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Jason leaped to his feet. He wasn't sure what was more jarring—the full sunlight that now bathed the room, or the screaming satyr.

"Coach is awake," Leo said, which was kind of unnecessary. Gleeson Hedge was capering around on his furry hindquarters, swinging his club and yelling, "Die!" as he smashed the tea set, whacked the sofas, and charged at the throne.

"Coach!" Jason yelled.

Hedge turned, breathing hard. His eyes were so wild, Jason was afraid he might attack. The satyr was still wearing his orange polo shirt and his coach's whistle, but his horns were clearly visible above his curly hair, and his beefy hindquarters were definitely all goat. Could you call a goat beefy? Jason put the thought aside.

"You're the new kid," Hedge said, lowering his club. "Jason." He looked at Leo, then Piper, who'd apparently also just woken up. Her hair looked like it had become a nest for a friendly hamster. Then he looked over at Kyra, who had also just woken up. She must've been startled because she held her now life-size bow and arrow.

"Valdez, McLean," the coach said. "What's going on? We were at the Grand Canyon. The anemoi thuellai were attacking and—" He zeroed in on the storm spirit cage, and his eyes went back to DEFCON 1. "Die!"

"Whoa, Coach!" Leo stepped in his path, which was pretty brave, even though Hedge was six inches shorter. "It's okay. They're locked up. We just sprang you from the other cage."

"Cage? Cage? What's going on? Just because I'm a satyr doesn't mean I can't have you doing plank push-ups, Valdez!"

Jason cleared his throat. "Coach—Gleeson—um, whatever you want us to call you. You saved us at the Grand Canyon. You were totally brave."

"Of course I was!"

"The extraction team came and took us to Camp Half-Blood. We thought we'd lost you. Then we got word the storm spirits had taken you back to their—um, operator, Medea."

"That witch! Wait—that's impossible. She's mortal. She's dead."

"Yeah, well," Leo replied, "somehow she got not dead anymore."

Hedge nodded, his eyes narrowing. "So! You were sent on a dangerous quest to rescue me. Excellent!"

"Um." Piper got to her feet, holding out her hands so Coach Hedge wouldn't attack her. "Actually, Glee—can I still call you Coach Hedge? Gleeson seems wrong. We're on a quest for something else. We kind of found you by accident."

"Oh." The coach's spirits seemed to deflate, but only for a second. Then his eyes lit up again. "But there are no accidents! Not on quests. This was meant to happen! So, this is the witch's lair, eh? Why is everything gold?"

GOLDEN DAYS |JASON GRACE| {1}Where stories live. Discover now