Chapter One - I Messed Up

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Annabeth was sitting up in bed, scrolling through the news on her laptop. The curtains had been hastily ripped open, and morning sunlight streamed into the room.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the city, Percy was lying on his side looking through his Facebook stories. He sighed and curled up tighter in his bed, the dark room feeling cold and quiet, but that's how he liked it in the morning after a big party when he had a headache from all the drinks he had downed.

"Ugh, what happened last night?" Annabeth groaned. She continued scrolling through her Instagram, looking at all the photos her personal social media photographer had uploaded from the previous night. There was at least twenty of them, all with ridiculous rhymes as the caption. Apollo was always like that - well, unless Annabeth had asked him to specifically post something. Most of the time, at least.

Percy, meanwhile, had gone from Facebook to now flicking through the latest news headlines. He liked to check in the mornings in case he had been mentioned. That's the problem with being famous - you have to be careful with what you say, as reporters can twist your words and fans can interpret the wrong thing.

And at the precisely the exact same moment, they came across the photo. Percy stopped scrolling. Annabeth froze.

There, on both of their screens, was an image from last night. It was taken in the dark of a hallway so they had trouble distinguishing the faces, but there was a mop of curly blonde hair and you could see the other person's glowing sea green eyes. The caption - creatively written by Apollo - read: 'Roses are red, your eyes are blue, I think you're cute, and you love me too.'

Oh, and did I mention that in the photo, the two people were kissing against the wall? Oops, my bad.

Percy dropped his phone on his face. (You know the feeling.)

Annabeth's laptop slid off her lap.

"What the heck?" She muttered, picking it up again and rereading the caption for the third time. It had been posted only four hours ago.

"I kissed Annabeth Chase?" Percy said incredulously.

Annabeth took her phone off her bedside table and dialled Apollo's number.

"You have reached Apollo, the awesomest guy ever! Unfortunately, he's currently busy writing haikus and singing Annabeth Chase songs. Please leave a message after the beep. Beeeeep!"

There was a pause.

"Oh, and if Annabeth is listening, then please don't kill me. I followed you and couldn't resist. The fans are going to love it! Okay, okay, bye."

There was a beep for real and Annabeth turned her phone off. She sighed. "Idiot."

Percy was clicking out of the news and going into his contacts. And there it was, right at the top: Annabeth Chase. So they had exchanged numbers... That was a huge relief for Percy.

Annabeth managed to pick up on the second ring. "Hello?"

"Hey, Annabeth. It's me, Percy."

"Ah." Pause. "What do you want?"

"Do you ... remember anything about last night?"

"Oh." Pause. "You mean the photo?"

"Yeah, that. Do you remember anything?"

"Nothing after the fourth glass of that drink we were having. Why, do you?"

"It's a bit fuzzy and I remember lots of talking. The photo confirms it."

"So we really... kissed." Annabeth's voice was stiff. Percy was glad that this was a phone conversation. She sounded like she was ready to smack him all the way to Australia.

"I guess so." Percy paused, thinking over his next words. "But who took the photo?"

"Apollo." A sigh.


"My social media photographer. He must've followed us around. Anyway, he posted the image to Instagram and it's gone viral. Oh, and there's also another picture of you and me. It's quite creative, really. A split image with me standing on the stage and you staring at me..." Percy zoned out.

"Hey? Hello? Percy?"


"You left me."

"Oh, sorry. So what's gonna happen now?"

"What do you mean?" There was an iciness to Annabeth's tone.

"I mean, the media clearly think we're a thing..."

Annabeth took a deep, shaky breath. "This doesn't change anything."

"W - what are talking about? Sh - shouldn't we give them what they want?" Percy spluttered, trying to comprehend what she was saying.

"That'll only make it worse!" Annabeth snapped angrily. "If we add fuel to the fire, it will only spread and burn brighter! We need to act like nothing ever happened!"

"Well from what I remember, we got on quite well last night as friends." Percy said. "Why not expand on that?"

"I've already given my opinion, Percy."

"Then why can't you see -"

"Why can't you see! Percy, this is a bad idea! We need to just act as though this never even happened!"

"But -"

"I'm sorry, but I'm deleting your number from my phone. Don't ever try to contact me again."

And with that, Annabeth hung up her phone. She went into his contact details and hovered her finger over the 'erase contact' button.

But... she hesitated. 'We got on quite well as friends, why not expand that?' Was Percy right? Why not her? She was always right, so what was it that was holding her back?

Annabeth put her finger on the phone screen. Percy's contact details were removed and she was left with her contacts list - this time missing Percy's name.

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