Drawing a line

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Elmo looks around for who stumbled into him, and he grows immediately angry.
"WHO INVITED THE CYCLOPS!?" He roars.
The courtyard grows quiet. Darryl and the Apollo girl have stopped singing, and it's so quiet that you can hear an overweight satyr panting from dancing too heavily.

Asclepious bless him, isn't afraid of the menacing glare on Elmo. They're roughly the same height, and Asclepious stands his ground as Elmo takes a step towards him.

"I INVITED him!" I say loudly, stepping forward to stand next to Asclepious.
Where Asclepious is the same height as Elmo at reaching over 6'2, I'm rather small compared to the both of them.
Elmo swivels his head towards me, as if trying to process who I am.
Recognition immediately registers. "You invited a cyclops?" He growls in a low tone, his dark eyes flaring with red.

"Did I happen to stutter when I said that?" I ask loudly to Asclepious, to show I don't fear Elmo.
The corner of Asclepious's face pulls slightly into a grin, but he keeps his eyes locked on Elmo.

Elmo's jaw clenches as he throws me a nasty look.
"So you were already deemed unworthy by being an un-claimed child, you think it best to spend time showing disrespect by fraternizing with a CYCLOPS at a party hosted by your siblings?"
As some people across the courtyard have gone back to talking, the people who could hear this conversation have moved closer, not wanting to miss a word.

I shrug indifferently as Asclepious's blazor starts falling down my arms.
"He's my friend, and I deem him a better person to get to know than a disrespetful ass like you." I glare back.

A few of the dark haired girls who I recognize as my sisters gasp at my sentence.
Ej and Aimee wince, as I notice Nico has now made his way over to where I stand.
Nico looks between Asclepious and I, his eyes widening, before looking at Elmo and noticing the angry way he was looking at me.
Why I absolutely love Nico, is while not even knowing what's going on, he immediately tenses up and starts throwing Elmo a murderous glare.

Elmo leans his head down, his lip curling.
"The next time you disrespect me again little girl, we will dule this out to the end." He snarls.
Asclepious maneuvers himself so he's between both me and Elmo, a glare etched on his face.

"And the moment I find out you hurt a girl who's weaker than you, you'll have me to deal with." He says coldly, causing Elmo to take the slightest step back.

I feel a flutter run through me that Asclepious defended me, but the way he said it, makes me wonder if this is something he'd do for ANY girl Elmo threatened.
Elmo says nothing in return, but holds his glare.
"Enjoy the party...." His dark eyes flash to me again. "Keep what I said in mind, love." He winks, leaving.

I cringe slightly. That's the pet name Cupid refers to me as. When Eros says it, I get that it's a term of endearment....When Elmo says it....It gives me the heebie jeebies.

Nico pulls my by the arm over to a table.
"You mind telling me what the STYX is going on Carys!?" He hisses quietly


"I just....Invited a friend....And Elmo's an ass..." I mutter.
Nico stares at me, confused. "You brought that guy?" He asks, tilting his head over my shoulder.

I shrug as a response.

Nico closes his eyes, and shakes his head.
"Carys....You shouldn't be hanging around him..." Nico trails off, looking at a loss for words.
Considering how brass and opininated he can be, that surprises me.

"Why not? Don't tell me, you're on the anti-cyclops bandwagon as well?" I shoot back, angry at the thought.

Nico's jaw clenches, and he shakes his shaggy head. "No....It's just....I don't want you getting hurt because of him." His dark eyes holding worry.

"He's perfectly safe...."
I cut off, remembering this was the same guy who had in fact pulled a sword on me the other night...
Although, I no longer hold the impression he still wants to harm me..
"Here, I'll introduce you!" As I whirl around to look for Asclepious, I find he's already gone.
The only thing to show he was just here, is his warm blazor still wrapped around my shoulders.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The next day was spent going through work for an upcoming exam, and talking to Percy and Annabeth about possible suspects.
After last night, my top two were now Elmo and Darryl.
Darryl because of his remark of wanting to be the most powerful demigod in all of the university, Elmo, well....He seems to be a big enough jerk I don't really put it past him to steal Cupid's bow.
It's also said he's the best archer, so maybe he took it to try and one-up Cupid.
A strong part of me holds hope Elmo was the one who stole it, because Darryl seems like a decent guy....
But then again, Percy, Annabeth, and Thaila once thought the same thing about Luke Castellan. That didn't turn out so well for them.

"CARYS! Have you studied at ALL?!" Annabeth asks, disappointment etched on her face.
We're sitting out by the mess hall, going through homework.
Mine for tonight is transitioning how to turn Chinese currency into dragmas. There's a long and boring process behind it that I'm just not remembering.
"If you don't watch yourself, you're going to be just as awful of a student as Seaweed brain..." Annabeth sing-songs, throwing Percy a smirk.

"HEY!" Percy pauses. "....Yeah she's right." He sighs, nibbling on a turkey leg. "Oh! I Iris messaged Tyson yesterday, he says hi.....And that you should try asking Triton for information regarding Elmo." Percy says, devouring the turkey leg.

I frown. "Why Triton?"

"Apparently he and Elmo have known each other for years, ever since Elmo first started off at Godlike University as a freshmen."

Annabeth frowns, thinking.
"Why do you think Elmo's been here the last decade?"



"Tyson gave the answer to that too.......Apparently, Elmo trains the archery station here." Percy says, sipping juice.

My mouth drops open. I've just made it through my beginners course for archery, and I'm moving up to a more advanced class.
"Perc......What class does he teach?"

"Uh....Advance placement of Archery. Why?"

"I, am so, screwed." I mutter, slapping my forehead.
It was bad enough I pissed off the leader of Cupid's cabin in general, now I find out he's actually a teacher.....Great.

Suddenly I spot Asclepious a couple tables over grabbing an apple from a bowl of fruit. I haven't seen him since the party last night...
"Hey I'll catch you guys later!" I say, making my way over to him.

Percy and Annabeth wont be wondering what I'm doing, for Piper and Jason had made their way over just as I left.

"Hey!" I greet, sitting down opposite of him. "You left pretty fast last night."
Asclepious says nothing, his face unreadable.

"Yeah, so?"

"Well....You shouldn't have, from what I've discovered, that Elmo guy is just a jerk in general."

He says nothing, leaving us in an uncomfortable silence.
He looks slightly mad....

"Um....So......How's your day going?" I ask brightly.

His eyes narrow. "We should probably make something clear about last night.....Just because I showed up, doesn't make us friends."
He says, shuffling a hand through his messy blonde hair.

My shoulders slump slightly that I barely notice myself doing it.
"Why not?"

His face turns into a glare. "I don't want friends. Esecially not one as naive and danger prone as you are." He says gruffly, leaving the table.

I jog around to walk with him.
"Then WHY did you show up?"

"Because I was bored." He says stiffly, making his way back to the monster dorms direction.

"Wow. So you can confront a "weak girl" with a sword, but you're too big of a pansy yourself to be around her after the big bad Elmo scared you?" I mock using what he said to Elmo last night, stopping to cross my arms.

He spins around, stunned I said that.
His jaw clenches. "I. Don't. Want. Friends. I don't want to know you, I don't want to talk to you...Before you started trying to come up to me, I was having an easier time staying below the radar." He hisses.

Oh, right....He's using a mist to try and make himself look like a cyclops. He's hiding from something.

"I'm not going to tell anyone about you." I shrug.

He sighs, shaking his head.
"What is it going to take for you to realize I want nothing to do with you?"

"How bout NOT showing up to a stupid party after I invite you?" I shoot back, throwing my arms up.

He gives a slight shrug of his shoulders. "Fine, done."

I feel slightly crestfallen by that.
 "You realize you're too young to act like a hermit, right?"

"You realize there's probably more productive things you can do with your spare time than stalk me, right?"


Ouch. That was mean.
"Sorry that I was trying to be nice."  I reply, quieter than I intended.

His cocky expression drops slightly.

I leave, not even bothering to look back.
One minute he can seem like a decent person, understanding, even. The next he'll act like you're his worst enemy. Well fine, if he doesn't want friends, I wont bother anymore.
~~~~~~~~
I make my way back to my Hermes dorm, to find I already have someone waiting for me.
Ares is admiring pictures on my nightstand. Noticeably, the one where me, Percy, Annabeth, Thaila, and Grover are all together.

"No need to knock." I mutter.

Ares turns. "How's the progress on Ero's bow."

Thinking about it, why not throw Elmo under the bus?
"I think Elmo the leader of Cupid's cabin could be..."

Ares holds up a hand, stopping me.
"Yeah....No. The guy is pretty much Ero's heir. He wouldnt take it."

I feel my jaw drop. Ares had no problem with consdiering ME as a suspect, but the hulking Elmo who craves power, AND is a talented archer, that's not possible?!

"Why not?" I ask, hearing a whine in my own voice.

Ares shakes his dark head, removing his sunglasses. "Because other than YOU, Elmo is someone Eros trusts wholeheartedly. He wouldn't betray him." He huffs.

That's a terrible argument if I've ever heard one.
"The guy's a complete dick, you can't be certain he didn't do it." I shrug.

Ares rolls his eyes, as if annoyed I even gave the slightest thought Elmo was the thief.

"Someone's obviously jealous daddy has a favorite." Ares mutters, examining his hand.

I bite my tongue.
I want to reply a witty comeback, but it's best I dont considering Aphrodite and Cupid aren't around to save my butt if I were to piss Ares off too badly.

"What about Darryl Cunning?"

Ares frowns. "What makes you think it's him?"

I want to snap a sarcatic remark again. Why ask me to look for suspects if you're just going to shoot down everyone I give you!?!
Instead, I decide to remain calm.
"He wants to overtake Elmo as leader. SInce he's Apollo's kid as well as a desendent of Eros, it's possible." I shrug.

"Do you have any proof?" Ares snarls, annoyed with me.

"Well, no...."
In the blink of an eye, Ares is gone. Obviously too annoyed to keep speaking with me.

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