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[JASON]

BACK IN THE ENTRY HALL, Cal and Leo were waiting for them

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BACK IN THE ENTRY HALL, Cal and Leo were waiting for them. Leo looked cold but unharmed. He'd even gotten cleaned up, and his clothes looked newly washed, like he'd used the hotel's valet service. Festus the dragon was back in normal form, snorting fire over his scales to keep himself defrosted.

As Khione led them down the stairs, Jason noticed that Leo's eyes followed her. Leo started combing his hair back with his hands. Uh-oh, Jason thought. He made a mental note to warn Leo about the snow Goddess later. She was not someone to get a crush on.

At the bottom step, Khione turned to Piper. "You have fooled my father, girl. But you have not fooled me. We are not done. And you, Jason Grace, I will see you as a statue in the throne room soon enough along with the daughter of Apollo."

"Boreas is right," Jason replied, "You're a spoiled kid. See you around, ice princess."

Khione's eyes flared pure white. For once, she seemed at a loss for words. She stormed back up the stairs—literally. Halfway up, she turned into a blizzard and disappeared.

"Be careful," Zethes warned him, "She never forgets an insult."

Cal grunted in agreement. "Bad sister."

"She's the Goddess of snow," Jason said. "What's she going to do, throw snowballs at us?" But as he said it, Jason had a feeling Khione could do a whole lot worse.

Kyra looked up at him with a smirk, "You're just asking for it now, Superboy."

He looked down at the girl, "Superboy?"

She shurgged, "It fits, does it not?"

Kyra walked towards Leo and Jason followed her with his eyes, a smile on his face. Now he needed to come up with a name for her. Different nicknames went through his mind as he approached the others,

Leo looked devastated. "What happened up there? You made her mad? Is she mad at me too? Guys, that was my prom date!"

"No offense, Leo, but you need to raise your standards." Kyra patted his shoulder in pity,

"We'll explain later," Piper promised, but when she glanced at Jason, he realized she expected him to explain.

What had happened up there? Jason wasn't sure. Boreas had turned into Aquilon, his Roman form, as if Jason's presence caused him to go schizophrenic.

The idea that Jason had been sent to Camp Half-Blood seemed to amuse the God, but Boreas/Aquilon hadn't let them go out of kindness. Cruel excitement had danced in his eyes, as if he'd just placed a bet on a dogfight.

'You will tear each other apart', he'd said with delight. Aeolus will never have to worry about demigods again.

Jason looked away from Piper, trying not to show how unnerved he was. "Yeah," he agreed, "we'll explain later."

"Be careful, pretty girl," Zethes said. "The winds between here and Chicago are bad-tempered. Many other evil things are stirring. I am sorry you will not be staying. You would make a lovely ice statue, in which I could check my reflection."

"Thanks," Piper responded, "But I'd sooner play hockey with Cal."

"Hockey?" Cal's eyes lit up.

"Joking," Piper told the Boread,"And the storm winds aren't our worst problem, are they?"

"Oh, no," Zethes agreed. "Something else. Something worse."

"Worse," Cal echoed.

"Can you tell me?" Piper gave them a smile. This time, the charm didn't work. The purple-winged Boreads shook their heads in unison. The hangar doors opened onto a freezing starry night, and Festus the dragon stomped his feet, anxious to fly.

"Ask Aeolus what is worse," Zethes said darkly. "He knows. Good luck." He almost sounded like he cared what happened to them, even though a few minutes ago he'd wanted to make Piper into an ice sculpture.

Cal patted Leo on the shoulder. "Don't get destroyed," he said, which was probably the longest sentence he'd ever attempted. "Next time—hockey. Pizza."

"Come on, guys." Jason stared out at the dark. He was anxious to get out of that cold penthouse, but he had a feeling it was the most hospitable place they'd see for a while. "Let's go to Chicago and try not to get destroyed."

The four went towards Festus, but Zethes held Kyra back, "My father wants to pass on his condolences."

Kyra turned towards him, "Condolences?"

Zethes nodded, "Yes. Children of Apollo don't last long around heroes like Jason Grace. Ask Percy Jackson about that."

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