Chapter 17

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A.N: The beginning of this chapter starts out with a bit more fluff. I wanted to end the last chapter at Percy's POV, so here's Arty's POV. Sorry if it's toooo fluffy. Enjoy!

Artemis POV:

I jogged side by side with Percy. I had a feeling that we were nearing our destination and the sooner we got there the better. Suddenly, I tripped on a rock that was jutting out of the ground. I felt a pair of hands catch me before I could fall. As I looked up, I lost myself in Percy's beautiful eyes. He just smirked at me.

"Be more careful, Arty. We wouldn't want you get hurt," He said.

"Thanks," I muttered softly, not even registering in my brain that he had called me by my nickname. He gave me that blinding smile again and pulled me up to a standing position before jogging away. I blushed faintly, the feeling of his hands still gently placed on either side of my shoulders. I thought back to last night. What is wrong with me?

Flashback:

I waited patiently on the bed as Percy contacted his family. Even though he had assured me that he was alright, I could tell that he was still wounded by the words that had come out of that boy's mouth. For some reason, I didn't ever want to see Percy upset about anything. His smile lit up Tartarus like a light in the dark and his sea green eyes shone brightly whenever he was happy.

Speaking of Percy, here he comes. Percy walked through the doorway. I could see a tear stain that he had obviously attempted to hide from me. It must have been hard for him to see his family, but be able to touch them.

"How did it go?" I asked him.

"Fine, I was able to I.M everybody that I wanted to without bursting into tears," He replied. My lips upturned ever so slightly at that. Of course he would try to make a joke out of it. He always seemed to be able to find the humor in something, no matter what it was. That was one of the many things that I admired about his personality and what made him the best male alive.

"Anyways, I've been meaning to ask you something, but didn't get the chance today."

"And what might that be?" I inquired.

"Can I ask you why you were so distant this morning? You didn't say a word to me all morning," He said. Immediately the guilt hit. There was no excuse for my behavior towards him. He didn't deserve that kind of treatment and my actions were unfair to him. I looked down in shame and remorse.

"You have to understand that I've been against the male gender for pretty much my entire life. Now you come along and you're making me question my views on men. You're so much better than any other male I've ever met. I was trying to distance myself from you so that I wouldn't have to make an exception. So that you would hate me and I could go back to hating you," I replied softly. I hoped that he would understand. I knew that this didn't justify the way I had acted, but at least it offered some form of apology.

I felt his hand underneath my chin, tilting it upwards so that I was staring into his vibrant green eyes. I had to fight the urge to lose myself in their endless pools.

"Artemis, you don't have to make an exception for me. You can hate me if you want, but please at least try to see the good in me. You don't have to like me, but I ask that you tolerate me. After this quest is over, if you still hate me, then you don't have to ever speak with me again. For the rest of this mission, just try to see that I am worthy of your friendship because I really hope that I am."

His words just made me feel even more guilty and tears welled up in my eyes. He really thought that I hated him. In truth, it was far from it. I had realized that everything about him was the exact opposite of what I had believed males to be. I was starting to like him, maybe even something different, something more. And not a single thing I could say or think would ever change that.

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