[I have left original ANs in these edited chapters. Any added ANs will be in brackets like this. So here is the first edited chapter. Enjoy!]
A.N.: hello again! I told you I would try to have this up quickly, and I'm sorry it took longer than expected. I have had a ton of AdMaths to finish this week and I've been incredibly stressed. I honestly didn't think that it would take up so much of my time, but unfortunately, it does. I won't continue with it next year though due to the expense and that fact that I have to sacrifice writing time to finish it when I'm not even thinking about a career that I need to study maths for. Anyway, rant over.
Before you start reading this story please note that I have made this up completely. I got the original idea from a book, but it was Egyptian mythology, not Greek.
This is entirely fiction and is not how Roman mythology came out, but an idea that I had before I researched anything about it.
In the summary, it says that Luke wants to worship new gods. Those will be the Roman gods. His reason for wanting to do this will be revealed later in the story. Everyone else worships the Greek gods.
Also note that Thalia probably will be a little bit out of character, but it is only to fit with the story if she is. I will try to keep her as in character as possible.
Annabeth watched as everything she had ever known was loaded up onto a boat to be transported away from the only home she had ever had. The vase her stepmother had received as a wedding present that always stood next to the door, the carpet that had laid in the hallway all her life, and the wooden crates containing all her building designs and leather bound books were all loaded onto the wooden vessel. The boat wasn't huge, but it was big enough to carry the family of four and all their most precious belongings.
The young blonde woman watched as more furniture was packed onto the boat and tied down with thick ropes. She sighed. Everything she was familiar with was being packed up and shipped off. And it was all Thalia's fault.
Well, not really Thalia's fault, but more Annabeth's father's. After all, it was him who had organised Annabeth's stepsister's arranged marriage to the prince. Being a smart and rich nobleman, Frederick had easily been able to convince the king and queen that his stepdaughter was a perfect match for the prince and would one day be a great queen. Annabeth knew this was true; Thalia was beautiful, intelligent, loyal and had always shown promise as a leader.
When the king had demanded to see if the prospective wife for his son was really as beautiful as Frederick had said, Thalia was immediately summoned to the palace for a weeklong visit. The king decided that she would be a perfect match and agreed to let the marriage take place. On the condition that the rest of the family moved into the palace as well.
Most young women were dismayed at being married off, but not Thalia. Thalia was strangely enthusiastic about her situation. When Annabeth had asked about it, Thalia had explained that this way she was guaranteed a husband, someone who would look after her for the rest of her life.
"But you've always said that you never want to marry," Annabeth had reminded her older sister.
"Every women has to marry sooner or later, it just took me a while to realise it," said Thalia. "And it's the prince who I'm set to marry. Have you never seen paintings or statues of him? He's extremely handsome, and even more so in person."
Thalia was almost gushing when she had said this, which was strange because Annabeth had never seen her sister act like that before. Thalia had always been independent and carefree. Whenever any of the boys in town had flirted with her or made any advances, she had simply pretended not to notice and ignored them.
Thalia was an extraordinarily beautiful daughter of Zeus. She had shocking blue eyes, creamy skin and hair that reached her shoulders and was so dark brown that it looked black; her hair only ever looked brown in the hoot afternoon sun. She was strange looking for a Greek girl with her blue eyes, but not as strange as Annabeth.
Annabeth had beautiful curly blonde hair that fell down her back in waves, smooth tanned skin and startling grey eyes that she inherited from her mother, Athena. People often stared at her when she walked through town, but she had learned to ignore them and they, in turn, grew used to her different and beautiful appearance.
Annabeth's father had fallen in love with the goddess Athena, who then left him with a child, just as Zeus had fallen in love with Thalia's mother. When the two mortal parents had married, Annabeth had been six years old and Thalia nine. The two girls had almost instantly become good friends, although Annabeth always felt as if she were walking in Thalia's shadow. Thalia had always been the more controlling sister, deciding what games the girls would play and where they would go.
After Thalia found out about her stepfather setting her up to marry the prince, she immediately became much more interested in the idea of being a wife. Thalia was always around her mother (Annabeth's stepmother), Leila, trying to gather as much information and advice as she possibly could.
Leila was a homeopath. She knew which plants and herbs could heal septic wounds, soothe burns, prevent or end a pregnancy and even help conception. Thalia had never been interested in that sort of thing before, but she had decided that even though there would be healers at the palace, it wouldn't hurt to know a few things about medicine.
Annabeth on the other hand had always been fascinated by the natural remedies (as well as architecture). She had learned everything her stepmother could possibly teach her and knew how to apply that knowledge as well. Healing was a hobby. Designing buildings was a passion. Annabeth's father had even gone so far as to hire her a tutor, which was mostly frowned upon.
"Why do you want to waste an education on the girl?" Leila had wanted to know. "There is no reason to spend the extra money!"
"Why not?" Frederick argued. "She loves to learn and it makes me happy to see her doing something she enjoys."
Frederick's comment had ended the conversation. It wasn't spoken about again and Annabeth happily began her studies.
"Annabeth, darling!" called Frederick, bringing his daughter out of her thoughts. "We need to leave now if we want to arrive at the palace on time."
"Yes, of course, Father," she replied as she turned her back on the house she had grown up in, everything she was familiar with, and boarded the boat that would take her to a new life.
Annabeth had begged to be allowed to stay, but Leila had argued that it wasn't advisable to leave a sixteen-year-old girl alone and far away from her family.
"What would the royal family think, us leaving you here?" she said, sounding appalled at the idea of Annabeth being alone. "You are coming with us because the king and queen demanded it, and that is final."
After Annabeth had boarded the boat she took her seat next to her stepsister, across from her father.
"I don't see why we all have to leave as well," she stated. "Only Thalia is marrying the prince, not all of us. There is no reason for us to be uprooted as well."
Frederick laughed at his daughter's wit, but Leila looked at her with an extremely irritated and exasperated expression. Leila was fed up with arguing with her stepdaughter over the move.
"It is an honour to be asked to live in the palace. I would think that someone like yourself would be a little more grateful at being given the opportunity."
Annabeth's shoulders slumped, and the sleeve of her dress slipped down her left arm, exposing her tanned skin. She quickly pulled it back up before it could fall too far and expose too much skin for her parents liking. When she looked up, she saw the familiar surroundings of her home slowly start to disappear, being replaced with scenery she had never seen before. Luckily Leila hadn't seen her sleeve fall.
In the hot sun her wrists began to perspire underneath her golden bangles. Annabeth took one off and put it back on again. She repeated the process with the other bangle. It did nothing to stop the horrible stickiness on her skin, but it did give her hands something to do, something to distract her.
The rest of her family talked during the journey, but Annabeth sat quietly and watched the crystal clear water move past the boat. Once or twice Thalia asked her opinion on ideas for her wedding gown and makeup, but other than that Annabeth avoided all conversation. She was already feeling very homesick.
The afternoon was uneventful. Annabeth read a book about different natural remedies, Thalia talked about her wedding with Leila some more and Frederick sat in silence.
He was worried about Annabeth. She was his favourite, being his biological daughter, but he had still raised Thalia as his own. Frederick was concerned about how Annabeth would handle life in the palace. She had always preferred simplicity and quiet, whereas Thalia was louder and more extravagant. Life as royalty would suit the older sister, but not the younger.
I can only hope that she will adjust, Frederick decided. She will learn to sooner or later. Worrying won't help anything.
The family spent the night aboard the boat and arrived at the palace early the following afternoon. Annabeth hadn't slept well, being away from home and on water. After dinner, seasickness had been inevitable and had lasted most of the night, even after taking the herb tea that Leila had brewed for her.
When they were disembarking Annabeth could barely stand up straight. Luckily, her father was right behind her. If he hadn't been there to grip her arm, Annabeth would have fallen into the water when she stumbled on her way down the gangplank.
The welcome party consisted off the king and queen accompanied by a dozen servants. While introductions were being made, the servants began to move the belongings off the boat into the palace. Annabeth's eyes trailed after a woman who had picked up her crate of designs, and she had her first good look at the palace.
It was a beautiful building made of white marble and decorated with colourful tiles. There were many windows cut into the walls, and it appeared that each room had a balcony. Annabeth could see curtains made of light fabric being blown out the windows in the slight breeze and plants growing in pots in the corners of the balconies.
Annabeth was so busy admiring her new home that she didn't realise that her father had introduced her to the king and queen.
"Darling," he whispered to her as he gently nudged her side, jarring her from her stupor.
"Oh!" exclaimed Annabeth as her cheeks began to heat up. "I apologise. It's a pleasure to meet you Your Majesty's." She curtsied and dipped her head before going back to staring at the spectacle in front of her.
"Forgive my sister," Thalia said, rushing to try and make amends. "She has a passion, or rather obsession, for architecture."
"Oh, I see," said the king while nodding his head. Then, "You've had her educated?" he asked Frederick.
"She is exceptionally clever, Your Majesty," replied Annabeth's father. "My daughter loves to learn and seeing her happy makes me happy in return. I couldn't say no when she asked."
The king nodded his head again. "As long as she doesn't abuse the privilege, she may continue her studies while in the palace."
Although she had been zoned out for most of the conversation, Annabeth had heard the king's last sentence. Happiness swelled in her chest and the very thought.
"Thank you, Your Majesty!" she exclaimed, a brilliant smile gracing her lips.
In that moment when Annabeth smiled, the queen thought that she was even more beautiful than Thalia, who, was still beautiful, but stood with a face of stone. Thalia only wore her deadpan expression to give the impression that she was calm and collected. She didn't want to appear amazed at what lay before her or awed by whose presence she stood in.
"Come," said the queen, taking Thalia by the arm and leading her towards the palace. "Luke awaits you."
Thalia flashed a smile at her family before letting herself be dragged away. She had tried to make it seem genuine, but Annabeth knew that it was a forced one and could see that it didn't reach her sister's eyes. Despite her eagerness and excitement, Thalia was still afraid, somewhere deep down, of what lay ahead of her.
"I'll see you at dinner," Thalia called with a wave before disappearing with the queen.
Thalia had done a good job of fooling her family into thinking she was genuinely excited for her marriage. The dark haired girl had decided that she wouldn't be able to change her circumstances, so she may as well make the most of it. And besides, there was always the chance that she and Luke would fall in love and have a relationship that actually meant something.
Annabeth had only been partially fooled by Thalia, though. She was sure that Thalia wasn't as happy about her future as she made out to be. As much as she wanted to call her sister out on this, Annabeth had no real proof, so she decided to let Thalia's behaviour slide until she could gather some more confirmation.
"Come," said the king. "You must all be tired and hungry." He clapped his hands together twice, and a servant appeared next to him.
"You will be shown to your quarters to unpack and freshen up. A servant will summon you for dinner later."
Then the king turned and walked off a servant scurrying behind him and holding a fan over his head for shade, leaving them with another servant who led them to a section of the palace reserved for them.
Annabeth walked through the hallways in total awe. The palace was a beautiful piece of architecture. She had the feeling that she would never get used to this life, no matter how hard she tried.
A.N.: so, what do you think of the first chapter? This is a very long first chapter compared to Outlaw, which was only 999 words long…
My brother came into my room so I minimized the word document and started playing solitaire. He saw the tab at the bottom, read the title and goes: "Oh, you're writing a book?"
I didn't really want to explain FanFiction to him, so I just said it's not a book, its 'something'. Nobody actually knows about me writing FanFictions. A few of my friends know that I've been writing some stuff, but not what it is. Same as my mum and brother.
I was asked about an Outlaw sequel, but I unfortunately won't be writing one. Another review from aleba said that I really kept the plot, which was really strange to hear (read), because I've always worried that I would stray from the plot, like so many other fictions do.
So, a big thank you to everyone who reviewed the last chapter of Outlaw, it means a lot!
And I hope that you all enjoy this story as much.
Until next time (:
[This chapter didn't change too much, but I added some things in and made it a little bit longer. I hope you enjoyed it!]