Hello and a belated Merry Christmas! I hope you all had a great time with your families - I sure did.
Annabeth Chase POV
Percy practically flung open the door to his apartment. "Come in, come in!" he said, excitement lighting his face. He grabbed my hands and led me into his apartment.
I laughed. "Honestly, Perseus, what's the big surprise?" He'd called me half an hour ago, telling me to get over to his apartment as quickly as possible. I'd taken a taxi, and now I was being dragged into his bedroom, which was adorably adorned with Christmas tinsel. Baubles hung from the little potted plant he kept by his windowsill.
"Percy, if this is some new thing we're going to try," I warned when I realized he was pulling me towards his bed.
"It's not, it's not," Percy said hastily. "Okay, wait here." He patted the bed and dashed out again.
I sat down, puzzled. What could possibly have provoked Percy to such a level of excitement? I got my answer when he hurried back in, clutching something in his hands.
"Ice skates!" he announced proudly. "I was digging through the boxes of stuff I brought from Long Island, and I found our family ice skates!" He was holding up a pair of ice skates, and practically beaming from ear to ear.
I blinked. "Ice skates? But Percy, I don't know how to skate."
"I know," he said cheerfully. "That's why I'm going to teach you. We're going to the ice rink at Rockefeller Centre now."
Percy grabbed my hand and hurried me out of his apartment.
Rockefeller Centre wasn't too far from where Percy lived, so we got there in little to no time.
"Percy, I'm not sure this is a great idea," I said nervously.
"It is, you'll see," Percy said cheerfully as he pulled on his ice skates. I was already wearing mine, and they fit me surprisingly well – Percy's mother's feet were probably similar to mine.
"I'm nervous," I confessed as Percy stood up and glided onto the ice.
"Come on," Percy reassured me as he coaxed me to my feet. "I'm here with you. There's no need to be nervous."
"I'm scared anyway," I laughed anxiously.
"Hey, hey. Look at me." Percy tipped my chin upwards, and I looked up into his eyes. "Would I let you fall?"
The sincerity in his words and eyes was undeniable, and I shook my head.
"Exactly. Now, slowly, come on…"
Slowly but surely, Percy coaxed me onto the ice. I wobbled and my knees trembled and I waved my arms to regain my balance.
"No, no," Percy instructed, holding my arms. "Like this, let me show you."
He was so patient and so, so sweet. He smiled encouragingly, and made jokes when I fell and always, always helped me to my feet with a warm grin. Gradually, I learned to keep my balance on the ice rink, and by the end of our ice skating session, while I wasn't yet a figure skater, I could at least make my way around the ice rink without falling over.
"Awesome," Percy grinned. "Now, let's show the crowd how it's done, shall we?"
He offered his arm, and I took it. Together, we skated round the ice rink, our arms intertwined.
Afterwards, we headed across the street to the nearest café, and sat down. I ordered an Americano, as always.
"So, what're you doing this holiday season?" Percy inquired.
"My mother's coming to New York from Greece," I informed him.
Percy raised his eyebrows. He knew how much that meant to me.
"Maybe you can meet her," I teased him. He blanched, and I laughed. "You'll like my mother, I promise," I assured him. "Don't be such a scaredy-cat."
Percy pouted, and I giggled again.
We spent the next half hour discussing mundane things like how much we were looking forward to Christmas. Before we parted, though, Percy took my hand.
"I want to give you something," he said in a low voice. My heartbeat beginning to speed up, I sat back.
Percy reached into his jacket pocket and brought out a silver ring.
My breath caught. "Is that – "
"It's a promise ring," Percy said. "Made of titanium. I want to show the world that you're mine."
I took the ring from him, and looked at it. Engraved in the titanium were the letters PJ.
"Percy…" A tear slid down my cheek.
"You're crying!" Percy gazed at me with alarm. "You're crying! What's wrong, is something wrong?"
I shook my head. "You don't know how much this means to me," I whispered. Before he could say anything more, I grabbed him and crushed my lips against his. He responded, taking me around my waist.
We stayed like that until a few wolf whistles came from the other side of the café, at which point we broke apart.
"Is that a yes?" Percy asked, his eyes aglow.
I nodded. And to show him just how much I meant it, I slipped it onto the middle finger of my left hand. And then I kissed him again.
Yup, that's right, a titanium promise ring for Christmas! I've always wanted to go skating at Rockefeller Centre but I never got the chance...maybe that's why I wanted Percabeth to have that experience, I don't know.