When I sleep – if I sleep – it's fitful. Restless. I toss and turn, pulling the bed sheets around me like a shroud, as if I can bury the pain. I conceal myself, but I know what lies beneath. The nights where I feel my body shake itself into awareness, chills coiling up my spine. Such pain. A knife in my chest, tearing my heart out. The heart I so freely surrendered to him...

...

You don't remember me, but I remember you

I lie awake and try so hard not to think of you

...

Oh, we agreed it would be wrong, for both of us. That we needed to be apart. He had amends to make for his failed quest; I had yet to earn my own. To care for each other in that way, more than as friends, more than as allies, as something... else... it couldn't happen.

Immediately after that first kiss in the moonlight, we knew. It was wrong. We were too drawn to each other. Even the intensity, the distance in my grey irises didn't repel him, although it made most of the other campers flinch at first sight. "Your eyes are beautiful," he had whispered, gently resting his hand against my neck, and he leaned in so slowly, so tentatively, but I wasn't afraid.

Neither of us were.

When I finally leaned in and kissed him, my lips and his moved seamlessly, naturally – it took no effort at all – and when I drew back, short of breath, trembling, not once did he take his gaze away from mine.

Then he whispered, "I'm sorry, Annabeth."

We agreed not to speak of it again. To pretend we were friends. Nothing more.

That would be better for both of us.

When I sleep – if I sleep – I feel that kiss again. I feel the warmth of his breath against me, despite the sudden, bitter cold that settles in the hollowness of my chest. I hear his voice, the honest pain that poisons the sweetness.

...

But who can decide what they dream, and dream I do
...

When I come awake, it's with a violent shudder that shivers through my veins, like my blood has turned to ice water. I jerk up, feel my eyes go wide, and I'm panting. Gasping. His name hovers uncertainly on my quivering lips.

It shouldn't be like this. It was never meant to be. The gods' curse was between us – twisted fate, icy destiny. And he betrayed me, I know that.

I just can't quite believe it.

Why can't I get Luke Castellan out of my head? Why does his voice haunt my every dream and nightmare? Why, when I step out into the fresh air, do I long for his strong arms around me, holding me against his broad, strong chest? These wounds won't heal, they just stay open, and again and again something tears at the gashes and makes them bleed.

His voice haunts me. It's all too real, and the passage of time only deepens the pain of separation, of betrayal. Betrayal.

He betrayed me.

How could this happen to him? – because it could not be his fault, because I had loved him, did love him. How could this happen to us?

Had there ever been an us?

...
I believe in you
I'll give up everything just to find you
I have to be with you to live, to breathe
You're taking over me
...

Could he really have left me here, alone? Everything beautiful reminds me of him. Everything strong and brave, unbound, indignant – he's in everything.

I wander. I sprint outside, fleeing to nothing and nowhere, desperate just to be alone. I close my eyes and relive the ecstasy, the joy of the love that thrilled through me when he cared for me, when there was an us, when he was everything I needed. Before he turned on me.

My world is closing in on me.

Can I trust anyone? He was the only friend I ever had. My father, my mother – they hated me. My siblings thought I was cursed, like some kind of demon child.

But him...

I thought he was a monster when he found me, and I struck at him, but he just took my hand, slowly lowered it, and smiled at me. Eyes sparkling. Sandy hair lit by the sun. "Hey," he said. He lifted me to my feet. He introduced me to Thalia, insisting that I stick close to them. He let me sleep beside him, let me use his body heat during the many, many frigid nights on the run.

Even after we reached Camp Half-Blood, we were a unit. We sparred. We formed an alliance between the Athena and Hermes cabins, destroying any who dared to compete with us. We comforted each other over Thalia's tragic loss. He was the only camper to ever see me cry.

We talked late into the night, watching the stars together, until someone from my cabin would yell, "Lights out, Wise Girl!" and I'd be forced to leave him. But only for a time. Only for a night.

It's been so many nights since then...

...

Have you forgotten all I know and all we had?
You saw me mourning my love for you and touched my hand
I knew you loved me then

...

But the worst part isn't knowing what he's become. It's knowing that he's always been a part of me. That he still is. That when I close my eyes and look into the depths of my soul, I can feel the cracks he's left on my heart, the stains on who I am. Wounds that will never fade.

Because we were more than friends.

I wonder, at times, if I would have done the same thing. If I could have betrayed him, betrayed all those who loved me, in the name of a better world. The frightening thing is that, sometimes, I think I could. I think that, given the chance, I might slip and fall, shrieking, scrabbling for a handhold as I plummet into darkness.

...
I look in the mirror and see your face
If I look deep enough
So many things inside that
Just like you are taking over

...

It's too late.

Too late to seize hold, too late to turn back. This love is everything. This love is who I am. Too late. Always too late.

I've fallen. I'm falling.

Maybe forever.

...

I believe in you
I'll give up everything just to find you
I have to be with you to live, to breathe
You're taking over me
...