Will's box of surprise's

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I was just coming down my cabin steps when Piper popped up from where she had been sitting. Since Jason has decided to become my personal bodyguard, she has taken it upon herself to be his backup when he was busy. Since we had archery together, it was convenient for her, but a bit annoying for me. I was a big boy, I could take care of myself, but the thought was there and it made me feel a bit more accepted. "Hey Nico, nice to see you join the living today." She greeted me.

"It wasn't exactly by choice...but I didn't think I could get away with another day sleeping." I said.

"You're right on that thought. We'd just of had to sent someone else in their to wake you up," she said, "by the way, love the shirt."

I turned my head away to hide the blush. I had taken Percy's advice and worn the shirt. There was no harm in wearing a something that people liked. If a daughter of Aphrodite approved...then I was in the clear. Not that I cared or anything.

"So did you hear about the surprise for today's archery lesson?" Piper asked. Even though she is cooler and more down to earth then her siblings, she still was kept up on all of the gossip, and apparently that included today's lesson.

"No, but obviously you had. What is it?" My curiosity had been piqued.

"Well, rumor has it that Will has special ordered some rabid hell hounds and is gonna release them into the north end of the woods. Whoever kills them gets their cabin off of dish duty for the month." Piper sounded a little bit excited about it, but I wasn't sure if it was getting off of dish duty, or hunting down some hell hounds that had her jumping in excitement.

As we approached the archery ranges I saw Will standing on one of the bales of hay we use for the targets. He was trying to get everyone's attention, though he didn't need the extra height to do it. The sun seemed to be beaming directly down on him, causing him to glow a bit, like a personnel spotlight. It was enchanting and definitely an eye catcher. Behind him was a giant box that seemed to be shaking and growling, a box large enough to hold some hell hounds. There was a hatch on one side, chained with a heavy industrial looking lock around it, and a big stamp on it that read WARNING: OPEN WITH CAUTION! DANGEROUS BEINGS MAY BE INSIDE! No one paid much attention to it though.

I don't know if it was the reflection of Will's golden hair making illusions, but I thought I saw him turn my way to smile and wink at me as I joined the edge of the crowds.

"All right everyone! Now that you are all here, we can get started. As you can see here," Will said gesturing to the now silent box behind him, "we have a box. A box, of surprises. Who here would like to be brave and open it?" No one raised their hand, everyone was dead silent. Some with their heads down, others who had heard the rumor had their eyes bugged out and their jaws dropped.

"Anyone? Anyone? Don't be shy. Life is full of surprises. Don't you want to open up one of them?" Will said while waving a key that I guessed opened the box. He had a giant grin on his face and laughter in his beautiful clear blue eyes. I didn't know Will for long, but I did know he would never put anyone in harms way, so I decided the box must be safe. Then, I did something totally out of character, and raised my hand.

"We have a volunteer!" Will said with glee and a hint of surprise in his voice. 27 pairs of eyes turned to face me, including Pipers. Some peoples jaws seemed to of dropped lower. I pushed down my anxiety and put on a brave face. I strutted up to the front of the crowd and straight towards Will. He handed me the key and led me to the hatch. As I approached it started to growl and shake again.

Ok, time for a pep talk. This is Will, kind, sweet, healing Will. He'd never purposefully hurt someone. And I'm the freaken son of Hades, hell hounds are my territory. No way are they gonna scare me off. Plus, you don't wanna look like a wimp in front of Will and everyone. With that final thought, I took a deep breath and braced myself for whatever was in that box. I stuck the key in and turned it.

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