Chapter 10 - TOO LATE

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Annabeth didn't think she'd ever had so much fun.When she learned that Percy was actually very muscular... She couldn't think straight when she thought about him shirtless anymore. He was lean, tan, his 6 pack was well defined, and his strong arms didn't just feel strong. They were strong. He literally picked her up out of the water, held her up over his head, one hand on one of her knees, the other hand holding her arm. She was on her side, laughing, trying to not screw him up. She didn't want to fall face first into the water. She'd actually doubted that he would drop her, but she'd much preferred to safe than sorry. When he did put her down, it was to the sound of a little girl's voice. They turned once she was on her feet and a little girl with frizzy red hair and sparkling green eyes.

"That was so cool!" She grinned, "How did you do that!?"

Percy smirked at Annabeth, and she stepped away from him. "Don't you dare. That was terrifying enough the first time, Percy." He grinned and lunged at her. She squeaked, falling into the water. He fell on top of her. Annabeth was very glad that they were in the shallow water. The little girl smiled.

"You guys are a cute couple." She bounded away from them, and Annabeth silently called after her.

"We're not dating! We're... We're not..." Her voice didn't come out. She bit her lip and looked away from Percy, still pinned underneath him in the water. He was so close to her. His body heat battled the cold of the water, and she felt his breath fanning over her face. Annabeth swallowed, before meeting his eyes again. He was so close to her. Annabeth could practically feel every cell in her body bursting in anticipation for what her heart desperately wanted. Percy moved closer to her, going from his hands to his elbows. His lips were inches from hers. Literally. There was a single inch separating them. His eyes flickered down to her lips, then back to her eyes, as if he was asking for permission to kiss her. Annabeth licked her suddenly dry lips, her mouth suddenly void of moisture. She closed her eyes, tilting her chin up, hoping it would be enough for him to kiss her.

After a few seconds, she felt his lips on hers, gentle and hesitant. Electricity shot through her spine, and Annabeth felt weak. She put her hands on his shoulders slowly, hesitant, scared he would pull away and regret kissing her. A wave washed over her and she slid her hands into his hair, her fingers tangling in the messy black strands. Percy pulled away an inch, "I... I'm sorry, I don't-"

She pulled him back to her, kissing him. It was a firmer kiss than before, still gentle, but not as light a touch. He slid one arm around her waist, holding her close to his body, still propping himself up with one arm. It was perfect, blissful, amazing...

"Annabeth!" A voice called, but Annabeth barely heard it. "Annabeth, wake up! Now! You're late for school! Annabeth!"

***

Annabeth sat up in bed with a gasp, her eyes wide. She was breathing heavily, a hand over her heart. She looked up to see her dad, a furious look in his eyes. "Sorry. Sorry, I'm so sorry."

"You better be. Get your ass up." Annabeth got out of the bed and her dad left the room. Annabeth raced to her closet, grabbing a blue sweatshirt and black leggings She pulled them on, hurriedly grabbing a pony tail holder for her hair. She grabbed her phone, her bag, slipped into a pair of flip flops, and ran for the door, making it to the elevator before she could get yelled at again. She unlocked her phone to see a text from Percy.

'Hey, Wise Girl. I can't walk you to school today, but I'll see you at lunch. Got a doctor's appt that lasts all morning.'
- Percy the Mermaid

Annabeth sighed, running a hand through her messy hair. She was just glad she wouldn't be standing him up that morning. Then she remembered her dream. Annabeth's cheeks flared red, and she covered her face, a hand over her mouth in disbelief. That had actually been her dream. She'd actually dreamt that Percy had kissed her when they were still at the beach... It had felt so real. She thought that he'd actually kissed her...

Annabeth wasn't totally sure she could face Percy in a few hours after that. She was way too embarrassed. Sure, she had a crush on him, that was something she couldn't deny... Maybe she could deny the fact that she really wanted Percy to kiss her that day, especially when that little girl had ran off and she was pinned underneath Percy. She wanted to feel what it was like to have someone kiss her with her consent... That sounded bad, but it was true...

Annabeth ran out of the building, and down the street to get to the school. She wasn't too late. She got to her first hour without a problem, and the day became the usual routine. Teasing, taunts, insults, pranks. By the time lunch rolled around, Annabeth felt like she did before Percy ever met her. She got food and sat down in her usual place, hidden behind a trophy case. For once, though, someone followed her. Annabeth sat down with her food, hair in a braid over her shoulder. She didn't notice as a pair of high heeled feet stopped in front of her, her music tuning out all noises.

She didn't notice until a manicured hand ripped her headphones from her ears, making her cry out in pain. "Ow! What the hell!?"

She looked up to see Drew, who had a mean sneer on her face. "Where's your boyfriend, Annie?"

"Percy's not my boyfriend."

"Well, he's not your friend, either."

"What are you talking about?" Annabeth scoffed. She put her tray on the ground and stood up, arms over her chest.

"Go take a look." Drew smiled, pointing around the corner of the trophy case. Annabeth frowned, suddenly uneasy. She glanced around into the cafeteria, and immediately, her stomach dropped. Percy was sitting with a group of people Annabeth knew well. Not in a good way. It was Drew's table, where the cheerleaders and jocks all sat. He was smiling and laughing, clearly enjoying himself. Someone pointed towards her, laughing. Annabeth turned quickly, not wanting to see the look that would surely be on Percy's face. Drew grinned and walked away.

Annabeth slowly sunk to the floor, putting her hands in her hair, dropping her head, holding it between her knees. She wanted to cry. She wanted to scream. She wanted to run towards Percy and yell at him for toying with her emotions and her heart, but at the same time, she was too scared of what people would say if they heard what she wanted to say, and immediately assumed the truth... That she wanted more than to just be Percy's friend, which would most likely end in more people believing what Drew said happened between Annabeth and Jake.

They'd think she'd do that to Percy...

Annabeth wasn't hungry anymore. She got up, grabbed her tray and dumped it in the trash before walking out of her hiding spot. She walked out of the cafeteria, hearing someone yell her name. Her heart hurt. She didn't want to know who was following her, and she didn't want to know why they bothered to care. The one person she trusted to actually care about her after Jake, had turned away from her... Why would anyone else care about her anymore? Why would Percy have cared in the first place... He was like everyone else. Like every other person who had been in her life. They either left her, turned their back on her, forgot her, or laughed in her face. No one cared about her... Not even Percy.

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