Hey guys! Guess whose back?! ME! Lol, sorry, I'm a little crazy. I simply cannot believe the response I got for Cinderella! I'm not ashamed to say that I literally started crying when I hit the 'complete' button. I think I moped for hours until my friend (Chubbypandaz) took me to the movies and we watched 'Host' which isn't as bad as I thought it would be. Is it weird? YES! But it's by far better than Twilight. Wait, why am I talking (or typing) about this? No idea! Here's your first chapter to the sequel! I seriously hope it's not disappointing! Please REVIEW! ;)

Disclaimer: Percy Jackon is all mine! *SOB* ...no he's not... IT'S NOT FAIR!



"Annabeth, if you don't get your Bird Brain out of that book right now, I swear I will throw it across the room and right into that fireplace!"

I sighed dramatically. Guess who that was? Thalia. Of course. I feigned a hurt look.

"You wouldn't!" I exclaimed, only half-faking an appalled look. She looked back at me, dead serious.

"Try me," she challenged. I rolled my eyes.

"I'd rather not take my chances."

She gasped. "Are you, Annabeth Chase, actually conceding?! So those therapy sessions have been working!"

"No, I am not conc - wait. Therapy sessions?! I do not take therapy, nor will I ever," I retorted. She shrugged.

"Therapy, making out with Percy, same difference. And may I add that no one has said 'nor' in, like, the past 53 bajillion years?"

"I don't make out with Percy!" I said indignantly. "And people do say 'nor'!" She raised her eyebrows.

"Interesting theory. So what do you call shoving your tongue in his mouth every two seconds, then? And only dorks say 'nor'." I glared at her.

"Thalia Grace, I swear one day I am going to - "

"Be blinded from my stunning beauty? Die because my awesomeness is just too much for you to handle? I know, you don't have to tell me."

"Keep dreaming. Somebody's feeling egotistical today," I commented. Thalia clasped her hands over her ears dramatically.

"The SAT isn't for another few years! No need to start up with the big words - they hurt. And besides, I bet you can't even spell 'egostitical' or whatever the word was."

I snorted. "That's rich coming from the girl who can't even say it, much less spell it."

"Whatever. We can't all be mini Einsteins."

"Anywho, when's Piper and them supposed to get here?" I asked.

I was hanging out with the Grace's. We were waiting on Piper to pick us up to go Christmas shopping. I had been holding it off forever. Normally, I wouldn't be caught dead at the mall, but I didn't have much of a choice unless I was going to buy everyone chocolate bars from Wal-Mart.

"Any minute now," Thalia said, checking her wrist. I laughed; she was wearing one of those candy bracelets with the candy watch face.

"You do realize that's candy, right?" I remarked. She looked shocked; she face palmed.

"Oh, that's why it's been two thirty for the last three hours! It makes so much more sense now!" she joked. I shook my head. Thalia could be so childish. Well, to be fair, I could be, too.

"You're hopeless. Anywho, what should I get Percy for Christmas? I have absolutely no idea what would be good enough for him."

Thalia, tapped her chin dramatically, thinking.

I had been dwelling on this issue forever. I mean, I couldn't just get him a T-shirt or Hershey's bar. Though, come to think of it, he would probably like both. But I knew neither would suffice. I wanted to get him something that would tell him that I loved him, despite how cheesy that sounds.

"I know!" Thalia exclaimed, eyes bright. I looked up hopefully, wondering if she had actually come up with a valid idea for once.

"You should totally get him the movie Finding Nemo! I saw this commercial, and they made a Blu-ray 3D version of it! It even comes with glasses!" she added, nodding enthusiastically.

No such luck. I face-palmed, because something in Thalia's expression told me that she really truly thought her idea was a good one.

"Thalia, I cannot get him Finding Nemo. That's just weird, and so unromantic," I said, horrified at my practically saying that I wanted to get him something romantic.

She snorted. "Annabeth, you couldn't be romantic if someone forced you to be. And who cares about romantic? The movie completely fits! You know, with Percy being a complete Seaweed Brain and all. You could write him a card to go with it that says something like, 'Dear my beloved Seaweed Brain, Merry Christmas! I hope you like your present; represents how alike you and Nemo are - you're both idiots! Which is why I love you so, so much! All my love, Annabeth x.' I could see it now!"

I put on a horrified look. "I would never ever sign my name with a little 'x' thingy at the end!"

She chuckled. "Whatever. I was just trying to help," she pouted.

"Yes, well, I think I'll manage, thank you." I started to take a sip of hot apple cider.

"You know, I don't know why you're so against getting him the movie. I mean, I'm getting Nico a shirt with the Raisin Bran sun on it. And the shirt reads 'Let it Shine!'."

I choked, spitting half of the cider back into the cup. I started hacking uncontrollably. The idea of Nico wearing a shirt that says 'Let it Shine' was just so extremely laughable and nearly impossible that I just couldn't help it.

Thalia patted - well, more like punched - me in the back helpfully.

"Y-you're j-joking right?" I croaked. She gave me a weird look.

"Of course not. Why would I be?"

I wanted to respond with, "Because you're you," but I kept my mouth shut.

The doorbell rang suddenly. I jumped up.

"I'll get it." I quickly strode over to the door. Piper, Hazel, Bianca, Juniper, and an uncertain-looking Rachel stood there. I could feel relief spreading on my face.

"Oh my gosh, bless you! Thank goodness you are finally here. Thalia was about to drive me insane!" They all laughed.

"I think she already did," Bianca teased lightly, walking in.

"I heard my name," Thalia said, lazily walking around the corner. I rolled my eyes.

"Of course you did. Come on, let's go and get this over with," I grumbled. Piper laughed.

"Jeez, Annabeth, you'd think we were asking you to go somewhere terrible like a junkyard or school or something."

"Well, going to the mall is no spending the day with Sue, but I suppose I'll survive," I said. I hadn't thought before I spoke. The effect of my words were immediate. Thalia, rather than looking lazy and carefree, sat up, her eyes looking fierce. Everyone seemed tense.

"Oh. Sorry guys. Too soon for jokes?" They all nodded tightly.

"Annabeth, it's not really something to joke about at all," Hazel said quietly. I looked down.

"Sorry. I know. I guess I just wasn't thinking." Thalia gasped loudly. We all looked at her.

"Annabeth Chase wasn't thinking?! That's, like... like... I can't even find a word to describe it!" And just like that the tension was gone. I shook my head in wonder at Thalia. You could always trust her to lighten everyone up. Soon we were all headed out to the van, Thalia and I arguing over who gets shot-gun, until we realized Bianca was already there.

Rachel sat next to me in the back, with Hazel sitting on the right and Thalia sitting with Juniper in the middle seat, and Piper driving with Bianca in the shot-gun.

We cranked up the radio, and, for once, I could almost feel like a normal teenage girl going to the mall with her friends, instead the girl with an abusive step-mom who wants to kill her, an enemy who happens to be her step-sister, a dead mom, and trust issues.

But, I reminded myself, despite the bad things, I had the greatest friends ever, I finally had a functional relationship with my dad, and, of course, my superb, completely perfect boyfriend, Percy Jackson.

And as I sat in the van laughing myself breathless, I forgot about all the unfortunate things and thought of only the good ones. How could my life get any better than this?

Answer: it doesn't.

It only got worse.

Hm... I'm not even going to state my opinion of this chapter. I tried! I've had major writer's block. Anywho, Cinderella started off really sad and dark, so I thought I would try to do a light, happy beginning, especially since it's almost Christmas (in the story). I have no idea how I managed over a thousand words yet absolutely nothing happened. That's some feat. I promise I'll get the story moving in the next chapter. Don't kill me! Oh, and sorry that it was so short, but the beginnings to my stories are always short.

I may not update as frequently as I did Cinderella. I'd really love to work on In My Shoes, Just A Mask, Letting Go, and possible Just Around the Corner some. Plus, I have huge exams that determine whether I can go on the next grade coming up. *gulp* I'ma fail math. Oh, and I've decided that this story is gonna have a lot more of Rachel and Nico (not together!) in it, as well as the other characters.

I will try so hard to get the next chapter out soon, but just bear with me! I love you guys so much! And please review! Even if you're a guest! Please?