I wanted to hit myself for not watching my back but of course I had been too busy fighting the skeletons who wanted to kill me so much.
"What do you want Luke?" I asked. He smiled at me and glanced down at me.
"Just to talk." He said. I moved back away from him still in the dirt. He squatted down in front of me staring at me and I glanced at the dog tag and he tucked it underneath his shirt. I glanced back up to his face smiling slightly.
"So bride huh?" I asked. I swear for the first time this whole thing start I saw Luke blush. A red spread of his cheeks and a real smile crept up over his face. I knew it. The old Luke was still in there somewhere. He glanced down at my shoes.
"I have to admit, I was surprised to see you jump into the air and disappear. I now see how you can fly all of a sudden." He said tapping the wings of the converse with backbiter. The wings freaked out and I nodded.
"Yeah, your stuff comes in handy." I said. He chuckled but stood up. He offered a hand out to me and I eyed it warily. He knew that I was really wary of him right now.
"I won't bite you Cassi." He said. I swallowed and took it. He pulled me to my feet and then I got out of swinging range for backbiter and he looked hurt. Well, excuse me for not wanting to feel like how I did the last time I got hit from backbiter.
"Don't look at me like that Luke. That thing hurt the last time it cut me." I muttered.
"I never meant for you to get hit that time, you know that." He said. I nodded.
"The wounds of war...wouldn't you say?" I asked as I lifted up my shirt showing the long nasty scar I had from the sword. He flinched at the sight of it, from wither it was it looking ugly or that fact knowing that his sword had caused it I wasn't sure of.
"I wear it like a badge when I go out. I survived." I murmured. He shook his head and smirked.
"Of course you would, seems like you would do something like that." Luke said as he shrugged his shoulders. Then he glanced around and noticed that none of his minions were around and he let his shoulders shrug slightly.
"Are you hungry?" He asked. I looked at him with an eyebrow raised.
"We can grab something to eat if you want. I promise nothing bad will happen and I won't try to do anything." He said holding his hands up seething backbiter. I nodded and then squeezed the sword in my hand before it shrank down to the key and kept it in my hand in case I needed them anytime soon.
"Let's go get some lunch." He said. I nodded and followed him to a Starbucks. I had been here a few times since living with Percy. I usually had to drag Blake into them or he wouldn't walk in with me. We walked in and I got my usual Venti white chocolate mocha while Luke got some tea. He also got us two sandwiches and I sat down. It wasn't that crowded but there were still people in here and I knew he would never try something in a crowded place like this.
"So what did you want to talk about?" I asked.
"Join me, if you come with me on your own choice everything will be okay." He said as he bit into the sandwich like it was no big deal about what he had just asked me.
"You're joking, right?" I asked. He shook his head, and I went to stand up and he grabbed my wrist. I was about to rip it out of his hand when he looked me straight in the eyes.
"I'll let Annabeth go free, and I won't let her be sacrificed." He said. I froze and he knew he had me because that creepy smile on his face knowing that he had at least got me a little bit. I sat back down and glanced down at my sandwich.
"And let Lady Artemis go." I said. His eyes narrowed.
"How do you know I have Artemis?" He demanded. I smirked and glanced up at him.
"You just told me." I said. He cursed quietly and slammed his hand down onto the table, gaining us a few looks from people before glancing away realizing it was nothing. I smirked at Luke and he glared at me.
"You've gotten sly." He commented.
"I've learned from the best." I sneered. He deadpanned and I smirked leaning back in my seat as he watched me. I pulled my hat back onto my head and raised my sandwich to my lips taking a bite out of it.
"I'll see what I can do for Artemis." He said. I shook my head and then leaned forward putting my elbows on the table.
"No, not see what you can do. It is what you're going to do for her." I said. He stared at me and his gaze kept hardening by the moment. I sighed and then leaned back keeping my stare on his. I wasn't going to back away from Luke, but of course I also had another trick up my sleeve. I was going to get him to take me to Annabeth and Artemis and then I was going to help save them both with the help of everyone else since they had a head start on me.
"I can't promise you that Cassi, and you know that!" He said quickly. I sighed and crossed my arms over my chest staring at him. He held out his hand to me and I looked at it staring at it.
"What if I want to leave?" I asked. He grimaced.
"Then I can't promise your safety. That's all I want Cassi is your safety." He assured me. I stared at him. I sighed and glanced at my watch and then back at him as I finished off my food. I spun my cup in circle thinking about it as he bit into his sandwich again. I knew that if I didn't go with him right now there was no way I could catch up to Percy with them, and Luke would be after me the whole way and I would have to worry about my back. This way I had a free ticket West, I could try to convince Luke to come back to the good side, and I could help save Annabeth and Artemis!
"I'll go with you." I said.
"Cassi, I swear nothing will- wait what?" Luke asked looking up at me shocked. His mouth was open slightly, not believing what I had just said.
"I'll go with you Luke." I said. His eyes bugged out of his head surprised. I finished off everything I had and then he did and stood up holding out his hand. I stood up without taking it. He sighed and then we walked out of Starbucks and I followed him into a dark alley. He pulled out Backbiter and slashed at the air. A black hole appeared and the last time I been going through one of these Luke had forced me through. I backed up slightly and Luke took my hand giving it a squeeze before moving forward. I followed him through the rip and then it closed behind us. I closed my eyes while we went through and then the next thing I knew I felt grass beneath my feet. I opened my eyes to see I was in San Francisco, on top of one of the mountains.
"Where are we Luke?" I asked as I pulled my hand out of his. I turned around looking at everything around me.
"Near Mount Othrys....the Titan capital." He said. I noticed that it seemed to be rebuilding itself, which meant the Titan cause was becoming stronger. My breath hitched a little and I looked around.
"Where's Artemis?" I asked quickly. His eyebrows drew together in a hardened expression.
"You'll see her later. Don't worry about her." He said. I sighed but nodded. I had to wait and bide my time.
"I'll take you to see Annabeth. I'm sure she'll want to see a familiar face." He said. I nodded and then followed him to where I assumed he was going to keeping her prisoner. I saw half-bloods pass us looking at me on the way. Some just stopped and stared while others either sneered at me or smiled. He sighed and we finally came to a building. We went inside and after going down a few hallways he pushed the door open and I saw Annabeth. She was in a cell sort of, and when the doors opened she looked up at us. She glared at me.
"What did you do?!" She asked me.
"She joined the winning side." Luke said as we walked closer to the bars that surrounded her. She just glared at me.
"How could you do it to Blake? To Percy!?" She demanded standing up so she could press herself against the bars to get a better look at me. Luke chuckled and put a hand on my shoulder.
"I'll leave you two to talk." He said. I nodded and he walked out and I glanced around quickly. There were no cameras in here so I walked closer to her because I didn't want us being overheard. When I got close enough she grabbed me and slammed me into the bars.
"Ow what the actual hell Annabeth?!" I demanded rubbing my head.
"You're betraying everyone. You're lucky I don't kill you." She hissed at me.
"They're coming to save you. I came with Luke so I could meet them here when they got here. We're going to save you....and Artemis." I whispered barely moving my lips. She stared at me and released me. The door pushed back open and I felt someone tug me away.
"Don't get to close Cassi." Luke muttered. I glanced over at him out of the corner of my eyes but nodded and took a deep breath.
"Well, Annabeth. I hate to break this little reunion up but I need to show Cassi some more stuff. I'll bring her back later so you two can finish whatever you were talking about. Good bye." He said pulling me out the door. I gave her a glance back before the door closed and I sighed. I followed him to a hill where it had a great view of San Francisco. It was beautiful and breathe taking.
"You chose the right side, you know." Luke said crossing his arms over his chest. I glanced over at him.
"Then why do I feel so bad." I muttered.
"Because they had you so disillusioned about everything. Their cause isn't for the better. It's because the gods of Olympus just want to save themselves. They don't care about us, because we're just their pawns." Luke said. I just looked up at him and I saw him glance at me from the corner of his eyes. The boy I had fallen in love with was so mislead I didn't think there was a chance I could lead him back, and that was what broke my heart. I glanced back out towards the scenery and a tear broke out of the corner of my eye. I wiped it away sneakily and then looked down at my feet.
"Are you alright?" He asked. I nodded.
"Yeah, I'm fine." I muttered.
"Do you still like to play?" He asked. I glanced over at him confused.
"Play what?" I asked.
"Guitar, that was your thing after all; if I remember correctly?" He said. I nodded and then thought about it.
"Yeah, I've added a few songs to my list since we've last talked." I muttered tucking my hands into my back pockets. I saw him turn towards me slightly.
"Like?" He asked.
"...ironically. The Story of Us by Taylor Swift." I laughed. He chuckled himself and that got me laughing harder, which led to me snorting. He busted out laughing and together we both were laughing our asses off. It was nice to see him laugh, because I hadn't seen it happen in a long time. I sighed and wiped away a tear that had managed to escape my eye. I heard someone come up behind us and I turned to see a demi-god younger than I come up behind Luke to tap him on the shoulder.
"This better be good." He said. The younger girl reached up and whispered something in his ear before leaning back away from him. He nodded in thought.
"I'll be right there. Tell them to wait a few minutes." He said. She nodded and then scurried off. I glanced at her retreating figure before looking at him.
"Duty calls, I have to leave you now, and I’ll be back later though for dinner. I have a place from in town that has French food that I think you'll like. I'll come get you when I'm done." He said. I nodded and he walked away from me trailing after the girl slightly. I stared out at the scenery for a good ten minutes or so. I then turn and head towards the nearest building where I hear talking, which sounds like plans. I looked around corners to make sure there were no guards posted around the halls or at the door and there wasn't. I smirked and then sighed realizing that this was only way in the room and with the door in the way the talking was muffled. I quickly looked around and saw a air conditioning duct, which was surprisingly the size that I could fit in.
"Yay for being small." I whispered quietly to myself. I glanced up at the ceiling to see no video cameras either. These people really trusted on another if they had no camera or guards. I shook my head and pulled out my trusty pocket knife that I had acquired a while ago and pushed it into the Phillips head screw. I quickly undid the four screws in the corner of the vent and pushed it away. I crawled into the vent, scrunching my nose as I did so. It was dirty as hell in here. I pushed the vent covering back into place as best as I could before turning around and looking down the little corridor. I followed it carefully following the voices in the room.
When I finally saw some light I went over to it to see I had come to another vent covering, which went into the other room I had tried to listen in on. There were a few people here but I could only see up to their knees or thighs depending on how tall they were. I lied flat on my stomach to see a few demi-gods I had known before and Luke, who seemed to be in command in the room.
"So reports on Jackson?" He asked.
"He's heading towards us, sir. He just went on through the Hoover Dam, where Atlas's skeletons caught up with them before losing them because the gods interfered." He said. Luke nodded and I saw him glance at something on the table.
"And you know for sure he's coming to our trap?" Luke asked. My eyes widened in surprised.
"Yes sir." One said. I shook my bit my lip. I had to warn Percy but, how was I going to do that when I was going to be watched 24/7. I started to chew on my nails and let out a frustrated quiet sigh.
"Which one interfered?" Luke demanded after thinking a moment.
"We're pretty sure it was Zeus or Athena." He said. Luke slammed his hand down on the table making me jump. The others didn't look particularly concerned about him. I glanced around the room trying to pick out face but I couldn't tell anything from the position I had in the vent. That's when I heard running from where I had come from before the door busted open on the meeting room.
"What do you want?!" Luke demanded as he glanced at the person at the door.
"No one can find Cassi anywhere." He said. I froze and glared at the guy through the slats in the vent. I would drop kick him right now if I could.
"Get everyone searching and I'll come after I'm done with this meeting." He said.
"Yes sir." The kid said before running back out the door closing it behind him. I heard Luke exhale a long breath before continuing back with the others.
"They will be here soon to save Annabeth and Artemis. That's when we'll strike. I'll send word as soon as I hear or see them, so be ready. Dismissed." Luke said. I heard them all file out of the room and I got closer to the vent. I peered up and around to make sure that no one was left in the room. I waited a good five minutes, hoping that no one would hear what I was about to do. I pushed my feet up against the vent opening and kicked up with all my strength. It budged a little bit and then I just started to stomp on it. It fell to the floor with a bang after about the twentieth hit.
"Okay, time to do some snooping." I muttered cracking fingers as I crawled out of the vent. I stood up brushing myself off. I started at the table to just see a map of the United States. They were tracking Percy and the quest. I saw where we were pointed out on the map and then I also saw Camp Half-blood and Mount Olympus on there too. They both were circled in red. I pulled out my phone, which was turned off always except on emergencies and snapped a quick picture of the map. See, this is why I liked being able to play both sides but being true to one. I was a spy and no one but me knew. I carefully put the vent back on, or as well as I could with it being dented.
I walked over the far wall and glanced around to see papers tacked to the boards they had on the walls. My eyes were scanning the walls, looking for anything that may be important. I saw a picture with the words Ophiotaurus written underneath it in Luke's scrawled handwriting.
"What the hell is an Ophiotaurus?" I muttered snapping a picture of what was on the wall along with a few other things.
"None of your concern." Someone said. I jumped and turned around to see one of Luke's followers. I sneered at him.
"I don't understand what Luke sees in you. You are a traitor. Your heart will always lie with the gods no matter how much wrong they have done to you!" He said brandishing a sword at me. I took a step back and hit my back into the table. I glanced back at the wall before looking down at my phone. I turned it off and put it into my pocket.
"Just because I'm curious about things doesn't make me a traitor. I rather not be left out of the dark." I commented. He just rolled his eyes and dug the point of his sword into where my stomach was. I didn't wince. I wasn't going to show him that he was hurting me, and plus nothing would compare to the sting of Backbiter.
"You can't fool me Chrysler. You have Luke fooled but not me." He said. I just rolled my eyes and then Luke walked into the room and stopped when he saw what was happening. The guy who was pointing the sword at me backed away from me.
"I found her in here, sir. I don't know how she got in here though. The door was locked from the inside." He said. Luke glanced at me and then around the room.
"Leave." He said looking at the guy. He nodded and scurried out the door. Luke looked at me and slammed the door which made me wince.
"Oh that causes you to wince, does it?" He asked. I glared at him and crossed my arms over my chest.
"Spit it out, Luke. What's on your mind? I know you want to yell! GO AHEAD!" I snapped. He glared at me and grabbed me around the throat pinning me against the table and him. I gasped for air and he glared at me.
"Your little stunt is not helping me prove to them you are on our side! They don't trust you, and Kronos is testing you!" He snapped. I snorted.
"I don't need the approval of any of your followers. I don't care what they think of me nor Kronos." I spit out at him. He tightened his hand around my throat and threw me quickly to the ground with strength I didn't know he even possessed. I groaned as I hit the ground scrapping my arms as I landed. My face was about an inch away from the ground. I was panting as I looked back up at him.
"You know this is a funny way of showing someone you care about them." I sneered looked up at him through strands of my hair. He was just staring at me with a red face.
"You should care about what they think because it's their opinion that will keep you or make us choose Percy in the end. Kronos is willing to go with the more compliant child of the Big Three but he will force someone's hand if he has to." He said to me calmly. I swallowed and forced tears to my eyes.
"You don't care for me at all, do you? It's all about fucking Kronos." I snapped as I sat up before standing up. I brushed off my hands from the dusty floor and then looked down at my knees which were bleeding. I glanced at Luke to see his face had become redder if that was possible. He pushed me up against the wall again.
"Take it back." He said to me. I shook my head.
"No because that's all this is about! It's about him! You don't care and you never did Luke!" I laughed. He set his teeth together because I saw his jaw move slightly.
"Take that back!" He yelled. I laughed and shook my head, and in my head I knew that I was pushing Luke way past the limits I should be but I was being stupid and I wasn't thinking right. He pulled me back and slammed me into the wall making black stars dance across my vision.
"Luke..." I groaned. He glared.
"How can you even think that I don't love you?!" He yelled at me as I started to lose consciousness.
"How could that ever cross your mind when I do all this stuff to protect you!?" He demanded. I started to grab at his hand scratching it bringing blood when he drew back but I was already too far gone; too much oxygen had been deprived and it went black.
I was in the state between being totally asleep and awake. Like, I could still hear people talking and everything but I couldn't move. I forget what its call but that's what I was in. I heard Luke panicking and then picking me up in his arms.
"Cassi I'm sooo sorry. I didn't mean to! I swear! I just-just- I lose it when you say I don't love you or even care because I do, Cas. So much. I love you to the end of the world and back and I don't understand how you don't see it." I heard him say. I swallowed, which I didn't know was an actual swallow or just a subconscious thing going on.
"I love you Cassandra Chrysler, and I know you probably can't hear me saying this right now but I would do whatever it took to keep you safe." He said. This kid I swear on the Olympian gods was going to be the death of me. I felt him walk out down the hallway and head somewhere. I didn't know where we were or where we were heading because I didn't even think about them having a medical center. I felt him walk into somewhere.
"What happened?" A girl asked.
"It doesn't matter. Just help me." Luke said. He set me down on something soft and then I heard somethings moving around.
"I'll tell her to find you when she wakes up." The girl murmured.
"Fine." He said. I heard him walk out before a door slammed shut. I felt the girl start poking around my neck and sighed before walking away from me. I heard a faucet turn on and then off. Then I heard her walk back over before I felt cool water against my skin.
"Well damn, the reports are right. She does get healed by water." She murmured quietly. I felt my throat ease up on the pain but not all of it. I sighed and opened my eyes.
"Welcome back to the world of the living." She said as she set the water beside me on the table. I nodded and sat up.
"Okay so obviously he tried to choke you. I had heard that you could heal by water so I took a long shot with it and tried. The bruise went away but your vocal cords may still hurt along with the inside of your throat for a day or so. Try not to talk more than you have to." She said. I nodded and figured she must be a daughter of Apollo or she wouldn't know so much about the medical field. I didn't recognize her from Camp either so she must have been a wander fending off monsters by herself before Luke stumbled upon her.
"I told Luke you would find him but I don't care what you do." She said. I nodded and swung my feet over the bed that he had placed me on. The girl went back to the chair she had been sitting in probably before I had come in. I walked out the doorway and I sighed. It did hurt to talk because it hurt to sigh.
"This sucks." I said and I winced. My voice sounded hoarse like I had a very bad sore throat. Fuck you Luke. I headed outside not concerned about where he was at the moment. I just wanted to be alone with my thoughts. Percy needed to get here soon before I got myself killed because I'm pretty sure I was going to get worse with Luke and testing him. I sighed as I sat down on the grass and leaned my arms down onto my knees bringing my legs closer to me. Percy please get here quick. I want to go back to camp.