Chapter 8

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Jason's POV

I wake to someone nuzzling into my chest and squeezing me lightly. I glance down and see familiar jet black hair and my Seaweed brain laying on my chest. A smile forces its way onto my face and I place an arm gently onto Percy's back. For a few moments, it feels as if everything is good again. This feeling fades when Percy wakes up and leaves my embrace to get changed, not looking in my eyes as he does so. I feel my heart shatter and tears prick my eyes. I quickly blink them away, and I see Leo give me a sympathetic look. I know he feels bad, but it's not his fault.   

I sit up from the bed and glance over at Layla, she's dressed in distressed denim jeans and a plain white t-shirt. It's strange seeing her in casual clothes. I expected her to dress more like she did yesterday. However, we do have a long day of travelling. 

Percy comes out of the bathroom freshly changed dressed in black jeans, a white t-shirt, and a blue jacket. He always looks so handsome no matter what he's wearing. He catches me staring and looks down sheepishly. A small smile forms on both of our faces, I think he's starting to forgive me, little by little. 

Eventually, we're all piled into the car, me driving, Percy in the passenger seat, and Leo and Layla in the back. We begin our journey back to Camp Jupiter, our hopes high. Leo contacted Reyna and got a status report on Calypso. All she said was that we better hurry, at this Leo paled and I could tell he was panicking. 

"It'll be okay, Leo. She'll be okay," I insisted, but I could tell Leo didn't believe me. Layla put a hand on his shoulder and gently squeezed, Leo managed a small smile and I grinned. 

Suddenly Percy shouts, "Jason, look out!" And I am slamming on the breaks. I feel the car spin off the road, and after spinning a few more times the car screeches to a stop and goes quiet. Our ragged breaths cut through the silence. 

"What the hell, Percy?" I gasped, my heart hammering in my chest. 

Percy looks around cautiously, scanning our surroundings for enemies. "I saw something run out in front of us, but I don't see it now," he says, his voice on edge. 

"Do you know what it was?" Layla asks, leaning forward in her seat. Percy just shakes his head and gets out of the car. Leo, Layla, and I follow, scanning the horizon. 

A rustle in nearby trees startle us, causing us to look around frantically. "I'm going to check out that noise, you guys stay here," Percy whispered, stepping forward. 

"Let me go with you," I begged, grabbing his arm.  

He grabbed my arm from his, holding onto it, "Stay here with them, I'll be back soon." He squeezes my hand, smiling at me. 

"I'll go with you," Leo volunteers. Percy considers this for a moment but then nods his head and they slink off into the darkness, weapons ready. Percy armed with Riptide and Leo armed with a sledgehammer. I wring my hands together, worried for the dangers hidden in the dark. 

Suddenly, a scream comes from the forest. "That sounded like Percy! We have to go get him," I say to Layla before running in the direction the scream came from. I hear Layla running behind me, but when we get a ways into the forest, I stop. I turn frantically trying to see in the pitch black of night. I feel Layla close next to me. "Where do you think they are?" I ask, looking at Layla, my eyes adjusting to the darkness.

She sighs, "I don't know, but running off into the forest was not smart." Before I can respond, a branch breaks off to my right. I turn quickly to the sound, it feels like someone is watching us.

"Stay close," I whisper to Layla, and she nods. I start to inch closer to where the sound came from, Layla close behind me. Then, something drops in front of me with a thud. I back up quickly, almost running over Layla. The figure moves and stands up to its full height of about 5'9". The figure moves closer to me, and starts speaking, "Harpies love to eat young demigods! Such a delicious snack!"

My heart starts racing. Harpies are not fun. I flip my coin and it turns into a sword. "Where are Percy and Leo?" I ask, steeling myself.

The harpy cackles, "They put up a good fight, but they are no match for the harpies!" I glare at her.

"Why are you here talking to us? Surely you would've killed us by now, so why wait?" I ask inching closer, slowly.

The harpy scans us over, licking her lips. "Aello gives her sisters time to eat. Aello finds her own meal." Layla looks at me, rubbing her hands together. I can tell she's ready to fight, and so am I.

"Well Aello, it was a pleasure knowing you, but, unfortunately, I am not ready to become some hags meal," and with that I start my attack. Aello is shocked at first but quickly recovers. She shoots up in the air, and I follow. Layla stays on the ground, shooting beans of magic at her. I start trying to find a space to attack, she tries to strike at me with her talons but I knock her away with the hilt of my blade.

Suddenly, I see an opening when Layla shoots a freezing spell at Aello. I take my chance and summon a lightning bolt into my sword and strike Aello with it. She tries to fight back, but it was too late. My lighting had already struck her, and she starts to crumple into dust. I float back to the ground and meet Layla. I feel fatigure begin to settle in, and I can tell Layla is tired as well.

"You did a good job, are you okay?" Layla nods, smiling at me. I smile back, "Good, now, we need to go find the love of my life," Layla stares at me, "and Leo, of course." And with that, we head out in the forest in search for the rest of our team.

(A/N: hey y'all! Its been ages since I've updated. Sorry about that. I started this chapter in September and I'm ending it in December. That's kinda sad lol. Anyways I hoped you enjoyed. Sorry I suck at writing fight scenes. Stay fabulous!)

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