Chapter 4

Percy POV

I am not a grouch.

I am the least grouchiest person in the world.

I am like…the funnest king in the world!

Is funnest even a word?

Damn it, my brain isn't working right.

Annabeth! Let me borrow yours!

Oh Zeus what is wrong with me?

Ever since I told Annabeth I liked her…due to Jason and Grover threatening to tell her themselves. She told me she needed time, We'd only been married for what? Four months? She's been trying to avoid me. Chiron had taken over paperwork and was at it like a pro so we'd both been given tons of free time. Most of hers being spent with Luke.

Luke. Luke. Luke. Where do I start?

How about how the insufferable bastard has been monopolizing my wife's time? Taking her out on friendly dates? Showing her Oceania?

Jason says its normal, says that Luke is like Annabeths older brother and instead of being jealous I should up the security some more.

There is nothing normal about him taking my place as Annabeths escort to everywhere Oceania. Even to dinner!

"Yo! Oceania to Perc! Come in Percy! Yooohooo! Tons of mercenaries out to kill youuuu, you back here yet?"

Ah Grover. Noisy, smelly, loyal Grover.

"Luke" I grumbled, catching Leo's attention, Annabeths addition to our kill squad.

"Ah, creepy scar guy? Nice one. Put him on number one on the list" He ordered Frank who was busy compiling a list of suspects.

"What? Why? Annabeth and him are friends, he doesn't gain anything from killing the two of them" Grover retaliated, putting his own two sand dollar bills into the topic.

Leo frowned at him "That guy is bad juju—" He began, we gave him weird looks for his weird word "Call it a gut instinct, something's just not right with that guy, you can see it in his eyes"

Frank huffed "Yeah, as if you could make eye contact. Annabeth's been the one making googley eyes with Scar face" Adding Luke to the top of the list despite Grover's protests.

I frowned at that. "Does she have a crush on him or something?"

Jason piped up this time. Haha. Jason 'piped' up. Pun intended.

"Or something. Rumors had it that Luke had a crush on Thalia before while Annabeth had a crush on Luke. Then when Thalia took that pure celibacy something something vow with the Huntresses, Luke confessed that he actually had a crush on Annabeth but by then she was over him"

Hazel punched his arm rather harshly, making the big bad Jason wince in pain.

"Put the chef in the list" She began, smiling brightly at her boyfriend before joining in the original conversation "Annabeth told me yesterday that she's over Luke. Said something about trying to figure out her feelings for a certain someone…." She dragged out the last word, her eyes quickly glancing over at my direction.

Nico shook his head

"Naw, with all the attention she's getting from Luke? And she's just letting him? Seems kinda suspicious to me" He dunked one of the pre tested for poison cookie in his pre tested for poison milk..

Piper finally finished with her braid, examining it from all angles using her blade.

"You should take her out sometime Percy, somewhere she hasn't been with Luke. You know Oceania better"

A small smile formed on my face at the suggestion.

Yeah, she was right. I knew more of Oceania than Luke could ever get from a brochure.

"Yeah, sea man. Be a husband for once" Leo decided to amuse himself into the conversation despite being busy color coding suspect files. His humor received a hard punch from the two girls in the room.

"Somewhere planned alright? You're lives are still in danger" Frank reminded us, his face buried in a file.

Piper huffed at that.

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There's this saying that goes…

If you have two pennies, use one to buy bread since it will give you life and use the other one to buy yourself a flower for it will give you a reason to live.

Cool no?

Well…that's kinda what I did.

Horse back riding through the fields. Pipers idea, said it was always some fantasy of hers. Jason didn't even know about it till then.

"—while you guys are riding into the sunset!"

Jason gave her a weary look, wrapping an arm around her shoulder

"You've given this thought" It wasn't a question, he was stating a fact.

"Of course I did. It's like every girls fantasy" She pointed out, smiling brightly at him and outright ignoring his wary look.

Frank and Nico blanched at that. Hazel had a thoughtful air.

"Not really, though I can see me in a scenario like that and it wouldn't be all that bad if it actually happened. I'd actually rather be sailing into the sunset" She put it in own thought.

"No, no, no. Annabeth has never sailed before. It would be a disaster if she starts getting seasick on a date" Piper countered then glared fitfully at Grover who looked as if he was going to say something "Even if she is a soldier of Athens"

"So…sailing?" Frank asked, nudging Hazel. I let it pass since he had asked my permission to court her.

She shrugged, "Girls can have fantasies about their dream date. What do guys fantasize about?"

Nico spat the wine he was drinking at that moment. Chaos breaking as everyone around the table worked overtime to save the documents.

They stopped at an empty field, it was spring time and the flowers were at full bloom. They dismounted from the horses and Percy spread out the picnic necessities.

His friends were probably laughing at how whipped he seemed from the shadows. The bastards.

"So any regret?" I ask, steering the sweet silence into probably one of the most uncomfortable idiotic conversation i had ever started.

Annabeth looked at him questioning "About?"

"Piper and Hazel get a choice in their marriage" I answered, eyes never leaving her face as I tried to gauge her expression which blanched before she let out a soft beautiful laugh.

"No. None at all, you're actually a pretty good husband sea weed brain" She replied then got her thinking face on "Then again, I don't have much to compare you to…" she teased.

I grinned playfully "I'll take that as a compliment"

"Do you…? " She asked apprehensively. Biting her bottom lip adorably.

I smiled brightly at her "None, I love my wife"

Wait. What? Percy Jackson are you crazy? You don't start off the first date by telling your wife you love her. That's just crazy.

Yeah, you might be wondering 'You cant tell your wife you love her? What?' But we don't have a normal relationship. Circumstance has us dating during our marriage, though it has the added benefits of knowing you guys wont be splitting up anytime soon.

We did everything Piper suggested naturally. Maybe it really was a few girl's fantasies to go out on a picnic date.

It was a success and not to blow on my own horn or anything, but I did get a promise of a second date once I found out she didn't get sea sick and knew how to swim.

The trouble started when we rode back to the castle.

From the time we left the picnic clearing, I knew we were being followed, at first I thought it was just the guards checking up on us but a few minutes into the ride and our stalker was still behind us, that's when I knew the game was on.

Frank and Grover were suddenly beside us. A few scratches here and there but my two body guards were still high alert.

They were guiding us to a safe house when a familiar voice rung out.

"LET HER GO JACKSON, I'll let your friends live if you do!"

Annabeth put a name to the voice trying to kill us. "Luke?"

"AHA! Gut juju feeling never fails!" Leo yelled, suddenly appearing in front of us, a torch in hand as he headed towards us, flailing the torch around like a sword.

"Come on scar face! You aren't taking Annabeth that easily!" Leo continued, passing us and disappearing,

Distracted as I watched Leo disappear into the dense forest, screaming with a torch in hand. Annabeth took hold of the reigns and steered us from hitting Grover

"It cant be Luke! He's supposed to return to Cadeus today!" Annabeth tried to defend her friend

"ANNABETH!" it was unmistakably Luke yelling, and that yell just testified against Annabeths claims.

"We need to get you two to-" Frank was cut off by Leo's blood curling scream. Luke appearing closer to us now, blood gushing from his burn wound.

We all paused to take him in, Annabeth more so than the rest of us.

"Come on Annabeth, I can save you from them. You don't have to follow Athena's orders every time, she was wrong to force you into a marriage!" He roared, eyes glaring at me though he was talking to Annabeth.

"Luke, why are you doing this?" She grumbled, head high and eyes straight at him. I can honestly say I am proud of my wife for standing up to her would be kidnapper.

And like some psycho, he replied "Because I love you Annabeth and I cant see you wasted with filth such as him"

"That filth is my husband and you will give him the respect he deserves!" She roared back

"He deserves none!" He argued, the strength in his eyes disappearing slowly as he watched her anger

"Leave Luke, clear your head and think about your words. I hereby banish you from my lands. If you touch my wife I will have you killed" I ordered, having had enough of the two starring cough glaring cough at each other.

This time Luke's glare was on me, probably for disturbing them.

"Is that your final decree King Perseus? Will you truly lock away Annabeth from me?" He asked, eyes wild and angry

"Annabeth is free to go all she wants, its you I am keeping away. Dangerous people like you need medication" I replied, earning a wary smile from Grover

Apparently, he didn't like my sass. Luke roared in anger, his dagger imbedding itself into the ground as he threw it in a fit of anger.

"Fine! You married Annabeth for a peace treaty? You will regret it! As heir to Cadeus I declare war against Oceania!"

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Annabeth was silent the entire ride back. Luke had left and we had gone in search for the injured Leo, who apparently, just got knocked off his horse and was just yelling about almost having started a forest fire.

Her hands were trembling but they seeked mine. When we got back, she talked a bit with Chiron who was just as equally saddened by Luke's betrayal before we retired to the bedroom.

That's when she let herself cry, burying her face in my chest, I smoothed out her hair with my fingers as I rubbed circles on her back.

"I know you've always hated Luke, but he was like my big brother Perc… And.. I know you only wanted peace and with the whole Cadeus situation we might go into war..but…but…" now she was just mumbling and I couldn't understand a word.

I tilted her chin up, I still don't know what I was thinking at that moment, some sort of Carpe Diem. Here she was crying, her face was red and splotchy but here I was with the weird urge to kiss her.

And I did. And it was magical.

Merry Christmas~ cx