hospitable

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Ciarda woke up before the new demigod did, both well nectar-fed in hospital cots. The light fluttered around her room, an open window causing the mesh to swish around her. The scent of the sea wracked through the well-lit room, installing a sense of tranquillity. 

She sat up, knowing the warm feeling of nectar and wishing her thick, swollen tongue would reduce in size. Nectar only meant her injuries were bad, which meant the medicine would wear off and she'd be left with killing muscles and marred skin. 

Her skeletal fingers reached for her shirt, clean linen, and pulled it up. A thick bandage covered her side. After a moment of careful deliberation, she decided to go against the rules and untie her bandage. 

Underneath was a plethora of healing, jagged cuts in the process of healing stretching over her entire torso. Opaque white lines of scar tissue ran across her ribs, courtesy of the horn of the Minotaur. 

Cream bandages were also wrapped around the soles of her feet, which were ripped to shreds when she raced through the brambled forest. 

"She might kill you," Eurytion grinned his devilish smile, leaning against the door. Ciarda dropped her shirt, hoping he didn't see the mess drenched on her skin. 

Unlike his smirk, his arms were formally crossed, his biceps bulging in consequence. Blue swirling tattoos peeked from under his wrinkled orange t-shirt. "You're okay though?" He questioned gently. Ciarda rolled her eyes. 

"Just a little scratch. Nothing I can't handle," She huffed. She had gained a temporary lisp from the nectar. "I meant about the situation. It was so similar to-" Eurytion was cut off by his little sister. "I don't want to talk about it." 

Ciarda stared at him sharply, falling back into her bed and staring at the ceiling. Her fingers played with the mesh draping around her, hoping the artificial warmth of the nectar would subside.

A familiar feminine voice of rage echoed up the infirmary stairs before Clarisse burst through Eurytion's barrier and ran to her sister's side. "You are awful," She slapped Ciarda on the arm before bringing her in for a tight hug. 

"The boy," Ciarda struggled up, her core muscles aching. She felt the newly stitched-up skin on her ribs stretching and creaking with the movement. "Is he okay?" 

She noticed the way Clarisse straightened, too quickly to be down to her impeccable posture.

"He's fine," Eros rolled his eyes, throwing up an apple and catching it in his canine teeth as he waltzed through the door. "Clarry here thinks he's so horrid because you nearly died saving his life."

"And with good reason," Clarisse snapped, patting down Ciarda's duvet so she wouldn't punch her brother. Eros chuckled. 

The five children of Ares were unusually close. Potentially due to their lack of numbers. Potentially due to how they'd grown up together from childhood. Nobody knew. But they always had each other's back. 

Even if Edward, the eldest, was now a camp leader and was bullied relentlessly by them for it - all out of platonic love. 

"We need to talk about what happened. The boy has a Minotaur horn on his bedside table."

...

Clarisse escorted Ciarda through the camp whilst simultaneously swearing at anyone who dared to ask her sister any more questions, causing only a minor headache in the latter. 

"Chiron wants to talk to you," Clarisse mumbled, subtly gesturing to the lakeside where the fifteen red canoes had just been pulled in. A wind of salty breeze beckoned Ciarda forward, her bandaged feet now in loose shoes. 

𝐖𝐀𝐑 𝐎𝐅 𝐓𝐈𝐃𝐄𝐒  | percy jacksonWhere stories live. Discover now