I apologize deeply that, I have not updated in over a month. I've been extremely lazy. But hey look, here's another chapter. A giant chapter! Well for me anyway.
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I roll Annabeth's suitcase out the dorm and towards my car. Her footsteps follow behind me,reassuring me of her safety. After pushing the unlock button to my car I lift Annabeth's suitcase into the back of the trunk. Nico open his car door and Annabeth follows suit. Once we are all seated in the car I start the engine. We follow the route to Grover and mine's apartment. Traffic Is extremely slow, no one seems to be paying attention to the lights today, but what can you expect from New Yorkers. Annabeth sits in the back seat, behind me. Our eyes meet in the rear view mirror and my eyes quickly flick back to the road. Her's don't though, she still stares into the mirror. I internally chastised myself. Why can't I meet Annabeth's eyes. She's just a friend, heck she's going to be living with me until everything settles down. Suddenly my mind is filled with worries. How long will she be in danger?
"Did the living room get cleaned this week? When will he strike again. Are the dishes still in the sink or did Grover put them in the dishwasher? Will Hudson, take Annabeth too. How long has it been since the guest bedroom sheets were changed?" The worries keep coming.
"Percy, did you forget where you live?" Nico's voice is amused. Pulled out of my thoughts I look around, I realize that the apartment was two blacks back. I watch the traffic and then pull a hard left pulling into another one of the sides streets that will go through to the apartment building
After the quick trip up to my apartment I set Annabeth's suitcase in the hallway outside my door, and fit my key into the lock. The knob turns and I all walk in. The silence hits all of us like a dead weight. Even when no one is here the apartment still seems peaceful, right now it seems to have a dangerous air to it. Carefully and slowly my hands grab out the gun that I always have in my belt. Nico slips his gun out too. Together we advance slowly into the room. The front room is all in order. As we round the corner into the kitchen though anyone can tell that is where the danger lies. On the kitchen counter there are two envelopes, one labeled Percy and the other bearing Annabeth's name. Nico stands in the doorway of the kitchen gund ready to fire. He motions for me to continue into thte hallway leading to the three bedrooms. My feet carry me to outside my own bedroom. Quickly flinging the door open I point my gun aiming for anything that moves. I advance further in and throw throw the closet door open, when everything stays still, I close the door. Nothing seems wrong so I quickly back up back into the hall. My senses heighten as a noise sounds from somewhere outside the apartment. Nico silently slips down the hall and stops beside me. Together we step forward and throw open the door.
No one is in the room. Though some one has been in here recently. The window is open, the light blue curtains blow softly The slight breeze disturbs the note that lays on top of the bed covers. One it are a few alarming words. My eyes quickly skim the note, breath catching in my throat.
Percy, you are so careless, why are you leaving Annabeth alone?
I put two and two together. The noise didn't come from the room, it came from outside the door. Where I left Annabeth, unarmed and defenseless. Now that my mind is off of the room I can her more noises. I sprint as fast as my legs will allow, out of the room. I reach the front door and see Annabeth standing there looking perfectly composed, picking up the handle of her suitcase. Although she purposely keeps her eyes averted from mine.
"What happened," my voice shakes. She forces a smile,
"Nothing, honestly, I just bumped into my bag and it fell over," Annabeth replies. My shoulders relax and all of my muscles seem to loosen. Though the thought at the front of my brain is this; if Hudson (A.N. this is like the name that the police have given the killer, like they do in real life how when they don't know who the person is they give them a name) knew that we would leave Annabeth alone why didn't he use that as his chance to come and...kill her? Maybe this is all just a game for him, it's fun to use us as pawns and then watch us squirm when he tests us. We can't let that happen though, he can't be in control of the situation, we can't let him play us. We need to find a way to turn the tables on him. I can feel a thought tugging on my mind, a plan is forming. A plan that could just risk someone that I could possible have feelings for.
"PERCY," Annabeth yells waving a hand in from of me.
"Oh sorry." I mutter.
As soon as Percy opens the door I can tell something is wrong. Both Percy and Nico walk into the front room pulling out their hand guns. I am tempted to follow them, but I know that if anything happens I would just get in the way. My eyes follow Percy nervously, hoping that he won't get hurt in any of this. Soon both Percy and Nico have disappeared out of sight and into what I assume to be the kitchen. The only noise in the whole room is the resounding sound of floorboards creaking as they move farther into the flat. Suddenly another board squeaks, but this time it comes from behind me. My mind begins to scream at me to get away. I know I should move inside the apartment, but I don't knowing that if only I could see his face then I try to spind around but a strong arm grips me from behind, keeping me from seeing my attacker. My throat tightens trying to scream but, a hand is placed over my mouth. I can hear the person behind me, breathing quetly as if not to be noticed. His breath hits the back of my neck and I stiffen realizing how I am at his mercy.
"Shh," he whispers in my ear, his breath still hitting the back of my neck, "shh, Annabeth I won't hurt you, how could I? I love you. You know that don't you" His words make bile rise in the back of my throat. My stomach turns threateningly. "No I won't hurt you, but your little boy friend in there I will hurt. I know you don't care about him. We just have to wait, though, we can't let him know." With that he releases me and I can hear the distant sound of his foot steps. That voice sounded familiar. This thought runs through my head raising a million different questions. Where have I heard that voice.
I can't let Percy know. I can deal with this on my own. It will only serve to worry Percy. If I tell him, he'll feel like, he didn't do enough to protect me. He'll just feel guilty. Caught in my thought's I don't notice that I have knocked over my suit case. I set it back up and stand there frozen in shock for a few more seconds.
Percy rushes to the door. His eyes are wild and vulnerable.
"What happened?" He asks, though his voice shakes. I force a small smile,praying that it doesn't tremble, before I reply.
"Nothing honestly, I bumped into my bag and it fell over," the lie seems to set him at ease. The wild emotion in his eyes seems to harden into some sort of resolve.
"Percy, are you okay?" He doesn't say anything his eyes seem to glaze over. It seems as if he is dealing with an internal battle He is two feet away yet also worlds away.
"Percy," I yell at him waving a hand in front of him.
"Oh sorry," he mumbles, snapping out of it. Nico stands behind him, a look of concern plastered on his face. His eyes meet mine, we are both thinking the same thing. What was Percy thinking so deeply about? You don't have to know Percy very long to know that he doesn't really analyze things beyond the point of deciding if it is edible or not.
"Come on Annabeth, we should get you inside," Percy puts a hand on my back and guides me into the living room. Nico stands off to the side as if he is waiting for something. Percy takes his hand off of my back and begins to pace the length of the room. As if remembering something, he races into the kitchen.
"Oh no," Nico whispers. He quickly follows Percy into the kitchen. I walk behind Nico. When we round the corner Percy comes into view. He begins to rip open a white envelope.
"Percy stop, not here," Nico warnes.
"Why not here, that's what he wants isn't it, we've been playing by his games for this entire time, he has always been one step ahead of us, why do we have to stop now," he shouts. Nico just sighs and lets him rant. I notice another envelope that rests on the counter. Stepping closer one could make out the name. It bears my name, written in a neat scrawl. My eyes flick back to Percy, he is still yelling at Nico, completely absorbed. My fingers fumble to open the flap of the envelope. The paper crinkles as I pull it out of the white envelope. Unfolding the paper I begin to read the note.
I'm so sorry I couldn't talk to you longer, I wish we could just be alone. Don't worry though, I love you, we can get through this. They want to keep us apart, especially Percy, but I won't let that happen. We will be together soon. Don't listen to any of Percy's lies, I am not a murderer, I saved all of those girls, something terrible would have happened to them if I didn't do what I did. I hope that you know that, no matter what else anyone says.
There is no signature.
Percy is staring at me, his eyes wide. Like any second I will disappear. He holds his hand out for the letter and I willingly give it over, not wanting to touch it any longer than necessary. Percy's eyes skim the letter quickly, his face remains calm and composed, surely nothing like mine must have looked.
"Nico, go take all of these to the agency, get someone out here to take pictures." Percy sighs and runs a hair through his unruly black hair. Nico nods and takes the letter from Percy hand, he seals it in a clear bag labeled evidence. After waving goodbye, he opens the front door and walks out. Percy's eyes scan the room. Suddenly he looks at me.
"Let's go get coffee." he blurts.
"Sure," I reply. Percy checks for his keys and then we walk out the door. He leads me to the elevator and we both get in. I press the button for the ground floor.
"Annabeth, you will be safe, I won't let him hurt you," he looks at me, and his eyes seem as if he's trying to convince his self that everything will turn out okay. I think back to what happened not even ten minutes ago, in all truth, for as hard as he might try Percy can't keep me safe twenty four seven. But I don't want him to get hurt, so I lie, even though it hurts me.
"I know Percy, I'm fine, he can't hurt me as long as you are around," the lie has convinced him, Percy smiles at me and pulls me into a tight hug, I hold on just as tight. We pull apart when the elevator door dings and slides open to reveal the lobby. Percy immediately grabs my hand and pulls me behind him out of the elevator. Together we walk to the coffee shop. It takes me by surprise when he takes us to the one where we first met. But I don't question it.
As soon as the shop door opens up the enticing smell of coffee hits me.
"Mmm that smells heavenly," Percy says rubbing his stomach like a small child. The sight makes me smile. Percy holds the door open for me. He places his hand on the small of my back urging me to walk up to the cash register.
The barista is the same person as the last time. But this time something seems familiar about him. As if I've seen him somewhere else. Although I can't remember where, even though someone as handsome as him would be a bit hard to forget. But everything compared if anyone ever saw Percy they would never forget him.
"What can I get you," the man behind the counter asks me.
"Can I get an African autumn tea? I ask. He nods, smiling. The minute his eyes flick to Percy his entire demeanor changes. His eyes become hard and his jaw clenches making his neck muscles bulge. I can feel Percy's hand on my back grip me tighter.
"I'll have a black coffee," Percy's tone is polite and restrained. The man nods and turns around to make our drinks.
"I think he's jealous," Percy leans down and whispers into my ear.
"Of what?" I whisper back.
"That I'm here," he says simply straightening back up.
"Maybe he's jealous of your good looks," I respond.
"Maybe," Percy muses, but his tone makes it clear he knows that's not it.
The barista finishes with our drinks and places them both down on the counter. He presses a few buttons on the cash register and the total is animated on the screen. I pull my wallet out of my purse and swatt Percy's hands away when he reaches for his own wallet to pay.
"I'll get it," I say and quickly hand over the money. Percy gives me a look and I just smile sweetly at him. Percy picks up our cups and walks over to a table. The barista hands me back my change and I thank him. He smiles warmly at me. I can help but feel I've met him somewhere else. Shaking off the feeling I walk back to the table.
"That guy is checking you out," Percy says to me as I sit down at our table.
"Like you don't notice that one girl over there, practically foaming at the mouth," I gesture over to a tall brunette girl a few tables away her eyes are practically glues to Percy. Percy subtly looks over and grimaces.
"He's looking at you like he wants to rip you away from you, I don't like it," Percy voices.
"Oh please, that guy creeps me out, last time I came here he put his number on my cup. Like I really want to see his messy handwriting every time that I take a drink," I joke, but this only agitates Percy further.
"Are you jealous?" I ask, eyebrows raising.
"Maybe, so what if I am?" Percy asks his eyebrows now raising.
"Oh no don't turn this round on me, you're the one that's jealous here, you tell me what." I shoot back at him.
"I am angry that someone is undressing my friend with his eyes." He seems sad when he says friend, maybe he thinks that something could happen to me.
"I thought he just wanted to rip me away from you."
"Yeah well now he's positively livid at my presence, I know these things, reading people is part of my job." At his words I turned around in my seat to face the counter. The man behind it doesn't look very friendly anymore.
"Percy, I'm going to go to the bathroom," I pushed out my chair and made my way towards the restroom area.
I keep watching the barista as Annabeth goes to the bathroom. His eyes follow her as she leaves. The look he is giving her does not sit well with me. It is not just a look a person gives when they like someone or even if they think they pretty. No that is the look someone has when they look at something that was stolen stolen from them. Pride and anger. But did Annabeth even know this guy?
"Percy, are you ready to go," a voice pulls me from my thoughts.
"Huh," I reply.
"Come on stop stalking the barista and let's go," Annabeth grabs her drink and my arm and pulls me out of the shop, the man behind the counter looking very angry.
The cold November air hits me as soon as the door opens.
"It's freezing, was it this cold when we went into the shop?" Annabeth asks looking up at me. Without thinking I wrap both of my arms around her and pull her against my side. I know it's not something that friends generally do but it just feels natural. After a few seconds Annabeth leans into me and wraps one arm around my back.
"You know that I'm still going to class tomorrow right," Annabeth twists in my embrace and looks up at me.
"Annabeth, is one week of class really worth your life? Yes I know how fast you can fall behind, but I'm sure you can arrange to get work from the professors, and just have the email you the PowerPoints," I try to convince her.
"Maybe, but how do you know it could take just one week, it's already been a month," Annabeth points out.
"Yes but see, all of the other bodies were dumped in the Hudson River that alone washed away so much evidence. And the time that the bodies could be in there varied. But this last victim she was found somewhere else. She never touched the water. All of the evidence was in there. His warning was more of a helping hand. Now we have evidence to use. Particulates and finger prints, I think that's enough to catch this guy."
"You can survive a week week without going to class?"
"Fine, but I'm going in to get work and what not."
"Sure," I say satisfied.
"You know that this is probably the only argument that you will ever win, right?" Annabeth asks.
"Yeah I figured, but this is a pretty good one to win, as it keeps you alive and means we'll have plenty more in the future."
(This is a pretty good place to end it but I love you guys sooo…)
I take the letter from Percy's hand, seal it in a sterilized evidence bag and wave good bye. My hands fumble my phone out of my pocket. I press number 5 and then call. The phone only rings once before it is picked up.
"Katie I'm coming into the office, I have new evidence," I say into the phone
"This better be good diangelo, I'm not in the mood for another practical joke. Plus I'm in the middle of reviewing old evidence."
"Oh it's solid evidence, and envelope and letter with hand writing." I can practically hear her sitting up at my words, "there may also be fingerprints."
"I'll set up the equipment, give me twenty minutes and we can have that handwriting analyzed."
"Kay I'll be there in ten," I end the call and keep walking down the street. It's only ten blocks from Percy's apartment to work. A fifteen minute walk.
Out of no where someone comes by and knocks me off of my feet.
"Oh hey sorryman." I say to the other guy.
"No it was my fault. I'm sorry." He apologizes.
"It's fine really no harm no foul" We both get up off of the ground, and dust ourselves off.
"It's fine." We both part ways and go to our separate places, the rest of my walk is very uneventful.
I punch in the key code 05113 (That was the code they used in the season three premiere of Sherlock) into the door and swipe your badge.
"Access granted" the robotic voice sounds.
I quickly push the door open and walk over to the elevator. I press the button for the evidence floor. The doors slide close and the annoying elevator music becomes louder. Honestly they could put some better tunes in elevators across the world.
The doors slide open and the basement floor is revealed, it's not dark like a lot of company basements are, We need to have it light for analyzing, Only evidence lockers have controlled light.
"Nico, this better be good, I've been stuck here all day not finding any evidence on any of the old clothes or anything."
"Why don't you analyze the newest victim?"
"Because new stuff is considered a team effort and I cannot do it alone. So where is the evidence?" Katie asks looking hopeful. I feel in the pocket of my jacket but I come up empty. I try the other side, and my jeans, and the inside pockets of my jacket.
"Katie I had it I swear."
"Okay we'll just retrace your steps, maybe you really didn't grab it from wherever you were, wait where were you, how did you get this evidence in the first place?"
"Hudson (the supercool media name given to the killer) got into Percy's apartment and left him a warning about Annabeth, he left notes for both of them….there's another note, it's still in Percy's apartment I never got it. We have to go back and get it."
"Fine, call Percy and we'll get the other letter, but we are going to find out what happened to the first one." Katie gives me a stern look.
"Okay, we'll walk back the way I came," I pull out my phone and go into contacts, down at the bottom of the list is Percy's number, I press the call button and wait for him to pick up.
"Percy it's Nico, are you at your apartment?"
"No Annabeth and I went to go get coffee, but we're close, do you need something?"
"Yeah I left some evidence there, another letter was on the counter,"
"Okay, we'll meet you there in five minutes."
See you then, bye," Percy says goobye and then I hang up the phone.
"Okay let's get going Katie," Katie nods and walks over to one of the side tables and grabs her coat and purse. We both walk into the elevator. The doors close and I press the button for the ground floor.
Katie slips on her coat before we go outside, and I open the glass door. We both walk out onto the sidewalk.
"You need to think exactly what you did and what happened, Nico you need to remember." I run through in my head what happened. It hits me then.
"A guy ran into me. We both fell down he must have taken the note then, he must be working for Hudson."
"What did he look like?"
"He had a long coat, but he was wearing a scarf and he had a baseball hat pulled low over his face, I wouldn't recognize him if I saw him on the street."
"We wouldn't have this problem if you carried a bag."
"Yeah but, honestly Katie, even I couldn't live down wearing a European shoulder bag."
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So how was it? Did you all like that chapter? So again sorry I haven't updated in like forever. But I think the creepyness makes up for all of that. Oh my wizard god, you guys are all so amazing. Last chapter you guys gave me so many reviews, we have reached over 100 reviews. What do we say for this chapter we could get 75 reviews, it would make my week, and maybe prompt a faster update. How many of you are getting this giant winter storm. Here in Michigan our school is giving us two snow days and that only makes our winter break longer so yay. Don't be cotton headed ninny muggins leave a review for this chapter 9/10 mashup.
FIELD OF LIES
p.s. I compiled chapters 9 and 10 for this so it was extra long!