm, causing me to yell, "Ouch!" Only, he slowed us down, and we continued our free fall.

"You're too heavy! We're going down," he hollered, and we hit the ground hard. On the bright side (there's actually two, so I'll tell the second after I tell you the first), Grover ended up becoming- 'Noo-Noo the Whale'. The other good part was, I landed on Percy. His body instantly warmed mine, and I wanted to stay there forever. Of course, he was face down, and I was laying diagonal over him, but still.

"Sorry." I got up and offered a hand, which he took. We un-Noo-Noo-the-whale-afied Grover, and thanked him. Percy yelled, which just proved my point that he was ignorant, "Show's over! Thank you! Good night!"

Once the Cupids' heads went back to their former position, Percy turned to us, angry.

"We need to have a little talk with Ares."