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GEORGIA WAS done with Chicago. She never wanted to come back. Why couldn't they crash land in the Bahamas? Or someplace that didn't chill her to her very bones? She'd much rather be pelted with coconuts than potions. After Quebec, Detroit, and Chicago, she craved for someplace that was above 50 degrees.

Any patience she had left inside her was wearing thin, just like their time. The winter solstice was nearing, but if they didn't hurry, there probably wouldn't be a winter solstice.

She half expected to see those nasty sun dragons toting a flying chariot with a screaming magical saleswoman throwing potions, but nothing followed them.

Leo steered the dragon toward the southwest. Eventually, the smoke from the burning department store faded in the distance, but Reaper was still drawn all the way up till the suburbs of Chicago gave way to snowy fields, and the sun began to set. She wouldn't risk one of those storm spirits attacking them.

"Good job, Festus." Leo patted the dragon's metal hide. "You did awesome."

The dragon shuddered. Gears popped and clicked in his neck.

Georgia was no daughter of Hephaestus, but even she could tell that wasn't a noise he was supposed to make. "I'll give you a tune-up next time we land," Leo promised. "You've earned some motor oil and Tabasco sauce."

Festus whirled his teeth, but even that sounded weak. He flew at a steady pace, his great wings angling to catch the wind, but he was carrying a
heavy load. Two cages in his claws plus three people on his back—the more Leo thought about it, the more worried he got. Even metal dragons had limits.

"Leo." Piper patted his shoulder."You feeling okay?" They hadn't talked since she caught her basically demolishing Jason's personal space, and as much as it sickened her to admit it, Piper was her friend. She didn't want to lose her over something she thought she saw.

"Yeah ... not bad for a brainwashed zombie." Georgia had to know how to read emotions in order to survive, and Leo looked embarrassed. She wanted to tell him it happened to the best of demigods, but she didn't think he'd believe her.

"Thanks for saving us back there, beauty queen and, uh, rage monster. If you hadn't two talked me—well, Georgia raged me—out of that spell—"

"Don't worry about it," Piper said.

"It was nothing." She said.

Prisoner ⊳ Jason Grace ¹Read this story for FREE!