So this is just a little "deleted scene." I had originally planned to put it in the story, but then I decided not to. Instead, it became an extra. I started it a few months ago and I decided to finish it. Think of it was my way of placating you until the sequel comes out (whenever that may be...) Enjoy!
Disclaimer: I do not own PJO, Forever 21, Victoria's Secret, or Charlotte Russe!
Credit Card Debt
Annabeth was home by herself, like it should be. Percy was out at work for the day with Poseidon and Mike. Lucky her, she got the day off to do whatever she pleased. It was pretty much demanded that she get more free days after agreeing to this marriage (and of course she used no means of blackmail on Mike and Poseidon…).
However, she couldn't deny the fact that she was bored. She didn't want to admit that having Percy in her life made her days a little more exciting. When she woke up in the mornings, she found herself looking forward to what might happen, despite that she couldn't stand him. She was kept on her toes when she was around Percy. She even dared to think that she was getting used to him and, well…maybe even liking him.
Nevertheless, it was nice to relax and get away from him. After all, she hated Percy, and anytime away from him was cherished.
She was currently lounging on her soft, comfortable bed. She rolled over and spotted Percy's leather, beat-up wallet sitting on the wooden bedside table. She wasn't exactly sure what it was doing in her room (need she remind him of her threats if he left stuff in her room again?), but she was too loopy and tired to really think anything of it. Instead, she just got up, stretched her sore limbs, and headed into the bathroom to shower and get ready for the day.
After an hour, she entered her room again wrapped in her favorite fuzzy green towel. Subconsciously, her eyes drifted to the wallet sitting innocently on the table. She bit her lip, staring at it while struck in her spot in the middle of the room. She knew it was wrong to riffle through others' belongings…
But this was Percy, so it wasn't that big of a deal.
Her mind set, she quickly changed into a pair of skinny jeans and a white, v-neck t-shirt. She fluffed her hair up with the towel, dried it quickly, and applied her light make-up before stepping back into the room. She stood over the wallet, staring at it. This was her last chance to back out. She could ultimately avoid a disaster…
Who was she kidding? She loved revenge.
She snatched up the wallet and flipped it open, the smell of leather assaulting her senses. She stared at the contents.
Four credit cards, a drivers' license (which he no doubt never used), a few coupons, a picture of his mom (ha!), and some cash hidden in a secret pocket.
Annabeth's eyebrows shot up. Four credit cards…Hmm…
She could definitely have some fun with those.
But would she really max out his cards? The mature, smart side of her brain told her that yes, that would be cruel, and possibly a felony if he were to report her. But on the other side…she could get a whole new, cute wardrobe.
Besides, he was the CEO of Overseas Inc. He was rich.
Smirking deviously, she picked the cards from the wallet and slipped them into the back pocket of her jeans. She placed the wallet back down on the table where it was originally found. The small grin still lingering on her face, she grabbed her shoes and headed for the mall.
Percy had a horrible feeling in his stomach (and it wasn't because he ate something spicy). No, this was like his "spider senses tingling" kind of bad feeling. It had to do with Annabeth, too. It was a bad idea to let her have some days off. He felt weary, knowing she was at the apartment with all his stuff free for her to rummage through.
He had tried explaining his fears to his dad and Mike, trying to persuade them to call her in or at least cut her free days off, but they just shook their heads.
"No," Poseidon had countered, his voice shaking slightly. "She deserves it. I mean, i-it's not like she blackmailed us with some ahem photos from a certain vacation or anything…hehe."
Percy had merely raised a brow at his antics. It was odd, even for Poseidon. Nevertheless, there was nothing he could do, so he simply had to accept his fate and hope that nothing was stolen and/or tampered with.
But that was hoping for too much.
So, with a heavy mind and an upset stomach, he sat in his office, staring at the unfinished work while trying to push out all the horrible (and totally unrealistic) things that Annabeth could be doing.
She felt like a bitch. But damn it felt good to have so many bags hanging from her arms.
Annabeth walked through the humongous mall with a slight, dreamy smile on her face. There were numerous bags hanging from her hands, ranging from Forever 21 to Victoria's Secret. She had already maxed one credit card, and she knew she had to be close to maxing the second one.
Did she feel bad? Yeah, she did, but it was mostly for revenge against Percy being such a dumbass. She hated his arrogant smirks, the way he practically strutted around. God, she wanted to punch him. Sometimes, she even had fantasies of strangling him to death.
So, in the whole retrospect, she didn't feel all too bad.
Her next stop before lunch was the one she had been looking forward to the most: Charlotte Russe, where she would be stocking up on her shoe supply.
There were three things that Annabeth absolutely loved and adored in life: books, chocolate, and shoes.
She loved wearing heels mostly. She felt empowered whenever she slipped her feet into the straps of leather and standing up to see that she had grown a few inches. It was amazing. It was like she said to Percy when they first met: guys had games, girls had shoes.
So with an awed expression, she stepped into the diva store, staring around at all the adorable work/fashionable casual wear. But in the back was where her heaven awaited.
She strode through the store until she finally arrived. Before her, upon shelves and stands, were heels. Row after row, from black pumps to bright, diva red stilettos. She walked through the rows, staring at them. They were beautiful.
She tried on about twenty pairs, before buying all of the ones she tried on. They were all just so cute! Annabeth had even thought about the outfits she could wear with each pair. And, if she remembered all the shoes she had at home, she could go a full month without wearing the same shoes twice.
Upon arriving at the checkout counter, the cashier smiled widely at Annabeth, eyes widening slightly.
"Hi!" she greeted perkily. "Did you find everything today?"
Annabeth grinned. "Yes. Yes I did."
It was lunch time, and Percy, Mike, and Poseidon were going out to lunch at Red Lobster to celebrate a contract they had gotten signed by one of the leading companies in Europe.
The food was delicious, and Percy made a mental note to come back. However, when they were getting ready to pay, agreeing to split the hearty bill, Percy discovered that his wallet, which usually lay in his back pocket, was gone.
He started panicking. He had four credit cards and an unhealthy amount of cash in that wallet. Did he lose it? He couldn't have, because he remembered taking it out the night before…
…Before he showered, he placed it on Annabeth's bedside table because they had been fighting in her room…he hadn't even thought about placing it there…
"What's wrong, Percy?" Poseidon asked at seeing his son's terrified face.
"I left my wallet…at Annabeth's apartment…" he whispered with horror.
"Well that's okay! I'll pay for you and you can just pay me back."
But Percy wasn't listening. All he could think was that his wallet was in the mercy of Annabeth, whether she knew it or not.
He didn't like that.
"I'm going to run home and get it," Percy said hastily before exiting. Mike looked to Poseidon, but Poseidon merely shrugged.
Percy hailed a cab as quickly as he could. He practically shouted the address to the driver, who glared back at him and drove off. Percy stared outside the window, his leg bouncing up and down uncontrollably. When they arrived, he leapt out and sprinted inside the building and up the steps to the apartment. He practically kicked the door down, and in his haste to get to the bedroom, he knocked down a stool and the book Annabeth was currently reading.
He stopped near the bed, staring at the wallet-less table. Breathing hard, he rushed around the room, looking through drawers and even under some clothes on the ground. It wasn't there. He ran out to the living room, thinking that maybe she threw it on his "bed," but alas, it wasn't on the couch. He checked the counter, the table, and even the bathroom, but it was nowhere to be found.
That only left one other option.
Annabeth was sitting in the food court. With her purchase of the shoes and lunch, she had maxed out Percy's second card. She was eating delicious Chinese: beef and broccoli, chicken lo mein, white rice, and an eggroll.
She felt victorious. She felt on top of the world. She had gotten revenge on Percy. Now he would know how annoying he was. And, he wouldn't be able to use two credit cards until he paid them off.
Suddenly, her phone vibrated in her pocket. She felt a smirk creep on her face as she saw the caller I.D.
"Hello, Darling," she answered suavely, smugness infused in her voice.
"You…" he replied. "You…are insufferable!"
"I have no idea what you're talking about, sweetie." She smiled around a bite of chicken as she listened to him rant.
"You know perfectly well," Percy replied icily, narrowing his eyes. "You stole my wallet, and…where are you, anyways?"
She chuckled. "At the mall. You should be getting a call or a letter in the mail soon."
Oh God... "Why?"
"Two credit cards have been maxed out."
"ANNABETH! How could you?"
"It was simple: I went to the store, found some cute clothes, and bought them with your money!"
Percy felt his jaw clenched. "You're beyond evil. And I'm not paying for those either."
Annabeth smirked to herself. "Yes you will," she demanded.
Percy rolled his eyes. "Make me."
"Okay. I'll just post the pictures from your high school Spring Bash at work for everyone to see."
Percy froze. He had been drunk that night. He'd seen the pictures. They were not pretty. They were very embarrassing. But… "How did you get those photos?" he asked angrily.
Of course, Percy thought coldly, his right eye twitching (which was becoming the normal, sadly enough). He had to remember to kick his father once he got back.
"So if that's all, I'll see you at home, sweetie," Annabeth said in a sickly sweet voice.
Percy fumbled for a good comeback to express his frustrations. "Yeah…well…you're a mean person!"
And with that sad attempt at a retort, Percy hung up on Annabeth. He wanted to throw his phone across the room, but he merely clenched it in his hand. He wanted to pull some sort of cruel prank on her, like squirting ketchup in her bed, or replacing her shampoo with food coloring. But he couldn't. First off, he wouldn't sink down to her level, and second, if he did…those photos would be publicized. He couldn't afford that to happen.
So, with a fiery anger in his stomach and a twitch in his eye, he stomped out the apartment, slamming the door shut, and headed back to Overseas Inc.
Annabeth shook her head at Percy's sad attempt at a comeback. This was another good reason for being a strategist/extremely smart. She could plan these flawless pranks. Although, that may have been thanks to the Stoll brothers…
She shuddered at the thought of having similar abilities to the brothers. She gathered up her bags and decided to hit a couple more stores before returning home. She would go to some sport stores to get some more clothes for working out. She didn't keep her slim form by magic (though she desperately wished that was possible).
Poseidon rubbed his shin while glaring at his son. Percy, upon arriving back, had abruptly walked up to him and kicked him square on the shin for no apparent reason. This upset Poseidon (it would upset anyone) and he thought he had raised his son better than to go around randomly kicking people.
"What the hell is your problem?" Poseidon grumbled, watching his son pace around in his office.
"You!" Percy shouted, glaring daggers at his father. "You gave Annabeth blackmail to use on me!"
Poseidon cleared his throat and blushed a bit. Ah, so that's why he was kicked. "Yes, well…she blackmailed me first!" he rushed out with a yell, standing up abruptly.
Percy blinked and stared at his father's outburst. Poseidon's eye was twitching and his face was pale, his eyes wide.
"Uh Dad…what're you talking about?"
"She blackmailed me with pictures from…never mind…anyways, if I didn't give them to her, she was going to…show off certain photos."
Percy narrowed his eyes at this new piece of information. It was too…planned, too coincidental. Annabeth was an architect. It was her job to think things through.
But she had just found his wallet this morning…
Now he was a bit confused.
Percy's shoulders slumped. Why fight her on this one? She was—correction: she already won this battle. Why fight fire with fire?
"When did you give her the photos?" Percy asked a bit more calmly.
Poseidon let out a whoosh of breath and sat back down. "About two weeks ago. She never told me why…I guess I never asked…" Suddenly Poseidon sat up, his eyes staring at the desk. "But…how did she get my photos?"
In an instant, they knew. They locked eyes and the same time said, "Mike."
Mike was sitting in his office, a small smile on his face. In reality, the contract signing was all his doing. Without his innovations on the building that the European company wanted, they wouldn't have agreed to work with Overseas Inc. Without him, they wouldn't be making an extra million dollars each year.
He rarely ever got these victories anymore, what with Annabeth being so brilliant. He had forgotten how good they felt.
Suddenly, the door burst open and Percy and Poseidon stalked inside, crowding over his desk.
Mike raised a brow. "Yeah?"
"You gave her the pictures, didn't you?"
Mike blinked. "What?"
Percy sighed impatiently. "Annabeth. You gave her the embarrassing pictures of my dad." It was a statement.
A light bulb appeared to go off in Mike's head. He held his chin up. "So what if I did?"
"Why?" Poseidon cried. "I thought we were friends!"
Mike's nose scrunched up. "Yeah, well if we're such friends, then why did you switch my decaf coffee to caffeinated, with an extra shot of espresso?"
Now Poseidon looked confused. "What're you talking about? I didn't change it. I haven't changed coffee since I had an assistant, and that was twenty years ago!"
Mike's brows furrowed. "Then who—"
Percy coughed, his face blushing. "Um," he started guiltily. "That was my fault. I was doing it to get Annabeth all jittery. It was supposed to be a prank."
Mike blinked. He looked at Poseidon. "Whoops."
Annabeth finally arrived home. She immediately dropped her bags in her room and plopped down on her soft bed. Her arms flopped beside her, aching and sore from carrying so much weight.
She slipped her hand in her back pocket and pulled out the credit cards. She had managed to max out three out of the four. That had to have been some sort of record. She placed them on the desk next to her bed. She took a deep breath, smiling to herself.
Boy did she love shopping.
Teehee :D So I was going to go a little farther with this, but I decided this was a good place to stop. Basically, Annabeth had gotten the photos to use whenever she needed them, and this so happened to be the perfect time to blackmail both Poseidon and Percy. Just a little funny bantering between Annabeth and Percy.
I loved Artificial Engagement so much. It was and always will be my favorite story that I've written.
On an unrelated note, I had the best day at Walmart (that in itself is a paradox). I went to get my friend a birthday present, and I ended up getting that plus Lady Gaga's new CD (which I'm now listening to) and a poster of Ryan Reynolds (drool... XD). I hung it up in the hallway :D
Thanks for reading!