I was pacing back and forth on the porch of the big house. I already was going crazy just thinking about all the terrible things that could be happening to Luna on her quest. I couldn't even imagine the horrors she must be facing.
Artemis was walking towards me and I couldn't help but stop for a moment and admire her beauty. It was enough to distract me but only for a moment. I quickly remembered why I was pacing and continued to do so.
"Percy… She will be alright, I just know it." She said as she rested a comforting hand on my back.
"How can you be so sure?"
"I'm freaking out just as much as you, but she will have to face things like this sooner or later."
"I would have chosen later…"
"Anyway… Our daughter is strong, brave and is very talented. She is capable of handling herself in battle. After all she has our DNA."
I looked at Artemis and she was giving me a reassuring smile. I smiled back and I did feel a little better. I just had to trust that the Fates are on her side and that she WILL prevail in the end. Plus she has Thalia, Nico and a new friend by her side to help her. Artemis placed a hand on my cheek and I wrapped an arm around her waist.
"Why don't we go find you a distraction so you aren't worrying so much, hmmm?"
I look Artemis in the eyes and I saw a mischievous glint in them. I grinned and held out my arm to her.
"Shall we milady?"
She smirked at me. "Oh we very much shall."
We flashed away to my palace forgetting the worries that have been on my mind all day.
We have been traveling all day and we followed Athena's directions to Annabeth's last seen location. It wasn't too hard to find… and that was sarcasm. Athena was obviously joking because the canopy was camouflaged. We only found it quicker than we would have because a pack of 5 hellhounds was snooping around it obviously catching the demigod scent.
They all turned their heads, beading their bright red eyes at us and snarling their teeth once they caught our scent when we came through the clearing. Great…
Two came at me while everyone else got one. Why is it my luck that I get more work?
I ripped off my whole necklace and my sword appeared. I swung it around in my hands as the two circled me waiting for the opportunity to strike. I kept my eyes on both and one decided to take action.
He snapped at my foot but I swiped down with my sword and he backed off. The other jumped to knock me over but I dodged and he head-butted a tree. Oops…
What happened next shocked me. The hellhounds charged but not at me. Instead, they ran behind me at Nico and began wagging their tails.
"Good hellhounds!" Nico said while scratching behind their ears.
""Nico! You couldn't have done that to begin with!" Thalia yelled.
"Sorry… I forgot that I could…" Thalia face palmed and smacked Nico on the back of the head.
"Get over it Death Breath…"
"Okay love birds! Can we now explore the area to see if we find any clues? And Nico, keep an eye on your pets." They blushed at love birds but turned around to explore Annabeth's belongings.
Sol came up to me, but I was too busy focusing on a scent I was getting in the woods. I get a heighten sense of smell thanks to my mom.
"Everything alright?" I looked at him.
"Oh yeah… I just- I… I'll be right back…" I began to go into the woods and the scent grew stronger the further I went.
"Luna please… Let's get back. We need to find clues and- it's dangerous in the woods and to separate…"
I turned around. "Look Sol, I can smell something… something that isn't right. It may be a faint scent, but I can still track it. I had a dream last night… I don't know how to tell you about it, but I need to investigate. You're either with me or not…"
He seemed to cringe when I turned and faced him. "Sol…"
"No, no Luna you're right. I shouldn't try to stop you when you believe to have a lead. I should be with you and not try to stop you from investigating something that could be of vital importance. I just don't want something to happen to you if you go off alone…"
I looked at him and put a hand on his cheek. "Sol, don't be sorry… You're right, we shouldn't separate. We should go get Nico and Thalia and then explore." He seemed to relax a little and wrapped his arms around my waist in a hug.
"Well well well… Looky here Nico! We have a new set of lovebirds!" We separated really quickly and our faces were both beat red.
"We were just… uh…"
"Well while you two were out here confessing your secret love, Nico and I found something."
I straighten up and composed myself. "Well what is it?"
Thalia pulled out a dagger that had something like brown hair on the end. "We found Annabeth's dagger just a few meters from the campsite. She obviously put up a fight and was out numbered."
"So the enemy has brown fur?"
Thalia's eyes narrowed. "No… The enemy, I know who they are. I've seen this before while on the hunt. We would see wads of this which we used to track them."
"Then whose hair is it?" I asked.
"It isn't hair Luna, its fur… we are dealing with Lycaon and his pack."
Luna seemed frozen in shock and Sol was making a thinking face like an Athena child. I didn't know what to expect except that I know the werewolves are strong and have been outsmarting the hunt for a long time.
It started getting dark and Thalia suggested that we stay at Annabeth's campsite for the night and proceed in the morning. Before anyone fell asleep, Luna told us about her dream and the scent she picked up earlier which was why she was in the woods. I began to think about whom the traitor could be and what the conversation between the werewolves could have meant.
"Well hopefully Luna will pick back up on the scent in the morning and we will follow it from here." Thalia suggested. Everyone agreed. Thalia decided to take first watch despite me constantly telling her to let me. But there is no arguing with Thalia so I laid down to sleep next to her. I noticed Thalia was thinking really hard and I couldn't help but ask her what's wrong.
"It's nothing Nico, go back to sleep." I sat up and wrapped my arms around her.
"Don't you lie to me Thals, I can tell you're hiding something."
She huffed. "Fine, it just bothers me that… I could catch the scent… it's stupid but for Gods sake! I'm the lieutenant of Artemis!"
"Well Luna is the daughter of Artemis and a goddess. Her senses are heighted way more than yours or mine."
"Nico, you're the lieutenant of kelp head. He has no sense of tracking what-so-ever… You have no way to track the scent." She grinned and started laughing at my defensive expression. "So no comeback eh?" She laughed harder.
"Shut up lightning bug!"
She punched me in the arm. "Awe chill out Death Breath and that didn't hurt that bad!" I was still rubbing the place she hit me.
She rested her head on my shoulder and I could see her drifting off. "Sleep lightning bug, I'll take first watch." She just hummed what I thought was an agreement and she changed her position to her head on my lap instead. I smiled at her and played with her hair. She smiled a little and I couldn't help but admire her beauty.
I began to think back to Luna's dream she told us. 'But when they arrive, the daughter of Zeus will be mine!'
That made me panic. Luna told me that part in private, but I knew Thalia had her suspicions. I mean Lycaon has it out for her dad. I will not let him touch her, if it's the last thing I do… I love her, but I haven't told her that yet… I cradled her in my arms as she slept. Nothing will harm her; I will make sure of that.