When she turns in her bed again, she realizes that she's being kept up by a slight knocking sound.

It's coming from just outside her window. Quietly, she pushes the window up and peers outside. Standing there, just a few stories down, is a boy with a scar marring the side of his face.


His blonde hair is unmistakable. The scar tells all. His eyes are perfect- no, nearly perfect. Percy's- No, his eyes just weren't perfect. The grey strands of hair stand out in the pouring rain.

He sees her looking at him, and he grins. He grins. Who in Hades does that? He betrays her and leaves, comes back, and grins? What is wrong with the boy (man) that is standing beneath her window?

He yells at her to come down, and she slips down her window, scaring him momentarily.

When she lands softly on a patch of grass, he is relieved. He tells her that Kronos is getting stronger. That Kronos will use him as a stepping-stone. But, she can help him.

She can run away with him, just like old times. They can fight monsters together and be a family. When she points out Thalia isn't there, he bristles.

"Why does she need to be here? We don't need her, Annabeth, and you know it."

She stares at him in shock. For some reason, she was tempted to come with him, but everything he has done comes flooding back.

Poisoning Thalia's tree, leaving, betraying, and nearly killing Percy with the scorpion. How stupid does he think she is; does he really expect her to leave all her friends (and Percy) to be with him?

"How in Hades do you expect me to come with you? Are you an idiot, Luke? I will leave all my friends to fucking follow you around? I'm not a child anymore, you bastard!"

Luke seems taken aback by her words, both physically and emotionally. He takes a step back, as if she had hit him in the chest.

Maybe she was too loud. Maybe her outburst caused it, but her father appeared on the doorstep of their house, and spotted the two, Annabeth's face twisted in anger.

"What do you want?" Annabeth's father asks, jogging next to Annabeth.

Luke scowls. Annabeth pushes her father back as Luke arcs Backbiter toward her father. Her knife comes out of her sheath and she digs it into Luke's arm. Even if he tried to kill her father, she can't kill the boy she owes her childhood to.

"Stop it, Luke! He's my father!"

"The father you ran away from?"

His words hand in the air as Annabeth's father digests this. With a newfound sense of clarity, he notices this is the boy that took his daughter away.

He kicks Luke in the crown jewels.

Luke didn't expect it and keels over, holding his crotch as Annabeth cracks a weak smile.

"Get going, asshole," her father whispers in Luke's ear.

Luke's face twists until Annabeth's father does it again. Luke finally complies, scampering away as fast as he could while holding his jewels.

The two walk inside, and her father knows not to question his demigod daughter. But he does ask one:

"Celestial Bronze can't kill mortals, right?"

"No, dad, it can't."

She didn't lie again, at least.