Chapter 16 - EXTREMITY

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((So, I know you guys are probably mad about what I'm doing, but I'm trying to write this story to prove a point. Bullying can get extreme, and there are several cases where the victim will never commit suicide, but is too fearful of their attackers to fight back, so the bullying gets bad. Very bad. Bad as in what's happening in this book. I know it sounds random and unnecessary to include Mark in the story, but for me it is. Be upset for what I'm doing to Annabeth, I understand, but know that I intend to eventually try and publish this after changing it from a fan fiction to an entirely original story. Everything will end happily, though, I assure you. The main point of this story, if I have not made it obvious (which seems to be a reoccurring thing in my life), is the extreme's that some bullying leads too, as well as the power of being a friend to someone. Anyone, really. If you think about it, Percy didn't have to be Annabeth's friend. He didn't have to try to get her attention. But he did it anyways. Why? Because he saw people making fun of her. I made it so extreme in this book, the picking on Annabeth, because Percy is supposed to be pretty oblivious to some things. I hope everyone understands why I'm putting this story like this, and hyping up the bullying extremities. It is possible that people are suffering through this very thing somewhere in the world. They are just so good at hiding it from others that they can keep it a total and complete secret.
I love you guys, stay weird, and have fun.
<3 <3 <3 <3
XOXO,
Faith Lininger))

***

Annabeth had a lot of trouble avoiding Percy. It hurt to try. Eventually, Mark took pity on her. In a way. A week after declaring that she wasn't allowed to be touched by anyone else, he stopped her before she could eat in the library, and dragged her to his table in the cafeteria. Everyone went silent. Annabeth kept her head down, suddenly not hungry, especially when Mark's hand slid up and down her thigh slowly, squeezing her leg, trailing along the hem of her underwear. His hand was under the skirt of her dress, hidden from view. Annabeth refused to look at anyone, especially when Mark leaned in towards her and kissed her neck. She froze, body stiffening up. Her hands gripped each other tightly, and she wished for everything to be over.

"Don't worry, princess." he whispered to her. "I can't wait to be inside you, either."

He knew for a fact that that was not why she got stiff... At least, she thought he knew. She wouldn't mention otherwise, because she didn't want to risk it... Annabeth felt Percy's eyes on her back, could tell that he wanted to talk to her.

She waited until after school. It had been a week since she spoke to him, but the moment she'd gotten the chance, Annabeth had jumped into his arms, feeling torn, absolutely destroyed and heartbroken. She'd asked him to meet her at his apartment, so she could explain what was going on, and she convinced him to agree. She was scared to admit what had been going on, but she knew she was hurting Percy by not seeing him.

The door opened, and Annabeth saw Percy's green eyes, immediately hugging him. He fell backwards, onto the floor, arms around her waist. "Annabeth? What's wrong!?" He'd seen her face. The pain and fear in her eyes. He held onto her as she started crying. Actual heartwrenching sobs forced their way out of her chest, almost crippling her body. Percy got to his feet, carrying her to his bedroom, and laying her down on the bed. "Wise girl, what happened?"

"I didn't want too... I didn't want to avoid you. I wanted to sit with you all week... I'm sorry." Percy pulled her against his chest, and she clung to his shirt, her tears wetting his shirt. "He said if I let you touch me, he would-" She choked.

"Who? The guy you sat with at lunch?" She could tell that he didn't like Mark, just by the sound of his voice. Hell... He sounded jealous.

"He said he'd kill you... And me... And said that if I didn't let him-" She trailed off, whimpering to herself. Percy's arms tightened around her, and she was comforted by his tight embrace. He nuzzled her neck, and the feeling of his lips on her skin, staying solitary, just below her jaw line, helped her think. "He told me that I could either let him have sex with me whenever he wanted, or Drew would throw me off the roof again. That Drew would make sure I died this time..."

"You're letting him?"

"He told me that I'm his property... That no one else can touch my body..." Percy kissed her neck, and Annabeth's eyes closed. She leaned closer to him, putting her arms around his neck. "If I tell him no, they'll kill me."

"Why didn't you tell me?"

"I didn't want to risk him hurting you, too." She mumbled softly, "But not being near you... I... I can't do it."

She moved, pressing her face to his neck. "Wise Girl, tell him no. I'll keep you safe, I promise. I won't let him touch you again." He rubbed her back. "I won't let Drew hurt you. Ever. You'll always have me."

"Percy, I can't..." Annabeth whimpered, tears in her eyes. "He'll hurt you, too. He's stronger than you..."

"I can take care of myself." He promised her. "Myself and you."

"I'm scared."

"Don't be scared. Be you. Be happy. Please." He pulled away from her, pushing hair from her face. "I want to see your smile. You deserve to smile. Always."

He pushed her hair behind her ear, pressing his forehead to hers. She smiled a little bit, and he sighed, putting his hands on either side of her face. "I will protect you, Annabeth." He kissed her forehead, rubbing his thumbs over her cheekbones. She closed her eyes and leaned her head on his collar bone. "I won't let anyone else hurt you... Not you, not the most important person in my life. I refuse to let anyone hurt you ever again, Wise Girl."

Annabeth sighed softly, pulling away from him, sniffling. "Can you..." She hesitated, swallowing. She met his eyes, and her heart skipped a beat, like it always did. She couldn't believe how beautiful his eyes really were. They were like tiny ocean's, each one moving differently, like different waves. That's when Annabeth realizing something... She was falling in love with Percy. Her heart was far gone, and her mind had just caught up. She was falling in love with her best friend...

All her life, she'd doubted that she would ever fall for anyone. She doubted that she'd ever even meet someone worth falling in love with. She had, though, and he was sitting in front of her, in her arms, their first kiss seconds away. Annabeth felt her heart soar, and she leaned in, tilting her head to the side. Percy's hands moved to her hips, and they kissed. Her heart beat faster, and faster, and faster.

Not out of fear, though.

She was finally kissing him, finally feeling his lips on hers, finally admitting to herself, and Percy, that she liked him. Realizing and Admitting to herself that she was falling for him. And she was falling hard.

He broke away quickly, breathing heavily. "I... I'm sorry... I... I shouldn't have."

"Shut up, Seaweed Brain." Annabeth kissed him again, pulling him close to her. Percy put his arms tightly around her waist, and she pressed her body against his, loving the feeling of his lips on hers. It was intoxicating, breathtaking. Her whole body was on fire. Her nerves felt shot, and she was so happy. Someone was kissing her with her consent. Hell, Percy Jackson was kissing her with her consent. She wanted him to kiss her, and guessing by how tightly he was holding her, and how rough the kiss was, he wanted her to kiss him.

Annabeth closed her eyes, loosing herself in the kiss, in Percy, completely forgetting the thing she was supposed to be doing an hour from seeing Percy. Forgetting what she was supposed to do with someone else, somewhere else.

When it ended, and she didn't open her eyes, didn't wake up... She knew it was real. She knew it wasn't a dream. She knew... That the person she was falling for had actually kissed her.

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