"They're not going to make it!" Frank shouted as a great shadow in gulped the forum.
Percy watch in horror as the Greek ship attempted to land in the city center of New Rome. Sure enough, Frank was right. At the angle the ship was descending the ship would never land without taking out a building or two. He looked to his left where his fellow praetor was standing.
The Greek ship descending on Roman soil had no effect on Reyna. She stood still as stone. Her expression was completely unreadable, but Percy knew by the way her eyes scanned every grove of the wooden ship that her anticipation was eating her up inside.
"IF THOSE GRAECUS THINK THEY CAN JUST LAND IN THE…"
"Shut up, Octavian," Percy snapped with turning his head to look at him. He had enough Octavian for one day, and the day had barely begun.
Looking back at the ship he noticed that the ship had begun to ascend once again. From far below Percy could hear the panic shouts from the ship as they tried not crash into the Senate building. All the sudden a strong wind erupted from somewhere on board causing the ship to shoot up vertically, and some of the senators' togas to lift up. The increase in altitude was enough to allow the ship to safely pass above the Senate house.
"Jason" Reyna whispered next to him. That was when Percy realized the sudden breeze must have come from Jason Grace, the previous praetor whom Percy had taken his place after he had mysteriously gone missing.
"Looks like they going to try to land her outside the city," Hazel called from the top of the stairs.
"Thank Jupiter. Only an idiot would try to land a ship in the middle of a city. Who do they think they are?" Octavian ranted on, but no one was listening to him anymore. Most of the Romans never even knew that Greek demigods still lived. Percy could only imagine what was going on inside their heads as they stared at the ship, especially after that little spectacular.
But deep tension in air was still not enough to keep Percy from grinning like a fool. In a mere few moments, he was going to back with people who actually knew who he was, his friends and family. And Annabeth. He was going to be back with Annabeth.
"Why are you smiling at me like that?" said Reyna finally breaking her trace. "Your Greek friends almost destroyed the Senate building."
"Because today is a wonderful day," Percy answered her. "Nothing could go wrong today."
"Let's see," Reyna hummed. "The Romans could attack, the Greeks could attack. We could start a war between our camps causing an uncountable amount of damage, not counting lives−"
"Don't forget spontaneous combustion," joked Percy. "It's always a possibility."
"This is serious, Percy."
"Yeah, yeah," Percy assured her. "Very serious" He leaned in to her ear so no one else could hear him. "But Jason−" he teased.
Percy swore he saw the edge of her lips curl up in what might have been the world's tiniest smile. But her eyes told another story, one that warned him to tread lightly. "You just mind your business, and I will mind mine." She turned back to her people. "Octavian, secure the city. Keep everyone under lockdown until I can assess the situation." Reyna ordered. "Percy and I will go greet our visitors."
"Alone? My praetor, are you sure that is wise?" Octavian said loudly alerting the attention of crowd gathering in the forum. "These graecus could be trying trick us. Beware Greeks bearing gifts! Isn't that what our ancestors have taught us?" Octavian had gain control of his angry, and with a proper audience he was in his element. Percy had a strong urge to give him a Greek gift he should beware. Unfortunately, it seemed like the public agreed with him.
"Of course not alone," Reyna replied quickly regaining control. "Hazel, go alert the Fifth Cohort. Tell them to meet at us at the ship's landing site. Frank, go with her."
They seemed reluctant to go, but they nodded and ran out of the forum. Percy thought this was very wise of Reyna. The Fifth Cohort was Jason's former cohort, and they wouldn't attack one of their own without a good reason.
"Satisfied?" Reyna turned towards Octavian.
"I was only thinking of your safety," Octavian smirked. Yeah right, thought Percy. Octavian had been fighting to her position since before he had gotten there. He cared as much about her safety as he did the Greeks'.
"Secure the city," Reyna repeated, and then turn to address the people. "The meeting is over. Help Octavian lock down the city until I give the all clear. The senate will adjourn until tomorrow morning at ten."
Percy pulled his toga over his head and tossed it aside. Thankfully, he had his regular clothes underneath (He hadn't quite gotten used of the breeze yet). He hadn't seen his girlfriend in over eight mouths, and the first time she saw him he wasn't going to be wearing a bed sheet.
His heart started to pound like crazy. His mind was focusing on only one thing, going over a single name over and over again in his mind. Most of the crowd had move on, preparing for the so called Greek invasion. Percy was about to start running towards the ship's landing site when he noticed Reyna frozen on the stairs.
"Renya?" Percy said cautiously.
She seemed like he just woke her from a deep thought. "Maybe I should just stay here."
Percy smiled. For someone with such a serious and strict personality, she could really be downright silly sometimes. "Reyna, Jason is on that ship. Don't you think he is going to want to see you?"
"It's been eight mouths, Percy. And he probably doesn't even remember me."
"Of course he will." Percy has done his best to encouraging for Reyna these past few days, for Annabeth's sake, knowing that somewhere Ananbeth was having the same exact doubts about him. "And if he doesn't, then he's an idiot for not at least pretending to, and not worth your time."
Reyna flashed him a thankfully look, but she still looked unsure.
"Come on, Reyna," teased Percy. "You don't want people thinking you are afraid of the Greeks, do you?"
The comment got Percy a glare and an eye roll from Reyna, a double hit. "Alright, but we need to hurry. We don't them to be waiting too long. It makes a bad impression."
She whistled and Scipio, her peanut butter colored Pegasus came galloping around the corner. Reyna threw herself into the saddle, and then looked back at him.
"Well Jackson? We don't have all day. They probably already landed."
"Oh…you want me. To get on…," Percy stammered pointing at his chest, "Oh." Percy knew the fastest way he was going to see Annabeth was on Scipio, but he just thought showing on a sandwich ingredient colored, winged horse, with a very attractive girl wasn't exactly the grand entrance he was looking for when he saw Annabeth for the first time in eight months. The bed sheet would have made the situation better, but he didn't have time to retrieve it. But it looked like he wasn't going to have much of a choice. Reyna looked as if she was going to take off without him while Scipio muttered something about him being a coward, and some other things that Percy shouldn't repeat. What is it about these Roman horses?
"Could I at least sit in front?"
Reyna gave him a long hard stare while Argentum and Aurum growled dangerously.
"Never mind," Percy said quickly and climbed on behind her. He was barely in the saddle before Scipio took off. He had to seize the back of Reyna's dress to prevent him from flying off.
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