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"Percy here?" I asked just as Piper swung open the door.

She blinked. Twice. "No,"

I ran my hands through my hair in frustration. Turmoil sat in my stomach, twirling and turning.

"Why? What the hell happened?" Piper asked urgently.

"I'll tell you. Who else is here?" I looked around nervously.

"Only Leo. You gonna come in?" She asked.

"Yeah. I'll tell you two. Don't tell anyone else, 'kay?"


"He kissed you?" Piper asked for the millionth time.

"Yes! Jesus Christ..." I said.

Leo clapped and laughed. "Oh man, I can see it already! Jercy!" He grinned.

"You two would be a cute couple, honestly." Piper admitted. "Jercy." She repeated.

"Uh, maybe... But I'm straight."

Leo laughed again. "You keep tellin' yourself that, buddy."

Piper ignored him. "Did you enjoy it?"


"The kiss. Did you?"

"Well, I dunno-"

"It's a simple question. Just tell me the truth."

"Like, I just-"


"Okay! Yes! I guess." I said, giving in. "Maybe I did!"

"Do you enjoy being with him? Do you stare at him? Do you look forward to seeing him everyday?"

"Piper, I'm straigh-"

"Just because your parents are against it doesn't mean you have to be!"

"I'm not against it!"

"Then think about it! Stop dismissing it right away and consider it!" Piper stared at me pointedly. I looked away. Her colorful eyes seemed to be piercing into my soul. When I didn't say anything, Piper went on. "Consider: You've never felt any affection towards a girl like you do towards Percy. I can tell. Actually, I don't remembering you ever liking a girl. Remember that one time you agreed to date Drew and it only lasted a week?"

"I agree with Pipes here on this one." Leo said. "I think you're as straight as a fuckin circle."

"Personally," Piper said, leaning back. "I like girls. Annabeth? She's pretty hot."

Leo snickered.

"What? You've gotta admit she's one hell of a woman." Piper said.

I stared at her. How could she be so open and nonchalant about liking girls? Maybe it was just the family I was born in... I was always expected to be the perfect son. That's one of the reasons why Thalia ran away after our mother got sent to rehab. Other than, you know, our mother having to be sent to rehab.

Piper must've noticed how I was staring at her. "Dude," She said. "Just be honest to yourself. You don't have to be honest to anyone other than me, for like, obvious reasons. You can be the most lying two faced person to your family or whatever. As long as you are honest to yourself."

There was a silence that hung heavy in the air until Leo broke it. "Jeez this is deep. I'm gonna go take a piss." He got up to go look for a bathroom in Piper's big ass house.

I thought long and hard. I did care about Percy more than I ever cared about anyone ever. He was important to me. "Maybe..." I said. "Maybe..."

Piper patted me on the shoulder. "Take your time and maybe sleep on it for a while. Imma call Annie to call Percy to check on him since I don't have Percy's number and Percy's mot very comfortable with me yet."

I watched her dial Annabeth's number and talk to her. I wish I could be like Piper. With parents who don't give a single shit about what she did or who she loved. I wish I could be as brave and open as her. She was strong.

Percy and I always felt closer than friends, I know.

But a part of me didn't want to accept it.

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