CECIL III

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"Hey fellas," Cecil said as he pulled along the gasping form of Will and an unconscious son of Hades. "How's the water?"

"Where did you get that jet ski?" Will shouted in disbelief.

"I found it... you know... just lying around."

"Ugh, I'll deal with your shenanigans later!" He said as he and Cecil hoisted Nico over the seat before Will jumped on behind him. There was hardly any room, so Nico ended up sprawled over Will's lap as they began moving.

Cecil pressed the gas pedal harder as a scaly arm reached out of the water and tried to pull him off the water vehicle.

"We need to get back on the ship somehow," Will said as Cecil drove erratically in hopes to lose the mermaids chasing them. He stared over his shoulder at the rescue boat that had been lowered until it was just touching the water. If they could somehow jump onto it and get raised soon enough the mermaids would no longer be a problem. Sure they would end up losing a jet ski, but priorities were priorities.

Will relayed the plan to his friend just as Nico stirred. The dark-haired teenager coughed, only spitting out a little water before a mermaid jumped out of the water in front of his face and hissed. The demigod could only scream as they made a sharp turn and ended up rolling over the hungry mermaid.

"What is going on?" He questioned as he fought to sit normally, but gave up when he realized if he moved he would be thrown off the vehicle. Nico was forced to remain sprawled across his crush's lap, legs hanging over one side while is arms and head on the other. "Get me off of this thing! I'm going to puke," he threatened as his pale face paled even further.

"Please don't puke on me, di Angelo. That would be really gross."

Nico snorted. "This is coming from a demigod healer with an online medical degree that delivered a satyr baby."

Will shivered. "Don't bring that up."

"I know you guys are in the middle of not weakly flirting with each other," Cecil said as he veered right just as a mermaid jumped in the air in front of them, "but it's almost time to jump."

The jet ski glided alongside the boat at full speed. People on board were watching them, screaming about sharks chasing poor children, while Lou Ellen stood by the people whose job it was to pull the rescue boat up. She was currently using the mist to look like one of the cruise workers. There was no way she trusted the people next to her to raise the boat quickly enough when they thought the killer mermaids chasing their friends were just sharks.

"How am I supposed to jump when I can't even stand up?" Nico shouted over the roar of the water as Will and Cecil tensed to abandon their water vehicle.

Will smirked at the son of Hades before throwing him over his shoulder. "Wow," he commented a few seconds before jumping. "You're all skin and bones, aren't you?"

The next moment three demigods crash-landed onto the deck of the tiny rescue boat. Cecil grunted as he hit his head on the side of it, Will and Nico rolling into him a second later. Even as they collected themselves though they were being lifted. The teenagers risked looking over the side of the ship to see several angry mermaids baring their teeth at them as well as shaking their scaly fists and pointing.

"Didn't your parents ever tell you it's rude to point?" Cecil shouted before the creatures disappeared under the water.

When they were safely pulled back onto the cruise ship, everyone let out a sigh of relief. Even as Lou Ellen used her magic and Will used his natural charm to get the captain of the ship to forget about what happened, they were all glad to be (hopefully) done with mermaids. As for the boy, Lou Ellen had talked to his parents and after weirding them out with questions about Greek and Roman gods (after introducing herself as a daughter of Hecate) they concluded he was not a demigod. It seemed he was just a clear-sighted mortal like Rachel, Luke's mom, and Nico's mom. Hey, maybe a goddess would notice him someday like the ladies had been noticed.

"Let's just find our room," Lou Ellen said with a yawn. The sun hadn't even set, but the idea of relaxing was something they all wanted to take advantage of. The others agreed as they went to customer service to get their room keys. They hadn't bothered doing so before because of the massive line of people that had been present earlier.

The attendant smiled at them, handing them two identical keys with their room number on them. "Your room is on the fifth level of living quarters, east side, and comes with two king beds, cable, microwave, mini-fridge, and a bathroom that also doubles as a sauna. Have a nice evening!"

"Wait," Nico said as they began to look for their room. "Did she say there are only two beds?"

Will shook his head. "I'm sure she meant four. Hermes did pay for, I mean, acquire premium tickets." However, he was proved wrong when Lou Ellen unlocked the door and they piled into the semi-spacious room.

To their left was the bathroom, where the shower was also a hot tub. Just ahead of them was a flat screen TV, not-so-mini-fridge where a microwave sat atop it, as well as multiple dressers, a work desk and chair, and two beds separated by a small space that a dresser with a lamp on it filled. The room was basically a fancy hotel room, but bigger and better.

"I call this bed!" Lou Ellen said as she kicked off her shoes, threw her backpack on the bed, and curled up on the soft clean bed contentedly.

Nico, Will, and Cecil glanced at each other and then to the vacant bed. Nico just sighed as the other two boys darted for the bed, pushing at each other until Will eventually sat on the bed triumphantly.

"It is mine!" He declared.

Cecil crossed his arms and pouted. Lou Ellen giggled however, appearing behind him with a grin on her face.

"The beds are plenty big enough for three people, you know. There's tons of room for all of you to share."

"I dunno," Cecil said as he and Nico stared at the bed Will was currently lying on. "The carpeting sure looks comfortable..."

"I can share!" The blond boy said with a carefree smile. "We're all friends here, so it won't be a problem."

That night neither the son of Hades nor the son of Hermes got a good night's sleep.

It had started off awkward as it was. Cecil attempted to cuddle a pillow on the right side of the king bed as he slept, Nico was on the opposite edge of the bed lying on his side, and Will was sprawled out in the middle fast asleep. Where things started getting weird was when Nico woke up to Cecil frantically whispering to him. The dark-haired teenager, dressed in a skull shirt and black shorts, rolled over to see one of Will's arms pulling the poor Hermes kid against him tight. Nico was about to laugh at his situation when the sleeping boy moved, drawing the now close enough son of Hades into an embrace with his other arm.

"What do we do?" He whispered as his heart thundered in his chest. Will was so warm that Nico found himself wanting to snuggle close to the sleeping demigod. He forced himself to resist the urge. "Should we wake him up?"

Cecil shook his head as he tried to slip out of his friend's arm. However, Will had a strong arm even if he wasn't awake. He sighed in exasperation. "I don't know why he's cuddling both of us," he complained. "He has a thing for you, not me."

Nico narrowed his eyes. "What thing does he have for me? You mean a present type of thing or...?"

"Lord Zeus above, why is your nephew such an idiot?"

"Hey!"

"Whatever, di Angelo. Let's just try and get some sleep I guess..."

The next morning when the four demigods got up and took turns showering Lou Ellen and Will were bright and bushy-tailed while the other two kept yawning. They could barely sleep as they attempted not to be squeezed to death for over half the night.

Will stretched, lowering his arms from over his head and smiling at his two tired friends. "I don't know why you guys are so tired. That was the best I've slept in a long time!"

If Cecil and Nico hadn't been so out of it, they definitely would have beat the overly cheery son of Apollo to a pulp.k

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