Luke slammed the apartment door as he came in with a bag of groceries, "Remind me why I was sent to get the groceries when I'm the most noticeable of us all." He gestured angrily toward his scar that ran down the right side of his face.

"Hmm, let me think about that," Thalia began sarcastically, "Maybe because A) It was your turn. B) Both mine and Annabeth's faces are just as well known around here and C) The last time we sent anyone else out alone, they got their butts' kicked. So stop whining."

He rolled his eyes, "I wasn't actually looking for an answer." Those two just love to argue with each other, and the fact that the three of us all live together doesn't help. We all ran away from our homes when we were younger and joined our gang, Aegis, where we met up. Even though there are more people in the gang, we are the closest with one another and also the leaders.

"Will a day ever pass where you two don't argue?" I asked both of them. They just grinned and shook their heads. Looking into the bag of groceries, I noticed that Luke had forgotten eggs. To most people, that may not be a huge deal, but that's one of the few breakfast foods that any of us know how to make. I turned to him, "You forgot to get eggs."

He threw his hands in the air with exasperation, "Everybody's a critic."

"Fine," I told him, "I'll go get them." I turned to Thalia, "Please, get him to stop complaining so much."

She laughed as I headed for the door. Luke must've taken a minute to register what I said, because as the door clicked shut behind me I heard a muffled, "Hey! I'm not complaining!"

The bitter air nipped at my skin when I stepped outside. Few people bustled about around me, but I just continued forward. There was a market up the street where I could quickly get eggs and leave before our enemy gang could show up. Sadly, that plan went to shambles with a familiar Mercury Mariner parked up the street. Immediately, I knew that that car belonged to our rival gang: Riptide. In an attempt to avoid a run-in with them, I turned into one of the alleyways on the street. Thankfully, I knew a back way to the market. I had gotten into the store, grabbed some eggs, and left with no problem. However on my trip through one of the alleys, I found a few Riptide members on the other end. Knowing I shouldn't try and take on all of them, I backed out of the alley. It was too late, they had already spotted me. In a split second they had surrounded me.

Most of them I recognized, except for two people. One was a boy around my age with dark hair and bright green eyes. He was wearing a black jacket that covers the tattoo that all gang members get on their arms. Yes, I have one as well, but it's different from theirs. We use Greek symbols that spell out our gang names as our tattoos.

Anyway, clinging to him was a red-haired girl who probably wasn't an actual member of the gang. Sometimes, guys just lug their girlfriends around with the gang so they can stand around and watch them fight. Along with those two were a huge guy, a gothic boy, a more timid guy, and another one of their girlfriends with elfish features. Believe me, there were a lot more of them, they just weren't in the alleyway that night. Don't ask me what their names are, I don't have a clue.

"Well, what do we have here?" the red-head asked snidely. If she wasn't going to fight, then she should just shut up and stand in the back like a good little mime.

The gothic boy grabbed my arm to check my tattoo, but I kicked him away. He growled, "Just by the attitude I can tell she's from Aegis."

"Would you like a prize for figuring that out?" I spat, "Now, if you don't mind-" I pushed past them, but the big guy's rough hand pulled me back.

The gothic boy had gotten fed up with me and lunged, but I sidestepped and knocked him over. This made all of his buddies rise to his defense. The clumsy guy came forward, and backed away instantly when I drew my knife. Everyone stepped back a bit because I'm known for being deadly with a knife. The only one who held his ground was the boy with the sea green eyes. At first, he didn't even attack; he simply stood there analyzing me. Once he finally attacked, he went right for my wrist to try and disarm me. What a predictable move. Before he reached my arm, I jumped up and slammed my knee into his jaw. Cradling his face, he fell to the ground and the red-head came to his aid.

"Percy!" she squealed, "Are you okay? Let me see. Did that bitch hurt you?" She really shouldn't call me a bitch when I'm a foot away. Lucky for her, I usually don't beat up non-gang members. See, I have some standards.

"I'm okay, Rachel. Getting hurt is part of the fight," he told her. Something was different in his voice though. It wasn't angry or bold or a tough guy act. He sounded truthful and comforting. Guys like that usually get the crap beaten out of them, but I could tell that he could take care of himself. It was completely different from what I've heard from any other gang member. Something was special about him, I could tell. Unfortunately, his voice had distracted me from the fight and the big guy had pinned my arms behind my back. Rookie mistake by me.

"What should we do with her?" the timid guy questioned Percy as he put his arm around the elfish girl. I guess I found out whose girlfriend she is.

Percy's eyes met mine as he thought of what to do with me. His burned with passion while mine burned with fury. Horrible things have been done to captured gang members. Male gang members get off easy, they usually only get tortured. Girls are usually made their sex toys and get tortured.

"Annabeth, get out of there!" I heard a familiar voice shout from above. It was Travis Stoll and next to him was his brother Connor. They're Luke's half-brothers and part of our gang. And when they say to get away, you run like hell. Kicking the big guy in the groin, he fell to the ground and I bolted away from there. Seconds later, I heard an explosion of some sort and I stopped in my tracks. Car doors slammed and tires screeched away, so I figured it was safe for me to turn back.

"Dude, that was awesome!" I heard Connor shout and they high-fived each other. I hadn't even realized that I was right next to their apartment. They were up on their fire escape, looking down on the mini-bomb they set off. At least there was little damage so we wouldn't get in much trouble.

I smiled at their craziness, "Thanks guys!" I called up to them.

"No problem!" they shouted down in unison.

Running back to the apartment, I was lucky enough to not run into anyone else. I lost the eggs along the way, but better to lose them than my life. Walking through the door, I found Luke and Thalia passed out on the couches. I shook both of them awake, "Wake up, I have reports on Riptide." That caused both of them to shoot up out of their places, "They have a new member and new baggage."

Thalia gagged at the baggage part, "Great, I hate when they drag their girlfriends around if they won't fight."

I was happy, because now I got to vent, "She's an obnoxious one too. She acts like she's a gang member, but then she nearly cried when I crushed her boyfriend's jaw."

"You mean you ran into them?" Luke was now officially worried. He always gets worried when we run into them alone. Another gang almost made him turn once, and he still hasn't forgiven himself for nearly betraying us. Plus, there was the night Thalia was unbelievably close to death. That was probably one of the worst nights of my life. Luke refuses to even mention it because of how worried he had been for her and he had felt powerless.

I nodded, "They didn't get a chance to hurt me though, and the Stoll brothers saved me."

He sighed with relief, "At least you're alright."

"What about their new gang member?" Thalia returned to our previous conversation.

I had absolutely no clue how to answer that, "He's an…interesting case."

She gave me a puzzled look, "What do you mean?"

I shrugged, "I don't know. He's seems different than the rest of them. I wouldn't worry about it. He's probably the same. After all, I was near them for five minutes at most."

Heading to my room, I wasn't sure if I added the last part to reassure myself or them.

It's nice to be done with the first chapter of my first story, but I know I need a lot of work. Constructive criticism is much appreciated. I hope you liked it though.